- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
The Stew's Trade Talk Tracker follows the juiciest rumors in MLB until Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline. We'll give you the day's most important links about who may (or may not) be changing teams soon.
LEADING OFF: Tuesday was quite quiet as far as trades go, meaning a trade-deadline flurry could be coming Wednesday and Thursday. Brace yourself.
PRICE WATCH: The Rays are still "talking and willing" to trade David Price, but it's going to need to be a courageous front-office move. [CBS Sports]
AND HE'LL START: Rays expect to start Price as scheduled Wednesday. [@jonmorosi]
ICYMI: Pirates are the "dark horse" team in the Jon Lester sweepstakes. [Yahoo Sports]
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
If you don't watch "The Bachelorette" — and why would you when there's baseball on your TV? — then this might come as a surprise: The last two guys to "win" the popular find-a-soulmate competition show were former Minor League Baseball players.
Life after baseball doesn't just include coaching, broadcasting and telling stories about the good ol' days. Apparently going on a reality show and trying to get hitched is a viable option too.
Josh Murray was chosen on Monday night's finale by Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, ending their made-for-TV courtship with a marriage proposal. Josh Murray is the brother of Aaron Murray, the University of George quarterback and Kansas City Chiefs rookie, and a former six-year minor leaguer who was drafted in the second round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2002.
Josh Murray never made it past Single-A and hit just .213 in his MILB career, but Murray made it further in baseball than many do. He eventually went back to play college football with his brother at Georgia.Wed, Jul 309:10 AM PDTMilwaukee at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
In the movie "Little Big League," a 12-year-old named Billy Heywood inherits the Minnesota Twins when his grandfather dies. He eventually hires himself as manager.
The film turned 20 years old earlier this month and while the Twins could have beckoned Luke Edwards, the actor who portrayed Heywood, back to Minnesota to throw out a first pitch and shake some hands, the team actually did something else to commemorate the anniversary of the film — something with a bit more heart. They gave another youngster the chance to "manage" the Twins.
Ryan Lueschen, a 14-year-old Twins fan, was born with a rare heart condition that required him to have four heart surgeries before he was in kindergarten. Because of a recent complication, he was in the hospital again, having surgery to install a pacemaker.Wed, Jul 305:10 PM PDTMinnesota at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Let's put this on the record: Late-night TV talk shows would be much better if MLB pitchers showed up every night to hit hosts in the face with baseballs. It would be a reason, certainly, to put Jay Leno back on the air.
As of right now, only Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," is on board with this. He had Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on Monday night. Kimmel asked Kershaw to knock an apple off his head with a ball.
That's putting a lot of trust in Kershaw's command, which is plenty great, mind you. That's still just a daunting situation, whether it's Clayton Kershaw or Clayton Bigsby tossing the ball.
Kershaw, looking stiff in a fancy TV suit, didn't bring his best stuff. But he still managed to knock the apple off Kimmel's head — after hitting him in the face (!!) with the baseball.
Let's watch it again in GIF form (and over and over again, if you like):
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By the most important measure, Yu Darvish had a good game Monday night. His Texas Rangers beat the New York Yankees. Darvish himself earned a win, pitching seven innings and striking out eight in Texas' 4-2 victory.
But here's where Darvish failed: He still couldn't figure out Brett Gardner, the Yankees center fielder and leadoff man. Gardner hit two homersoff Darvish, going 3-for-5 in the game.
That improved Gardner's career mark against Darvish to 5-for-11. Four of his hits? Homers. That makes him one of three players to have four career homers against Darvish (Brandon Moss and Mike Trout are the other two).
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Those two homers and the .455 career batting average were enough for Darvish to unload one of the best quotes of the year. Per ESPN New York's Wallace Matthews:Wed, Jul 305:05 PM PDTNY Yankees at TexasPreview Game
A day after Greg Maddux was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Vance Worley nearly achieved a "Maddux" — the Internet-recognized feat of throwing a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches.
But this wasn't any complete game. It was a 5-0 shutout against theSan Francisco Giants in which Worley gave up four hits and struck out three. He completely dominated the Giants, handing them their second shutout loss in three games.
Yes, we said Vance Worley did this. The same Vance Worley who was a big-league castoff after a 7.21 ERA in 2013.
You want to know what type of game it was Monday night for the Cincinnati Reds? Just watch the video above.
There's Jay Bruce — who was 0-for-4 in the game with three strikeouts — breaking his bat over his knee after going down on strikes in the ninth inning of a 1-1 game. Then there's Todd Frazier — who was 0-for-6 in the Reds' 15-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks — breaking his bat against home plate after a called strike two in the 14th inning.
Frazier didn't even strike out on that pitch, or in that at-bat. He later grounded out, an achievement for him in a game in which he struck out four times. To be so upset you break your bat on strike two, that's an indication of how frustrating things were for the Reds.Wed, Jul 309:35 AM PDTArizona at CincinnatiPreview Game
Derek Jeter entered Monday night's New York Yankees game two hits behind Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place on baseball's all-time hit list. In other words, it was a good time for Jeter to crank out three hits and get his ascension over with.
Jeter did just that — singling to left field in the first, hitting a ground-rule double to right in the third to tie Yaz, then passing him in the most Jeter way possible, with an opposite-field single in the seventh inning. That totaled 3,420 to Yaz's 3,419.
The Stew's Trade Talk Tracker follows the juiciest rumors in MLB until the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. We'll give you the day's most important links about who may (or may not) be changing teams soon.
COLE WORLD: The Phillies are listening to offers on Cole Hamels, in addition to Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and others, but they want "the world" for Hamels. [CBS Sports]
FAVES: Dodgers and Cardinals appear to the favorites for Hamels, if a deal can get done. Of course, they're supposedly the favorites for David Price too. [@JonMorosi]
DONE DEAL: Dodgers get Gold Glove second baseman Darwin Barney from Cubs for a player to be named later. Barney was recently DFA'd by Cubs. [Yahoo Sports]Wed, Jul 307:10 PM PDTAtlanta at LA DodgersPreview Game
Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.
1. WHO ARE THESE RAYS? We still don't know what to make of the Tampa Bay Rays.
They looked like dead meat, trade-deadline sellers not that long ago, but the Rays have gotten hot over the past month. They're 15-5 in July and winners of nine of their past 10, making them 51-54 on the season. They're 7 1/2 games out in the AL East and 4 1/2 back from the second Wild Card spot. In other words: The Rays are, statistically, very much alive.
This week they play the Milwaukee Brewers, tops in the NL Central, and the Los Angeles Angels, the second-best team in baseball. Combine that with the impending trade deadline, and we'll find out just who this team is.
Will they trade David Price and a few of their other pieces that could help a contender, like Ben Zobrist? Will they hold steady and try to make a run at that Wild Card spot? We've assumed for months the Rays were done, but they might have just found enough life to avoid being sold for pieces as the clock ticks toward July 31.
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