Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew47 mins ago
Chances are, Thanksgiving dinner is already on your mind. You might be preparing to cook it, salivating over the prospect of it or traveling somewhere to eat it with friends or family.
There's a lot to consider when answering: Are they cooking? Are you placing a premium on good company? Or being able to say, "Guess who I shared turkey with?" Or are you just thinking about the funniest pairing? Each of those is acceptable.
Here are our favorite reader responses to the query. As you can see, some people answered in earnest:
@bigleaguestew Brooks Robinson. He was an incredible player and is a genuinely good person.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
'Tis the season to speculate about baseball roster moves. By nature, MLB's Hot Stove season is a fantasy mix-and-match game, where fans have fun dreaming up scenarios that would best benefit their team of choice.
While we love to hear free-agent rumors, we might love trade gossip more. We know who the free agents are. But the players who could be traded? That's much more mysterious.
Often times these trades come out of nowhere, like the deal that sent Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals. Other times, you hear a lot about potential trades before a team pulls the trigger.
Consider this list the latter. These 12 players have been gossiped about to some extent the past two months, and their situations look ripe for a swap. Our list ranges from the high-priced (that's you, Cole Hamels) to potential bargains (Ian Kennedy, come on down).
Click the photo at the top to start the slideshow.
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- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
When Hanley Ramirez went from the Red Sox to the Marlins in a blockbuster trade after the 2005 season, he was viewed as one of the best shortstop prospects in baseball.
Now 30, Ramirez returned to Boston on Tuesday after signing a four-year deal for $88 million but it won't be at the position that made him such a hot commodity nine years ago.
With fellow offseason acquisition Pablo Sandoval set to take over at third base and Xander Bogaerts the incumbent at short, Ramirez and his bat appear headed to left field, adding another name to Boston's already crowded outfield.
It's a list that already includes veterans Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, and Daniel Nava, youngsters Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. and Cuban free-agent signing Rusney Castillo. At Ramirez's introductory press conference, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington acknowledged a trade to clear up the current logjam might be on the way.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Pablo Sandoval put on a Boston Red Sox uniform Tuesday and was introduced to the media as Boston's new $95 million man.
He sat there, next to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, and said the things that players say at these types of press conferences: He was excited for a new challenge, he's looking forward to playing with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, he loves Fenway Park.
The most existential moment, however, came when Sandoval was asked about the panda. Panda — as inKung Fu Panda — is his nickname. Fans wore panda hats in San Francisco because they loved him so much. Leaving as a free agent doesn't mean a star has to divorce himself from a nickname, but Sandoval's answer was a bit peculiar.
"Ben didn’t sign one guy,” Sandoval said. “It was a two-for-one deal. The panda is with me.”
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Once again, Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels is one of the most intriguing names in trade talks.
All around baseball, people have already matched up the pitching-thirsty Boston Red Sox as the best suitor for Hamels, though you have to figure no team would turn down his services. The Red Sox, though, have the biggest surplus of hitters.
Not so fast, says Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who's been sitting on his hands since last July's trade deadline. The Phillies didn't make any moves at the trade deadline, even though they seemed like a primer seller, with many well-known Phillies swirling in trade rumors.
As the rumors swirl again, especially about Hamels, Amaro told ESPN's Jayson Stark that his club isn't rushing into anything:
"I'm in no rush to do it," Ruben Amaro Jr. told ESPN.com. "I have to do what's right for this organization."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Joe DiMaggio, one of baseball's most beloved players ever, would have turned 100 on Tuesday were he alive. That fact wasn't lost on crossword-puzzle writers, as both the Los Angeles Times and New York Times featured DiMaggio-themed puzzles in their Tuesday editions.
The answers weren't particularly hard if you're a baseball or DiMaggio fan — you had to know Joltin' Joe's nickname (the other one), how long his hit streak lasted, what position he played and the name of his most famous wife.
Here's the L.A. Times version, with just the DiMaggio-centric answers filled in:
The clues were as such:
Here's a solved version of the New York Times puzzle, as completed by crossword blogger Rex Parker, who also notes the DiMaggio-themed clues:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
If you thought Mike Trout would win the American League MVP, then spend his offseason slacking around, you're dead wrong. Trout, the 23-year-old Los Angeles Angels star, is already back in the gym getting ready for 2015.
Even in the days before Thanksgiving, when many of us have mentally checked out, Trout is up early, putting in work, trying to get faster and stronger for 2015.
It should be noted his 2014 was pretty darn good: He won the AL MVP, the All-Star Game MVP, his Angels had the best record in baseball, they won the AL West and he went to the playoffs for the first time. He also signed a $144.5 million extension with the Angels before the season started.
That's a lot to be thankful for. Even with it all, Trout still speaks like a humble, quiet guy. He lives in his hometown of Millville, N.J., this time of year, eats Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house and doesn't know where exactly he's going on his vacation in January.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 day ago
With Pablo Sandoval's departure from San Francisco soon to be confirmed after the 28-year-old third baseman reportedly signed a five-year deal worth $100 million with the Red Sox, Sandoval sent a goodbye message to Giants fans, thanking them for their support during his seven years in the Bay Area.
In an Instagram post, he wrote:
To the greatest fans in San Francisco! Leaving the #SFGiants & this city I love is the most difficult decision I have ever made. I have grown up w/you, laughed & cried w/you & you have blessed me w your support, friendship & love. It has been an unforgettable @SFGiants career, a great run & 3 World Series championships in 5 yrs w/great teammates, coaches, front office & fans. I will always remember you w love & my heart will always be in #SF.
The Giants also released a statement on Monday recognizing Sandoval's contributions to the team's recent run of success.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 day ago
It was a great day for the Red Sox off the field, as they reportedly locked up Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez to long-term deals, but the same can't be said for their social media team.
As news filtered out from Ferguson, Mo., that the grand jury had decided not to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown Jr., the official Red Sox Twitter account sent out this tweet, which was promptly deleted.
People that may not have jobs tomorrow: pic.twitter.com/SAwtHRJCC4
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
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Here's something you don't expect to hear about the Philadelphia Phillies: There was an infusion of youth in their clubhouse.
But we're not talking about baseball players, rather patients from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia who attended a special sleepover inside the home team's clubhouse at Citizens Bank Ballpark. The clubhouse sleepover — a first of its kind for the Phillies — was sold as part of the team's Phantastic Auction in May.