Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr 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.Fri, Apr 184:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
"Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot."
If we told you a Secret Service agent uttered those words, you surely wouldn't be surprised. Protecting the president is their job. But if we told you a Secret Service agent uttered those words to a mascot with a giant baseball head, then the whole thing gets a whole lot more interesting, doesn't it?
AJ Mass portrayed Mr. Met from 1994-1997, and during that time, then-President Bill Clinton visited Shea Stadium for the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first MLB game. In his new book about being Mr. Met, "Yes, It's Hot In Here," Mass relays the story of Clinton's visit to Shea and how it allegedly led to a threat on Mr. Met's life.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Here's one possible explanation for what happened in the second inning of Thursday's Los Angeles Dodgers-San Francisco Giants game: Yasiel Puig is an incredibly self-aware performance artist, and he was making a point about his own duality on two fly balls the Giants hit to him in consecutive at-bats.
The easy out? He goes for a basket catch and drops it. You could hear baseball coaches everywhere starting their "use two hands" lecture.
The ball hit over his head that looks destined for a double? He does his Puig thing and makes a wowing over-the-shoulder catch that ended the inning.
But Puig isn't a performance artist, he's a baseball player, a player who has proven time and time again that he's capable of incredible moments and incredibly confounding mistakes. Such is the frustration of No. 66. It's something the Dodgers know well at this point.
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
The rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers has prompted lots of fun, but also some unwanted behavior through the years by both groups of fans. Perhaps the most extreme example was the Bryan Stow beating at a Dodger Stadium parking lot.
What happened at AT&T Park on Wednesday night wasn't as damaging, yet it's still senseless and reflects badly on the baseball community at large. At least five people were injured after a fan threw a firework from the outfield bleachers onto a walkway near a beer concession stand about 9:30 p.m. local time. The explosion was so loud and produced enough smoke that umpires stopped the game between the Giants and Dodgers for a few moments.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported the incident first:Fri, Apr 187:10 PM PDTSan Francisco at San DiegoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
These days, Minor League Baseball teams come up with all sorts of interesting pop culture-inspired theme jerseys to wear — there's "Star Wars" and "Ghostbusters" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" this year alone. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Pawtucket Red Sox, however, are playing a game soon in which they wear jerseys inspired by real heroes, not super heroes.Fri, Apr 185:40 PM PDTPhiladelphia at ColoradoPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
A Dude Fan Bro, possibly under the influence of alcohol, ran onto the field at Globe Life Park (where the Texas Rangers play) in the seventh inning Wednesday night. He ran around the outfield, briefly delaying the Rangers' turn at bat against the Seattle Mariners — and making an amusing pose with two thumbs up — before ballpark security corralled him like a steer at the rodeo. The Mariners seemed unhappy that a Dude Fan Bro interrupted the ballgame, as they seemed unwilling to give him advice as to how he should get out of his predicament. They got unhappier later after Leonys Martin won the game for Texas in its final at-bat.
Please enjoy a slideshow that captures the spirit on the moment while possibly taking certain liberties imagining what's going on in the minds of the people involved. Click on the photo above to begin.
UPDATE: Video of the Dude Fan Bro jumping onto the field is on YouTube.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Los Angeles, like New York, is a big target in the sports world. Even when the pro sports teams of those cities aren't particularly good (we see you, New York Mets, and you too, Los Angeles Lakers), there's still a certain satisfaction that comes from your team beating them. Thus, the popularity of the "Beat L.A." sign.
If you're a San Francisco Giants fan, the "Beat L.A." idea is even more important, because the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are bitter rivals, whose every meeting feels important, even if it's the 15th game of the season, in April. So, Giants fans show up to the stadium, full of gusto, ready to inspire their team to topple those big-spending boys in blue.
And just what did the Giants fans do Wednesday night? They spelled out "B-A-E-T L.A."
Spelling is hard. pic.twitter.com/vesrix4129
Sigh. Warren G probably thought it was fine, though.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Our first position player pitching alert of the season came to us during the Boston Red Sox 6-4, 14-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox at a chilly U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday night. White Sox manager Robin Ventura called upon infielder Leury Garcia, who ultimately took the loss after serving up a two-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr.
Of course, typically position players on the mound are saved for blow outs and the more extreme 18-inning marathons. However, in this case Ventura had little choice aside from using a starting pitcher, which apparently wasn't an option. The biggest problem? Ventura used five different pitchers to record six outs in the eighth and ninth innings, and his aggressive strategy didn‘t work as the Red Sox still managed to rally from a 3-1 deficit to force extras. Sacrifice flies from A.J. Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore did the damage.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady took the next step towards a career in professional baseball when he made his first appearance for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Wednesday night.
McGrady was named Sugar Land’s starting pitcher for their exhibition game against Alvin Community College. He lasted one inning, allowing one run on three hits, but despite the traffic needed only 15 pitches (nine strikes, six balls) to get back to the dugout.
It was a pretty efficient outing by all accounts, but it sounds as through Alvin was aggressive at the plate and swinging at everything McGrady pumped in the zone.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Houston Astros hit the fast forward button to the future on Wednesday, calling up outfielder and top prospect George Springer to make his major league debut. The 24-year-old entered with high expectations and with a palpable buzz in the air, but didn’t look intimidated in his first appearance. In fact, he came out swinging, grounding out in his first plate appearance only because of a tremendous defensive effort by Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar.
As they often say in baseball, your luck will even out eventually. It didn't take long for Springer, because in his second plate appearance he was swinging again, and this time collected his first big league hit on a dribbler about 25 feet up the third base line.
George Springer's first major league hit went about 10 feet. He's gonna have a whole lot more, and they're gonna go a whole lot farther.
It's a line drive in the boxscore, but with all of today's video technology it will be difficult to hide the truth from his grandkids someday.Fri, Apr 187:05 PM PDTHouston at OaklandPreview Game