Mike Oz

  • Will Ferrell revives Harry Caray impersonation on 'The Late Show'

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Will Ferrell's been living the baseball life these past few months. For a follow-up to his play-every-position spring training stunt, Ferrell made a surprise appearance Monday night on "The Late Show with David Letterman" doing his famous Harry Caray impersonation.

    Letterman's on his farewell lap these days, prepping for the end of his tenure as "Late Show" host, which ends May 20. So it's likely this was just a farewell by Ferrell, who started in the crowd, then name-dropped a bunch of old baseball players. There was an Obama reference, but nothing about Kris Bryant, sadly.

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  • Cubs will re-open two sections of Wrigley Field bleachers next week

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Wrigley Field: It's getting there. Almost.

    The homestead of the Chicago Cubs, behind on its offseason renovations, is opening part of its bleachers on May 11, a step forward in the delayed Wrigley revival.

    Here are renderings released Tuesday by the Cubs:

    The Budweiser Bleachers are back! Experience their new look and feel beginning May 11: http://t.co/6btGO2CG90 #LetsGo pic.twitter.com/vPvcPa06UV

    The club says it will open the left and centerfield bleachers when the New York Mets come to town, but we'll still need to wait another month for the right-field bleachers to open. Their current opening date is June 11, but given the delays so far, that's nowhere near a sure thing.

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  • The dream is over: Astros' 10-game winning streak snapped by Rangers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    For those of us who thought the Houston Astros would never lose again (you know you were on board), Monday night was the end of the dream. The Astros' 10-game winning streak was snapped by the Texas Rangers, who edged the Astros 2-1 after a ninth-inning sac fly.

    So close to 11!

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    The Astros, the surprise team of the MLB season thus far, are still 18-8, the best mark in the American League and they have a seven-game lead in the AL West. In case you hadn't been paying attention, no, these aren't those 100-loss Astros anymore.

    Tony Cruz provided the go-ahead hit, a double that scored two runs and broke an 8-8 tie.

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  • Angels announcer Jose Mota catches foul ball — with his glove

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    What's the most important thing we learned during Monday night's Los Angeles Angels/Seattle Mariners game? That Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (now 5-0) is at his best in this early part of the season? That Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and his 10 strikeouts are totally legit? 

    While those things are important, the most important development was something else entirely: Jose Mota is always prepared.

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    Mota, the former big leaguer and son of Manny Mota, is a Spanish-language announcer for the Angels. When a foul ball was hit in the direction of Mota and broadcast partner Amaury Pi-Gonzalez in the seventh inning, Mota calmly reached out and caught it. No sweat, once a ballplayer, always a ballplayer.

    Buuuuuuuut, wait. Did you notice something particularly interesting in the video above? Yep, Mota had his glove on, ready to go, just in case this very moment were to arise. And he did all this while calling the game.

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  • Clayton Kershaw pulls off slick behind-the-back grab on comebacker

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    What can't Clayton Kershaw do? (OK, other than beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason).

    The Los Angeles Dodgers ace throws knee-buckling curve balls, plays a mean game of ping-pong and he can even hit a homer every once in a while. On Monday night, he impressed in yet another way — with his glove.

    Watch Kershaw above with a behind-the-back stab on a comebacker hit by Elian Herrera of the Milwaukee Brewers. Who does this guy think he is? Andrelton Simmons? An NHL goalie? Sheesh, Clayton. 

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    But, hey, he'll always have this highlight. 

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  • Brewers get come-from-behind win in Craig Counsell's first game as manager

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    What a 24 hours it was for Craig Counsell: He watched Sunday night as the Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ron Roenicke, then installed him as skipper Monday morning. Counsell's first task on the job? Face the Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.

    Those 24 hours finished in the best possible way too — the game ball in Counsell's hand, his first win as an MLB manager secured when his Brewers scored three runs in the eighth inning for a come-from-behind victory against the best pitcher in baseball.

    At one point Monday morning, during his introductory media sessions, Counsell talked about wanting his players to write a new story. He got one, all right. Here's more from Tom Haurdicourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    Craig Counsell on improbable first win with #Brewers: "Those guys wrote a pretty good story tonight. It wasn't looking good early."

    That's the type of re-write Counsell and the Brewers front office is hoping for. 

  • Cardinals fan runs onto field, eludes security, somersaults onto home plate

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    Before we say anything else, we'll say this: It's never a good idea for fans to run onto a baseball field. Not only is it a waste of their ticket and a waste of many peoples' time, but the fan-on-the-field dash pretty much never goes as well as when it's conceived — usually a couple drinks in — back in the stands.

    Usually, the fan gets thrown to the ground, tossed out of the stadium and embarrasses him/herself mightily . Every once in a while, though, this happens:

     

    This was the scene Monday night at Busch Stadium, where the St. Louis Cardinals were playing Chicago Cubs. Hand to the guy: He eluded four security guards and finished in grand fashion — with a somersault onto home plate. We still don't agree with the idea, but the guy gets points for execution.

    This Cardinals fan should enjoy his 15 seconds of fame. He probably won't be welcome around Busch Stadium for quite a while.

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  • Chase Whitley makes a throw to first base that would make 50 Cent proud

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Things can dicey quickly when pitchers have to do non-pitcher things — like bat or field grounders. And sometimes, that very much adds to our entertainment value as baseball-watchers.

    Everybody say hi to Chase Whitley, the New York Yankees starting pitcher Monday night against the Blue Jays. Whitley fielded a bunt by Ezequiel Carrera and made a throw to first base that would make 50 Cent feel good about his baseball accomplishments.

    Yikes! 

    To Whitley's credit, you can see he didn't have a grasp on the ball as he took it out of his glove. He should have held it, but he tried to toss the ball to first anyway. And it looked like a drunk duck trying to fly. Jays first-base coach Tim Leiper moved quickly to get out of the way. He probably didn't need to, but it was fun to watch just the same. 

    BLS H/N: @NotMrTibbs

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  • How A-Rod can be a good guy again after hitting homer No. 660

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate Friday night, a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of a tied game, playing for baseball's most famous team in one of the game's most historic stadiums.

    He watched three balls go past him, then swung and connected, sending a baseball over the Green Monster at Fenway Park for his 660th career home run, which tied him with Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time list and put the New York Yankees ahead of the Boston Red Sox. The homer was the difference in a 3-2 win.

    For all intents and purposes, this should have been historic. It was dramatic, sure. But as far as history goes, this was hollow. And deservedly so. 

    If it were somebody else — someone we liked — this would be a moment etched in time. Instead, it's another controversial day in the life of Alex Rodriguez, where we're forced to downplay his talent and accomplishments because of the poor choices he's made.

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  • Alex Rodriguez hits 660th career homer, ties Willie Mays for fourth all-time

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Alex Rodriguez arrived at a plateau Friday night that only four men before him ever have — 660 homers, a magic number in the baseball record book that A-Rod reached when he stepped up as a pinch-hitter and delivered a go-ahead solo home run over the Green Monster at Fenway Park in Boston.

    The home run would prove to be a game-winner as the Yankees held on for a 3-2 victory. 

    Six-hundred and sixty, it’s the number we associate with Willie Mays, whom A-Rod has now tied for fourth on the all-time list. There will be much debate the next few days about whether pundits and fans see A-Rod’s homer as a worthwhile milestone or a hollow honor for a fraudulent star, but the fact is, he hit it.

    [Still not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball]

    The no-doubt home run was greeted by a mixed reaction from the crowd. The fan who caught it, a Red Sox fan, immediately put two thumbs down. A-Rod was greeted warmly by his Yankees teammates once he reached the dugout. 

    YANKEES TAKE LEAD!

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