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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting a text from Batman.

The Brewers have started the offseason roster shuffle, outrighting Mike Burns to AAA to clear a space on the 40-man roster (FanShot). Yesterday I suggested that the move might have been made to clear a roster spot for a minor leaguer (like Adam Heether), but as Adam McCalvy notes, the Brewers will also need to make room for Rickie Weeks, Mark DiFelice and David Riske, who are currently on the 60-day DL.

It hasn't been announced publicly, but in a mailing to season ticket holders the Brewers mentioned February 20 as the day pitchers and catchers will report to Maryvale for spring training in 2010. If you're looking for a to-the-second update on the countdown, look no further than the sidebar to your right, where TheJay has installed a countdown clock. I'm not sure where I'd be without TheJay on this one: I broke the site twice yesterday trying to install one of my own.

In the meantime, Doug Melvin has 128 days to assemble a winning team and/or bemoan the perils of small market economics. Fire Doug Melvin has a flow chart to predict his decision-making process.

That chart does not, however, include an answer to this question: i94 Sports looks at the Brewers' current situation with Prince Fielder, and wonders if they should be looking to trade him.

The Championship Series round of the 2009 playoffs opens tonight but, before the first ball is thrown, we have weather issues to discuss. Tomorrow and Saturday's scheduled games in New York are both questionable due to predictions of rain, and the schedule could get messy if either or both games have to be postponed.

Speaking of things that could get messy, the Dodgers are less than 24 hours away from their first game in the NLCS, but the biggest news surrounding the team might be the separation and pending divorce of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt. This could be even messier than the situation in San Diego, as Jamie McCourt was just named CEO of the Dodgers in April.

On to brighter topics: Even with the playoffs back in action this weekend, a lot of eyes will be turned towards Arizona, where Stephen Strasburg is expected to make his professional debut Friday night. Meanwhile, the Javelinas dropped their second straight game to Surprise yesterday. You can check out today's Fall League Update for more on that game.

Certainly, Ryan Braun has had one of the better early careers in Brewer history, and one can make a case for his inclusion among the best in major league history. But was he the best player drafted in 2005? The Beltway Boys make the case for Ryan Zimmerman.

As the 2009 Rule 5 Draft approaches, Bucs Dugout has a look back at how the Pirates handled 2008 Rule 5 pick Donnie Veal, who was the subject of some "aggressive" placements on the DL and some extended minor league rehab assignments that don't seem to fit within the spirit of the rules regarding the draft.

Meanwhile, Matt LaPorta will be behind schedule in spring training in February after having surgery yesterday on his left hip and big toe. His rehab is expected to take 4-6 months.

On this day in 1982, Willie McGee homered twice as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 6-2 in Game 3 of the World Series.

I couldn't find a Brewer birthday today, so you'll have to settle for Jim Palmer, losing pitcher in the final game of the 1982 season that sent the Brewers to the postseason, who turns 64 today.

That's all I have for you today, unless you wanted to read about Ben Sheets' number getting retired.

Drink up.