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Here's John Shelby, the newest member of the Brewer coaching staff.
Here's John Shelby, the newest member of the Brewer coaching staff.

Some things to read while eating the plate (h/t @MkeBrewerGal).

A new train car has been hitched to the Buy Low Express: Jerry Crasnick of ESPN is reporting that the Brewers are interested in former Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis. Francis has made just 44 appearances (43 starts) as a Rockie and posted a 5.01 ERA since the start of the 2008 season, so he could be available on a relatively cheap, incentive-laden deal. The Astros, Rockies, Pirates and Mariners are also believed to be interested, though, so they may drive up the price a bit.

The Brewers have added one more assistant to Ron Roenicke's 2011 coaching staff: John "T-Bone" Shelby, who has spent the last three years as the Orioles' first base coach, will fill a new position called the "eye in the sky." Shelby will watch games from the press box or a suite, which sounds like a pretty nice gig.

Meanwhile, former third base coach Brad Fischer is out looking for work. Dennis Punzel of talked to Fischer about his time in Milwaukee and his job search.

You know it's a slow news day when someone's facial hair makes the top stories: There was a brief uproar yesterday when it appeared that John Axford had shaved his mustache (FanShot). It turned out to be a false alarm.

Axford, by the way, is also a published photographer.

Around baseball:

Braves: Acquired second baseman Dan Uggla from the Marlins for infielder Omar Infante and reliever Michael Dunn.
Cardinals: Signed pitcher Jake Westbrook to a two year, $16.5 million deal with a mutual option for 2013.
Marlins: Signed catcher John Buck to a three year, $18 million deal.
Rockies: Released reliever Manny Corpas.
Royals: Signed outfielder Brett Carroll to a minor league deal.

Even for a one year rental, the Uggla trade mentioned above netted a surprisingly low return for the Marlins. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar says the deal is bad news for the Brewers, as it sets the bar very low for the return on a potential Prince Fielder trade. All told, if I was a Marlins fan I'd feel about the same I felt after last year's Gomez-Hardy swap: I suppose it's possible the Braves offer was the best they could do, but when you make the move this early how can you be sure?

Here's today's former Brewer news:

The baseball season has been over for a couple of weeks now, so it's been a couple of weeks since I've seen a TV camera catch a close-up of a guy with a giant wad of chew in his mouth. Former minor leaguer Garrett Broshuis notes that smokeless tobacco use is on the rise, and says Major League Baseball should ban players from using it on the field to help set an example for the next generation.

This caught my attention, only because it made me wonder if everyone does it this way: Yankees GM Brian Cashman is assigning candidates homework and using the video scouting equipment at Yankee Stadium as part of the interview process for their vacant pitching coach position.

On this day in 1999, the Brewers traded reliever Mike Myers to the Rockies for Curtis Leskanic. Leskanic would go on to post a 3.01 ERA with 29 saves in 169 appearances over three years in Milwaukee.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to clean out my hat.

Drink up.