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Friday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while never knowing the joy.

(Yeah, I've been a little hard on kids this week. It's been a rough week. Sorry)

Doug Melvin has finished his evaluations of the team's manager and coaches, and while he hasn't announced any plans to make a change, he also declined another opportunity to give a vote of confidence to Ken Macha, saying he hasn't decided yet if Macha will return next season.

The Brewers were shut down by J.A. Happ yesterday in what might turn out to be one of Happ's final starts of 2009. The Phillies are considering moving Happ to the bullpen to help fill a hole in the late innings of games.

Meanwhile, Manny Parra is ready to pitch today, and will likely get two starts to attempt to finish the season on a positive note. Parra hasn't pitched since lasting just one inning on September 8 (and threw just 88 pitches in the start before that), so he'll probably have a short leash and a low pitch count tonight.

Prince Fielder is the only player in baseball this season to start every game for his team, and could become just the fourth Brewer ever to start all 162. Fielder cited a lesson he learned in little league as his reason for wanting to play every day.

Speaking of things that seem like they happen every day, Jason Kendall was hit by another pitch last night, the 246th of his career. Plunk Everyone has dozens of notes on the accomplishment, including this one: The Brewers are just 5-7 in games where Kendall is hit by a pitch this season.

I usually avoid blog posts that focus on tearing apart bad sports writing: Just because there are still fish in the barrel doesn't mean you need to keep shooting. With that said, Rubie Q (with a small assist) is taking on the assertion that the Brewers would have eight wins better with Rickie Weeks. If you've never considered how rare an eight win player is, this one is worth your time.

Braden Looper has had an up and down season but probably hasn't been the Brewers' worst starter, even if he did set a new franchise record for home runs allowed. Should he be back next year? Fire Doug Melvin says yes, as long as he can transform into a "100 foot tall metal version of Looper that could throw non-meatballs and then crush a car while spitting fire."

Baseball America has a cumulative look at organizational minor league performance this season, and the Brewers finished 22nd with a 332-348 record, buoyed by good seasons from Brevard County and Huntsville but anchored by poor records in Wisconsin and Arizona.

On Power Rankings: Around baseball:

Pirates: Claimed pitcher Anthony Claggett off waivers from the Yankees.

Jorge Says No! is continuing their series on players who will be free agents at season's end, and they've come across another player the Brewers may have interest in: Doug Davis. They think he'll get three years/$27 million on the open market.

Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts has an interesting conversation starter on the state of baseball commentary: With the increasing amount of information available and the resulting increase in the knowledge of the average fan, can any national baseball writer really be trusted or expected to do the work necessary to keep up with all 30 teams?

I want to sit next to this guy the next time I go to a game. After spending hours sitting in the hot sun watching the Angels lose, a fan in Anaheim bought out an ice cream vendor and distributed the contents of his cooler for free to nearby fans.

I've got significantly too many "On this days" today, so it's time to bust out the bullet points:
  • On this day in 1974, surgery was performed to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in Tommy John's elbow, resuscitating the pitcher's career and earning him a new claim to fame. Now, I'd guess most baseball fans know what Tommy John surgery is, but have no idea it's named after a pitcher who won 288 games over 26 seasons.
  • On this day in 1986, the Brewers beat the Orioles 9-3 in George Bamberger's final game as manager.
  • On this day in 2001, the Brewers beat the Diamondbacks 9-4 as Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz became the first pair of teammates ever to hit three home runs in a game.
  • On this day in 2007, Prince Fielder hit two home runs (one of them off of Braden Looper), making him the youngest player ever to hit 50 in a season. The Brewers beat the Cardinals, 9-1.
  • And on this day one year ago, Ryan Braun's tenth inning, walk-off grand slam propelled the Brewers to a 5-1 win over the Pirates.
Happy birthday today to David Weathers, who turns 40.

Oh, and today's Mug, most of my recent work and my management of this site might suck, but they're all asbestos free.

Drink up.