Mike Oz

  • Report: Yankees refusing to pay A-Rod's $6M home-run bonus

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    The New York Yankees certainly imagined a different future when they signed then-superstar Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, $272 million contract in 2007.

    They weren't thinking about PED suspensions and tabloid turmoil. They were thinking of the ultimate long-ball spectacle — A-Rod chasing the all-time home run record in Yankees pinstripes, and how much attention it would bring them.

    This is proven by the "milestone" incentives in A-Rod's contract, which pay $6 million with every MLB home-run titan he passes on the all-time list.

    He gets $6 million when he passes Willie Mays, another $6 million each if he passes Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. The last three likely aren't in A-Rod's target, as he sits at 654 homers, but Mays certainly is. A-Rod needs seven homers to move past Mays, become fourth on the all-time list and collect $6 million.

    The deal was considered unique for the Yankees and was tied to Rodriguez making public relations and promotional appearances as he pursued the milestones. These kinds of marketing bonuses are not allowed in the standard player contract, according to the game’s Basic Agreement, which is why there was a separate contract.

  • Peace out, Bud Selig, this is how we'll remember you

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    As you surely know by now, the clock is ticking on the final hours of the Bud Selig era. Come Sunday, new commissioner Rob Manfred will take over and Selig will officially retire with those $6 million annual pension payments. Not bad, Bud.

    There's been a lot of talk this week about Selig's legacy — both good and bad — and how MLB has changed in the 22 years he served as baseball's biggest boss. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan did a fine job of digesting Selig's legacy, so we recommend giving that a read.

    We'll remember the PED scandals and the All-Star game tie, but we'll also remember the record profits and labor peace. Oh, and we'll definitely remember the times Selig looked like a goofball doing this:

    ... but mostly the hand-to-the-ear thing again.

  • Ryan Vogelsong re-signs with Giants for $4M in burger money

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    There's no Super Duper Burger in Houston, so maybe that made free-agent pitcher Ryan Vogelsong's decision easier. 

    Vogelsong — pitcher and noted superstitious eater — has reportedly decided to re-sign with the San Francisco Giants instead of jumping to the AL West to pitch for the Houston Astros. It sounded earlier in the week like a deal with the Astros was close, but then Vogelsong was pulled back to S.F.

    Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports had the news first, reporting that Vogelsong is getting $4 million for 2015, which buys plenty of his lucky burgers:

    Vogy is one loyal cat. Second year in a row he's taken a guaranteed pay cut to return, tho he made considerable incentive $ last year.

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  • Mariners unveil awesome new alternate uniforms

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Looking good, Seattle Mariners.

    The M's have unveiled new alternate uniforms that they'll wear this season for Sunday home games and they're deliciously retro, adding elements of their late 1980s uniforms to their current look. Enough words, we know what you want, so onto the pictures.

    Introducing the #Mariners Sunday Home Alternate Uniform. pic.twitter.com/nNS8qofwYD

    We dig the return to the royal blue and gold, particularly on the cream jersey.

    WANT pic.twitter.com/HDHpF8YX3q

    LOVE pic.twitter.com/HMjp22HwL2

    Notice the stirrups? Most excellent.

    The stirrups. Ah yes, the stirrups. pic.twitter.com/NNPuUsKyqY

    Check out the infographic and GIF below that better illustrate the transformation:

    The past meets the present. pic.twitter.com/AVNSPNuNN4

    New meets old. pic.twitter.com/3kCAhKn5d3

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Report: Ichiro signs with Marlins as quest for 3,000 hits continues

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The fascinating offseason of the Miami Marlins continues, as they've reportedly signed Ichiro to a one-year deal that's worth about $2 million. He's a shell of his former self and will be a fourth outfielder in Miami, but Ichiro is still a recognizable name whose skill with a bat can't be denied.

    Here are the details, as first reported by Miami radio dude Craig Mish:

    Hearing Ichiro Suzuki and @Marlins have agreed to terms.

    Source: #Marlins indeed closing in on Ichiro, as @craigmish reported. Deal expected to be one year in $2M range.

    For the Marlins, Ichiro, 41, is a veteran that can help an otherwise young outfield, which includes megastar Giancarlo Stanton plus Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna. Ichiro hit .284/.324/.340 last season in 143 games with the Yankees.

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  • Pete Rose will be a part of 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    So Pete Rose is only banned from Major League Baseball when it's convenient?

    That seems to be the takeaway from the latest news about the 2015 MLB All-Star game, which is going to be held this July at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park. Reds owner Bob Castellini told fans Thursday at a Q & A that Pete Rose, baseball's embattled hit king, will be a part of the All-Star game.

    Here's the exact quote, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com:

    Answering a fan question at Q&A, Castellini said "You'll definitely see Pete Rose at the All-Star Game this year."#reds

    We knew this was a possibility, because Commissioner Bud Selig left the door open for it at last year's All-Star game in Minnesota. But it's still a can of worms for MLB, particularly for new commish Rob Manfred, who takes over for Selig on Sunday. 

    "If I am, it's news to me," Rose said. "To be part of the All-Star game would be great for me."

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Ryne Sandberg admits to problems in Phillies clubhouse last year

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    You don't need us to rattle off the things that were wrong with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, we all know the major one — underperforming veterans who were getting paid way too much.

    Well, manager Ryne Sandberg, speaking at a Phillies event Wednesday night in New Jersey, shed a little more light on the team's disappointing 2014 season. The Phillies finished last in the NL East, 73-89, in Sandberg's first full season at the helm. And he said the clubhouse wasn't "conducive to winning,"

    From Ryan Lawrence at the Philadelphia Daily News:

    "I didn't think we had a good clubhouse last year," Sandberg said bluntly, before the Phillies' 21st annual winter banquet in Lakewood, home of the organization's Low-A BlueClaws. More than once, Sandberg was asked just what he meant concerning possible clubhouse issues.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • The Padres have a portrait of Bud Selig in their office and it's creepy

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    How much do the San Diego Padres love Bud Selig? More than a lot of people, it would seem.

    The Padres, you might remember, recently renamed a plaza after Selig at Petco Park. Many people thought that was part of an elbowing up to Selig so they could get the Midsummer Classic. Whether that was the motive or not, the game is theirs.

    And now, as we countdown Selig's final days (new commish Rob Manfred takes over Sunday), lots of eyes have been alerted to the portrait of Selig the Padres have hanging in their offices at Petco Park. It's, ummmm, something.

    Portrait of Bud that overlooks lobby of Padres offices at Petco Park. pic.twitter.com/E8m3SxIFy7

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Hall of Fame caps revealed: Pedro's wearing the Red Sox

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The Baseball Hall of Fame announced Thursday which caps the rest of the2015 class of inductees would wear on their plaques, and there was little surprise — unless you were holding on to hope that Pedro Martinez would somehow wear a Montreal Expos cap.

    That, admittedly, would have been cool. (Apologies to Boston).

    The biggest decision, if you had missed it, had already come down, with the Hall deciding that Randy Johnson would be enshrined as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and not the Seattle Mariners. That, too, was expected.

    His 2015 peers:

    • Pedro Martinez — Boston Red Sox • John Smoltz — Atlanta Braves • Craig Biggio — Houston Astros

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  • Pete Rose on MLB's new pace-of-play rules: 'Who's in a hurry?'

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Pete Rose was making the media rounds this week, talking about everything from the Hall of Fame to the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati. We're heard him talk about those things before and aside from him endorsing Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds for Cooperstown(birds of a feather, right?), there wasn't much new from Hit King on those topics.

    He was asked by Anthony Pepe of Yahoo Sports Radio about baseball's new pace-of-play rules and Rose let his everyman attitude shine, as you hear in the clip above. If you've missed the recent pace-of-play headlines: Minor leaguers in Double-A and Triple-A will have a 20-second pitch clock this season, while big leaguers will reportedly have to be ready to return from commercial breaks quicker.

    Cue Mr. Rose: