Some things to read while not driving.
We are 77 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, which might be Ryan Braun's next public appearance. Braun spoke to reporters Wednesday while volunteering for the Hunger Task Force at Miller Park and mostly deflected specific questions about his 2013 suspension. Here were my takeaway notes:
- Despite not wanting to talk about details, Braun was very generally apologetic regarding his conduct over the last two years. He specifically mentioned his 2012 spring training press conference as a regret.
- Braun recently had dinner with sample collector Dino Laurenzi Jr. and his family to clear the air.
- Finally, Braun acknowledged he'd be willing to move to right field for 2014 if it will help the team.
The Brewer Nation has a full transcript from Braun's session with reporters, if you'd like to see it for yourself.
Of course, nothing Braun could have said would have been enough to please everyone. David Schoenfield of ESPN.com said Braun's latest public comments were "pretty lame."
With all of that said, I think Tom Haudricourt summed the situation up in our Tweet of the Day:
If Ryan Braun has a big 2014, it'll do much more for him than anything he said today -- or didn't say. Most fans just want to win.— Tom (@Haudricourt) November 27, 2013
Oh and, by the way, Michael Blazek and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel were there on Wednesday too.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Lucroy continues to give us all something to be thankful for. Dayn Perry of CBS has him as baseball's best pitch-framing catcher by a wide margin. (h/t @joe_block)
Today in free agency:
- Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew wonders if the Brewers should bring back Casey McGehee.
- Michael Brown of Pinstripe Alley has a look at Corey Hart as a potential target for the Yankees.
- Jonah Keri of Grantland listed Hart as one of this winter's five best values.
- Hart is a perfect example of the counterargument to the notion that players have their best seasons right before reaching free agency. Jason Collette of FanGraphs has a look at this assumption.
And in the minors: Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew wonders if the Brewers made the right decision by leaving outfielder Kentrail Davis unprotected in December's Rule 5 Draft.
If you've been away from the site for the last couple of days, here are some other things you might have missed:
- The last week of our player-by-player recap of the 2013 season continued as we profiled John Axford on Tuesday and Michael Gonzalez on Wednesday. We'll wrap up the series today, and you might be able to guess who we'll be discussing.
- This week's Thursday Thinker asked you to name the 15 players who have appeared at first base in the two years since Prince Fielder's departure.
Angels: Designated pitcher Juan Gutierrez for assignment.
Cubs: Acquired catcher George Kottaras from the Royals for cash.
Diamondbacks: Hired former Yankees bullpen coach Mike Harkey as their new bullpen coach and former minor league coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. as their new bullpen coach.
Giants: Claimed pitcher Jose De Paula off waivers from the Padres, designated catcher Johnny Monell and outfielder Francisco Peguero for assignment and announced that reliever Jose Mijares has rejected an outright assignment and is now a free agent.
Pirates: Signed pitcher Cody Eppley to a minor league deal.
Rangers: Claimed pitcher Rafael Ortega off waivers from the Rockies.
Reds: Re-signed pitcher Manny Parra to a two-year, $5.5 million deal and designated outfielder Derrick Robinson for assignment.
Rockies: Hired Eric Young Sr. as their new first base coach and Blake Doyle as their hitting coach.
Twins: Signed pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a four-year, $49 million deal with an option for 2018.
Earlier this week we reported that the Pirates had designated pitcher Kyle McPherson for assignment. Derek Harvey of The Book of Gorman makes the case for the Brewers to pick him up.
Today in baseball economics: The Nationals have reportedly reached out to Washington mayor Vincent Gray with a $300 million proposal to add a roof to Nationals Park. The meeting didn't go well.
Today in former Brewers:
- Luis Cruz, who was released by the Dodgers and Yankees in 2013, will play in Japan in 2014.
- Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Hideo Nomo and Richie Sexson will represent the Brewers on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot.
- Nicholas Zettel of Disciples of Uecker remembers when the Brewers beat the Nationals in 2005 on a walk-off balk.
- Bill Chuck of Gammons Daily has Jeff Suppan, Candy Maldonado and Todd Coffey on his All-Thanksgiving feast team.
- Bruce Markusen of The Hardball Times has a look at a 1973 Topps Danny Walton card.
Speaking of the Hall of Fame ballot, at least one player is making the voting a little easier: Longtime MLB reliever Todd Jones spoke out to make it clear he doesn't deserve any votes, saying he should only be allowed into the Hall "to use the restroom."
Today is also the seventh anniversary of the Brewers bringing Craig Counsell back into the fold, signing him as a free agent in 2006. We covered that event in Today In Brewer History two years ago.
Now, if you'll excuse me, it's getting crazy in here.