Some things to read while continuing to search.
The final 24 hours before the trade deadline are generally a pretty exciting time, but the Brewers are working hard to limit your expectations. Doug Melvin has reportedly pulled Prince Fielder and Corey Hart off the market, telling opposing GMs he still feels like he has a team with a chance to contend. (FanShot)
I think many/most of us will be disappointed if the Brewers fail to make a move between now and tomorrow's deadline, but Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar isn't among us: He took a look at the return other sellers are getting and concluded the Brewers need to stay away from this market.
The Brewers open a series in Houston tonight, and now have half a day to get ready for a new starting pitcher. Roy Oswalt was scheduled to pitch for the Astros tonight, but the Brewers will instead face J.A. Happ, making his debut just one day after being acquired from the Phillies.
John Axford remains one of this season's lone bright spots. Adam McCalvy reminds us of his unusual road to the big leagues.
Rickie Weeks is another bright spot, and Miller Park Drunk reminds us that he's been on the bandwagon since the beginning.
Meanwhile, "What's Wrong With Ryan Braun?" is starting to become a daily feature. Brewers Daily notes that Braun is hitting just .236/.268/.401 since May 10th.
I'm not sure that using the home run as a primary source of offense is that terrible of a strategy in and of itself, but it does create statistics like this one: Tom Haudricourt noted that the Brewers are 42-30 when they hit a home run, and 6-25 when they don't.
They're also 0-1 when giving up 450 foot grand slams to Brandon Phillips. That shot was Wezen-ball's Home Run of the Day for Wednesday.
In the minors:
- Wisconsin Sports Tap has a great position-by-position breakdown of Brewers in the minors in this week's Farm Report. It's a little scary how bare the cupboard has gotten at catcher and shortstop.
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday. One of those wins came in Helena, where third baseman Greg Hopkins hit a walkoff home run in the 15th inning to propel the H-Brewers to a 10-8 win over Great Falls. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Helena managed to win in extra innings despite blowing an 8-0 lead.
Doug Davis hasn't contributed much to the Brewers this season, but at least he's contributing to the community: Caitlin Moyer has the details on his upcoming bowling outing, to raise money for the Miracle League of Milwaukee.
On power rankings:
- Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at 21, down five spots.
- Yahoo has the Brewers at 21, up one spot.
As for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame:
- Anonymous Eagle closed out their nominations with George Thompson and Al McGuire.
- Bucky's 5th Quarter nominated Pat Richter.
Astros: Acquired J.A. Happ and two minor leaguers from the Phillies for Roy Oswalt, and acquired first baseman Brett Wallace from the Blue Jays for one of the minor leaguers.
Dodgers: Designated reliever Jack Taschner for assignment.
Orioles: Are expected to announce on Monday that Buck Showalter has been hired to manage the team.
Padres: Acquired infielder Miguel Tejada from the Orioles for a minor leaguer.
Pirates: Released reliever Brendan Donnelly.
Rangers: Acquired infielder Jorge Cantu and cash from the Marlins for two minor leaguers, and placed second baseman Ian Kinsler on the DL with a groin strain.
Tigers: Designated 1B/3B Jeff Larish for assignment.
Twins: Acquired closer Matt Capps from the Nationals for catcher Wilson Ramos and a minor leaguer.
The Mets are 4-10 since the All Star break and have fallen 6.5 games back of the Braves in the NL East, so their desperation is understandable: Ron Hart of Associated Content says they've contacted the Brewers to request permission to fire Willie Randolph again.
I haven't been devoting much time to the ownership/bankruptcy situation in Texas, because most of the daily reports are much ado about nothing. With that said, this story could have some interesting ramifications: The Rangers still owe $42 million in deferred compensation to five players, most of it to Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Millwood. If the team somehow manages to avoid paying those debts, don't be surprised if the MLBPA makes a move to attempt to curtail deferred money in future contracts.
Elsewhere in baseball economics: Here's a telling note on how bad attendance issues are for the Rays: They have baseball's second best record and they've made a World Series appearance recently, but this weekend's series with the Yankees will be the first time they've ever sold out three straight regular season home games.
Speaking of home games, the Padres won last night to improve their all time home record to 1656-1656, the first time they've been at or above .500 since they were 8-8.
The Padres' bench coach is former Brewer Ted Simmons, who Baseball Past and Present named one of the Ten Most Underrated Baseball Players of All-Time.
On this day in 2001, the Brewers traded David Weathers to the Cubs for Ruben Quevedo and outfielder Peter Zoccolillo.
Happy birthday today to:
- Wisconsin Timber Rattler D'Vontrey Richardson, who turns 22.
- 1992 Brewer Scott Fletcher, who turns 52.
- Former Milwaukee Braves minority owner, Brewers owner and major league commissioner Bud Selig, who turns 76.
Now, if you'll excuse me, the countdown has started. (h/t Jay Jaffe)