Big League Stew

  • Hot Stove Digest: Do the Cardinals have one more splashy signing in them?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    BE AGGRESSIVE: According to multiple reports, the St. Louis Cardinals signing of Dexter Fowler may signal the team becoming more aggressive in free agency, with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion reported as possible future targets.

    The Cardinals haven’t exactly laid low this winter, but they haven’t been connected to too many top tier free agents either. They landed a big one though in Fowler, who comes from the rival Chicago Cubs. His five-year, $82M deal is pretty expensive, but it’s believed St. Louis has more money to spend. If the markets for Trumbo and Encarnacion do come down, they may be poised to strike. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Giants granted young fan's request to sign Mark Melancon

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    It’s difficult to figure out where general managers find their motivation sometimes. When it came to signing Mark Melancon though, the motivation for San Francisco Giants GM Bobby Evans may have come in the form of a young fan’s letter.

    As everyone knows, the Giants finalized their four-year, $62M contract with the former Pirates and Nationals closer on Friday. Not long afterward, the Giants posted the following tweet containing a letter and a request from a young fan to ink Melancon very, very soon.

    Fan mail to our GM, Bobby Evans. #WeAreListening #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/mxYDOTDTPu

    — SFGiants (@SFGiants) December 9, 2016

    The letter reads:

    Request granted, young fan. Or at least that’s who we’re assuming wrote this letter. The Giants didn’t offer any additional information other than to say they’re listening to the fans.

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  • Most expensive box of baseball cards ever costs more than a car

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 10 hrs ago

    Remember being a kid and saving up your weekly allowance to buy a pack of baseball cards? Well, now you can do that as an adult, only it might take a couple months worth of salary depending on how crazy you’re willing to get.

    For the price of $22,000, you can own the mostexpensive box of baseball cards ever assembled. Topps released its 2016 Transcendent Collection on Friday, and even the most dedicated collectors might have a hard time justifying the purchase.

    “So,” you’re probably wondering, “what does $20,000 worth of cards get me.” Allow us to try and explain.

    First off, the set of cards is delivered in a pretty awesome metal briefcase. That’s a nice start. The actual Collection contains the following:

    Oh, and did you notice above that the cut signature box topper could include a historical figure? Yeah, you might get this George Washington card.

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  • John Glenn had an unbelievable connection with a Red Sox legend

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    Before he became the first American to orbit the Earth, astronaut John Glenn shared the skies with a Boston Red Sox legend. Hall of Fame outfielder Ted Williams served as Glenn’s wingman while the two served during the Korean War.

    Vet gave me this: John Glenn & Ted Williams who left @RedSox 2x to serve in WWII & Korea. He was at the height of his career during WWII. pic.twitter.com/KWH8vkB2lw

    — Francisco Urena ???????? (@Urena) November 12, 2016

    Major John Glenn & Captain Ted Williams discussing aerial maneuvers at K-3 Air Force Base in South Korea (1953) #RIP pic.twitter.com/c9M0mTF2dp

    — Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) December 8, 2016

    “Once, he was on fire and had to belly land the plane back in,” Glenn said. “He slid it in on the belly. It came up the runway about 1,500 feet before he was able to jump out and run off the wingtip.

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  • This Week in 'Pitch': Ginny comes alive

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    Warning: This post contains spoilers for season one, episode 10 of “Pitch,” and every episode prior.

    We’re nearing the end of the baseball season in “Pitch” land. Ginny’s year might be over, Mike might have lost the clubhouse with his aborted trade to the Cubs, Amelia may have lost a client, and Ginny’s brother Will might steal everyone’s money. Just like the end of the real baseball season, there’s no shortage of storylines. So let’s dive into the season finale of “Pitch.”

    OFF THE FIELD

    But Amelia’s involvement has consequences. Ginny didn’t want her to interfere, but she did anyway, because it’s her job. Ginny blows up at Amelia, who points out that she’s been taking a lot of crap from Ginny because Ginny doesn’t quite understand how things work and what her responsibilities are. Ginny essentially fires Amelia, who leaves for a tropical vacation (she deserves it). Amelia is a main character (i.e. the actress that plays her, Ali Larter, is in the main credits), so she’s not going anywhere, but this is absolutely something Ginny will regret.

    You tell him, Al. Or don’t tell him.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Dexter Fowler bet on himself and won big with $82.5M Cardinals deal

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    The numbers are in for Dexter Fowler’s new contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, and they’re big. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, it’s a five-year, $82.5 million contract, with a full no-trade clause.

    Fowler’s former team, the Chicago Cubs, extended him a qualifying offer that was worth $17.2 million, but he turned it down, taking his chances on the open market. And that gamble absolutely paid off. Instead of taking the qualifying offer, which would have netted him $17.2 million for one year, now he’s got $16.5 million for five years, and a no-trade clause to boot.

    In Fowler, the Cardinals are getting a great center fielder with solid skills and dependable numbers. Discounting his 13-game debut in 2008, Fowler’s never had a final season average below .250. Lifetime, he’s hit .268/.366/.422, and last season with the Cubs he hit .276/.393/.447, with that .393 on-base percentage a career high. He’s hit at least 12 homers in four of his last five seasons, and with his postseason experience can only help the Cardinals, who are (usually) perennial playoff contenders.

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  • Bobby Valentine reportedly being considered for U.S. Ambassador to Japan

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    Ex-baseball players go on to all sorts of careers. Some go into coaching or managing, some go into the business world, and others take up a career in broadcasting. And yet a few others do something different, like go into politics.

    Bobby Valentine might be entering into that last category. The 66-year-old former player and manager of the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox is reportedly on the short list to be the Ambassador to Japan, according to WEEI.com. Valentine is currently serving as Sacred Heart University’s athletic director.

    Valentine definitely has ties to Japan, but then again, so does Charlie Manuel, who played in Japan for five years and hit 189 homers for three different Japanese teams, earning the nickname “Aka-Oni” (Red Devil). So why is Valentine being considered for this position? WEEI had a little insight.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Video: What do you actually do at baseball's Winter Meetings?

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings are a surreal place. Practically everyone in the baseball industry converges into a mega hotel for an event that’s a combination of general managers and agents trying to woo each other, reporters looking for scoops, front-office job seekers looking for a gig and trade-show people trying to sell their latest products.

    That absurdity isn’t helped by the fact that the days run upward of 16 hours sometimes and it’s not hard to spend three days at the Winter Meetings without even going outside.

    To the naked eye, it really just seems like a lot of people standing around. Sometimes they assemble in circles — like when an MLB manager has a scheduled media session or late at night when they’re discussing the day’s events in the bar or hotel lobby — but sometimes it’s more like thousands of people waiting for something to happen.

    That leads to a pretty simple but fascinating question: What do people *actually* do at the Winter Meetings?

    • The GM: Bobby Evans of the San Francisco Giants

    • The Manager: Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Cubs agree to deal with Koji Uehara

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you’ll find a quick recap of all the day’s action and other fun stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    WHAT A RELIEF: The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a deal with free-agent reliever Koji Uehara. The 41-year-old Uehara posted a 3.45 ERA over 47 innings with the Boston Red Sox last year. He’ll likely slot into a setup role behind the newly-acquired Wade Davis. Uehara is still an effective pitcher despite his age, but doesn’t often pitch on back-to-back days anymore. [@JonHeyman]

    GETTING CLOSE: The St. Louis Cardinals are getting close to signing outfielder Dexter Fowler. St. Louis has been linked to Fowler all offseason, so it’s not surprising they would be interested in the 30-year-old. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447, with 13 home runs, over 551 plate appearances with the Chicago Cubs last year. [@BNightengale]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Bob Odenkirk recalls Disco Demolition Night on 'Drunk History'

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Chicago White Sox added a lot of explosive, young talent during the 2016 Winter Meetings. When those players eventually play together in the majors, the franchise will have to hope it goes better than the last time explosive materials were used on the field.

    Yes, we’re talking about Disco Demolition Night. The now infamous promotion has gone down as one of the worst decisions ever by a team. The whole event was crazy, and a complete disaster, and that makes it the perfect story to retell on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.”

    Bob Odenkirk, better known as the actor who plays Saul on AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” retold the story on the program. As the title of the program suggests, Odenkirk imbibed a few adult beverages before launching into the tale, a fitting choice considering the state of many of the fans at the game.

    Given the results, it’s no surprise this was the last time baseball held this type of promotion. It’s never a good thing when you do something so inexplicable it gets featured on a show called “Drunk History.”

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