Mike Oz

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day ago

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    Juan Uribe suited up for the Atlanta Braves for the first time Wednesday and was in the unusual situation of playing his old team in his old home stadium the day after he was traded. Yep, the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Uribe, a clubhouse and fan favorite, to Atlanta while the Braves were in L.A., so Uribe just moved to the visitor's clubhouse.

    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.

    4. THIS QUOTE Ummm, we suppose that's a good point.

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day 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 1 day 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 2 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 2 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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  • The first batch of All-Star vote tallies are out and the Royals are dominating

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days 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 3 days 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 3 days 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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