Mike Oz

  • Video: Baseball predictions I was totally wrong about

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    When we make our preseason predictions, I never think I’m going to get 100 percent correct. Baseball is far too hard to predict for that. Of course, I’m trying to do my best, while sticking to my convictions and predicting what surprises might be in store, but predictions are never a test on which I’m going to get an A.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    Now that we’re past the All-Star break, I thought it would be good to look back at some of the things I predicted would happen back in April and see how right and wrong I was. Even better, I thought I’d go on video and confess my misdoings. I have no problem admitting my mistakes.

    So in this week’s installment of my Open Mike video series, I’m doing just that. I’m giving the Baltimore Orioles their proppers and talking about who has surpassed my AL MVP pick, among other things.

  • About 30 percent of baseball fans would take PEDs to make $15 million

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    With Hall of Fame inductions this Sunday, baseball fans are once again face-to-face with the game’s ongoing moral dilemma: What to do about PED users and even suspected PED users.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    A Hall of Fame without the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens seems wrong to some fans but rightful and just to others. Likewise, a player like Mike Piazza, who will be inducted Sunday along with Ken Griffey Jr., had a tougher road into Cooperstown because some voters thought he could have cheated. It’s a messy, messy debate.

    To get a better handle on this, Yahoo Sports conducted a survey of active MLB fans, asking whether PED users or suspects should be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Here are the results:

    – – – – – – –

  • Indy league pitcher tries to be Ultimate Warrior, gets owned instead

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It’s not too often you see a person darting through a baseball field during a game. And when it happens — usually because a fan is making a spectacle of him or herself — you can bet someone is getting tackled.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    What happened last week in the independent Can-Am League, though, is something we haven’t seen before. A player tried to run from one dugout to the other — like Ultimate Warrior coming to the ring — in hopes of starting a fight. It did not go well.

    The pitcher was Fernando Cruz of the New Jersey Jackals, who was on the mound the previous inning as the Jackals gave up an 8-3 lead in the ninth. He was fuming about some part of that meltdown and decided to melt down ever more. He scampered to the Rockland Boulders dugout, running behind the catcher and umpire like a bat boy would.

    First off, when Cruz dashed through play, that’s just great video. Second, boy, did he get owned.

     

    – – – – – – –

  • 15 things that made Ken Griffey Jr. the coolest baseball player ever

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    When you look at the numbers and the highlights, it’s obvious that Ken Griffey Jr. is one of the greatest to ever play baseball. To prove that, his Hall of Fame plaque will be unveiled Sunday, after he earned a record 99.3 percent of the vote.

    But that only tells half Griffey’s story. Sure, he was great on the field, but he was also the coolest big leaguer to ever put on a uniform. That combination made him one of the most popular athletes of the ’90s and an immortal all these years later.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    You know the numbers: 630 homers, 1,836 RBIs, 22 seasons. But here’s the rest of the Griffey legacy. These are 15 things that made him the coolest baseball player ever.

     

    “Slimmy at the Rucka wanna leave and spend with me / I consistently take em out the park like Ken Griffey”

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    <

  • Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with comedian Joel McHale

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Not to be a spoiler, but comedian Joel McHale won our baseball-card game. In the weeks that we’ve spent opening 25-year-old baseball cards with baseball players, collectors and celebrities, no one has scored like McHale.

    If you’re new to this: I have a few boxes of 1991 baseball cards that have been sitting in storage, unopened, for 25 years. Rather than collecting more dust, I figured it would be fun to open these largely worthless cards with baseball people and have a few laughs.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    McHale isn’t a baseball player. He’s a funnyman who you may know best from “The Soup” and “Community,” and who is returning to TV this fall in CBS’ “The Great Indoors.” But he did take part in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Challenge at MLB FanFest last week and was happy to bust open some wax packs with me.

    – – – – – – –

  • Watch live: Indians face Royals in MLB Free Game of the Day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Behind LeBron James, Mike Napoli might just be the most popular athlete in Cleveland at the moment. On an Indians team that’s built a six-and-a-half game lead in the AL Central after Tuesday night’s win over the Kansas City Royals, Napoli has become an unlikely phenomenon.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    Part of this is because of his homers, sure. He’s hit 21 of them, which ranks 11 th in the American League. He hit another one Tuesday night, a first-inning, two-run dinger that started Cleveland’s 7-3 win. But another part of this is the heart that Napoli’s brought to the team, and by extension, the party.

    PARTY AT NAPOLI'S#TribeLive @Indians @MikeNapoli25 pic.twitter.com/TzczYtZTW1

    – – – – – – –

  • The best players in baseball tell us what made Ken Griffey Jr. so great

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Ken Griffey Jr. is now just a few days away from baseball immortality. He didn’t necessarily need a plaque in the Hall of Fame to ensure that baseball fans will never forget him, but he’s getting one. And it’s well deserved.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    Griffey, along with Mike Piazza, will be enshrined in Cooperstown on Sunday. Griffey specifically goes in the Hall with a record 99.3 percent of the vote, only missing three ballots. If that’s not proof that Griffey is beloved in baseball circles, nothing is. If you need more proof of just how much baseball loves Griffey, you can see it in the video above.

    Still, you listen to the sentiments relayed by some of the best players of 2016 and it’s 100% clear: Griffey is an immortal and his mark on the game is indelible.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – – –

  • Five things the Astros need to surge in the second half

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    It’s surprising to say this, considering how disappointing the month of April was the Houston Astros, but as we inch toward August, the Astros are very much back in playoff contention.

    They’re 50-42 after taking two of three from the Seattle Mariners over the weekend, a big turnaround for a team that was 7-17 in the first month of the season. The Texas Rangers have proven themselves to be the power of the AL West this season, and potentially even the American League as a whole, with their 55-28 record. But the Astros are right back in the mix, entering play on Monday four-and-a-half out in the division and only a game out of a wild-card spot.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    The Astros lifted themselves back to contention with an 18-8 record in June. They’re 8-5 so far in July. But this is a team that doesn’t only have postseason expectations, in some cases, it was a World Series pick. In order for that to happen, the Astros need a few things to go right.

    – – – – – – –

  • Roger Clemens will pitch in amateur tournament in latest comeback

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Next month, the National Baseball Councilwill host its annual World Series in Wichita, Kansas, where teams of amateur and semi-professional players will play against each other. But one team sure won’t be like the rest. Because it’ll have 53-year-old Roger Clemens.

    The Kansas Stars will feature Clemens pitching plus Adam LaRoche and Dan Uggla in the infield. Carl Everett, Rick Ankiel and J.D. Drew will patrol the outfield while the bullpen will be something else: Tim Hudson, Ben Sheets, Brad Penny and Roy Oswalt.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now]

    Twenty-four of the players on the 25-man roster are ex-big leaguers. The only one who isn’t? Koby Clemens, Roger’s son, who also happens to be the only player on the team younger than 30.

    Here’s the roster, according to the Wichita Eagle:

     

     

  • Terry Ryan out as Twins GM after more than 30 years with club

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    For the second time, Terry Ryan is out as Minnesota Twins general manager — and this time it looks like it’s sticking.

    The Twins announced Monday that Ryan had been “relieved of his duties” as executive vice president and general manager, ending a relationship with the team that has lasted decades, including more than 20 years as either the general manager or advisor to the GM.

    The Twins, 33-58, have been an utter disappointment this season after being a surprise postseason contender a year ago. That isn’t exactly Ryan’s fault as GM, as the Twins were counting on prospects such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano to take big steps forward. In that respect, the firing isn’t just about passing blame for a single disappointing season, it’s the Twins moving on from an entire era of baseball.

    From the team’s announcement:

     

    But since Antony was only given the job an interim role, that could still be coming for the Twins, who Yahoo Sports’ own Jeff Passan says have been operating behind the rest of the baseball industry for years.