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Friday's Frosty Mug

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We're just a few days away from one of the most notable arbitrary milestones in BCB history: The 1000th Frosty Mug. Join us back here on Monday for the first ever four-digit festivities, and at Rounding Third on Tuesday for The Night Of (Approximately) 1000 Mugs.

Some things to read while buying lots of kerosene.

We're 50 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Maryvale, and we've finally reached the end of the slowest week of the offseason. Our final installment of "Year In Review" posts comes from Doug Russell of OnMilwaukee, who listed three Brewer moments (Ryan Braun's MVP, his winter controversy and the Brewers' NL Central championship) among his top ten from Wisconsin sports in 2011.

Here's another reminder that having Carlos Gomez as a second center fielder is a pretty unique luxury: High Heat Stats named him to their 2011 Part-time All Star team.

Elsewhere in luxuries: Yovani Gallardo made just $3.25 million in 2011, and gets another modest raise to $5.5 million in 2012. Jim Breen of Bernie's Crew has a look back at the decision to sign him to a long term deal.

Here are today's Prince Fielder notes:

In the minors:

  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched another scoreless inning in Venezuela last night, allowing his first VWL hit in La Guaira's 6-2 win over Margarita. You can read about that and more in today's Winter League Notes.
  • Huntsville has hired a new broadcaster: Alex Cohen will be starting his first minor league job this summer and the team is going back to a traditional broadcast following a year of calling games from a couch in the stands. (h/t @Mass_Haas)

File this under "something to keep an eye on:" A reader on heard a report that the Brewers will be making a major sponsorship change at Miller Park this winter, but more details aren't available because the Brewer front office is shut down for the holidays. I'm guessing it has something to do with the Air Tran Landing Zone, which we've previously reported is likely to undergo a name change.

Around baseball:

Red Sox: Outfielder Ryan Kalish recently underwent shoulder surgery and will not be ready for Opening Day.

The most interesting news yesterday might have come from Houston, where the Astros have reportedly interviewed Keith Law about a collection of front office vacancies they're looking to fill. If you'd like to join KLaw (potentially) in Houston, Tangotiger notes that the Astros have a handful of other vacancies too.

Last week I reported that Law and Buster Olney listed the NL Central as baseball's worst division. This week Joe Sheehan of Sports Illustrated is picking the Reds, who finished a distant third in the division in 2011, to win the World Series. Somehow those two things just don't seem to match up. (h/t Nick Hurm)

The Athletics saga with San Jose is showing limited signs of ending anytime soon, but this is an interesting side note: A's owner Lew Wolff has purchased a hotel in downtown San Jose.

Today in baseball economics: The details of Albert Pujols' new deal with the Angels have been released, and things now look even worse for the 2016-2021 teams. The contract is heavily backloaded and will pay Pujols over $30 million per year during his post-40 seasons.

In former Brewers:

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some shopping to do.

Drink up.