Big League Stew

  • Watching batting practice may become more convenient for home fans

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    If you’re a fan that only attends a handful of MLB games each season, chances are catching batting practice is a high priority.

    Unfortunately though for fans of the home team, that’s not exactly convenient under baseball’s current set up. Even the earliest arrivals usually only catch a glimpse of the home team’s session, but that could change sooner than later.

    According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the commissioners office and the Major League Baseball Players Association are discussing a plan that would flip-flop the batting practice batting order before all games. The means the visitors would hit first and the home team would hit second, allowing more home fans to watch their team warm up.

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    Now we’ll see if the players are willing to get on board.

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  • Bryce Harper and Noah Syndergaard are building an old-school feud

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    As if the escalating tensions at Yankees camp weren’t enough drama for the opening weekend of spring training, the rivalry between the Nationals and Mets — and specifically Bryce Harper and Noah Syndergaard — appears poised to continue.

    After arriving to camp on Saturday, Harper was given an opportunity to fuel tensions or dismiss them with the Mets ace, who seemingly disparaged him with a one-word comment on Instagram.

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    While Harper avoided dumping gasoline on the situation, he didn’t dismiss it either. Instead, he seemed to characterize it as behavior he expects from Syndergaard, whose tweets sometimes blur the line between playful and adversarial.

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  • Spring Training 2017: Padres add Jered Weaver to depleted rotation

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s Spring Headlines, our daily look at the biggest MLB stories and news items from around spring training. 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.

    BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY: The San Diego Padres have agreed to a one-year deal with Jered Weaver, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The veteran right-hander will earn a base salary of $3M million, adds Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, with an additional $250K available through an assignment bonus.

    Though he’s far beyond his prime, Weaver seems like a lock to earn a spot in the Padres’ depleted starting rotation. The 34-year-old right-hander has no fastball left to speak of, but the Padres hope he’ll be crafty enough to eat innings and lead a staff filled with retreads and unproven prospects.

    Weaver posted a 5.06 ERA last season to go along with a 5.2 K/9. [@BNightengale]

    THANK YOU: Weaver didn’t waste any time saying thank you to Angels fans.

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  • Blake Swihart's catching comeback encounters an unexpected glitch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    A lot of eyes are on Blake Swihart this spring. The Boston Red Sox catcher is trying  to get back in the groove at his natural position after a move to the outfield derailed his 2016 season.

    Unfortunately, his early spring training workouts are not providing much optimism thanks to an unexpected glitch.

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    Swihart, whose season ended on June 4 after he crashed into a wall in foul territory while trying to catch a fly ball at Fenway Park, has encountered some issues with his accuracy on some throws back to the pitcher.

    That’s actually putting it mildly. According to Mass Live’s Christopher Smith, what Swihart has is a good old fashioned case of the yips, and so far it’s been one of the biggest stories at Red Sox camp.

    Not that he’s going to admit it.

  • Yankees president fuels tension with Dellin Betances after winning arbitration hearing

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    There’s a situation brewing at Yankees camp that could have a long-standing impact on the relationship between the team and star reliever Dellin Betances.

    On Saturday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that Betances was defeated in his arbitration hearingagainst the team, meaning he will earn just $3M in 2017. The hard-throwing right-hander had filed at $5M, which would have set a new precedent for set up relievers.

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    Betances’ elevated asking price has been a source of debate among writers and even fans. Many believe Betances’ role on the team as a set up man has unfairly capped his value. Others believe he shouldn’t be rewarded based on the assumption he’d excel in the closers role.

    Yankees president Randy Levine rips Dellin Betances' agents for "half baked attempt" to "use a player to change a well-established market."

    Woah, man. Slow that roll.

  • Yasiel Puig is ready to crush baseballs and kill zombies

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Attention, pitchers of the Cactus League and zombies of the greater southwest. Yasiel Puig is coming to get you.

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has been spotted holding a new piece of lumber that would help him strike fear into the hearts of opponents again, while also helping fend off a zombie apocalypse should one materialize.

    Yasiel Puig is ready for the zombies this season, with his "The Walking Dead" bat. Photo…

    — Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) February 17, 2017

    For those familiar with the hit television show “The Walking Dead,” you’ll recognize Puig is holding a replica of “Lucille,” the barbed wire-wrapped bat often used to kill the show’s previously deceased antagonists.

    It’s pretty clear here that Martinez is a fan of the show.


  • Lucas Giolito honors late grandfather, 'Seinfeld' actor Warren Frost

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Warren Frost, a veteran actor remembered most for his roles on “Twin Peaks” and “Seinfeld,” died on Friday. He was 91.

    We mention that here, because Frost has a pretty notable connection to the baseball world.

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    His grandson, Lucas Giolito, is currently in Arizona hoping to earn a spot in the Chicago White Sox starting rotation.

    Wish I could have spent more time with Gramps. A truly great man

    — Lucas Giolito (@LGio27) February 18, 2017

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  • Spring Training 2017: Nick Swisher retires after 12 MLB seasons

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Welcome to The Stew’s daily look at the biggest stories and news items from around MLB spring training. Here you’ll find a quick recap on everything from the latest injury news to translations, along with other stuff from around the internet that we think is worth your time.

    THE DREAM IS OVER, BABY!: Those were the words of Nick Swisher, who announced his retirement in an article for The Players’ Tribune on Friday.

    Swisher, 36, spent parts of 12 seasons in the big leagues, suiting up for the A’s, White Sox, Yankees, Indians and Braves. He was a career .249/.351/.447 who finishes with 1,338 hits, 245 home runs and 803 career RBIs. He won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and earned his lone All-Star selection the following season also with New York.

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  • Mets prospect makes getting in the 'best shape of his life' mean something

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Every year we see endless accounts of players reporting to spring training in the “best shape of their life.” It’s almost become a running joke instead of a real headline given its frequency, but we hope you’ll hear us out on this one.

    The truth is, there are times when those words are more than just a cliche. Sometimes they truly symbolize a new beginning, which is exactly what New York Mets prospect Dominic Smith is hoping for in 2017.

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    According to Newsday’s Marc Carig, Smith has completely transformed his diet after gaining 65 pounds from the moment he was drafted in 2013 to the final day of the 2015 season. He’s gone from relying on fast food to waking up early every day to prepare his own, healthier meals.

    So far, it would be impossible to deny his effort.

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  • Goose Gossage says it's 'insulting' to be compared to Mariano Rivera

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    In what has now become a spring tradition, former New York Yankees reliever Goose Gossage sat down and gave his annual profane rant about the state of today’s game. Last year, Gossage took on Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista andnerds in baseball. This time around, he set his sights a little higher.

    Getting to that point in the interview takes some time, and patience, because Gossage is expectedly all over the map. The whole discussion about relievers starts when Gossage is asked about Aroldis Chapman returning to the team.

    NJAM: What do you think about Chapman returning?

    Gossage: “Well, they’re one-inning guys.”

    NJAM: And you often were a three-inning guy, right?


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