A nice move by the MLB Network

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The MLB Network is going to name three production studios after Ernie Harwell, Mel Allen and Vin Scully.  A classy move by the network that, one hopes anyway, will provide some inspiration for all who work there.  Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I’d like to think broadcasters who see these luminaries’ names on the door each day will try harder and work smarter than they otherwise would.

And even if the inspiration doesn’t work, maybe having their names on the studios will inspire some cosmic justice.  Sadly, someday Harwell and Scully will join Mel Allen in broadcater Valhalla, and who’s to say their ghosts won’t drop a stage light on someone who goes on and on about how someone needs to give “110%?”

Not that they need to stop with Harwell, Allen and Scully.  There has to be a lounge there, so how about naming it after Harry and Skip Caray?  How about naming that visitor’s office way down at the end of the hall for Bob Uecker?  The possibilities are endless. 

And it doesn’t just have to be great announcers like those guys.  After all, it’s a big building, and I’m sure someone can find some rooms to name after Joe Morgan, John Sterling, Rick Sutcliffe and Steve Phillips . . .

Brewers to give Mike Moustakas a look at second base

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The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.

The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.

This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.

Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.