Mike Oz

  • Cubs are first team in baseball to 80 wins after Jake Arrieta's gem

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 27 mins 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.

    Cross another milestone off the list for the World Series-favorite Chicago Cubs. They became the first team in baseball to reach 80 wins by beating the Padres 5-3 on Tuesday night.

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    This wasn’t a surprise since nobody else in the league is particularly close. The Nats and Rangers each have 73 wins, so it would be at least another week for them to reach 80. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ win gives them a 13-game lead in the NL Central. It might time soon to start counting down magic numbers on the North Side.

    The first to 80 wins doesn’t make a club the automatic champion, but the Cubs keep checking all the right boxes as the season goes on.

  • Look how far Billy Hamilton ran to make this amazing catch

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Somebody give Billy Hamilton a gold medal. Sure, the Olympics are over, but holy moly, the catch the Cincinnati Reds centerfielder made Tuesday night against the Texas Rangers is worth a medal and a trip to the top of a podium.

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    Carlos Beltran hit a ball to left-center that seemed like a sure-thing gapper off the bat. Hamilton wasn’t shifted toward left, so to catch this one, he was going to cover a lot of ground … and boy, did he.

    Hamilton sprinted 123 feet, according to MLB.com’s Statcast, then dove head-first into the wall to make the catch. That’s the baseball equivalent to running a 40-yard dash while tracking a fly ball, then diving to catch it. Wow.

    It might be a good time for someone linked to Hamilton or the Reds to re-imagine this classic Ken Griffey Jr. Nike commercial:

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  • Why Josh Hamilton getting released by Rangers isn't the end for him

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Officially, Josh Hamilton’s second tour with the Texas Rangers came to an end Tuesday, as the club activated him from the 60-day disabled list then promptly put him on unconditional release waivers. Unofficially, though, Hamilton could be back with the Rangers next season.

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    The 35-year-old outfielder and former AL MVP hasn’t played at all this year after season-ending knee surgery in June, his third procedure on his knee since last September.

    The Rangers are leading the AL West right now, but they’re also thinking ahead to next season. As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes, releasing Hamilton has everything to do with making sure he can be an active player next season if he’s indeed healthy.

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 hrs 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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. He was out of the lineup again Monday as the A’s played the Cleveland Indians.

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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 endorsement deal.

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 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 6 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?