Mike Oz

  • Fun with World Series odds: Dodgers new favorite, Astros make biggest jump

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Online sportsbook Bovada was released a new batch of World Series odds and — surprise, surprise — things have changed since their pre-opening day odds. Imagine that, perceptions changing after actual baseball has been played.

    The headline here: The Los Angeles Dodgers are the new favorite, getting 6/1 odds from Bovada, while the beat-up and under-performing Washington Nationals, the old No. 1, have dropped to fifth on the list with 10/1 odds.

    Filling out the top five: the St. Louis  Cardinals (7/1), Detroit Tigers (15/2) and Kansas City Royals (9/1). Other notables: The New York Mets are sixth (14/1) and those surprising Houston Astros are tenth. (20/1).

    Here's an entire list, sorted by change in odds, and also including their current odds:

     

    Anybody putting money down on the Astros? Or has that ship sailed now that they're not 50/1 anymore?

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  • Pedro Martinez says Mets forced him to pitch while injured, team denies it

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    Not that we expected anything different, but it sounds as if Pedro Martinez pulls no punches in his new book, "Pedro," which hits stores Tuesday.

    We've already heard Martinez's wild story about Manny Ramirez from the book, and now Martinez's book is making headlines for something he wrote about his tenure with the New York Mets.

    Martinez alleges that the Mets forced him to pitch late in the 2005 season, even though he had a toe injury and had been told by his manager that he was done for the year. But Jeff Wilpon, the team's COO and son of owner Fred Wilpon, stepped in and changed that. From the New York Times:

    Wilpon denied this ever happened, telling The Times:

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  • Report: Alex Cobb has a partial tear in elbow ligament, could need surgery

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Tampa Bay Rays were expecting big things out of ace-in-waiting Alex Cobb this season, but Cobb hasn't pitched yet because of a forearm injury. He suffered a setback Monday and was shut down.

    Now the news has gotten worse — worse in a could-need-surgery kind of way.

    Marc Topkin, the Rays beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, is reporting that Cobb has a partially torn ligament in his elbow. That, of course, is a big deal. Topkin couches his reporting by calling it "informed speculation," but Topkin covers the Rays beat well, so we're inclined to believe him. 

    He writes:

    Tomkin was later able to confirm his "informed speculation."

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

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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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