Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
If you've watched Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton at any point during his phenomenal college and professional football career, you'd honestly believe he was fearless.
His willingness to step up in the pocket as 300-pound linemen and hard-hitting linebackers bear down certainly gives that impression. His willingness to pull the ball down and run, knowing full well that all 11 defenders want to give him their best shot, is another sign of fearlessness. And let's be honest, his desire to get under an opponents' skin with his in-game celebrations and taunts is the greatest evidence that he's simply not afraid of the consequences.
In fact, he's flat out daring the opponent to make him stop.
- Joey Gulino at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
In our Homer History series, writers re-tell the stories of memorable home runs from their perspective. In this installment, Yahoo Sports editor Joey Gulino tells the tale of Tony Fernandez's clutch extra-innings blast.
You know who Tony Fernandez is. I know who Tony Fernandez is. You don’t even have to be a baseball fan to know who Tony Fernandez is.
He’s definitely not known as a home run hitter. He finished his 17-year career with just 94 homers, and never more than 11 in a season. One might wonder why he's featured in a series such as this.
To many, he’s the guy whose injury led to the Yankees calling up Derek Jeter for the very first time. To others, he’s the guy whose error put Craig Counsell on base to score the winning run in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series.
That’s where this story begins, because that’s where the Indians’ season ended. Counsell’s innocuous three-hopper snuck under the glove of Fernandez and into ignominy. It was a play the four-time Gold Glover had made countless times before, but one he couldn’t make this time.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
The Chicago Cubs and defending NL CY Young award winner Jake Arrieta avoided arbitration late Friday night, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season.
The Associated Press first reported the agreement, also noting it to be the largest one-year contract for a second-time arbitration eligible pitcher, topping David Price's $10.1 million salary in 2013.
The two sides were scheduled to hold what would have been a high-stakes arbitration hearing on Tuesday had they not reached this agreement. Arrieta filed at $13 million, while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million difference marked the largest gap among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred emphatically rejected Pete Rose's bid for reinstatement, it appears the all-time hit king could not care less about protecting his image.
In a local Las Vegas ad scheduled to air during Sunday's Super Bowl, Rose appears to help promote the William Hill mobile sports wagering app, which allows gamblers to place bets from a smart phone or tablet computer. That includes on baseball games, which is driven home at the end of the ad, and even while the games are still going on.
Indeed, no reference to Rose's betting on baseball is left unsaid, which is pretty impressive for a 30-second spot.
Starring alongside former Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, Rose sits in the dark quietly throughout most of the ad, but he does get to blurt out, "You sure this won't get me in any trouble?"
Nah, you're good, Pete. The dead horse is dead.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.
EXPENSIVE: The Giants have talked to Juan Uribe about a reserve role, but his current asking price is out of their range. [@Buster_ESPN]
EXTENSION TALKS: The Blue Jays will explore extensions for sluggers Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson. [ESPN]
SWEET LOU: The Reds have hired Lou Piniella to serve in a consulting capacity as a senior advisor. [@johnfayman]
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
In October, California Gov. Jerry Brown took a huge step in the battle to eliminate smokeless tobacco from Major League Baseball by signing a bill that bans its use in each of the state's five major-league ballparks.
That came on the heels of the Boston City Council voting unanimously to ban smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products at all professional and amateur sports venues, which included Fenway Park.
Now New York seems prepared to follow suit after a similar bill was introduced Friday that would ultimately ban smokeless tobacco from public venues.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
When you're a young franchise cornerstone player, the type who can lead a team to the World Series and contend for the MVP award on a yearly basis, fans would prefer you spend your offseason encased in bubblewrap. The last thing they want to see you do is get hurt playing a different sport, or jumping on a trampoline or carry deer meat up the stairs.
We here at The Stew can understand those concerns, but we also acknowledge that athletes should be allowed to have a normal, fun life outside of their sport. With that said, if we were Chicago Cubs fans, we might be a little concerned about Kris Bryant's offseason hobbies.
Yeah, everything about that video terrifies us. That shark not only swims right at Bryant, but it's also unclear whether the 24-year-old is in a cage. Is he actually just out in the open water with sharks! Why would anyone do that?
Fear not, Cubs fans, Bryant appears to have survived the event. He posted another picture from his Instagram account a few hours later, so we're assumed he made it out alive.
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
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Kevin Kiermaier probably slept like a hibernating bear Thursday night after attempting to eat a a steak that likely weighed more than the bat he swings during the season.
Kiermaier took on an eating challenge for charity at Smokey Bones restaurant in Clearwater, Fla., where he attempted to eat a 35-ounce smoked ribeye dinner which includes two side salads, two plates of broccoli, two baked potatoes and the restaurant’s signature Hot Bag O’ Donuts.
- Scott Pianowski at Big League Stew1 day ago
In our Homer History series, writers re-tell the stories of memorable home runs from their perspective. In this installment, Yahoo Sports fantasy writer Scott Pianowski recalls Reggie Jackson's incredible Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.
“Oh, what a blow! What a way to top it off! Forget about who the most valuable player is in the World Series! How this man has responded to pressure! Oh, what a beam on his face -- how can you blame him? He’s answered the whole world! . . . What a colossal blow!"
-- ABC's Howell Cosell, describing Reggie Jackson's third home run in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series
I’ve seen this home run about 1000 times (say 700 on tape, 300 in my head) and it just occurs to me now: Howard Cosell and Reggie Jackson probably peaked at the same time, on this majestic World Series-wrapping homer. Cosell is running amok, overshadowing his boothmates like an oversized dump truck.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts has a bright baseball future ahead of him. The 23-year-old broke out last season, slashing .291/.341/.479 while playing a strong center field. Betts even managed to pick up two down ballot MVP votes for his efforts.
The point is, Mookie Betts is already pretty good at his job. And if he's able to progress like most players, he might even challenge for an MVP award one day. We can't wait to see how he performs moving forward.
That said, if Betts ever got tired of being excellent at baseball, he could still make it as a professional athlete. Betts participated in the World Series of Bowling this offseason, where he put up some impressive numbers.