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Friday's Tall Glass of LIBERTY

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Some things to read while looking at breakfast in a whole new way ...

Last night, YOUR Milwaukee Brewers blasphemed their way to a 4-1 triumph over the Uptight Citizens Brigade and His Worshipfulness.  Tom H. reports that Randy Wolf used an improved curveball to keep the Redbirds off balance for 6.1 innings.  Wolf only walked one batter last night, and credited pitching coach Rick Peterson for making a slight mechanical adjustment which has allowed Randy to better control his pitches.  Let's hope so: Wolf has already walked 51 batters this year (the most in the league), after walking 58 for L.A. in 2009.

The real hero last night was Kameron Loe, who relieved Wolf in the seventh with a run in and men on first and third with one out and promptly induced a double-play grounder.  Then, in the eighth, with His Supreme Respectfulness at the dish and two men on, Loe got Poo-holes to pop out weakly to Casey McGehee.  For his troubles, Loe was named Baseball Musing's Evil Player for Friday.  Is that a compliment?  I have no earthly idea.

Since we're talking evil players, Tom H. filed this report on former Brewer Jeff Suppan, who's tiptoed around catastrophe in a few starts for the Cardinals.  Reflecting on his disastrous stint with the Brewers, Suppan said the things we've come to expect from Jeff Suppan:

"It wasn't for lack of effort. I did everything within my power to be ready when I took the mound. I had some different things happen. I'm accountable. I know what they gave me and I know what I was supposed to do. That was frustrating on my end."

It was plenty frustrating on our end, too, big guy.

Corey Hart extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a fifth-inning two-bagger, and Tom H. is conducting the Corey Hart for All-Star Train.

We're into July now, but Jack Moore from Disciples of Uecker looks back on the month that was and concludes: it wasn't too bad.

BrewHaHeather will have the MicroBrew recap this afternoon, so I'm going light on the minor league notes.  The big news yesterday was that Jeremy Jeffress was promoted to High A Brevard County.  High A, you say?  Mykenk jumped on that tasty morsel of irony in about three seconds.

Around MLB:

July 2 marks the beginning of the signing period for international players, but Ben Badler of Baseball America cautions that it's going to be slow-going for awhile.  According to Badler, the steroid problem in the Dominican Republic has thrown a wrench into the process.

I wrote this week's installment of MACHAWATCH! yesterday afternoon, so I missed the news that Arizona went ballistic last night, canning neophyte manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes (apparently after Byrnes refused to fire Hinch).  The D-backs had floundered in or around last place ever since Hinch took charge of the team, and the decision to hand the reins to a guy who had no managerial experience at all was a curious move in the first place, but Dave Cameron of FanGraphs wonders: what'd Byrnes do to merit his termination?

Speaking of former managers, Bugs & Cranks reports that erstwhile Brewers skipper Nedgar "Ned" Yost III made some interesting comments yesterday about the job security of a big league manager.  Apparently, Nedly visited some troops in the hospital, one of whom lost his foot to a land mine in Afghanistan.  Yost asked the soldier if he (the trooper) was wary of every step in Afghanistan, knowing that a land mine could be underfoot without any warning:

He said, ‘No, you can’t operate that way. You have to understand that every step might be your last.’" ...

Yost paused — he didn’t want to correlate managing with being a soldier in Afghanistan – then said, "It’s the same idea with managing. You have to know each day could be your last."

Oh, Ned.

Today in AWFUL UMPIRING, we bring you Alfonso Marquez, who whiffed on a tag play at third base during the 10th inning of last night's Twins-Rays tilt: Marquez ruled that Michael Cuddyer hadn't tagged Kelly Shoppach as Shoppach tried to take third base.  Twins manager Ron Gardenhire vehemently disagreed, and so did Reality: replays showed that Cuddyer clearly tagged Shoppach, as Marquez watched from about eight feet away.

Happy birthday to:

More importantly: HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA.  (That link ain't SFW.)  On this day in 1776, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution of independence from Great Britain; two days later, Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence was approved by the Congress, and we formally told King George to stick it.

Oh, and if you're planning any fireworks displays over the weekend, be sure to watch this video.  Safety first, kids.

Yesterday, Nicole linked you to a rap-type video about something called "Wiscompton."  If you'd like to see something much, much better, watch this video of Ice Cube and The Roots performing "Straight Outta Compton" during a pre-taping of Jimmy Fallon's show.

That's all I got, unless you're interested in a movie about a tire (seriously, a tire, like the kind that goes on a car) with the ability to blow people's heads up.