Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
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Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto dressed up like a Mountie for a hilarious interview last week on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk" where he sassed hosts Kevin Millar and Chris Rose. On Tuesday, MLB Network aired another interview with Votto, this one was much more somber and revealing, as he opened up about the sudden death of his father in 2008 and how it affected him.
Those are two sides of Joey Votto we don't usually see. We're used to another side of Votto — his workman-like approach to playing baseball. He's a former National League MVP whose patience and precision are among his top traits on a baseball field.
- David Brown at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Social media can be a trite way to communicate, but it can be a convenient method of learning what's on the minds of Major League Baseball players. On Tuesday, a lot of thoughts were dedicated to Jackie Robinson, the man who broke baseball's modern color barrier on this day in 1947. Here are 42 social media posts related to Jack Roosevelt Robinson from across the ethnic spectrum of MLB.
Leading off, Eric Young Jr. of the Mets:
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So blessed and thankful for Jackie Robinson and what he did for baseball players and people everywhere. Very proud to where #42 tonight!
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- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
There are people in this country who will tell you that in 2014, we live in a post-racial America. We have a black president, the thinking goes, so therefore racism can't exist anymore.
Tell that to Hank Aaron, who is the subject of a new wave of racist hate mail this month, 40 years after he received floods of racist mail when he broke Babe Ruth's home-run record in 1974. The calendar may have a different year on it, and methods of sending racist prose might have changed — it can be emailed now — but the sentiment is unfortunately the same.
"Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)'' a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office and obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
If you happen to play for the New York Yankees, do not expect the manager to call you by what your parents did, or even by a widely known nickname that preceded your arrival. Joe Girardi has his own way, his own system, reporter Dan Barbarisi in the Wall Street Journal writes. All of his players — except for pitchers Cesar Cabral and Matt Thornton — have been given Girardi nicknames. And it sounds like Girardi will get to them eventually:
[M]ost hew to a fairly standard blueprint: Drop the last few letters, then add an "-ie" or "y" sound. Hence, Brett Gardner becomes "Gardy;" Alfonso Soriano is "Sori." Sometimes, there are slight variations, where the entire name is preserved. For instance, David Phelps is "Phelpsie; last season, Jayson Nix was "Nixie." But every once in a while, nickname lightning strikes and Girardi finds an unconventional one that is too good to pass up. For those, Girardi will eschew his normal scheme and embrace the new name wholeheartedly.Wed, Apr 1610:05 AM PDTChi Cubs at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
The El Paso Chihuahuas just started their first season in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, after having moved from Tucson and changed their namefrom the Padres. Everything is new for San Diego's Triple-A team — the name, logo and even the stadium they play in.
Also brand new: The Chihuahuas' mascot. His name is Chico. He was introduced Monday. And he's downright frightening.
Is it just me, or does Chico look like he needs his shots? When I think of Chihuahuas, I don't generally think of a dog that looks like it's going to corner me in a dark alley and eat my limbs for dinner. But when I look at Chico, I see a Chihuahua who needs his fix — perhaps of human blood.
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
The Colorado Rockies have placed left-hander Brett Anderson on the disabled list because of a broken left index finger. But, as with anything else these days, some crackpot conspiracy theorists probably don't believe the Rockies because of the their "well-known associations with secret societies."
In order to put all of that talk to rest, Anderson has uploaded an X-ray of his left hand to Instagram. (At least he CLAIMS that it's his hand. And at least we THINK it's Brett Anderson's Instagram.) Sure enough — ouch, babe — it looks like his index finger is fractured. Anderson injured his hand while batting, of course, because the National League won't let go of the out-of-date notion that pitchers ought to hit for themselves. Now there ' s a good conspiracy theory: Why hasn't the NL adopted the designated hitter yet? Masonic Illuminati, anyone?
And why is poor Anderson hurt again? He's the unluckiest man on the face of the Earth. He said to Troy Renck of the Denver Post:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Wives of St. Louis Cardinals players put on a benefit event called "Homers for Health" last week and part of that was a talent show called "The K Factor."
The two players who seemed most willing to embarrass themselves on stage in the name of a good cause were pitchers Adam Wainwright and Trevor Rosenthal, who sang a duet of "Love is an Open Door," a song from the popular Disney movie "Frozen."
It's ... well ... yeah.
Wainwright has been known to sing karaoke in the past. For example, belting out a rendition of "Achy Breaky Heart" by Miley Cyrus' dad at a charity event last season. Waino wore a glorious mullet too.
Wainwright carried Rosenthal in their "Frozen" performance, which is to be expected when the team's veteran ace is paired up with a young pitcher. It helps that Wainwright has three young daughters who are in prime "Frozen" age.
Oh, and hey, this happened too.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Add Matt Moore to the list. Tommy John surgery has been claiming pitchers across the league this spring, and Moore, the Rays' rising star, is next.
He was diagnosed recently with a partially torn UCL in his pitching elbow and Moore, 24, was facing a decision whether to keep pitching, knowing a full tear was coming eventually, or selecting the safe route, surgery.
Pitchers have been in this predicament before. Adam Wainwright, for instance, pitched for years with a partial tear, before ultimately needing Tommy John surgery. New York Mets ace Matt Harvey faced a similar decision last fall, and choose surgery.
Moore opted for Tommy John after a throwing session Monday afternoon, telling Marc Tompkin of the Tampa Bay Times:
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
A player is not necessarily in foul territory just because his feet take him there. That's what happened Monday night to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Travis Snider, whose unsuccessful bid in the fourth inning to catch a fly ball by Todd Frazier of the Reds ended with Snider on his behind in foul ground smarting from having the ball hit off his face. Worse for him, after a video review, umpires at replay headquarters reversed the call on the field — which had been foul. Instead, they awarded Frazier a double. A ground-face double of sorts.
That play was resolved, but not the game's outcome. The teams are tied 7-all in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the game will be completed Tuesday night before the next game of the series.
Via MLB.com, Reds manager Bryan Price said the injury time allotted for athletic trainers to check Snider gave his team time to check the replay and ask for a review.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Atlanta Braves entered the top of the eighth inning Monday night against the Philadelphia Phillies ahead 2-1. Two innings and fIve homers later, the Braves left the field with a wild 9-6 win, sealed by a grand slam from Dan Uggla.
The Braves hit three homers in the top of the eighth, one each from Evan Gattis (who had a two-run homer earlier in the game too), Andrelton Simmons and Uggla. That gave Atlanta a 5-1 lead that the Phillies quickly erased with a two-run Marlon Byrd single and a three-run Domonic Brown homer in the bottom half of the inning.
With Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon unavailable after pitching three straight games, the team turned to Jake Diekman to protect their 6-5 lead in the ninth, but given the pace of things, that wasn't going to happen. With the bases loaded, Diekman managed to strike out Gattis. Phew.Wed, Apr 164:05 PM PDTAtlanta at PhiladelphiaPreview Game