Big League Stew

  • Why the Cubs benched their $184M outfielder for World Series Game 1

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 18 mins ago

    CLEVELAND — When the Chicago Cubs announced their lineup for Game 1 of the World Series, one big, expensive name was missing: Jason Heyward, the outfielder whom they signed to a $184 million, eight-year contract this past offseason.

    Instead, Joe Maddon put journeyman Chris Coghlan in right field.

    “Obviously, Jason’s been struggling at plate, that’s it,” Maddon said in his pregame press conference. “I love having this guy on the field. He’s one of the best professional athletes I’ve ever been around. For right now in a short period of time, I just thought CC might have a better chance tonight to move the baseball offensively and help us grab a lead, and then put Jeyward in the game in the latter part of the game. There’s nothing really complicated about it.”

    Two things: Yes, Maddon calls Jason Heyward “Jeyward” and Maddon said things could easily be different tomorrow, which makes sense considering how much he tinkers with the Cubs’ lineup.

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  • LeBron James gave the Indians a nice gift before the World Series

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    There’s a lot of pressure on the Cleveland Indians as the team sits just four wins away from breaking a lengthy World Series drought. If anyone can understand what the club is going through right now, it would have to be Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. James and the Cavs were in a similar spot just months ago, and managed to bring the first sports championship to Cleveland in years.

    Part of the reason James and the Cavs were so successful probably had something to do with them not listening to the critics. Most wrote them off for dead when the Golden State Warriors took a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, and we all know how that turned out.

    Because of that, it’s pretty fitting that James sent over the following gift to the Indians prior to the start of the World Series.

    .@KingJames thank you for the gift!!! #RallyTogether #StriveForGreatness #RWTW

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  • Indians beat writer plunges into Lake Erie after losing World Series bet

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    You better believe Cleveland Indians fans take their “BelieveLand” mantra seriously. If you doubt their now pennant-winning squad, you can expect to be called out or even challenged by the masses on the social media platforms such as Twitter.

    Trust us, we know the feeling.

    Fortunately, we weren’t challenged like beat writer Paul Hoynes, whose lack of faith led to him plunging into the chilly waters of Lake Erie before Game 1 against the Chicago Cubs after losing a bet with a confident Indians fan.

    @MarronMatt It's a deal.

    — paul hoynes (@hoynsie) September 21, 2016

    — Matty Cleveland (@MarronMatt) October 25, 2016

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  • Everyone somehow forgot that the White Sox exist

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    It’s an exciting time for the Chicago Cubs and their fans. Their franchise is playing in their first World Series since 1945, their roster is talented and young, and it feels like this could be the beginning of something awesome for this hard-luck team.

    Unfortunately, it’s also a bad time for Chicago White Sox fans. They have to watch their crosstown rivals enjoy postseason success while their team has long since packed it in after a rough, rough season. And to add insult to injury, news outlets seem to be forgetting that the White Sox exist at all.

    Wrigley Field is prepping this morning for an event Chicago hasn't seen in 71 years: the World Series.

    — CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 24, 2016

    That’s very exciting! But also very wrong. Chicago has the White Sox, and they’ve hosted the World Series twice in those 71 years, most recently in 2005. CBS tried to correct their mistake, but only dug themselves deeper into their White Sox-forgetting hole.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

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  • What you need to know before Game 1 of the World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — The Indians know a thing or two about injuries. Which is why Jason Kipnis’ couldn’t come at a worse time.

    Kipnis injured his ankle while the Indians were celebrating after winning the ALCS. Nobody — not Kipnis nor Indians skipper Terry Francona — thinks it will keep him off the field for the World Series. But a photo of Kipnis’ ankle shared by MLB Network’s Heidi Watney on Tuesday in the hours before Game 1 is at least enough to show you that Kipnis is playing through something ugly.

    ICYMI #Indians @TheJK_Kid grade 2 ankle sprain looks nasty! Said nothing would keep him from playing #WorldSeries  #painkillers #adrenaline

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  • How Fox Sports is changing what you think about Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    LOS ANGELES — Alex Rodriguez was sitting in his seat in the Fox Sports studio, camera tuned on him, making the kind of surprisingly good live TV he makes these days.

    His phone buzzed. It was a text from Charles Barkley.

    “I’m loving the show,” it read.

    When Barkley — a man who has built a reputation for himself as a sometimes-grumpy, always-honest TV star in his own right — likes what you’re doing, something has to be going right.

    And it has. Throughout the MLB postseason, we’ve seen A-Rod transform before our eyes. As one-fourth of the MLB on Fox pre- and post-game studio show, Rodriguez has been showing the baseball-watching world a new side. He’s smart. He’s insightful. He pokes fun at himself. And perhaps most amazingly, he doesn’t come off like a guy who was the most controversial player in MLB for a decade.

    He’s — dare we say it? — likable.

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    “That’s just Pete,” Thomas says. “You know Comedy Central is coming.”

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  • Kyle Schwarber will DH for Cubs in Game 1 of the World Series

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — The 2016 World Series has its first shocker: Kyle Schwarber is back and will start in Game 1, according to Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

    Schwarber — who tore his ACL and MCL in April — will DH for the Cubs against the Cleveland Indians, a scenario that seemed almost unthinkable just last week when the injured Schwarber was cheering on his teammates from the dugout.

    Maddon made the announcement on Chicago radio station 670 The Score in the hours before Game 1, before the Cubs lineup was officially announced. And when the official lineup came out a short while later, Schwarber wasn’t the only surprise. Chris Coghlan gets the start in right field in place of the struggling Jason Heyward, who is just 2-for-28 this postseason.

    Here is how the Cubs lineup shakes out:

    Jon Lester is on the mound for the Cubs.

    Here is the Indians lineup:

    Corey Kluber is on the mound for the Indians.

    Prior to Game 1, Schwarber said the idea of him returning for the World Series wasn’t a possibility until a couple days ago.

    As for his incredible story, Schwarber said it hasn’t sunk in yet, but admitted he would “probably cry at some point today.”

  • A high school senior in 1993 made an amazing 2016 Cubs prediction

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    What was the senior quote you had printed under your yearbook photo when you graduated high school? Was it song lyrics? A meaningful quote? Perhaps a poignant “See ya later, suckers!!!” All great options. But 23 years ago, one guy decided to make a World Series prediction. And now it has a chance to come true.

    This post went viral on Reddit on Tuesday morning, and it features a photo from the 1993 Mission Viejo High School yearbook. It’s of a guy named Michael Lee, and just under his photo you can see his prediction.

    This was predicted by a guy at Mission Viejo High School in California in his senior quote…in 1993. It’s been verified by several people I went to high school with. from pics

    His prediction is:

    “Chicago Cubs. 2016 World Champions. You heard it here first.”

    It’s not a Photoshop creation, either. It’s been verified by other people who own the same yearbook.

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  • World Series preview: Cubs or Indians, who ya got? (Podcast)

    Jay Busbee at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    The World Series has arrived, and as you may have heard, it features a couple of historically inept teams that have morphed into world-beaters. Today, we bring you a preview of sorts, a breakdown not only of these two teams but these two towns. Big League Stew’s Mike Osegueda joins the regular Grandstanding crew to break down the Fall Classic, and topics include:

    • How the players will deal with pressure of playing for tradition-laden cities • Which players will make a difference early and late in the Series • Who ought to throw out the first pitch in Chicago • How Fox Sports did the impossible in rehabbing Alex Rodriguez’s image

    …and so much more. Click below to listen, and enjoy the Series!

    About the Grandstanding podcast: Hosted by Yahoo Sports writers Jay Busbee and Kevin Kaduk, the Grandstanding podcast is posted three times per week and features talk about the NFL, NBA, MLB and more. To receive Grandstanding on your smartphone, subscribe via your favorite podcast provider.

  • Harry Caray returns to cheer on the Cubs, thanks to Will Ferrell

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    You may have been waiting for this moment, and now it’s here. You knew it had to happen once the Chicago Cubs made it to the World Series, and your patience has been rewarded.

    Harry Caray has returned.

    Well, not the actual Harry Caray. But Will Ferrell’s excellent impression of him. Ferrell went on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Monday night and brought legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray with him. It was brilliant.

    The whole clip is gold, but there were some especially great highlights. After giving the audience some decidedly made-up facts about 1908 (the last time the Cubs won the World Series), Ferrell started calling an Addison Russell play that no one could see. That led to this exchange:

    Kimmel: This is very interesting to me because you’ve clearly been following baseball even though you passed away in 1998.

    Ferrell/Caray: 1998? Holy cow I’m dead!

    Ferrell kept calling a baseball game that no one could see while Kimmel caught him up on the current election. Appropriately, Ferrell took a can of beer out of his pocket and started drinking it. (That’s the right reaction, Harry.)

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