Big League Stew

  • Everyone watched the Cubs and Indians in World Series Game 1

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 59 mins ago

    Baseball is not dying! The national ratings are in for Game 1 of the World Series, and it turns out people are pretty interested in this year’s matchup.

    National ratings in for WS G1: 19.4M viewers, up 30 pct from last year, up 55 pct from two years ago. Big start, as Fox and MLB hoped

    — Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) October 26, 2016

    That’s a pretty significant boost. Viewership is up 55 percent compared to two years ago, when the Kansas City Royals took on the San Francisco Giants. It’s up 30 percent from last season, when the Royals went up against the New York Mets.

    The fact that the Chicago Cubs are involved this year probably has something to do with the elevated ratings. The Cubs are not only only one of the most popular teams in baseball, but they come from a large market and have the most compelling narrative. You may not have heard, but the team hasn’t won a World Series championship in 108 years.

    While the Cleveland Indians can’t match Chicago’s popularity or market-size, they also have narrative on their side. The Indians haven’t won a title since 1948. That’s the second-longest drought in baseball.

  • Here’s the ultimate playlist of World Series walk-up music

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    It’s World Series week and if you’re trying to consume baseball-related things even during baseball’s downtime, we’ve got something different for ears.

    Libratone, a Danish wireless speaker company that has a partnership with Spotify, has created the ultimate playlist of World Series walk-up music. It features walk-up songs used by players from the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs, more than 40 songs in all.

    Some are current songs, others were songs the players used throughout the season. The artists on the playlist range from Michael Jackson and Bryan Adams to Jason Aldean and Eric B & Rakim. Even Ben Zobrist’s wife, Julianna.

    Here’s a full rundown:

    Good stuff, but the Indians don’t have nearly enough Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Report: Jose Fernandez and friends smelled of alcohol after fatal crash

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and his two friends who died in a boat crash in September smelled of alcohol after divers recovered their bodies, according to the Miami Herald.

    That information comes from a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Herald. The warrant says investigators believe the driver of the boat was operating the vessel with a “recklessness” that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol.”

    The warrant, released by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office Wednesday, also alleges that investigators found evidence that the driver of the vessel was running at a high rate of speed and with a “recklessness’’ that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol.”

    Toxicology reports have been performed and completed, but have not been released to the public at this time.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Trevor Bauer got a hilarious psych-out gift from a Cubs fan

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    It’s been an eventful postseason for Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer. Two weeks ago he needed stitches after his pinky finger got mangled while repairing one of his hobby drones.

    That pushed back his start in the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays. He did end up starting Game 3, but lasted just two outs before his stitched-up pinky started gushing blood like a waterfall.

    It’s been over a week since the bloody pinky game, and Bauer has been cleared to start Game 2 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday night. Bauer is probably ready to move on from the whole pinky incident, right? Well if he is, Cubs fans aren’t going to let him.

    — Michael Clevinger (@Mike_Anthony13) October 26, 2016

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  • Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with Alex Rodriguez

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    When we started the “Opening 25-Year-Old Baseball Cards” video series, I never expected I’d be ripping into wax packs with Alex Rodriguez, but here we are.

    A-Rod retired this season and is now a postseason analyst at Fox Sports, sharing his baseball knowledge during the MLB on Fox pre and postgame shows. If you watch the show, it’s obvious that A-Rod knows a ton about the game.

    He also knows a lot about the players in our 1991 Donruss packs, including one famous ex-teammate, an ex-coach of his and one of his favorite shortstops when he was growing up.

    If you’re new to this series (hi, thanks for watching), here’s the requisite backstory: My grandma and I collected baseball cards together when I was a kid. She had these cards from 1991 stashed away and I recently discovered them. They’re basically worthless, but opening them with baseball players and baseball people has been a lot of fun.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • What you need to know before Game 2 of the World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — The ground is wet here and that could be a problem before Game 2 of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on Wednesday night.

    Major League Baseball was proactive in announcing midway through Game 1 that Wednesday’s game had been moved up an hour, to 7:08 p.m. ET, in hopes of getting enough dry time to play the game.

    The hour-by-hour forecast calls for Cleveland to be wet between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET, but just clouds from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The question is whether the forecast holds up and, if rain does hit in the 9 p.m. hour, will it be sprinkles or enough to wash out the game?

    In the postseason, MLB doesn’t allow games to end early because of weather. They have to play the entire thing, even if that means suspending the game and picking up again Thursday, which is a scheduled travel day as the series shifts to Chicago.

    On Tuesday, Bauer said he felt good and was on pace for Game 2, just like any other start.

    Likewise, Indians manager Terry Francona said he’s confident in Bauer, but he was last time too.


    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Meet the fan who created 'Party at Napoli's,' the Indians' rallying cry

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — It’s hard to go anywhere in this city without seeing a “Party at Napoli’s” T-shirt. They were at Game 1 of the World Series. They were in Indians’ clubhouse. Dudes in the local bars are walking around in them.

    Heck, even Mike Napoli himself, Cleveland’s slugging party machine, was wearing one at World Series Media Day.

    “There’s the postseason shirt,” says Nate Crowe, a 38-year-old father of three, sitting down with a plate of tacos in front of him at restaurant across from Progressive Field, pointing to a guy walking past. Crowe has been an Indians fan all his life and carries along with his fandom a certain affinity for DIY signs and T-shirts.

    That’s how, on one day back in April, Crowe bought a tri-fold poster board from Target for $8.99, grabbed some double-thick markers and made a sign that said “Party at Napoli’s.” He stood in right field at Progressive Field and held it up, trying to get the attention of Indians’ players. He got a whole lot more than that.

    — HIPSTER TITO (@HipsterTito) April 20, 2016

    He has a good heart too. It was Napoli’s idea to turn the T-shirts into a charitable endeavor.

  • Protest causes MLB to cancel Dominican national showcase

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    Major League Baseball has canceled its Dominican national prospect showcase due to lack of attendance, but not from crowds or teams — from Dominican players and trainers, Baseball America reported.

    Why weren’t they going to show up? The answer is simple: protest. Dominican players and trainers weren’t attending the showcase to protest MLB’s drive to establish an international draft, which would diminish what little power they have to negotiate with teams. This draft could be established during the next collective-bargaining agreement, which will be negotiated during this offseason. The showcase was to take place on Wednesday and Thursday and would have given amateur Dominican prospects the opportunity to show their talent to teams.

    After MLB alerted teams that the showcase had been canceled due to “lack of cooperation from the independent trainers,” a group of independent Latin American trainers made their intentions clear in a statement:

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  • Kyle Schwarber proves people wrong in surprise return to Cubs lineup

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — It may not too genuine if you’re the Chicago Cubs, losers of Game 1 of the World Series 6-0, to go around and put silver linings on things. The Cubs are expected to win this series, to break the so-called curse, to leave 108 years in the past.

    Getting beaten handily by the Cleveland Indians, their robotic ace Corey Kluber, their backup catcher who suddenly started hitting homers and their bullpen dynamo Andrew Miller — none of that was in the script.

    Chicago’s North Side will wake up disappointed and disgruntled on Wednesday, as it should. But if it’s looking for that silver lining, that one good thing to latch on to, here’s a name that will make even the most morose Cubs fan smile: Kyle Schwarber.

    Schwarber passed his own tests too.

    “It gave me confidence,” Schwarber said.

  • The unlikely star of the Indians' Game 1 World Series victory

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — This is the night everyone learned the name Roberto Perez.

    If you didn’t know it before Game 1 of the World Series, you probably weren’t alone. He’s the backup catcher who was thrust into a starting role midseason. He’s a 27-year-old who hit .183 this year and is mostly known for his defense behind the plate. He’s the guy hitting in the nine-hole.

    Heck, even the name Roberto Perez is right out of the central casting for the second-string catcher turned unlikely star of the World Series.

    That’s just who Perez was on Tuesday night in the Indians’ 6-0 Game 1 win over the Chicago Cubs. There was Perez, crouched behind the plate, catching another stellar start from ace Corey Kluber. Then hitting a solo homer in the fourth inning that put the Indians ahead 3-0. And launching a three-run blast in the eighth, the dagger that put the Cubs in a 1-0 series hole.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever had a night like that,” Perez said afterward, his game face still on like he’d go another nine innings with the Cubs if his team needed. “It was huge.”