Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew37 mins ago
Ex-Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker infamously had his doubts that he could survive the No. 7 train in New York City, but he apparently thinks he can be the ultimate "Survivor" in Nicaragua.
This season of "Survivor" will have contestants paired up in their quest for $1 million. Rocker, 39, is joined his 34-year-old girlfriend Julie McGee, a model and spray tan business owner from Atlanta.
While ex-baseball players have fared well on reality TV dating shows, something tells us Rocker's "Survivor" stint will probably be remembered for something he says rather than his success in the competition. OK, not something , many things.
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
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Without saying a word, Cole Hamels spoke volumes Tuesday night on how he felt about being removed by manager Ryne Sandberg. After he allowed a tying home run to the Washington Nationals in the eighth inning, Hamels reacted with simmering anger when Sandberg came to fetch him. Hamels, who had thrown 84 pitches, churlishly flipped the ball to Sandberg without waiting for him to fully ascend the mound, as is the usual courtesy. Afterward, Hamels swiftly stalkedaway, stone-faced.
Carlos Ruiz drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth, and the Phillies won 4-3. In the grand scheme, the decision won't matter much to the Phillies, who are out of the pennant race. The bigger question is, can the "highest-paid" Philadelphia athlete in history coexist with the manager? Hamels had not cooled off much by the time reporters questioned him, either.Wed, Aug 274:05 PM PDTWashington at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Boston Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli has seen one home run. Therefore, he has seen them all.
Napoli, staying on message, said he was not impressed with the distance and height of his 451 foot home run that landed in the fifth deck at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night. Napoli probably was more into, emotionally, that his three-run shot was part of a seven-run 11th inning that keyed an 11-7 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Associated Press reports that Napoli's home run was the first hit into the fifth deck in more than three years, and the 17th in the stadium's 25-year history. To him, it was "just another homer."
''I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, trying to get a single with a runner in scoring position,'' Napoli said. ''I guess it's pretty cool.''
I guess this is how Napoli usually is, as Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted:
Say this for Napoli, he’s never impressed with how far he hits one. “Same as if it went in the first row,” he said.Wed, Aug 274:07 PM PDTBoston at TorontoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Justin Morneau was the only batter standing between Madison Bumgarner and immortality Tuesday night. Morneau's double leading off the eighth produced the lone baserunner against Bumgarner all night in a 3-0 victory for the San Francisco Giants. He struck out 13 Colorado Rockies in an utterly dominating performance. As Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area wrote, it sure felt like Bumgarner had been perfect:
It’s hard to pitch better than Bumgarner did. He poured first-pitch strikes like a foundry worker, his fastball had sparks coming off it and he started subtly expanding the zone once ahead.
Early on, it appeared this leaping catch by Gregor Blanco would be the signature defensive play that would keep Bumgarner perfect:
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After retiring 21 straight batters to start the game, Bumgarner settled for a one-hitter that was no less dominating than the no-hitter Clayton Kershaw spun earlier this season. Via the Associated Press:
Matt Cain is the last Giants pitcher to throw a perfect game, on June 13, 2012.Wed, Aug 277:15 PM PDTColorado at San FranciscoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals seemed bound to be shut out by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night until the bat boy spoke up with Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon coming to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Manager Ned Yost explains, viathe Associated Press:
''The bat boy who never says anything turns around and says, 'Esky is going to get a hit and Gordo's taking him in the fountain,''' Yost said. ''I said, 'OK. Sounds like a pretty good plan.'''
One that worked out perfectly, too.
As if by request, Escobar blooped a single and Gordon connected for a rare Royals home run, a two-run shot against Twins closer Glen Perkins that gave Kansas City an exhilarating 2-1 victory. It was reason enough for Salvador Perez to drench Gordon in golden splendor:Wed, Aug 275:10 PM PDTMinnesota at Kansas CityPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
This is the last "worst first pitch ever" post in the history of this blog. Probably. The bad ceremonial first pitch long has become cliché in the blog world — which heavily trades in cliché already — and we are as guilty as anyone. No more! The Stew will no longer deal in exploiting lay people going onto a major league field and embarrassing themselves unless they're getting paid to do so. Players, for example.
After this one last time. We swear. So, without further a-doo-doo, this happened Tuesday night before the Houston Astros hosted the Oakland Athletics:
She bounced it like they were playing in the Astrodome. We don't have a name or vocation or reason for attending for the awful first-pitch survivor. It's better she remain anonymous, except for the thousands inside of Minute Maid Park who saw her name on the scoreboard and heard it announced.Wed, Aug 275:10 PM PDTOakland at HoustonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Here's an example of what being in contention can do: The Seattle Mariners have given general manager Jack Zdurienick a multi-year contract extension, the club announced Tuesday.
The Mariners are 71-59 this season, currently sitting in the second AL Wild Card position, after a splashy offseason that included signing Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract.
Despite that big move (or perhaps because of it), there were many in the Pacific Northwest who doubted whether Zdurienick was the right man for the job. Coming out and making a run at the postseason was at least enough to convince ownership that Zdurienick (often just called Jack Z) was their man for a few more years.Wed, Aug 2712:40 PM PDTTexas at SeattlePreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Right-hander Anibal Sanchez fears he might not pitch again this season because of discomfort related to a pectoral muscle strain, a scenario that must give the Detroit Tigers figurative chest pains.
Sanchez told media covering the Tigers on Tuesday that he suffered a setback during a throwing session the day before; After throwing a changeup, he felt a stabbing pain, like a needle, in the area of the injury. An ultrasound revealed the tearing of scar tissue, it was reported by MLive.com.
"As soon as I [felt it], I knew I had to stop, because I couldn't even move my arm," admitted Sanchez, who said he has full motion of his right arm.
Given there are just 32 games remaining in the season, there's a concern that Sanchez might be able to rejoin the team before the end of the season.
When asked if he's concerned that he might not be able to pitch again this season, Sanchez replied, "yes."Wed, Aug 274:08 PM PDTNY Yankees at DetroitPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
ESPN's Keith Olbermann released a thoughtful and entertaining seven-minute commentary Monday about Pete Rose and his ban from MLB. The 25-year anniversary of Rose's banishment was Sunday, and that has brought a wave of Pete Rose talk back into the sports media mainstream recently.
Olbermann in particular put together a one-hour special called "Pete Rose: 25 Years in Exile." Since he's both an astute baseball fan and a man who knows a thing or two about second chances, Olbermann's perspective was interesting to hear.
Even though he once took a hardline stance against reinstating Rose, Olbermann said he's come around in recent years. Now he's in favor of allowing Rose back in MLB.
The recent PED controversies surrounding the game, Olbermann said, make Rose's misdoings look like "nickel and dime stuff." He said Rose's crime is "no longer a capital offense" and other players would have been forgiven by now:
- David Brown at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes. No matter that his production at the plate is flatlining in the second half of the season, and that his batting coach hints that his swing isn't right because of an injury, New York Mets slugger David Wright says to not believe it:
David Wright says his shoulder is not 100 percent, but it's "not a reasonable assessment" to say that's the reason for his production.
A seven-time All-Star, Wright is batting an astonishingly feeble .215 with two doubles and no other extra-base hits in 145 plate appearances — making for an on-base plus slugging of .499 — in the second half. Overall, he's 13th among third basemen in wins above replacement, and 20th in OPS. He was fifth in WAR in 2013 and would have led in OPS had he enough at-bats to qualify.
Though he turns 32 years old in December, it's hard to believe that Wright suddenly has lost the ability to hit a baseball. The Mets better hope not; Wright is owed $107 million, plus what's left this season, until 2020.Wed, Aug 274:10 PM PDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game