Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
By and large expanded replay is working to the satisfaction of most around Major League Baseball. However, the Boston Red Sox may be the one big exception so far after a pair of reviews during their series with the New York Yankees last weekend appeared to show one thing, but were ruled differently, both costing the Red Sox.
In one case, MLB was forced to admit that a replay error cost Boston an out when they couldn't find an angle that showed the play conclusively. Meanwhile, fans at home were treated to no less than three angles that were conclusive.
Manager John Farrell expressed his displeasure over those calls and replay in general early this week, but by Friday the Red Sox were ready to move forward.LiveBaltimore1 - 0BostonFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Houston Astros manager Bo Porter has had a frustrating week, which might be expected when tasked with guiding a young and inexperienced ball club in the midst of a complete rebuild. We saw a bit of that frustration boil over following Thursday night's loss to the Kansas City Royals when Porter could barely discuss a costly Matt Dominguez mental error.
He may have really let it get the best of him on the field during Houston's 11-3 loss to the Oakland A's on Friday night.
The seeds of the incident were planted in the first inning: With Houston already trailing 7-0, Porter and company took exception to Oakland's Jed Lowrie laying down a bunt against a defensive shift during his second plate appearance of the inning.Sat, Apr 191:05 PM PDTHouston at OaklandPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The hottest hitter in baseball struck again on Friday night when Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton connected on yet another impressive home run. Only this time the drama wasn't attached to how far it would go (a more than respectable 407 feet), because it served as a walk-off grand slam that gave Miami an 8-4 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners.
Stanton's slam came immediately after the umpires reversed a critical call at third base. Reed Johnson was originally ruled out on a force play, but the umpires determined third baseman Kyle Seager never controlled the baseball before transferring, which loaded the bases with nobody out. MLB intends on reviewing transfer plays next week, but that won't be soon enough for Seattle. It hampered the Mariners' game plan, which up to that point was to pitch around Stanton when possible.
Stanton finished the game 3 for 3 with two walks and five RBI. Through 17 games, he has six home runs and a league-high 26 RBIs. With that in mind, Saturday's game plan may call for avoidance at all costs.Sat, Apr 194:10 PM PDTSeattle at MiamiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
You’ll often hear a baseball player going through a good stretch at the plate described as “hitting the cover off the baseball.” What you never hear is someone described as “hitting the cover off the baseball,” followed by no, seriously, he hit the cover off the baseball.
Because it never actually happens in real life.
But it did happen on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Milwaukee Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado literally knocked the cover right off the baseball on a ground ball to third baseman Pedro Alvarez during their a 5-3 victory over the Pirates.
With the cover hanging on for dear life, Alvarez fielded the baseball cleanly and attempted to make a throw across the diamond. Predictably, that failed, as the baseball nearly fell apart at the seams in the air.
Here's a look at what was left.Sat, Apr 194:05 PM PDTMilwaukee at PittsburghPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been looking for a steady solution to fill out their first base platoon dating back to their trade deadline acquisition of Justin Morneau last July. They may have found their man on Friday, acquiring Ike Davis from the New York Mets in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report a deal had been agreed to just minutes before New York opened their weekend series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed the return a short a time later.
Official: Mets receive RHP Zack Thorton and PTBN for Ike DavisSat, Apr 194:10 PM PDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
If you follow Brandon Phillips on Twitter, you know he loves to pose for pictures with fans. The following is proof that he also likes to pose for pictures with opposing fans, even when he's not invited.
Check the photobomb, captured before Friday's game in Chicago against the Cubs:
That's Molly Schaus, the goalie of the Team USA women's hockey team, who was probably hoping for Wrigley Field's famous Friendly Confines in the background of her pic, not a leaping baseball player. Well played, Mr. Phillips.
- David Brown at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Most mistakes committed on a baseball field, even mental ones, can be forgiven. Houston Astros manager Bo Porter, even now, probably is testing that statement after what slugger Matt Dominguez pulled Thursday night.
Porter's slow burn in the video below is epic. He takes 17 seconds to answer a question about Dominguez's baserunning blunder against the Kansas City Royals, as CSN Houston notes.
Porter doesn't fly off the handle but he's definitely mad as heck and disappointed in Dominguez's decision-making skills.
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After hitting a ball into the gap at Minute Maid Park that should have been a single to put runners at the corners, Dominguez got greedy, making a wide turn at first and trying — sort of — for a double. He was out by a lot, as you can see. Dominguez was so out, he didn't even bother sliding, or even thinking about sliding.
- David Brown at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
An 8-year-old boy from Atlanta named Wyatt Alford came to spring training in Sarasota, Fla. and saw left-hander Brian Matusz pitch for the Baltimore Orioles. Alford didn't know until the next morning by reading a newspaper that they have something important in common: They both have severe nut allergies. Matusz still gets teased about it by his teammates, and suspects Alford has gone through similar treatment. But it's nothing to be embarrassed about, Matusz says.
Inspired by watching Matusz, 27, succeed in Major League Baseball, the young boy became an instant fan and mailed him some unique items to autograph. As a result, Matusz, too, became a big fan of Alford's.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported the details of a neat acquaintance between a boy and a ballplayer:
Inside the envelope was a newspaper article detailing Matusz's frightening allergic reaction to a dinner prepared in peanut oil March 9 that sent the 27-year-old left-hander to the emergency room.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Back in the day, when baseball video games were as plentiful as Andrelton Simmons defensive highlights and all the players looked like colorful blobs who waddled around the field, we dreamed about the future and what our video games might look like. By, say, 2014, we figured we'd have video games that looked so real you could compare the players' beards.
The future is here, it seems.
PlayStation has unveiled the trailer for the PS4 version of "MLB The Show 14," the next-generation of the game on Sony's powerful new platform. This version hits stores May 6. The PS3 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game launched around opening day, but we've seen "MLB The Show" on those before.
Answer Man: Johnny Bench talks Mickey Mantle cards, catcher collisions and the 'Baseball Bunch' (but not Pete Rose)David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma and idolizing Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench had an idea at a young age that baseball would take him places. When he was nine, he played Little League with 12- and 13-year-olds. He was the state's player of the year as a senior in high school and a second-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. That's probably the last time anyone underrated the Hall of Famer. A 14-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and owner of 389 home runs, Bench became the greatest catcher in major league history.
At age 66, Bench still follows the game closely, rooting for the Reds and keeping watch on what's happening with new sliding/tagging rules, along with other progressive changes MLB is making. He's also involved with one of his favorite boyhood activities — opening packs of baseball cards — and doing publicity for Topps and its 2014 Series I cards. He talks about all of that and more in the latest Answer Man session. As a bonus, we've included 10 minutes of audio from Thursday, when Bench talked to Yahoo Sports Radio's Travis Rodgers about Mike Trout and how he compares to The Mick.Sat, Apr 1911:20 AM PDTCincinnati at Chi CubsPreview Game