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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while your insurance premiums go up.

By the time you read this, tickets will likely already be sold out for the reduced price outfield loge seats for the Padres series in August. Prince Fielder hit 23 home runs last night on his way to winning the Home Run Derby, meaning those tickets will sell for $5 while supplies last. By the time I cleared the "virtual waiting room," tickets for the Wednesday game were no longer available. $48 seats one section over are still around if you want them.

My most sarcastic condolences go out today to ESPN and everyone else who was gravely disappointed that Albert Pujols, the national media's chosen star for last night's festivities, didn't actually win. The sentiment expressed by media coverage of the event is best summed up by Mike Bauman of
Every Home Run Derby takes on a life of its own, although in recent years, those lives seem to last longer and longer. This one was characterized by Pujols being the preordained star of the show and by what appeared to a widely varying amount of power among the contestants.
Here are some other notes on Fielder from today:
  • He actually hit most of his derby home runs with Ryan Braun's bat. Before that, he had been using one belonging to Rickie Weeks. I've lost the link somewhere, but Fielder said he last used one of his own bats sometime in May.
  • Viva Cerveceros and Baseball Digest Daily both say Fielder doesn't have to worry about a post-Derby slump.
  • Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News noted that Fielder and fellow finalist Nelson Cruz were minor league teammates in Nashville back in 2005.
  • David Pinto was worried about Fielder's decision to hit without a helmet.
  • Prince also drew notice for several expletives after misses that had to be muted out via seven second delay. Fielder must read Lifehacker, because they had a note yesterday on how expletives can help relieve pain.
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo chronicled what he called "a lukewarm derby" and an awkward press conference question afterwards.
So what is Prince Fielder's value? FanGraphs started a series yesterday ranking major leaguers by their trade value, and Prince Fielder checks in at #50. We're The Team To Beat ranked Fielder #33 among position players (and Ryan Braun #11, with Yovani Gallardo #11 among pitchers) (h/t BBTF).

Moving on to tonight's game, Ryan Braun will bat cleanup and make his first start in right field. Braun will almost certainly be a better defensive right fielder than Raul Ibanez would have been, but it still could lead to some interesting moments.

Should the Brewers trade J.J. Hardy for pitching? Would your answer change if they got two major league starters in return? Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner thinks the Mariners should offer Erik Bedard, Jarrod Washburn and cash to the Brewers for Hardy. I'd make that trade.

In the minors:
  • Adam Stern, Shane Justis, Drew Anderson, Jonathan Lucroy, Donovan Hand and Rob Hinton represented Huntsville in the Southern League All Star Game last night. The six Stars led the North to a 7-0 victory, with ten pitchers combining on a four-hit shutout.
  • Lorenzo Cain continues his rehab in Appleton. He says his knee is still around 80%, but I was at the game yesterday and he didn't seem to be having any trouble with it.
  • Rotoprofessor rated Alcides Escobar second on their list of Top 15 Prospects for the second half.
  • Brendan Katin is on pace to hit 36 home runs for Nashville, which would break the franchise record of 34. Katin hit 19 homers in AAA last season.
  • Chris Narveson accepted his assignment to Nashville and will join the team on Thursday.
The Brewers' change in ownership and winning trend have created some major growth in team popularity. A recent Harris poll ranked the Brewers as baseball's 14th most popular team, up from 24th in 2005. (h/t The Biz of Baseball)

The Brewers held steady at 11th in Inside the Majors' most recent power rankings.

If you've always wanted to spend millions on a beach house in California, you missed your chance this week. Jason Kendall sold his Manhattan Beach home for $5.45 million. He had originally listed it for $7.3 million, but lowered the asking price by a million to cover grit damage done to the carpet and hardwood floors.

Just one transaction note to pass along today: The Indians released Matt Herges, who they had designated for assignment last week. I'm really surprised they weren't able to work out some kind of deal.

While I was happy to see Prince Fielder succeed last night, part of me feels bad for Brandon Inge, who got shut out in the first round. He had a pretty good sense of humor about it, though.

I don't feel as bad for the guy with the mohawk and #5 shaved into his head that spent half the night last night trying to mop Albert Pujols' face with a towel. If you're curious, though, Mark Townsend of Bugs & Cranks knows who he is.

With most franchises, this would be surprising and disappointing, but with the Royals, it's to be expected: Dayton Moore, the Royals GM who just acquired one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball, doesn't understand defensive metrics.

Happy birthdays today to Mike Burns, who turns 31, and former Brewers Jose Hernandez (40) and Derrick May (41).

And finally, on a sad note, today is the tenth anniversary of the crane collapse that killed three men working to construct Miller Park. Next time you head out to catch a game, be sure to take a moment to think of them and their families.

Drink up.