- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Bob Costas, you rascally guy, you.
We've seen plenty of people bungle ceremonial first pitches in recent years, but not until Costas on Tuesday night at the St. Louis Cardinals' game, have we seen someone throw a terrible first pitch, ask for a second chance and actually get it.Wed, Aug 204:15 PM PDTCincinnati at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Longtime Chicago White Sox play-by-play man Hawk Harrelson accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Tuesday — you probably haven't heard of this Ice Bucket Challenge thing yet, as it's a brand new trend sweeping the Internet and our man Hawk is right on the pulse of things.
Anyhow, Harrelson agreed to get doused with a big bucket of ice water (not one of those sissy-sized buckets Justin Verlander used) and the result is a wonderful video full of Hawk absurdities.
A few of the things we absolutely love:
1. Hawk wears a shower cap, because he's a respected broadcaster, darn it, and his hair is important. Sadly, it came off.Wed, Aug 205:10 PM PDTBaltimore at Chi White SoxPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
If ever there were a cure for a six-game losing streak, getting the reigning MVP back in your lineup might just be it. At least that's what the Pittsburgh Pirates are hoping now that they've activated Andrew McCutchen from the disabled list.
McCutchen hasn't played since Aug. 3 and the Pirates are 5-9 in that span, punctuated by a losing streak that's seen them fall to the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.
McCutchen was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list last Monday, but the move was retroactive to the previous week. He left the Pirates' game on Aug. 3 after hitting a sac fly and immediately nursing his side. It was eventually determined that McCutchen had a fractured rib.Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTAtlanta at PittsburghPreview Game
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Actor Jon Hamm was immortalized in bobblehead form Monday night by the St. Louis Cardinals, so he showed up at Busch Stadium to meet the Cards players and throw out the first pitch.
Hamm, when he's shaved up and slicked back, makes ovaries swoon as Don Draper on the hit AMC show "Mad Men." He was also in the recent baseball movie "Million Dollar Arm" and he proved Monday night his arm isn't too bad.
Hamm didn't fire his first pitch, opting for an easy rainbow that bounced right in front of Cardinals legend Ozzie Smith, who was waiting to catch it. We'll call Hamm's a hundred-dollar arm.
The firsts keep coming for Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old pitcher from Philadelphia's Taney Dragons who became the first girl to throw a shutout in LIttle League World Series history last Friday.
Now she's the first Little Leaguer to make the national cover of Sports Illustrated. The mag announced Tuesday that Davis would cover their issue dated Aug. 25, with the headline "Remember Her Name."
People aren't going to have trouble with that. With the help of her 70-mph fastball, Davis threw a two-hit shutout Friday against the LLWS team from Nashville, striking out eight en route to capturing the nation's attention. She's been covered on every sports news platform, of course, but she's fully become a pop-culture talking point too.
It seems like the Washington Nationals have been playing with magic wands the past few days.
The Nats won their third straight game via a walk-off hit Monday night and their seventh consecutive game overall. Adam LaRoche blasted an 11th inning home run — a no-doubt type of homer — to give the Nats a 5-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After the game, LaRoche told reporters, including Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post:
“I got every bit of that one,” LaRoche said. “Just a crazy few days. I don’t know how we’ve gotten into these walk-off situations the last few days, but we’ve been able to grind back.”Wed, Aug 204:05 PM PDTArizona at WashingtonPreview Game
For the first time since April 23, the Oakland Athletics are not in first place in the AL West.
The Los Angeles Angels, with a 4-2 win Monday night over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, took over sole possession of first in the division. It's only a half-game lead and could very well be gone after Tuesday's games, but for the Angels — a team that was a severe disappointment a year ago — getting past the A's is something to celebrate.
The teams had been tied the past two days, with a couple winning-percentage points giving the Angels the slightest of edges. But now, with the A's idle on Monday, the Angels are alone in first place for the first time since May of 2011.
The Angels are 16-13 since the All-Star break, taking advantage of the A's going 14-15 in that time. After the game, starting pitcher C.J. Wilson told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com:Wed, Aug 204:10 PM PDTLA Angels at BostonPreview Game
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what it's all about.
This is one of those moments where all the talk is absolutely true about how youth sports build character, shape children and help kids become adults.
This is Dave Belisle, the coach of Cumberland American Little League, the Rhode Island team that represented the Northeast in the Little League World Series. Cumberland Americanlost 8-7 on Monday to Chicago's Jackie Robinson West. It was an elimination game that ended with many of Belisle's players dejected and in tears.
He gathered them on the field after the game, asking them to keep their heads up and saying he wanted to see their eyes. Then he delivered a moving speech that will tug at your heartstrings a bit. Here's a transcription, via the Providence Journal:
By now, hundreds of professional athletes have participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, as have five or six people in your Facebook timeline at any given moment.
So one more boyfriend-girlfriend duo dousing each other with ice water isn't exactly news. Unless the boyfriend is Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and the girlfriend is supermodel Kate Upton.
Add those two and it becomes the most must-see ice-bucketing since our boy Jeff Passan.
Two things of note here:
1. Verlander is sidelined with a sore shoulder these days, so does an ice-water bath count as getting treatment? If so, well played on the two-birds-one-stone level, Mr. Verlander.
2. Look how happy he looks to be drenching his lovely girlfriend. That's true love, y'all.
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Chicago Cubs rookie Javier Baez, he of the 60 minor-league homers since the start of 2013, launched his fifth home run Monday since joining the big-league team. It came in the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field and it might have landed in the East River.
OK, the ball wasn't hit that far, but it was absolutely crushed by Baez. It looked like something Yoenis Cespedes hit last season when the Home Run Derby was at Citi Field. Except, you know, this wasn't batting practice.
A homer going into the second-deck in left-center isn't something you too often at Citi Field, but then again, Baez isn't the type of power prodigy you see often either. The 21-year-old has five homers in 14 games since being called up by the Cubs.Wed, Aug 205:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at Chi CubsPreview Game