Kyle's off being cooler than us, so you're stuck with me today. Blame Kyle.
Let's start with news destined to make me stabby, CBS Sports has unveiled a fantasy baseball app aimed at women called The Baseball Boyfriend. Not only does it dumb down fantasy baseball to just one player for women, since we're clearly not smart enough to handle a whole roster-full, but it's full of doodle hearts and other ridiculousness, including lots of typos. Seriously, be happy this entire Mug wasn't just me ranting about this crap.
The mini rant is that this, at its base, is actually a pretty good idea - simplifying fantasy sports to make them appeal to a broader audience (of ALL genders.) Unfortunately for CBSSports (who let's be honest, no one uses for Fantasy Sports except when it comes time to fill out a March Madness bracket) they took it in a ridiculous direction, meaning other sites will take the basic idea and run with it while they're stuck being the laughingstock for treating women like they're mindless 13-year-old girls.
Ok, on with the rest of the Margarita...
Speaking of our exhalted GM, he was on WSSP. You can hear the full interview here, but the gem is probably him saying that the "Brewers and Shaun Marcum were "a minute and a half away" from arbitration hearing. (h/t @Mass_Haas
FanGraphs has their list of Top 10 Worst Transactions of the Winter and the Brewers signing of Aramis Ramirez checks in at #7.
MLB FanCave has announced a Top 50 finalists and is starting online voting. There are two Brewers representatives in the Top 50.
Disciples of Uecker started a series ranking the Brewers organization's Top 30 prospects. Yesterday's post of players 21-30 can be found here. I'm pretty surprised they have Brock Kjelgaard all the way down at 28. And here's 11-20.
The Brewers hired a new groundskeeper to take over the job after the passing of Gary Vanden Berg. Justin Scott comes from Kansas City and - my favorite part - has a BS in Plant Science/Turfgrass Management from Missouri.
The Brewer Nation is doing a countdown to Opening Day by jersey number. Today's highlights John Axford.
It's Insider, so I didn't get to read the whole thing, but Buster Olney is saying that Doug Melvin reiterated that the team is committed to giving Mat Gamel at first.
John Sickels is an authority on minor league players and he's taking the time to go back and look at how successful some of the pitchers he rated have become. He's narrowed down the parameters and overall, he did a pretty damn good job. Relevant to realize you should probably put stock in his projections. Both Zach Greinke and K-Rod make the list.
Bradley Woodrum at FanGraphs categorized MLB teams based on his opinion of their SABR leanings - he says the Brewers are an "In-Between Organization."
I'm not sure if Kyle posted this already, but here's a pretty interesting look at Racine native Chad Harbach, author of The Art of Fielding.
It probably says a lot about the rest of the unsigned arbitration-eligible players that one of the top ten most prominent cases left is the Brewers case with Jose Veras. (h/t MLB Trade Rumors)
If you're a really big Ryan Braun's Graffito fan and you find yourself in Wellington, FL (outside West Palm Beach) you're in luck! There's apparently a new one there.
Today in former Brewers:
Bill Hall signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees. The contract comes with an invitation to Spring Training. If he makes the 40-man roster, he gets $600,000. He announced his singing on Twitter. Best reaction goes to @Brandon_Warne with his suggestion of how Hall might handle Yankees Roll Call.
Former Brewer minor-leaguer Brett Lawrie's tweets are apparently so difficult for Jays fans to understand that one of them has started a Twitter account to translate them for the greater public.
In today's obvious news is obvious, ESPN published a story that Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski is confident in Prince Fielder. As if the 9-year, $214 million contract was a sign of that.
Dodgers: Avoided arbitration with Clayton Kershaw as he agreed to a two-year, $19 million contract. That leaves his third arbitration-eligible.
Oakland: Extended general manager Billy Beane's contract through 2019. A's beat writer Susan Slusser thinks that's a sign the Athletics are getting a new stadium.
Rangers: Signed Elvis Andrus to a three-year, $15 million deal.
Red Sox: Signed 17-year-old Australian Daniel McGrath
And in the rest of interesting baseball news...
This is my must-read of the day: A 17-year-old is the front line of Negro League research and has been for a few years. He's making friends with former-players and helping them get their pensions.
FanGraphs has their list of the 10 Best Transactions of the Winter - the Brewers aren't on the list.
The example in this piece on The Book is about the Super Bowl, but the gist of the article looks at how to correctly use win-expectancy graphs. Interesting, IMO.
One of the most linked-to and talked about articles yesterday was this Hardball Times piece looking at how payroll and wins are tied together and gives you some historical perspective on it.
Also at Hardball Times is this David Wade piece explaining why he's against replay in baseball.
I can't be the only one who looks at this Angels billboard of Pujols and doesn't think the A stands for Albert.
Baseball Prospectus has released their 2012 PECOTA forecasts, and they've tweaked their formula slightly to give more weight to a player's history/performance and less to regression. The article breaks down all the changes and I have to admit that the math problems make my head hurt. But for those of you so inclined, I'm sure it will be super-interesting.
Given the story about Baseball Boyfriend - Smart move by SABR to take this opportunity to remind you that they have a Women in Baseball newsletter - archived here.