Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The good news, we suppose, is that New York Yankees rookie pitcher Shane Greene didn't finish Monday night's game on the disabled list. Given the Yankees luck with starting pitchers this season, that's something.
So that's the silver lining, here's the reality: Greene had a really rough night fielding his position during the Yankees' 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. He made three errors, and none on plays that were especially hard.
• Greene dropped a ball in the second inning while running to cover first.
• He fielded a comebacker later that inning, a rather routine play. He did the right thing by running toward first base a bit, but his underhand toss would have needed Manute Bol at first base to catch it. It was comically (and maybe even historically) bad.Tue, Jul 224:05 PM PDTTexas at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Look at what Simmons did Monday night against the Miami Marlins. It was the top of the fourth inning and the Marlins had leadoff man Christian Yelich at first base. He took off running on the pitch, a hit-and-run attempt that sent Simmons to cover second base. Jordany Valdespin hit the ball to the left of Simmons, which generally would make for a successful hit-and-run. But not with Simmons on patrol.
He hit the brakes, dove the other direction and grabbed the ball. He then jumped to his feet for a split second and changed directions again to tag second base for the force out. He had very little time to do all this, of course, because Yelich was nearly to second when Simmons fielded the ball.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
This is Eric Brooks. This is Eric Brooks rendering all other baseball beards mundane.
Sorry, Brian Wilson. You're old news too, 2013 Boston Red Sox. Dare we say that even the Washington Nationals' Jayson Werth, who from the looks of things Brooks would clap for, isn't even on this level. Until someone else turns his beard into an MLB team logo, they're all in second place.
Brooks, a Nats fan and artist, posted this photo of his beard Monday on Instagram. He describes himself on social media as an "avid beardsman" and seems to subscribe to the art of freestyle bearding. Brooks wrote that he's attending Wednesday's game and this was a practice attempt at a beard to wear to the game. Looks like he nailed it.Tue, Jul 224:07 PM PDTBoston at TorontoPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Five Big Things is Big League Stew's look at the week ahead in MLB action, examining storylines and matchups you should keep an eye on.
1. THE RETURN (AND DEPARTURE?) OF CLIFF LEE Cliff Lee, welcome to back to the Philadelphia Phillies' starting rotation. Now, don't get too comfortable.
Lee, the veteran ace of the Phillies, makes his first start since May 8 on Monday night, and many eyes around baseball will be on Lee as teams prepare for the July 31 trade deadline. A contender needing another arm could do a lot worse than Lee. Since 2008, when he won the AL Cy Young, Lee has an ERA of 2.90.
He's coming off an injury, of course, a strained tendon in his elbow, so the buyers in MLB have every right to beware. This season he's 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA, but has the potential to be a frontline starter if he's healthy and those aren't easy to come by.
The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly among the teams that have been scouting Lee. Acquiring him will bring with it considerable cost, however. He's due $25 million next season.Tue, Jul 224:05 PM PDTSan Francisco at PhiladelphiaPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Dan Uggla wasn't unemployed too long. When the Atlanta Braves released the slumping second baseman Friday, there were a few likely destinations for the powerful but batting average-challenged Uggla.
The San Francisco Giants, who have been relying on inexperienced and/or injured players at second all season, were one of Uggla's suitors. The two sides didn't waste any time. Uggla has agreed to a minor-league deal to join the Giants, a roster move first reported by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.
Giants beat writer Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle adds the following details:
- David Brown at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
A man standing in the lower deck and holding who appeared to be his young son made a nice catch at the Miami Marlins game Sunday afternoon of a foul ball hit by Adeiny Hechavarria. Some fans in the ball's path flinched, and others ducked, when the ball came zipping by, but Marlins Dad showed no fear reflex and caught the ball as he reached with his bare right hand while holding on tight to junior in his left arm.
This guy is what every man should want to be in a father. Sturdy, steady and fearless (on the outside). Marlins Dad also got a nice high five from a worker at Marlins Park. The club also should think about offering him a Ball Dad gig, but only if he works in pairs and feels like he can repeat the trick.
The kid had a big smile on his face, though probably won't remember the incident in 10 years, but he'll always have the video and the ball.
More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:
- - - - - - -
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Torii Hunter hit an otherwise unremarkable home run Sunday, one that extended a lead for the Detroit Tigers in a 5-1 victory against the Cleveland Indians. It was the struggle for the souvenir that was most notable about Hunter's two-run blast in the bottom of the fourth.
A fan wearing a Tigers jersey successfully wrestled the ball away from a fan in an Indians jersey after the two men in the first row locked hands in an effort to catch the ball. The Indians fan had a size advantage and, you'd think, a leverage advantage, but he could only get one hand on the ball.
The Tigers fan seemed to catch not only the ball, but the other fan's other hand. The Indians fan failed to unlock the Tiger's fan's hands — which also might have ripped the ball away and sent it flying to where no one could get it. Kind of like that dog with the bone who saw his reflection in a river and then lost both because he got greedy. Only now there's two dogs. And a ball instead.Tue, Jul 226:40 PM PDTDetroit at ArizonaPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Curses! The Chicago Cubs have led the majors in bad luck, even more than bad play, since their most recent World Series victory in 1908. A most recent example happened Sunday when first baseman Anthony Rizzo went over a railing at Chase Field in order to make a great catch against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Sounds great so far — just like the first two games of the 1984 NLCS!
The bad part was that Rizzo went on a foul pop by Aaron Hill in the sixth inning. Rizzo was fine, physically, but his landing spot — out of bounds — invoked rule 7.04(c), which allowed David Peralta to score from third base after umpires waved him home, giving Arizona a one-run lead in the sixth.
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes.
The Los Angeles Dodgers salvaged a victory Sunday night after dropping two games at St. Louis to start the second half of the season. But as the case has been much of this season, L.A. also is keeping one eye on some of its injured star players.
Adrian Gonzalez stroked a tiebreaking single against closer Trevor Rosenthal in the top of the ninth, pushing the Dodgers to a 4-3 victory at Busch Stadium after Clayton Kershaw could not keep a two-run lead. More worrisome though, the Dodgers lost Hanley Ramirez after he was hit on the left hand with a pitch. Yasiel Puig already was out of the lineup after getting hit on the left hand earlier in the series. X-rays for both players came back negative for a break, but a second set of pictures are due to be taken Monday at Pittsburgh.Tue, Jul 224:05 PM PDTLA Dodgers at PittsburghPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Some of those invisible arrows that Seattle Mariners closer Fernando Rodney likes to shoot came back around and pierced him in the rear end Sunday afternoon.
Rodney did his famous archery pantomime in the eighth inning after coming on for a save with five outs to go against the Los Angeles Angels. But he couldn't hold the lead in the bottom of the ninth after Mike Trout and Albert Pujols started a game-ending comeback.
The kicker: Trout and Pujols shot invisible arrows back at Rodney. All he could do was take it. The lesson: Never shoot your arrows before it's time.
Rodney was nursing a one-run lead in the ninth, but he walked Trout to lead off. Pujols followed with an RBI double to tie the score. Not usually one for flashy celebrations, Pujols and Trout traded arrows with Rodney caught in the middle on the mound. Mimicry is the harshest form of flattery.Tue, Jul 227:05 PM PDTBaltimore at LA AngelsPreview Game