Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 mins ago
Hank the Dog is wrapping up an impressive rookie camp at the Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility in Arizona. So good, in fact, general manager Doug Melvin named Hank to the team on Friday as a "walk-on" rover, which indicates we'll be seeing quite a lot of him at Miller Park this season.
Hank is actually scheduled to head up to his new home in Milwaukee a little earlier than the rest of his teammates. In fact, his last day was scheduled to be Saturday. But before he left, he wanted to share his perspective — literally — of spring training with everybody.
Say hello to Hank Cam. Your browser does not support iframes.
From the best we can tell, a day in the spring training life of Hank looks like this.
• Arrives on the practice fields not long after sunrise. • Sniffs everyone's cleats — just because. • Makes sure everyone is stretched out. • Meet fans and poses for pictures. • Searched the clubhouse for people to pet him. • At the end of the day, refuses treatment in the training room.
Apparently he doesn't even take time for a nap. What a trooper.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
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The first instinct of most baseball fans is to sell out and sacrifice themselves or those around them for a chance at a souvenir. We saw no better example of this earlier this week when a fan literally forgot where he was or what he was doing, let go of his son's wagon to chase a home run ball and watched as the wagon rolled down the hill into a fence.
Thankfully, there were no injuries reported. Well, aside from the man's ego after he heard about it from his wife. But it shows how locked in the majority of fans are when they attend games. It's almost like they can smell the baseball coming from 400 feet away, so the instincts take over and the results aren't always pretty.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
It's a game of can you top this around the minor leagues in terms of promotional jerseys and everybody is a winner as a result.
So far we've seen Ghostbusters uniforms for the Toledo Mud Hens, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uniforms and hats for the Fresno Grizzlies, and the slightly creepy but undoubtedly creative selfie uniforms soon to be donned by the Kalamazoo Growlers. Now comes what may prove to be the best of them all: ugly Christmas sweater uniforms.
You read that correctly. It's going to be Christmas in July for the Lowell Spinners, a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, and their early gifts to everyone will be these uniforms.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The Arizona Diamondbacks are getting ready to travel to Australia for their season-opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But before playing their final exhibition game and boarding the airplane, the team received news they didn't want to hear about scheduled opening day starter Patrick Corbin.
According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, an MRI revealed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, which Corbin later revealed was diagnosed as a partial tear. The D-Backs and Corbin will seek a second opinion before making a final decision on whether to rehab or undergo Tommy John surgery, but this is clearly leaning towards a worst case scenario and a lost season for the pitcher Arizona was counting on to be their ace.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Of all the spring training traditions that exist, the best one may well belong to the Tampa Bay Rays. In recent years, many players, coaches, front office staff and now even fans, have shaved their heads as a tribute to children fighting cancer and to raise money for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's Cut for A Cure.
The event is called “Fortune Favors The Bald” and the tradition continued on Sunday prior to the Rays battle against the Boston Red Sox. At 10:45 a.m just outside Charlotte Sports Park, the clipping and shaving began with Rays manager Joe Maddon being among the first to take a seat.
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) March 16, 2014
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
There’s a reason the game of baseball is often referred to as “hardball.” The baseball itself is anything but soft, and when it makes square contact with an object, it’s going to make a loud sound — like a great crack of the bat — and it’s going to leave a mark.
Or, more specifically, as in the case of Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, it's going to leave a really nasty baseball-sized welt.
That unattractive owwie came courtesy of a Jeremy Guthrie fastball on Thursday.
Spring Headlines: Carl Crawford to miss Australia series for birth of child; Braves not looking for reinforcementsMark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Baseball is back. As we get closer to the regular season, be sure to stop by The Stew each morning for your daily helping of spring storylines.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to travel to Australia on Sunday night in preparation for their season-opening two-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Expected to be missing from that flight, consequentially missing their opening series, is outfielder Carl Crawford, who be will staying back in the States for the birth of his child.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, Crawford's fiancée is expected to give birth "any day now," and it's a simple matter of him not wanting to miss out.
"As of right now, it looks like Carl is staying back," manage Don Mattingly said. "The way I understand it, Carl's not going."
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
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The New York Yankees traveled to Panama City, Panama this weekend to play in the Legend Series honoring one of most popular players in franchise history and perhaps Panama's greatest athletic hero, Mariano Rivera.
The Miami Marlins joined Yankees on this trip to presumably play the role of Washington Generals to New York's Harlem Globetrotters. But in game one of the two-game series, Miami stole the show when four pitchers combined to throw the first MLB no-hitter of the spring.
Left-hander Brad Hand did the heavy lifting for Miami, covering the first five innings. He struck out six and allowed only one base runner on a hit batsman. Closer Steve Cishek handled the sixth, walking Brett Gardner and striking out one. The game was then turned over to reliever A.J. Ramos and minor leaguer Arquimedes Caminero, who collectively breezed through the final nine outs. Caminero ended the game emphatically with a strikeout of Adonis Garcia.LiveMiami0 - 0NY YankeesFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias has been searching for answers to explain the pain in his shins basically since the beginning of spring training. Iglesias ended up visiting a foot-and-ankle specialist last week and received an adjustment in the orthotics he's been wearing under his feet. The adjustment initially gave Iglesias relief, but he's still unable to resume baseball activities without feeling discomfort.
That led the Tigers to admit earlier in the week that Iglesias may not be ready for the start of the season. Now we're hearing word from ESPN's Jim Bowden that suggests Iglesias' absence could extend well into the regular season.
Iglesias will miss most of 2014 with shin injury according to another player that is close to him. Speculation that Tigers will pursue Drew — JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 15, 2014
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
In a last hour switcheroo, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to start 17-year-old phenom Julio Urias during Game 1 of their split squad doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.
Urias handled one inning of work against the San Diego Padres and was absolutely flawless, striking out two on only 14 pitches. He started off the inning with a strikeout of six-year pro and left-handed hitting Will Venable despite falling behind in the count 3-0.
How's that for poise under pressure?
After getting Chris Denorfia on a grounder to third, Urias struck out another left-hander swinger with major league experience in Yonder Alonso.
All three players will be on the Padres opening day roster, so it's not like the Dodgers threw him into a cupcake matchup. And based on the information coming from Camelback Ranch, he's already an extremely tough at-bat for left-handed hitters. Now just imagine how much better he'll be with experience and a little bit of seasoning.
It's a scary thought if you're not a Dodgers fan.
Scout said Urias was working at 92-95 MPH in the first. #Dodgers