- David Brown at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
After a quick rain storm apparently took them by surprise Tuesday night, the Wrigley Field grounds crew sadly and hilariously struggled for six or seven minutes to get a soaked tarp to fully cover the infield during the fifth inning. In true Chicago form, many in the crowd booed the grounds crew's feeble execution. "Pull, pull, pull!" others shouted.
The problematic coverage didn't take as long to play out as a similar debacle at Yankee Stadium that lasted 14 minutes in July, or a nine-minute affair happening in the Bronx a season before, but it seemed even more absurd. And even though it rained on Chicago's North Side only for about 15 minutes, the ensuing delay because of unplayable conditions lasted 4 hours, 34 minutes. Umpires finally called the game at 1:16 a.m. and, because five innings had been played, the Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 2-0.Wed, Aug 205:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at Chi CubsPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Surprise and sadness lasted only a while, and no hard feelings linger for slugger Yoenis Cespedes now that nearly three weeks have passed since he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He won't be part of a World Series winner this season in Boston, which is unlikely to finish with a .500 record, but that doesn't mean Cespedes can't pick a team to root for this October.
Speaking through a Spanish translator via an interview with reporter Jane Lee of MLB.com, Cespedes said he'll be rooting for the Oakland Athletics, who have a chance without him:
Cespedes will miss "everything" about Oakland, he says, "from the guys in the clubhouse to the coaching staff to the fans, who always treated me extraordinary, to the friends I made there," and counts the final day of the 2012 season, when the Cinderella A's claimed the American League West title, as his favorite memory in green and gold.Wed, Aug 2012:35 PM PDTNY Mets at OaklandPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
The Cincinnati Reds hang by a string in the National League playoff race, and part of that string might be inside of the "achy" shoulder of closer Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman was not available to pitch Monday, one day after his worst performance of the season in a tough loss to the Colorado Rockies, because of soreness in his left shoulder. Chapman threw 28 pitches and walked all four batters he faced in Game 2 of a doubleheader that the Reds lost 10-9. Reds manager Bryan Price said afterward that there was nothing physically wrong with Chapman — but that was a fib. The Reds lost another tough game against St. Louis on Monday, and did not use Chapman.
Price said, via MLB.com:
"He's just a little achy, and it just doesn't make sense at all for us to keep running him out there," Price said after a 6-5 loss to St. Louis in 10 innings. "He was a little achy [Sunday]. I didn't want to say anything, but he was. By the time we knew there might be an issue, the damage was done yesterday.Wed, Aug 205:40 PM PDTKansas City at ColoradoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
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The "rally cap" is a well-meaning but horrible idea in which baseball players on the bench or fans in the stands literally turn their hats inside out and wear them in order to change a team's luck. It's an OK thought because it's a way to show team unity, but it's terrible in practice because it wrecks your cap!
Enter: Right-hander Doug Fister of the Washington Nationals. As his team was engaged with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the late innings Monday night, Fister felt the club needed a little something extra to get over the hump. Say hello to his little friend!
Rather than turning all of his clothes inside out, Fister placed a Jayson Werth garden gnome in the collar of his fleece sweatshirt so it could watch the game with him. The gnomes were given away to fans earlier this month — and demand was night. They're like bobblehead dolls, but different!Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTArizona at WashingtonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Pretty much the worst news the Kansas City Royals could hear would be that "Salvador Perez is coming out of the game." However, with catcher Erik Kratz available to come off the bench, the Royals aren't doomed without Perez, who otherwise comes close to being irreplaceable.
Kratz came though with two home runs against the Minnesota Twins on Monday night after Perez came out because of a right knee injury, helping the Royals win 6-4 and increase their first-place lead in the American League Central. Kansas City's 69-55 record is the same as it was in 1985, also the most recent time the Royals made the playoffs and won the World Series.
It's also not often players come off the bench and hit two home runs:
Erik Kratz hit 2 HR in game he didn't start. Only other AL players to do that in last 4 seasons: Matt Joyce 9/29/12 & Raul Ibanez 9/22/12
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Every student of popular culture knows that the TV show "Happy Days" went over the top when The Fonz ventured from Wisconsin out to Hollywood and literally "jumped the shark."
Along those lines, sort of, the Milwaukee Brewers of Wisconsin went out to Los Angeles over the weekend in a position to get eaten up by a preseason World Series favorite. The Los Angeles Dodgers wound up being the prey, getting swept in a three-game set that again showcased how awesome Jonathan Lucroy is — and how formidable the Brewers are.
Lucroy homered and drove in five runs Sunday, leading the Brewers to a 7-2 victory that kept Milwaukee three games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. It's also the first time the Dodgers have been swept in a series longer than two games this season. In the series, the Brewers also won games started by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, but they decided to try their luck with Dan Haren, too.Wed, Aug 2011:10 AM PDTToronto at MilwaukeePreview Game
Major League Baseball players frequently make great catches. Sometimes, they even make great catches with their bare hands. But have you ever seen a ballplayer make a great barehanded catch while also operating a heavy TV camera that costs thousands of dollars?
A man who Fox Sports broadcasters called Jim Foley made such a play while filming an at-bat by Peter Bourjos of the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Bourjos, stepping in against right-hander Blaine Boyer of the San Diego Padres in the bottom of the eighth inning, fouled off a 90 mph fastball to the right side. Foley, atop a platform behind the last row of seats in the lower bowl at Busch Stadium, kept his face focused on his viewfinder and reached out with his left hand to snag the ball. It was a great show of skill for amateur photographers who struggle to "get the shot" and still "live in the moment." Foley appeared to do both. That's why he's a pro, folks!
The Big Question: Did it hurt?
Yes. Yes it did.Wed, Aug 207:10 PM PDTSan Diego at LA DodgersPreview Game
He's Joe Mikulik, the minor league manager with the hilariously bad temper. You might remember him from such meltdowns as the infamous ones in 2012 and 2006, when he managed the Class A Asheville Tourists of the Colorado Rockies organization. He no longer works for them, but he's still managing — the Class A Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Texas Rangers organization — and he's still melting down.
He's also stripping down — as in out of his clothes. Some of them, anyway.
Mikulik argued a call at the plate made by umpire Adam Beck in the fifth inning Sunday, getting ejected from a 9-1 loss to Salem after he angrily pointed in Beck's face several times, threw his cap, slid into home plate twice to recreate the disputed play, and even removed his jersey and shoes in protest. Thankfully, he stopped there and walked off the field.
Derek Jeter means a lot of things to a lot of people. Clutch ballplayer. Captain of the New York Yankees. Likely Hall of Famer. The Face of Major League Baseball. Romancer of beautiful women. Purveyor of fine men's fragrances. Protector of children's souvenir rights. And now, thanks to a farm in New Jersey, he's a cornfield maze.
VonThun Farms of South Brunswick, which is a little over an hour away by car from Yankee Stadium, has mowed Jeter's telegenic head into five acres of corn, making a maze through which the public may navigate. Along with Jeter's cap-wearing likeness and uniform No. 2 are the words "Von Thun Farms Thanks Captain Clutch," followed by a radio station sponsorship. It opens Sept. 20.Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTHouston at NY YankeesPreview Game
The Atlanta Braves celebrated the 100th anniversary of their 1914 World Series championship Saturday night with a turn-back-the-clock themed game against the Oakland Athletics. It was just too much for Braves slugger Freddie Freeman to handle.
That night, both teams wore retro uniforms reminiscent of 100 years ago, when the Braves' franchise played in Boston and the A's in Philadelphia. Hot dogs sold for a dollar, and Cracker Jack went for a quarter. The Braves also made over Turner Field like it was 1914 — which meant they softened the introduction for closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel's intro usually includes the playing of "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns N' Roses, a hard rock anthem accompanied by a video of flames on the Turner Field scoreboard.Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTAtlanta at PittsburghPreview Game