Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 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.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew5 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 Stew7 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.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 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.LiveLA Dodgers3 - 1ArizonaFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 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 Stew10 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.LiveMilwaukee2 - 2San DiegoFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 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.
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Boston Red Sox slugger Mike Napoli has seen one home run. Therefore, he has seen them all.
Napoli, staying on message, said he was not impressed with the distance and height of his 451 foot home run that landed in the fifth deck at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night. Napoli probably was more into, emotionally, that his three-run shot was part of a seven-run 11th inning that keyed an 11-7 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Associated Press reports that Napoli's home run was the first hit into the fifth deck in more than three years, and the 17th in the stadium's 25-year history. To him, it was "just another homer."
''I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, trying to get a single with a runner in scoring position,'' Napoli said. ''I guess it's pretty cool.''
I guess this is how Napoli usually is, as Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweeted:
Say this for Napoli, he’s never impressed with how far he hits one. “Same as if it went in the first row,” he said.
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Justin Morneau was the only batter standing between Madison Bumgarner and immortality Tuesday night. Morneau's double leading off the eighth produced the lone baserunner against Bumgarner all night in a 3-0 victory for the San Francisco Giants. He struck out 13 Colorado Rockies in an utterly dominating performance. As Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area wrote, it sure felt like Bumgarner had been perfect:
It’s hard to pitch better than Bumgarner did. He poured first-pitch strikes like a foundry worker, his fastball had sparks coming off it and he started subtly expanding the zone once ahead.
Early on, it appeared this leaping catch by Gregor Blanco would be the signature defensive play that would keep Bumgarner perfect:
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After retiring 21 straight batters to start the game, Bumgarner settled for a one-hitter that was no less dominating than the no-hitter Clayton Kershaw spun earlier this season. Via the Associated Press:
Matt Cain is the last Giants pitcher to throw a perfect game, on June 13, 2012.LiveColorado1 - 1San FranciscoFollow Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
The Kansas City Royals seemed bound to be shut out by the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night until the bat boy spoke up with Alcides Escobar and Alex Gordon coming to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Manager Ned Yost explains, viathe Associated Press:
''The bat boy who never says anything turns around and says, 'Esky is going to get a hit and Gordo's taking him in the fountain,''' Yost said. ''I said, 'OK. Sounds like a pretty good plan.'''
One that worked out perfectly, too.
As if by request, Escobar blooped a single and Gordon connected for a rare Royals home run, a two-run shot against Twins closer Glen Perkins that gave Kansas City an exhilarating 2-1 victory. It was reason enough for Salvador Perez to drench Gordon in golden splendor: