Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew46 mins ago
As we learned in the thrilling AL wild-card game, every run counts in do-or-die postseason baseball. Lucky for the San Francisco Giants, they got four runs in one swing in the fourth inning of Wednesday night's NL wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford launched a grand slam off Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez after Volquez allowed two hits and a walk to start the fourth.
PNC Park went silent. Giants fans, of course, were thrilled. And Amy Crawford, sister of Brandon, was left somewhere in the middle.
You see, this particular playoff matchup is tough on Crawford's sister, who has been dating Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole for a couple years now. Cole wasn't pitching in the wild-card game, luckily for Amy. Her response to her brother's grand slam was almost immediate and, tactfully, showed no rooting interested.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Not only do the Pittsburgh Pirates have their hands full with the San Francisco Giants in the National League wild-card game, but apparently they're letting the U.S. Secret Service handle security at PNC Park. In the second inning Wednesday night, an older female fan wearing a Pirates jersey was standing inside of the Giants' dugout as outfielder Hunter Pence walked in following his first at-bat of the game. PNC is among the best ballparks in the majors, and some of the seats are really close to the action but ... not that close.
The silver-haired woman, obviously a fan of Bucs rookie Gregory Polanco because she wore No. 25, was trying to explain what wasn't obvious to one of Pittsburgh's finest: How the heck did she end up in the Giants' dugout during the game? She didn't appear to be a threat, she just seemed lost. The other amusing detail of the encounter: The cop's reaction to a colleague or supervisor, giving a "What's she doing here? I dunno!" in some kind of homemade sign language.
Barstool Sports put out a vine:LiveSan Francisco7 - 0PittsburghFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
MLB's recently formed Pace of Game Committee acted quickly to activate six initiatives it thinks could speed up baseball games in the near future. They'll be tested during the six-week Arizona Fall League, which begins Oct. 7.
The committee — announced last week by Commissioner Bud Selig after the average MLB game topped three hours for the first time ever — couldn't sit on its hands in this matter, lest we all laugh at the irony.
The six experimental rules range from "incremental to dramatic," according to Selig. Here they are, with descriptions directly from MLB:
• Batter’s Box Rule: The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout his at-bat, unless one of a series of established exceptions occurs, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate. (Exceptions include a foul ball or a foul tip; a pitch forcing the batter out of the batter’s box; “time” being requested and granted; a wild pitch or a passed ball; and several others.)
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Perhaps the most intriguing LDS series begins Thursday night in Anaheim. The Kansas City Royals finally took the step many anticipated was coming this season, snapping their 29-year playoff drought by qualifying for the AL wild card. After beating Oakland in a 12th-inning, wild-card thriller, they'll play in their first October series since the 1985 World Series. The Los Angeles Angels have fallen short the past two seasons despite a very talented roster, but they too have put the disappointment behind them, allowing Mike Trout to make his much anticipated postseason debut.
The Royals don't look like a typical postseason team. They finished the season with a league-low 95 home runs. What they like to do is pitch, play defense, make contact and run the bases, while keeping constant pressure on the opposition.
Even though they won an MLB-best 98 games, the Angels have their problems as well. They enter October with one healthy and reliable starter in Jered Weaver, but they can definitely score in bunches with Trout, Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick leading the offense.Thu, Oct 26:07 PM PDTKansas City at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
A lot of people didn't expect the Baltimore Orioles to be here, the AL East champs, with home-field advantage in the divisional round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, most expected the Detroit Tigers would be in the postseason again. The Tigers are in the ALDS for the fourth straight season, and they've advanced each time.
These aren't the same Tigers we've seen in the past few years. They're better in some ways (those three Cy Youngs are scary) and worse in others (the bullpen is a different kind of scary). Meanwhile, the Orioles are a team with a potent lineup, better-than-you-think pitching and they haven't let injuries derail them.
Detroit owned Baltimore in the season series, but those games were played back in April and May. The Orioles are a better, more confident team now. The Tigers are a different team too. They added David Price. Victor Martinez stepped up with an MVP-like season.Thu, Oct 22:37 PM PDTDetroit at BaltimorePreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Miguel Cabrera has been close enough to winning a World Series the past few years with the Detroit Tigers, that it's become his singular focus in 2014.
As the Tigers prepare to open the ALDS on Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, Cabrera wasn't even interested in filling out the paperwork that will get him a playoff bonus.
And it's not that he doesn't want to fill out some papers. He told teammates that he doesn't even want the money. He just wants to win.
Cabrera won a World Series as a rookie with the Marlins in 2003, but hasn't since. The Tigers made the World Series in 2012, but were swept by the Giants.
Do you think Cabrera — who has otherwise excelled the past five years — stews on not grabbing the postseason's top prize recently?
Here's what went down with Cabrera and his bonus money, according to Paul White from USA Today, who was in the Tigers clubhouse Wednesday in Baltimore:
- Nick Bromberg at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Katie Castan will get her puppy, but she's waiting until after the playoffs to adopt.
Castan was the Kansas City Royals fan spotted by TBS cameras in the middle of the fifth inning of Tuesday's wild card game between the Oakland A's and Royals holding a sign saying the man she was with would buy her a puppy if the Royals won.
When we went to look for her in the 10th inning of Tuesday night's game, we found her section, but the fans around her said she left. While Castan and her boyfriend had left their seats, they hadn't left the ballpark. Castan emailed us after the game was over with a picture from the outfield concourse. The two had moved to the fountain area in the seventh inning for another beverage and to try to spark the Royals.
- Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Now that Derek Jeter is done with his richly rewarding life as a star for the New York Yankees, it looks as if he's moving onto another profession that's just as respected and well paid.
OK, so maybe Jeter won't be waking up every morning to create GIFs and quip on that day's news. But it does look like he has an eye on becoming the Arianna Huffington of athlete-produced content with "The Players' Tribune," a website Jeter believes will become a direct line from athletes to fans.
Jeter announced the creation of the website with a letter on the site Wednesday morning and is listed as "the founding publisher."
Jeter, who has listed publishing as a post-career interest for awhile now and owns his own book imprint, says his goal is "to ultimately transform how athletes and newsmakers share information, bringing fans closer than ever to the games they love."
And just so we get the irony out of the way: The man who became famous by saying almost nothing of note during a 20-year career now says he has something to say.
- David Brown at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Cops love baseball too. Just like the rest of the community felt the excitement of the Kansas City Royals being in the playoffs Tuesday night for the first time in 29 years, so did the Kansas City (Mo.) police. One problem, of course: It's hard to depend on criminals also catching Royals Fever so thoroughly that they forget to commit crimes so law enforcement also can enjoy the game.
But, in case local scofflaws were feeling the least bit civic, the KCPD took to Twitter in the late innings of Kansas City's 9-8 victory against the Oakland Athletics in the American League wild-card game:
We really need everyone to not commit crimes and drive safely right now. We'd like to hear the @Royals clinch this.
One of the greatest tweets of all time. The best part, aside from the half-joking audacity and sass, is the "really." We really need this, you guys. It wasn't an unreasonable request, given:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
This probably wasn't how Adam Dunn imagined things would go.
Dunn was traded to the Oakland Athletics from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31 as Oakland looked to add postseason power. It was going to be the slugger's first time in the playoffs in his 14-year career. He finished the regular season with 2,001 MLB games played, the most of any active player who hadn't been to the postseason. His chance, finally, was here.Tue, Sep 30Oakland8 - 9Kansas CityGame Recap