- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew59 mins ago
With new commissioner Rob Manfred set to take over in January, a few changes in the landscape of Major League Baseball will likely soon follow. Among the first of those could be significant changes to baseball's blackout restrictions that currently affect streaming of games online and on mobile devices.
According to Maury Brown of Forbes, MLB is close to relaxing those restrictions, possibly as soon as the 2015 season, which would be a welcome change for frustrated fans who have been affected. Naturally, though, there will be a few catches involved, as was explained by CEO of MLB Advanced Media Bob Bowman.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
While the AL West leading Los Angeles Angels were opening up a key weekend series against the second place Oakland A's at O.co Coliseum, people stationed at their home ballpark, Angel Stadium in Anaheim, were dealing with issues that have unfortunately become customary in Oakland.
According to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, a three-inch pipe broke at around 2 a.m. on Friday, leading to flooding and extensive water damage throughout the ballpark. Due to the incident and the subsequent clean up efforts, Angel Stadium tours were canceled and the ballpark's team store was forced to close on Friday, but spokesman Tim Mead says the team hopes they'll be able to resume normal business on Saturday.
Mead said an upper-level pipe burst at about 2 a.m. and sprayed water for about 15 to 20 minutes before it could be shut off. The water flowed down to all levels of the ballpark and got as deep as 2-1/2 feet in one bathroom, he said.Sat, Aug 236:05 PM PDTLA Angels at OaklandPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Friday marked the seventh anniversary of the Texas Rangers putting up 30 runs in one game against the Baltimore Orioles, so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised that a team turned back the clock and lit up the scoreboard again. Then again, maybe we should be surprised, because who would have ever wagered on the Minnesota Twins scoring 20 runs in a game this season, let alone against the pitching-rich Detroit Tigers?
Not many, probably, but baseball cares nothing about odds or what's expected. Anything can happen on any given day, and on Friday Minnesota's offense went bonkers in a 20-6 victory.
Of course, the best part for fans who weren't rooting for Detroit came in the eighth inning when manager Brad Ausmus turned to shortstop Andrew Romine to provide some relief for his relief pitchers.LiveDetroit4 - 9MinnesotaFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The AL West may not be decided over the next 10 days, but the seven-game heavyweight fight scheduled between the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland A's during that time frame will be the closest thing to late September and October baseball that we can experience in August.
The opener didn't disappoint, either, as Oakland walked away with a heart-pounding 5-3 win behind an excellent effort by starter Sonny Gray and some timely hitting from unlikely sources.
Gray nearly went the distance, retiring one batter in the ninth before walking Josh Hamilton. Hamilton would end up coming around to score, leaving Gray's final line to read three runs allowed on six hits with five strikeouts. Closer Sean Doolittle allowed a pair of hits to make things interesting, but he struck out Chris Iannetta representing the go-ahead run to start the celebration at O.co Coliseum.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
So close to history, so far from a victory. That seems to be the theme of the week for starting pitchers.
One day after David Price pitched a complete game one-hitter and lost in his return to Tampa Bay, Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Minor came dangerously close to suffering the same fate in Cincinnati, but ended up settling for a no-decision in Atlanta's eventual 3-1, 12-inning victory over the Reds.
Minor was four outs away from pitching the 15th no-hitter in Braves franchise history — fourth since moving to Atlanta — when Billy Hamilton delivered a soft single to center field, just beyond the reach of shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Zack Cosart, who walked earlier in the inning and advanced on Chris Heisey's groundout, raced around third to break up the shutout and tie the score at one.
Just that fast, Minor was one hit away from being on the hook after being on the brink of history.Sat, Aug 234:10 PM PDTAtlanta at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
It won't be long before Joc Pederson, the 19th ranked prospect according to MLB.com's middle-season rankings, is living the major league life with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, it's expected he'll get his first taste this September as a role player behind the Dodgers already loaded outfield.
Obviously, this impending promotion and a likely long term future in MLB will allow Pederson to make upgrades in his life. With that in mind, before his 2014 stint with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes ends, Pederson is looking to literally give away the 1994 Buick Century he bought for $1,000 during his time there, and according to a press release on Friday, the team is going to help him out by giving fans an opportunity to win the car.Sat, Aug 236:10 PM PDTNY Mets at LA DodgersPreview Game
If it seems like Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley is losing his grip this week, it's because he actually has lost his grip this week. Twice.
First, during Monday's game against the Seattle Mariners, Utley lost his bat after fouling a pitch off, sending it helicoptering past the pitcher's mound. Then on Wednesday afternoon, Utley literally tossed his bat at a pitch from Mariners left-hander James Paxton, and this time he not only made contract, but also somehow kept it fair and turned it into an RBI.LiveSeattle7 - 3BostonFollow Game
Nick Swisher's frustrating and painful season is officially (and perhaps also mercifully) over after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on both knees Wednesday. The Cleveland Indians announced his status late Wednesday afternoon.
Nick Swisher is undergoing surgery today +Dr Neil ElAttrache performed an arthroscopic debridement in both knees. Full recovery is 8-10 wks
Swisher, 34, has been slowed by knee issues since May, leading to his least productive season in the big leagues. In 97 games, Swisher slashed .208/.278/.331, to go along with eight home runs and 42 RBIs. The average is his lowest in 11 seasons, and he was on pace to finish with fewer than 21 home runs for the first time since 2005.
The latter stat speaks to Swisher's consistency over the years, while making it clear that his bad wheels have been a major drain on his production.Sat, Aug 234:05 PM PDTHouston at ClevelandPreview Game
The reeling Detroit Tigers are starting to regain their footing at Tropicana Field, and Wednesday's exceptional outing from Rick Porcello may be the one that gets them balanced again. The 25-year-old right-hander picked up his 14th victory by tossing a three-hit, complete game shutout in the Tigers 6-0 win.
The complete game is Porcello's third of the season, which is significant for a few reasons. It's the first time a Tigers pitcher has thrown three complete game shutouts in a season since Jeff Weaver did it in 2002. It also equals the number of shutouts thrown by all other Tigers' starters dating back to Sept. 23rd, 2012. And perhaps most interesting, Porcello entered the season with zero shutouts in 149 career starts. This makes three in 24 starts this season.
'Nine shutout innings. You literally can't ask for anything more,'' said Tiger manager Brad Ausmus.
Every now and then, even the pros fail to communicate effectively on the field, leading to awkward plays and bad results for their respective teams. Such was the case in the Atlanta Braves' outfield on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, only this miscommunication is more notable than most for two big reasons.
The first: It ended up costing Atlanta an important game in the standings and snapped its five-game winning streak.
The other: It involved and nearly cost the Braves a pair of brothers, Justin and B.J. Upton.
It happened in the ninth inning after Jody Mercer singled and Andrew McCutchen popped out to start the frame. Starling Marte stepped in next and hit what seemed to be a routine fly ball to left-center field. The ball hung up in the air long enough that either defender could have caught it, even though both had to run a long distance to get there.