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The sunglasses joke is just too easy. I refuse.
The sunglasses joke is just too easy. I refuse.

Some things to read while living up to predictions.

Corey Hart got off to a hot start in the Home Run Derby last night, leading after the first round and even becoming a trending topic on Twitter. With that said, the extended wait between rounds in one of the game's most drawn out events took its toll on Hart, who went homerless in the second round and failed to advance to the finals.

Other notes on Hart in the derby:

Now, our attention turns to tonight's game. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are batting sixth and eighth for the NL, respectively, and playing left and right field. There had been some speculation that Hart would end up playing center, but NL manager Charlie Manuel opted to start Andre Ethier there instead. If you're looking to plan tonight's TV viewing, here are a few quick notes:

  • The game *broadcast* starts at 7 on Fox, but there's no way they'll get to the first pitch before 7:30.
  • Unless the NL rallies in the first inning, Braun and Hart likely won't hit until the top of the second at the earliest, at roughly 7:45-7:50.
  • If you're looking to get to bed early having Braun and Hart in the starting lineup is good news: They'll both be done by the fifth inning, which might wrap up before 11.

Yovani Gallardo is missing this year's game as he continues to rehab his oblique injury, and it's possible he'll miss next year's contest too: Gallardo told reporters he would boycott the 2011 game in Arizona as a protest against Arizona's new immigration laws. (h/t Jordan Schelling)

Off the field, Scott Boras made headlines with comments about Prince Fielder and the Brewers' chances of re-signing him, saying Fielder compares favorably to Mark Teixeira (FanShot). It's more or less a confirmation of what we already knew: Boras intends to play the market with Fielder, and the Brewers stand virtually no chance of convincing him otherwise.

Boras told reporters that Fielder could be the difference between 2.4 million and 3 million fans in attendance at Miller Park. Even if Fielder really is responsible for 25% of the Brewers' paid attendance, In-Between Hops suggests the revenue gain wouldn't be enough to pay his contract.

On the other end of the spectrum, Corey Hart told reporters he'd like to stay in Milwaukee and would be open to an extension. Hart is in the middle of a career year, so the fact that he'd like to cash in on it is less than surprising. Pat Andriola of FanGraphs listed Hart as one of four sell high candidates.

But, maybe it's not a career year after all. The B-Ref Blog breaks down the numbers and makes the case that Hart may actually have had more value in 2007 when he grounded into fewer double plays and was more valuable running the bases and on defense.

Ryan Braun is back near home in Anaheim, and told Tom Haudricourt it's a special experience to be able to share the festivities with his friends and family.

If you had told me before the season that Gregg Zaun would be at the All Star Game, I would have been pretty excited. If you'd told me he'd be there as a correspondent for Rogers Sportsnet, less so.

Zaun was actually one of the better grades on Brewed Sports' report card for Doug Melvin's offseason acquisitions. Melvin escaped with a 1.66 GPA overall.

Jim Edmonds might not be in Anaheim this week, but that didn't keep him from making Jeff Pearlman's "all-shitheel" interview team (h/t BBTF). Braves organist Matthew Kaminski is already working on walkup music for Edmonds when the Brewers are in town this week. He also has ideas for Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks.

Looking way ahead: The Brewers open the second half with four game sets in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, then face the Nationals for three games at home July 23-25. Jordan Schelling notes that Washington has set their second half rotation and the Brewers will likely miss Stephen Strasburg.

In the minors:

  • Just one day after representing the Brewers at the Futures Game in Anaheim, Brett Lawrie was back in Huntsville and struck out in a pinch hit appearance in the Southern League All Star Game last night. Lawrie took a moment to discuss the double All Star appearances with John Turner of the Huntsville Times. Michael Bowman also pitched a perfect third inning in the game.
  • MLB FanHouse has video of Lawrie from the Futures Game.
  • Amaury Rivas was also selected but did not appear in the SL game: As Battlekow noted, he's apparently nursing a minor injury.
  • The AAA All Star Game is also this week, and reliever Mike McClendon and infielder Luis Cruz will represent Nashville.
  • In games that actually count, the affiliates went 2-2 last night. The game of the day was played in Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers 4-6 hitters (Kentrail Davis, Khris Davis and Hunter Morris) combined to go 9-for-12 with three walks, two doubles, a triple, a home run and eleven runs scored in Wisconsin's 15-12 win over Burlington. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • Baseball America is reporting the Brewers have released Kristian Bueno, a 2007 ninth round pick who had struggled through four minor league seasons, posting a 6.86 ERA in 102.1 innings and failing to advance past Helena. The team has also moved outfielder Chad Stang and catcher Kevin Melillo to the 60-day DL. Stang was an 8th round pick in 2009, and Melillo was selected in the 31st round in 2010.
  • Wisconsin Sports Tap has a look at what's become of several Brewer farmhands traded away over the last few seasons.

Here's something I would not have suspected: A recent Harris poll shows that the Brewers are baseball's 11th most popular team, up from 14th last season. The poll shows them as being more popular than the Tigers, Mariners, White Sox and Angels, among others.

On power rankings:

If you weren't around early this morning, you might have missed an important announcement: The Brew Crew Ball Trade Deadline Primer is out and ready for your purchase (check out the comments of that post for pictures from ecocd). A compilation of efforts from writers covering every major league team, it features over 180 pages of essays, player profiles and more on the Brewers, their NL Central rivals and potential trade partners. It's only $9.95, and you can purchase and download it at this link.

Here's something I should've mentioned in the first post this morning: major credit is due to the guys over at TwinsCentric for putting this project together: They've been great to work with through the whole project. They also have their own version of the book, as do friends of the site Crashburn AlleyThe Crawfish BoxesIt's About the Money and others.

If you weren't around yesterday, you might have missed a guest post from Lar of Wezen-ball on Brewer home run trots. Do yourself a favor and go back and read it, if you haven't already.

Elsewhere in shameless self-promotion: If you haven't yet, please take a moment to vote in this week's BCB Tracking Poll. The poll will remain open until noon today and results will be posted tomorrow.

Around baseball:

Dodgers: Released pitcher Jesus Colome.
Pirates: Acquired infielder Brian Bixler from the Indians for a PTBNL.

Can you name the best season ever by a Brewer who wasn't an All Star? At Wezen-ball, The Daily Something makes the case for Mike Caldwell, who had the sixth best season ever by a non-honoree in 1978.

Our condolences go out this morning to Yankee fans and the friends and family of longtime Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, who suffered a massive heart attack and passed away early this morning. Steinbrenner was 80.

On this day in 2008, CC Sabathia pitched a complete game and hit a home run in the Brewers' 3-2 win over the Reds.

Happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Micro Machines on pause.

Drink up.