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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while combining holidays.

Another day, another conversation about HBP: Before yesterday's game, Ken Macha told reporters he'd like to see more done to enforce a memo sent out this spring regarding rule 8.02(d), which says the following:

"In exercising their judgement, umpires have been instructed to be mindful that, given the skill of most Major League pitchers, a pitch that is thrown at the head of a batter more likely than not was thrown there intentionally."

In a move we probably should have expected, Doug Melvin was asked about the situation and shifted the blame to someone else, saying nothing will get done until the union takes a stand on the matter.

Meanwhile, the umpires picked a strange time to start ejecting pitchers. LaTroy Hawkins was tossed from yesterday's game after grazing Alfonso Soriano with a pitch in the seventh inning yesterday, and Ken Macha was eventually sent to the showers as well. The Brewers Bar wants to know if umpiring consistency is too much to ask for.

The Brewers still haven't placed Carlos Gomez on the DL with his concussion, so Jim Edmonds started in center field for the third straight day, with Adam McCalvy saying he "looks like he's an (sic) absolute agony running." McCalvy also said we should expect a decision on Gomez sometime before tomorrow's game. I really don't see the point in holding two injured center fielders off the DL, but Lorenzo Cain was back in the lineup for Nashville last night, so who knows.

Beyond that, yesterday's Brewer game was ugly and there's no need to rehash it. If you still want to talk more about Manny Parra, yesterday's post game thread is still open. Otherwise, let's move on to the other notes.

Other notes from the field:

Randy Wolf appears to have dodged a bullet after being hit by a line drive over the weekend. He threw his normal bullpen session yesterday and is expected to be ready when his normal spot in the rotation comes up on Saturday.

Even before yesterday's game, the BCB community showed some displeasure with the way the team has been handed over the last couple of weeks. This week's BCB Tracking Poll, which closed before yesterday's first pitch, shows Doug Melvin's disapproval rating drawing even with his approval rating for the first time, and Ken Macha's disapproval rating all the way back up to 75%.

Meanwhile, Melvin chatted with MLB Trade Rumors about John Axford's meteoric rise in the Brewer bullpen.

In the minors:

  • The affiliates went 3-3 last night behind very impressive pitching performances from Evan Frederickson (for Helena), Hiram Burgos (for Wisconsin) and Cody Scarpetta (for Brevard County), who combined to allow just one run over 18 innings. You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
  • The Huntsville Stars Radio Network has an audio interview with pitching coach John Curtis, discussing several recent promotions to the Stars.

On power rankings: Beyond the Box Score has the Brewers at 20, up one spot.

I've mentioned this before, but if you're not reading the comments section of the site you're occasionally missing some of the funniest and most creative content. If you've been missing out, check out nullacct's latest Photoshop archive for a look at what you've been missing.

Here's another SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame nomination: Acme Packing Company presents Bart Starr.

Around baseball:

Blue Jays: Placed catcher John Buck on the DL with a right thumb laceration.
Placed reliever Jason Motte on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Dodgers: Catcher Russell Martin is out for the season with a torn labrum in his hip.
Phillies: Acquired first baseman Mike Sweeney from the Mariners for a PTBNL or cash.
Pirates: Claimed pitchers Chan Ho Park and Chris Resop off waivers from the Yankees and Braves, respectively, and designated reliever Steven Jackson for assignment.
Tigers: Placed infielder Danny Worth on the DL with a bruised heel.

The Astros are 13 games under .500, but for one day a week they're nearly unbeatable. Until I saw it mentioned on Twitter this morning, I had no idea that they'd won 12 straight Wednesday games before losing last night. The streak went all the way back to April.

You've probably heard that Ben Sheets will miss the rest of the season for the A's after re-injuring his elbow, and may consider retirement. Here's a factor I hadn't heard before, though, and it may lead to his eventual return: Sheets needs one more season of service time to qualify for a full MLB pension.

If you're not making a habit of visiting Flip Flop Fly Ball, you're missing out. It's not exactly Brewer relevant, but this look at the 1907-08 Cubs is pretty fascinating.

Big League Stew is calling this wall-climbing catch by Masato Akamatsu of the Hiroshima Carp "The most amazing catch we'll see all season," and I'm having a hard time arguing with that.

On this day in 2007, Ryan Braun hit his 20th home run in his 64th career game, becoming the fastest Brewer to reach that mark.

Happy birthday today to:

  • AZL Brewer Dane Amedee, who turns 20.
  • Menasha, WI native Eric Hinske, who turns 33. Hinske has played nine major league seasons for the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays, Pirates, Yankees and Braves.
  • Brewer Farm Director Reid Nichols, who turns 52.
  • 1962-63 and 1965 Milwaukee Brave Tommie Aaron, who would have turned 71.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look for help. (h/t MkeBrewerGal)

Drink up.