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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while breakdancing your way through an intrasquad game. (second picture)

Good morning and welcome to the first game day of 2009. Jeff Suppan gets the ball today for the Brewers, and will be followed by Dave Bush, Trevor Hoffman, Eddie Morlan, Lindsay Gulin, Nick Green, Todd Coffey and Jorge Julio for one inning each.

For most players, these first few games of spring training are light workouts, with a few innings of defense and an at bat or two. Ryan Braun, however, may play the entire game as part of his accelerated preparations for the World Baseball Classic. As Tom H. noted, Braun may need to play a lot of innings in the WBC, as Team USA only has four outfielders on the roster, and Braun is the only left fielder.

Braun still couldn't get #8, though, despite the fact that no one on Team USA's roster is wearing it. Braun is wearing #51 in the Classic.

Meanwhile, the Brewers made two announcements yesterday regarding 2008 #1 pick Brett Lawrie: He's moving to second base and representing Team Canada in the WBC.

Also, Tyler Maas of Bugs & Cranks, who normally covers the Brewers, is also covering Team Italy in the WBC. The Italian team features Vinny Rottino and Mark Difelice along with a bunch of guys who will be looking for something to do once the first round is over.

J.J. Hardy hit a solo home run yesterday as Fish's Fantastics defeated Eddie's Elite 2-1 in a 4 inning intrasquad game. Tim Dillard allowed both runs for the Elite, with Omar Aguilar giving up the only run for the Fantastics.

Braden Looper pitched a perfect inning yesterday. Fungoes, however, doesn't think hanging onto him would have helped the Cardinals this season. That's fine, the Brewers will take him. I still need to get the Looper jersey I promised I'd pick up.

It looks like I won't be needing a Bourgeois jersey, though. Jason Bourgeois was sent to minor league camp yesterday along with injured pitchers Mark Rogers and Alex Periard and catcher Martin Maldonado. Bourgeois' broken pinkie still is not healed enough to play, but he could return to big league camp when/if it does.

Having good plate discipline will get you more fastballs to hit. So will a lack of power. As such, this FanGraphs study has a graph showing Jason Kendall getting significantly more fastballs to hit than most others.

Mike Cameron is the subject of today's JS Spring Training story. They cover just how close he was to being a Yankee, and why he's glad to be back as a Brewer.

Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Brew City Sports has taken a look at the odds and thinks the Brewers are an undervalued bet to win the World Series. Or, if you'd like a more concrete return on your investment, make plans to spend April 8 in Appleton with Gord Ash as part of the Timber Rattlers' Lead-Off Experience. Tickets are just $30, and the event has the added bonus of being in the same building where I'm having my wedding reception in June.

Speaking of the Timber Rattlers, Rattler Radio has pictures of the first stage of the installation for their new video board.

So, today is Cory Provus' big debut as a Brewer broadcaster. He guest-posted on Brian Anderson's blog to introduce himself. You can hear him today on WTMJ or

Based on the fact that you're here reading a blog about the Brewers and you've gotten this far, you're probably a Brewers fan. But if you're not, Sixty Feet, Six Inches has two words that should convince you to jump on the bandwagon: sausage race.

We haven't talked about him in a while, so I had completely forgotten Lou Palmisano is in camp with the Astros, and could be returned to the Brewers if he fails to make the team out of spring training. Cap'n Lou made a good first impression, though, hitting a monstrous home run in the Astros' intrasquad game yesterday. The Astros are short on catching, so it's possible Palmisano could stick.

Meanwhile, in other camps:

Indians: Joe Borowski, still a free agent and apparently unsatisfied with the offers he's received, has decided to retire.
Marlins: Continue to show interest in relievers Will Ohman and Chad Cordero.
Rays: Ownership says the team is out of spending money, and the current payroll may prevent them from making moves during the season.
Reds: Francisco Cordero is ok after being doused with hot coffee by Hall of Fame writer Hal McCoy.
Twins: Boof Bonser will have exploratory shoulder surgery today and could be out anywhere from a few weeks to all of 2009.

For more spring training news and analysis from around the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues, be sure to check out the SBNation Spring Training Hub, which you can get to by clicking that link or clicking anywhere you see this attractive fellow:

MLB Florida and Arizona Spring Training -
SB Nation

The spring training hub is populated by all of the SBNation blogs. Right now the front page includes several of yesterday's notes from here at BCB, as well as dozens of other posts from other teams. The content will only get better as the days and weeks go by and more of us participate.

Similarly, the Washington Nationals front office will likely get better when other people participate. Rumor has it the Nationals have targeted Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava to replace Jim Bowden when/if his current list of embarrassing charges leads to his resignation or dismissal.

Oh, and as times get tougher for cable networks, ESPN will likely be ok.

Drink up. The first game thread of spring opens in a few hours.