Some things to read while hiding the evidence.
After an off day yesterday the Brewers open a series in Kansas City tonight with Zack Greinke on the mound against his former team for the first time. Adam McCalvy and Dick Kaegel of MLB.com have a story about the longtime Royal's return to Kauffman Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Brewers had some fun on the airplane yesterday, staging an 80's themed road trip. Via the magic of Twitter we have lots of pictures:
- John Axford has a picture of his hair band.
- Kameron Loe has a better look at his outfit.
- Here's John Steinmiller with Nyjer Morgan.
- Carlos Gomez tweeted the team photo, and Nick Prill of the Brewers Bar attempted to identify the players in it.
- Gomez also tweeted this photo of himself with Rickie Weeks, Nyjer Morgan, Manny Parra and Stan Kyles.
- Parra has a closer look at his costume.
Jonathan Lucroy probably isn't along on this trip, but he has found a new way to pass the time: He's joined Twitter.
The Brewers head off on the road this week at four games below .500, but carrying a 9-4 record in their last 13 games. David Schoenfield of ESPN says it's too early to count them out.
Yesterday's off day gave us a little more time to discuss Norichika Aoki's recent hot streak. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker notes that despite Aoki's slap-hitter reputation he has a slugging percentage over .800 on his pull side. Jack also has a couple of heat maps showing the pitches Aoki is hitting.
Looking back, Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has the trot times from the weekend's home runs:
- Martin Maldonado circled the bases in 19.6 seconds following his three run shot Sunday, and 22.02 seconds on Friday.
- Ryan Braun trotted in 23.57 seconds Sunday, the slowest time by a Brewer over the weekend.
- Corey Hart jogged around in 20.09 and 21.51 seconds following his pair of homers Friday.
- Taylor Green completed the circuit in 20.66 seconds following career home run #2 on Friday.
Yesterday's top story may have come from the draft, where supplemental round pick Mitch Haniger announced he'll sign with the Brewers on Thursday. Adam McCalvy says his deal is worth $1.2 million, which is $159,000 under the slot value for his pick. McCalvy also says that Haniger would have come to Milwaukee with Clint Coulter and Victor Roache last week but had a college final he didn't want to miss.
Here are today's other draft notes:
- In today's least surprising news, Clint Coulter was the Columbian's high school All-Region Baseball Player of the Year. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
- Noah has an interview with 12th round pick Eric Semmelhack, a pitcher headed to Helena.
- Greg Devillers of the Grand Forks Herald has a profile of 32nd round pick Nick Anderson. (h/t @Mass_Haas)
Down on the farm, it sounds like Nashville first baseman Erick Almonte has had an interesting month. He tested positive for amphetamines and faced a 50-game suspension in what he's calling his likely last professional season in the US, but was cleared of any wrongdoing when he appealed and his B sample tested negative (FanShot). Almonte, however, had to foot the bill for his appeal or baseball would've suspended him without bothering to check their work. Here's an Almonte quote from the article:
"I think of all the boys who have gone through the process and were possibly unfairly punished for not knowing the system, with no support, not knowing the language and even for not having the $200 to start the appeal," said Almonte, who is batting .203 in a limited role with Nashville.
"Many of the boys in Class A earn only $500 every two weeks and cannot pay $200 for an appeal," he added. "I think we need to improve the assistance given to the boys in those cases."
Elsewhere in the minors:
- The affiliates went 2-3 yesterday with one of the wins coming (as usual) from Wisconsin, where shortstop Yadiel Rivera's walkoff single (his third of three hits on the day) gave the Timber Rattlers an 8-7 win over Beloit You can read about that and more in today's Minor League Notes.
- Rattler Radio has video highlights from Wisconsin's win.
- Yadiel Rivera tweeted a picture of himself following the clubhouse celebration. He also had a walkoff homer for the Timber Rattlers on Sunday.
- Huntsville first baseman and Southern League All Star Hunter Morris is Disciples of Uecker's Prospect of the Week.
- Nashville broadcaster Jeff Hem has an interview with Sounds manager Mike Guerrero.
- Nashville reliever Vinnie Chulk is on Twitter.
By the time the Brewers and Royals open play tonight it will have been over 48 hours since most of us have had the opportunity to hear Bob Uecker. Fortunately NotGraphs has something to help you get by: archived audio from an August, 2010 conversation about attendance figures at Busch Stadium.
In power rankings:
- ESPN has the Brewers at 22, down one spot.
- Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has them at 22, up two spots.
If you haven't yet, please take a moment today to vote in the BCB Tracking Poll. It will remain open through the day today and results will be posted tomorrow.
If you'd like more Brewer coverage today but you're sick of reading, I've got a couple of options for you:
- I'll be appearing on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on Sports Radio 1400 in Eau Claire at 5:15 today.
- From there I'll move directly to The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30.
Finally, congratulations are due out this morning to BigMac91, yesterday's winner in our SB Nation Pick 6 contest. Here's the full leaderboard:
|6||Cecil Cooper's Love Child||48.1|
Tonight's first game is scheduled for 6:05, so there's still plenty of time to make your picks for today. And, of course, with a new series starting tonight there's a fresh round of Prognostikeggers. Daily winners of both contests receive entries into the Brew Crew Ball Sweepstakes.
The entire division was off yesterday, but you still know about Soler and lots of draft notes if you've read this morning's edition of Around the NL Central.
This week's strangest story will almost certainly come from Atlanta, where an imposter claiming to be former Braves bullpen coach John Sullivan crashed last weekend's alumni event.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to fix it again.