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Thursday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while doing the darnedest things.

There's a fair amount of excitement about the 2011 Brewers lately, but apparently none of that enthusiasm has reached Bristol, Connecticut. ESPN announced April and May's lineup for Sunday Night Baseball and the Brewers have been left out. Here's a look at the games they're passing over:

Date Opponent
April 3 @ Reds
April 10 vs Cubs
April 17 @ Nationals
April 24 vs Astros
May 1 @ Astros
May 8 @ Cardinals
May 15 vs Pirates
May 22 vs Rockies
May 29 vs Giants

I can see not wanting to televise a game against the Nationals, Astros or Pirates, but any of the rest of those matchups would have pretty significant storylines and a 60% chance of seeing Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum or Yovani Gallardo. I don't get the decision to miss out on that.

Maybe it's a Worldwide Leader conspiracy: Jim Caple rated all 30 teams by misery yesterday, and listed the Brewer fan base as the third worst. I don't know about you, but I'm not miserable at all lately. (h/t @Bill_TPA)

Here's some Brewer love from an unexpected source: Gas House Graphs recently held a roundtable to discuss the 2011 NL Central, and all three writers mentioned the Brewers as a leading candidate to win the division.

Meanwhile, here's day two of reaction to Trevor Hoffman's retirement:

While Trevor Hoffman is on his way out, a new Brewer is making his way in: The organization has signed Eulogio de la Cruz to a minor league deal. De la Cruz, who is 27, spent the 2010 season pitching for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. Before that, he had pitched in 15 major league games over the 2007-09 seasons as a member of the Tigers, Marlins and Padres. He spent most of the 2009 season in AAA in San Diego's organization, making 48 appearances (four starts) with a 3.12 ERA, 44 walks and 59 strikeouts in 69.1 IP.

File this under "Don't hold your breath:" Vaughn's Valley listed Carlos Gomez as the #9 Brewer critical to 2011 success.

Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker is still analyzing key plate appearances from the 2010 season. Today he looks at an August 4 matchup between Manny Parra and Blake DeWitt that marks the beginning of the end of Parra's time as a starter.

In the minors:

  • Remember April, when Wisconsin's Opening Day game was snowed out and the players built a snowman instead? Scooter Gennett and that snowman will be featured on the Timber Rattlers' Opening Day bobblehead. Follow that link for pictures and to learn how to get tickets.
  • Voting is open for the #9 spot in our BCB Community Prospect Rankings. As of this writing, Tyler Thornburg leads Erik Komatsu by 15 votes.

Around baseball:

Angels: Signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a one year, $1.7 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Cubs: Signed catcher Koyie Hill to a one year deal, avoiding arbitration, and outfielder Reed Johnson to a minor league deal.
Marlins: Signed outfielder Dewayne Wise, catcher Clint Sammons and infielder Joe Thurston to minor league deals.
Rays: Have reportedly signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one year, $3.25 million deal.
Rockies: Signed reliever Matt Belisle to a one year, $2.35 million deal, avoiding arbitration.
Tigers: Signed outfielder Ryan Raburn to a two year, $3.4 million deal, avoiding arbitration.

Today in former Brewers: Brad Nelson, who led the Dominican Republic in home runs this winter, has signed a minor league deal with the Rangers.

FanGraphs unveiled a pretty cool new tool yesterday: WAR Grids allow you to sort selected players by their fWAR and see how their numbers were accumulated by season. If you'd like to start with a sad example, here are the 25 best Brewer catchers of all time.

I don't golf, but maybe you do? If so, perhaps you'll be interested in the inaugural Wisconsin Sports Tweeters Open Golf Outing, scheduled for June in Green Bay.

On this day in 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. He appeared on 97.8% of ballots, the second highest total of all time.

On this day in 2005, Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Brewers to Mark Attanasio.

On this day in 2009, the Brewers signed Trevor Hoffman to a one year, $6 million deal with a club option for 2010.

With help from and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go study.

Drink up.