Mike Oz

  • This Little League World Series coach’s mound visit will warm your heart

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    What makes the Little League World Series great isn’t necessarily the baseball — though, as we’re reminded every summer, there’s something about watching kids play the game that is surprisingly entertaining.

    No, what makes the Little League World Series great is the humanity. On that field, it’s still a game of kids enjoying the biggest moments of their life and of fathers and sons chasing their dreams together.

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    We got a heartwarming reminder of that Monday when Joel Jensen, manager of the Oregon team representing the Northwest, went out to the pitching mound for a visit. His son Isaiah was pitching. Jensen wasn’t there for a strict strategy session. Instead, he wanted to tell his son that he loved him. Watch:

    Little League World Series Coach Visits Mound to Tell Son How Much He Loves Him #GoodStuff pic.twitter.com/5pZ4FskvKc

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  • David Price pitches the Red Sox back into first place

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.

    Now this is the David Price for whom the Red Sox paid $217 million, the ace Boston thought could lead it back to the World Series.

    This David Price, he threw eight shutout innings on Monday night as the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Price allowed just two hits and looked every bit like the front-of-the-rotation horse that Boston needed.

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    And with that, the Red Sox tied the idle Toronto Blue Jays atop the AL East. The Red Sox hadn’t had a share of first place in the AL East since July 20. it’s a race that figures to go to the wire at this point, with the Orioles also just two games back.

    TOP PERFORMERS

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT

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  • Andrew Benintendi makes sure you’ll know his name after this insane catch

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    Boston Red Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi has already announced his presence in the big leagues, hitting .322 in 18 games since his call-up from Double-A. But his everybody-look-at-me moment came Monday night in the Red Sox’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

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    Benintendi — a 22-year-old drafted in the first round in 2015 — made one of the best catches you’ll see this season, which also happens to be the best play he’s made so far in his young MLB career. Steven Souza Jr. hit what looked like a two-run homer to left field but Benintendi gave chase and didn’t stop.

    He jumped against the wall, half of his body extended over it, and reeled in the homer for an out. It wasn’t the difference in Boston’s 6-2 win over the Rays, but it certainly helped David Price and the boys, who were up 3-0 at the time.

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  • Dodgers dealt yet another injury, this time by a hotel door

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    The Los Angeles Dodgers are already the most injured team in the history of baseball. They’ve broken the players-on-the-disabled list record and everything.

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    The Dodgers have had a such a bad run with injuries this season that apparently their players aren’t safe anywhere. Not even in their hotel rooms while ordering room service. A hotel door sent another Dodger to the sidelines, as Josh Reddick hurt his finger in a rather unusual way, according to Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times:

    Josh Reddick hurt his finger when his hand got caught in a door last night while ordering room service. "This is rock bottom," he cracked.

    — Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 22, 2016

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  • A's clubhouse fight started because of a cleat endorsement deal

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 23 hrs ago

    New details have emerged about the fight between Danny Valencia and Billy Butler in the Oakland Athletics’ clubhouse that caused Butler to miss two games because of injury.

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    According to A’s beat writer Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the clash started when Butler butted into a conversation between Valencia and an equipment rep who was visiting the team. Valencia was being questioned about off-brand cleats in his locker when Butler reportedly ratted him out and said Valencia should be dropped from his endrosement deal.

    Don't understand all the negativity towards Danny Valencia. One of the better teammates/friends I've had in this game.

  • Video: How the Dodgers became baseball’s most unlikely underdogs

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Here’s a hot take for you: The Los Angeles Dodgers, with their tumultuous season of injuries, have actually turned into underdogs. Yes, the baseball team with the highest payroll in baseball has become a riches-to-rags-back-to-riches story at which you have to marvel.

    I tackle this in the latest installment of my Open Mike video series, looking at how this Dodgers team is unlike the ones we’ve seen in the past. And the reason, simply put, is injuries.

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    The Dodgers have set a record this season for players on the disabled list. There’s been a whole 25-man roster’s worth of players on the DL, an entire pitching rotation too. Yet, the Dodgers are somehow in first place.

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  • Josh Donaldson has to be separated from manager after dugout clash

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

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    Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson already has a reputation for being fiery on the field. He’s gotten into arguments with opposing coaches and players, been the victim of bean-ball retaliations and been in the thick of that Blue Jays-Rangers brawl earlier this season.

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    On Wednesday, however, his angst was aimed in new direction altogether — first his bat and ultimately his manager. Donaldson returned to the Jays dugout after striking out and threw his bat into the dugout in anger, which raised the eyebrow of manager John Gibbons.

    Gibbons went to talk to Donaldson, some fiery words were exchanged and eventually Troy Tulowitzki got in the middle of them. Not often you see a star player and his manager needing to be separated in the dugout.

    Sometimes the universe has its own punishments?

  • Chase Utley crushed the Phillies and Philly fans cheered him anyway

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

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    Consider this a testament to how much Philadelphia Phillies fan love Chase Utley: He hit two homers and drove in five runs for the other team Tuesday night and received two curtain calls from the Philly faithful.

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    This was Utley’s first game back in Citizen’s Bank Park after the trade that sent him to the Dodgers last season. Previous to that, he played 15 seasons for the Phillies. It’s a fact that wasn’t lost on the hometown crowd, which cheered Utley from his first moment on the field and all the way through the Dodgers’ 15-5 trouncing of the Phillies.

    Utley got a standing ovation when he led off the game for the Dodgers, then he earned a curtain after hitting a fifth-inning solo homer and they were still cheering for him when his grand slam capped an eight-run seventh inning for L.A.

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  • Anthony Rizzo hops on Wrigley wall for catch-of-the-year candidate

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

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    It’s safe to say Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has become one of the most exciting guys to watch when he’s chasing a foul ball into the stands. Remember that catch he made last year jumping onto the tarp at Wrigley Field?

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    Well, he added another to his personal highlight reel Tuesday night — and with some interesting coincidences.

    In the fifth inning, Keon Broxton of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a ball into the stands beyond first base. Rizzo ranged in that direction, a few steps behind the tarp this time. In a moment of great improvisation, Rizzo jumped on the ledge of the Wrigley Field wall, reached into the crowd and snared the foul ball.

    Enjoy these still images, particularly for reactions of the fans.

    Hand-clap emoji for you, sir.

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  • Braves call up Dansby Swanson as Shelby Miller dwells in minors

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

    The Dansby Swanson era has begun. The Atlanta Braves announced their plan to call-up Swanson on Wednesday for his major-league debut, meaning his path from No. 1 pick in the 2015 MLB Draft to big leaguer took just over 14 months.

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    Swanson, a 22-year-old shortstop out of Vanderbilt, is a native of Kennesaw, Ga., which should heighten the excitement among Braves fans who see Swanson as a franchise cornerstone of the future who also happens to be a local boy.

    The #Braves plan to select the contract of INF Dansby Swanson (@LieutenantDans7) on Wednesday. He will wear No. 2. pic.twitter.com/OIzh1qlnSo

    — Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 16, 2016

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