Some things to read while turning left for the first time.
Before I get started this morning, I wanted to take a minute to thank Nicole for giving up a night's sleep and doing a phenomenal job covering the biggest Brewer news day of the offseason while I was out of town on Friday. If you somehow missed the post, go back and check it out for very thorough coverage of the aftermath of Ryan Braun's appeal victory.
With that said, we're 39 days away from Opening Day and this morning Ryan Braun remains our top story. Here's a look at some of the things said about him this weekend:
- Tom Haudricourt is reporting that Braun's camp, MLB and the MLBPA know who was responsible for the leak regarding his possible suspension, and it wasn't inside MLB as previously suspected.
- Braun's win created a little more future uncertainty for outfield prospect Logan Schafer, but he's saying all the right things about it.
- Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker notes that constructing a likely Brewer lineup for this season is much easier now that Braun is back in it.
- Former teammate Casey McGehee told reporters, "Everyone was in such a hurry to condemn him, so I think a lot of people owe Ryan an apology."
- Tom Tango of The Book Blog notes that Vegas had the Brewers at 35:1 odds to win the World Series before Braun's appeal win, but has them at 25:1 now.
- Big League Stew has MLB's statement translated into a Star Wars-style scrolling intro.
- Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has Braun's winter milestones in context on a list of things that never should have happened.
- Myshirtrocks.com has a t-shirt that many of us may need to purchase.
With all of that said, Braun is getting back to baseball in Brewer camp and it's time for the rest of us to do the same. All Brewers were present and accounted for in Saturday's first full squad workout, including late arrival Francisco Rodriguez. The Brewers have also been joined in camp by special instructors Geoff Jenkins and Robin Yount.
Mark Attanasio is also back to business, and he told reporters contract extensions for Doug Melvin and Ron Roenicke are on his agenda for this spring. Melvin's contract was scheduled to run out following the season, while the team held a club option on Roenicke for 2013.
The aftermath from the Braun fiasco has drawn some attention away from Mat Gamel, who continues to have the most important spring of his life. The Baseball Historian listed him among their candidates for breakout seasons in 2012.
Meanwhile, Taylor Green is also having an interesting spring: He has a locker between Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki in the Brewer clubhouse, so there won't be too many quiet moments for him.
Speaking of Aoki, Ron Roenicke told reporters there's still room to fit him into the lineup despite the fact that Ryan Braun is back. Aoki, who Todd Rosiak briefly scouted, has already acquired the nickname "ninja," although Roenicke is hoping the team comes up with something better.
Rickie Weeks has been largely absent from the spotlight in the early going this spring, but remains a key part of the Brewers' hopes for contention in 2012. Adam McCalvy has a profile of him today.
When Zack Greinke's playing career is over he may have a future as a talent evaluator: He apparently scouted video of several top pitchers before the draft last year and accompanied Craig Counsell to watch Arizona State pitcher Brady Rodgers on Friday.
If you were anywhere near Twitter you probably know that the Academy Awards were given out last night. Adam McCalvy has a post on John Axford, who correctly predicted 11 of the 15 winners and maintains filmmaking aspirations of his own.
One can only assume Axford would have been #11 on Big League Stew's list of the ten best things about being a Brewer fan. It's hard to argue with any of the things that made the cut.
Nicole mentioned the Brewers' 2012 TV broadcast schedule on Friday, but until I saw this FanShot I didn't realize what was missing: The Brewers will play 150 games on FS Wisconsin this season and six more on Fox, but won't be on WMLW at all for the first time in several years. The timing on this is somewhat unfortunate as WMLW just added HD this offseason, but it's good news for many fans living away from Milwaukee who won't have to worry about finding a way to watch the games FS Wisconsin isn't carrying.
As you might have guessed based on the picture on your right, yesterday was photo day in Brewer camp. John Steinmiller reports that the team set a new record by getting all the shots done in one hour and 21 minutes.
In the minors:
- John Sickels of Minor League Ball has released his list of baseball's top 120 prospects and the Brewers are represented four times, but not above #100. Wily Peralta holds that spot and is followed by Tyler Thornburg (#104), Jed Bradley (#113) and Taylor Jungmann (#119).
- New Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has a projected Opening Day roster for the Sounds.
- The Helena Brewers are now on Twitter.
- Speaking of Twitter, Mass_Haas of Brewerfan.net and Brewer Nation have combined to make a list of Brewer minor leaguers on Twitter that I must admit is much more thorough than mine.
- The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' Opening Day bobbleheads have taken up high stakes poker while waiting for April 5.
Single game tickets for the 2012 regular season went on sale over the weekend, and the team nearly set a record by selling 101,000 of them on the first day. Two Saturday games (April 21 and May 12) and Opening Day have already sold out.
For some of you this is probably great news, and for others not so much... Flip Flop Fly Ball notes that the Brewers are one of several MLB teams represented with a baseball cap in a Justin Bieber video.
It got overshadowed a bit on Friday, but Jordan launched our Community Projections project this spring with this post asking for your thoughts on Brewer starting pitchers. Share your opinion there if you haven't yet, and check back this afternoon to help us project the infield corners.
Braves: Infielder Jack Wilson may not be ready for Opening Day due to a calf strain.
Indians: Closer Chris Perez (oblique strain) and outfielder Grady Sizemore (back) may not be ready for Opening Day..
Nationals: Signed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman to a six year, $100 million contract extension with a club option for 2020.
Twins: Pitcher Joel Zumaya needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2012 season.
In former Brewers:
- Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles has a great story on Todd Coffey, whose professional career began when he accepted a contract offer the Reds didn't want him to take. (h/t Dodgers Now)
- The Yankees have outrighted Chris Dickerson to AAA to make room for new signee Eric Chavez.
- Jason Kendall isn't technically retired but is in camp with the Royals as a special instructor.
- 2001 Brewer and UW-Madison alum Lance Painter is spending the 2012 season as the Mariners' AA pitching coach.
- Casey McGehee is currently a distant fifth in the voting for the nickname "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" at NotGraphs.
Andruw Jones is not a former Brewer, but perhaps he wishes he was: Uni Watch spotted this picture of Jones taking BP in a pair of shoes with the Brewer retro logo on them. (thanks to Nicole for the tip)
My favorite spring training story of the weekend came from Pirates camp in Bradenton, Florida, where pitcher A.J. Burnett agreed to pay for college for new teammate Daniel McCutchen's daughter (due to be born in May) in exchange for the right to wear uniform number 34. In that single moment, the price of a number switch shot through the roof.
Unfortunately, some of the good things in Pirates camp will likely be overshadowed by this news: Team president Frank Coonelly faces DUI charges after being arrested with a blood-alcohol level over .16 (twice the legal limit in many states) in December.
Today in baseball economics:
- Reports say the Cubs are currently making $45 million per season off of their TV rights, and their deal expires following the 2014 season.
- New Astros owner Jim Crane confirmed the club will likely change uniforms for next season.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History celebrates Yovani Gallardo's 26th birthday, while Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the 26th anniversary of a natural gas explosion in the clubhouse of the Brewer spring training facility in Chandler, Arizona that injured manager George Bamberger, general manager Harry Dalton, coach Tony Muser and others. Today is also Matt Stairs' 44th birthday, and Plunk Everyone notes that his 57 career HBP are the most ever for a batter born on February 27.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to meet more Freds.