Big League Stew
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew57 mins ago
The circumstances under which Barry Bonds' baseball career ended has been the subject of much conjecture and scrutiny.
Coming off a 2007 season where he posted a .480 OBP and 1.085 OPS, Bonds, who was 43 at the time, was stunned that he didn't receive a single contract offer as a free agent. Even a public plea midway through the 2008 season that he would play for the league minimum didn't tempt a team to sign him. Bonds would never play in the majors again.
Convinced that there had to be more to the story, Bonds finally brought forth a collusion case against Major League Baseball.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz isn't going to win the American League MVP award this season. As long as Mike Trout still has breath in his body and Josh Donaldson continues to drive in everything in sight, Cruz will likely have to settle for a distant third in the voting.
That doesn't seem to bother Cruz. In fact, Cruz says he doesn't even look at his numbers during the season.
"After the season, you can see and look at numbers. Besides that, you just have to worry about what you can do to help the team win games."
If Cruz decided to take a peek at his offensive performance, he might come away impressed. The 35-year-old has obliterated baseballs all season. His .320/.388/.612 slash line is among the best in the game, as are his 39 home runs. Cruz's 178 wRC+, an advanced stat that measures offensive performance, is currently the best in the AL. Trout and Donaldson have been great, but no AL player has been better at the plate this season than Cruz.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
As their disappointing season begins to wind down, the Seattle Mariners announced Friday morning that they have fired general manager Jack Zduriencik.
M's announce they've fired GM Jack Zduriencik. Asst GM Jeff Kingston the interim.
Assistant GM Jeff Kingston will take over the role for the rest of the 2015 season, but team president Kevin Mather said in a statement that the search for a new GM will begin immediately. Zduriencik was hired as Seattle's GM in October 2008 after a decade with the Milwaukee Brewers, where he was regarded as a top talent evaluator. Over his seven seasons in charge of baseball operations in Seattle, the M's finished with a winning record just twice and never qualified for the postseason.
Expected to be a World Series contender this season, the Mariners struggled out of the gate and never recovered. They have the third-worst record in the American League at 59-69.Fri, Aug 288:10 PM EDTSeattle at Chi White SoxPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.
The New York Mets will never lose again. At least, it feels that way after the team's 9-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
Things started out poorly, though, as New York found themselves down 5-0 after the third inning. The team rallied, tying the contest in the fifth.
With both starters removed after the sixth inning, relievers on both clubs went into shutdown mode. Over the next six innings, both bullpens kept the other team off the board.
It was until the 13th that the streak finally ended. With Hector Neris on the mound for Philadelphia, the Mets began their charge.
Neris allowed two straight singles to start the frame, putting himself in a bad position. Though he was able to pick up an out, Neris quickly allowed a two-run double to Daniel Murphy, giving the Mets the 7-5 lead.Fri, Aug 287:10 PM EDTBoston at NY MetsPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Minnesota Twins rookie Miguel Sano has done nothing but destroy baseballs since he's reached the majors. The 22-year-old has an impressive .289/.394/.584 slash line through 198 plate appearances.
While that entire slash line is awesome, it's been Sano's 12 home runs that have really impressed fans. Few 22-year-olds can hit moonshots like Sano, and the balls he destroys have become must-watch highlights.
He completely upped the ante Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. In the top of the third inning, Sano ripped what has to be one of the farthest balls we've seen hit all season.
For his Herculean efforts, Sano was rewarded with a mere double.
Unfortunately, the catwalk in Tampa Bay counts as in play. So, even though the ball would have traveled approximately 1 billion feet past the outfield wall, it was ruled a double.Fri, Aug 287:10 PM EDTKansas City at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
In case you weren't already aware, popular rapper Macklemore is from Seattle. He's made that well known, writing a song about late Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus, as well as receiving his own bobblehead from the club.
Macklemore continued to profess his love to his hometown, and his favorite team, Thursday, releasing a new music video for the song "Downtown." In the video, he's joined by Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey Jr. pops up at two separate points in the video. The first is around 1:42, where he can be seen catching a fish at Pike Place Market. How very Seattle!
We should also note Griffey's garb in this cameo. Astute baseball card collectors will already know what we're talking about.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
The Chicago Cubs are the latest club to take a shot on reliever Fernando Rodney. The team acquired the 38-year-old reliever from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations Thursday.
Rodney was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Saturday. Through 50 2/3 innings, he's posted a 5.68 ERA this season. While his numbers aren't particularly impressive, it was expected a playoff team would take a shot on Rodney due to his upside.
When Rodney is right, and his mechanics are sound, he's capable of performing like one of the best relievers in the game. He famously posted a 0.60 ERA over 74 2/3 innings with the Rays in 2012, reinvigorating his career.
While Rodney is unlikely to return to that level with his new club, he will be reunited with his former manager Joe Maddon.Fri, Aug 2810:10 PM EDTChi Cubs at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
With about a month left to go in the season, the American League MVP race is heating up. The advanced metrics say it's a virtual tie between Mike Trout and Josh Donaldson at this point. Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus joins the podcast to tell us who he would vote for right now, and what metrics he's using to settle the debate.
We also talk about whether the New York Yankees should panic, and if the Rangers actually have a legitimate chance at a wild card spot.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
Alex Rodriguez deserves some credit. His first season back with New York Yankees after a year-long suspension has been close to drama-free and A-Rod has contributed to the team's success on the field, putting up impressive numbers at the plate.
This latest off field story involving A-Rod though is plenty dramatic and also includes a massive number.
The New York Daily News reports that Constantine Scurtis, the brother of Rodriguez's ex-wife Cynthia, is suing his former brother-in-law for $100 million.
Here's a portion of the extensive Daily News report that was published Wednesday:Fri, Aug 287:35 PM EDTNY Yankees at AtlantaPreview Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 day ago
For the better part of the past decade, Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has been the poster boy for the relative irrelevance of a pitcher's win-loss record.
This season, Shelby Miller of the Atlanta Braves can make a good case that he's now baseball's most hard-luck loser.
Miller had pitched six scoreless innings Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies and entered the seventh with a 3-0 lead.
All of a sudden, the Rockies figured out the Braves right-hander, scoring four runs off him in that inning and going on to win the game 6-3.
It's just been that kind of year for Miller.
Over his last 18 starts, Miller has been saddled with the loss 10 times. The other eight outings have been no-decisions. His ERA over that span? 3.24. On the season his 2.62 ERA has only been good for a 5-11 record. His last win came May 17. AL rookie of the year favorite Carlos Correa was still over two weeks away from playing his first major-league game the last time Miller ended up with a W.