Big League Stew
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
On Sunday at PNC Park, one Pittsburgh Pirates fan performed a public service for everyone watching. He made a barehanded grab of a foul ball that was so perfect that it demonstrated to everyone exactly how it should be done.
So let’s look at how exactly he got it done. It happened in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Pirates’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies. On the 3-2 pitch, catcher Elias Diaz hit the ball foul, and it careened toward the stands on the first base side. It sailed over the Phillies’ dugout, and it was headed right for a Pirates fan sitting with his son.
The man reacted quickly, rising from his seat part way, both hands up in front of him protecting his face. His hands ended up forming a little basket that the ball zoomed right into. The force of the ball falling into his hands caused him to lean back and to the side somewhat, but he didn’t have to jump to make the catch, and he didn’t fall over when it was done. His son reacted smartly as well, getting out of the way of the screaming projectile instead of trying to help his dad catch it. (I can’t imagine that would have ended well.)
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
On Sunday, Washington Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth was thrown a pitch he had no idea what to do with. In the bottom of the fifth inning of the Nationals’ game against the San Diego Padres, Padres reliever Carlos Villanueva was pitching to Werth in what would be just a three-pitch at-bat. In between two pitches in the mid-80 mph range, Villanueva threw — or soft tossed — a pitch that was 30 mph slower.
Yes, Villanueva threw Werth a slow, looping 55 mph eephus pitch for a strike. Even though it’s pretty cool that Villanueva can uncork that one when he needs to, the best part was Werth’s reaction. Once the ball hit the catcher’s glove, Werth dropped the bat to the ground, slumped his shoulders a bit, and started to look toward the umpire, his body language saying what his mouth couldn’t: “Are you kidding me with this?”Mon, Jul 257:07 PM EDTSan Diego at TorontoPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we’ll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
You could argue that the Houston Astros won twice on Sunday. The first win came during a 13-3 routover the Los Angeles Angels. The second came hours later, when the team announced top prospect Alex Bregman would make his major-league debut Monday.
While the 22-year-old was drafted as a shortstop last season, he’s played both third base and left field in order to add to his versatility. Over two levels, the former No. 2 overall draft pick is hitting a combined .306/.406/.580 this season. The Astros are set up the middle with Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve, and the team’s recent signing of Yulieski Gourriel could complicate the third base plans.
[J]Mon, Jul 258:10 PM EDTNY Yankees at HoustonPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Everyone remembers the best gifts they received growing up. For me, it was a Nintendo 64. I was so excited to open it and play it, that nothing else mattered. No other gift I opened that day could compare to the Nintendo 64. I don’t remember crying tears of happiness, but it’s possible that happened.
The problem with my story is that it’s not all that relatable. Sure, kids who were the same age may have a similar reaction, but that’s about it.
That’s what makes the following video so great. One dad decided to surprise his son with a baseball bat for his birthday, and … well … you should just enjoy the video.
So, yeah, did it get dusty in your house? Did you start chopping onions real quick to hide your tears? It’s fine, no one who has seen the above video will blame you.
We should note that the video is actually from July 2015. For whatever reason, it’s picked up steam and gone viral over the past few days.
What’s so great about this is that enjoying the game of baseball transcends generations. The video can be loved by a 12-year-old currently playing in Little League, and a 90-year-old grandma who used to play catch with her kids.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
During his playing days, Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was the epitome of “cool.” Between the backward hat, the swing, the smile and the shoes, Griffey had a style.
“The Kid” reminded us of that style during Sunday’s Hall of Fame induction speech. Eagle-eyed readers might want to take a look at his suit.
OK, fine, from that distance it’s tough to tell what’s going on. That just looks like a normal suit, though there’s something a little strange about those pinstripes, right?
Using our favorite CSI technology, and Griffey’s Instagram account, allow us to enhance the image.
A photo posted by Ken Griffey Jr (@therealkengriffeyjr) on Jul 24, 2016 at 1:58pm PDT
Well, that’s awesome. The pinstripes on Griffey’s suit actually spell out “Hall of Fame Class of 2016.” That’s a pretty neat touch, and one we might not be aware of had it not been for the close up photo.
You may also take a look at his tie. It certainly looks like a silhouette of Griffey swinging a bat is on there. Again, that’s a pretty excellent touch.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
The line between a great baseball player and a legendary one sits in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s where, on Sunday, both Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza crossed over, reaching legendary status in an emotional ceremony that came with quite a few tears.
A constant theme in both speeches was family, specifically Griffey and Piazza’s fathers, who set them on Hall of Fame courses despite very different backgrounds. Griffey, of course, is the son of former big leaguers and World Series champ, Ken Griffey, a No. 1 overall pick and a predestined star as a teenager. Piazza was a 62 nd rounder, drafted by the Dodgers at the urging of Tommy Lasorda, who is friends with Piazza’s father.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
If we could only hold on to one image from Ken Griffey Jr.’s emotional Hall of Fame speech on Sunday, it would definitely be the final one.
“The Kid” was back, if only for a brief moment, as Griffey turned back the clock to relive his greatest fashion statement: the backward cap.
For those who hoped Griffey’s likeness would be sporting a backwards cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, this is a pretty strong consolation. It’s the Hall of Fame equivalent of a mic drop, of which Griffey’s impact on baseball and pop culture is most certainly worthy.
The backward cap — the origin of which might surprise you — was Griffey’s signature look. It defined his persona and the spirit he brought to the ballpark every day. Now, it serves as the exclamation point on a career that was second to none.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
There are a lot of outstanding moments from Mike Piazza’s Hall of Fame career that could have been mentioned on his Cooperstown plaque. They managed to cover quite a few of his incredible highlights, but a very special one made the cut.
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) July 24, 2016
The plaque reads:
A durable and prolific power-hitting catcher who belted 427 career home runs, including a record 396 at the position. Caught at least 100 games 11 times, leading N.L. in putouts on four occasions. The 1993 N.L Rookie of the Year and a 12-time All-Star, named Game MVP in 1996. Led Mets to the 2000 Subway Series, and helped rally a nation one year later with his dramatic home run in the first Mets game in New York following the 9/11 attacks.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Jonny Gomes wasn’t the only notable snub from the Kansas City Royals visit to the White House on Thursday.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Johnny Cueto, who pitched a shutout for Kansas City in Game 2 of the World Series before joining the San Francisco Giants in the offseason, was also not extended an invitation to the event. And, like Gomes, he’s not happy about it.
Cueto on the KC White House snub: "I feel they should have had the courtesy to invite me."
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 24, 2016
More Cueto: "I did something for the team to win the World Series, so yes, I was expecting it. Nobody has called me or anything."
— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 24, 2016Mon, Jul 2510:15 PM EDTCincinnati at San FranciscoPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The other shoe has dropped on the bizarre clubhouse incident involving Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.
General manager Rick Hahn announced Sunday that Sale has been suspended five days for “violating team rules, insubordination and destroying team equipment.” He’s also been fined an undisclosed amount.
Here’s the White Sox statement in full:
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 24, 2016Mon, Jul 258:10 PM EDTChi Cubs at Chi White SoxPreview Game