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Some things to read while the tables are turned.

View From Bernie's Chalet has the transcript of a recent chat with Keith Law over at ESPN where he touched on several Brewer-related topics, but the most notable was probably Trevor Hoffman. He thinks the Brewers made a mistake bringing Hoffman back at the price they're paying, and that it will handicap their efforts to improve the team elsewhere.

Admittedly, $8 million is a lot to pay a reliever, but it's possible there's a perception benefit from having an elite closer. When the Brewers announced the Hoffman signing, Doug Melvin suggested free agent pitchers may be more likely to sign with a club with an established closer. I have no idea if it's true, but I suppose it's possible. And if Hoffman pitches a full, effective season as a Brewer and notches his 600th save, it's possible he'll pay for himself in publicity and marketing.

Elsewhere on the pitching front, rumors continue to swirl around the possibility that the Brewers could have interest in Mark Mulder. Mulder probably can't be depended upon for significant innings, but bringing a pitcher of his caliber into the fold on a cheap deal to see what he can do is almost always a good idea.

Mulder, of course, pitched under Rick Peterson in Oakland. Mets Merized recently conducted an interview with Peterson, and has audio clips of some of Peterson's thoughts on developing prospects and pitch counts. (h/t Rob Neyer)

Although unlikely, it's still possible Peterson could spend 2010 helping Ben Sheets return to form. Sheets, who had his high school number retired this weekend, is throwing off flat ground and expects to pitch in the majors next season. Jorge Says No! wonders what he'll get on the open market.

If Jeff Suppan was on the market this offseason, he likely wouldn't command much at all. Suppan was the winner of Brew City Sports' Hendy Award, which will look great on his mantle next to a photocopy of the $12.5 million paycheck he'll take home next season.

Hopefully this will be the only career parallel between Suppan and Ryan Braun: Braun is opening a restaurant in Lake Geneva. Braun is also giving away autographed baseballs to the first 100 fans to spend at least $150 on Remetee clothing at Solis in Las Vegas. If you stop by in January, there might still be some left.

We won't know the actual results until sometime after the World Series, but Baseball Digest Daily had Prince Fielder third in their balloting for NL MVP, and Braun fifth.

The JS has a note on Jonathan Lucroy's early performance in the AFL, which has been pretty impressive. He's only racked up 19 at bats, though, so it's probably a little early to get too excited. Tom H. also mentions "poor starts" from both Lorenzo Cain and Taylor Green. Both are hitting under .250 but have OBPs of .364 and .400, respectively (in 50 combined ABs). We have more on all three prospects and the rest of the Brewer winter leaguers in today's Fall/Winter League Update.

Around baseball:

Cubs: Removed utilityman Bobby Scales from their 40-man roster.
Indians: Hired Manny Acta as their new manager.
Mets: Removed catcher Robinson Cancel, shortstops Wilson Valdez and Argenis Reyes and pitcher Carlos Muniz from their 40-man roster.
Padres: Are expected to name former Red Sox Assistant GM Jed Hoyer as their new GM.

After two searches and interviews involving over a dozen candidates, the Indians and Astros both settled on Acta as the best candidate to manage their teams next season. The Indians, however, were willing to offer a three-year deal with an option for a fourth, and the Astros were only willing to offer two years. Houston is reportedly considering Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills and former Astros and Brewers manager Phil Garner.

So, the World Series matchup is set. I guess I'll be rooting for the Phillies out of sheer anti-Yankee bias and some form of vague NL pride. Rob Neyer notes that it'd be nice if the games started earlier, so they won't drag on past midnight, but that seems unlikely. Meanwhile, the new Yankee Stadium didn't even make it through its first season without some structural concerns: cracks in pedestrian ramps have already started to appear. The concrete was poured by a local firm that had previously been banned from doing city work because of suspected ties to organized crime.

The ALCS wasn't actually decided until late last night, but apparently the result was already known, as MLB.com started selling AL Champion Yankees gear well before the final out was recorded. This has drawn a lot of backlash but maybe we're looking at it the wrong way: Maybe MLB should start selling World Series gear for every team in Spring Training.

The Florida Winter Baseball League opens play this week with teams in four cities, composed mainly of low-level minor leaguers. I haven't checked the rosters for Brewers yet, but a successful, competitive winter league based in Florida could be a huge development for American minor leaguers who want to play winter ball but either don't speak Spanish or simply don't want to spend the winter in Latin America.

If you'd like to read more about life in the Arizona Fall League but your attention span is really short, then you're the perfect candidate to follow Scottsdale Scorpions Clubhouse Manager Chad Chiffin on Twitter.

While some minor leaguers head off to winter ball, one major leaguer will spend the offseason in Washington: Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf is spending the offseason on an internship with the Department of Agriculture.

Last week I mentioned the continuing debate on John Lannan, who has posted effective ERAs for two seasons without many of the peripheral stats one would expect from a successful pitcher. Nick Steiner of The Hardball Times has Part 2 of his look at Lannan, looking primarily at pitch sequencing. Steiner concludes that luck is the most likely option.

I'm going to be late for Gorman's vet appointment if I don't wrap this up asap, so here's what I have left: Happy birthday today to Rafael Novoa, who pitched 56 innings for the 1993 Brewers and turns 42 today, and to Mark Sweeney, who appeared in 119 games for the 2000-2001 Brewers and turns 40.

Also, a posthumous happy birthday to Gus Polidor, who would have turned 48 today.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you want to see a Jose Valentin autograph or win one from Miguel Tejada.

And if you'd like to win something autographed by Seth McClung, don't forget to enter the Bring Back Seth McClung contest.

Drink up.