Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
What's Derek Jeter doing with his free time now that he's retired from Major League Baseball?
He's hitting the links with the leader of the free world, of course, because that's how Derek Jeter rolls.
By the way, we're not talking about another retired Yankees' legend, Mariano Rivera, who would likely win the state of New York in a landslide if he ever ran for office. We're talking about U.S. President Barack Obama.
According to reports, Jeter and Obama made up half of a fearsome foursome that tore up the Shadow Creek course in North Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon. They were joined by Obama campaign supporter Stephen Cloobeck and Brian Greenspun, who is the chief executive officer of Greenspun Media Group, which owns the Las Vegas Sun newspaper.
Reports also note that President Obama was originally scheduled to play 18 holes, but apparently was having a good time so he stuck around for another nine.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Since rising from obscurity during the 2014 postseason, Laurence Leavy — aka Marlins Man — has become sports' version of "Where's Waldo?" With his customary bright orange Miami Marlins jacket and visor, Leavy tends to stand out from the crowd, especially when mixed in a sea of blue as he was at Kauffman Stadium during the World Series.
The random Miami Marlins fan is back, with the best seat in the house. pic.twitter.com/vfTr4DjmQ0
As we've learned in the weeks since, Leavy is more than just a random Miami Marlins fan. In fact, he may actually be the biggest Marlins fan around, in addition to being an all around sports fanatic. In addition to the World Series, we've also seen him at local sporting events cheering on the Miami Heat, Miami Dolphins and the Florida State Seminoles football team.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Free-agent Pablo Sandoval is reportedly fielding offers from his top remaining suitors and could be set to make a final decision before Thanksgiving.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, a major league source indicates the Boston Red Sox turned in their offer on Friday, setting the numbers at five years, $95 million. To the best of everyone's knowledge, that was the highest bid on the table. At least until Saturday afternoon.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting the San Diego Padres have surprisingly topped Boston's offer, which would indicate they've surpassed $100 million. Still, Shea believes the offer would not be enough to sway Sandoval from going to Boston, who emerged as the strong favorite this week.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Former major league pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling has been in the news a lot lately under mostly bizarre circumstances.
Chalk up another one in that column on Saturday after one of Schilling's three sons inadvertently put Boston's Logan International Airport on edge after blurting out that he'd left a fake hand grenade in his bag while standing in a security line.
Schilling himself shared the story on his social media accounts Saturday morning. He says that after catching wind of the comment, airport officials immediately called upon security protocol to secure the scene and make sure a real threat wasn't playing out. That included a bomb squad being brought to the scene to check the bag and give clearance.
Meanwhile, Schilling and his family were taken to a private room where they had to explain just what exactly was going on.
Start your day with this. Going through airport security. Son says "DAD! I think I lefts fake grenade in my bag" Belt stops, 15m later.....
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
According to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Minnesota Twins have emerged victorius in the bidding for Korean left-hander Hyeon-jong Yang, who was posted by the Kia Tigers three weeks ago.
There's no word yet on what the winning bid was. The Twins will now have 30 days to work out a contract agreement with Yang. Berardino indicates a deal could be close, but in the case it isn't finalized he'll go back to Korea and won't be eligible to be posted again until Nov. 1, 2015.
Yang, who will turn 27 in March, was named the inaugural winner of the Choi Dong-won Award in 2014, which was created as the Korean equivalent to the Cy Young Award. Yang earned the award by going 16-8 with a 4.25 ERA in 29 starts. He struck out 165 and walked 77 while throwing a career-high 171 1/3 innings .
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
On the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's enrollment at UCLA, athletic director Dan Guerrero announced that the university's 22 athletic facilities will be renamed the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex, in lasting tribute to the man who broke baseball's color barrier.
The announcement was made at a special ceremony on Friday that celebrated the life and legacy of the four-sport standout. Robinson played baseball, football and basketball and ran track at UCLA from 1939-41.
Robinson’s No.42, will be placed in-ground at the entrance of each facility to remind students of his courage. That includes Pauley Pavilion, the John Wooden Center, and the J.D. Morgan Center, among others. UCLA's baseball stadium was already named after Robinson.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Chicago White Sox stayed active in free agency on Friday, inking first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year, $25 million deal, according to a report from USA Today's
LaRoche, 35, fills a couple of big needs that Sox general manager Rick Hahn was looking to address this winter. First and foremost, LaRoche brings left-handed power, having averaged 26 homers over his last three seasons with the Washington Nationals. His .256/.346/.458 batting line over that time frame isn't eye-popping, but that would suffice as a complementary player to offensive centerpiece Jose Abreu.
Abreu, of course, also factors into this deal in many ways. Not only does he have another proven run producer to help carry the offense, as a plus defender at first base, LaRoche also gives manager Robin Ventura options and opportunities to keep both guys fresh by limiting time in the field.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
There's one open manager job in Major League Baseball, it belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays and it seems like they're running their job search like a reality TV show.
The Rays announced their final three finalists Friday — Kevin Cash, the bullpen coach of the Cleveland Indians, Don Wakamatsu, the bench coach of the Kansas City Royals and player Raul Ibanez, who isn't yet retired and last played for the Royals.
That is pared down from 10 candidates that the Rays announced on Nov. 6. Most notably absent from the finalist list is Dave Martinez, who many considered the favorite for the job after serving as the Rays' bench coach under Joe Maddon since 2008.
The Rays put together these bio cards for each finalist. See what we mean about a reality show.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
If you hate the video replay system MLB put in place last season and want to heave it out of a window, well, too bad.
There aren't any major changes coming to the replay system, commissioner-elect Rob Manfred told reporters.
MLB will tweak the system, but not overhaul it in any substantial way. From the sound of things, the tweaks are mostly behind-the-scenes, things the average fan might not have even noticed. From the New York Post:
"I think the core of replay is going to be similar,” Manfred said. “I think the changes that we’re contemplating are largely technology, cameras, things like that. There are some issues related to exactly how long it takes to get the replay going that we’re looking at.”
There's one other tweak that Manfred didn't talk about it and it's a good one. Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, told reporters last week that they won't allow managers to stall the game while figuring out whether to challenge.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 days ago
Temperatures hit an overnight low of 27 degrees in New York City on Thursday, so Yankees general manager Brian Cashman bundled up in layers, put a beanie over his head and tried his best to stay warm. If Cashman were lucky, he might just get a couple hours of sleep — though the solid concrete under his body would make that tough.
For Cashman, this was one night. For some people, this is life. Every day.
So Cashman spent his night helping out in an unusual way. He was one of hundreds of executives nationwide who participated in the annual "Sleep Out" organized by Covenant House, sleeping on the streets of Manhattan as if he were homeless. Covenant House is a non-profit that manages shelters for homeless youth in 21 cities across the country. Last year, it helped more than 57,000 kids.