- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
This probably wasn't how Adam Dunn imagined things would go.
Dunn was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31 as Oakland looked to add postseason power. It was going to be the slugger's first time in the playoffs in his 14-year career. He finished the regular season with 2,001 MLB games played, the most of any active player who hadn't been to the postseason. His chance, finally, was here.Tue, Sep 30Oakland8 - 9Kansas CityGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Ned Yost escaped with his job still in tact Tuesday night, after his Kansas City Royals came back three times to beat the Oakland Athletics in the AL wild-card game.
For a while, it didn't look like Yost would be so lucky. He took out starting pitcher James Shields in the sixth inning, handing the ball to rookie flame-thrower Yordano Ventura to make his first career postseason appearance against A's slugger Brandon Moss, who had launched a two-run homer earlier in the game.
Taking out Shields was a questionable move to begin with, since he had only thrown 88 pitches. But bringing in Ventura, a starter who threw 73 pitches Sunday, was befuddling. The Royals had plenty of relievers Yost could call on, even other starters probably better suited for the moment.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics put the wild in wild card Tuesday night. At the end, Kansas City was going crazy once again, celebrating like they haven't in 29 years. The Royals won a five-hour, 12-inning game on Salvador Perez's walk-off single that went down the third-base line, just under the glove of A's third baseman Josh Donaldson.
The A's blew it three times — including a 7-3 lead in the eighth and ninth innings, and a 8-7 lead in the 12th. The Royals scored twice in the 12th to overthrow the A's and win 9-8. Now Kansas City will face the Angels in the ALDS, giving more life to their first playoff berth in 29 years.
• Salvador Perez found sweet redemption in the 12th. He was 0-5 in the game before that, including a crucial strikeout in the eighth inning that stopped a Royals rally.
• Eric Hosmer's 12th inning triple — just out of the reach of two Oakland outfielders — got the Royals going in the final inning. He eventually scored the tying run and finished the night with three hits.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
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When Brandon Moss stepped to the plate in the top of the first inning of Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, TBS' play-by-play guy Ernie Johnson gave the requisite intro about Moss' recent struggles — how he had only hit four homers after the All-Star break, compared to 21 before it, and how since the Oakland Athletics traded slugger Yoenis Cespedes, Moss' production had decreased more than anyone's.
Johnson was in the middle of explaining all this, when Moss swung at a second-pitch changeup from Kansas City Royals starter James Shields and hit it deeeeeep into the right-field bleachers. The homer, Moss' first since Sept. 16, it gave the A's a 2-0 lead. That was one of three deficits the Royals would come back from, as they finally beat the A's in 12 innings. But you couldn't blame the loss on Moss.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Playoff baseball is upon us. Ten teams have a chance at advancing to the World Series, and they'll need a combination of great performances and great luck to get there. This time of year isn't just about stars excelling. It's also about a player making a big play when it's most needed. Likewise, when you're thinking about the most intriguing players of the postseason, it's not always just a team's biggest star (though in some cases, that player is the most intriguing). Our list of most intriguing players includes guys with a compelling story, guys who could be a hero, guys with a lot on the line. So here they are, 10 players we'll be watching — some for different reasons than others — as the MLB postseason begins. Click the image of Mike Trout above to begin the slideshow and read about each player.
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Talk about two teams desperate to win — the Oakland Athletics haven't won consistently since the start of August and the Kansas City Royals haven't even played in the postseason since 1985.
When they enter Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, a good portion of both fanbases will be hoping for the best, but fearing the absolute worst in the back of their minds. Losing sticks with you like that, whether it's short-term, like the Athletics' sluggish second half or long-term, like the Royals nearly 30 years of disappointment.
Cross one job off the list of open MLB managerial positions.
The Houston Astros have introduced A.J. Hinch as their new manager at a Monday press conference. Hinch is the club's 22nd manager and takes over for Bo Porter, who was fired Sept. 1. The Astros interviewed a number of candidates for the job, both internal and external, but Hinch was their man.
Hinch previously managed the Arizona Diamondbacks for parts of 2009 and 2010. He was only 34 when hired by the D-backs, and went 89-123 as their skipper. Hinch was a catcher for the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals, among others, in his six-year playing career.
After getting the axe in Arizona, he joined the San Diego Padres as their vice president of scouting. He held that job for nearly four years, also becoming the team's assistant general manager. Hinch resigned in August when the Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes.
I used to think Barry Bonds looked like a robot when he started wearing all those protective pads while batting. His mechanical approach to hitting and his nearly perfect eye at the plate didn't make him seem like any less of a robot.
So imagine my surprise when Bonds used his recently created Instagram and Twitter accounts to show us how he's living these days as an advanced life form.
Be careful, Barry. Wearing Google Glass is a slippery slope that can lead to full-on cyborg life. Wearable tech is great, until you realize how much it can enhance your life, you get hooked and soon enough you're using black-market electronics to stay ahead of everyone.
If Bonds starts experimenting with wearable tech for baseball purposes, he may soon want to wear a Darth Vader-like life-enhancing suit so he can return to the MLB to hit homers for eternity. He'd Force-choke anybody getting in his way.
Think about it: Bonds IS baseball's Darth Vader.
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As it stands right now, before the first pitch of the MLB postseason is thrown, there are 10 teams still alive. And any of them can make the World Series.
Sure, some have easier paths. The division winners have a much easier go of it — that's the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL and the Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles in the AL. The wild-card teams could all be gone after one game — that's AL's Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals and the NL's San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. It's a do-for-die when the wild-card round starts Tuesday.
Not even Ron Gardenhire was beloved enough in Minnesota to keep his job after four straight 90-loss seasons. The Twins fired their skipper of 13 seasons on Monday morning after the club finished the 2014 season with a 70-92 record.
Patrick Reusse of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis was first to report the news. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan confirmed it.
Source: Ron Gardenhire out as Twins manager. @1500ESPN_Reusse first reported.
The Twins are now in the rare-for-them position of searching for a manager. Gardenhire was hired in 2002, taking over after Tom Kelly held the job from 1986-2001. That's two managers in 28 years, remarkable stability for an MLB franchise. The Twins hadn't fired a manager since Ray Miller in 1986.