Mike Oz

  • The first batch of All-Star vote tallies are out and the Royals are dominating

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Fans of the Kansas City Royals spent the early part of the season defending their team — either because they weren't getting enough respect after their 2014 World Series run or because they were being painted as villains after they made the benches clear a few times.

    Now, it appears Royals fans have focused their energy on another plight: making sure they dominate All-Star game voting. MLB released the first batch of AL vote tallies Tuesday and the Royals fans proved themselves the king and queen keyboard clackers, as five Royals would be starters if voting ended right now.

    The first leaderboard for AL All-Star voting is out and the #Royals are dominating. Also: A-Rod has 351K votes. pic.twitter.com/41pj3dGhym

    The biggest snubs at the moment: Prince Fielder, who leads the AL in batting average and is second in RBIs, plus Jason Kipnis, whose .337 average is best among second baseman.

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  • Dodgers TV mess should be helped by Charter buying Time Warner Cable

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    Charter Communications has agreedto acquire Time Warner Cable for $55.33 billion, a mammoth move that has real-world ramifications outside of baseball. But since baseball is our biz here on The Stew, this news means one thing to us: the messy situation involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner might finally get cleaned up.

    Time Warner launched SportsNetLA in 2014, a cable network dedicated to the Dodgers, but other cable providers in the area haven't picked it up, saying it's too expensive. That has left about 70 percent of the L.A. area without access to SportsNetLA and, thus, without access to the Dodgers on TV.

    "We are going to get the Dodgers on," Charter Communications Chief Executive Tom Rutledge said Tuesday morning in an interview with the L.A. Times. "We want the Dodgers on every outlet and we are committed to making that happen," Rutledge said.

  • Report: Braves infielder Alberto Callaspo blocks trade to Dodgers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    In what seemed like a match made of expendable players, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves were reportedly near a swap Tuesday morning that would have sent Juan Uribe to the ATL and Alberto Callaspo back to L.A.

    Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal was first with the news, saying that Uribe-for-Callaspo was the headline, but six players were expected to change teams in the deal. Ah yes, some good ol' hot stove-type dealing in May. But then, as quickly as the rumors warmed our baseball-less morning, they were squashed.

    Callaspo blocked the trade, according to Rosenthal, seemingly happier to stay with the .500 Braves or test free agency again should he get designated for assignment, as many expect, and hit the open market: 

    Sources: Callaspo rejected trade. Had right under CBA to say no to any deal before June 15 as a free agent who signed last off-season.

    And, of course, they still have to figure out what to do with Callaspo.

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  • Albert Pujols delivers walk-off win after Angels give Padres tough choice

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Los Angeles Angels gave the San Diego Padres a choice not many teams would like: Mike Trout or Albert Pujols? Spoiler alert: The Padres didn't choose correctly.

    With the score tied at three Monday night and two out in the ninth inning, the Padres could have pitched to Mike Trout with runners at first and third base. But they chose to walk him to load the bases and take their chances with Albert Pujols. Can't blame the decision. No need to risk it with the best player in the game.

    But Pujols made them pay just the same, slapping a broken-bat, walk-off single into left field off Padres' closer Craig Kimbrel. The Angelswere the victors, 4-3. Pujols notched his 17th career walk-off hit and, according to ESPN Stats & Info, that's the second most among active players. David Ortiz is No. 1.

    Pujols appeared to get chirpy with the Padres dugout right after his single, as evidenced here:

    Albert said after the game that he would have walked Trout too, so that must not be what made him angry.

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  • Watch this fan in an American flag jacket snag a foul ball and dance ridiculously

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Behold as a fan at Monday's Seattle Mariners-Tampa Bay Rays game grabs a foul ball, then proceeds to dance the most ridiculous dance you'll see this week — it's somewhere between hyped-up 4-year-old and Pauly Shore performing as a rodeo clown.

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    He stops to tilt his hat and picks up a sign at the end. The moment was there and he embraced every bit of it. Don't fight the feeling!

    We haven't even gotten to his wardrobe yet, but now seems like a good time. Our foul-ball snagging friend had on a stars-and-stripes jacket — kudos for coming to the ballpark on brand. He's also wearing a Vietnam memorial T-shirt and a military hat. He completed the ensemble with shutter shades, like he's Kanye West or something.

    This man clearly does not care what anyone thinks. And for that reason, we know he loves freedom.


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  • Giancarlo Stanton risks his $325M body to make great leaping catch

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    But Stanton, actually, is pretty good in the outfield and he proved it Monday for the Miami Marlins, making a stellar leaping catch in which he clanged into the right-field wall at Pittsburgh's PNC Park. From the sound of it, you might think Stanton was hurt. His impact with the fence was that loud. 

    Stanton emerged from the play just fine, with the ball and the inning's third out. Credit to Stanton here, he had no problem going face-first into the fence, a scary proposition, especially considering his 2014 season ended with a fastball to the face, which led to fractures and surgery.

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    In the next inning, Stanton was back to the relationship we most know him for having with fences. He launched a homer over that same right-field fence.

    That's Giancarlo Stanton 2, right-field fence 0.

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  • Rays minor-league team cancels A-Rod juice box promo after Yankees complain

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Here's something you don't see every day: the New York Yankees are defending Alex Rodriguez.

    After a Tampa Bay Rays minor-league team planned a promo night poking fun at their infamous slugger, the Yankees objected that it was in poor taste.

    And now, the A-Rod "juice box night" that the Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs had planned for Friday has been cancelled. The team was going to give juice boxes to the first 500 fans through the gates. They were to read:

    "100% Juiced. Side Affects [sic] include: tainted records, inflated ego, omission from the Hall of Fame, and more!"

    The Yankees were not having that, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times shared:

    #Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo: "We have taken many steps in last few hours to get them to cease and desist."

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  • Yankees will wear special caps to honor Bernie Williams

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    With the New York Yankees set to retire Bernie Williams' No. 51 on Sunday, he's getting the same sort of cap treatment that Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera received in recent years.

    That is, the Yankees will wear a special cap in Sunday's game to honor Williams. Here's a look:

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    The team wore special patches on its caps to mark the retirements of Jeter and Rivera in years past, so it makes sense that Williams could his own patch too. You figure Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte, both in line for number-retirement this summer, will get theirs too. 

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  • Rays minor-league team takes a dig at A-Rod with 'juice box night'

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    UPDATE: The promo has been canceled after the Yankees complained. We wrote about it in detail here.

    ORIGINAL POST: The Charlotte Stone Crabs, the Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, have a ballpark promotion aimed right at one of baseball's biggest targets. They're doing a "juice box night" Friday that's a dig at Alex Rodriguez.

    The first 500 fans through the gates get a free juice box like this:

    #StoneCrabs poke fun at #Yankees star Alex Rodriguez with "A-Rod Juice Box Night" http://t.co/k0aShe1EWS pic.twitter.com/1qm42GCgQV

    Because you may not be able to read the label, it says:

    The Sports Drink 100% Juiced Side Affects include: tainted records, inflated ego, omission from the Hall of Fame, and more!

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  • Will Smith suspended eight games by MLB for foreign substance on his arm

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The league announced an eight-game suspension for Smith, who plans to appeal. Here's the MLB announcement:

    Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Will Smith has received an eight-game suspension for having a foreign substance on his arm during the bottom of the seventh inning of his Club’s Thursday, May 21st game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Joe Garagiola Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

    Smith’s suspension had been scheduled to begin tonight, when the Brewers are to continue their series at Atlanta. However, he has elected to file an appeal. Thus, the discipline issued to him will be held in abeyance until the process is complete.

    After the game Thursday night, Smith admitted that he had a mixture of sunscreen and rosin on his arm. That's in violation of MLB's rules, however it's not a particularly uncommon way for pitchers to get a better grip on the ball. Smith told reporters he had it on his arm in the bullpen, but forgot to clean it off when he took the mound. 

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