- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes. Halloween fever was everywhere on Friday. Even Salt River Field, where the Scottsdale Scorpions and Salt River Rafters were preparing to square off in an Arizona Fall League game.
Hours before the game's first pitch, cameras caught several players taking the field in costume, not uniform, for their warm up routine. It turned the usually well-coordinated, yet mundane practice into something all together bizarre, yet infinitely more enjoyable for the players.
All of your favorite superheroes were represented. Superman, Batman, whose glove work is second to none, and even Robin. There was also a banana, a cowboy, a farmer, and, of course, an overgrown baby. Any team in costume has to have one of those.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
To commemorate Madison Bumgarner's historic postseason, the folks at Jockey — yes, the underwear company — created a very limited supply of "Mad Bum" inspired apparel that was given away to 2,000 lucky fans at Friday's championship celebration.
Eat your heart out, Jim Palmer. Madison Bumgarner has his own line of Jockey underwear.
Although you can already hear the cash registers cha-chinging in and around the Bay Area, the "Mad Bum" underwear will not be available for sale. It's a one-time batch, according to Dustin Cohn, CMO of Jockey International, which makes each of the 2,000 pair handed out a collector's item.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
The dark clouds hovering over the San Francisco Giants championship celebration on Friday afternoon weren't just there to rain on their parade. They were also there to represent the biggest dilemma facing club CEO Larry Baer and general manager Brian Sabean during the offseason: Pablo Sandoval's free agency.
Sandoval will officially file for free agency on Monday, leaving open the possibility that San Francisco's three-time postseason hero and cornerstone third baseman will be wearing a new uniform in 2015.
Sandoval, 28, reportedly rejected a three-year, $40 million offer back in spring training. According to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, at that point he'd hoped to begin negotiations around five years and $90 million, which is the deal Hunter Pence received from San Francisco. But nothing ever came of those discussions. It was somewhat of a gamble on his own abilities, but it looks like it will pay off nicely following his latest postseason explosion. Now, it's just a matter of who will be willing to meet or exceed his asking price.
The San Francisco Giants are back on top of the mountain in Major League Baseball. With a 3-2 victory against the Kansas City Royals in World Series Game 7, they earned their third World Series championship in five seasons and their eighth in franchise history.
For the Giants, it was their toughest postseason road during this recent stretch of success. As the National League's second wild-card team, they had to go through the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road just to make the NLDS. Once in the tournament, they eliminated the NL's top two seeds, the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals, before running into baseball's hottest team and best story, the Kansas City Royals, in the World Series.
The Giants won eight of nine World Series games in 2010 and 2012 but were pushed to the limit by this resilient Royals squad. In fact, if not for a remarkable and gutty Series performance by Madison Bumgarner, it's possible the championship flag would be flying in Kansas City for the first time since 1985.
The San Francisco Giants clinched their third World Series championship in five yearswith a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7.
The winner-take-all battle was every bit as dramatic as one would anticipate from these two teams. The Giants weren't intimidated by the moment or the raucous crowd at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals proved resilient again, battling until the final out with the tying run at third, but fell short of winning their first championship since 1985.
The game also played out as expected from a strategic standpoint. Both managers wasted little time pulling struggling starting pitchers, and both were willing to exhaust their best available options. In the end, San Francisco emerged thanks in large part to the five-inning relief outing from World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.
[Yahoo Sports Shop: Buy San Francisco Giants title merchandise]
Royals minor leaguer critical of Yordano Ventura wearing Dominican flag following Game 6, later apologizes
So much for organizational camaraderie or human compassion.
After Yordano Ventura's gem of a pitching performance in World Series Game 6, which the Kansas City Royals won 10-0 to force a decisive Game 7 on Wednesday, a Royals minor leaguer named Zeb Sneed took to Twitter to criticize Ventura for wearing and displaying the Dominican flag over his back during postgame interviews.
As most of the viewers were aware, Ventura dedicated his Game 6 performance to Oscar Taveras, who was killed along with his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, in an automobile crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. Taveras, 22, was a blooming star out of the Dominican just like Ventura.
It seemed inevitable the moment we knew the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals would meet in the World Series. Now it's a reality. With the Royals' 10-0 victory in Game 6, one of the most exciting single games possible in sports is set up for Wednesday night in Kansas City: Game 7 of the World Series.
It has been a rare event recently. This will be the first World Series Game 7 since 2011, and only the second since 2002. Yet it felt inevitable because the two teams involved were playing so well coming in. The Giants entered winners of nine straight postseason series dating back to 2010, including this season's NL wild-card game. The Royals set an MLB record winning their first eight postseason games, sweeping through the AL wild-card game, ALDS and ALCS.
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Kauffman Stadium was so loud during the second inning of World Series Game 6, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants could barely hear themselves think on the field, let alone hear calls and orders barked out by the umpires.
That led to some confusion and an unusual scene playing out as Eric Hosmer actually took a swing at a pitch after asking for and being granted timeout at home plate. He made solid contact, too, driving what would have been a run-scoring single to center field.
Here's how it played out.
With four Royals runs already scored in the inning and Giants starter Jake Peavy recently knocked out of the game, the crowd was at a fever pitch as Hosmer stepped in with runners at first and third and one out against reliever Yusmeiro Petit. Another hit there, and the fans sensed Game 6 would already be put safely out of reach. The players sensed it, too, which is why there was laser sharp focus at the plate.
As thousands gathered in the Dominican Republic for the funeral services of Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident on Sunday along with his girlfriend Edilia Arvelo, the St. Louis Cardinals paid a very special tribute to their fallen player on Tuesday.
The lone light shines in right field, a position Taveras played in 62 games during the 2014 season and was expected to compete for in spring training. Recognized as the No. 3 prospect in MLB by Baseball America, it was viewed as only a matter of time before Taveras grabbed the position full time. And once seized, he was expected to be there for many years while wearing a Cardinals uniform.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 days ago
After news broke that St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic on Sunday, a stunned baseball community immediately reached out via social media to pay its respects and express its sadness.
Among the many were Taveras' Cardinal teammates, who just 10 days ago were battling alongside him against the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
So sad to hear about Oscar. My prayers go out to his family. In complete shock.. So sad.. Life isn't fair
Absolute Tragedy.. My prayers go out to Oscar Taveras family.
Wow! My heart truly hurts to hear the passing of Oscar! I've played with him every year and we truly lost a great person! #RIPOscarTaveras
Last 30 minutes I've been sick to my stomach. Keep thinking about Oscar's big smile in the dugout whenever we made a big play/got a big hit
Oscar was the last teammate I saw in St. L.