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Wednesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while getting thirsty.

The Brewers named their minor league staff yesterday and Tom Haudricourt has the full rundown, if you're curious. There's not a lot of note, but Adam McCalvy has a look at the biggest moves: the additions of former big leaguers Darnell Coles and Reggie Williams to the player development staff, the hiring of former Red Sox pitching coach Rich Gale to fill the same capacity in Nashville, and the decision to switch managers Mike Guerrero (Brevard Co. to Huntsville) and Bob Miscik (Huntsville to Brevard Co.).

Yesterday, I mentioned predictions that the Brewers would sign Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis or Jon Garland before spring training. If it's going to be Washburn they're going to have to hurry, as he's reportedly received an offer from the Twins and is expected to decide by the end of the week.

In the minors: Minor League Baseball Prospects ranked three Brewers among their top 100 prospects for 2010: Brett Lawrie (19th), Alcides Escobar (23rd) and Mat Gamel (77th). I'm not sure if people are high on Lawrie or low on Escobar, but that's the second time I've seen Lawrie ranked above him this week (John Sickels was the other).

Speaking of prospect rankings, we're just about ready to launch the 2010 BCB Community Prospect Rankings. Check back at 4 today to cast your vote for prospect #1. In the meantime, don't forget to vote for the final pitcher on our BCB All Decade Team.

Around baseball:

Astros: Signed pitcher Josh Banks to a minor league deal.
Signed Eric Hinske to a one year deal.
Cardinals: Signed Matt Holliday to a seven year deal worth $120 million.
Mariners: Signed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to a four year deal worth $20 million, buying out his three arbitration seasons and his first year of free agency, and acquired Casey Kotchman from the Red Sox for Bill Hall and cash.
Indians: Signed Austin Kearns to a minor league deal.
Reds: Signed outfielder Josh Anderson to a minor league deal.
Twins: Released reliever Bob Keppel.

The BBWAA's Hall of Fame voting results will be announced at 1 pm today. Five Journal Sentinel employees had votes to cast, and you can see their votes here. Here's a quick summary:

Player Votes (of 5)
Bert Blyleven 5
Roberto Alomar, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin and Tim Raines 3
Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell 2
Don Mattingly and Fred McGriff 1

One voter (Michael Hunt) cast a ballot with just one name on it (Blyleven), but at least none of them did this: Jay Mariotti cast a blank ballot. Sometimes when we discuss BBWAA votes, we act like the worst days will soon pass, and that the worst voters are nearing/past retirement and will soon be replaced. Jay Mariotti is 50, so we'll likely be waiting a while for him to leave.

Here's a scary story, thankfully with a happy ending: Reliever Luis Ayala was unharmed when armed gunmen invaded his home and attempted to kidnap him yesterday in Culiacan, Mexico. Craig Calcaterra says Culiacan is "ground zero for the current offensive by the Mexican government in its war with the cartels." If you've been following the Winter League Updates, you know it's also home to new Brewer Luis Cruz's winter league team.

If you're looking for a reason to dread the coming decade in baseball, Tim Marchman has the most pessimistic post you'll read today, listing reasons to "think the coming decade is going to be a crashing bore." If you read that and want to feel better afterwards, Jonah Keri's response is the way to go.

Happy birthday today to Scott Thorman, who was briefly a Brewer last spring and turns 28 today.

Our condolences go out today to the family of Rory Markas, former Brewer TV announcer who passed away yesterday at the age of 54. Markas had most recently worked for the Angels, and Halos Heaven has collected some of his colleagues' memories.

It has nothing to do with baseball, but the prospect of NBA Jam for the Wii might be the most exciting NBA news in decades (h/t Hyatt).

That's all I've got for you today, unless you wanted to sing the national anthem in Nashville.

Drink up.