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Tuesday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while painting a wagging tail.

A little rain wasn't enough to dampen the spirits at the Brewers' first workout in Maryvale yesterday, where pitchers threw from under covered mounds. The weather did prevent the first PFP (pitchers' fielding practice) of spring, but I'm sure that will come soon enough.  John Steinmiller has a bunch of pictures from the first workout.

There's good news on the horizon (meteorologically, at least), as Adam McCalvy reports the weather in Phoenix is supposed to be clear for the rest of the week. You'd never know that, though, if you read the first few paragraphs of Tom Haudricourt's opening blog post this morning:

Well, at least it's not supposed to rain.

That's the best thing we can say about the weather forecast today here, after three days of rain. It's not supposed to be warm -- maybe 60 or so -- but at least the Brewers' pitchers should be able to get out on the field and do drills Tuesday.

Someone needs to remind him that the forecast in Milwaukee today calls for a high of 32 with light snow. 60 sounds pretty warm to me right now. In that post, he also notes that Corey Hart reported to camp yesterday.

At least Trevor Hoffman isn't complaining about the weather. Adam McCalvy says the Brewers' closer is going to take it slow during camp, while Anthony Witrado notes the influence he's had on other members of the Brewer bullpen.

Speaking of the bullpen, McCalvy has a look at the group coming into spring training, and mentions some candidates for the final spot.

As of yesterday Alcides Escobar still hadn't reported to Brewer camp, but that isn't keeping people from getting excited about him: John Schlegel of listed Escobar among eleven players who could be emerging stars in 2010.

Meanwhile, the spotlight probably isn't quite as bright for Trent Oeltjen, but he was still profiled by Haudricourt.

Ever wondered if Carlos Gomez was the Brewers' first choice to play center field this season? Twinkie Town has a great interview with Twins Assistant GM Rob Antony, who says the Brewers asked for pitching, then outfielder Denard Span before eventually settling for Gomez in the Hardy deal (FanShot).

In the minors, Justin Inaz of The Hardball Times has an interesting look at run environments in various minor leagues. It's worth noting that Brewer prospects pass through three of baseball's five friendliest run environments (the Pioneer League, AZL and Pacific Coast League) and three of the seven worst (the Florida State, Midwest and Southern Leagues). The PL and FSL are actually the best and worst run-scoring leagues in baseball, respectively.

Got some money burning a hole in your pocket? Cappers Picks Blog reports the Brewers are currently listed at +2300 (or 23:1, if I'm doing that right) to win the National League. That puts them behind the Cardinals (+450), Cubs (+800) and Reds (+1300).

Or, if you have a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket, then you might be interested in knowing that the Metavante Club at Miller Park has been renamed the NYCE Stadium Club. At that price, "NYCE" had better be an understatement.

Around baseball:

Mets: Signed Alex Cintron to a minor league deal.
Reds: Signed Jonny Gomes to a one year deal with an option for 2011.

Elsewhere on the cold stove, there's not much good news for unemployed former Brewers:

Yesterday, we started our Community Projections for 2010 with a look at catchers (stop by and add your two cents, if you haven't yet). Community Projections aren't exactly an exact science or hard-hitting news, but I do think they're a fun and interesting way to gather expectations for the 2010 season and see where we stand.

Of course, not everyone agrees. Andy from Desipio apparently has nothing better to do, so he penned a rant about why Community Projections are for idiots, and promoted the possibility of outright trolling in the Bleed Cubbie Blue Community Projection threads. Here are my quick thoughts on it:

  • I don't think Community Projections are really all that worthless. Certainly, they're not scientific but, as one commenter pointed out yesterday, they're actually frequently better than many advanced projection systems at predicting things like playing time.
  • Trolling in someone's projection thread is an immature thing to do and a waste of your time. The Google Forms we use to gather projections insert the collected data into a spreadsheet. You may think you're being really clever, but it'll take whoever's managing the spreadsheet a few seconds to delete your crap and move on.

So, in short, Community Projections may not be the best possible use of your time, but they're still a step up from Desipio.

Here's a great way to make sure you don't make a team: Catcher Dane Sardinha, in Phillies camp as a non-roster invitee, was arrested for DUI less than a week into spring training and just a few hours before he was scheduled to work out with the team Monday morning. Sardinha has a .125 career batting average, and probably didn't need to give the Phillies another reason to send him home.

Each day we're presented with several givens: the sun rises in the east, Gorman wants to sit on my lap and look out the window while I gather news for the Mug, and the Royals organization remains a mess. Hardball Talk has the story of a Kevin Appier autograph request that he recently received, fifteen years after it was mailed.

I struck out on birthdays today.

That's all I've got for you today, unless you needed fashion advice.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go figure out how to make one of these (h/t Jay Jaffe).

Drink up.