Some things to read while narrowing your focus.
We are six days away from pitchers and catchers officially reporting to spring training but that moment could not seem further away after the last 24 hours. Last night Yahoo Sports issued a report linking Ryan Braun to the now-infamous Miami Biogenesis clinic run by Tony Bosch, which last week was accused of dealing performance enhancing drugs to several major leaguers. Here's a quick rundown of what's happened since:
- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli has also been implicated, and says he purchased legal supplements from the clinic following a foot injury in 2011.
- Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia was also mentioned in Yahoo's report, but denies having "met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis."
- Mariners catcher Jesus Montero has also been linked to the clinic.
- Braun issued a statement claiming his legal team consulted Bosch as part of the appeal to his 2012 suspension.
- ESPN turned Braun's statement around to produce the headline "Braun Admits Consulting PED Clinic Founder."
- Doug Melvin also issued a statement saying all of this is news to the Brewers.
- This morning the New York Daily News cited a source familiar with Braun's appeal who said Bosch was not officially listed as a consultant or expert for the proceedings.
- David Cornwall, who served as Braun's lead attorney during his appeal, said he was introduced to Bosch and "found his value to be negligible."
- A reporter from the Miami New Times, who broke the Biogenesis story last week, said Braun's name was redacted from their report because of "an abundance of caution," noting that Braun's name was not tied to any specific PEDs.
- Major League Baseball has confirmed that they have an ongoing investigation in Florida.
We're continuing to keep you updated as things happen in our StoryStream on the topic.
Now that we've covered what's happened, here's reaction from around the web:
- Alex Tomter had the most telling tweet from yesterday, saying "The Miami New Times is a free once a week paper and wouldnt use Braun's name b/c lack of evidence. Yahoo Sports however, no problem."
- Wendy Thurm of FanGraphs says Braun's explanation of his involvement here is "entirely plausible."
- Craig Calcaterra says Braun's statement is "eminently plausible and worth exploring before we rush to judgment."
- Jaymes Langrehr of Disciples of Uecker says "Braun's name is on pieces of paper and that's about it."
- Jon Morosi, on the other hand, isn't buying it.
- Jon Heyman pointed out that Braun and Cervelli's explanations of their involvement show that, at the very least, the leaked report is real.
- Nathan Petrashek of Cream City Cables has a reminder that we still don't know much, so it's too early to take anyone proclaiming Braun's guilt or innocence seriously.
- Howie Magner is also preaching patience.
- Craig Calcaterra, looking back to Braun's 2012 appeal, has a reminder that procedures matter.
- This is a big story, but initial reaction would suggest it's not as big as it could be. Bob Nightengale noted that Braun's name wasn't even trending on Twitter.
- I rolled my eyes so hard I almost hurt myself after seeing Rob Neyer say, "I know everybody's sick of these stories, but we have to do something while we're waiting for spring training. Why not engage in endless speculation for a few weeks?"
Meanwhile, in the textbook definition of "overshadowed news," the Brewers announced yesterday that the Arctic Tailgate will be held and 2013 single game tickets will go on sale on February 23.
John Axford reported to camp yesterday, and he's one of several Brewers with a lot at stake this season. Benjamin Orr of Reviewing the Brew called this a "career defining year" for the Brewers closer.
It's also a big year for Marco Estrada, who comes to camp as a projected member of the starting rotation for the first time. Andrew Gruman of FS Wisconsin says Estrada is still out to prove something this season.
In the minors:
- 2009 first round pick Eric Arnett's 2013 season may be over before it started: It's possible he has a torn ACL and could have surgery as soon as tomorrow.
- New Brewer Alfredo Figaro got the start yesterday in the Dominican Republic's win to move on to the finals of the Caribbean Series.
- In the FanPosts section user Bend Sheets took a shot at projecting 2013 rotations for Nashville, Huntsville and Brevard County.
- As of this writing Jed Bradley holds a two-vote lead over Ariel Pena in the voting for the #15 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. You have until 1 pm today to make your voice heard.
- Adam DeCock of MLB.com has a story on 2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Lance Roenicke, who as you likely know is Ron's son.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, Mike Vassallo has a link to archived audio from Michael Gonzalez and Logan Schafer's appearances on Hot Stove Weekly on WSSP last night.
Angels: Avoided arbitration with infielder Alberto Callaspo (two years, $8.9 million).
Cardinals: Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter is unlikely to pitch in 2013 and may retire following the season.
Diamondbacks: Avoided arbitration with outfielder Gerardo Parra (one year, $2.35 million).
Giants: Signed pitcher Ramon Ramirez (terms unknown).
Indians: Signed catcher Omir Santos to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed pitcher Jon Rauch to a one-year, $1 million deal and designated outfielder Bryan Petersen for assignment.
Nationals: Signed pitcher Jeremy Accardo and catcher Chris Snyder to minor league deals.
Orioles: Claimed 1B/OF Russ Canzler off waivers from the Yankees and designated catcher Luis Martinez for assignment.
Pirates: Signed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to a minor league deal.
Rays: Signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth (one year, $1.25 million) and second baseman Kelly Johnson (one year, $2.45 million) and designated infielders Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson for assignment.
Reds: Avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Leake (one year, $3.06 million).
Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash talked to Adam McCalvy about the possible end of Carpenter's career and called him a "tremendous competitor."
Today in former Brewers:
- Disciples of Uecker inducted Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas and Rollie Fingers into their Hall of Greatness on the 1980's ballot. Jim Gantner, Teddy Higuera and Ben Oglivie were three notable snubs.
- Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus found a great old ad featuring Hank Aaron selling a TV that's probably currently non-functional in someone's garage.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs used Jason Bourgeois, Cesar Izturis and Yuniesky Betancourt as three of 24 examples of replacement level players who appeared in the majors in 2012.
Today's sabermetric note comes via Jon Roegele of Beyond the Box Score, who used Pitch F/X data to suggest that the Miller Park system adds some velocity to the offerings of right handed pitchers and shows a little less vertical movement.
And in baseball economics:
- The Reds extended their agreement with WLW, the flagship station on their radio network, through 2017. Their radio network extends into nine states (including Florida).
- The Astros, meanwhile, have had their radio network's flagship bumped to an AM station with a significantly smaller signal.
- Yahoo notes that 20 individual major league players will make more in 2013 than the Astros are projected to spend on their entire roster.
It's a relatively slow day in Brewer history, so this morning's edition of Brewers A-Z remembers the career of 1986 catcher Rick Cerone. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also been 8000 days since the Brewers traded DH Dave Parker to the Angels for Dante Bichette, and six years since longtime Milwaukee Braves pitcher Lew Burdette died.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I can't unclench my teeth.