Big League Stew
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew50 mins ago
The holidays are upon us. On Thanksgiving, we here at The Stew have a lot to be thankful for. While baseball isn't currently on television, the game appears to be stronger than ever. The rookie class was fantastic, Clayton Kershaw struck out 300 hitters and the Chicago Cubs are actually contenders again.
This being The Stew, though, we decided to take a different route to the latest Roundtable. Instead of telling you what we're thankful for, we're focusing on the biggest turkeys in the game. By that, we mean "a stupid, foolish or inept person."
We're sure you readers will have some opinions on this particular topic, so feel free to share them in the comments. With that said ... here we go:
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It's that time of year again: Thanksgiving!
The meaning of Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. It's a day to celebrate all that we're thankful for in life, with the added perks of gathering with friends and family to share laughs, eat turkey sandwiches and watch wall-to-wall football coverage.
All of that sounds perfect, unless of course you're a baseball fan craving nachos, hot dogs, peanuts and actual baseball providing an escape. Sorry, folks, that's not how it works. Thanksgiving will do little to satisfy those cravings. Instead, you'll be stuck with Joe Buck and Phil Simms as background noise, and you'll be reminded how far removed we are from the World Series, and how far we still are from spring training.
The reality is, dedicated fans of our national pastime are firmly entrenched in no man's land, and there's still no light at the end of the tunnel. It's all about getting through another day, and in this case there's no escape from football's powerful clutches. That is, unless you follow our helpful suggestions to create that escape while fulfilling all of the expected obligations.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
It's been awhile since we've heard from Hank the Ballpark Pup, but it turns out there's a good reason. The Milwaukee Brewers canine mascot, who stole the hearts of baseball fans when he trotted on to the scene during spring training in 2014, is preparing to steal hearts again on the theater stage.
According to Cait Moyer, author of the Brewers' blog Cait Covers The Bases, Hank will make his acting debut at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater on Dec. 9, during a production of the Charles Dickens’ classic 'A Christmas Carol.'
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Ken Johnson, the pitcher behind one of baseball's most notable anomolies, has died at age 82.
Johnson's son, Kenneth Jr., confirmed the news to the New York Times on Wednesday, stating his father had battled Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in his later years and ultimately died from a kidney infection on Nov. 21.
Johnson leaves behind a notable legacy in baseball, though not necessarily for the totality of his career. Johnson spent parts of 13 seasons (1958-70) in the big leagues, suiting up for seven different teams (Athletics, Reds, Astros, Braves, Yankees, Cubs and Expos) while posting a respectable 3.46 ERA over 1,737.1 innings.
It's a career worthy of a cap tip, but it's his remarkable performance on April 23, 1964 that will be most remembered in baseball lore.
While pitching for the Houston Colts .45's, Johnson allowed no hits to the Cincinnati Reds, yet still took the loss in the game. That marks the only time in MLB history that a pitcher lost despite throwing a nine-inning no-hitter.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Ladies and gentleman, behold the one item that needs to be on everyone's holiday shopping list.
Courtesy of Fresh Brewed Tees, we present the Jose Bautista bat flip Christmas sweater, which commemorates Bautista's epic bat flip following his ALDS-clinching home run in Game 5 against the Texas Rangers.
This is real and it's absolutely spectacular.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
After phase one of the Chicago Cubs five-year renovation plan for Wrigley Field brought the famed ballpark new bleachers and two large new videoboards during the 2015 season, the project has now moved on to the next phase this winter.
It's quite ambitious, as construction for a brand new plaza to the west of Wrigley Field is underway that will dramatically change the atmosphere and upgrade the facilities Cubs' brass uses to perform its daily tasks.
Among the tenants in the plaza will be many of the Cubs key front office personnel. There will also be studio space for local media partners from CSN Chicago, WGN, ABC and CBS to record pre and postgame content. And there's something in it for the players too, as the team will move to an updated and upgraded clubhouse that will be constructed under the renovated land.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
When Josh Donaldson was traded from Oakland to Toronto in November 2014, he knew there was the potential for him and the Blue Jays to achieve greatness.
With quality bats like Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Russell Martin already in Toronto's lineup, qualifying for the postseason was a realistic goal. Donaldson also felt that playing home games at the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre instead of at the cavernous O.co Coliseum in Oakland would put him in a better position to contend for the MVP award. He even had the foresight to recognize that the possibility existed to capture the hearts of a nation.
"Talking to some former players like Joe Carter and Vida Blue, they were talking about that if you win in Toronto, that they were craving a winner and that they’re going to come and support you. In Toronto and in Canada we have an entire country that’s really following us," said Donaldson. "Not only did they support us as a team, but they supported us individually, whether it was the All-Star game votes or some of the endorsements I had. I ended up being the leading vote-getter for the All-Star and that was a credit to our fans."
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Just a few days before Thanksgiving the baseball hot stove is currently set to "tepid." A flurry of moves were made Wednesday, the biggest of which involving infielder Jed Lowrie heading back to the Oakland Athletics.
The 31-year-old Lowrie was off to a hot start last season before a thumb injury halted his production. At that point, everything went downhill. Lowrie missed nearly three months due to the injury, and was replaced by standout prospect Carlos Correa at short. Upon his return, Lowrie played third base and completely stopped hitting. After hitting .300/.432/.567 over the season's first month, he finished with a .222/.312/.400 slash line.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
If your team needs to find a catcher this offseason, it's highly unlikely they are going to find one through free agency. The Los Angeles Angels scooped up veteran Geovany Soto on Tuesday, effectively drying up an already weak market.
In fairness, most teams should have seen this coming. Matt Wieters was expected to be the only big prize at the position before he took himself off the market. Once Wieters accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Baltimore Orioles, Soto and Chris Iannetta emerged as two of the more desirable options.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
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David Price may not have been a member of the Toronto Blue Jays for long, but he made a huge impact on the fan base. Maybe it was his personality, or his amusing Twitter page. Or maybe it was the fact that he performed pretty well for the club down the stretch.
Whatever it was, Price clearly made an impact on the fans. Now that Price one of the highest ranked free agents available, those fans will do whatever it takes to make sure he sticks in Toronto. They are so committed, in fact, that they created a website dedicated to making sure Price returns.