- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Manny Ramirez admitted to reporter Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports during an interview published Thursday that he "made mistakes" with performance-enhancing drugs, but he's learned from them and — nearing age 42 and three years removed from the big leagues — wants one more chance to play Major League Baseball.
Ramirez was suspended by MLB for 50 games in 2009, when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, after testing positive for a female fertility drug. It would be a much bigger deal if Ramirez had admitted to Rosenthal that the drug worked and that's why he has a 4-year-old son. But a 40-something ex-ballplayer who wants another shot, finally admitting what we already had surmised?
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
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The Seattle Mariners usually air the best TV commercials, or they're up there with the Minnesota Twins. This cannot be disputed. (OK, it can. It's all subjective. But the M's are the best.) They have put their commercials for 2014 on the team's website — starting with "Old School Kyle Seager" — and they're all good. The players always get into their roles.
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Jimmy Rollins spoke to reporters in Florida on Thursday about being benched for the Philadelphia Phillies' past three spring training games. While unhappy, he doesn't sound too worried about it, actually. And though he disagrees with manager Ryne Sandberg, he also doesn't quite know what's bugging Sandberg about how he is conducting himself.
Rollins added that if player and manager need to speak, it will be Sandberg who initiates the conversation, says reporter Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The first hint of any issue came after Wednesday's game in Sarasota, Fla., when Sandberg offered no explanation for Rollins' three-day benching. Unprompted, Sandberg praised Freddy Galvis' "energy and his positive influence." When asked about Rollins in that regard, Sandberg said, "No comment."LiveNY Yankees0 - 3PhiladelphiaFollow Game
- Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Among the consequences of slugger Ryan Braun admitting he lied about taking performance-enhancing drugs was a loss of trust, and some of it vanished in a very material sense. Braun lost about $3.3 million in salary from the Milwaukee Brewers because of his 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball related to Biogenesis, but his side income was affected as well. He lost business partnerships, even with good friends. Restaurants took his name off their establishments. Product endorsement deals dried up. Nobody wanted to be associated with someone who lied about cheating.
While it's still not like the old days when Braun was a walking billboard for Nike baseball cleats — and was paid handsomely to strut his stuff — he has resurfaced this spring with a small company called 3N2. Something to think about the next time Braun steps in with a full count.
- David Brown at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg might be trying to send a message to the club's longtime shortstop, Jimmy Rollins. Despite checking out as healthy, Rollins has not played the past two days and is not scheduled to play Thursday in Grapefruit League action. Instead, the Phillies are going with Freddy Galvis at shortstop.
Rollins was supposed to be in the lineup Tuesday for a game at Orlando, but he stayed back at the team's spring headquarters in Clearwater, Fla. The same thing happened Wednesday when Philly made an hour-long trek to Sarasota. Sometimes a team's veterans don't make road trips in spring training, which can be relatively long days. But that's not what seems to be going on with Rollins.
Chris Branch of Delaware Online writes:
Galvis played well Wednesday, going 1 for 2 with a triple and a RBI. Asked about Galvis afterward, Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg gushed.
Immediately after, Sandberg was asked about Rollins in that regard.
"No comment," Sandberg said.
- Big League Stew22 hrs ago
They call it the Cactus League for a reason. Right-hander Francisco Rodriguez probably knew why already, but he got reminded in a most prickly way Tuesday after he stepped on a cactus.
Ow, ow, OWWWWWW!
To repeat: Ow, ow, OWWWWW!
That means, apparently, that Rodriguez didn't go the emergency room on Tuesday , when he stepped on a cactus . He was sitting around for hours with spines in his foot. Sleeping with spines in his foot. It's likely we won't learn the circumstances of how cactus spines ended up in K-Rod's foot until Thursday, the next time he'll probably speak to reporters. However, Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it wouldn't shock him to see Rodriguez try and pitch Wednesday. No kidding, with that pain threshold.
- Big League Stew1 day ago
"He who gambles lives in a shambles" — famous bettor
People who gamble figure it's time for Los Angeles Angels slugger Mike Trout to win AL MVP after he finished as runner-up in the voting the past two seasons to Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers. This time, they say, Cabrera will be the bridesmaid.
Wagerers also figure that Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates will win the NL MVP again, with Joey Votto of the Reds finishing second and Paul Goldschmidt, McCutchen's runner-up in 2013, finishing third.
Bovada.lv released its MVP odds for both leagues Wednesday, along with some fun proposition bets. For the AL, Trout is listed at 5 to 1, with Cabrera 6 to 1 and Jacoby Ellsbury and Albert Pujols (interesting!) at 12 to 1. On the NL side, McCutchen is 6 to 1, with Votto a second choice at 7 to 1 and Goldschmidt 9 to 1.
- Big League Stew1 day ago
The emotions right-hander Kris Medlen must be feeling are hard to fathom. He had come so far after undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in August 2010. All of the rehab for 12 months. All of the training to get his strength back, and all of the repetitions on the mound to get himself right again as a pitcher. The stint in the bullpen until the Atlanta Braves thought it safe for him to join the starting rotation in July 2012. The 2.47 ERA he posted in 43 starts, establishing himself as one of the better pitchers in the National League in that span.
He must to do it all over again at age 28.
Medlen is preparing himself to have Tommy John surgery again after an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The sight of Medlen clutching his arm in the fourth inning Sunday was awful, but it was just the start.LiveAtlanta0 - 4St. LouisFollow Game
- Big League Stew1 day ago
Until replay officials overturned a call made by Chad Whitson on Tuesday afternoon, umpires had been perfect this spring in Major League Baseball. Not literally perfect — in fact, there have been plenty of complaints — but none of their calls had been overturned by video review.
Make it 1 for 21 after manager Lloyd McClendon of the Seattle Mariners made the first successful challenge of a replay call since MLB instituted an expanded review system.
- Big League Stew1 day ago
It's a good thing for the Atlanta Braves that right-hander Ervin Santana had such a hard time in free agency this winter. If he hadn't still been on the market nearly four weeks into spring training, who knows what the Braves would have done, or could have done, to patch the holes in their starting rotation?
The Braves signed Santana on Wednesday morning to a one-year deal for $14.1 million. Santana, who had previously fired his agent, had been mulling similar offers from the Orioles and Blue Jays after abandoning hopes to sign a multiyear deal for at least $100 million when the free-agency period began. By remaining patient enough, Santana has landed in the perfect spot for him — at least for 2014.
As quoted by reporter David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Braves general manager Frank Wren said it was "an incredible decision" by team execs to make such a costly decision.