- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
If you believe what Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick said on his first hands-on day as Philadelphia Phillies interim president, there's not a major shake-up coming.
The Phillies seem ripe for overhaul, considering their $180 million payroll is third-highest in MLB and their 63-74 record is in the bottom third of the league. It's not hard to imagine both general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg being fired, but Gillick says that's "absolutely" not happening.
Gillick took over last week for team president David Montgomery, who started a medical leave of absence after having surgery to remove cancer from his jaw in May. Gillick joined the team for the first time Tuesday in Atlanta. The Phils aren't strangers to Gillick, who was their GM from 2006-2008, a tenure that included the 2008 World Series win. He won two more World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.Wed, Sep 39:10 AM PDTPhiladelphia at AtlantaPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
It's September. Divisions are up for grabs, wild card races are wild and half of MLB still has a chance at the playoffs. Over the next two weeks, we'll plan out how 16 contenders could win the World Series, "could" being the operative word. Some plans will be more absurd than others.
Team: Miami Marlins
Status: The fact that we're talking about the Marlins in September is a win for the franchise. They've lost at least 90 games each of the past three seasons. The Marlins chances at making the playoffs are pretty slim — they're 5 1/2 back for the NL wild card with the Pirates, Braves, Brewers and Giants all ahead of them. But that just means their World Series plan needs to be a little more aggressive, right?
THE MARLINS WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES IF THESE FIVE THINGS HAPPEN
1. Giancarlo Stanton, the team's star slugger and MVP candidate, hits a home run every single at-bat from now until Halloween.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Miami Marlins super slugger Giancarlo Stanton somehow doesn't have the longest home run of 2014, but he has hit the longest homer of the month for the third time this season. That counts for something.
Since it's now September — already?! — we're doing our monthly look-back at MLB's most mammoth homers. August belonged to Stanton, after he hit a 470-foot bomb to left field on Aug. 11. Overall, it's the sixth longest homer of the year.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Great Scott! Andrew Susac, the rookie catcher for the San Francisco Giants has altered the timeline of his rookie season, rewriting both the date of his MLB game and his first hit.
The Giants resumed Monday a suspended game against the Colorado Rockies from May 22 that was delayed three months and 10 days because of rain. Susac, who spells Buster Posey behind the plate these days, was still in Triple-A when the game began.
But when he was inserted into the lineup for Monday's continuation, Susac was *technically* making his MLB debut.
The game goes down in the books for May 22, so even though this was Susac's 18th game with the Giants, it was *technically* his first.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
When four pitchers combine to throw a no-hitterlike a Philadelphia Phillies foursome did Monday, it's probably easier to give the final ball to someone else than decide which pitcher gets to keep it.
Starter Cole Hamels and relievers Jake Diekman, Ken Giles and Jonathan Papelbon threw the combined no-hitter, the first in MLB since 2012 when the Seattle Mariners did it. And the four of them knew just whom the final ball should go to.
Team president David Montgomery took a leave of absence from the Phillies on Thursday because of ongoing health issues. He had surgery in May to remove cancer from his jaw. Montgomery, 68, has been the Phils president since 1997, making him the perfect choice to get the last ball from the franchise's 12th no-hitter.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
For the first time this season, the St. Louis Cardinals are alone in first place in the NL Central.
That might seem untrue, since we've grown so accustomed to these modern Cardinals as the class of the division, but this year hasn't been a gimme by any means. The Milwaukee Brewers have been the surprise team of the 2014 season, and the Cardinals have been chasing them in the NL Central for months.
The Cardinals had been tied for first place in the division on seven different days this season, the most recent being after Sunday's game. But by the end of the business Monday — when the Cards beat the Pirates 5-4, while the Brewers lost to the Cubs — the Cardinals were No. 1.
It happened in somewhat dramatic fashion too. The Cardinals were facing a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Kolten Wong hit a two-run homer to tie the game, then Matt Holliday put St. Louis ahead with an RBI single four batters later.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
At least the tough season for the Philadelphia Phillies now has a historic highlight — Cole Hamels and three Phillies relief pitchers combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves in a 7-0 win Monday, the first combined no hitter since the Seattle Mariners threw one in 2012.
It's the first combined no-hitter in Phillies history, their 12th overall and their first no-hitter since 2010, when Roy Halladay threw two. This makes four no-hitters this season in MLB. Josh Beckett, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum tossed the others.
Cole Hamels started things off for the Phillies on Labor Day, and his start was a bit laborsome despite not giving up any hits to the Braves' batters. He struck out seven, but walked five and threw 108 pitches.
It's tough to figure out exactly what's going on in the video above because it's in Japanese, but we know the important stuff: That's former Nippon Pro Baseball home-run king Takashi Yamasaki guesting on some sort of funny Japanese TV show.
His goal is to try to hit a 186 mph fastball from a pitching machine. Yikes.
You know how fast that is? It's so fast Yamasaki couldn't even swing before the ball passed him. It's so fast that all he could do was laugh. By all means, watch the video above, but check out this slow-motion GIF. Notice how everything is slow except the ball.
After watching this, my life won't be complete until someone rounds up 20 of the best MLB hitters and makes them try.
Mike Trout could do it, right?
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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In a story that can only be described as embarrassing for everyone involved, Jesus Montero, the disappointing one-time Seattle Mariners catcher, went after a scout from his own team with a bat during a minor-league game Thursday.
The reason? The scout had been heckling Montero during a rehab assignment with the Single-A Everett AquaSox, who were playing in Boise. The scout then sent an ice cream sandwich to the dugout for Montero. That's when Montero — who made headlines when he showed up at Mariners spring training 40 pounds overweight — snapped and had to be restrained.
We'll let MILB.com's Tyler Maun unravel the tale in greater detail:
Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker [a type of baseball scout] yelled at him to hustle off the field, according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.
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It's nearly September and to the surprise of a lot of people, the Baltimore Orioles have the biggest division lead of any team in baseball. The O's stretched their AL East lead to seven games on Thursday after a 5-4 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The surprise isn't so much because nobody thought the Orioles would be good, rather it's not easy to run away with the usually tight AL East. But after taking three of four from the Rays, the Orioles are now sitting pretty as the clock counts down toward the season's final month. It's the New York Yankees who are seven games back, while the Toronto Blue Jays are nine and a half behind.
In Thursday's game, Baltimore got a seventh-inning, go-ahead single from J.J. Hardy to earn the win. The club also got a homer from Steve Pearce, while Adam Jones stole home as part of a double steal. Lots of people contributing there these days.
The Orioles host the fourth-place Minnesota Twins next in what seems like a good chance to stretch their lead even further.
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