Big League Stew

  • It's about time: Hall of Fame ballots will be made public starting next year

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The Baseball Writers Association of America made a change to its Hall of Fame voting process Tuesday that is long overdue: Starting with the 2018 vote, all ballots will be made public.

    It’s a win for transparency in the voting process — something many BBWAA voters have championed in recent years. Many of the more active writers share their individual ballots on social media anyway, but this is a mandate that all ballots will be public.

    The BBWAA passed a measure today mandating that all Hall of Fame ballots be public starting in 2018. It remains voluntary for this election

    — BBWAA (@officialBBWAA) December 6, 2016

    This isn’t out of character for the BBWAA, since it already makes public the ballots for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year. Hall of Fame voting is something of a different beast, though, because every qualified BBWAA member gets a ballot as opposed to awards where a panel of 30 active writers vote. To earn a Hall of Fame vote, a writer must be a BBWAA member for 10 years.

  • The Yankees will retire Derek Jeter's number on Mother's Day

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Two years of retirement is enough time to retire a player’s jersey, right? Well the New York Yankees don’t care whether or not that’s true, because they’re doing it anyway. Just two years after his 2014 retirement, the Yankees have decided to retire Derek Jeter’s jersey.

    Of course, they’ll be doing it with a ceremony. Jeter’s No. 2 jersey will be retired on May 14, 2017, which is Mother’s Day. And that’s not all! He’ll also get a plaque in Monument Park, to be unveiled that day.

    The Yankees, who love retiring numbers, last did it in 2015 when they retired the numbers of Jeter’s teammates Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, and Andy Pettitte. Jeter will be the 22nd player to have his number retired by the Yankees. And when the ceremony takes place, there will be no more single digit numbers available for the Yankees — all of them will have been retired, with Jeter’s being the last one.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • Hot Stove Digest: The Nats are making progress on a Chris Sale trade

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 11 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.

    A NATIONAL BLOCKBUSTER? The Washington Nationals reportedly turned up the volume in their trade talks with the Chicago White Sox about ace Chris Sale. Rumors hit Monday night ranging from the Nats “advancing” talks to having a “legitimate shot” to get Sale. The Nats would have to give up a lot to get Sale, obviously, but what a rotation that would create along with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. The latest Monday night said the two sides were making progress but a deal wasn’t close to being done. [FanRag Sports]

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  • Video: If Bud Selig is a Hall of Famer, so are Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – We live in a world where Bud Selig will more than likely be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame before Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens. And if that sounds OK to you, you need to wake up and face the truth.

    If Bud Selig deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, then so does Bonds, MLB’s all-time home-run leader. And so does Clemens, the man who has more Cy Young awards than anyone in baseball history. And so do any other all-time greats from the PED era whose numbers you had trouble reconciling because of drugs.

    Bud Selig’s induction — which was approved Sunday, when he earned all but one vote from the Today’s Game Era Hall of Fame committee — should be looked at as a game-changer for the people who play morality police every Hall of Fame season. It’s a subject I tackle in my latest Open Mike video, live from baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center.

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  • President Obama hopes to schedule Cubs White House visit before leaving office

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    Not long after the Chicago Cubs World Series victory there were rumblings of a visit to the White House before outgoing president Barack Obama left office in January.

    According to the Chicago Tribune, those talks are more than just rumblings now. With seven weeks remaining in Obama’s presidency, members of his office are working with Cubs officials to get the visit scheduled before his final day.

    The big complication, of course, is that the Obama administration is smack dab in the middle of a transition to the Donald Trump led administration. By the same token, the Cubs are also in the midst of a transition as they attempt to put together a roster for 2017. Key contributors like Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman and Jason Hammel are all likely to play elsewhere next season, which could make an offseason reunion a little awkward.

    That much was acknowledged by Cubs spokesman Julian Green on Monday, who would no doubt play a key role in the arrangements.

    Needless to say this is  an interesting dynamic that could play out awkwardly over the next few weeks.

  • Cubs raising ticket prices nearly 20 percent after World Series win

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    What’s the cost of winning? No, this isn’t some loaded philosophical question about the attributes one needs to reach the pinnacle of performance, or the sacrifices made to make it to the top. We’re talking in a literal sense. Can you put a dollar value on winning?

    Of course you can, especially when it comes to baseball. Following their World Series win, the Chicago Cubs are going to increase season ticket prices by nearly 20 percent next season, according to Jon Greenberg of The Athletic.

    The biggest increases will come in the most expensive areas of the park:

    The biggest price jump is in the best seating section in the park, club box infield. Those seats will jump around 31 percent to $154.13. Club box outfield seats are spiking 29.8 percent to $115.87. Field box infield seats are up 20 percent ($112) and field box outfield seats are up 28.8 percent ($89.73). Those four, well-attended sections close to the field make up almost 11,000 seats.

  • Phillies vendor fired for involvement in white nationalist movement

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    Emily Youcis, who’s better known around Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia as “Pistachio Girl,” has been fired from her vendor job after a flood of publicity connecting her with the political movement known as the “alt-right.”

    Youcis, 26, was employed by the vending company Aramark, which supplies food vendors for Phillies home games. She spoke publicly about her termination over the weekend, telling “alt-right” network Red Ice TV she was let go because her white nationalist views did not reflect her now former employer’s values.

    A statement from Aramark on Monday confirmed her dismissal.

    “A core Aramark value is treating everyone with integrity and respect always. That includes respecting our associates’ right to privacy and dealing with personnel matters confidentially. We can only confirm that the individual asked about is no longer employed after publicly connecting our company to views that contradict our values.”

    I'm defending White America- the majority of baseball fans. If the Phillies shun me 4 standing up 4 White America they r shunning their fans https://t.co/18aANInmMP

  • Aroldis Chapman wants a ton of money and he just might get it

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — You don’t need to read too far between the lines to know what free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman thinks he deserves on the open market. Chapman, the No. 3 overall free agent on Jeff Passan’s rankings, isn’t coming out and saying he wants $100M but, well, see for yourself.

    He told ESPN’s Marly Rivera on Monday:

    “The only thing I have expressed is that I would like a six-year contract. I know that doesn’t mean that I will get it, but that’s what I would like to sign. There are rumors out there that I requested $100 million and that’s not true at all. I believe he who deserves something, does not need to demand it.”

    How’s that for a quote! So he’s not saying he demanded $100 million, but everyone should just know he’s worth $100 million? Don’t ever say throwing 105 mph fastballs isn’t great for a guy’s self-confidence. Chapman also told ESPN that he hasn’t reviewed any offers from teams yet.

    There’s another way of asking that question: How much does baseball value a 105 mph fastball?

  • Bryce Harper, Nats at odds over $400M contract demands

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Start putting away extra money in your piggy banks now, MLB teams, because Bryce Harper is going to be a free-agent after 2018 … probably. Harper is reportedly seeking a record-breaking 10-year, $400 million deal, and that might be outside what the Washington Nationals are willing to pay for his services, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

    Nightengale’s report mentions a “high-ranking Nationals executive” who believes Harper is looking for a deal in that range. Because of that, the club is preparing for Harper to leave once he’s eligible for free agency.

    Some of those concerns may be premature, however. While the Nationals may be preparing for life without Harper, his agent, Scott Boras, confirmed to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan that the two sides haven’t even discussed a long-term deal.

    Scott Boras to Yahoo Sports: “I have had no discussions with the Nationals regarding Harp and a long-term contract.”

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  • Rich Hill's $48M deal is risky, but the Dodgers are well-equipped to gamble

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    In a reunion that makes a ton of sense for both sides, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Monday that they’ve reached a three-year, $48 million agreement with veteran left-hander Rich Hill. The deal had been talked about for a few days and now that it’s official, it’s the very rich bow on top of a stunning comeback for Hill, who was in independent ball in 2015 and worked his way back to MLB success as a 36-year-old curveball specialist.

    Hill proved to be an excellent addition to the Dodgers rotation last season after being acquired from the Oakland A’s at the trade deadline. That is, when Hill was actually healthy. Blister issues limited his starts during the regular season and on one occasion cost him a chance to complete a perfect game.

    Overall, Hill posted a 1.83 ERA over six regular starts for Los Angeles, and a 2.12 ERA when expanded to include his 14 starts with Oakland. He concluded his season by pitching six scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.

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