I don't have a witty one-liner to lead in this morning, but a small anecdote to report: A friend enjoyed too many Frosty Mugs last night, and called me at 1:30 this morning to report that fact. I repaid the favor by calling him at 7:30 to let him know I was awake and see how he was feeling...loudly. Is that too mean?
Let's get to the links. I want to start with Prince's contract, because that seems like the top issue for everyone else this morning.
Baseball Musings seems to think this is the first step towards losing Fielder in 3 years. Let's make one thing perfectly clear: If Fielder maintains the pace he's on and the Brewers don't suddenly find about $40 million in new annual revenue, the odds of Prince finishing his career as a Brewer weren't very good, even before this little snafu.
In-Between Hops thinks Fielder's inability to market himself well in this situation is going to hurt him down the road. I think that's unlikely. If a 50-HR, MVP candidate type shows up on the free agent market and he's not named Barry Bonds, there's going to be competition for him.
David Hannes over at Brewers Bar thinks the team should've just given Prince a long term contract and been done with it. I think Doug Melvin likes his job, David, but if you really think what you're asking for is easy, I'm sure he'd let you try it.
Of course, there are better ways to handle it. The JS gives us these responses from Ryan Braun:
"I'm not worried about it. It'll all even out."
"I wouldn't be mad if they did," he said. "I'd like to be here awhile."
Of course, it doesn't appear to be affecting Prince's performance on the field.
In a related note: The Phillies and Cole Hamels are going through a similar problem with his 2008 contract.
Here's a spring training story that could be written every year with a different name: "(Young Player) seeks to make team." This year, Manny Parra fills in the blank.
Ben Sheets is fixed. No longer broken. Everything is ok. Not at all fragile physically or emotionally anymore. Move along.
The Hardball Times has compiled a list of most impressive team splits from 2007. Their ninth most impressive split? The Brewers beat up flyball pitchers last year. Is that really news? You decide.
Before I read it anywhere else, Al noted that Scott Cassidy is retiring. I'd hate to retire that way.
Presented without comment: Dayn Perry rips on the NL Central some more.
Baseball Musings notes that Kendall continues to tout the improvements resulting from eye surgery.
Maybe photographers do this for every team, but I feel like I'm finding a ton of pictures of Brewer failures this spring. Today, one baserunning and two fielding errors.
Alphabetical (with one exception) injuries in one line or less:
Jay Bruce has a mild quad strain.
Eric Chavez continues to struggle with a surgically repaired lower back.
Mets OF Ryan Church got a pretty nasty concussion in a collision Saturday.
Carlos Delgado has an "impingement" in his hip but is returning to camp.
Giants 2B Ray Durham is having shoulder problems.
Reds SS Alex Gonzalez has a fractured left knee and is out for a few weeks.
Mike Hampton isn't injured...yet.
Orlando Hernandez still can't throw the banana.
Nats P Shawn Hill continues to battle arm soreness.
Cards P Tyler Johnson will undergo an MRI today for tightness and weakness in his shoulder.
Chipper Jones tweaked a hamstring during batting practice yesterday.
Scott Kazmir could play catch this week.
Kaz Matsui was scratched from Friday's Astros game for unknown reasons.
Marlins OF Cameron Maybin left a game Friday with a tight hamstring.
Twins OF Craig Monroe has a strained calf.
D-Backs C Miguel Montero is out two weeks with an injured index finger.
Felix Pie has a twisted testicle?!
Jake Peavy wants one too.
Aramis Ramirez is battling some shoulder tightness.
Jason Schmidt isn't sure when he'll throw again.
Alfonso Soriano is going to miss a few days with a broken right middle finger.
Like that guy you know who won't wear his seat belt even though he knows a car accident could kill him, Larry Bowa refuses to wear a helmet while coaching third base. Oh wait..."that guy you know" is me. Guess I should let it go.
A random link: Hyzdu Headquarters has a profile up on Arky Vaughan. I wrote one of those once, too. Vaughan doesn't get the credit he deserves for being one of the all time great shortstops.
Finally, Baseball Musings is holding a pledge drive. They're linked countless times in this Mug, and the Mugs that preceded it, so I threw in a few bucks. It's up to you.