Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 mins ago
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We told you recently about Guilder Rodriguez, the Texas Rangers farmhand who was promoted to the big leagues earlier this month after 13 seasons and 1,095 games in the minors. He reportedly cried the day he got the news, and Monday night a few additional tears were shed.
Rodriguez, 31, got his first MLB hit against the Houston Astros in the third inning. It was a great moment made greater by the universal respect of everyone looking on — Rodriguez's Rangers teammates appreciated it, fans understood the signifigance and gave him a wonderful ovation, but most special was Rodriguez's father, who was in the stands watching.
While Guilder stood on first base proudly, his dad got a bit watery in the eye area. Hard to blame him.Tue, Sep 235:05 PM PDTHouston at TexasPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
If the Wren brothers aren't sharing a six-pack right about now and cursing the Atlanta Braves 2014 season, then something's wrong.
Also today, Schuerholz fired Wren's brother Jeff, a #Braves scout and special assistant to the GM.
The Wren in the Braves organization who was left unscathed (for now, we suppose) is Kyle Wren, Frank's son and an eighth-round pick in the 2013 amateur draft. Kyle Wren, actually, performed well for the Braves this season.Tue, Sep 234:10 PM PDTPittsburgh at AtlantaPreview Game
- Anthony Sulia-Heffinger at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
NEW YORK — Barring a baseball miracle, Derek Jeter's career will end this weekend in Fenway Park.
With New York sitting 4.5 games back in the wild-card standings with seven games to play, the jarring reality is quickly settling in for fans, media and the sport in general, but the Yankee Captain has only one concern. And it's not counting down the days to his Yankee Stadium farewell Thursday.
"I'm worried about tonight," Jeter said Monday, speaking at a Steiner Sports tribute event honoring him in Midtown Manhattan.
Jeter's response shouldn't have come as any surprise though, seeing as he has flawlessly navigated the treacherous waters of the New York media, ones that have laid claim to so many other stars.
During the 45-minute Q&A session Jeter deflected — with grace — any question that took his focus off the task at hand, beating the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night at Yankee Stadium. It was once again, as it has been for nearly 20 years, business as usual for Jeter.
"I prepare for the games all the same,” Jeter said. “You can’t look that far ahead. I'm just not wired that way.”
- Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Three weeks, three outs, and two ballparks in two different cities later, the Cleveland Indians beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3 in 10 innings Monday night in the resumption of a suspended game from Aug. 31.
In the scheduled second game at Progressive Field, the Royals won 2-0 behind left-hander Danny Duffy — who also happened to start the suspended game that began at Kauffman Stadium.
The Indians maintained a 4-2 lead for three weeks until the teams could meet again in Ohio, where they resumed in the bottom of the 10th. Scott Atchison got three outs for the save, thwarting a Royals rally that put the tying run at second base and two down. Omar Infante popped out with pinch runner Jarrod Dyson at second.
As a result of the split, the Indians stayed within 3 1/2 games of the Royals in the American League wild-card race, with Kansas City trying to reach the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.Tue, Sep 234:05 PM PDTKansas City at ClevelandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Derek Jeter has done an exceptional job of becoming one of the famous athletes in pro sports without ever revealing too much of himself. In the give-and-take that is the modern press, where you have to expose so much of yourself to get noticed anymore, Jeter's always played his own game.
He's avoided scandal for 20 years in New York City, which seems nearly impossible given the story-sucking fangs of the tabloids there. He's smart. He doesn't answer questions that can get him in trouble. He's careful to keep his private life private (no cameras or phones, if you come to a party at his house). And he's rarely opened up to the media.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The average Major League Baseball game lasted 2:40 in 1984. Thirty years has tacked on more than 20 minutes. The average game this season lasts 3:02, the first year in which games have exceed three hours — and that's a reason for legitimate concern around MLB.
It's been said that commissioner-elect Rob Manfred should make pace-of-game issues his No. 1 priority when he takes over for Bud Selig in 2015, but Selig beat him to the punch Monday. He established a pace-of-game committee that will strive to speed up games.
Here's MLB's fittingly succinct release on the matter:
Major League Baseball announced that Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has conducted a conference call with a new committee that will study the issue of pace of game. The goals of the committee will focus on decreasing time of game and improving the overall pace of play in the 2015 regular season and beyond.
- David Brown at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Frank Wren's job as general manager of the Atlanta Braves could not withstand a brutal collapse that helped ensure another season without the playoffs.
The Braves announced Monday morning they had fired Wren and named John Hart interim GM. Hart reportedly will see the selection of Wren's replacement as the Braves move forward into a new stadium. Wren's teams went 604-523 over seven seasons, not including a 2-7 record in three postseason appearances — all in the past five years. The Braves averaged 86 victories under Wren, who succeeded John Schuerholz in Oct. 2007, but had only one first-place finish.
It reportedly is expected that manager Fredi Gonzalez will stay, though final determination probably would be up to the new boss.
This season, the Braves contended into the second half but have gone 18-30 since late July and were eliminated from playoff contention Sunday while also enduring an embarrassing 10-2 loss to the New York Mets.
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
A 27-year-old rookie with the San Francisco Giants, slugger Chris Dominguez enjoyed his first career hit — a towering home run at Petco Park — in his first major league start Sunday afternoon. The Giants fell to the San Diego Padres 5-2, further complicating their playoff prospects, but nobody could wipe the smile from Dominguez's face after he spent six seasons in the minors.
A souvenir of the occasion would have been nice, but one is not always guaranteed. In his case, Dominguez managed to retrieve the ball, but not before the 8-year-old girl who had possession of it wrote a congratulatory note on it for the ballplayer.
Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle explains:
The ball went over the fence down the left-field line, hit off the Western Metal Supply Co. building and wound up in the hands of a little girl named Estella who was celebrating her birthday.
The Padres dispatched an employee to retrieve the ball, but before a swap could be completed, the little girl’s sister got ahold of the ball and wrote on it, “Happy birthday, love M.”LiveSan Francisco2 - 2LA DodgersFollow Game
- Big League Stew19 hrs ago
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Never mind the strikeouts, right-hander Corey Kluber says. He's in this to get the Cleveland Indians to the playoffs.
Kluber struck out a career-high 14 on Sunday afternoon for the second straight start, leading the Indians to a 7-2 victory against the Minnesota Twins, and keeping Cleveland within 3 1/2 games of a wild-card spot in the American League.
Cleveland's playoff position is his focus, Kluber says, even though he's the first player in the majors to strike out at least 14 in back-to-back start since Randy Johnson in 2004. Kluber leads the league with 258 strikeouts, including 10 double-digit performances. If Felix Hernandez doesn't win the AL Cy Young Award, then Kluber likely will. Regardless, a different context is more precious to him.
From the Associated Press:
''When the year's over that's the kind of stuff that you'll take a second to look at and appreciate, but the important thing right now is that we got the win,'' Kluber said.
- David Brown at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
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In a season that's likely to end with the disappointment of missing the playoffs for a second straight year, everything came together for the New York Yankees on Sunday afternoon.
They beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 with right-hander Masahiro Tanaka throwing 70 pain-free pitches after spending 2 1/2 months on the disabled list to rehab a partially torn elbow ligament. And that's not all: Derek Jeter went 2 for 4, finishing the series with an 8-for-15 surge that included four straight multi-hit games — a first for a Yankees player age 40 or older. Finally, Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th home run in franchise history since the Yankees started playing in New York City in 1903.Tue, Sep 234:05 PM PDTBaltimore at NY YankeesPreview Game