Cubs wear Jackie Robinson West-themed batting practice jerseys as Little Leaguers visit Wrigley FieldDavid Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
It's not often a champion graces the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team visited the Chicago Cubs on Monday and the major league team honored its guests by wearing batting practice jerseys themed after JRW's own uniforms. Anthony Rizzo and Edwin Jackson showed the U.S. champion around the clubhouse, dugout and field. The kids also will throw a ceremonial first pitch (which should be massive) and sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the Seventh Inning Stretch.
Here are more scenes from JRW's visit to Wrigley:
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
So, there must have been friction in the Houston Astros organization between upper management and field management after all. The Astros announced Monday morning that manager Bo Porter has been fired. Coach Dave Trembley also has been canned, and coach Tom Lawless has been assigned the interim manager tag.
Reporter Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle beat the beat to the punch in announcing the move, adding this statement via Twitter by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow:
Luhnow in statement: "I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse."Tue, Sep 25:10 PM PDTLA Angels at HoustonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
What exactly is a "cry baby face"? We can only guess after the Oakland Athletics charged umpire Gerry Davis with making one at them in the midst of their most frustrating point of the 2014 season.
A's pitcher Scott Kazmir says Davis was reprimanded by Major League Baseball for being unprofessional during Oakland's loss Saturday night to the Los Angeles Angels, the third leg of a four-game series sweep. More damning than making faces, Kazmir questioned whether Davis being called out by his superiors affected how he called balls and strikes Sunday afternoon.
Kazmir walked four men in the second inning, two with the bases loaded.
Kazmir questioned home-plate umpire Gerry Davis’ professionalism after the game; and he and other A’s players said that Davis, the crew chief, had made “cry-baby faces” at Oakland’s dugout the night before and had been reprimanded for doing so.LiveSeattle1 - 6OaklandFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Dustin Ackley's figurative hand — one home run and four RBIs — beat Bryce Harper's two solo home runs — and led the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Mariners avoided a three-game sweep at Safeco as a result, and also brought themselves within a half-game of the American League's second wild card spot.
Ackley struggled mightily for two seasons after being the second overall pick in 2009 and breaking into the majors with a strong rookie campaign in 2011. He's batting .260 with a .721 on-base plus slugging in 2014, a step up over his recent past.
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''He was the best college hitter in the (2009) draft,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Ackley. ''Sometimes it just takes time.''
The Mariners had lost three in a row. They also had been 0-11 against the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington for the 2005 season.
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
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Manager Bob Melvin verbally unloaded on his team Sunday — at least for Bob Melvin, it was unloading — after the Oakland Athletics were swept in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics fell 8-1 in the series finale, putting them five games back of the Angels in the American League West. Oakland didn't score in 29 straight innings over the course of four games, from the sixth inning Thursday until the eighth inning Sunday, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Other than that, skipper, how did you enjoy Angel Stadium?
"What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don't play like that. The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in... I can't remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.”
- David Brown at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Masahiro Tanaka says he needs to do more cardio work in order to get into pitching shape. Manager Joe Girardi says that wasn't going to happen in Toronto, where the workout facilities for visitors at Rogers Centre aren't up to New York Yankees standards. No, it's not that all of the weights identify in metric amounts. The Yankees have played at Toronto enough to know they need to carry calculators with them at all times.
Without trying to start an international incident or anything, Girardi told reporters in Canada on Sunday that the ballpark's new weight room for away teams is too small and doesn't have "the modalities" Tanaka needs to rehab the partially torn elbow ligament that has kept him out of action since July 8. The facilities were so inadequate, the Yankees felt they had to send Tanaka back to New York to continue his rehab.
Girardi was clearly frustrated when asked by media about the move before Sunday's game.
Now that the Little League World Series is over for Jackie Robinson West, and the players have been welcomed home to Chicago with the city throwing them a parade and a rally, it's back to real life.
The return to normalcy will be tougher for some players than others.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday that the family of one Jackie Robinson Little Leaguer, 12-year-old Jaheim Benton, is homeless. Benton lives with his father, Frank Jackson, and they sleep in the "homes of friends and family, one step away from the shelters and the streets."
The Chicago White Sox need more starting pitching, improved relief pitching and a better defense in order to get into a winning habit in 2015.
Do they also need more prayer, and perhaps even some divine intervention? Not necessarily. But it might not hurt to bring more nuns to U.S. Cellular Field.
Take these nuns, for example. They were pulling for the White Sox to rally against the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night, and Adam Dunn obliged by hitting an RBI single in the eighth inning. Most amusingly (because they're nuns!), the women high fived nearby fans — and each other — after Dunn's bloop brought the White Sox within a run.
Dunn's nuns! Holy cow, you did it!
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Sadly for the church ladies, the Indians stopped the rally from there and won 3-2.
Baltimore Orioles star Adam Jones says he was joking when he told fans at the team's social media function Thursday that his favorite place in Baltimore was the "airport" so he could fly home.
Answer Man: Darren O'Day talks middle relief, sidearming submariners, self-balancing unicycles, pretending to be Irish and plastic surgeryDavid Brown at Big League Stew4 days ago
Informed baseball observers understand that sidearm or submarine pitchers are cooler than ones who throw overhand. Right-hander Darren O'Day of the Baltimore Orioles exemplifies this truth.
A profile written by Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun in 2013 gets at the heart of what makes O'Day cool. O'Day is not Irish; His family name used to be Odachowski. His wife is a reporter for Fox News in D.C. O'Day honed his skills pitching in a beer league after enrolling at Florida for the academics and not baseball, but made the team after developing a sidearm delivery. And he loves gizmos, particularly the Solowheel, a self-balancing electric unicycle — like a Segway, but with no handles.
In an Answer Man session staged at the visitor's dugout at Wrigley Field on Sunday, O'Day expands on his life and interests, his career as one of the top relievers in the game who doesn't get saves and what it's like to be a sidewinder in an overhand world.