- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The story of Jaheim Benton and his return from the Little League World Series without a place to truly call home has opened some eyes and certainly tugged on a few heartstrings. So much so, there are already reports of people reaching out to his family to help cover their expenses so they reunite under one roof.
According to ABC 7, one Chicago business owner has gone as far as to offer paying one full year of rent for Benton's family as they attempt to get back on their feet.
Spencer Leak, Jr., from Leak and Sons Funeral Home in Chatham, was moved by Jaheim's story. The Leak family made a generous gift on Friday: a year's worth of rent for the Little Leaguer's family.
"I would hope that this rent turns into a mortgage that turns into home ownership for them," said Leak Jr. "We want our little superstar to have a roof over his head because that's what he is. He's a superstar."
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals are cooling off this weekend and the Detroit Tigers have taken advantage so far, taking two of their first three games against the Chicago White Sox. On Saturday, Detroit split a day-night doubleheader with Chicago, losing the opener 6-3 after striking out 13 times against Chris Sale, before rebounding to win the nightcap 8-4.
Making his major league debut, 23-year-old right-hander Kyle Ryan tossed six scoreless innings for Detroit. Meanwhile, his offense jumped on debuting White Sox hurler Chris Bassitt for five runs in the first four innings. Ian Kinsler did most of the damage, singling home one run in the third and two more in the fourth. He finished with three hits.Sun, Aug 3111:10 AM PDTDetroit at Chi White SoxPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
With the deadline for postseason eligibility coming up on Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles have announced the 11th-hour acquisition of outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox to help fill out their bench for the September stretch and their potential postseason run.
To explain the significance of adding De Aza before that deadline, all 30 MLB teams have a deadline of August 31 to have an added player be playoff-eligible. On September 1, roster’s can expand from 25 player’s to 40, but any player added to the roster after August 31 isn’t eligible for the postseason roster.
It's one of those baseball rules that tends to fly under-the-radar, but it creates a sense of urgency for general managers who might need to fill a hole that opens up post non-waiver trade deadline.
De Aza, 30, is hitting only .246/.312/.358 across the board in 435 plate appearances this season. He's also collected five home runs to go along with 31 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. In other words, he's not a difference-making hitter, but that's not a need for the Orioles anyway.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
We take a break from your regularly scheduled baseball blogging to bring you the happiest and most exuberant Chicago White Sox fan on Planet Earth.
We don't know who he is or where he's from, but we do know he's happy to be at U.S. Cellular Field on a Saturday afternoon.
Also, dancing seems to be pretty high on his list of favorite things in life, and with moves like his, who can blame him?
Check out his dance exhibition as the Comcast SportsNet Chicago camera spotted him just prior to the seventh inning. He certainly caught the attention of broadcasters Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with what appears to be his variation of 'The Robot.' There are a few other moves mixed in there that are a little more difficult to identify. Perhaps he's into disco as well? Or maybe they are his own creation.
Either way, we applaud the performance, but we'd still give the edge to the young Dodgers fan, who earlier this month broke it down at Dodger Stadium and received a little play-by-play from Vin Scully.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Atlanta Braves left-hander Jonny Venters was 15 months removed from his second Tommy John surgery when he felt like his rehab was hitting a wall last week. Unable to elevate his pitches beyond 80 mph, Venters visited Dr. James Andrews for a recheck on Thursday, and the news had to feel like a punch to the gut.
The results of an MRI revealed that Venters had suffered a third tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, meaning the 29-year-old reliever will require a third Tommy John surgery in order to continue his career.
"I think [Dr. Andrews] was surprised that it failed so early," Venters said. "It wasn't like I was throwing in games or anything like that. I think it was one of those things that it was going to fail no matter what. I think we did everything right with the training staff and my therapy and throwing program. I think we did everything for it to succeed. I just think it was one of those things where it was going to fail no matter what."Sun, Aug 312:10 PM PDTMiami at AtlantaPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Oakland A's center fielder Coco Crisp has never been afraid to sell out or risk bodily harm in order to make a difference making play in the field. With that in mind, and with the stakes undeniably higher this weekend during their series against the Los Angeles Angels, it should come as no surprise that Crisp was willing to crash and burn in hopes of bringing back a home run ball off the bat of Chris Iannetta.
The incredible effort nearly paid off, too. Crisp actually had the ball in his glove momentarily. However, the jolt from crashing into the wall knocked the ball loose, allowing it to harmlessly fall over the fence for a two-run homer that opened the scoring in the Angels eventual 4-0 win.Sun, Aug 3112:35 PM PDTOakland at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took the term "defensive shift" to a new level on Friday night, successfully debuting an alignment we can honestly never recall seeing before.
With the game tied in the 12th inning, San Diego loaded the bases against Dodgers reliever Kevin Correia with one out, setting the stage for left-handed swinging Seth Smith to be the hero. Because Smith tends to pull the ball , the Dodgers usually put on a standard shift with an extra infielder taking up shop in short right field during his plate appearances. In this case, though, Mattingly decided to tighten things up even more with the winning run 90 feet from home plate.
Center fielder Andre Ethier was called in to the infield, which again is not all that unusual. Five man infields are used frequently in game-ending situations such as this one, because even a medium fly ball stands a good chance to score the winning run. It's a percentage play, with the extra infielder giving the defense a better chance to prevent the run.
What was unusual here is how the extra infielder was used and how the defense was ultimately aligned.Sun, Aug 311:10 PM PDTLA Dodgers at San DiegoPreview Game
After being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow in July, New York Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka has been rehabbing diligently in hopes that he'll not only avoid Tommy John surgery, but return and contribute to New York's rotation's again during the 2014 season.
Until Friday, anyway, the news had been surprisingly encouraging. Tanaka had passed several important tests, including most recently throwing a 49-pitch simulated game on Thursday, which seemingly put him on track for a September return.
However, the news on Friday was a little less encouraging for the Yankees new ace.
Tanaka is experiencing general arm soreness. He will return to NY to do some strengthening exercises. No appointments scheduled with doctors
Tanaka said the pain is "throughout the arm" and isn't specifically in elbow. Said that he wasn't worried.
Tanaka isn't worried, but manager Joe Girardi certainly has his concerns.
If you thought Buster Posey was hot coming out of the Colorado series (six hits, three home runs, including a walkoff), he's positively scorching now after going 5 for 5 in San Francisco's 13-2 blowout victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Posey singled and scored on a wild pitch in the first. In the second, he singled home pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. In the fourth, he reached on an infield single and scored. In the fifth, he tripled home two runs. And in the sixth, he singled again. That's five hits in just six innings as the Giants offense as a whole battered around Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta and long reliever Marco Estrada.
At that point, the only thing left to wonder was whether or not Posey would collect a six-pack of hits. That opportunity never came, however, as Bruce Bochy elected to rest his former MVP with a sizable lead.
''It would have been nice for him to go for six, but the rest was more important,'' Bochy said.
There was no argument from Posey on that.
After homering in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday in Cincinnati, Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler followed up with two hits in the series finale on Thursday, and on Friday he stole the show at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, connecting on a pair of monstrous late-inning home runs to lead Chicago to an impressive 7-2 victory.
With Chicago trailing by a run in the seventh inning, Soler calmly stepped in against Cardinals starter Shelby Miller and viciously unloaded on his first-pitch 94-mph, sending it beyond the center field wall for a game-tying home run. The connection made one of those sweet bat-meeting-baseball sounds we all close our eyes and dream about, and given the immense power Soler already possesses at just 22 years old, once he hit it, it stayed hit for a long time.
Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay actually thought he had a shot to scale the wall and bring it back. Clearly, he underestimated the power of Soler, because there was no chance.Sun, Aug 3111:15 AM PDTChi Cubs at St. LouisPreview Game