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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while learning a new skill.

It's a light news day, so the biggest story is probably the unveiling of 2010 ticket prices, which I'm having a hard time getting developing an opinion about either way. Prices are going up slightly, but not enough to really get upset about. (FanShot)

That might have been the most lackluster opening paragraph in a Mug all year. Maybe I need to check into Casa de Machado's starting lineup from yesterday.

Casey McGehee was named NL Rookie of the Month for September, a pretty fitting cap on a surprising season for a guy who quickly became a great story (FanShot).

Speaking of rookies, Alcides Escobar will technically still count as a rookie next season, as he narrowly avoided the 130 AB cutoff. Mat Gamel, on the other hand, spent more than the maximum 45 days on a major league roster this season, so he's not eligible.

Speaking of Escobar, Chris Mehring of Rattler Radio received the latest copy of Baseball America and noted that Escobar was the first team shortstop on their all levels all star team this season. Brett Lawrie was also the second team second baseman, and Eric Farris and Evan Anundsen made the all Advanced-A team.

Speaking of shortstops, Adam Guttridge of The Hardball Times took a first look at attempts to project J.J. Hardy's performance for next season, and thinks the team that eventually acquires him from the Brewers is going to get a great deal.

With the regular season officially over, it's time for Plunk Everyone to look back at the season that was. Jason Kendall, Dave Bush, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Felipe Lopez all make an appearance in their NL awards.

Fielder and Braun also show up on this somewhat more prestigious list: The top ten batters in the majors, ranked by OPS+. Fielder finished third, behind Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer, and Braun finished tied with Ben Zobrist for tenth place.

These probably don't go together, but I'm lumping them together anyway as "Power Rankings and whatnot:" There are three hot stove notes today that pertain to the Brewers in one way or another:
  • The Brewers can almost certainly be considered the early favorite to sign Doug Davis, especially considering he's not expected to return to the D-Backs.
  • The Padres may be looking to sign a center fielder this offseason, and Mike Cameron's name has come up.
  • The Astros exercised their half of a mutual option on pitcher Brian Moehler. If Moehler accepts (and it's pretty likely he will), he'll make $3.5 million next season. He'll be 38 before spring training and posted a 5.47 ERA in 154.2 innings this season. Don't be surprised if this is mentioned as justification for bringing back Braden Looper: If Moehler, who is older, posted a higher ERA and pitched fewer innings than Looper, is actually worth $3.5 million, then $6.5 million for Looper can be spun as a decent deal.
Elsewhere on the hot stove:

White Sox: Exercised 2010 options on pitchers Freddy Garcia and Matt Thornton.

There was only one major league game yesterday, but it was a classic. If you missed it, you can relive it through the FanGraphs Win Expectancy Graph. Coming into the weekend, I didn't really have a strong rooting interest in the Twins-Tigers race, aside from a slight inclination to see the Twins win so we'd keep getting baseball analysis from Aaron Gleeman's mom.

With that said, the Tigers (and Major League Baseball's) handling of the Miguel Cabrera situation made me a whole-hearted Twins fan for the day yesterday. After the game, Cabrera seemed to understand the gravity of the situation, but that doesn't change the fact that he shouldn't have been allowed to play. Furthermore, Jim Leyland's decision to brush off questions about a domestic assault investigation by calling it "gossip" is absolutely deplorable.

On a lighter note, yesterday's game did give us a preview of the upcoming TBS playoff coverage, and the early reviews aren't very good. I've probably seen a dozen or more complaints about Chip Caray this morning, but he was only the second worst part of yesterday's broadcast to me, behind the incessant airing of the same commercial for George Lopez's new show. By the end of the divisional round, even Frank Caliendo is going to be sick of it.

It's a rough week for anyone who works in the front office of a baseball team, as firing season has clearly opened. Paul DePodesta, the Padres' Assistant GM who's been fired as a GM once himself, has an inside view of what it's like to work in a business where friends can come and go so quickly.

Need a mental warmup today? Try naming the career home run leaders by last initial. (Hint: There are two former Brewers.) I got 13, but also got frustrated and gave up with over four minutes left.

Once your brain is warmed up, turn it on to this task: The Eastern League team formerly known as the Connecticut Defenders is moving to Richmond, and they need a new name. Their existing options universally suck, so CNBC's Darren Rovell is asking for your help to generate some new ones.

Happy birthday today to Tim Unroe, who appeared in 48 games as a Brewer between 1995 and 1997 and turns 39 today, and to West Bend native Ryan Rohlinger, who turns 26.

Drink up.