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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while walking your kangaroo.

While most of the Brewers settled in early for a few days of rest, Trevor Hoffman was making last minute reservations for St. Louis yesterday. Hoffman was a late addition to the NL All Star squad, replacing Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, who will sit out with an injured toe. Hoffman called the invite "a big surprise" and "a big honor." Hopefully he won't give up a big inning.

If you were thinking of skipping tonight's Home Run Derby, I can't say I blame you. If you're watching, though, there's another reason to cheer for Prince Fielder: The Brewers are taking $1 off the price of loge outfield seats for the August 11-13 Padres series for each home run Fielder hits tonight. And if you need a drink in your hand to enjoy the derby, Chuckie Hacks has a drinking game that will give you a long day at work tomorrow and Home Run Derby has one that almost assures you won't make it to the second round.

Players will tell you that making the All Star Game is "a big honor," but for most it's also an extra paycheck. The Biz of Baseball has a list of players receiving a bonus for playing in the game this season. Ryan Braun is pocketing an extra $50,000 and Prince Fielder is getting $25k. The list was compiled before Trevor Hoffman was added to the team, so I don't know what he's getting.

J.J. Hardy, meanwhile, is just happy to take a break. Hardy has typically been a better hitter in the second half, and if he doesn't turn it around soon this season he'll likely have Alcides Escobar nipping on his heels for playing time down the stretch.

Escobar and Brett Lawrie represented the Brewers well in yesterday's Futures Game. Escobar started the game at shortstop for the World team and went 2-for-4 with a pair of infield singles. Lawrie started at DH for the World (a pretty nice honor for a guy who's never played above Low A) and went 1-for-3 with a seventh inning double that sparked a rally in the seventh inning. Some notes from the game:

Elsewhere in the minors:

  • Dave Bush pitched well for the Timber Rattlers on Friday, allowing just four hits and an unearned run while throwing 53 pitches over 4.2 innings. He's still expected to return on July 20, when the Brewers open a series with the Pirates.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball spent three days last week watching the Rattlers play in Burlington, and has scouting reports on sixteen players, including top ten prospects Brett Lawrie and Lorenzo Cain.
  • Wily Peralta and Evan Anundsen checked in at #12 and #22 on Project Prospect's list of the top 25 prospects who didn't make the Top 100. I guess that makes them #112 and #122 overall.

Manny Parra pitched well in his return from Nashville and many are crediting Sounds pitching coach Chris Bosio for helping him turn things around. Maybe there's another explanation, though: Miller Park Drunk tells the tale of Parra's meeting with Billy Ray Cyrus.

Maybe Billy Ray has some time for Chris Narveson, too. Narveson is expected to accept an assignment to Nashville today, when he officially clears waivers.

Mike Cameron is quietly getting hot again, hitting .394/.488/.667 in ten games in July (after posting a .536 OPS in June). Padres GM Kevin Towers says he regrets letting Cameron go after the 2007 season, crediting his leadership abilities. Cameron, along with Braden Looper (option) and Jason Kendall is one of three Brewers who would be Type B free agents if the season ended today. Trevor Hoffman would be a Type A. (h/t Pro Ball NW)

This morning's Mug is going to be late enough, so I'll lump these notes into one group:

  • Jayson Stark listed Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun among his candidates for first half NL MVP, Bill Hall among his candidates for LVP, Casey McGehee among his candidates for Rookie of the Year and Ken Macha for manager of the year, but did not select a Brewer for any of those awards.
  • Rob Neyer selected Robin Yount as the Brewers' representative in his All Time AL All Star Team.
  • The Ghost of Moonlight Graham ranked the Brewers outfield fourth in all of baseball in his midseason rankings.
  • The Hardball Times' Dartboard ranked the Brewers #16.

Another homestand, another story about a player scared to stay at the Pfister Hotel. This week, it's Twins OF Carlos Gomez and another unnamed player.

Around baseball:

Angels: Placed Torii Hunter (hip abductor strain) and Vlad Guerrero (calf strain) on the DL.
Astros: Claimed catcher Chris Coste off the DL from the Phillies.
Braves: Acquired Ryan Church from the Mets for Jeff Francoeur and cash.
Cubs: Placed Geovany Soto on the DL with a strained oblique.
D-Backs:  Released Tony Clark.
Mariners: Acquired Jack Hannahan from the A's for a minor league pitcher.
Mets: Signed Angel Berroa to a minor league deal.
Nationals: Fired manager Manny Acta and will replace him with Jim Riggleman.
Pirates: Released outfielder Chris Snelling.
Padres: Acquired Sean Gallagher as the PTBNL in the Scott Hairston deal with the A's and signed Russ Adams to a minor league deal.
Reds: Jay Bruce has a broken wrist and will be placed on the DL.

If you're hanging out in St. Louis this week and you're not interested in the Hone Run Derby, perhaps you should be a part of the All Star Treasure Hunt Reebok is putting on. Also, if you're the guy wandering around St. Louis wearing a Tyler Houston Brewers jersey, keep up the good work.

Here's a strategic move to debate: Lou Piniella, who needed a lefty to face two out of three Cardinal batters in last night's game, moved lefty Sean Marshall into left field for one batter, then brought him back to the mound. Good idea? Would you lose your mind if Ken Macha did it with Mitch Stetter? Discuss.

This makes sense in concept, but now a study has proven it: Dr. Ian Byram of Vanderbilt Medical Center says pitchers who come to camp with weakness around their rotator cuff are more likely to get injured during the season.

I'll admit my interest in the Moneyball movie was fading, but they did exactly what they needed to do to bring me back: asked Aaron Sorkin to redraft it. Now I'll go see it. (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans)

One year ago today, CC Sabathia pitched a complete game, 3-2 victory over the Reds, and hit a home run. For whatever it's worth.

Oh, and if you're going to haul your suitcase on the subway, you should zip up the pocket with your dirty underwear first.

Drink up.