Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew35 mins ago
We're never going to know for sure if Babe Ruth really called his shot and hit a home run against the Cubs in the 1933 World Series. It's fun to think he did. And we know it's possible, because others have done it.
Albert Pujols did it Tuesday night, his teammates on the Los Angeles Angels said, before he hit career homers Nos. 499 and 500 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Reporter Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register gives us the data:
“He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs,” Erick Aybar said.
Added Mike Trout: “If Albert tells you something, he’s going to do it.”
Sure enough, Pujols belted a three-run homer in the first inning and a towering, 430-foot two-run blast in the fifth to become the 26th player in major league history to hit 500 homers.
Pujols even counted his future RBIs correctly. He's a witch! It makes you wonder what else he's predicted.Wed, Apr 234:05 PM PDTLA Angels at WashingtonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
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A season ago, the Atlanta Braves didn't know what to make of rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez. After he shut them down Tuesday night, they fell over each other heaping praise on one of the game's top young players.
Fernandez matched his career high with 14 strikeouts, allowing three hits (all singles) and walking none over eight innings, combining with closer Steve Cishek for a 1-0 victory by the Miami Marlins. He didn't hit any home runs this time, but Fernandez also went 1 for 3 at the plate.
The Braves expressed no sour grapes whatsoever. Nothing like, "We missed our chances," or "The ump was blind," or "Lucky kid." Via the Associated Press and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it was all happy talk.
• "He pitched amazing. We went up against a buzz saw today" — Chris Johnson
• Braves hitters "were coming back shaking their heads" — Manager Fredi GonzalezWed, Apr 239:10 AM PDTMiami at AtlantaPreview Game
- Mike Osegueda at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Yes, it's still very early in the season. So early that a couple of hot days at the plate can turn a disappointing batting average into a somewhat respectable one. So early that every statistical analysis comes with the requisite "small-sample size" warning.
But still, when you're a reigning MVP or home-run champ or a big-money offseason free agent, you're going to be judged by your output right away. Here we are, three weeks into the season, and there are definitely some disappointments around MLB, a couple of whom may surprise you.
Flip through the slideshow above to check out nine of baseball's early season disappointments. Maybe Miguel Cabrera will get his mojo back by the time you're done. If anybody can do it, it's him. He had a nice night Tuesday with three hits and a homer, bumping up his batting average by 29 points.
Point proven, redemption can be but a few big swings away.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Tom Sherrill of Pomona, Calif., a 29-year-old Los Angeles Angels fan and a staff sergeant in the Air Force, is the person who caught Albert Pujols's 500th career home run Tuesday night. And what did he want from the Los Angeles Angels in return for handing it over?
"I'll take whatever they want to give me, but I'm not going to be picky. I just want to make sure that Albert gets the ball. I'm just happy to be a part of it," Sherrill told Angels broadcasters Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza on Fox Sports West.
How remarkable is that? Considering the small ransoms some fans charged for a home run hit by Barry Bonds when he was chasing (and surpassing) Hank Aaron, it's pretty refreshing to hear a guy with the ball say he was just happy to be there.
- David Brown at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
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Twenty-six men in major league history have hit at least 500 home runs — 26 men and one "Machine."
Albert Pujols connected for two homers in his first three at-bats Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., giving him 500 for his career. He went deep for a three-run homer to left in the first inning and, after striking out in the top of the second, followed with a long two-run shot to center in the fourth. Pujols is the first player ever to hit homers No. 499 and 500 in the same game. Both came against right-hander Taylor Jordan. His homers helped give the Los Angeles Angels a 7-2 lead against the Nationals.
Regardless, Pujols got a largely standing ovation from the Washington crowd.
- David Brown at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn has missed the past 19 games as head coach of San Diego State's baseball program while regaining strength and recovering from ongoing cancer treatments. Gwynn had kept the news quiet since March 24, apparently until Fox 5 in San Diego reported Monday that he was on medical leave. Gwynn told the San Diego Union-Tribune that while he's "doing good," he's not sure when he'll be able to return to the Aztecs.
Gwynn, who had surgery on his mouth in 2012, has suspected that his cancer comes from chewing tobacco. He turns 54 years old May 9. Assistant coach Mark Martinez runs the team now, as he has other times Gwynn has been unable.Wed, Apr 235:10 PM PDTSan Diego at MilwaukeePreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
No other major league manager has been more critical of the new video review system than John Farrell of the Boston Red Sox. He's not just complaining to complain, although the Red Sox seem to have gotten the short end on some big calls so far. Regardless of how it's affected his team, Farrell made a necessary point to MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM on Tuesday: Taking away challenge power from managers surely will speed up the game's pace, even with replay a part remaining of the process going forward:Wed, Apr 234:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at BostonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Here's what we know:
• Matt Harvey works for the New York Mets.
• Harvey had Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery six months ago Tuesday.
• Dr. James Andrews reportedly performed that surgery.
• Harvey tweeted a photo of himself in recovery wearing a surgical gown featuring an animal's paw — as baseball beat writer Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News noted.
• An aside: The photo also featured Harvey extending his left middle finger in jest.
• Perhaps pressured by his employer, Harvey deleted the tweet from his Twitter history.
• Not stopping there, Harvey deleted his entire Twitter account, which has been the focal point of disagreement in the past between the pitcher and the Mets.
• The Mets have shown a dislike for Harvey talking.
• Matt Harvey has not otherwise been heard from since.Wed, Apr 234:10 PM PDTSt. Louis at NY MetsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Major League Baseball suspended and fined four players on Tuesday, punishment from the Easter Sunday brawl between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The brawl was sparked when Carlos Gomez of the Brewers hit a triple off Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole. Gomez admired it momentarily, thinking it was a homer. Cole had words with Gomez after he slid into third. Gomez charged Cole and both benches cleared. Travis Snider and Russell Martin of the Pirates and Martin Maldonado of the Brewers were central figures in the on-field fight, with Maldonado most notably punching Snider in the face.
The league fined Gomez, Snider, Martin and Maldonado each an undisclosed amount and threw down these suspensions:
• Gomez — three games • Maldonado — five games • Snider — two games • Martin — one game
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Matt Harvey says he "can't believe it's been six months already" since Dr. James Andrews performed Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery on his right arm. To commemorate the anniversary Tuesday, or half-anniversary, Harvey sent a NSFW tweet of a vintage photo — which he since has deleted — of him laying in recovery at the hospital. Gown and cap. With his left middle finger extended.
[UPDATE: First the tweet, and now Harvey's entire Twitter account seems to have been deleted. Hopefully, Harvey himself won't be deleted next.]
The New York Mets must not have liked it. Perhaps grandmothers everywhere wouldn't like it. Maybe you don't like it, because it's vulgar. But look at it this way, imagine the outrage if somebody we "didn't like" — such as Bryce Harper, or heaven forbid Yasiel Puig or Carlos Gomez, sent a similar photo. Heck, if Puig had posted himself giving the finger to Twitter, secret authorities might be repatriating him to Cuba at this very moment. (Well, "Cuba.")