Mike Oz

  • Hey, MLB, here are more things you can ban to boost offense

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    It's only new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's second day on the job, and he already has people rolling their eyes. On Sunday, the day he took over for Bud Selig, Manfred made diehard baseball fans facepalm when he talked about banning defensive shifts as a way to boost offense in games.

    It's a strange idea that basically says: Hey, MLB team, I know you've invested time and resources into scouting your opponents' tendencies, but in the interest of getting more kids to turn off their video games and watch baseball, we're not going to let you do that anymore. Yeah, yeah, strategy is cool, but let's make more money. 

    Getting rid of the shift, though, is pretty bland. Good luck getting a 13-year-old to turn off his PS4 because the shortstop isn't allowed to play behind second base anymore. He's yawning already!

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • A-Rod planning to make a public apology during spring training

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    If you've been too tied up in the latest deflate-gate whatever-whatever to notice, the Alex Rodriguez circus has strolled back into town. We're still a month away from spring training, but the sideshow is already gearing up for what ought to be another wacky A-Rod spectacle.

    And we know how it will start — with an apology for PED-using, MLB-fighting ways.

    Alex Rodriguez is expected to address the media and publicly apologize when he he reports to the #Yankees spring training camp in a month.

    Yankees position players report to Tampa on Feb. 25, so go ahead and set a reminder in your smartphone right now for A-Rodapologypalooza . Rest assured, however, you have plenty of time to attend the virtual A-Rod outrage tailgate party, happening in an Internet comments section near you.

    It's going to be the best.

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  • The beer-guzzling legend of Wade Boggs keeps growing

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    The legend of Wade Boggs continues to grow — and we're not talking about his skills with a baseball bat.

    Boggs, the Hall of Famer who collected 3,010 hits in his day, is also famous for his beer-guzzling ways. A couple weeks ago, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" used Boggs' most famous beer story as a plot point. Boggs had supposedly drunk 64 beers on a cross-country flight when he was playing for the Boston Red Sox.

    For that, we turn to David Laurila's Sunday notes column at Fangraphs. He talked to ex-big league pitcher Brian Rose, who shared the following story about playing for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2001 when Boggs was the hitting coach there:

    Rose soon learned that Boggs could put away cold ones like nobody else.

    Well then!

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  • Report: Yankees refusing to pay A-Rod's $6M home-run bonus

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    The New York Yankees certainly imagined a different future when they signed then-superstar Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $272 million contract in 2007.

    They weren't thinking about PED suspensions and tabloid turmoil. They were thinking of the ultimate long-ball spectacle — A-Rod chasing the all-time home run record in Yankees pinstripes, and how much attention it would bring them.

    This is proven by the "milestone" incentives in A-Rod's contract, which pay $6 million with every MLB home-run titan he passes on the all-time list.

    He gets $6 million when he passes Willie Mays, another $6 million each if he passes Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The last three likely aren't in A-Rod's target, as he sits at 654 homers, but Mays certainly is. A-Rod needs seven homers to move past Mays, become fourth on the all-time list and collect $6 million.

    The deal was considered unique for the Yankees and was tied to Rodriguez making public relations and promotional appearances as he pursued the milestones. These kinds of marketing bonuses are not allowed in the standard player contract, according to the game’s Basic Agreement, which is why there was a separate contract.

  • Peace out, Bud Selig, this is how we'll remember you

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    As you surely know by now, the clock is ticking on the final hours of the Bud Selig era. Come Sunday, new commissioner Rob Manfred will take over and Selig will officially retire with those $6 million annual pension payments. Not bad, Bud.

    There's been a lot of talk this week about Selig's legacy — both good and bad — and how MLB has changed in the 22 years he served as baseball's biggest boss. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan did a fine job of digesting Selig's legacy, so we recommend giving that a read.

    We'll remember the PED scandals and the All-Star game tie, but we'll also remember the record profits and labor peace. Oh, and we'll definitely remember the times Selig looked like a goofball doing this:

    ... but mostly the hand-to-the-ear thing again.

  • Ryan Vogelsong re-signs with Giants for $4M in burger money

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    There's no Super Duper Burger in Houston, so maybe that made free-agent pitcher Ryan Vogelsong's decision easier. 

    Vogelsong — pitcher and noted superstitious eater — has reportedly decided to re-sign with the San Francisco Giants instead of jumping to the AL West to pitch for the Houston Astros. It sounded earlier in the week like a deal with the Astros was close, but then Vogelsong was pulled back to S.F.

    Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports had the news first, reporting that Vogelsong is getting $4 million for 2015, which buys plenty of his lucky burgers:

    Vogy is one loyal cat. Second year in a row he's taken a guaranteed pay cut to return, tho he made considerable incentive $ last year.

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  • Mariners unveil awesome new alternate uniforms

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Looking good, Seattle Mariners.

    The M's have unveiled new alternate uniforms that they'll wear this season for Sunday home games and they're deliciously retro, adding elements of their late 1980s uniforms to their current look. Enough words, we know what you want, so onto the pictures.

    Introducing the #Mariners Sunday Home Alternate Uniform. pic.twitter.com/nNS8qofwYD

    We dig the return to the royal blue and gold, particularly on the cream jersey.

    WANT pic.twitter.com/HDHpF8YX3q

    LOVE pic.twitter.com/HMjp22HwL2

    Notice the stirrups? Most excellent.

    The stirrups. Ah yes, the stirrups. pic.twitter.com/NNPuUsKyqY

    Check out the infographic and GIF below that better illustrate the transformation:

    The past meets the present. pic.twitter.com/AVNSPNuNN4

    New meets old. pic.twitter.com/3kCAhKn5d3

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  • Report: Ichiro signs with Marlins as quest for 3,000 hits continues

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The fascinating offseason of the Miami Marlins continues, as they've reportedly signed Ichiro to a one-year deal that's worth about $2 million. He's a shell of his former self and will be a fourth outfielder in Miami, but Ichiro is still a recognizable name whose skill with a bat can't be denied.

    Here are the details, as first reported by Miami radio dude Craig Mish:

    Hearing Ichiro Suzuki and @Marlins have agreed to terms.

    Source: #Marlins indeed closing in on Ichiro, as @craigmish reported. Deal expected to be one year in $2M range.

    For the Marlins, Ichiro, 41, is a veteran that can help an otherwise young outfield, which includes megastar Giancarlo Stanton plus Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Ichiro hit .284/.324/.340 last season in 143 games with the Yankees.

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  • Pete Rose will be a part of 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    So Pete Rose is only banned from Major League Baseball when it's convenient?

    That seems to be the takeaway from the latest news about the 2015 MLB All-Star game, which is going to be held this July at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park. Reds owner Bob Castellini told fans Thursday at a Q & A that Pete Rose, baseball's embattled hit king, will be a part of the All-Star game.

    Here's the exact quote, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:

    Answering a fan question at Q&A, Castellini said "You'll definitely see Pete Rose at the All-Star Game this year."#reds

    We knew this was a possibility, because Commissioner Bud Selig left the door open for it at last year's All-Star game in Minnesota. But it's still a can of worms for MLB, particularly for new commish Rob Manfred, who takes over for Selig on Sunday. 

    "If I am, it's news to me," Rose said. "To be part of the All-Star game would be great for me."

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  • Ryne Sandberg admits to problems in Phillies clubhouse last year

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    You don't need us to rattle off the things that were wrong with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, we all know the major one — underperforming veterans who were getting paid way too much.

    Well, manager Ryne Sandberg, speaking at a Phillies event Wednesday night in New Jersey, shed a little more light on the team's disappointing 2014 season. The Phillies finished last in the NL East, 73-89, in Sandberg's first full season at the helm. And he said the clubhouse wasn't "conducive to winning,"

    From Ryan Lawrence at the Philadelphia Daily News:

    "I didn't think we had a good clubhouse last year," Sandberg said bluntly, before the Phillies' 21st annual winter banquet in Lakewood, home of the organization's Low-A BlueClaws. More than once, Sandberg was asked just what he meant concerning possible clubhouse issues.

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