Thursday's Frosty Mug: Bobble(d) Promotion

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We're talking about Corey Hart's bobblehead and some other things in today's slow news day roundup of all things Brewers.

Some things to read while spending it all in one place.

We're 12 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, but this morning I'm looking further ahead: The Brewers' Tumblr account has a photo of Corey Hart's bobblehead, which made me realize he'll likely still be on the shelf when the team gives them away on May 5. Of course, if they'd given them away later in the year they'd run the risk of holding the promotion after the free-agent-to-be has been traded away.

Meanwhile, the Brewers were one of seven teams with scouts in attendance when free agent pitchers Kip Wells, Mark Lowe and Ryan Rowland-Smith threw bullpen sessions yesterday. The Brewers were rumored to be interested in Lowe earlier this winter.

Moving back to pitchers who are already with the team: The Nats Blog has a look back at Tom Gorzelanny's season in Washington in 2012. In a related note, Justin Schultz of Reviewing the Brew is giving the Brewers a B+ for their decision to sign fellow former Nationals lefty Michael Gonzalez.

2013 is a big year for a lot of Brewers but perhaps none moreso that Marco Estrada and Mat Gamel, with the former getting a chance to be a #2 starter just two years after being left off the spring training roster and the latter likely getting a couple of months at first base in what could be his last chance as a Brewer. At Reviewing the Brew Conner Boyd has a look at Estrada's opportunity and Benjamin Orr looks at how the Brewers' interest in Lyle Overbay affects Gamel.

For what it's worth, this week's BCB Tracking Poll showed that a clear majority of fans are "comfortable" with Gamel playing first until Corey Hart gets back, but most of those polled said they're *somewhat* comfortable, not very.

If you're opening a pack of 2013 Topps cards this morning, here's what you're likely looking for: Cee Angi reports that Ryan Braun is card #8 in this year's set.

I went into this thinking I wouldn't like it, but I'll admit I laughed: Curt Hogg of Reviewing the Brew is picking Rickie Weeks to win a WWE-style Royal Rumble of current Brewers.

In the minors:

If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, Noah's Wednesday appearance on The Home Stretch with Justin Hull on 95.3 FM WSCO in Appleton has been archived.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed utilityman Bill Hall to a minor league deal.
Blue Jays: Signed third baseman Andy LaRoche to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Shawn Kelley (one year, $935,000).
Marlins: Claimed pitcher Sam Dyson off waivers from the Blue Jays and designated outfielder Kevin Mattison for assignment.
Mets: Signed reliever LaTroy Hawkins to a minor league deal.
Padres: Avoided arbitration with third baseman Chase Headley (one year, $8.575 million).

In former Brewers:

One of these was quite predictable, but the other might catch some people by surprise: The Pirates and Reds are two of four NL teams that haven't won a postseason series in the 2000s. The Reds' last playoff win came in the 1995 NLDS, while the Pirates are 0-3 since 1979.

Elsewhere in predictable things: ESPN's spring training broadcast schedule features multiple televised contests for the Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, Red Sox and Mets but none for the Brewers or any other Cactus League team. I know Grapefruit League games are easier to fit into a TV schedule, but I'm guessing if the Yankees or Red Sox trained in Arizona ESPN would find a way to get out there.

Today in sabermetrics: The Cubs have hired longtime baseball stat writer Tom Tango as an exclusive consultant.

And in baseball economics: The financing is in place and the Cardinals are ready to break ground on a $100 million "Ballpark Village" development around Busch Stadium.

It's a slow day for Brewer history, so today's edition of Brewers A-Z chronicles the Brewer career of 1970's reliever and longtime coach Bill Castro. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's been 1000 days since Jody Gerut hit for the cycle after winning a coin flip to get into the lineup. Today is also Yuniesky Betancourt's 31st birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his nine career HBP make him the active leader for players born on January 31.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to do laundry.

Drink up.

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