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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while writing a scouting report.

All told, it was a pretty boring off day, so the biggest news might be Bill Hall's comments upon joining the Mariners this week. Hall said he tried too hard to live up to his big contract. He gave this quote to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, and it's halfway between laughable and sad:
"I can still hit righthanders," Hall said with a laugh. "I can hit anybody. It's one of those things where, if you say something so long, you might even start believing it yourself."
Since the start of the 2007 season, Hall has faced a righty 683 times and hit .206/.271/.353. If he doesn't recognize a problem there, how is he ever going to figure it out?

Meanwhile, the picture in this Miller Park Drunk post raises what might be the greatest unanswered question regarding Hall: How does a guy who constantly has a giant wad of chew in his mouth keep his teeth that white?

Now that we know Bill Hall will never reach the 200 mark as a Brewer, this streak may live on for a long time: Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's been 18 years since a Brewer had 200 hits, with Paul Molitor being the last to get there in 1991. Since then, 28 other teams have had at least one hitter do it. Ryan Braun enters play today with 145, so he'd need to play every day the rest of the way and hit roughly .327 to get the 55 hits he needs to get there. Braun, Fielder (134) and Mike Cameron (102) are the only Brewers with 100 hits on the season.

Of course, if Felipe Lopez (hitting .333/.398/.459 as a Brewer) was able to stretch his performance out over a full season, he'd easily reach 200. Jorge Says No! has a profile of Lopez, who can become a free agent after the season, and thinks he'll get a four year deal worth around $30 million from someone.

It's possible Prince Fielder could get there someday too. He credits improved patience at the plate for the impressive season he's putting together.

How ugly have things gotten for the Brewers? Casa de Machado threw in the towel on the 2009 season yesterday...on an off day.

And, as it turns out, getting Jeff Suppan back might not make things any better. Suppan was lit up again in AAA last night, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in just 3.2 innings. If he can make it through five innings in his big league return without pitching the Brewers out of the game, I'll be shocked.

The Brewers' second half collapse has turned up the heat on Doug Melvin, with a small but vocal percentage of fans calling for his head. If things stay this ugly, he might decide to look for a new opportunity, and Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun wants him to be the next President of the Blue Jays.

Adam McCalvy spent the day off on the farm, and has a great story on Mike Jones and Mark Rogers, as the two former highly touted prospects continue their rebound from injuries that have devastated their early careers.

On power rankings and playoff odds:
  • Yahoo moved the Brewers down a spot to 20th in their rankings.
  • Even though they were off yesterday, MLB Playoff Odds downgraded the Brewers to a .4% shot at making the playoffs.
Around baseball:

Mets: Designated Livan Hernandez for assignment.
Orioles: Claimed pitcher Chris Lambert off waivers from the Tigers.
Padres: Traded reliever Scott Patterson to the A's for cash, and signed reliever Rocky Cherry to a minor league deal.
Red Sox: Released outfielder Chris Duncan.

With the Reds out of the playoff hunt for 2009, the youth movement has come on in full force: At one point last night, the eight Reds position players on the field combined to make $3.235 million, just $35,000 above the minimum possible. They beat the Giants 2-1.

One by one, every team in baseball is getting an opportunity to learn why the others have been so happy to be rid of Gary Sheffield. Sheffield requested a contract extension from the Mets yesterday, and when they declined to offer one he asked to be taken out of the lineup for last night's game. Adam Rubin thinks the Mets should bench Sheffield until September 1, then release him when it's too late for him to make a postseason roster.

I doubt there's any other long-standing matchup in baseball that's this close: The Dodgers beat the Cubs last night, and now lead them 1015-1014 in their all-time series. (h/t True Blue LA)

The Dodgers found a way to win last night without Claudio Vargas, but you can add Mike Scioscia's Tragic Illness to the list of Dodger fans who wish they hadn't traded him for Vinny Rottino.

Add Major League Baseball to the list of sports working to take concussions more seriously. Brian Costa of the Newark Star-Ledger has a great read on some of the advancements in treatment of concussions, and the steps being taken to protect players who have had one.

Without the internet, we probably never would have known: Plunk Everyone says Brendan Ryan's grand slam last night was the only slam in 2009 hit with two men on base who reached via HBP.

On this day in 1982, Rollie Fingers pitched the last two innings of the Brewers' 3-2 win over the Mariners, becoming the first pitcher ever to record 300 saves. If Trevor Hoffman sticks around for one more season, the Brewers could also have the first pitcher to reach 600.

Happy birthday today to Craig Counsell, who turns 39, Lou Collier, who played in 138 games for the Brewers between 1999 and 2001 and turns 36, and John Henry Johnson, who appeared in 29 games as a Brewer in 1986 and 1987 and turns 53.

Drink up.