- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
The luster wore off Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara a bit in 2014, but the team still likes Uehara enough to extend him for two more seasons. The team announced Thursday a new two-year contract for Uehara, who will bypass free agency and make $18M over the next two seasons.
Uehara was lights-out in 2013, saving 21 games with a minuscule 1.09 ERA. He also saved seven games in the postseason and allowed just one run as the Red Sox won the World Series. This season wasn't as kind. Uehara had 26 saves and a 2.52 ERA — which isn't bad, just not as great as 2013.
Koji: "Good morning everybody! You might have heard through media, I signed with Red Sox for 2 years. I am looking forward to seeing you!" 🙌
Two years, $18M for Koji Uehara.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Well, distraught Los Angeles Dodgers fans, here's something that might cheer you up a tad bit after watching your bitter rivals win the World Series — the Dodgers are the early favorites to win the 2015 World Series, according to online sportsbook Bovada.
The Washington Nationals share that honor with the Dodgers. Both teams, which were knocked out in the NLDS this season, are listed at 15/2 odds. The San Francisco Giants, whose World Series win hasn't even dried yet, ranked fifth at 12/1. The Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels are just ahead of the Giants, both carrying 10/1 odds.
Here's Bovada's complete rundown:
Los Angeles Dodgers 15/2
Washington Nationals 15/2
Detroit Tigers 10/1
Los Angeles Angels 10/1
San Francisco Giants 12/1
St. Louis Cardinals 12/1
Kansas City Royals 16/1
Seattle Mariners 18/1
Baltimore Orioles 20/1
Oakland Athletics 20/1
Pittsburgh Pirates 20/1
Atlanta Braves 22/1
Boston Red Sox 22/1
New York Yankees 22/1
Cleveland Indians 25/1
Cincinnati Reds 33/1
Tampa Bay Rays 33/1
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Forget the big contracts, free pick-up trucks, prime-time TV ratings and the rest. Baseball, at its essence, will always be a game of fathers and sons. It's why the Ripkens are royalty, why we rooted for the Griffeys and why "Dad, do you wanna have a catch?" tugs at our hearts all these years later.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
There was a day near the end of June on which a San Francisco Giants fan would have told you the boys in orange and black had no chance to be World Series champs again.
The Giants had surrendered a 10-game lead in the NL West in an epic midsummer collapse, frankly the type of collapse that you don't expect a team to rebound from.
The Giants were nearly no-hit on June 29. It was a Sunday. The Los Angeles Dodgers tied them in the standings. Surrendering first place was bad. Surrendering it to the Dodgers was like your wife leaving you for the guy you hate the most in the world.
I remember this day well because I was driving for three hours, listening to San Francisco-based radio station KNBR the entire time. Giants fans were calling in, acting like they'd reached doomsday. One caller even suggested the Giants should fire manager Bruce Bochy.
Caller after caller, and the general message was the same: the Giants were screwed. The more optimistic callers thought that if the Giants could make a big trade and get someone like Chase Utley, maybe their season could be salvaged.Wed, Oct 29San Francisco3 - 2Kansas CityGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
As usually happens when a pro sports team wins a championship, San Francisco Giants fans spilled into the streets of their city to celebrate the 2014 World Series win.
They were joined by a face that everybody in orange and black recognizes: Barry Bonds, the ex-Giants slugger. He showed up shortly after the Giants' clinched their 3-2 victory Wednesday night and made his way through a throng of Giants fans near AT&T Park.
After World Series Game 7, we'll never question the composure of Madison Bumgarner, who threw five scoreless innings after throwing a shutout just three days ago. Bumgarner earned a save and World Series MVP honors. With that MVP award came a free truck from Chevrolet.
The TV award ceremony for said truck and said MVP trophy, however, definitely made us question the composure of Rikk Wilde, the guy Chevy sent to Kansas City to present the award. It got awkward quick, as Wilde lost his train of thought, pausing a few times to look down at his notecards and at one point said the truck featured "technology and stuff." Oof.
Even Bug Selig seemed befuddled with what was going on.
Dozed off. Why is Saturday Night Live on? pic.twitter.com/EPYt35dEc2
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Thanks to a snazzy diving stop and flip by Joe Panik and a questionable head-first slide by Eric Hosmer, the San Francisco Giants turned a gorgeous double play in Game 7 that also became the first World Series play overturned by video replay.
By the time the Giants had won the game — by only one run — players were looking back at this double play as one of the key moments that helped S.F. wrap up the series.
It came in the bottom of the third inning with the score tied 2-2. Lorenzo Cain singled to lead off the inning for the Kansas City Royals. Eric Hosmer hit one hard up the middle, but Panik, the Giants' rookie second baseman, ranged to his right and made a great diving stop. He flipped the ball directly from his glove to shortstop Brandon Crawford to force Cain out at the second. Panik's portion of the play was pretty enough in its own right.
So, what's it going to be? The Kansas City Royals winning their first World Series in 29 years? Or the San Francisco Giants capturing their third in five years?
Six games haven't been enough to finish this World Series, so Game 7 will decide it. In a rematch of Game 3, the Giants will send Tim Hudson to the mound while the Royals counter with Jeremy Guthrie. The Royals won that game 3-2, but things are a bit different this time around — the bullpens are ready, with big arms like Madison Bumgarner and James Shields looming.
As we find out which team will capture the trophy, the Yahoo Sports MLB crew — columnists Tim Brown and Jeff Passan, plus the bloggers from Big League Stew — will be serving up commentary from start to finish.
It didn't matter that the Chicago Cubs already had a manager in place, when Joe Maddon hit the open market, it got their attention.
And now, just like that, Rick Renteria's tenure as Cubs skipper is apparently over after just one season. The Cubs have upgraded, agreeing to make Maddon their new manager, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Maddon and the Cubs are on the verge of agreeing to a mega deal, according to people familiar with the situation. The Cubs deny that a deal is done, but people familiar with the dealings say that it is certain to be completed in coming days, and that Maddon would indeed be the next Cubs manager.
The contract, once finalized, is expected to make Maddon one of the highest-paid managers in baseball and quite likely the best-paid in the National League. Mike Scioscia's Angels deal pays him $5 million annually, so he sets the standard.
After accidentally shooting off his own finger Tuesday while cleaning his gun, Jose Canseco was well enough Wednesday to return to Twitter. Canseco, the former MLB slugger whose post-baseball life has been something of a sideshow, tweeted a photo of himself, his huge cast and his fiancée, Leila Knight.
Canseco, 50, reiterated what TMZ Sports reported after the shooting — he's hoping to keep his middle finger after surgeons in Las Vegas worked to reattach it Tuesday night.