I was saving up a bunch of links to post tomorrow, but I need to clear out my bookmarks, so here goes:
Here's Adam McCalvy's latest mailbag, with the usual mishmash of Brewers topics. More surprisingly, we have this:
Before we dip into the mailbag, I want to start the new year with a nod to the bloggers at "Brew Crew Ball," who should have received the credit for digging up news of the Brewers' new TV play-by-play man. In my original story Thursday, I credited another blog, "Al's Ramblings," but an e-mailer correctly pointed out that Brew Crew Ball had it first, by 11 minutes. Nice find, guys.There you have it. Thanks Michael, for posting the news about our new TV guy. While we're discussing the official site, this article goes over the schedule for the winter warmup, including chats with Ned and Doug this week.
I get asked a lot whether I surf the blogs, and the answer is yes. In addition to the two Brewers blogs already mentioned, I am a fan of national blogs Deadspin and The Big Lead, and the message boards at Brewerfan.net are stocked with incredibly passionate fans. I do not post, but I do surf around from time to time to get a feel for what the diehards are talking about. To be honest, the blogs and message boards can sometimes spark story ideas, especially during the dog days of the regular season and those quiet weeks during the offseason. In the end, Major League Baseball and MLB.com exist for the fans, and it's nice to know that there are so many Brewers-backers out there following the team with fervor.
- ESK at the Wisconsin Sports Bar points out that the Phillies are opting for Karim Garcia as a part-time outfielder. He's exaggerating the situation: had the Phils traded for him, Geoff Jenkins would've gone straight into a platoon, at worst, while Garcia will have to fight for a roster spot. But, his overall point is legit: at least one team doesn't consider Jenkins much of a threat to rebound. My takeaway from that is that we're best off keeping him. It'd be nice if some team was convinced he'd bounce back (and paid accordingly), but there's no reason to sell low if it means getting next to nothing out of the deal.
- Also at WSB, Chris wonders what happens if Jenkins, Brady Clark, and Kevin Mench all have good springs. I hope that means one or more is suddenly worth more on the trade market. On the other hand, I fear this situation, mostly because Ned might be tempted to stick Corey Hart back on the bench. Or return Bill Hall to a life of supersubdom. Spring training stats are virtually worthless from a predictive standpoint, so any decisions made based on them are just as likely to be wrong as they are to be right. Let's hope Ned doesn't change his tune just because Mench hits a couple of home runs in Arizona.
- Continuing the tour of the Brewers blogosphere, David Hannes has a nifty wrapup of Milwaukee's arbitration situation. I hope Melvin really pushes for a multi-year deal for Hall. I fear, though, that Hall's agent is too smart for that--he knows as well as I do that a full season like last year would make Billy a $10M player. Even at this stage in his career, he shouldn't sell out the next three years for $12M total or something.
Hannes makes a good point about Chris Capuano: he's the toughest decision of the group. If Cappy comes back strong next year, he'd be worth $10M per year or more on the free-agent market--in other words, he's a guy you really, really want to wrap up in a multi-year deal. If last year's second half was what we can expect going forward, he's still a nice guy to have around, but he's a #4 starter instead of a #2 guy, and not worth nearly as much money.
- A couple of lovable former Brewers have found homes. Jose Hernandez is going back with the Pirates, where he will be welcome until he turns fifty. Victor Santos will join a massive list of mediocre pitchers in spring training for the Reds. Also taking a minor league deal with the Reds is Jason Kershner, the lefty reliever who was in spring training with the Crew last year, but never made it out of Nashville.
This entry is inscrutable to me, but it refers to me in some way, so I figured I'd link to it. Maybe you can help me understand. Am I being mocked? Saluted? I don't know.
- Talking Chop links to this odd medical report about Chris Reitsma. He had an extra muscle! Since this is a family-friendly website (when the Brewers aren't losing, anyway), I'll skip the obligatory joke.