Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew41 mins ago
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The beginning of Tuesday night's Reds-Orioles game at Camden Yards in Baltimore was delayed 23 minutes by rain. Oddly enough, the game would delayed again by weather for an hour and 46 minutes after just one batter, but that one at-bat in between proved to be eventful.
Unfortunately for first-base umpire Mike DiMuro, Orioles pitcher Bud Norris and Reds lead-off man Billy Hamilton, it also proved to be quite painful. For DiMuro, it was actually the end of his evening all together.
It started as Hamilton smoked a one-hop grounder up the middle that caught Norris' landing leg flush on the shin and deflected towards first base. Norris gingerly chased it down and then made a diving flip to first baseman Chris Davis, which didn't work. The speedy Hamilton beat it out easily, but the confluence of events more closely resembled a four-car pile up than an infield single, which is how it will be scored.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
If you believe what Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick said on his first hands-on day as Philadelphia Phillies interim president, there's not a major shake-up coming.
The Phillies seem ripe for overhaul, considering their $180 million payroll is third-highest in MLB and their 63-74 record is in the bottom third of the league. It's not hard to imagine both general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Ryne Sandberg being fired, but Gillick says that's "absolutely" not happening.
Gillick took over last week for team president David Montgomery, who started a medical leave of absence after having surgery to remove cancer from his jaw in May. Gillick joined the team for the first time Tuesday in Atlanta. The Phils aren't strangers to Gillick, who was their GM from 2006-2008, a tenure that included the 2008 World Series win. He won two more World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and girlfriend Kate Upton were among several celebrities whose private — and in some cases very personal — photos were allegedly stolen by hackers who tapped into their phones and published them on the internet.
The scandal has garnered much attention on gossip sites and social media since blowing up over the weekend, but many of the parties directly involved have remained mostly silent. That includes Verlander, who on Tuesday attempted to deflect attention from the scandal and keep it strictly on baseball while meeting with the media.
"I'm not going to comment on my personal life," Verlander said in the Tigers' clubhouse before tonight's game against the Cleveland Indians. "I never have, and I never plan on it. I keep my personal life personal.LiveDetroit1 - 2ClevelandFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
In a fitting metaphor for Derek Jeter's final season in the majors, the New York Yankees announced Tuesday that the club will add a patch to their jersey sleeves and caps honoring Jeter. The patch debuts Sunday — Derek Jeter Day at Yankee Stadium — and will be worn until the seasons ends, until Jeter's career ends. Although some might think the Yankees are making it sound like Jeter is dying by adorning a tribute patch on their uniforms, it's similar to what they did for Mariano Rivera in 2013. Mo, of course, was near the top of his game when he retired. Jeter is not.
Coincidentally at a different media event, manager Joe Girardi was answering a question about why he's not dropping Jeter in the batting order. Girardi has done a strong job overall patching together Yankees lineups this season, even though most of them spring several leaks anyway. One of the biggest leaks usually comes at Jeter's spot.LiveBoston9 - 3NY YankeesFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
It's September. Divisions are up for grabs, wild card races are wild and half of MLB still has a chance at the playoffs. Over the next two weeks, we'll plan out how 16 contenders could win the World Series, "could" being the operative word. Some plans will be more absurd than others.
Team: Miami Marlins
Status: The fact that we're talking about the Marlins in September is a win for the franchise. They've lost at least 90 games each of the past three seasons. The Marlins chances at making the playoffs are pretty slim — they're 5 1/2 back for the NL wild card with the Pirates, Braves, Brewers and Giants all ahead of them. But that just means their World Series plan needs to be a little more aggressive, right?
THE MARLINS WILL WIN THE WORLD SERIES IF THESE FIVE THINGS HAPPEN
1. Giancarlo Stanton, the team's star slugger and MVP candidate, hits a home run every single at-bat from now until Halloween.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Miami Marlins super slugger Giancarlo Stanton somehow doesn't have the longest home run of 2014, but he has hit the longest homer of the month for the third time this season. That counts for something.
Since it's now September — already?! — we're doing our monthly look-back at MLB's most mammoth homers. August belonged to Stanton, after he hit a 470-foot bomb to left field on Aug. 11. Overall, it's the sixth longest homer of the year.
- David Brown at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw is running away (pitching away?) with the National League's Cy Young race, say gamblers who make their living on that kind of thing. Bovada.lv apparently believes that Kershaw is such a lock for Cy Young that they've taken him off the board. You can't even bet on him anymore.
No matter that Kershaw missed six starts near the beginning of the season because of a back injury — enough time away that almost always kills a player's chances at winning a major award — he's still compiled enough wins above replacement to be considered better than any other pitcher.
Coming into his start Tuesday night, Kershaw has posted a 1.73 ERA with 194 strikeouts and 23 walks in 161 1/3 innings, which adds up to 7.0 WAR. He's allowed 32 runs — 31 earned — in 22 starts. Just amazing, though the current dead-ball era we're in and the wide confines of Dodger Stadium aren't hurting him.LiveWashington0 - 0LA DodgersFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
After slugger David Wright lined a single to center in the third inning Monday night, Miami Marlins outfielder Marcel Ozuna charged it and came up firing and...
The ball appeared to slip from Ozuna's hand in medium center field, because it went in a crazy direction, into the home dugout at Marlins Park. It's like the ball slipped on a banana peel. If Ozuna was trying to keep Curtis Granderson from advancing from second base to third, it didn't work out. Because the ball went out of play, umpires awarded Granderson home. Wright, credited with a two-run single, was given second base.
The New York Mets had been trailing by a run but suddenly led 4-2 — on a single.
- David Brown at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Wrigley Field gave Chicago Cubs rookie Jorge Soler a sunny and warm ovation before his first home at-bat Monday afternoon, and he responded with a double to right field in the bottom of the second. In doing so, Soler became the third player since 1914 to start his major league career with at least one extra-base hit in each of his first five games. The others: Hall of Famer Enos "Country" Slaughter, and Boston Red Sox infielder Will "No Nickname Yet" Middlebrooks.
Soler, a 22-year-old from Cuba who slugged .700 at three levels in the minors this season, whacked a hanging breaking ball from Jimmy Nelson into the right-field corner and later scored. He added another double in the sixth to finish 2-for-4 in the Cubs' 4-2 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.LiveMilwaukee1 - 7Chi CubsFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Denard Span's teammates on the Washington Nationals got right to the point Monday night after he connected for his second home run of the game. Span came in with two home runs in 574 plate appearances all season, but he has been on an unholy tear for a week, going 8 for 22 with five extra-base hits since Wednesday. His homers helped the Nats continue their progressive road trip with a 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dodger Stadium isn't exactly a home run haven, either. Span was at a loss to explain his power surge. Via the D.C. Bog:
“I couldn’t tell you, man,” Span told MASN’s Dan Kolko after the game. “Just seeing the ball good and trying to put good swings on the ball. Fortunately they’ve been getting out of the park for me.”
Kolko asked Span for the best joke he heard in the dugout Monday.