Kyle has the day off, so you're stuck me again today. My laptop is having itself all kind of problems, so I'm going to do this as quick as possible and let the poor thing sleep some more. Because that's clearly going to fix all the problems...
Last night was the All-Star Game. JP recapped it for you, so make sure you check that out for the details and some great stats about Ryan Braun and the game.
The quick and dirty is that Braun, who'd been hitless in his previous four ASG appearances, had a double and a triple, drove in the game-winning run and made two great catches in left field, including one to rob former teammate Prince Fielder.
He was the 5th player to hit a double and triple in the same All-Star Game (Earl Averill, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, George Brett) (Twitter link from ESPN Stats)
He also was jawing with Jeter when he hit his triple.
Mike Woods admits its a conspiracy theory, but thinks there's no way MLB would have let Braun be the MVP. (Twitter link)
Some other ASG notes:
There's media and interviews galore during All-Star Weekend, but one of the more ridiculous quotes comes from Bud Selig, who apparently realizes we find Interleague boring, not fun and said they should flip the rules and have DH in NL park and pitchers hitting in AL parks.
Not relevant to yesterday's game, but a great read about All-Star Games before they became giant hooplas comes from former player Claudell Washington, who gives an account of the 1975 ASG held at County Stadium. If you click one link, make it that one.
This is even less relevant, but so weird I had to share it. This girl wrote a song in ode to Prince's HR Derby win.
The big Brewers news yesterday was that Jeff Bianchi will be called up to the majors to replace Taylor Green. Twitter optimism was high when the move was announced (NO MORE IZTURIS AT SS) but that was squashed after the game last night when Ron Roenicke made it clear that Bianchi will be mostly a bench bat.
The best breakdown I've seen on Bianchi is over at the Brewerfan.net boards. (h/t to @Mass_Haas)
Your daily Zack Greinke trade discussion today tells us that Los Angeles Angels have entered the discussion, says John Heyman.
There's not much more detail than that available and I read speculation that the Angels might just be in it to prevent division rival the Texas Rangers from getting him or at least drive up the price to obtain him. The Rangers currently have a four game lead over the Angels in the AL West, but the Angels have a tie for first place with Baltimore for the Wild Card.
This story comes from a small mid-Georgia paper, where you don't usually find the best MLB analysis, but it's more than 2,700 words on why the Braves should trade from Greinke and includes salary breakdowns and a look at their other pitching options (including who they'd likely give up in the trade).
But it turns out that Greinke isn't the only Brewers starting pitcher that other teams are interested in.
By far the article that had me most excited is this one from CBSSports' Danny Knobler that says KC is seeking a "Real" Starting Pitcher this off-season and that guy could be Shaun Marcum!!!! (h/t MLB Daily Dish)
PocketDoppler hands out their Brewers midseason report card. The grades are B+, D-, C-, A-, D+ and B-. You have to click the link to find out what the grades are for, but it would probably be fun to just randomly guess, too.
The Brewers held open tryouts up in Chatham, Canada with scout Jay Lapp this week. Lapp is famous for having been the only scout bothering to go check out John Axford in a blizzard and
The new CBA changed the rules for signing draftees and international players and it looks like the Blue Jays are the first ones to break said rules. They exceeded their $2.9 million International Bonus Pool. They signed three of the top 20 International Prospects, "putting their international amateur spending for the 2012-13 signing period at $2,975,000. That means the Blue Jays are 2.6 percent over their international bonus pool, so for their $75,000 overage they will have to pay a 75 percent tax, which comes to $56,250.
The Blue Jays won't face any penalties beyond the tax unless they choose to spend more than five percent above the $2.9 million pool ($3,045,000), after which they would have to pay a 75 percent tax on the overage and would be prohibited from signing more than one player for a bonus greater than $500,000 during the 2013-14 international signing period that begins next year on July 2."
Just a week after blowing up at the media in the clubhouse here in Milwaukee in support of closer Heath Bell, saying the losses weren't his fault, Ozzie Guillen has announced the Marlins will be going with a closer-by-committee situation.
Today in former Brewers:
There are conflicting reports that Ben Sheets will make a major league start for the club this weekend. Yahoo is treating the situation as a done deal, saying he'll start Sunday. But the hometown Atlanta-Journal Constitution says that Sheets will throw a side session tomorrow and that will determine whether he gets inserted into the major league rotation this weekend or get another minor league start.
From the "You never know" files, a guy in Defiance, Ohio unearthed what is being called the best find in sports cards ever when he found 700 baseball cards in his grandfather's attic that are valued in the neighborhood of $3 million. Including rare cards printed around 1910 and names like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, the stash contains near-perfect rare cards. That link includes some pics of the find.
If you're into the Twitter thing, Tom Glavine has joined. So far he hasn't said anything interesting, but you never know...
Kyle likes to end with a joke. I'll just leave you with this.