Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
In what feels like a now weekly occurrence, Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons made a defensive play worthy of the highest possible praise on Wednesday night. Only this time, it doubled as a potential game saver, as Simmons' heroics prevented the game-tying run from crossing home in Atlanta's eventual 3-2 victory over the New York Mets.
It happened in the eighth inning with a runner on third, two outs and rookie Travis d'Arnaud at the plate. d'Arnaud hit a grounder deep into the hole at short, which forced Simmons to range about three steps into the outfield. That was not a problem for Simmons. However, the angle and his distance from first base made it seem like an impossible play for him to complete unless he pulled off some magic.
As we should have learned by now, Simmons is absolutely capable of creating magic.
In two fluid steps, Simmons snagged the ball and then launched into the air while twisting his body into an off-balance, mid-air throwing motion.Thu, Aug 284:10 PM PDTAtlanta at NY MetsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
The Colorado Rockies were thankful they didn't have to face Madison Bumgarner again 24 hours after he held them without a baserunner into the eighth inning. Unfortunately for them, Buster Posey, who homered twice in Tuesday's game, was in San Francisco's lineup, and it was his bat that made the difference.
After Colorado rallied to tie the score in the ninth on Justin Morneau's RBI double, Posey turned on and tomahawked a Juan Nicasio offering, keeping it just inside the left-field foul pole for a two-run walk-off homer, which gave the Giants a needed 4-2 victory and manager Bruce Bochy the 1,600th win of his career. The walk-off blast was the second of Posey's career. His first came last season against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 3.Thu, Aug 2812:45 PM PDTColorado at San FranciscoPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Of all the final scheduled stops on Derek Jeter's retirement tour, none will hit closer to home than his final regular season visit to Comerica Park in Detroit.
Jeter, who moved to Michigan with his family at four years old and later attended Kalamazoo Central High School, was given the local hero treatment by the Tigers in a very well-planned pregame ceremony — arguably the best in his honor all season — prior to Wednesday night's game.
Among those invited and present on the field with Jeter were his parents, sister and also the newest star in his family, his young nephew, Jalen.
Not only was Jalen proudly decked out in his uncle's No. 2 uniform and Yankees cap, he was apparently there to be seen and remembered, and remembered he shall be. As the Jeter family was being introduced to the fans, Jalen provided the cutest moment of the night by tipping his cap to the crowd after he was announced, just like Uncle Derek has done hundreds of times during his Hall of Fame career.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
One-by-one, the Chicago Cubs are giving us a glimpse at their promising future. And one-by-one, we've seen flashes of future brilliance.
Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler, who inked a nine-year, $30 million deal with Chicago in 2012, became the latest building block to get the call from Triple-A Iowa. On Wednesday, he made his major league debut at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, and his impact was felt immediately. After Luis Valbuena led off Chicago's second inning with a home run, Soler stepped in for his first career at-bat and hammered Mat Latos' 2-1 fastball 423-feet to center field, making it back-to-back jacks for the Cubs.
In doing so, Soler became the first Cubs player to homer in his first at-bat since Starlin Castro on May 7, 2010. Ironically, that also came at Great American Ball Park.Thu, Aug 289:35 AM PDTChi Cubs at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
In July, nearly seven years after former minor league catcher Johnathan Nathans' career was ended during a vicious and senseless onfield attack by former major leaguer Jose Offerman, a Connecticut jury awarded him $940,000 in damages after finding Offerman culpable for his actions.
Now comes word that Offerman's camp has officially filed an appeal of the federal court's ruling.
A jury last month awarded the money to former Bridgeport Bluefish catcher Johnathan Nathans, who says he suffered career-ending injuries when Offerman hit him in the head with a bat. Photos show a bat-wielding Offerman charging the mound after being hit by a pitch. But he denies swinging it at anybody.
Offerman's lawyers argue in court papers filed Tuesday that the jury improperly found his client liable for assault because he charged the mound, after determining he was not guilty of battery on the catcher.
Nathan's lawyers also are appealing, seeking damages from the Long Island Ducks, for whom Offerman was playing.
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Alex Gordon gave the Kansas City Royals probably their biggest victory in many years Tuesday night by hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Not only were the Royals delirious because they won a game it appeared they would lose, but Kansas City also maintained its 1 1/2 game lead on the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.
Big night. And absolutely nothing could kill the buzz at Kauffman Stadium. Well, almost nothing.
#Royals' Yost was not amused that only 13,847 fans showed up at The K. "I want our fans to enjoy this," he said. He has told me this before
And "Yost" is not some ne'er-do-well sportswriter shaming fans about attendance, but instead is Royals manager Ned Yost. He is the buzzkiller. Yost elaborated on his complaint, adding an anecdote about the good old days, when he coached for the Atlanta Braves in 1991 and they were the happy upstarts of Major League Baseball. The way Yost remembers it, the Braves were filling Fulton County Stadium with Tomahawk Chopping every night down the stretch.Thu, Aug 285:10 PM PDTMinnesota at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The latest spat between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks didn't happen on the field and it didn't even include any players. It was between one Dodgers fan who lives in Arizona and a few Chase Field employees who didn't like his T-shirt. Ultimately, thankfully, common sense and social media prevailed.
Armando Mendoza (who goes by @DaaDozer on Twitter) went to the Dodgers-D-backs game Tuesday wearing a T-shirt that said "We won the West. Now Where's the Pool." It's a reference, of course, to the Dodgers clinching the NL West in Arizona last season and celebrating in the Chase Field pool. Controversy erupted and Arizona people, even really powerful Arizona people, were outraged.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs 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 Stew15 hrs ago
Just announced: Palm Court Plaza will be dedicated to Commissioner Selig & will be renamed Selig Hall of Fame Plaza pic.twitter.com/6Diyriu105
The San Diego Padres announced Tuesday the renaming of a plaza outside of Petco Park to "Selig Hall of Fame Plaza," as in commissioner Bud Selig. In what looked like a quid pro quo but probably wasn't "something for something," Selig spoke at the dedication, later saying he likes the chances of the Padres landing the All-Star game in the near future.
- David Brown at Big League Stew16 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.