Big League Stew
- Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Check out how adorable, how innocent, how angelic little Barry Lamar Bonds is. Such a cutie patootie. Not only that, but he held the bat when he was 3 or 4 like he did in his 30s and 40s. And he wore his baseball pants the same way, too! Big 'n' baggy, as they should be.
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- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Speaking publicly for the first time since resigning as Texas Rangers manager earlier this month, Ron Washington said he "was not true" to his wife but offered no other details as to why he quit.
Washington spoke briefly, and took no questions from the assembled media, at a hotel conference room near Dallas. His wife, Gerry Washington, stood nearby.
"I made a mistake and I'm embarrassed more than I've ever been in my life," Washington said. "I don't run when I make a mistake, but when you put yourself in a situation, you own it. Those are the types of things my wife always says to me. I was not true to my wife. After 42 years, I broke her trust. I'm here today to own that mistake, to apologize to her and to those I disappointed and those who have trusted in me, and who I let down."
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Nori Aoki has been one of the big reasons the Kansas City Royals have stayed at or near the top of the American League Central, along with the wild-card race, in the second half of the season. Aoki is batting .313 with a .381 on-base and .777 on-base plus slugging with nine stolen bases over 204 plate appearances in the second half. He's batting .423 with a 1.011 OPS in September, and he just finished barbecuing the Chicago White Sox, going 11 for 13 to set a team record for hits in a three-game series.
Royals fans want to acknowledge and appreciate Aoki's contribution, but some committed an international faux pas in doing so at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday night:
Don't get me wrong, I love Aoki.. but that flag is WW2 War Crime flag like Nazi's swasticka/iron cross!! Remember.. pic.twitter.com/UNBUJG22AF
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
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Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco credits spending "three months" in the bullpen for why he's turned into one of the league's more dominant starting pitchers. That's a long time to hang out somewhere, but it's been worth it. Carrasco is so good right now, he achieved a stat line Wednesday night that only two other pitchers have done in recorded major league history.
Carrasco tossed a two-hit shutout in a 2-0 victory against the Houston Astros, striking out 12 and needing only 98 pitches to do it. Maximum dominance and efficiency. The only other pitchers to strike out 12 in fewer than 100 pitches in a complete-game shutout: Sandy Koufax throwing a no-hitter with the Dodgers in 1966, and Cliff Lee throwing a three-hitter with the Phillies 2011. All three pitchers coincidentally walked one batter apiece, making for a nice symmetry.
- Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
To hear Gatorade's "senior director of consumer engagement" Molly Carter tell AdWeek, the idea for Derek Jeter's latest spine-tingly retirement commercial came from The Captain himself.
So, too, did the choice of song — Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
The ad wizards took it from there and the result is a lot of fun to watch: Jeter one day decides to walk the last few blocks to Yankee Stadium, surprising ballplaying kids and beer-drinking adults along the way.
Gatorade, the official sports drink of Major League Baseball since 1990, roped off a few blocks before a home game in the Bronx this July and "just kind of let Jeter go," said Carter. The shock and surprise on fans' faces when their idol walks into Stan's Sports Bar, or autographs baseballs, is genuine, she said. The 90-second "My Way" spot breaks online Thursday, and will air on TV for the first time Saturday on the YES Network and Fox.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
If baseball games were played on paper, the Los Angeles Angels would probably be working on a third straight division championship. After spending money and adding big name free agents like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson to the roster, the expectations rose with the payroll, but the results remained disappointing.
Until now. The 2014 Angels currently own the best record in baseball at 95-57, and they've officially punched their ticket to the ALDS after clinching their first AL West division championship since 2009.
It wasn't always easy. Even with the remarkable record, the Oakland A's, who won the West each of the past two season, remained one step ahead deep into August. But it was the Angels who sustained excellence while the A's fell back. Here's a look at five big reasons why the Angels are in the postseason and on pace for 100 wins.
The existence of Mike Trout
Mike Trout has arguably been the best position player in baseball since debuting as a 21-year-old in 2012. He's now 23, and aside from a somewhat concerning rise in strikeouts, he's still getting better.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
An inning without a baserunner allowed is considered perfect, but there's actually a greater, far more rare single-inning achievement for a pitcher to shoot for. It's called the "immaculate Inning," and it stands for complete and utter dominance.
To be credited with an immaculate inning, a pitcher must strike out all three batters in an inning on the minimum nine pitches. It's something that had only been done 71 times by 66 different pitchers coming into this season, but New York Yankees right-hander Brandon McCarthy became the sixth different pitcher to throw one this season. That's a new single-season major-league record.
McCarthy joined the elite list by striking out Wil Myers, Nick Franklin and Matt Joyce inthe seventh inning of New York's 3-2 win.
"I actually didn't realize what it was until I got inside and I saw what it was on the broadcast," McCarthy said. "I was just happy it was three strikeouts, but I didn't realize what kind of an inning it was."
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
The end of the AL West race could not have been more fitting given how the last few weeks have played out. While the Los Angeles Angels continued soaring, defeating the Seattle Mariners 5-0 in Anaheim behind C.J. Wilson's gem and C.J. Cron's three-run homer, the collapsing Oakland A's allowed another game against baseball's worst team, the Texas Rangers, to slip through their fingers, losing 6-1 after leading into the ninth inning.
Those results together allowed the Angels to unseat the two-time defending West champion A's, while claming their division crown since 2009.
The scene played out dramatically in Anaheim as the Angels wrapped up their victory about an hour before the A's loss concluded. An estimated 5,000 Angels fans who attended the game stuck around to watch the A's on the big screen at Angels Stadium, hoping for a chance to celebrate with the team.Thu, Sep 187:05 PM PDTSeattle at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Every now and then life slaps us in the face with a cold, hard dose of reality that puts its meaning back into perspective. It reminds us that our problems are usually minimal compared to those of others. That most of our bad days are actually good days in the grand scheme of things. And that as much as those we love frustrate us, yes, even the sports team we cheer for, it's not the end of our world.
Carlos Beltran and his wife, Jessica, didn't need that reminder. They had already experienced enough reality, pain and anguish, having lost two children before, both by miscarriage. Sadly, we learned on Wednesday they are going through that pain and anguish again, as Beltran announced that they had lost their unborn son.
Carlos Beltran, away from the team for personal reasons, just posted on his facebook page that he has lost his son. https://t.co/PmpD9VyFUG
Translation of Carlos Beltran's heartbreaking post on Facebook pic.twitter.com/r50IPpXnJg
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
The Miami Marlins were optimistic that slugger Giancarlo Stanton would return to the lineup this season despite suffering multiple fractures, dental damage and a laceration from being hit in the face by a Mike Fiers 88-mph pitch.
That optimism disappeared on Wednesday, however, as the team announced Stanton will be shut down for the remainder of the 2014 season.
Giancarlo Stanton will miss the remainder of this season. He is expected to be ready for spring training. #GetWellGiancarlo
Despite missing what will amount to 17 games, Stanton stands a pretty good chance to hold on as the NL's home run king. He'll finish the season with 37 homers. Cubs' first baseman Anthony Rizzo is second with 31 homers, but he's been slowed recently by a back issue, making it unlikely that he'll go on a major tear over Chicago's final 11 games. Lucas Duda of the Mets checks in third with 27 home runs.Thu, Sep 184:10 PM PDTWashington at MiamiPreview Game