Mike Oz

  • Podcast: Breaking down the trade deadline with Jeff Passan

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    This is The StewPod, our baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig the show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes.

    It’s that time of the baseball season whereJeff Passan’s phone is buzzing with information. Yes, the trade deadline is coming on Aug. 1, which means teams are making moves and our pal Jeff is trying to wade through the rumors and find the truth.

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    He took a few minutes out of his busy day — well, like 30, actually — to talk about the trade deadline for this week’s StewPod. We discuss which players he thinks will and won’t get traded, why the trade deadline has actually been more active than you might think and which teams will make a move that has them racing toward the postseason.

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  • Video: Four important rules for fans at MLB's trade deadline

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Baseball’s trade deadline is creeping up on us. Teams have until 4 p.m. ET Monday to make whatever swaps will help them either get in position for the postseason or rebuild for next year, the year after or … one of these years.

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    We’re already watching keenly to see where players such as Jay Bruce, Jonathan Lucroy and Andrew Cashner will end by up Aug. 1 and see which other players might be on the move.

    The thirst for trade-deadline news and gossip is so real in 2016, though, that there are many pitfalls that fans need to consider as they refresh their Twitter feed in hopes of seeing a deal from their favorite team.

    So in this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series, I’m here to help. I’m giving you four important rules to live by until Monday’s deadline rolls around. Follow these and you won’t get duped, you’ll know what #hugwatch is and you won’t get too excited about a deal that may not happen.

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  • Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with super agent Scott Boras

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    What you’re about to watch is the most wheeling-and-dealing episode of “Opening 25-Year-Old Baseball Cards,” which is just about perfect for trade-deadline week.

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    The guest is a great one: Baseball super agent Scott Boras, who knows a thing or 17 about negotiating deals. As he proves in the video, he also has an encyclopedic brain when it comes to baseball players.

    I’m not going to spoil everything for you, but Boras essentially takes our wax-pack busting and turns it into something else entirely, by installing his own grading system on a moment’s notice. As you watch this, just know you’re watching a genius at work.

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    Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

  • Roger Maris belt worth estimated $140,000 stolen from Fargo mall

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    In a caper that has rocked Fargo, N.D., a thief broke into the Roger Maris Museum early Tuesday morning and made off with Maris’ 1960 MVP plaque and a gold-and-diamond belt awarded to Maris that could be worth as much as $140,000.

    The crime happened around 2 a.m. at the West Acres Mall in Fargo, Maris’ hometown. According to authorities, it was a rather efficient heist, with the thief in and out of the museum in about a minute.

    “We feel violated this morning,” said Chris Heaton, the property manager for the mall, which according to The Forum newspaper in Fargo. He also said: “I’m deeply disturbed. I’m appalled.”

    The belt is an interesting item, as it was an annual award given to the best professional athlete in any sport by Hickok Manufacturing Company. It’s known as the Hickok Belt, and was given away from 1950-1976, then revived in 2012. Maris won in 1961, the year he broke the MLB home-run record.

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  • Watch the Rangers and A's in Free MLB Game of the Day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    For about 30 seconds on Saturday, before the wild news broke about Chris Sale throwing a fit and cutting up his throwback jersey, some baseball fans thought he had been traded to the Texas Rangers.

    Imagine that rotation: Sale, Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels. Wowzer.

    The trade was fake, of course, another product of a fake Twitter account in the rush of trade-deadline week. But this isn’t fake: The Rangers will be an intriguing team to watch as baseball teams try to upgrade their rosters this week for possible postseason berths.

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    As it stands, the Rangers are a good team, owning a 57-42 record and looking, at times in the first half, like one of the best clubs in the American League. But the Houston Astros are coming, they’ve knocked the Rangers’ AL West lead down to 2.5 games and that means the Rangers can’t just rest until October.

  • Aroldis Chapman trade proves Cubs will do anything to win World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Let it be known now if it weren’t already: The Chicago Cubs will do just about anything to finally win a World Series.

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    On Monday, that meant consummating a blockbuster trade with the New York Yankees that will bring Aroldis Chapman to town, along with his 105 mph fastball and all the baggage his name carries these days, in exchange for four players who are now going to the Yankees.

    The message is clear: This is about winning. Now. Nevermind that Chapman is a free agent at season’s end. Don’t worry that he probably won’t pitch more than a couple dozen times for the Cubs. And try not to dwell on the uneasiness some Cubs fans will feel watching Chapman — the man in the highest-profile domestic violence case of baseball’s offseason — close out games in a Cubs cap.

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  • Video: Baseball predictions I was totally wrong about

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 days ago

    When we make our preseason predictions, I never think I’m going to get 100 percent correct. Baseball is far too hard to predict for that. Of course, I’m trying to do my best, while sticking to my convictions and predicting what surprises might be in store, but predictions are never a test on which I’m going to get an A.

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    Now that we’re past the All-Star break, I thought it would be good to look back at some of the things I predicted would happen back in April and see how right and wrong I was. Even better, I thought I’d go on video and confess my misdoings. I have no problem admitting my mistakes.

    So in this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series, I’m doing just that. I’m giving the Baltimore Orioles their proppers and talking about who has surpassed my AL MVP pick, among other things.

  • About 30 percent of baseball fans would take PEDs to make $15 million

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 days ago

    With Hall of Fame inductions this Sunday, baseball fans are once again face-to-face with the game’s ongoing moral dilemma: What to do about PED users and even suspected PED users.

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    A Hall of Fame without the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens seems wrong to some fans but rightful and just to others. Likewise, a player like Mike Piazza, who will be inducted Sunday along with Ken Griffey Jr., had a tougher road into Cooperstown because some voters thought he could have cheated. It’s a messy, messy debate.

    To get a better handle on this, Yahoo Sports conducted a survey of active MLB fans, asking whether PED users or suspects should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Here are the results:

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  • Indy league pitcher tries to be Ultimate Warrior, gets owned instead

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 days ago

    It’s not too often you see a person darting through a baseball field during a game. And when it happens — usually because a fan is making a spectacle of him or herself — you can bet someone is getting tackled.

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    What happened last week in the independent Can-Am League, though, is something we haven’t seen before. A player tried to run from one dugout to the other — like Ultimate Warrior coming to the ring — in hopes of starting a fight. It did not go well.

    The pitcher was Fernando Cruz of the New Jersey Jackals, who was on the mound the previous inning as the Jackals gave up an 8-3 lead in the ninth. He was fuming about some part of that meltdown and decided to melt down ever more. He scampered to the Rockland Boulders dugout, running behind the catcher and umpire like a bat boy would.

    First off, when Cruz dashed through play, that’s just great video. Second, boy, did he get owned.

     

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  • 15 things that made Ken Griffey Jr. the coolest baseball player ever

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days ago

    When you look at the numbers and the highlights, it’s obvious that Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest to ever play baseball. To prove that, his Hall of Fame plaque will be unveiled Sunday, after he earned a record 99.3 percent of the vote.

    But that only tells half Griffey’s story. Sure, he was great on the field, but he was also the coolest big leaguer to ever put on a uniform. That combination made him one of the most popular athletes of the ’90s and an immortal all these years later.

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    You know the numbers: 630 homers, 1,836 RBIs, 22 seasons. But here’s the rest of the Griffey legacy. These are 15 things that made him the coolest baseball player ever.

     

    “Slimmy at the Rucka wanna leave and spend with me / I consistently take em out the park like Ken Griffey”

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