Big League Stew
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew47 mins ago
When the Chicago Cubs initially announced the Wrigley Field renovations, not everyone was on board. Some argued that Wrigley had so much historical relevance that it would be blasphemous to add video boards to the iconic stadium.
Well, the Cubs found a excellent way to get angry fans back on board with all the changes Friday. During the seventh inning stretch, the team played a video of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
That is exceptional!
Caray was famous for leading the crowd through the song when he was a broadcaster with the club. Following his death in 1998, the Cubs have opted to bring in celebrity conductors for the event.
The team will continue to bring in celebrities, but the new video boards allow them to occasionally stray from that plan, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Remember when New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th home run all the back on May 1? While it was a significant moment for Rodriguez, it wasn't all smiles and sunshine.
The hit sparked a debate over whether Rodriguez would receive a "milestone" bonus in his contract. When Rodriguez re-signed with the Yankees, a clause was inserted in his contract that stated he would receive $6 million any time he tied a player on the all-time home run list. With his 660th home run, Rodriguez tied Willie Mays, making him eligible to receive his bonus.Fri, Jul 37:05 PM EDTTampa Bay at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
It took just more than two weeks, but New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez will finally receive his 3,000th-hit ball. The Yankees reached a deal with Zack Hample, the notorious fan who caught the ball. Hample initially told the team he was keeping the milestone souvenir.
So, what did it cost the club to get the ball back? Quite a bit, it appears.
But wait, there's more.
Along with $150K donation for A-Rod 3000 ball, Yanks will give @zack_hample memorabilia, tickets & other perks
On top of that, it appears Hample will present A-Rod with the ball at a news conference Friday. It's also probably not a coincidence that the Yankees mentioned Hample's Twitter feed in both of their posts about the ball.
- Ian Denomme at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Over the first half of the 2015 season, the talk about the “best pitcher in baseball” has been mostly about some usual suspects like Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke, and some budding young stars like Dallas Keuchel and Chris Archer.
But one pitcher having a great season that few have taken notice of is Yovani Gallardo. The 29-year-old former All-Star is in his first season with the Rangers and has been a big part of their surprising start to the season. Over his last eight starts few in baseball have been better than Gallardo.
On Thursday night against the Orioles he extended his scoreless inning streak to 29.1 – the longest streak in the majors this year. The Rangers scored twice in the ninth to earn the win and are 6-2 overall in Gallardo’s last eight starts.
He hasn't allowed a run June 10, and hasn’t lost since May 19. Over those last eight starts he has given up just five earned runs in 51.1 innings, for an ERA of 0.88, with an opponent’s batting average of .169. For the whole season he has a 2.56 ERA (10 th best in the majors), and a 72/31 K/BB ratio. He’s 10 th in the majors with a 2.8 WAR.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew14 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 Atlanta Braves managed to do something few teams have done this season: They registered a victory against Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer.
The win didn't come without controversy, though. With the two clubs knotted 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Scherzer took the mound hoping to send the game into extras.
Pedro Ciriaco led off the frame with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jace Peterson. That's when controversy struck.
Cameron Maybin hit a walk-off single down the third base line to win the contest. Whether the ball was fair or foul is up for debate. The ball took a big hop on the infield dirt and landed in foul territory once it hit the ground. Umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that the ball passed over third base in fair territory, making it a fair ball.Fri, Jul 37:35 PM EDTPhiladelphia at AtlantaPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
If you live in Wisconsin, you are legally required to consume foods covered in cheese in large amounts. Because of that, it's no surprise a member of the Milwaukee Brewers just set a record for most cheesesteaks consumed at Citizens Bank Park.
Bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel emerged as both the hero we deserve, and the hero we need Thursday. During the team's four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Hanel ate an astounding 23 cheesesteaks.
Hanel actually broke a couple of cheesesteak records. Through three games, Hanel had consumed 18 cheesesteaks, breaking the three-day record set by New York Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill.
Miami Marlins pitcher Mat Latos held the four-day record with 18, but Hanel blew past that before Thursday's game even started.
The Brewers even captured the glorius event for all to see.Fri, Jul 37:10 PM EDTMilwaukee at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
If you're going to play baseball, you better wear a cup. In fact, that might be rule No. 1 when it comes to the game. Nobody should ever experience what Adrian Beltre had to deal with when he was hit while not wearing one.
Beltre's division-rival Oakland Athletics seem to understand this. That's probably why they decided to conduct a cup check during Thursday's game.
That's Oakland reliever, and occasional closer, Sean Doolittle. It looks as though he may have failed the test. Doolittle at least has somewhat of an excuse. He's currently on the disabled list, so it's not like he's being reckless while on the field.Fri, Jul 39:05 PM EDTSeattle at OaklandPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
We here at The Stew love to celebrate the bat flip. When it comes to flipping bats, we'll consider all options. Bat flip on a walk-off home run? Love it. Bat flip on a single? Still good. Pitcher bat flip? Even better.
Well, step aside, people of the internet, because the greatest bat flip of all time may have been unearthed. First, let's set the stage. With his team down by one run in the top of the ninth inning, Jae-Gyun Hwang stepped to the plate with a chance to knot things up. He did not disappoint.
If you are impatient, you can skip to about 47 seconds in order to experience the flip in all its glory.
So, that is something.
Hwang's reaction is somewhat reminiscent of Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair. Instead of using his hands, though, Hwang opts to use his bat to follow the path of the ball. Once it lands it fair territory, Hwang unleashes one hell of a bat flip.
Overall, the flip was pretty strong. What makes this exceptional was the buildup. Hwang's reaction to whether the ball would go fair, combined with the movements of the bat take this one to another level. We love it.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
If Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose bet on baseball games while he was still a player, he's not going to admit it any time soon.
Rose was interviewed for the first time since an ESPN report surfaced alleging he gambled on games while he was still an active player. During that interview, Rose told Fox Sports 1's Chris Myers that he would not comment on anything pertaining to his case for reinstatement.
According to Ron Clements of Sporting News, Rose said he will be completely honest when he meets with commissioner Rob Manfred to discuss the case.
“I’m going to keep my end of the bargain,” said Rose, who was hired by Fox Sports 1 in April as a baseball analyst. “I’m sure those questions will come about when I meet with the commissioner.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Dodgers have boatloads of cash, and are willing to spend it. They've shown off their spending ability with the major-league roster in the past, but now the club is focusing on prospects.
The Dodgers dominated the first day of the international signing period, grabbing two top-five prospects, according to MLB.com. The club signed pitcher Yadiel Alvarez for $16 million, and outfielder Starling Heredia for $2.6 million.
Alvarez and Heredia are the second and fifth-ranked international prospects respectively , according to MLB.com. Most intriguing is Alvarez, a 19-year-old who has a fastball that touches 98 mph. The club also added infielder Ronny Brito, who ranked 21st on the list.
The Dodgers are no stranger to adding talent via international signings. Over the past few seasons, the club has inked Yasiel Puig, Hector Olivera, Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero, to name a few.
For those unaware of how the international signing period works, here's a primer via MLB.com:Fri, Jul 310:10 PM EDTNY Mets at LA DodgersPreview Game