- David Brown at Big League Stew30 mins ago
The Stew dedicates itself to chronicling baseball's growing (get it?) beard population. We continue our new series — Beard Watch '14 — featuring former members of the New York Yankees.
The Wall Street Journal did the legwork for this report, which updates everyone on what some prominent former New York Yankees are doing with their faces on their new teams. The Yankees have had a longstanding team policy that allowed trimmed mustaches, but not beards — not even the beginnings of beards.
What did the WSJ find? That since the 2009 season, 62 percent of the players who left the Yankees from the season before had sprouted new facial hair, at some point, with their new team. Follow them to freedom!
- David Brown at Big League Stew58 mins ago
He came off as indifferent about eye black in a recent Q&A, but Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper still digs the stuff, even if he doesn't paint himself like the Ultimate Warrior anymore. To that end, fans soon will be able to buy Warriorblack, "the official antiglare product of Bryce Harper."
What's different about this eye black than other eye blacks already on the market? Well, most eye black grease consists of beeswax, paraffin and carbon — plus a hint of attitude. Or, in this case, Natitude. Have the guys at Mythbusters proven if it really works to blunt the glare from your cheeks? Or is it just some kind of modern war paint, all for show? Either way, eye black has become a permanent part of any gritty ballplayer's uniform. Harper might not copyright "Clown Question," but he's going to have a piece of the eye black market, doggone it.
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Cowabunga, dudes! Do you like baseball? Do you like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well, then you're going to love what the Fresno Grizzlies, the Class AAA minor-league team of the San Francisco Giants, are doing Aug. 2, when their players will wear TMNT jerseys to be auctioned after their ballgame.
Fresno's Twitter account says all four caps will be available at the team's store this summer, and a fan vote will determine which jersey the club will wear for the game. As they look now in cartoon form, the Turtle unis all look like jammies for a toddler — not that there's anything wrong with that.
And Turtles do know how to ball:
The Toledo Mud Hens set the standard earlier this year when they announced their intention to wear "Ghostbusters"-themed unis this season.
What else should teams do for uniforms with an '80s theme?
• Cosby Sweaters
• Duran Duran
• Super Mario Brothers
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Barry Bonds arrived at the San Francisco Giants' camp at Scottsdale, Ariz., Monday morning for a scheduled weeklong stay to be a special instructor with his old team. It's the first time since 2007, his last season in the majors, that Bonds has worn a Giants uniform. He looks slimmer — but he has in recent history, no doubt in part because of his serious biking habit — and, somehow younger than in '07. Bonds invited every player on the roster to "pick my brain" while they had a chance, because he's not sure if coaching is for him.
He also answered questions about the Hall of Fame, saying he "without a doubt" should be in Cooperstown, but he had nothing to say to the voters who decided not to cast ballots for himself and other players tied to performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds, the all-time home run leader, got 34.7 percent of the most recent vote.
"You guys are all adults, I have no advice for you," Bonds told reporters.
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Baseball's back! Check in periodically for news you can use from around spring training.
IKE TAKES A HIKE WEARING BOOT: Sidelined with a calf strain that has prevented him from playing for at least a week, New York Mets slugger Ike Davis has been fitted with a walking boot on his right foot. Davis has not gotten an MRI yet, ESPN New York reports, but he expects to soon. Davis also says he expects to be ready for opening day in three weeks. If he's not Lucas Duda and Josh Satin probably will platoon at first base. Duda, though, is nursing a hamstring injury and won't return to the lineup until the weekend at the soonest, reports Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. And the Twitter says John Olerud is available.LiveMiami9 - 1NY MetsFollow Game
- Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Juan Uribe can tell that something is off, it appears, when he sits down at his locker at Camelback Ranch. Otherwise, all is quiet for the next few moments inside of the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse until...
"Boo!" goes the locker monster. All Uribe can do is let the shock wear off and walk away.
Hanley Ramirez was so effective in revealing himself, he startled the camera man — who even had the advantage of knowing the prank was coming. Everyone has a good laugh. It's an old prank, but a good one when pulled off, and Ramirez did it just right.
First the Dodgers make Australia happy by announcing that Clayton Kershaw will be starting opening day down in Sydney, and then they warm the hearts of the America's Funniest Home Video crowd by scaring the bejeezus out of Juan Uribe. The Dodgers are having a good day.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Big BLS H/N: MLB Fan Cave
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- Big League Stew2 days ago
The wall is not your enemy, Brad Penny.
Penny reportedly punched a wall and injured his non-throwing hand after having what was described as a "dismal" outing Thursday for the Kansas City Royals in Cactus League play. The club released Penny, a right-hander who has not pitched in the majors since 2012, on Friday.
Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reported that "a person with knowledge of the situation" said that Penny hurt himself in anger after allowing four runs in two innings against the White Sox. That could do it! Have you seen their lineup? Anyway.
Penny made a denial via Twitter to reporter Jerry Crasnick of ESPN:
- Big League Stew2 days ago
The New York Daily News and other outlets report that Carmen Berra, the wife of New York Yankees' Hall of Famer Yogi Berra for the past 65 years, has died from complications after a stroke. She was 85. Together the Berras raised three sons (including Dale Berra, who also played in the majors) and they have 11 grandchildren. Yogi turns 89 on May 12.
The story indicates that Yogi, who also frequents spring training as an instructor for his old team, was able to spend some time with Carmen on Thursday before she died. It's hard to imagine losing someone you've known, and to whom you've been so close, for all of that time. The official Yankees statement, shortly but sweetly given by Hal Steinbrenner, reflects that conundrum.
- Big League Stew3 days ago
Photobombing and videobombing are trendy, but the actions almost always will be funny. At some point, maybe during a somber interview about a dead person, it won't be appropriate. But during a baseball interview, sometimes it's necessary to move the action along. Nothing against San Diego Padres slugger Seth Smith, but whatever he must have been discussing could not have been as interesting as what teammate Yasmani Grandal did behind him.
With Smith caught completely unaware, Grandal walked up behind him and took a round of imaginary batting practice. After taking a swing, Grandal dropped to a knee and, like he was shooting skeet, aimed and fired and invisible shell at the non-existant baseball. He then turned and dropped his ghost bat and walked away. Like he sleepwalked the entire thing.
Watching it on Deadspin (unless Smith collects Yahoo mail!) is probably the first time he even realized what happened. Yes, the Padres might be a surprise team to watch in 2014.
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- Big League Stew3 days ago
The Miami Marlins aren't the first club to grumble about an opponent sending a lineup of reserve players to a road game in the Grapefruit League. There's a rule — it might just be an "understanding" — that any spring lineup for a game that counts in the standings should have at least four major league players in it and they need to play at least three full innings. So the fans, who pay the money for tickets, actually get to see some major leaguers in preseason action. And so the home team, which might have nine or 10 major leaguers in its lineup, plus more in reserve, can practice against like talent.
Sometimes the visiting team abides by this policy, and sometimes it doesn't. And it's not often you see an apology from a team for sending players with low "Q" ratings — but the Boston Red Sox did, after the Marlins let everyone know how unhappy they were with the quality of their opponent Thursday.