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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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I know you'll all be very disappointed, but today's Trash Day was uneventful, so I don't have an anecdote to lead off the Mug.

Win Expectancy Graph
BR Box Score

So, if you've been watching the games, you probably realize that Rickie Weeks is hitting .273/.467/.636 in the three games since the Durham trade. This one, however, snuck up on me: Bill Hall is hitting .405/.444/.833 with 4 home runs in his last 12 games. Adam Charles of Bugs & Cranks has a theory to explain it: Magic Skoal.

It's going to take more than chewing tobacco to get him back to the big leagues, but the Brewers signed Jay Gibbons to a minor league deal yesterday, ending his 27-game career with the Long Island Ducks.

After I complained in yesterday's Mug about the Whisnant rankings and suggested their ranking system could use a little work, I got an email from Paul Kuo of Whatifsports.com, who wanted to make sure I had seen their most recent power rankings. On the strength of the Sabathia trade the Brewers skyrocketed up the charts to fourth this week, so obviously the WIS rankings are better.

Also, CBSSports.com ranks the Brewers sixth, and second best in the NL.

TheJay is working to quantify Vulture Wins, and discovered that both Salomon Torres and Brian Shouse are among the league leaders. Reall,y, if you just start checking Recondite Baseball every day, you'll be one step ahead of everyone else when the Mug comes out.

On injuries:

White Sox 3B Joe Crede was scratched from last night's lineup with back stiffness.
Cards OF Chris Duncan has been placed on the DL with a bulging disc in his neck.
Reds SP Josh Fogg needed 30 stitches to repair damage done to his upper lip after being hit by a ball in batting practice.

Certainly, yesterday's most puzzling transaction was the Astros' decision to trade for Randy Wolf. The Astros are 12 games back of the Cubs and BP Postseason Odds gives them a .08% chance at making the playoffs, roughly 1 in 1220. R.J. Anderson of Beyond the Box Score is one of thousands who didn't like the move, but Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart defended it.

In other transactions, the Diamondbacks traded a prospect to the Nationals for Jon Rauch, meaning two of the tallest players in MLB history (along with Randy Johnson) are now on the same roster.

Here's a puzzling decision: Skyking162 has ranked the top 25 position players of right now. Well, really he's ranked the top 23 and given 18 more honorable mentions to get to 41. Here are some names on the list so far:

Evan Longoria, who has yet to finish his first big league season.
Brian Roberts
B.J. Upton
Mark Ellis
Rick Ankiel
Scott Rolen
David DeJesus
Aaron Rowand
Adrian Beltre

Yet somehow, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are nowhere to be found. With the possible exception of Longoria, there's not a single guy on that list who deserves to be ahead of Braun and Fielder. And Mark Ellis? That's a joke.

Francisco Rodriguez is threatening to become the first closer ever to reach 60 saves in a season. 6-4-2 has the math on what it will take for him to get there.

These seem to tie together nicely: In-Between Hops has a list of the greatest living players in the history of 29 franchises. Joe Posnanski takes a look at players who posted more than three "great" seasons in their careers.

If you're looking for a lesson on somewhat advanced statistics, this debate between Tangotiger and Geoff Baker is pretty instructive on the strengths, weaknesses and correct uses of ERA+.

Oh, and here's a hurricane prediction that's as accurate as any you'll see today.

Drink up.