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Some things to read while finding a use for mini helmets.

As of this writing I haven't heard any news on September callups today, but it's widely expected that J.J. Hardy will join the team tonight in St. Louis. Hardy said he feels like he was being punished by the club, and definitely sounds disappointed and upset with the way things have gone. Keep Turning Up the Heat! says the timing of Hardy's return "makes it clear to everyone that service time was the primary factor in Hardy’s demotion."

The Brewers open a three game series in St. Louis tonight, meaning one of two things is about to happen:
  • They'll lose the series and more or less end any hope of playoff contention, or
  • They'll win, and we'll all spend the next week hearing about how "disrespectful" they are.
In fact, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch didn't even wait for the series to get started, sneaking some jabs about Ryan Braun into this interview yesterday.

At least the Brewers can look back at this season and remember dominating the Pirates at home. Andy Smith of Bugs & Cranks takes a look back to May 3, 2007, the last time the Pirates won at Miller Park.

Also at Bugs & Cranks today, Tyler Maas and Jack Moore have teamed up to take a look at some lesser known Brewer stats.

Over the weekend, I reported the Brewers and Giants' deadline to work out a deal on Trevor Hoffman had passed, and he wouldn't be moving. It turns out the deadline was actually yesterday. Weekend hours apparently don't count. If that's the case, why do they say "48 hours" and not "two business days?"

In the minors:
  • Alcides Escobar is representing the Brewers on the PCL Postseason All Star Team. He was the only Brewer selected.
  • Second baseman Eric Farris, outfielders Caleb Gindl and Logan Schafer and pitcher Amaury Rivas were selected to the Florida State League All Star Team, joining coach Mike Guerrero.
  • No Brewer farmhands were named to the Southern League All Stars. I was really hoping a Star would win Best Hustler.
  • With Efrain Nieves heading out to represent Puerto Rico in the International Baseball Federation tournament, long time BCB favorite Maverick Lasker started last night for Wisconsin, and pitched seven shutout innings in his A-ball debut.
    • On Power Rankings and other miscellany: Around baseball:

      Dodgers: Acquired Jim Thome from the White Sox for a minor league infielder, acquired Jon Garland from the D-Backs for a PTBNL (maybe infielder Tony Abreu), and placed Guillermo Mota on the DL with an ingrown toenail.
      Giants: Signed Brad Penny.
      Marlins: Designated Luis Ayala for assignment.
      Phillies: Designated infielder Brad Harman for assignment.
      Rangers: Released Ryan Freel.
      Rockies: Acquired Jose Contreras from the White Sox for AAA starter Brandon Hynick.

      In a sport where individual failure is a large part of the game, baseball is taking steps to recognize and appropriately handle the depression and anxiety many of its players deal with on a daily basis. Tim Brown of Yahoo talked to several players, including Prince Fielder, about day to day life in the big leagues and the mental strain it places upon them.

      Speaking of things that will cause mental strain: The Indians are acknowledging they will lose about $12 million this season, and could have lost as much as $20 million if they hadn't traded Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez and Carl Pavano.

      There have been a lot of negative things said about the New Yankee Stadium (and justifiably so), but here's something cool I wish more stadiums would pick up on: concession-area fruit stands. (h/t C. Trent Rosecrans)

      I wasn't able to find any Brewer history today, and the choices are pretty thin when it comes to birthdays, so we'll have to settle for wishing a happy birthday to Kevin Orie, who spent part of 2005 as a Nashville Sound and turns 37 today.

      Drink up.