Mike Oz

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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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  • Dodgers get swept by Giants, score exactly zero runs in three games

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    When the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers tangle, the baseball is usually a little bit different, a little more intense. They're the biggest rivals on the West Coast and they manage to give even early-season games a September feel.

    What happened to the Dodgers this week was another type of different: They were swept by the Giants in three games and didn't score a single run. Oof. The sweep concluded Thursday, with the Giants winning 4-0 in a battle of the aces — Madison Bumgarner vs. Clayton Kershaw.

    An example of how right things were going for the Giants and how wrong they were for the Dodgers: Bumgarner put the Giants on the board with a solo homer off Kershaw in the third inning. It was the first time another pitcher has ever homered off Kershaw.

    [Woah, The Stew has a podcast now?! Yep, you should listen.]

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  • How a baseball team combined pizza and hot dogs to make the Frankenslice

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Sam Hansen walks into a convenience store around the corner from a minor-league baseball stadium, grabs a Mountain Dew and a Red Bull out of the fridge then walks to the counter and asks for a large styrofoam cup full of ice.

    He takes the cup, then pours in Tapatio hot sauce and lemon juice.

    “What are you doing?” asks the guy behind the counter, puzzled.

    Hansen opens the Mountain Dew, pours that into the cup and then does the same with the Red Bull. He mixes it all up and looks back at the cashier.

    “Needed something extra today,” he says, before walking back to the ballpark.

    Is it any surprise that this is the man who dreamt up the Frankenslice, the latest outlandish food mash-up to come from the minor leagues? The name says it all — it’s a slice of pizza with a hot dog stuffed in the crust, a frank in a slice.

    [Woah, The Stew has a podcast now?! Yep, you should listen.]

    The Frankenslice, though, is actually a ballpark food when you think about it. Pizza and hot dogs are too popular concession items, this just combines them.

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  • StewPod #1: Me and you, Bryce Harper, A-Rod and your mama too

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Welcome, fine readers and listeners, to the inaugural Big League Stew podcast, hosted by Mike Oz and Chris Cwik. We're calling it The StewPod for short and it's a half-hour of talk about baseball news, culture with a few shenanigans mixed in.

    On our first episode, we discuss:

    • Whether the Houston Astros are for real

    • What if all the MLB GMs became managers tomorrow? Who would be good?

    • Ichiro vs. Pete Rose

    • Can Bartolo Colon be the last Expo standing?

    • The intersecting storylines of Bryce Harper and A-Rod

    • And we finish with a fun "OR" game involving A-Rod, Harper, going to the movies, Monopoly and dating Chris' mom.

    Thanks for checking out the first installment of The StewPod. It'll be on iTunes soon and we'll have a new episode next week with special guest Evan Longoria.

    [Featured music: Urban Cone ft. Tove Lo - "Come Back to Me"]

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  • Hyun-Jin Ryu will have shoulder surgery, could miss 2015 season

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The Los Angeles Dodgers pitching rotation took a big — but not unexpected — blow Wednesday when it was announced lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu needs arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

    The Dodgers had been bracing for Ryu to go on the surgeon's table because of the shoulder issues that began in spring training and have lingered ever since. He hasn't pitched in 2015 and could join Brandon McCarthy on the shelf for the entire season.

    The Dodgers didn't say yet that Ryu is out for the year, his exact timetable will depend on what's found during surgery Thursday. But conventional wisdom says Ryu probably won't be back until 2016. Thus, the Dodgers are preparing themselves for life without another starting pitcher.

    Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman told the media Tuesday — even before surgery was confirmed — that the team was preparing for the worst: 

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  • Even A-Rod is gushing about Bryce Harper these days

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Any baseball fan being honest with him or herself has to acknowledge that Bryce Harper has been a joy to watch the past few weeks. He's captured back-to-back NL player of the week honors and he's hitting .411/.529/.982 with nine homers and 22 RBIs since May 1. That's ridiculously good.

    We've covered the whole Bryce Harper is not overrated/not a bust thing before — he's not a bust, people! — but Harper is doing so well right now that even A-Rod is gushing about him. Talk about a pair of polarizing baseball players.

    “I like how relentless and how aggressive he is; you don’t see that often these days,” Rodriguez said. “Most people want to play it safe, but he goes for it every time. That’s very admirable. Hopefully not the next two days, though.”

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  • Hyun-Jin Ryu may need shoulder surgery, Dodgers may need a trade

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The news is getting worse for The Los Angeles Dodgers and starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, who may need shoulder surgery and, in the worst case, could miss all of 2015. That's certainly not ideal for a team with World Series aspirations that's already missing one of its starting pitchers for the season.

    Our man Jeff Passan has the news:

    Source: Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu considering surgery on shoulder. Korean report says happening this week. Source says still not determined.

    As Passan notes, there are reports out of Korea, Ryu's home country, that say surgery is happening. (But have your favorite Korean-to-English translator handy). Ryu hasn't pitched this season after encountering shoulder issues in spring training, and he experienced some shoulder problems last season too. He hasn't thrown since May 1.

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    First, though, we await the official word on Ryu. 

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