Mike Oz

  • The top five homers of May, starring Giancarlo Stanton over and over again

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    For as long as we've been collecting the longest homers of the month here on The Stew, we've never seen a month like May 2015 and that's because the top four homers of the month belong to one man — Giancarlo Stanton.

    If this were a movie, it would be written, produced, directed by and starring Giancarlo Stanton. That's how much he dominated the home-run distance game. Bryce Harper hit the most homers in May (13), and Paul Goldschmidt and Josh Donaldson also did really well (10 a piece), but Stanton won for distance. He hit nine homers in May (as did five other players), but his traveled the furthest.

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    He now owns four of the top six homers of 2015, which is pretty good. A-Rod's 477-foot blast from April is still No. 1 on the overall leaderboard though. (Note: All data in this post comes from ESPN's Hit Tracker Online)

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  • Giancarlo Stanton eats Kit Kats wrong, doesn't care what you think

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Look at this face. It's the face of a man who doesn't care that he's just committed a crime against candy. You're obviously not supposed to eat a Kit Kat like Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is in this picture, snapped Monday by teammate Dee Gordon.

    @Giancarlo818 you need to start respecting the rules sir. pic.twitter.com/IvkUAphhJv

    Even a kid knows the Kit Kat is to be consumed piece by piece. Heck, the Kit Kat's four attached wafers are their own roadmap. But Stanton cares not about sugary societal norms.  A little bit of history may be fitting here. Gordon has previously called out Stanton for flying in the face of Kit Kat logic. Below is a tweet from May 28.

    This is what @Giancarlo818 and #Roebuck does😤 pic.twitter.com/YdvihMRg9G

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    Maybe Stanton's right and the rest of us are the ones eating Kit Kats wrong? 

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  • Lennie Merullo dies at 98, he was the last living Cub to play in World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    It can now be said: There is no baseball player alive who has played for the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

    The last of 'em, shortstop Lennie Merullo, died Saturday at the age of 98, after complications from a stroke, according to the New York Times.

    He played for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series, in the middle of his seven-year MLB career, all of which was with the Cubs. The team, of course, hasn't won a World Series since 1908.

    From the Times:

    Even the most long-suffering Cubs fans might have had only vague memories of Merullo. He spent seven seasons as a Cubs infielder, playing mostly during the World War II years when many front-line ballplayers were in military service, and was never an All-Star. But he enjoyed a distinction that would elude hundreds of other Cubs who played at Wrigley in the last seven decades.

    You have to figure one of them will see the Cubs break their World Series drought.

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  • StewPod #2: Talking sneakers and baseball with Evan Longoria

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    This is The StewPod, our new podcast. If you dig us, please subscribe on iTunes.

    Why don't more baseball players have their own sneakers? They answer seems fairly obvious, but it's still a question that Evan Longoria inspires us to ask. Longoria, the Tampa Bay Rays star third baseman, has his own sneaker dropping this weekend, a collaboration with New Balance.

    While a number of baseball players have their own cleats, getting your own sneaker is a different game entirely. That's Ken Griffey Jr.'s level.

    Well, Longoria joins Mike Oz and Chris Cwik on The StewPod to talk about his New Balance kicks, his own sneaker collection, his team's surprising start and much more. Here's a full rundown of the show and then more about the shoe:

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  • Brewers fan builds a working grill that's a replica of Miller Park

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Well, this is probably the most Wisconsin thing ever.

    A Milwaukee Brewers fan named Matt Tyler has built a one-of-a-kind grill that's a replica of Miller Park. It's fully functional, able to cook meat and everything. He's dubbed it "Griller Park." As if there were any other option.

    Milwaukee's WISN-TV brings us into Tyler's world. He's an engineer who says he spent $200 to build the grill, which weighs 100 pounds and will be making its debut this weekend before a Brewers game. He has the eternal right to say, "You bring the brats, I'll bring the grill. No, trust me, you'll want to see this."

    Tyler, 27, says he came up with the idea seven years ago, but finally made it happen three weeks ago, once he figured out a way to make the grill open. Now that it does, the retractable roof shows that even the inside of "Griller Park" looks like a baseball diamond. Bravo, good sir!

    We give another bravo to Tyler's response when a WISN reporter asked him why he made a grill replica of Miller Park.

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  • Five things we loved about Juan Uribe's first day with the Braves

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

     

    And while we appreciate that aspect of Uribe's transition to the Braves, it wasn't close to the best part of Uribe changing teams. Here are five things we totally loved about Uribe's first day with Atlanta

    1. THE OVATION This is what happened when Uribe came to the plate for the first time against the Dodgers. The bases were loaded and Uribe struck out, so the Dodgers fans were happy at the end of the at-bat too.

    2. HIS FAREWELL TO DODGERS FANS Remember: Papi loves you.

    Juan Uribe has a message for you, Dodger fans. pic.twitter.com/a7xuNPX2BM

    3. HIS MESSED-UP JERSEY Uribe's new BP jersey with the Braves was all bad. The "I" fell off the back, making his last name Urbe. Not a good look for your first day with the new squad. The Braves did their best to tape it up, but it was still amusing.

    @Braves welcome Juan Urbe to the club! @Dodgers pic.twitter.com/pLQAVOwvsz

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  • Cardinals get unlikely walk-off win after D-backs throwing error

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    In the end, something went right for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.

    On a day they lost their first baseman Matt Adams for at least for three months (maybe even longer) because of a quad tear, the Cards left Busch Stadium with an unlikely walk-off win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. St. Louis' 4-3 win wasn't without controversy, though.

    Let's rewind to the first batter of the bottom of the ninth. Jason Heyward hit a solo homer to erase a 3-2 Arizona lead. The Cards then loaded the bases for Jhonny Peralta, who hit a one-out grounder to third. The D-backs tried for the 5-2-3 double play to end the inning.

    They forced out the speedy Peter Bourjos at the plate, but as he slid in, Bourjos clipped the leg of D-backs catcher Jordan Pacheco. That caused Pacheco's throw to first base to sail into the outfield. Matt Carpenter came around to score the winning run. It wasn't your average walk-off win, but it counts just the same.

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  • Jon Lester sets record for futility at the plate by starting career 0-for-58

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Not quite. But this did have something to do with zeroes.

    Lester, hitting in the second inning against Scherzer, set an MLB record by starting his career 0-for-58 at the plate. Lester hit a deep fly out to Denard Span that looked like it might just break his streak of futility. Alas, Span caught it and Lester moved past former San Diego Padres pitcher Joey Hamilton, who started his career 0-for-57 before getting a hit in 1995.

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    Following the deep fly out, Lester struck out in his second at-bat of the game, increasing his "record" to 0-for-59.

    Here's Jon Lester's laughable spray chart... Only one deep fly ball ever. pic.twitter.com/Jkejsx1ooF

    The Cubs didn't pay Lester $155 million for his bat, so this isn't a huge disappointment in Wrigleyville. In fact, fans in Chicago are much happier with Lester these days, after he rebounded from his slow start to the season.

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  • Fan captures best view of Kris Bryant's monster homer off Wrigley video board

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    After hitting his first dinger on May 9, Bryant has blasted six more, the most impressive of which came Tuesday night in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Nats. Bryant's homer tied the game in the eighth inning and hit Wrigley Field's new video board in left field. Not bad at all, Kris.

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    MLB.com's Statcast measured the homer at 477 feet, making it the fourth longest of the season. ESPN's Hit Tracker Online estimated the distance at 463 feet. Either way, it was an impressive blast. 

    Even more impressive: The fan video below capturing Bryant's blast. It's homer porn. The slo-mo makes it look even more majestic. 

    Sure, you don't actually see the ball hitting the Wrigley video board in this one, but the fact that it disappears into the Chicago sky is just as cool.

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  • Bryce Harper gets angry after long fly out ... no, wait, that's a homer

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

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    Everything is coming up Bryce Harper these days — even the long fly outs that make the young slugger angrily toss his bat to the ground. Because Tuesday night, at Wrigley Field, with the wind blowing out, that long fly out wasn't actually a long fly out. It was Harper's NL-leading 17th homer of the season.

    Watch the video above to see Harper get mad at himself for not getting all of a Kyle Hendricks offering, only to realize a few seconds later that a home-run trot was in order. Suppose it beats the opposite scenario: A slugger celebrating a home run that's actually a fly out to the warning track.

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    Harper has been obscene in May. He's hit a staggering .377/.495/.922 with 12 homers and 27 RBIs. Hot streaks don't come without a little bit of assistance. Wind, in this case.

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