Mike Oz

  • Joey Gallo gets No. 13 jersey from Jurickson Profar, hopes it's not bad luck

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    Hey, Texas Rangers fans, how would you feel if we told that top prospect Joey Gallo would end up like Jurickson Profar?

    A couple years ago, when Profar was the No. 1 youngster in all of baseball, you'd probably love that idea. But now that Profar isthe baseball equivalent of a crash test dummy, nobody in Arlington wants to hear Gallo and Profar in the same sentence.

    But here's an interesting sentence: Gallo will be wearing No. 13 for the Rangers in his big-league debut Tuesday, the number that used to belong to Profar. He wore it for 85 games in 2013 and hasn't played since because of a shoulder injury that's carried into 2015.

    You'd think Gallo would be like "Hey, Jurickson, I'm good, man. I'm sure there are other numbers available." But nope.

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  • The Nationals are the odds on favorite to win the World Series — again

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    There's been flip-flopping since the end of last season about whether the Washington Nationals or Los Angeles Dodgers should be the World Series favorites for 2015.

    In particular, online sportsbook Bovada had the Nats No. 1 in January. Then the Dodgerswere No. 1 in March, then the Nats No. 1 in April and the Dodgers back atop the board in May.

    Now, you guessed it, the Nats are No. 1 again.

    This isn't so much about Bovada changing its mind over and over again. The Nats got off to a rough start this season, but got it together in May, going 18-9 with a red-hot Bryce Harper playing like an MVP.

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  • Rene Rivera channels Willie Mays Hayes with underwhelming slide into second

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Rivera, trying to avoid a double play Monday night during the Tampa Bay Rays game with the Los Angeles Angels, wasn't even close to making it to the base. You could fit an entire person in between where Rivera's slide ended and where Erick Aybar was standing, right in front of second.

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    For anybody schooled in the ways of great baseball movies, it's impossible not to think of the famous scene in "Major League" where Willie Mays Hayes slides into second base headfirst and doesn't even come close to the bag.

    The main difference, we suppose, is that Hayes ended his slide with a middle finger to the guy who tagged him while Rivera laughed with Aybar about his own hilarious attempt at a slide into second.

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  • Jacob deGrom tosses a gem as Mets blank Padres

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

     

    On the third anniversary of the only no-hitter in New York Mets history, Jacob deGrom looked, for a while, like he might be joining Johan Santana in the team record books. The no-hitter didn't happen, thanks to a Clint Barmes single in the sixth inning, but deGrom was still very, very good Monday night against the San Diego Padres.

    He gave up just two hits — Will Middlebrooks' infield single was the other — facing one batter over the minimum in eight innings of work. deGrom struck out eight, didn't walk a batter and threw 105 pitches. The Mets, meanwhile, gave him seven runs of support, so there was no need for deGrom to come back out for the ninth.

    As for the no-hitter, well ...

    In case he didn't realize he was throwing a no-hitter, deGrom said, a fan yelled at him after the fifth: "You're throwing a no-hitter!"

    So if you believe in jinxes, find that fan and scream at him or her. Meanwhile, the opposing pitcher, Andrew Cashner, turned in a pretty baffling performance.

    Quite a game, this one.

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  • Kyle Seager makes a nice catch, saves a toddler in the process

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Watch the clip above and notice that (most of) the crowd reacts accordingly as Seager makes his way toward them. They get out of the way. Except the pacifier-sucking toddler standing in the front row with absolutely no idea what's going on.

    [Listen up! We've got Rays star Evan Longoria on this week's StewPod]

    It's tough to say for sure the foul ball would have hit the kid, but it looks likely enough that any parent watching this highlight may have the urge to reach through the screen and protect him. Luckily, Seager was there to make the catch and we didn't have to find out just where the ball would have hit.

    Advice to whoever is responsible for that kid: Trade that Yankees cap for a Mariners cap. Pronto. You owe Kyle Seager that much.

    BLS H/N:/r/baseball

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  • Marwin Gonzalez makes incredible throw to rob Manny Machado

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    You might recall last week when Mike Trout was robbed of a home run on a very Mike Trout-esque play by Will Venable. On Monday night, Manny Machado learned that feeling too.

    Credit here goes to Marwin Gonzalez, the Houston Astros shortstop, who made an incredible play in the fifth inning to rob Machado of a hit and save a run in what would eventually be a 5-2 win for his team. Machado hit what looked like a single to centerfield, but Gonzalez ranged to the middle of the field, grabbed the ball, then fell/spun/jumped and made the throw to first base.

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    Watch closely and you'll see his throw happened pretty much on blind faith. Gonzalez didn't have much of a chance to see first base, but was able to hop a ball to Chris Carter in time to beat Machado to the bag. 

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  • The top five homers of May, starring Giancarlo Stanton over and over again

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    For as long as we've been collecting the longest homers of the month here on The Stew, we've never seen a month like May 2015 and that's because the top four homers of the month belong to one man — Giancarlo Stanton.

    If this were a movie, it would be written, produced, directed by and starring Giancarlo Stanton. That's how much he dominated the home-run distance game. Bryce Harper hit the most homers in May (13), and Paul Goldschmidt and Josh Donaldson also did really well (10 a piece), but Stanton won for distance. He hit nine homers in May (as did five other players), but his traveled the furthest.

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    He now owns four of the top six homers of 2015, which is pretty good. A-Rod's 477-foot blast from April is still No. 1 on the overall leaderboard though. (Note: All data in this post comes from ESPN's Hit Tracker Online)

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  • Giancarlo Stanton eats Kit Kats wrong, doesn't care what you think

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Look at this face. It's the face of a man who doesn't care that he's just committed a crime against candy. You're obviously not supposed to eat a Kit Kat like Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is in this picture, snapped Monday by teammate Dee Gordon.

    @Giancarlo818 you need to start respecting the rules sir. pic.twitter.com/IvkUAphhJv

    Even a kid knows the Kit Kat is to be consumed piece by piece. Heck, the Kit Kat's four attached wafers are their own roadmap. But Stanton cares not about sugary societal norms.  A little bit of history may be fitting here. Gordon has previously called out Stanton for flying in the face of Kit Kat logic. Below is a tweet from May 28.

    This is what @Giancarlo818 and #Roebuck does😤 pic.twitter.com/YdvihMRg9G

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    Maybe Stanton's right and the rest of us are the ones eating Kit Kats wrong? 

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  • Lennie Merullo dies at 98, he was the last living Cub to play in World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    It can now be said: There is no baseball player alive who has played for the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

    The last of 'em, shortstop Lennie Merullo, died Saturday at the age of 98, after complications from a stroke, according to the New York Times.

    He played for the Cubs in the 1945 World Series, in the middle of his seven-year MLB career, all of which was with the Cubs. The team, of course, hasn't won a World Series since 1908.

    From the Times:

    Even the most long-suffering Cubs fans might have had only vague memories of Merullo. He spent seven seasons as a Cubs infielder, playing mostly during the World War II years when many front-line ballplayers were in military service, and was never an All-Star. But he enjoyed a distinction that would elude hundreds of other Cubs who played at Wrigley in the last seven decades.

    You have to figure one of them will see the Cubs break their World Series drought.

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days 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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