Mike Oz

  • Doug Fister bought everybody free Starbucks for Christmas

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    'Tis the season to wrap up a Starbucks gift card for many of the people you care for in life and wish them a Merry Christmas. Except if you're Washington Nationals pitcher Doug Fister, then it's the season to give EVERYBODY a free drink at Starbucks.

    Not just Nats fans or people who Santa Fister has deemed to make the "good list" — any ol' person who saw this Christmas Eve Tweet, had a smartphone and took the gift-card barcode to their nearest Starbucks for a scan.

    Merry Christmas Eve! Have a Starbucks on us! Have the barista scan the pic below. Don't be a grinch, please use for 1 pic.twitter.com/Npzh6QiyRa

    Just imagine how much Fister is laying down for his jolly act of java. He has more than 23,400 followers on Twitter, but this is already spreading beyond just his followers. Fister, 30, made $7.2 million last season, and promises to make more through arbitration in 2015 after going 16-6 with a 2.41 ERA, so he can afford a couple of Frappuccinos. 

    You guys are fast! Took less than an hour to empty that thing. ☕️ Sorry if you didn't make it in time, maybe we'll try it again another day!

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  • Little League champs face new allegations of cheating

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Jackie Robinson West, the Chicago-based Little League World Series U.S. champs, are facing more allegations of gaming the system in order to field a team with the best local players.

    Last week, a clash between Jackie Robinson West and a neighboring rival went public, as Chris Janes of Evergreen Park Little League, accused Jackie Robinson West of using ringers from outside its boundaries. Little League International, however, scoffed at Janes' claims, saying it had looked into the players' residency and it considered the issue closed.

    [F]ellow league presidents within District 4 did not give permission for Jackie Robinson West's boundaries to be expanded, and were unaware of the changes, sources told DNAinfo.com. Little League International officials said the boundaries were shifted “to include the area to the west of South Cottage Grove Avenue and South Eberhart Avenue and to the north of 119th Street."

    "Little League should take action and not bury their head in the sand."

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  • Big League Stew's most popular posts of 2014

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 days ago

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    Here at Big League Stew, we spend the entire year writing about baseball's best moments — whether they're game-changing homers, pre-game hijinks, on-the-field beefs and even MLB's most famous girlfriend. 

    Once again, 2014 provided us with hundreds of interesting, wacky and thrilling baseball highlights. Here are the top 20 posts our readers clicked on:

    1. Fan who fell asleep during Yankees-Red Sox game suing for $10 million (July 7) A 26-year-old fan sued the New York Yankees, MLB and ESPN after he was caught on camera sleeping during a game that was broadcast live for Sunday Night Baseball. Anthony Rector said he was the victim of an " unending verbal crusade," though very little was actually said about him on the broadcast. Most of it happened in Internet comment sections, and his ensuing lawsuit just caused more comment-section name-calling. 

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    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Padres fans celebrate Tony Gwynn with Christmas light display

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    We've seen a number of tributes to Tony Gwynn since his death in June — from a graffiti mural to a San Diego craft beer — but we're pretty sure this is the only one that has a Santa Claus, elves, candy canes and a Christmas tree.

    And that Santa, we might add, is wearing San Diego State gear.

    One house in Chula Vista has decked its halls with a Hall of Famer, centering its Christmas light display around Gwynn. It's part of the popular Christmas Circle in Chula Vista, where thousands of people come each year to look at top-notch light displays.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Pirates win bidding for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    For a few days, we didn't know which MLB team won the bidding for Korean shortstop Jung-Ho Kang but we do now: It's the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    MLB has announced that Pittsburgh had the top bid during the posting window for Kang. The figure was reportedly $5,002,015.

    He was an intriguing free agent, based on his 2014 performance in Korea alone. Kang, 27, hit 40 homers and drove in 117 RBIs playing 117 games in the KBO and being named the league's MVP.

    That's not against MLB-level pitching, of course. And you should also take into account that the KBO is viewed as hitter-friendly league. Kang is the first KBO position player to be posted to MLB, which adds to his mystery.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Phil Hughes agrees to $42M contract extension with Twins

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Phil Hughes, who had the best season of his career in 2014 after signing with the Minnesota Twins as a free agent, is getting himself a nice raise a few days before Christmas.

    Hughes and the Twins agreed to a $42 million contract extension Monday that will keep him in Minnesota until 2019. The new deal restructures the two remaining seasons on Hughes' free-agent contract and adds three more.

    The breakdown: $9.2 million in 2015 and 2016, then $13.2 million annually in 2017, 2018 and 2019. So, in essence, he's getting $58 million for the next five years. Hughes was going to make $8 million in 2015 and 2016 per his previous contract with the Twins, which was for $24 million over three seasons.

    So pumped to call Minnesota home for the next 5 years! Thank you to the @Twins organization and fans for all the support! #TwinsTerritory

  • Yankees will pay for education of slain NYPD officer's children

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Fair or not, the New York Yankees have a reputation for being baseball's "evil empire." Well, here's something that's certainly not evil: The Yankees are paying for the education of slain New York police officer Rafael Ramos' two children.

    Ramos was one of the two NYPD officers shot and killed Saturday by a gunman who ambushed the two officers then later killed himself. The Yankees, through their Silver Shield Foundation, will pay for the education of Ramos' two children. He left behind a college-aged son and a 13-year-old named Jaden, who gained attention for mourning his father on Facebook.

    The other officer killed, Wenjian Liu, didn't have children, or else the Silver Shield Foundation would have helped them too. The foundation has been doing this kind of work since 1982, when it was founded by ex-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Report: Yankees send Martin Prado to Marlins in five-player trade

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

    The Miami Marlins have reportedly added another everyday playerto the lineup they're overhauling, while the New York Yankees added a young pitcher who they're hoping has his best days ahead of him.

    The Yankees sent the versatile Martin Prado to the Marlins, where he's likely to play third base, in a five-player swap. The Yankees are getting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, a 24-year-old with a big arm; Garrett Jones, who might have enough pop in his lefty bat to hit some longballs in the Bronx; and 22-year-old pitching prospect Domingo German.

    The Marlins are also getting pitcher David Phelps, who had a 4.38 ERA in 2014, pitching as both a starter and a reliever.Jack Curry of the YES Network was first to report the trade. 

    Speculating that Yankees love Eovaldi's big arm and think Jones can hit for power at Stadium, but losing Prado's versatility hurts.

    Possible MIA lineup: 2B Gordon, LF Yelich, RF Stanton, 3B Prado, CF Ozuna, 1B Morse, C Saltalamacchia, SS Hechavarria.

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  • Vin Scully lost World Series ring at Costco, found it in bag of ribs

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

    Vin Scully lost his World Series ring Thursday while doing some holiday shopping. We know this, because the Dodgers sent out an APB via Twitter that Scully's ring was missing. Exactly nine minutes later, the Dodgers called the whole thing off, saying Scully's ring had been found.

    Crisis averted.

    The mystery might not be gripping enough for "Serial" to investigate, but the details of Scully's sort-of missing ring are plenty amusing. He lost it at Costco while grabbing ribs, putting them in plastic bags and loading them into his cart at the behest of his wife, Sandi. The Los Angeles Times' Bill Plaschke talked to Scully and got the scoop — and, in the process, proved that Scully, 87, can even make a trip to Costco sound magical. 

    "You know, maybe God heard me say that," he said.

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  • A's trade another All-Star, sending catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 days ago

    Billy Beane's rebuilding plan collided with A.J. Preller's rebuilding plan Thursday, as the Oakland Athletics traded another of their 2014 All-Stars while the San Diego Padres added another guy capable of hitting baseballs pretty far.

    The A's traded catcher Derek Norris to the Padres, getting two young pitchers — Jesse Hahn and R.J. Alvarez — in return. Norris, 25, enjoyed a breakout season in 2014, particularly in the first half when he had an OPS of .879 with eight homers and 37 RBIs. It was enough to get Norris on the AL All-Star team. His second half wasn't as good, but he was hit in the head by backswings a couple times, which certainly didn't help things.

    As Beane, the always-bold A's general manager, remakes his roster, Norris is just the latest All-Star on the move. Oakland had seven All-Stars last July. Only two remain. Norris, Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Jeff Samardzija have all been traded. Sean Doolittle and Scott Kazmir, the other two All-Stars, may not want to get an A's tattoo or anything.

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