Mike Oz

  • Dee Gordon hits leadoff homer in tribute to Jose Fernandez, breaks down in tears

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    Of all the tributes we’ve seen to Jose Fernandez over the past two days, the best one came from Miami Marlins teammate Dee Gordon, bat in hand, blasting an unlikely home run to lead off Monday’s emotionally charged game in Miami.

    It was Gordon who was seen kneeling in grief in front of the No. 16 the Marlins painted on the field Sunday, in an image shared all around the internet. It was Gordon who before Monday’s game was wearing a custom made T-shirt honoring Fernandez and “JDF16 4EVER” scrawled across his baseball cap.

    And it was Gordon — without a homer all season — who came up and knocked the third pitch he saw from the New York Mets’ Bartolo Colon over the fence. If you need any more proof that Fernandez was on Gordon’s mind, he started his at-bat from the right side of the plate, like Fernandez, then switched to hitting lefty after the first pitch.

    It was more subdued than normal, of course, but TV cameras caught Stanton telling his teammates: “We’re going to find a way to do this.”

  • Jose Fernandez's No. 16 will be retired by the Marlins

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Every Miami Marlins player will wear No. 16 in honor of Jose Fernandez on Monday night. And then no one else will, ever again.

    Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria told reporters Monday before the Marlins’ game with the New York Mets that the club would be retiring Fernandez’s number:

    I asked #Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria if he's put thought into retiring No. 16. "Nobody else is wearing that number. I can tell you that."

    — James Walker (@JamesWalkerNFL) September 26, 2016

    If the Marlins go through with an official number retirement, Fernandez would be the first player from the franchise to have his number retired. Like every MLB team, they’ve retired No. 42 for Jackie Robinson.

    He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 and this season will be at least a Cy Young runner-up. He was 16-8 with a 2.58 ERA and 253 strikeouts, which is the second highest total in MLB.

  • The White Sox still need to figure out their James Shields problem

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    When the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays meet Monday night in the Windy City, let’s be honest, there aren’t too many postseason implications. Strike that, there are zero postseason implications.

    The White Sox prevented the Indians from clinching the AL Central on Sunday, and that might be their final meaningful contribution to the 2016 season. They finish with four games against the Rays, then three against the Minnesota Twins, both whom are also mathematically eliminated from postseason play.

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    That’s not to say the White Sox don’t have things to pay attention to in these final games. There are question marks headed into 2017 and one of the big ones is on the mound Monday night.

    Shields’ entire line for 2016 looks bad: 5-18 with a 5.98 ERA. His line in Chicago looks even worse: 3-8 with a 7.11 ERA. Yep, that ERA will inspire a big gulp.

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  • The Twins are about to hire a 33-year-old as their new president

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    When the Minnesota Twins fired general manager and executive vice president Terry Ryan in July, after more than 30 years with the club, there was little doubt that their front office was going to get younger.

    As we’re learning now, it’s going to get much, much younger.

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    Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan is reporting the Twins are about to hire 33-year-old Derek Falvey from the Cleveland Indians as their new president of baseball operations. Other industry sources are saying the same thing, but there’s been no official announcement from the Twins.

    Sources: Indians assistant GM Derek Falvey is the distinct favorite to be named new president of the Minnesota Twins. Could happen soon.

    — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 26, 2016

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  • The Marlins will all wear No. 16 to honor Jose Fernandez

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    When the Miami Marlins take the field Monday night, their first game since the death of star pitcher Jose Fernandez, they’ll have his No. 16 with them.

    That’s because the Marlins have coordinated a team-wide tribute to Fernandez for their game against the New York Mets  — they’ll all wear his No. 16 jersey. That’s according to Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald. That tribute is, in a word, perfect.

    The team gathered Sunday after the news of Fernandez’s death, at the all-too-young age of 24, shook the sports world. They mourned as a team, stood unified at a tearful team press conference and took turns remembering Fernandez in front of the No. 16 the Marlins had painted on the pitcher’s mound.

    A photo posted by Giancarlo Stanton (@giancarlo818) on Sep 25, 2016 at 10:16am PDT

  • Jose Fernandez added to list of athletes who died far too soon

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Of all the lists baseball fans thought Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez might make one day, no expected this one: athletes who died far too young.

    Fernandez, 24, was one of three people killed early Sunday morning in a boating accident in Miami. The boat he was on struck a jetty and overturned, according to authorities. All three victims were found around 3 a.m.

    It’s a tragedy that has gripped the sporting world, as Fernandez is universally regarded as one of the best pitchers in MLB. He won the Rookie of the Year in 2013 and pitched well enough to be a Cy Young candidate this year. So when people say Fernandez was one of the top talents in the game, it’s no exaggeration.

    Rare is the loss of an athlete who is as good and as young as Fernandez. So now, when we think of athletes such as Reggie Lewis, Len Bias, Sean Taylor and Hank Gathers, we’ll think of Fernandez too. It’s tragic company to be in.

    Here’s a slideshow by Yahoo Sports’ Amber Matsumoto looking at more athletes who died prematurely:

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  • Jose Fernandez's death crushed Don Mattingly and the Marlins

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The news of Jose Fernandez’s death shook the sports world on Sunday morning, but nowhere was it more crushing than at Marlins Park, where fans and teammates gathered to remember a talent taken far too soon.

    With Sunday’s game canceled, the Marlins gathered anyway. They met as a team, talked about Fernandez together, trying to process the loss together and grief together. Then, they stood united for a press conference. Players wore their jerseys, surrounding a table where manager Don Mattingly sat along with execs David Samson, Michael Hill and veteran player Martin Prado.

    They were moved to tears as they talked about Fernandez — their 24-year-old ace,who was found dead early Sunday morning after a boating accident that killed two other people. Mattingly was particularly emotional, breaking down in tears while talking about Fernandez.

    — SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 25, 2016

  • Steve Clevenger suspended by Mariners after controversial tweets

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The other shoe has dropped in the Steve Clevenger saga: The Seattle Mariners have suspended the injured catcher for the rest of the season because of racially-charged tweets about the Charlotte protests, the Black Lives Matter movement and President Obama.

    General manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement:

    “As soon as we became aware of the tweets posted by Steve yesterday we began to examine all of our options in regard to his standing on the team. Today we have informed him that he is suspended for the remainder of the season without pay.”

    Clevenger was already on the 60-day disabled list and wasn’t going to play this season anyway. This isn’t about playing time, rather they’re punishing him in his wallet. He’ll now forfeit the remainder of his $516,500 salary for this season. That comes out to about $31,900 for the final 10 games.

    Here are screenshots of his Clevenger’s tweets taken before he made his Twitter account private. The most incendiary part was Clevenger saying “everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals.”

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  • Podcast: How likable are the teams in the MLB postseason chase?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    This is The StewPod, our baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig the show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes.

    Are the Boston Red Sox likable? This week’s podcast started with that question and morphed into something else. On the StewPod, we’re assessing the likeability of each team involved in the MLB postseason chase. Basically: Are they baseball’s heels or a team to cheer for?

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    Here’s a full rundown of the show:

    [Music: “Gorgeous” by Kanye West]

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  • Video: The five MLB teams that blew it the most in 2016

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Ah yes, September. That time of the baseball season when we can obsess over magic numbers, wild-card spots, postseason rotations and who has the best odds to win the World Series. Speculating the spoils of the future is fun.

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    But I also like talking trash about the past, so on this week’s installment of Open Mike, I’m roasting the teams that blew it the most in 2016. Sidenote: One of them is actually still in the playoff hunt and I’d suggest maybe not looking at their ace).

    Keep in mind here, I’m not just talking about the teams with the worst records. Because we knew a team like the Cincinnati Reds was going to be bad. I’m talking about the teams who had opportunity in front of them or momentum to build off and punched themselves in the face instead.

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