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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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So, the Brewers are 1-0 now in the Gagne shutdown era, just saying...

Win Expectancy Graph
BR Box Score
BDD Recaps

Defensive Indifference thinks the decision to leave Ben Sheets in to throw 120+ pitches and finish the game last night was the wrong call. I'm not sure where I stand on it. I guess we'll see the results in 5 days.

Brewers Bar has raised a straw man and beaten the crap out of it, saying that "many people" feel race was a factor in the Brewers decision to sign Ryan Braun to a long term contract before Prince Fielder. Does anyone out there know anyone who thinks that? I don't. I'm listing Scott Boras as the primary factor.

I've heard a lot of theories this spring on why Eric Gagne isn't pitching well. I've heard his glasses fog up, he misses HGH and/or steroids, his breaking stuff isn't as good, etc. But this theory is new. Perhaps Eric Fidel Castro?

On injuries:

Moises Alou left yesterday's game with a cramp in his calf.
Angels IF Erick Aybar is on the DL after dislocating his right pinky finger.
Mets OF Ryan Church and Braves IF Yunel Escobar missed yesterday's action following a collision Tuesday.
Tigers P Clay Rapada has been placed on the DL with biceps tendinitis.

If Doug Melvin is looking for relief pitching, a couple of options might be available: The Mariners DFA'd Cha Seung Baek and the Rangers DFA'd Franklyn German yesterday. Here are the BR pages for Baek and German. We could do much worse. For example, we could sign Ray King, who appeared on Baseball Tonight last night to discuss what it's like to pitch overweight.

Every now and then we have a conversation around here about what the JS and other outlets would look like if the people who covered the Brewers weren't afraid to be all-out negative. If you really want to see how the other half lives on this one, go back and click on the first link about Cha Seung Baek, and read some of Geoff Baker's other work, as well. Someone needs to talk him off the ledge.

Jose de Jesus Ortiz says the Astros are ready to compete. Admittedly, he works for the Houston Chronicle, so he's probably a little biased, but they're certainly better than most expected.

Soapbox time: If you've read the Mug more than 3 consecutive days, ever, you know I'm not a fan of Dayn Perry. Here's the first two paragraphs from his most recent column. I've added the bolding:
At this writing, the Chicago Cubs are a half-game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for the best record in all of baseball. They hold a two-game lead in the NL Central, and they're on pace for 101 wins this season, which would be the franchise's highest win total since 1910.

This early success is significant because, of course, the 2008 season marks the 100th anniversary of the last Cubs championship. So needless to say expectations are running high on the North Side of Chicago. All of this brings to mind a single question: are the Cubs for real?
So the Cubs hot start is only significant because it's been 100 years? No Dayn, you're wrong. The Cubs are significant because they're significantly overachieving, on pace to win 101 games, lead a division with two surprisingly successful teams and they just might have first and second place in the final balloting for NL Rookie of the Year. It's almost Memorial Day, Dayn, can we shut up about curses for five minutes and just cover the game on the field?

Oh, and here's a 1997 Marlins World Series Ring on Ebay.

Drink up.