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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while finally starting to feel better.

It seems fitting to open the first Mug of 2011 with this story: Adam McCalvy has a look at ten questions facing the Brewers in the new year.

I thought this was interesting, but not for the reason most people probably did: Jon Heyman is reporting that the Nationals offered Zack Greinke a "big extension" in an effort to convince him to waive his no-trade clause, but he turned it down. So, if you're scoring at home, Greinke has now turned down extension offers from the Royals and Nats. I suppose it's possible the Brewers are different, but I'd say there's a good chance he'd also be unwilling to sign an extension here.

The Greinke deal inspired the JS to take a look at all of the 5+ player deals in Brewer history. It's an interesting stroll down memory lane.

At least Greinke is a very unlikely candidate to appear on this list next year: Miller Park Drunk counts down the ten worst Brewers of 2010.

And Greinke gives the 2011 Brewers a pretty good chance to appear on this list: The Brewers and Padres are the only two teams that haven't had a season since 1996 where at least three pitchers made 25 starts and posted an ERA+ over 100.

Now, if only he could play center field. Brew Crew Central has a look at the candidates to fill that position.

Last week I mentioned that the Brewers have moved into the upper half of the league in payroll, and said it's time for the team to shed the "small market" label. Here's some context, though: Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball notes that the Cubs, Cardinals and Astros have all been near or above the Brewers' 2010 payroll level in each of the last seven seasons.

Ryan Braun's Waterfront Grill, which had been closed for renovations, will reopen with new ownership: They've been purchased by SURG Restaurant Group, which owns a handful of other establishments I'd never heard of (FanShot). As always, I turn to you for restaurant analysis: Are any of these places any good? (h/t McCalvy)

Around baseball:

Orioles: Signed first baseman Derrek Lee to a one year deal.
Red Sox: Re-signed reliever Hideki Okajima to a minor league deal.
Royals: Signed pitcher Zach Miner to a minor league deal.

The Derrek Lee acquisition was overshadowed by this weekend's other Orioles news: Reliever Alfredo Simon turned himself in to police this morning and is accused of shooting two men in the Dominican Republic (killing one of them) on Friday.

Today in former Brewers:

  • Baseball Reference has a list of 17 players that posted a sub-.230 batting average but an OPS+ over 100 in at least three seasons. Not surprisingly, six former Brewers (Rob Deer, Russell Branyan, Greg Vaughn, Greg Brock, Darrell Porter and Tom Brunansky) made the list.
  • B-Ref also has a list of eleven position players who got a hit in their only plate appearance in their only major league game. Carlos Corporan is on that list.
  • The Hall of Very Good considered B.J. Surhoff's candidacy for the Hall of Fame.
  • Trevor Hoffman made an appearance in Gaslamp Ball's Dream Diary.

Do you keep score at games? Would you do it if you knew how? If you answered "no" and "yes" to those questions, then you're the target market for Wezen-ball's Best In-Stadium Giveaway Ever.

Hopefully that scoring guide includes a note on Catcher Interference: Jeff Zimmerman of Beyond the Box Score considered the possibility that it could replace the intentional walk.

I need to stop doing these before caffeine: I was only able to name 52 of the 100 players to post a 200 hit season since 1989 in the five minutes before I gave up. (h/t Lone Star Ball)

Development strategies for young pitchers continue to be one of baseball's biggest gray areas. Pitch counts and innings limits are widely seen as the main protection for young arms, but Chris Cwik of FanGraphs notes that there are a handful of pitchers that have been pushed beyond normal limits and defied all expectations.

I recently picked up an Android phone, and I'm still trying to get used to using it and the things it can do. If you also have an Android (or an iPhone or an iPad), you may want to check out SBNation's entries in the Pulse App. If nothing else, it'd be one more way to make sure you never miss a Frosty Mug.

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

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pick up my new plates.

Drink up.