Mike Oz

  • Coastal Carolina coach fights back tears after College World Series win

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

     

    Coastal Carolina captured the College World Series crown Thursday, underdogs until the very last out. Not only was it Coastal Carolina’s first baseball championship, it was the school’s first championship in any sport.

    The Chanticleers had won the Big South conference many times before, and they’ve made it to the NCAA tournament 14 times. But they’d never made it to the College World Series in Omaha, the promised land for college baseball teams.

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    Despite coach Gary Gilmore building a consistently successful baseball program at the 10,000-student school near Myrtle Beach, S.C., they were still just another mid-major team that did well for itself but couldn’t hang with the NCAA power baseball programs. Until this year, that is.

    — Bill Jones (@CBS11BillJones) June 30, 2016

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  • Cubs, Mets meet for first time since NLCS

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets meet for four games beginning Thursday. It’ll be the first time they’ve played since last season’s National League Championship Series, in which the hard-throwing Mets swept the upstart Cubs and advanced to the World Series.

    And while this is very much a meeting of two of baseball’s most interesting clubs this season, it’s not simply the postseason rematch you might think. These teams have changed a lot since last October — heck, they’ve both changed a lot since June 1. We’re looking at you, Mets pitching elbows.

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    The Mets are in third place in the NL East, struggling with injuries and recently stuck in an offensive slump that’s led to a four-game losing streak. In the middle of that was a 23-inning scoring drought that ended with a meaningless two-run homer in the ninth inning ofa 4-2 loss Wednesday night.

  • Here’s the worst swing you’ll see in baseball this year

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    If Baseball School were an actual place, this would be one of the lessons: When you’re at the plate and your teammate is stealing a base, help him out. Swing at the pitch. Make it a little harder for the catcher to throw him out.

    When it came time to show an instructional video, they would definitely NOT show the above clip of New York Yankees utility man Ronald Torreyes. Because it’s downright embarrassing.

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    Torreyes was at the plate in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Texas Rangers. The score was 1-1 after Didi Gregorious had hit a solo homer earlier in the inning. Aaron Hicks walked. And Torreyes was up with one out, trying to, at the very least, get the go-ahead run in scoring position. That didn’t happen.

    The swing was bad enough, but the thought process was worse. It was like he thought, “Oh, crap, I better swing.” Only he thought it a second too late. And he was wrong.

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  • Phillies prospect has eye removed after freak training accident

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer Matt Imhof was going through a normal postgame exercise routine last week when he was injured in a freak accident that Imhof said Thursday led to his eye being surgically removed.

    Imhof is a 22-year-old pitcher picked by the Phillies in the second round of the 2014 draft and assigned to the Single-A the Clearwater Threshers. He was in the workout room of the Brevard County Manatees, the Milwaukee Brewers Single-A team, last Friday when his eye was, as doctors put it, “crushed like a grape.”

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    That’s a heckuva outlook for a 22-year-old.

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    Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @MikeOz

  • Clayton Kershaw is hurt and things could get ugly for the Dodgers

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    There hasn’t been a pitcher in baseball this season more valuable to his team than Clayton Kershaw is to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And we may see soon just how much better he’s made the mostly unspectacular Dodgers this season.

    The club announced Tuesday that Kershaw would be leaving its current road trip in Milwaukee and traveling back to the Los Angeles to see the team’s back specialist.

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    This, as you might imagine for a Dodgers team that’s trying to make the best of a depleted rotation, is not good news. Here’s what skipper Dave Roberts relayed to the press, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

    Dave Roberts said the team is "hopeful" Kershaw can make his next start. But his back condition has not improved.

    — Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) June 28, 2016

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  • Tim Lincecum, Angels face Astros in Free Game of the Day

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Tim Lincecum’s first start in his MLB comeback with the Los Angeles Angels was quite a sight. He pitched well,  fending off the Oakland Athletics and allowing just one run in six innings. Tim Lincecum 2.0, hey, it could be a thing.

    But then came the second start. There wasn’t as much fending and instead of Timmy 2.0 there were the four runs scored in the second inning. Lincecum lasted three, throwing 83 pitches and looking more like the downtrodden ex-ace we saw with the San Francisco Giants.

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    But sometimes it’s actually true. In Lincecum’s case, one game at a time is all anyone can ask.

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  • Roundtable: This year’s biggest All-Star frauds

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Sometimes you get frauds. This is the kind of thing that happens when you let the public decide. It’s the downside of any popularity contest. Because getting the most votes doesn’t actually mean you’re the best.

    And that’s especially true in Major League Baseball the past couple years, where the shift to online-only voting has led to some serious ballot-box-stuffing.

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    Remember Omar Infante nearly becoming the starting second baseman last season even though he was one of the worst hitters in the AL? Fun fact: Infante was released by the Kansas City Royals recently, but he’s still No. 4 at his position this season.

    — Big League Stew (@bigleaguestew) June 27, 2016

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  • The five closest races on the MLB All-Star ballot

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    If you haven't already used your personal allotment of 35 votes, head over to the All-Star site to make your choices before the clocks strikes midnight and Omar Infante turns back into a pumpkin.

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    Truth be told, a few races look all but decided. For example: Salvador Perez is up by 2.7 million votes as the starting AL catcher; David Ortiz is leading by 2.3 million and Anthony Rizzo about 1.4 million. But there are still some places where you can have an impact. Here's the latest tally of votes that MLB released Monday:

    Several close races remain with just four days left to vote for 2016 All-Star starters. Here are the latest totals: pic.twitter.com/0AGzE2j6MR

    To help you digest that, we've focused on the five closest races where your vote could actually mean something:

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  • Nats call up top prospect Lucas Giolito to replace Stephen Strasburg

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Giolito, 21, has been one of the most-hyped pitching prospects in baseball for the past two seasons, ranking at No. 5 on Baseball America's preseason Top 100 list. That's one notch behind Julio Urias, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who debuted last month.

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    This sets up an intriguing pitching matchup in D.C. on Tuesday, where Giolito will face Matt Harvey. Fun fact: This is the third top pitching prospect the Mets have faced this season. Urias faced the Mets in his debut, as did Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Mets won both of those games.

    The Nats aren't saying what their long-term plans are for Giolito — whether he'll fill a hole in the rotation and get sent back down or if there's a chance for him to stick around. Of course, much of that may depend on his performance. From Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post:

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  • Yankees president rips media for asking if they'll sell at trade deadline

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    The Yankees are 37-37. They're eighth in the AL wild-card standings and 2.5 games out of the postseason going into play Monday. So, they're not horrible but not great. And selling? Well, it's at least a possibility at this point.

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    In Yankee-land, it's at least an interesting topic, mostly because they're the Yankees and the Yankees don't sell all that often. So on Monday, when the New York media got some face time with team president Randy Levine, the question was asked: "What do you think of the suggestion that the Yankees should become sellers?"

    To say Levine was not pleased would be an understatement. He ripped into the media while flaunting the Yankees' tradition of success. Here Levine's response, via Brendan Kuty of NJ.com:

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