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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while reconsidering your tuna melt strategies.

The Journal-Sentinel released their final grades for 2009's team and individual performances over the weekend, and as Miller Park Drunk predicted, they're a joke. Seth McClung also responded to his grade.

I'm not going to bother responding to any of the respective grades, because it's not worth the time. Instead, I'll point you to Wezen-ball's grades, which are both funnier and every bit as relevant.

Meanwhile, the Brewers could be close to announcing a deal with a new pitching coach, as Rick Peterson confirmed interest in the job over the weekend. (FanShot) He's been out of coaching for a year while he's worked with Dr. James Andrews, Al Leiter and Tom Glavine to develop a company devoted to assessing the biomechanics of little leaguers to prevent injury. This quote says volumes about what he might be looking to do in Milwaukee:
"I'm looking for a home that embraces this philosophy and wants to implement it throughout the organization," Peterson said.
Maybe I'm wrong and that's exactly what needs to be done. Certainly, if anyone is qualified to evaluate and adjust the mechanics of young pitchers, it's probably Peterson. With that said, the Brewers have a somewhat shaky track record of "adjusting" pitcher deliveries that ends with the opposite of the desired result: ineffectiveness and injury. So, Peterson's quote raised a red flag for me.

By the way, pitching is what doomed the 2009 Brewers, but Miller Park Drunk makes the argument that it wasn't the foregone conclusion that many argue it was.

Mark Attanasio issued an open letter to the fans over the weekend, reviewing the high points of 2009 and promising not to settle for the status quo in 2010. Regardless of how you feel about the 2009 Brewers and the effort that went into putting them together, I think this reminder of how far the Brewers have come is very important:
Only a few years ago, achieving a .500 record would have been acceptable, but posting 80 wins this year satisfied neither you nor the organization. This higher standard demonstrates how far we have come in raising our expectations and how much our performance has improved.
Casa de Machado has an open letter of their own regarding possible responses if the Brewers decide to trade Ryan Braun.

In the minors and winter leagues:
  • The list won't be available online until Wednesday, but Tom H. is reporting that Alcides Escobar will be sixth in Baseball America's rankings of the top 20 prospects in the Pacific Coast League this season. Mat Gamel will be 13th and Angel Salome will be 18th.
  • If you didn't stop by over the weekend, you might have missed my post sorting Brewer minor leaguers by position and MLE.
  • The Venezuelan Winter League opened play on Friday, and while MLB.com's stats page is still displaying last year's stats and the scoreboards also don't appear to work, I do have some box scores from yesterday. Adam Heether went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run in Caracas' 8-6 win over Aragua, and Hernan Iribarren batted leadoff and went 1-for-5 with a run scored in Lara's 7-5 loss to Magallanes. Iribarren also hit a home run over the weekend.
The Arizona Fall League opens this week, and I'm hoping there will be better stat tracking systems in place by then.

There's a strange symmetry in lumping a power ranking together with a tournament to determine who sucks the most:
  • Beyond the Box Score ranked the Brewers 21st in their final power rankings.
  • Brew City Sports has moved on to the second round in their tournament to determine 2009's worst Brewer.
Around baseball:

D-Backs: Acquired Tony Abreu from the Dodgers as the PTBNL in the Jon Garland trade, and designated pitcher Bobby Korecky for assignment.
Marlins: Released pitchers Scott Proctor and Dave Davidson.
White Sox: Outfielder Dewayne Wise declined an outright assignment to AAA and is now a free agent.

A quick side note on the Abreu deal mentioned above: The Dodgers and D-Backs have had an agreement regarding Abreu for some time now, but the deal had to wait until this weekend because of a grievance Abreu had filed against the Dodgers regarding some service time lost while on the DL in 2007. If/when the Brewers decide to deal J.J. Hardy this offseason, they could run into a similar problem.

Apparently all managerial searches this offseason must include at least one bad candidate. Last week I mentioned that Ned Yost was being reported as a candidate in both Cleveland and Houston, and this week we have news that Bob Brenly might be a candidate in Washington.

Speaking of Houston, they're once again going to use an open interview process to select their next manager. This seems like a great PR move and I don't know why more teams don't do it this way.

Thanks to Beyond the Box Score for directing my attention to both of the following links:
  • The Biz of Baseball has an in-depth look at the financial windfall involved in making the playoffs, both short and long term.
  • 3-D Baseball has an exhaustive look at FIP, and its uses and misuses.
The Twins and Cardinals have both been sent home from the postseason, but at least we still know they have a great personality.

On this day in 1982, Paul Molitor set a new World Series record by picking up five hits in Game 1 as the Brewers beat the Cardinals 10-0.

Happy birthday today to Casey McGehee, who turns 27, Jose Valentin, who turns 40, and Garth Iorg, the roving instructor who briefly served as the third base coach of the 2008 Brewers, who turns 55.

Oh, and maybe it's worked in the past, but when you're trying to fend off elimination, starting off the day with 12 strips of bacon and a Red Bull seems like a bad idea.

Drink up.