Mike Oz

  • Here are spring training report dates for all 30 MLB teams

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The NFL season is over after the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Pantherswith a dominant defense on Sunday, allowing sports fans to catch up on the NBA, NHL and college basketball in the middle of those respective seasons.

    It also means the start of spring training is less than two weeks away now for five teams and others to follow shortly thereafter.

    [Related: Chiefs followed Royals script with energizing kickoff return]

    When does your favorite team get going? We've listed all the dates below. The first date is the pitchers-and-catchers report date, followed by the first full squad workout.


    • Arizona Diamondbacks: Feb. 18, Feb. 23

    • Atlanta Braves: Feb. 20, Feb. 25

    • Baltimore Orioles: Feb. 19, Feb. 24

    • Boston Red Sox: Feb. 19, Feb. 24

    • Chicago Cubs: Feb. 20, Feb. 24

    • Chicago White Sox: Feb. 19, Feb. 23

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  • Indians minor-league team giving away Willie Mays Hayes bobblehead

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days ago

    Proving once again that baseball has undying love for the fictional Cleveland Indians from the film "Major League," the Akron Rubber Ducks have announced they're giving away Willie Mays Hayes bobbleheads this season. Actually, it's a "bobblelegs" doll, according to the team.

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now]

    The Rubber Ducks (real name, we swear) are the Indians' Double-A affiliate, which we suppose gives them as much right as anybody to dig into "Major League" lure and give us more toys inspired by the 1989 classic. It's a classic to baseball fans, anyway.

    [Previously: 15 things you didn't know about "Major League"]

    Since it's a bobblelegs rather than a bobblehead, that narrows things down somewhat. Here are our best guesses/fingers-crossed hopes:

    1. The most likely possibility is that it's Hayes leading off first base, knees bent and ready to steal. 

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  • Podcast: So which team won the MLB offseason?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days 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.

    We're just a couple weeks from spring training, the major free agents have signed and baseball, more or less, is ready for its 2016 season. So, we have to ask: Which team won the offseason?

    To "win the offseason" isn't always a good thing, mind you. Sometimes winning the offseason puts too heavy of expectations on a squad. Sometimes it seems to curse a team into a state of mediocrity. Sometimes, well sometimes, it really doesn't mean anything. 

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now]

    Nonetheless, it's a thing that people talk about and this is a podcast on which people talk, so you see where we're going here.

    [ Music: "Absolutely" by Ra Ra Riot ]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • The Marlins want you to join their players in a, uhhh, foursome

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 days ago

    The Miami Marlins, baseball's version of your clumsy friend who trips over his shoelaces when he goes to the bathroom, have a great opportunity for their fans. They want them to pay $750 to join a Marlins player in a foursome. 

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now]

    Wait, so the Marlins want their fans ... OHHHHH, they're talking about golf. Got it.

    That's an actual tweet the Marlins sent out Thursday morning. It was, of course, the fuel for many jokes and the Marlins quickly deleted it. Because, as anyone who surfs the modern Internet knows, you can't even type 69 in earnest anymore without the jokesters coming out. There was no way this "Foursome" thing wasn't getting messy.

    The jokes were aplenty, some of which are still alive on the Internet even through the Marlins did their best to act like the gaffe never happened (which, to be fair, they have a lot of practice in).

    @Marlins my wife left me so this would be comforting I miss u Dianne

    Giancarlo Stanton is totally getting injured in that Marlins foursome

  • A 108-year-old Mariners fan got her own baseball card from Topps

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 9 days ago

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now]

    She's Evelyn Jones, a Mariners fan for as long as they have lived — she was 69 when the team debuted in 1977. On her 108th birthday last July, Jones threw out the first pitch and thus became the oldest person in history to throw out a first pitch an MLB game. 

    For that, she's commemorated in Series 1 of Topps' 2016 set (which hit stores today). 

    Jones' card is part of Topps' first-pitch set, which it started in 2015. It's mostly celebrities and pro athletes featured on the first-pitch cards, but Topps smartly adds notable fans to the mix too.

    [Roundtable: What's the strangest baseball card you own?]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Dodgers add Greg Maddux and Raul Ibanez to their front office

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 days ago

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have added a tremendous amount of talent this offseason — to their front office.

    On Tuesday, the club announced that it hired Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux and 19-year vet Raul Ibanez for front office roles. Both are newly minted special assistants to the president of baseball operations, which we hope means they'll help Andrew Friedman carry out top-secret missions in the name of baseball. If not that, they'll be right-hand men well-schooled on what it means to be a successful MLB player, now tasked with imparting that wisdom upon the younger Dodgers players. Both sound like six-figure jobs.

    [2016 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball is open for business. Sign up now]

    The Dodgers front-office is already the baseball equivalent of a rock super group with Friedman as president of baseball operations,  Farhan Zaidi as general manager and three former GMs scattered around the org chart — Josh Byrnes, Ned Colletti and Alex Anthopoulos.  Anthopoulos also joined the club this winter after leaving his post as GM of the Toronto Blue Jays.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • StewPod: Who said it, John Rocker or Donald Trump?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 days 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.

    With the Hot Stove running on low this week, one of the more interesting stories to emerge from baseball circles was ex-MLB bad boy John Rocker endorsing Donald Trump for president. It's hard to find a pair of guys who are more made to be BFFs.

    There's Rocker, the ex-Atlanta Braves closer, infamous for his racist rant against New Yorkers and his outspoken views that haven't stopped in his life after baseball. Then there's Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner/ex-reality show dude, who has no filter when it comes to his own outspoken views. So, on this week's podcast, we played a game of "Who said it: John Rocker or Donald Trump?" Listen and play along with us.

    [Music: Non Prophets - "Bounce"]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Doug Fister has a good chance to revive his career with the Astros

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 days ago

    Doug Fister, the ex-Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers starter, came into the offseason with his stock at an all-time low. At one point, before a rough 2015 season, Fister figured to make big bucks in free agency. But on Thursday he signed a one-year deal with the Houston Astros that, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo, is worth $7 million with incentives that could make it as much as $12 million.

    You know what they say, there's no such thing as a bad one-year deal and, while risky, this could certainly be a win-win for the both sides.

    [Elsewhere: MLB unveils bold new spring training jerseys, caps and logos]

    But the Astros aren’t depending on Fister for much. They're not planning on getting a pitcher with a sub-3.00 ERA. But they'll take the one-year risk that Fister still has some of that mojo in him.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • MLB unveils bold new spring training jerseys, caps and logos

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 days ago

    Baseball's spring training is a place for experimentation and that's especially the case with MLB fashion this season. Major League Baseball unveiled on Thursday bold new looks for the spring, including a handful of new cap and jersey designs, reimagined jerseys that feature new fabrics and sublimated lettering/numbering, plus new spring training logos that will unify the caps, jerseys and balls used on the field.

    [Elsewhere: Mets minor-league team debuts glow-in-the-dark uniforms and caps]

    The new designs are big on branding, tapping into the idea that spring training is a vacation destination. Note the highway-sign-inspired design for the spring training logos that feature the year and states where each team plays. It's another sign of baseball threads trying to stray from tradition, even if it's only for the preseason.

    Here's a rundown of the notable changes:

  • A-Rod is approaching Babe Ruth's homer mark, calls it overwhelming

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 16 days ago

    Last year, in his return to MLB, A-Rod raced past Willie Mays on the all-time home-run list and reached the famous 3,000-hit plateau. As we head into 2016, there are more rungs for A-Rod to climb in the baseball record books — whether fans like it or not.

    While A-Rod did a good job in 2015 of performing on the field, not becoming a sideshow and silencing some of the haters, 2016 could present another pearl-clutching moment for old-school fans. The next name he approaches on the the all-time homer list is larger-than-life — Babe Ruth.

    [Related: Here's A-Rod at his desk at ARod Corp. and we have some questions]

    A-Rod sits at 687 homers, 27 away from tying Babe Ruth for No. 3 all-time. Rodriguez hit 33 homers last season, so even though he'll turn 41 in July, reaching 714 doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. (While some fans would put asterisks by A-Rod's numbers tomorrow, we'll remind you that until MLB officially does that, these are the facts).

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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