Mike Oz

  • Five plays you need to see from the first day of spring training games

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Actual baseball is back, with major-league teams playing against major-league teams. Tuesday was the first day of games in the Cactus and Grapefruit leagues, and while the outcomes ultimately mean very little, it's still nice to see the homers and great defensive plays again.

    So come with us, fair reader, as we show you the five plays you need to see from the first day of spring training games.

    1. YOENIS CESPEDES GOES GRAND SALAMI New Detroit Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes showed that swing that's won the last two Home Run Derbys, connecting for a grand slam in the Tigers' 15-2 win over the Orioles. Ubaldo Jimenez was in midseason form, allowing six runs in 1.1 innings.

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  • David Wright chews out Mets top prospect for eating lunch during game

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    David Wright knows the right time to eat lunch, and it sure as heck isn't during a New York Mets intrasquad scrimmage. 

    In a rather delicious slice of Mets drama, Wright and veteran relief pitcher Bobby Parnell had to teach youngster Noah Syndergaard — the team's No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America — a lesson Tuesday afternoon about when it's OK to eat and when you should be with the team.

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    Wright caught the former first-rounder off guard by demanding that he get back to the dugout immediately. Stunned, Syndergaard did not get up from his chair until the intervention of another veteran leader, Bobby Parnell.

    "If a kid's not playing nice, you take his toys away," Parnell told Newsday.

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  • Matt Garza gives Brewers pitchers personalized robes

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    When baseball players give each other gifts, it's often an exercise in excess — "Here, fellow rich guys, here are $250 headphones for each of you." But when Matt Garza wanted to give his fellow Milwaukee Brewers starting pitchers a spring-training gift, he hit exactly the right note.

    He gave them all these oh-so-comfortable looking personalized robes. It's one of those things you'd absolutely use but might never think to buy for yourself — the sign of a wonderful present.

    .@KyleLohse26 models his personalized robe this AM, a gift from @Gdeuceswild to each of the starters. #CactusCrew pic.twitter.com/cZMPnpGvoq

    Kyle Lohse sporting new bathrobe compliments of teammate Matt Garza who bought one for the whole rotation #Brewers pic.twitter.com/fYByzMKUe2

    BLS H/N: @PhilHecken

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  • Yankees fire employee who harassed Curt Schilling and his daughter

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

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    The next chapter in Curt Schilling vs. Twitter trolls morphed into one of baseball's most familiar clashes: the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees. And again, Schilling won, dismantling one Yankees employee in particular.

    On Sunday, Schilling penned a 1,700-word blog post exposing some of the Twitter trolls who had been harassing him by sending sexually explicit messages about his 17-year-old daughter, who he had publicly congratulated for getting into college. In many cases, these tweets were far, far over the line, going past your typical locker-room bro bragging and even into unacceptable talk of rape.

    From NJ.com's Erin O'Neill:

    "We have zero tolerance for anything like this," Zillo said. "We've terminated him."

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  • Curt Schilling eviscerates Twitter trolls going after his daughter

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

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    People have called ex-MLB star Curt Schilling a number of things — and they're not always good. But it's hard to deny his tenacity, whether on the mound or in one of the Twitter feuds he often finds himself in.

    Sometimes Schilling gets himself in trouble by never backing down, even from the trolliest of trolls. In his most recent Twitter fight, though, Schilling dealt a KO to the out-of-line bros who'd been harassing him about his 17-year-old daughter. 

    Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!

    It all started last week when Schilling congratulated his daughter, Gabby, for getting accepted into college and starting a softball career. A dad proud of his daughter ... that's benign enough, right? Well, no. Not in the say-anything-and-apologize-later world of 2015 social media.

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  • Angels ace Garrett Richards won't be ready for opening day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Los Angeles Angels will have to wait a little bit longer for the return of their ace Garrett Richards.

    Richards, who suffered a torn patella tendon in his left knee last August, had hoped to be ready for opening day, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted Sunday that's not happening. Richards, 26, is preparing as if he'll be ready for opening day, but his skipper and the Angels won't let him rush back into game-action.

    From MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez:

    "He knows it," Scioscia said. "He's not going to be able to rush it because our medical staff is not going to let him. There's a progression. He has to pass every plateau. It's great that he's going to shoot for being ready by Opening Day, he's working very hard to be ready by Opening Day — but he's not going to be ready Opening Day."

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  • Melvin Upton will miss the rest of spring training with foot injury

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    New name, same disappointment. Melvin Upton — the Atlanta Braves outfielderformerly known as B.J. Upton — got some unbossman-like news Friday. He's very likely to miss the rest of spring training and opening day because of a foot injury.

    Upton, 30, has hit .196 in two seasons since signing a five-year, $72.25 million contract with the Braves. Anybody hoping that 2015 might bring a role reversal for Upton has to be disappointed that his season is starting on the wrong foot. (Pun absolutely intended).

    Mark Bowman, the Braves' beat witer for MLB.com, has specifics:

    The #Braves announced Upton will be sidelined throughout Spring Training. He will be in a cast for 2 weeks and a walking boot for 4-6 wks

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  • Pirates say they're sickened by photo of Jihadi John in their cap

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The horrors brought upon the world by the man known as "Jihadi John" are much larger than baseball.

    But Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates found themselves tangled up in headlines with the notorious masked ISIS executioner who is responsible for beheading a number of hostages on video.

    "Jihadi John" has been identified by multiple news agencies as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwait-born man who moved to London when he was 6. On Friday, British TV station Sky News shared an unmasked picture of him, as a 26-year-old wearing a Pirates cap.

    JUST IN: Adult photo of "Jihadi John" Mohammed Emwazi revealed pic.twitter.com/LjPGV9LZDl

    Not that anybody had accused the Pirates of supporting "Jihadi John" or condoning his vicious acts, but the team's PR department had the PR savvy (or maybe obligation) to quickly release a statement denouncing the whole situation. The team said:

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  • Report: Josh Hamilton likely to be suspended 'at least 25 games'

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    We're still waiting for MLB to hand down a penalty regarding Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton's reported drug relapse. The two sides met in New York on Wednesday for what's been described on the record as a "disciplinary issue."

    Something is coming, we just don't know what form that punishment will take or when it will go public.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosidove into the complicated issue of Hamilton's place on the drug-punishment timeline and MLB's next step. While nothing is official, the Fox Sports story makes a suspension sound almost certain, though it says MLB will possibly be lenient with Hamilton. From Rosenthal and Morosi:

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  • Johan Santana gets another chance, signs with Blue Jays

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    When you were once as good as Johan Santana was, it's a good bet some team will be there, waiting to offer you another chance. For 2015, that team is the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Santana has agreed to join the Blue Jays on a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league spring training. It's the first step in either a feel-good comeback story or another stalled attempt by Santana to reclaim his MLB glory. 

    Santana, 35, didn't pitch in the big leagues in 2013 and 2014, but not for lack of trying. Shoulder surgery prevented him from taking the field in 2013 with the New York Mets. He signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles last year, but tore his Achilles tendon in June when the O's assigned him to extended spring training. Santana also missed the 2011 season because of shoulder surgery. He returned to pitch with the Mets in 2012, throwing a no-hitter but posting a 4.85 ERA in 29 starts.