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Monday's Frosty Mug

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Some things to read while wondering if socks are still an option.

We're only 82 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, but it feels like it's been 82 days since we'd had any real Brewer news. Brewers in 11 has resorted to inserting the Brewers into various internet memes. Jaymes Langrehr of The Brewers Bar made a Brewer Spotify playlist.

If something doesn't happen soon, we're going to start spiraling into madness around here.

Ryan Braun is going to be a Brewer for a long time, so it'd be great if he kept getting better. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs notes that Braun has improved his strikeout and walk rates every year since debuting in 2007, and has increased his offensive production about 25% over that time. The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, by the way, gave Braun an orchid for winning the 2011 NL MVP.

Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:

  • Former MLB GM Jim Bowden (via FakeTeams) says the market for Prince Fielder hasn't developed as he expected, creating an increased possibility that he could decide to return to Milwaukee.
  • Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times saw that note and wonders if Fielder could fall back into the Dodgers' price range.

This trivial note is surprisingly chock full of 2011 Brewers: Jacob Peterson of Beyond the Box Score has a look at the major leaguers that don't go by their actual first names. Corey Hart, Zack Greinke and Casey McGehee all make appearances.

McGehee, by the way, was one of three speakers at an event at Soquel High School in California (his alma mater) on Saturday.

Elsewhere in local coverage: The Glendale News Press has a note on Glendale Community College alum Marco Estrada's breakout season.

In the minors:

  • Minor League Baseball Prospects has released their annual list of baseball's top 2000 prospects and Caleb Gindl is the biggest surprise, checking in at #12 overall. Wily Peralta (#65) joins him in the top 100, while Taylor Jungmann, Taylor Green, Jed Bradley and Dan Meadows cracked the top 200. The organiation has seven more players in the top 500, eleven between 501-1000 and 37 between 1001-2000.
  • Brewer batters went a combined 1-for-14 in winter league play yesterday, but the only hit belonged to Carlos Gomez. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Brewers Blast has an interview with 2011 18th round pick Chris McFarland.
  • Kentrail Davis flashes good speed in a couple of Youtube videos from the Arizona Fall League: You can see him here legging out a triple on a defender's misplay and here stealing second base.

Our Brewer-by-Brewer look at the 2011 season continued over the weekend with this profile of Craig Counsell. Who will we discuss today? You'll have to check back to find out.

Elsewhere in self-promotion: Here's another reminder that the BCB Book Club will be meeting tomorrow night. Finish the first three chapters of The Extra 2% and meet us here at 7 pm Central time.

Around baseball:

Astros: Announced the firing of GM Ed Wade and the retirement of team president Tal Smith.
Athletics: Hired Chili Davis to be their new hitting coach.
Blue Jays: Acquired infielder Luis Valbuena from the Indians for cash.
Dodgers: Signed pitcher Wil Ledezma to a minor league deal.
Mariners: Acquired catcher John Jaso from the Rays for pitcher Josh Lueke and a PTBNL.
Rays: Signed catcher Jose Molina to a one year deal.

Now that Ed Wade is out, the Astros are likely to go into the winter meetings without a GM and Doug Melvin is the NL Central's longest-tenured general manager. Before you start feeling too bad for Wade, though, you should know that he's still getting paid through 2013.

November is wrapping up, so things are getting serious in The Outside Corner's MLB Mustache Madness tournament. John Axford is facing Rollie Fingers in the final four.

He's not actually a former Brewer, but he is a Wisconsin native: Bluebird Banter ranked Eric Hinske as the 49th greatest Blue Jay of all time.

The offseason is, among other things, the time of year when we must quantify everything. Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs has started a project to rate MLB broadcasters.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wrap a basset hound.

Drink up.