Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Talk about two teams desperate to win — the Oakland Athletics haven't won consistently since the start of August and the Kansas City Royals haven't even played in the postseason since 1985.
When they enter Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, a good portion of both fanbases will be hoping for the best, but fearing the absolute worst in the back of their minds. Losing sticks with you like that, whether it's short-term, like the Athletics' sluggish second half or long-term, like the Royals nearly 30 years of disappointment.Tue, Sep 305:07 PM PDTOakland at Kansas CityPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Cross one job off the list of open MLB managerial positions.
The Houston Astros have introduced A.J. Hinch as their new manager at a Monday press conference. Hinch is the club's 22nd manager and takes over for Bo Porter, who was fired Sept. 1. The Astros interviewed a number of candidates for the job, both internal and external, but Hinch was their man.
Hinch previously managed the Arizona Diamondbacks for parts of 2009 and 2010. He was only 34 when hired by the D-backs, and went 89-123 as their skipper. Hinch was a catcher for the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals, among others, in his six-year playing career.
After getting the axe in Arizona, he joined the San Diego Padres as their vice president of scouting. He held that job for nearly four years, also becoming the team's assistant general manager. Hinch resigned in August when the Padres fired GM Josh Byrnes.Sun, Sep 28Houston3 - 8NY MetsGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
I used to think Barry Bonds looked like a robot when he started wearing all those protective pads while batting. His mechanical approach to hitting and his nearly perfect eye at the plate didn't make him seem like any less of a robot.
So imagine my surprise when Bonds used his recently created Instagram and Twitter accounts to show us how he's living these days as an advanced life form.
Be careful, Barry. Wearing Google Glass is a slippery slope that can lead to full-on cyborg life. Wearable tech is great, until you realize how much it can enhance your life, you get hooked and soon enough you're using black-market electronics to stay ahead of everyone.
If Bonds starts experimenting with wearable tech for baseball purposes, he may soon want to wear a Darth Vader-like life-enhancing suit so he can return to the MLB to hit homers for eternity. He'd Force-choke anybody getting in his way.
Think about it: Bonds IS baseball's Darth Vader.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
As it stands right now, before the first pitch of the MLB postseason is thrown, there are 10 teams still alive. And any of them can make the World Series.
Sure, some have easier paths. The division winners have a much easier go of it — that's the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL and the Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles in the AL. The wild-card teams could all be gone after one game — that's AL's Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals and the NL's San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates. It's a do-for-die when the wild-card round starts Tuesday.Sun, Sep 28Miami0 - 1WashingtonGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Not even Ron Gardenhire was beloved enough in Minnesota to keep his job after four straight 90-loss seasons. The Twins fired their skipper of 13 seasons on Monday morning after the club finished the 2014 season with a 70-92 record.
Patrick Reusse of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis was first to report the news. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan confirmed it.
Source: Ron Gardenhire out as Twins manager. @1500ESPN_Reusse first reported.
The Twins are now in the rare-for-them position of searching for a manager. Gardenhire was hired in 2002, taking over after Tom Kelly held the job from 1986-2001. That's two managers in 28 years, remarkable stability for an MLB franchise. The Twins hadn't fired a manager since Ray Miller in 1986.
- David Brown at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
They say honesty is the best policy. In the case of Minnesota Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco, they are full of baloney.
Nolasco, who just finished the first season of a four-year, $49 million contract, mentioned overnight on Twitter that he'd rather be playing for a previous team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dispassionate blogger Aaron Gleeman captured the brief social-media conversation in case Nolasco got the bright idea to delete his comment — which he has:
This will go over well. Dodgers fan tweets "wish you were still with LA" to Ricky Nolasco and he replies "so do I!!!" pic.twitter.com/Dq61tOOiSs
Nolasco is from southern California, and pitched mostly well for the Dodgers in 2013 after being traded from the Miami Marlins. He struggled down the stretch — possibly because of his elbow, and he made an unremarkable start in the NLCS against the Cardinals, a game the Dodgers lost. But he obviously misses the old home town.Sun, Sep 28Minnesota0 - 3DetroitGame Recap
- David Brown at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
This might be hard for some to understand, but Nick Punto of the Oakland Athletics has a reputation — and a talent — for shredding jerseys. After a walk-off or milestone victory, Punto is known to grab the heroic player by the collar and rip his jersey to shreds right off his body in celebration. You might ask "Why?" Well, perhaps the question should be "Why not?" It's what wrestler Hulk Hogan would do — so isn't that a good enough reason?
Anyway, Sonny Gray pitched a six-hitter for the A's on Sunday, a huge effort in a 4-0 victory that stopped their implosion and landed them in the playoffs, at least for a game. So it was time for him to get shredded.
- David Brown at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko took one last walk off the field before the top of the sixth inning Sunday, playing in his 2,349th game and getting another standing ovation, plus an encore, from the fans at U.S. Cellular Field. They were grateful for a lot. Grateful for Konerko's 16 seasons with the White Sox. Grateful for most of his 439 home runs, grateful for his grand slam in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series that helped the White Sox win their only championship since 1917. Grateful that he fit in Chicago, that he was sort of like them, as much as a ballplayer can be.
After the game ended he took another walk around the park. From reporter Scott Merkin at MLB.com:
Konerko circled the field, talking to fans who basically followed his every move since he arrived from the Reds before the 1999 season in a trade for Mike Cameron.Sun, Sep 28Kansas City6 - 4Chi White SoxGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
The Seattle Mariners didn't make the playoffs, but you wouldn't know it by how they were celebrating in Seattle.
The surprising Seattle Mariners were still alive for postseason contention entering play Sunday. They didn't make it, of course. The Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers and (finally) sewed up the AL's second wild-card berth.
But the Mariners were close. Closer than a whole lot of people thought. They're not playing baseball in October, but they finished the season 87-75, not as a team that spent a bunch of money on Robinson Cano and still couldn't sniff the playoffs, like a lot of pundits predicted.
While finishing a game out of the playoffs might lead to bitterness, the Mariners were still psyched after beating the Los Angeles Angels. Just look at relief pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen peel off some of the best dance moves we've seen in baseball this season.Sun, Sep 28LA Angels1 - 4SeattleGame Recap
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
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San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence gave his second impassioned speech of the week after his team closed out the regular season on Sunday with a win at AT&T Park.
This one contained no F-bombs, not like his postgame speech to his teammates Thursday night while the Giants celebrated clinching an NL wild-card spot. This one was directed squarely at the fans, whom he rallied in hopes of getting the Giants back home for another game in S.F.
They'll play the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday at PNC Park in the NL wild-card game. If they win, the Giants will play at least one more game at home, against the Washington Nationals in the NLDS.