Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
There are very few things in baseball more embarrassing than being the guy who hits a would-be single to right field, only to be thrown out at first base by a strong-armed outfielder.
Think about it, you're basically watching your own humiliation develop right in front of you. You're running right into it, hoping against hope for a bad throw or your body to develop a second gear it didn't possess just moments earlier. It has to be agonizing.
Now imagine being the guy who hit a would-be single to right field, only to be thrown out at first base by a strong-armed outfielder — twice. Not just twice in one career, mind you, but twice in the same season. That's the unfortunate tale of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Dan Haren, who on Friday was victimized by the 9-3 putout for the second time in just under four months.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The showdown series of the weekend isn't Yankees-Red Sox for a change. Instead, we look to the midwest where the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, who continue to be baseball's biggest surprise, opened up a three-game set at Busch Stadium against the second-place St. Louis Cardinals. With a two-game lead coming in, this is a series that could have led to a shift in power in the NL Central by Sunday night. However, Milwaukee assured that won't be the case with an impressive 7-4 victory.
Did we say impressive? We meant extremely impressive. The Brewers scored all seven of their runs off NL Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright before he was removed with one out in the sixth. Aramis Ramirez, who has owned Wainwright throughout his career, did the damage early, connecting for a solo homer in the first and an RBI double in the third.
He later added a single to his career average against Wainwright to .415.Sat, Aug 24:15 PM PDTMilwaukee at St. LouisPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
Hundreds of thousands of Dodgers fans in and around Los Angeles have been shut out from watching the majority of their games after the team-owned SportsNet LA began airing spring training and regular season games in February. Time Warner Cable, which agreed to an $8.35-billion, 25-year deal to run the network, has been unable to reach agreements with many of the other cable and satellite companies over the past six months, which has kept the network out of a larger percentage of homes.
With no firm resolution in sight, mostly due to Time Warner's large asking fees, it has become a very frustrating situation for the fans who are missing out on the Dodgers' excellent season, and an equally messy situation for the franchise and Time Warner. However, there was a slight reprieve for some of those annoyed fans on Friday night as the game was available and viewable in some areas on Superstation WGN.Sat, Aug 26:10 PM PDTChi Cubs at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
The morale in the Oakland A's clubhouse is high after general manager Billy Beane cemented his belief that he has a championship ballclub by acquiring Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester before Thursday's trade deadline. It also doesn't hurt that in the same deal, Beane brought back clubhouse favorite Jonny Gomes, who was a big part of their postseason run in 2012.
The downside, of course, is the trade cost them one of their superstars in Yoenis Cespedes, but Beane's willingness to move a superstar to make the team more complete sends a positive message to those who remain.
The excitement stemming from the trade was evident on Friday as the club anticipated the arrival of Lester and Gomes. And once they did arrive in the clubhouse, they gave them a very special and patriotic welcome.
So weird seeing Gomes and Lester walk into clubhouse right now with Red Sox bags. Someone out Hail to the Chief on clubhouse stereo.
A Presidential welcome even.
I wasn't suggesting that. Someone actually put that on the stereo.
Hit the music!Sat, Aug 21:05 PM PDTNY Yankees at BostonPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
It isn't the absolute worst-case scenario for San Francisco Giants right-hander Matt Cain, but his season is in serious jeopardy after being diagnosed with bone chips in his ailing pitching elbow that will ultimately require surgery.
Three surgeons, including Dr. James Andrews, made the recommendation after examining him this week. Now Cain faces the difficult decision of having the surgery right away, or putting it off until the offseason and attempting to pitch through the discomfort for the next two-plus months.
“There’s a good bit of bone chips in there,” Cain said. “We’re trying to figure out whether (surgery) is sometime soon or towards the end of the year. A lot of it depends on what the elbow is going to tell me.”Sat, Aug 24:10 PM PDTSan Francisco at NY MetsPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Jim Johnson might return to elite closer status someday, but it won't be for the Oakland Athletics. They released him Friday still owing what's left of Johnson's $10 million salary for 2014.
In 2012 and 2013, right-hander Johnson saved a combined 101 games, posting a 2.72 ERA in 139 innings for the Baltimore Orioles. He made the American League's All-Star team in '12, even getting votes in the respective Cy Young and MVP contests. But even the best relief pitchers can be fickle. Traded to the A's in the offseason, Johnson allowed seven runs in his first five appearances and, even though he blew just one save, manager Bob Melvin quickly lost confidence.
His stats: 7.14 ERA with 60 hits allowed in 40 1/3 innings. He allowed two baserunners for every inning he pitched. But, there might be a landing spot for him in a familiar place:
Wouldn't be surprise if #orioles try to sign Jim Johnson to minor league deal after A's released him today. Lives in Sarasota. Fave of Buck
Johnson, 31, put in six full seasons in Baltimore. Perhaps he can get himself together and help them in September.Sat, Aug 21:05 PM PDTKansas City at OaklandPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
The respective "anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better" trades made by the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers before the deadline have not changed who leading odds makers think will win the World Series in 2014.
The A's, having added left-hander Jon Lester from the Red Sox on Thursday, remain favorites at 4-to-1 odds, as posted at Bovada.lv. Oakland was 5 to 1 before today. The Tigers, who surprised many by adding left-hander David Price from the Rays, are 5 to 1 along with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Detroit and L.A. were 6 to 1 previously.
Kevin Bradley, Bovada's sports book manager, says the Toronto Blue Jays — despite standing pat at the deadline — are considered a dangerous team to bookies.
- David Brown at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
The Houston Astros, who could lose at least 100 games for a fourth consecutive season, announced Friday they are raising ticket prices for 2015. They've even mailed literature to season-ticket holders with specifics. The cover boy for that brochure, which you can see above, is right-hander Jarred Cosart — whom the team traded a day earlier in a deadline deal.
At least it doesn't say, probably, "Renew early for the best seats to see the Miami Marlins and former Astros pitcher Jarred Cosart!" As with Billy Beane in Oakland with the Yoenis Cespedes "La Potencia"T-shirt giveaway, the Astros' marketing department and general manager Jeff Luhnow really need to consult with each other before the next trade deadline.
Jose De Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle talked to team president Reid Ryan (Nolan Ryan's son) about the plan to raise prices:Sat, Aug 24:10 PM PDTToronto at HoustonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Why is iconic and beloved children's character Hello Kitty throwing out a first pitch before a Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters-Fukuoka SoftBank game in Japan? (Well, marketing, but ignore that for a moment.)
Why is she dressed as a flight attendant?
Is that Dear Daniel dressed as a pilot?
Who cares! Just enjoy the video, which shows the players as active participants in the first pitch. So polite. And how about Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama with the applause? So polite. Unless he was just like, "Get the cats off the field so we can play ball."
Maybe that was it.
Big BLS H/N:
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- Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Count me among those who believe there will be a Barry Bonds statue standing outside AT&T Park one day. San Francisco still has that streak of rebellious counterculture, Bonds is too much of a hometown hero and he's arguably the biggest reason that jewel of a ballpark got built in the first place.
It may not happen today or tomorrow or even in five years, but it will happen one day.
If one group on the Internet has its way, however, that day will come as soon as 2015. The folks behind BarryBronze.com have opened a Kickstarter aiming to raise $60,000 to commission an eight-foot tall statue of the controversial slugger. They're at $26,958 as of Friday morning and have 19 more days for a shot at adding a bronze Bonds to existing statues of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda.