Ian Denomme

  • Dodgers fans to remain in the dark as TV deal reportedly falls through

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It appears the 70 percent of Los Angeles natives who don’t get to watch their Dodgers on television will have to continue to wait. According to the Orange County Register, a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable is collapsing.

    Time Warner owns and distributes SportsNetLA, which carries Dodgers games in the local market. But the other major television providers don’t carry the station, leaving Dodgers fans without access to the games. More from the Register:

    “TWC and the Dodgers agreed to a 25-year, $8.35 billion deal in January 2013 and launched SNLA in February of last year – with Time Warner as the only major distributor. Time Warner is the largest provider in the L.A. market, but represents only about 30 percent of cable and satellite customers. All the other major players, including No. 2 provider DirecTV, balked at the monthly asking price for the new regional sports network – reported to be between $3.84 and $5 per subscriber.”

    It has to be a real drag because the Dodgers are one of the league’s most-fun-to-watch teams. What are fans missing out on?

    How about Yasiel Puig’s arm:

  • Blue Jays get a much needed pitching gem from Drew Hutchison in win over Orioles

    Ian Denomme at Eh Game 2 days ago

    The Toronto Blue Jays were waiting for a pitching performance like this. Plodding along at a respectable 8-7 heading into Thursday’s game with the Orioles, the talk in Toronto had become about how the Blue Jays’ offence was carrying the load for their under-performing pitching staff.

    Drew Hutchison silenced those critics, for at least one night.

    The 24-year-old was excellent in a 7-6 win over the Orioles, pitching eight innings, striking out seven and walking none in what was easily the best performance by a Blue Jays starting pitcher so far this season.

    “We were looking for a seven-or-eight inning start,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He gave us what we needed.”

    Hutchison cruised through the first five innings, retiring all 15 batters on just 56 pitches. His perfect game was broken up on the first pitch of sixth inning on a no-doubt-about-it home run by Manny Machado.

    “You’re just out there concentrating on one guy at a time. I wasn’t really thinking about [being perfect],” Hutchison said.

    [Still not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball]

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  • Mets win ninth in a row, and close in on club-record winning streak

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    No doubt, the early surprise of the 2015 is the first-place New York Mets. After winning their ninth game in a row Tuesday night, the 11-3 Mets sit atop the National League East division and have the best record in the entire NL.

    Of course, it’s early, but the Mets look like they are for real. And a nine-game winning streak at any time of year is worth standing up and taking notice. They are two wins away from matching the franchise record for consecutive wins at 11, last accomplished in 1980. Imagine the buzz if the Mets were riding an 11-game win streak on Friday when they head up to the Bronx to face the very-average Yankees in a weekend subway series. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

    [Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness.]

    The Mets go for double-digits on Wednesday night against the Braves.

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  • Canada faces tough road in defending Pan Am Games baseball gold medal

    Ian Denomme at Eh Game 6 days ago

    A revamped format, stiff competition, and the usual roster uncertainty means Ernie Whitt has his work cut out for him this July. But Whitt, the manager of Canada’s Pan Am Games baseball team, remembers the feeling of winning gold in 2011 and is intent on feeling it again on home soil in 2015.

    “I get chills thinking about it,” Whitt said on Monday. “I remember the players running onto the field celebrating. For a lot of them, it was their World Series. It was an honour to be a part of it. I’ll never forget it.”

    The schedule for the week-long tournament, which will be held in Ajax, Ont., was released on Monday. Canada opens with a game against the Dominican Republic on July 11, faces powerful Cuba on July 14, and closes the round robin against the United States on July 17. In all, the team will play six preliminary games then the top four teams advance to the semi-finals. In years past teams played just three preliminary games within two pools of four. With only seven teams entered this year the format was changed and the road to the medal-round made that much more grueling.

    Playing in that kind of high-stakes atmosphere is something Whitt considers when building his team.

  • Bryan Stow takes big step in recovery, throws out first pitch at minor-league game

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was nearly beaten to death four years ago outside Dodger Stadium, took another big step in his inspirational road to recovery on Thursday night.

    Stow attended the home opener of the Class-A San Jose Giants and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Jimmy Durkin of the San Jose Mercury News described the scene at Municipal Stadium:

    Welcome to Opening Night for the @SJGiants. Big moment tonight as Bryan Stow will throw out the first pitch. pic.twitter.com/qehIjkq4uD

    Bryan Stow waves to fans as he's wheeled onto the field. http://t.co/dD0hts9PdB

    Stow was accompanied by his sister and two children for the event, and said he will attend the Giants-Dodgers game in San Francisco next week. More from Durkin:

    "A lot was going through my brain," Stow said. "I would love to do it again. When do they play again? Tomorrow? I can be here tomorrow."

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  • Rogers Centre’s new turf has the attention of Major League Baseball

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 10 days ago

    It’s only been three games, but already there are concerns about the new artificial turf at the Rogers Centre, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays. In the 26 years since its opening, the Rogers Centre, neé SkyDome, has gone through five different kinds of turf – from the original AstroTurf that looked like a billiards table to the new AstroTurf 3D Xtreme, which was installed this past offseason.

    But the early returns have not been overly positive. The new turf looks a little bit more like real grass, but it is noticeably softer, is slowing down ground balls, and has seen some unpredictable bounces. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, Major League Baseball is keeping an eye on it.

    #MLB is actively monitoring the turf situation at Rogers Centre due to irregular bounces on the surface, source says.

    #MLB has not arrived at any conclusions or resolutions about Rogers Centre turf, but league concerned about anything affecting fair play.

    It’s hard to say just how much slower the ball rolls on the new turf, but it has the attention of players, as well as the league.

  • Robinson Cano has costly, embarrassing baserunning blunder

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 10 days ago

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    By all accounts, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano appears to be a smart player with a high baseball IQ. Unfortunately for the struggling Mariners, that IQ briefly eluded Cano on Wednesday night.

    Trailing 5-2 in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mariners were threatening with Cano on third, Nelson Cruz on second and just one out. Logan Morrison then worked a walk off Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez when Cano inexplicably started casually jogging toward home. The great Vin Scully aptly described the scene above.

    The only explanation is that Cano thought the bases were already loaded and he’d just been walked in. The baserunning blunder proved costly, too. Instead of having the bases loaded with one out and the go-ahead run coming to the plate, the Mariners instead had runners on first and second with two out. The next batter was Mike Zunino, who promptly grounded into a fielder’s choice.

    The Dodgers held on for a 5-2 win and completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners, who fell to 3-6.

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  • Dickey, Blue Jays lose another home opener

    Ian Denomme at Eh Game 12 days ago

    TORONTO – The third time was not the charm for R.A. Dickey and the Toronto Blue Jays. Dickey lost his third consecutive home opener, the Blue Jays’ fourth overall, falling 2-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays in a dull game on Monday night.

    Dickey’s command of his knuckleball was fleeting as he struck out six over six innings but also hit a batter and walked five more, including walking in both runs with the bases loaded. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays offence had no answer for Rays starter Jake Odorizzi who pitched a gem going eight innings with just one run on two hits.

    The Rays did all their damage in the fourth when Dickey gave up two singles and walked three batters.

    “I lost my release point a little bit in the fourth, and they did a really good job of laying off some close pitches,” Dickey said. “I didn’t make the big pitch when I had to… I hold myself responsible.”

    The Blue Jays threatened to rally in the ninth when Jose Bautista led off with a walk. But then he inexplicably took off for second just as Edwin Encarnacion was striking out. The double play snuffed out any hope of a comeback.

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  • Brewers minor-league team sets off on 55-game road trip

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 16 days ago

    Johnny Cash has got nothing on the Biloxi Shuckers. The Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brwers is about to embark on a 55-game road trip through the Southern League, and by the end of it each of the players will be able to confidently say “I’ve Been Everywhere.”

    Road trips are a part of life in the minor leagues but the first-year team is being forced to take to the road for 60 days because their brand new stadium is not done being built. Even the proposed June 6 home opener is not a sure thing.

    The franchise moved from Huntsville to Biloxi in the offseason, lured partly by the promise of a $36 million stadium. It is expected to a beautiful facility -- eventually.

    Due to various issues, including construction delays, it probably won't be ready for two more months.

    In the meantime, there will be a lot of bus rides, hotels and trips to Applebee's. The expected toll: 60 straight nights in a hotel, 55 games, nine different cities and some frayed nerves.

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  • Albert Pujols joins elite company on home run list; how high can he go?

    Ian Denomme at Big League Stew 17 days ago

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    When he blasted his first homer of the season on Wednesday night, Albert Pujols climbed another rung on the all-time home run list and joined some pretty elite company. Home run No. 521 moved him into a tie for 18 th place, along with Hall of Famers Willie McCovey, Frank Thomas and Ted Williams. Not bad for a former 13th-round draft pick.

    Up next on the list are Jimmie Foxx and Mickey Mantle, both of whom Pujols could pass this year. Though Pujols’ numbers have declined slightly since joining the Angles on a 10-year deal in 2012, he still has a very good chance to be among the elite home-run hitters of all-time. Count on Pujols becoming the ninth member of the 600 home-run club some day.

    “The first run through the Favorite Toy gave Pujols an average of 26.7 homers per season over the remainder of his career. So let's use that figure -- 27 -- to build outward and try to get the system to peg his likely retirement date of post-2021.

    ...

    Under those parameters, the Favorite Toy projects Pujols for 699 career homers and gives him a 49 percent chance of reaching 700.”