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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while writing a pleonasm about volumating.

Braden Looper will be examined by team doctors today after a tight oblique muscle caused him to miss Saturday's scheduled start and he didn't feel any better yesterday. It's a long spring and one missed start shouldn't impact Looper's status for the regular season. Hopefully we'll get good news today. Shysterball notes that one of Looper's idols, Goose Gossage, also suffered a similar injury while sneezing.

Trevor Hoffman didn't pitch in Saturday's game either, opting instead to throw in the bullpen. Hoffman has been doing this for a long time so I'm trying to trust his judgment, but the similarity between Eric Gagne's 2008 spring and Hoffman's 2009 continue to haunt me.

Carlos Villanueva, on the other hand, got his work in yesterday. He pitched a scoreless inning that included a 14 pitch at bat against Giants prospect Pablo Sandoval.

There were some rumblings over the weekend that Corey Hart might be invited to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic as an injury replacement, but that speculation ended when Adam Dunn was added to the roster instead. The Junkball Blues projects Hart for a .274/.314/.459 2009 season.

It's another sad day for the mainstream media and those of us who follow it, as the Rocky Mountain News closed down over the weekend. This sparked a conversation that caused Three Days of Cryin' to write an important note in defense of beat writers. As a blogger, I'll be the first to admit I rely on beat writers every day to break the news that we discuss in this space. It's problematic, however, when beat writers become increasingly unreliable, as demonstrated this weekend. Here are two examples from the Journal Sentinel in three days. First, here is an excerpt from Friday's camp report (published Saturday):

Scoreboard: Brewers 8, Athletics 5. Record: 1-1-1. Today: Brewers vs. Dodgers. RHP Braden Looper vs. RHP Shane Loux. Broadcast: AM-620 radio."

The problem, if you haven't already noticed it, is that the Brewers played the Angels on Saturday, not the Dodgers. Here's the opening line from this morning's camp report:

ON THE FIELD: Giants probable opening day starter Tim Lincecum threw two perfect innings against the team he would face to start the regular season, although he threw to only three expected starters.

This one is closer to accurate. Lincecum did throw two perfect innings...and a third one. Yes, before you ask, both notes were written by Anthony Witrado. Doesn't anyone proofread his stuff?

UPDATE: Turns out, that wasn't the only mistake in Sunday's camp report. Witrado has the Brewers facing Padres RHP Josh Greer today. His last name is Geer.

Mat Gamel became a father for the first time over the weekend. His daughter's name is Audrey Maddox, and since all is going well he's expected back in camp today.

Winning can be hard, but the Brewers are doing it the right way: Baseball Analysts has the Brewers in the most desirable quadrant of a graph comparing team spending to winning. This strategy is paying off, as the Brewers set a record for single day ticket sales, selling 104,000 on the first day of single game availability last week. (h/t FanShot)

A couple of nice profile pieces were written over the weekend. Manny Parra was the focus of the Journal-Sentinel's latest profile and Vinny Rottino sat down for a Q&A with's Lisa Winston. I haven't had a chance to check yet, but I'm hoping both players will be featured in Jamie in LA's photo gallery of spring training snapshots.

Speaking of players I'd like to see featured, CZwief took a look at Mark DiFelice.

Also, in response to last week's post about Tony Gwynn, Two-Fisted Slopper compared Gwynn to Tom Goodwin.

A couple of projections to pass along:

  • Viva La Vidro is projecting the Brewers to finish 79-83, which would leave them fourth in the Central.
  • Viva El Birdos projects the Brewers' starting pitchers to produce 9 wins above replacement, fourth best in the division.

Now, some shameless self promotion: Beyond the Box Score is holding a chat at 1 pm tomorrow to discuss the NL Central, and I'll be one of the guests. Also, Baseball Digest Daily has a look at Twitter, which gives me an excuse you remind you that BCB has a Twitter feed.

Corey Koskie was going to play in the World Baseball Classic as a showcase in the hopes of getting an offer from a team, but apparently he won't have to wait that long. Koskie signed with the Cubs over the weekend (noted in FanShot).

Other notes from other camps:

Athletics: Nomar Garciaparra will reportedly play for the A's, if he doesn't decide to retire.
Diamondbacks: Brandon Webb was scratched from his start over the weekend, but it's not believed to be serious.
Dodgers: Signed Doug Mientkiewicz to a minor league deal.
Mets: Signed Ron Villone to a minor league deal.
Orioles: Signed Adam Eaton, who was released by the Phillies last week.
Royals: Signed Juan Cruz to a two year, $6 million deal. They also signed Bruce Chen.

I had previously mentioned the visa problems for Mariners OF Wladimir Balentien. Turns out Balentien's passport got wet, so he tore the wet pages out, then attempted to use said passport to leave the country. Not a good idea.

The Cardinals agreed to terms over the weekend with Mitch Harris, their 13th round pick in the 2008 draft, but at this point it doesn't much matter: Harris graduated from the Naval Academy and is required to serve for five years. Harris, already 23, will be 28 when he's finished his commitment and can report to the Cardinals. I understand that a commitment is a commitment, but wouldn't it be a much better PR move for the Navy to let this guy out, instead of destroying his hope for a big league career?

Speaking of things that don't make sense, the White Sox raised $330,000 at their benefit dinner for scouts in January. If you're not so good with math, that's about $11,000 per major league team, a pittance, and it's still the baseball equivalent of Wal Mart holding a charity dinner for their underpaid employees.

It appears the daily updates on the Nationals' saga are nearly complete: Jim Bowden resigned over the weekend, finally noting he was becoming a distraction to his team.

Oh, and former Brewer manager Jim Lefebvre once played a cannibal on Gilligan's Island.

Drink up.