Big League Stew

  • Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with Frank Thomas

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 40 mins ago

    First the bad news: There’s no Frank Thomas card in the packs of 1991 Donruss I busted open recently with The Big Hurt himself. Good news: While he didn’t pull his own card, he did pull a few guys he knew quite well.

    Welcome to another episode of my “Opening 25-Year-old Baseball Cards” series. The 1991 Donruss have been sitting, unopened, since my grandma bought them from Costco. They’re basically worthless, so I decided to open them with baseball people and see what stories ensue.

    In 1991, Thomas was one of the best cards to have. His Topps Stadium Club from that year remains in my collection and his Upper Deck was sought after too. In Donruss, though, he came in Series 2 and those aren’t the ones we’re opening.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Everything you need to know about 'Pitch' before it returns to TV

    Liz Roscher at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Caution: This post contains spoilers for the first four episodes of the TV show “Pitch.” 

    “Pitch” returns on Thursday night after a week off, just in time for the World Series. If you’ve got that baseball itch and the World Series alone can’t scratch it, this is a great time to jump into “Pitch.” You’ll get some baseball, you’ll get some drama, and you’ll get bearded Zack Morris playing a catcher. There isn’t as much baseball as this fan would like (I think there should be more of it in every episode), but they’re trying to build a world that exists beyond what happens on the field, one that involves front office staff like the owner and the GM, behind-the-scenes people like Ginny’s agent, and even a few personal relationships.

    So if you’re new to “Pitch,” or if you just need a quick refresher before Thursday night’s new episode, I’ll give you everything you need to know.

    BEHIND THE SCENES We’ve been lucky enough to get a peek at what’s happening behind the scenes with the actors on “Pitch.” Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who plays Mike Lawson, has discussed how his kids have reacted to him playing a baseball player on TV.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – –

  • Max Scherzer's second no-hitter jersey was nearly a housecleaning casualty

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    Cleaning the house is one of those tasks most people work harder to avoid than to complete.

    Not Erica May-Scherzer though. The wife of Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was determined to start the offseason with an organized home, and that determination nearly cost her husband one of his prized possessions.

    Wife was cleaning up the house and threw away a "dirty" Jersey… It was the 2nd No Hitter Jersey! #ShesSleepingOnTheCouch

    — Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) October 26, 2016

    Perhaps this is Mrs. Scherzer’s idea of a good joke. Or maybe it’s time to get that jersey framed or at least packed away someplace safe so it’s not discarded like the lucky t-shirt from high school that the significant other can’t wait to throw away.

    Either way, we would have loved to seen Max Scherzer’s reaction upon this discovery.

    Then again, maybe we already have.

    Scherzer’s game-day face could possibly be his incredulous face, which could also be his all-the-time face.

    – – – – – – –

  • Cutting class for the World Series is a valid excuse in Ohio

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    An education is a valuable thing. We here at The Stew subscribe the the belief that knowledge is power. Stay in school, go to class and get good grades and you’ll be all right!

    With that said, if our dad bought us tickets to a World Series game that featured our favorite team — at team that hasn’t brought home a title in 68 years — we might be willing to temporarily abandon our morals.

    That was the exact scenario one student at Ohio University found himself in recently. Charlie Winovich received tickets to see the Cleveland Indians play in Game 1 of the World Series. In order to attend the event, he would have to skip his Geological Sciences class.

    That was a risk Charlie was willing to take, he gave his homework to another student and left for the game. It looked as though everything was fine initially, but then Charlie received an email from his teacher after the professor noticed he was not actually in class.

    That led to the following exchange:

    ROLL TRIBE @Indians

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – – –

  • Report: Yoenis Cespedes expected to opt out of Mets contract

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    The World Series is still in full swing, but it’s never too early to start thinking about free agency. The first big offseason news dropped Wednesday, as it appears New York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes will opt out of his contract and become a free-agent, according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

    Cespedes has reportedly made his decision, but his management team will not announce the move until three days after the World Series, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN. That’s the deadline for Cespedes to opt out of his deal.

    The decision to leave early doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise. Cespedes’ three-year, $75 million deal with the Mets included an opt-out clause after just one year, and many speculated he would only remain with the Mets for just one year.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    – – – – – – –

  • Everything was a mess for the Indians in World Series Game 2

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — There was no blood this time, but it was even more of a mess.

    The Cleveland Indians, who made it this far in the postseason because so many things had gone right for them, turned in a sloppy, ugly, uncharacteristic loss in Game 2 of the World Series.

    The final was 5-1, and it felt so much more out of touch than that. The Chicago Cubs jumped on Indians starter Trevor Bauer right away, scoring by the time their cleanup hitter came to the plate, and the Indians never regained control.

    And, oh Bauer. He’s the Indians pitcher whose last start didn’t even last an inning because his injured pinky started gushing blood on the mound. The pinky was fine this time. The only thing that gushed was disappointment out of Progressive Field, where Indians fans left knowing the World Series is going to Chicago for three games knotted at one.

    Game 2 was proof, things catch up with you eventually in the postseason.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Five key moments from the Cubs' 5-1 win in World Series Game 2

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    The relentless Chicago Cubs can only be subdued for so long. After being dominated by Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians bullpen in Game 1, they bounced back in every phase in Game 2, defeating the Indians 5-1 to win their first World Series game since 1945.

    The Cubs struck early against a clearly rusty Trevor Bauer, scoring runs in the first and third innings. That gave Chicago the early lead and forced Cleveland to play from behind, which is a position they had only been in for 8 1/2 innings this postseason coming in to Game 2. The Cubs would add three more runs against Cleveland’s bullpen in the fifth inning behind clutch hits from Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber, which put them squarely in command.

    Of course, the Indians didn’t go away quietly. Though they didn’t threaten much against Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (they were hitless into the sixth inning), they made him work hard and ended up knocking him out in the sixth inning. That afforded them an opportunity to chip away against the Cubs’ bullpen, but they couldn’t string together enough hits to forge a comeback.

    — Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) October 27, 2016

  • Chief Wahoo debate intensifies with the World Series in Cleveland

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

    CLEVELAND — As fans filled into Game 1 of the World Series, the type of baseball event this city hasn’t seen in a couple decades, a small group of activists gathered in a courtyard across from the stadium.

    There were half a dozen of them and they held signs that read: “People Not Mascots,” “Stop Teaching Your Children Racism” and “Cleveland, Lose Your Shame, Change the Name.”

    In the middle was Sundance, the one-named activist who oversees the Cleveland American Indian Movement, the group that has been protesting Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo logo and the Indians’ team name on every Opening Day for the past 46 years.

    “We need the support of people across this country and worldwide,” Sundance said. “The baseball team and Major League Baseball just aren’t responsive to us. We are faced with an intransigent opponent, so we have to persevere.”

    The Indians being in the World Series inspired him to organize his first protest of the postseason, to get his message in front of a bigger, potentially international audience.

    “This is our moment,” he said.

    Raycher saw the protestors as he walked in and didn’t go near them.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Everyone watched the Cubs and Indians in World Series Game 1

    Chris Cwik at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Baseball is not dying! The national ratings are in for Game 1 of the World Series, and it turns out people are pretty interested in this year’s matchup.

    National ratings in for WS G1: 19.4M viewers, up 30 pct from last year, up 55 pct from two years ago. Big start, as Fox and MLB hoped

    — Eric Fisher (@EricFisherSBJ) October 26, 2016

    That’s a pretty significant boost. Viewership is up 55 percent compared to two years ago, when the Kansas City Royals took on the San Francisco Giants. It’s up 30 percent from last season, when the Royals went up against the New York Mets.

    The fact that the Chicago Cubs are involved this year probably has something to do with the elevated ratings. The Cubs are not only only one of the most popular teams in baseball, but they come from a large market and have the most compelling narrative. You may not have heard, but the team hasn’t won a World Series championship in 108 years.

    While the Cleveland Indians can’t match Chicago’s popularity or market-size, they also have narrative on their side. The Indians haven’t won a title since 1948. That’s the second-longest drought in baseball.

  • Here’s the ultimate playlist of World Series walk-up music

    Mike Oz at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    It’s World Series week and if you’re trying to consume baseball-related things even during baseball’s downtime, we’ve got something different for ears.

    Libratone, a Danish wireless speaker company that has a partnership with Spotify, has created the ultimate playlist of World Series walk-up music. It features walk-up songs used by players from the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs, more than 40 songs in all.

    Some are current songs, others were songs the players used throughout the season. The artists on the playlist range from Michael Jackson and Bryan Adams to Jason Aldean and Eric B & Rakim. Even Ben Zobrist’s wife, Julianna.

    Here’s a full rundown:

    Good stuff, but the Indians don’t have nearly enough Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: