Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
You’ll often hear a baseball player going through a good stretch at the plate described as “hitting the cover off the baseball.” What you never hear is someone described as “hitting the cover off the baseball,” followed by no, seriously, he hit the cover off the baseball.
Because it never actually happens in real life.
But it did happen on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Milwaukee Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado literally knocked the covered right off the baseball on a ground ball to third baseman Pedro Alvarez during their a 5-3 victory over the Pirates.
With the cover hanging on for dear life, Alvarez fielded the baseball cleanly and attempted to make a throw across the diamond. Predictably, that failed, as the baseball nearly fell apart at the seams in the air.
Here's a look at what was left.Sat, Apr 194:05 PM PDTMilwaukee at PittsburghPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
The Pittsburgh Pirates have been looking for a steady solution to fill out their first base platoon dating back to their trade deadline acquisition of Justin Morneau last July. They may have found their man on Friday, acquiring Ike Davis from the New York Mets in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to report a deal had been agreed to just minutes before New York opened their weekend series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York confirmed the return a short a time later.
Official: Mets receive RHP Zack Thorton and PTBN for Ike Davis
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
If you follow Brandon Phillips on Twitter, you know he loves to pose for pictures with fans. The following is proof that he also likes to pose for pictures with opposing fans, even when he's not invited.
Check the photobomb, captured before Friday's game in Chicago against the Cubs:
That's Molly Schaus, the goalie of the Team USA women's hockey team, who was probably hoping for Wrigley Field's famous Friendly Confines in the background of her pic, not a leaping baseball player. Well played, Mr. Phillips.
- David Brown at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Most mistakes committed on a baseball field, even mental ones, can be forgiven. Houston Astros manager Bo Porter, even now, probably is testing that statement after what slugger Matt Dominguez pulled Thursday night.
Porter's slow burn in the video below is epic. He takes 17 seconds to answer a question about Dominguez's baserunning blunder against the Kansas City Royals, as CSN Houston notes.
Porter doesn't fly off the handle but he's definitely mad as heck and disappointed in Dominguez's decision-making skills.
Your browser does not support iframes.
After hitting a ball into the gap at Minute Maid Park that should have been a single to put runners at the corners, Dominguez got greedy, making a wide turn at first and trying — sort of — for a double. He was out by a lot, as you can see. Dominguez was so out, he didn't even bother sliding, or even thinking about sliding.
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
An 8-year-old boy from Atlanta named Wyatt Alford came to spring training in Sarasota, Fla. and saw left-hander Brian Matusz pitch for the Baltimore Orioles. Alford didn't know until the next morning by reading a newspaper that they have something important in common: They both have severe nut allergies. Matusz still gets teased about it by his teammates, and suspects Alford has gone through similar treatment. But it's nothing to be embarrassed about, Matusz says.
Inspired by watching Matusz, 27, succeed in Major League Baseball, the young boy became an instant fan and mailed him some unique items to autograph. As a result, Matusz, too, became a big fan of Alford's.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reported the details of a neat acquaintance between a boy and a ballplayer:
Inside the envelope was a newspaper article detailing Matusz's frightening allergic reaction to a dinner prepared in peanut oil March 9 that sent the 27-year-old left-hander to the emergency room.Sat, Apr 1910:35 AM PDTBaltimore at BostonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Back in the day, when baseball video games were as plentiful as Andrelton Simmons defensive highlights and all the players looked like colorful blobs who waddled around the field, we dreamed about the future and what our video games might look like. By, say, 2014, we figured we'd have video games that looked so real you could compare the players' beards.
The future is here, it seems.
PlayStation has unveiled the trailer for the PS4 version of "MLB The Show 14," the next-generation of the game on Sony's powerful new platform. This version hits stores May 6. The PS3 and PlayStation Vita versions of the game launched around opening day, but we've seen "MLB The Show" on those before.
Answer Man: Johnny Bench talks Mickey Mantle cards, catcher collisions and the 'Baseball Bunch' (but not Pete Rose)David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Growing up in small-town Oklahoma and idolizing Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench had an idea at a young age that baseball would take him places. When he was nine, he played Little League with 12- and 13-year-olds. He was the state's player of the year as a senior in high school and a second-round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1965. That's probably the last time anyone underrated the Hall of Famer. A 14-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and owner of 389 home runs, Bench became the greatest catcher in major league history.
At age 66, Bench still follows the game closely, rooting for the Reds and keeping watch on what's happening with new sliding/tagging rules, along with other progressive changes MLB is making. He's also involved with one of his favorite boyhood activities — opening packs of baseball cards — and doing publicity for Topps and its 2014 Series I cards. He talks about all of that and more in the latest Answer Man session. As a bonus, we've included 10 minutes of audio from Thursday, when Bench talked to Yahoo Sports Radio's Travis Rodgers about Mike Trout and how he compares to The Mick.Sat, Apr 1911:20 AM PDTCincinnati at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
It was like something out of a Little League game: The Toronto Blue Jays blew a 5-3 eighth-inning lead against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday after giving up — are you ready for this? — six runs on eight walks, three wild pitches and a single hit.
One hit, six runs. That math shouldn't even compute. That's how epic of a bullpen catastrophe this was for Toronto. Three Blue Jays pitchers were part of the eight-inning abomination, including Sergio Santos, who let three consecutive runs score on wild pitches.
This is how the inning went down in the scorebook: walk, walk, sac bunt, walk, wild pitch (first run scores), walk and wild pitch (second run scores), walk and wild pitch (third run scores), walk, walk (fourth run scores), single (fifth and sixth runs score), walk, strike out, ground out.
Sheesh. You almost have to give the Blue Jays props for that. It's so bad it's spectacular.
After the game, Chris Colabello of the Twins, who was walk No. 7 of the inning, joked to reporters:Sat, Apr 1910:05 AM PDTToronto at ClevelandPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
JAMES SHIELDS STRIKES OUT 12 IN ROYALS WIN: Well, hello there, James Shields. The Kansas City Royals ace had been a bit of a tough-luck loser in 2014, carrying a 0-2 record into Thursday's game despite a 2.37 ERA.
It all came together against the Houston Astros, though. The Royals gave Shields five runs by the fifth and he dominated the Houston lineup, striking out 12 batters while giving up only four hits and one run. At one point, Shields struck out seven consecutive batters.
''We were pounding the strike zone and getting strike one and getting ahead of the hitters and that's an aggressive team over there and when you get ahead in the count and make your pitches you're successful,'' he said after the game.
The Royals won 5-1, as Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar all drove in runs.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 day ago
After missing most of the past two seasons because of catastrophic injuries to the same knee, Scott Sizemore returned to the majors just in time to help the New York Yankees turn a triple play. And at a position where Sizemore has practically no experience.
Playing first base for the first time in his professional career, a span of 659 games and eight-plus years, Sizemore made a terrific scoop of a relay throw by second baseman Brian Roberts to complete a 5-4-3 triple play against the Tampa Bay Rays. Sizemore's pick punctuated a 10-2 victory Thursday night for the Yankees and left-hander CC Sabathia.
The Yankees have turned 24 triple plays in their history, including three since 2010 with Sabathia on the hill.Sat, Apr 194:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at Tampa BayPreview Game