Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The New York Yankees will be without Masahiro Tanaka for at least six weeks after he was diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his elbow on Thursday, and no one feels worse about that fact than Tanaka himself.
On Friday, the 25-year-old right-hander, who signed a seven-year, $155 million deal in the offseason, did something we rarely see in professional sports. He actually issued an apology to the Yankees organization, his teammates and the fans for getting injured. More specifically, he apologized for not being there to fight with them during what will undoubtedly be a difficult stretch.
“As recently announced from the team, I will be going through some treatment and rehab on my injured elbow over the next several weeks. I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love. Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.
- Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Before the shock and anger of LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers could even settle in down in South Florida, the St. Lucie Mets — Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets — were announcing a promotion that could help sooth the souls of angry Heat fans, at least through the end of baseball season.
According to a team press release, Heat fans who come to Tradition Field over the next week will have an opportunity to trade in their LeBron James jerseys or T-shirt jerseys for a St. Lucie Mets season ticket. That means access to all 25 of their remaining games this season, as well as a Mets T-shirt to help replace the LeBron item in your wardrobe.
Not a bad deal at all.
Heck, even if you're not a Heat fan, it might not be a bad business decision to find a marked down LeBron item at a local business — you know it's only a matter of time — just to trade in for the promotion. St. Lucie premium box seats run for $8.50, so if you attend just ten games and maybe flip another half dozen at face value, you'd come out well ahead.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
The Texas Rangers' disappointing season took another hit this week when injured catcher Geovany Soto was arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges.
Soto, was stopped for speeding at 10 p.m. Wednesday in Grapevine, Tx., and that's when officers discovered marijuana in his car. Soto had less than two ounces, according to the Dallas Morning News, and was accordingly charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities said Soto was cooperative. He was later released on $500 bail.
Soto and the Rangers both released statements Friday. We'll start with Soto:
"I was stopped by Grapevine Police on Wednesday night. I am embarrassed and would like to apologize to my family, the Rangers organization, and our fans that I was taken in on this charge,” Soto said in a written statement. “Because this is an ongoing case, I cannot discuss this matter any further at this time.”
From the Rangers:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
The Cleveland Indians were playing the New York Yankees on Thursday night, and no matter what American city you live in, it's always a big deal when the Yankees come to town.
But at least a couple Indians fans were more interested in a guy who wasn't even there — NBA star LeBron James. LeBron-mania was bubbling in Cleveland earlier that day amid rumors that a big announcement was coming. That didn't happen. As we know, it came Friday morning. LeBron was going home. So imagine how excited these guys in the Cavs jerseys are right now.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Derek Jeter isn't waiting until his final MLB game is done before putting out his first book. "The Contract," the rookie released from Jeter Publishing, is due out Sept. 23 with pre-orders now available on Amazon.
That's two days before Jeter's final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium and five days before what could be his final MLB game, Sept. 28 in Boston, if the Yankees don't make the playoffs. That'll already be a busy week in the life of Jeter. Now add his first book release to the mix.
It was announced last fall that one of Jeter's post-baseball pursuits would be book publishing, once he inked a deal to create Jeter Publishing with book giant Simon & Schuster. "The Contract" is aimed at 8-12-year-olds who are interesting in baseball but juggling schoolwork.
Here's the description from Amazon (typos aren't ours):
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
No other major league slugger combines a reputation for driving in big runs and giving great hugs like Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. The convivial slugger, who is of Canadian descent and resembles a key supporting player from the movie "Home Alone," likes him some RBIs and some PDA with teammates after a home run.
Also spokesperson for ACE Brand, Freeman is getting the word out about their partnership with Little League so that kids and fans can make their own digital baseball cards. Freeman recently took a few minutes to do an Answer Man session that contained all of these topics and more, including what it's like to have your life saved in an Atlanta snow storm by Chipper Jones.
David Brown: You do the splits a lot to make saving plays at first base. Are you OK down there?
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Arismendy Alcantara knew the plan.
The Chicago Cubs had called him up from Triple-A to play exactly two games. He was a fill-in while regular second baseman Darwin Barney was on paternity leave, then it was back to the minors.
But Alcantara, 22, the seventh-ranked prospect in the Cubs farm system, made it tough for the Cubs to keep their word. He went 4-for-5 on Thursday with three RBIs and two runs scored, forcing the Cubs to change their plans. He'll stay with the big-league team until at least the All-Star break.
Alcantara's first MLB hit was a two-run double, making up for his 0-for-4 day in his MLB debut Wednesday. By the end of Thursday, he was just a homer shy of the cycle with two singles, a double and a triple. The Cubs won 6-4 in extra innings, gathering 10 hits. So it's hard to demote the guy responsible for half the team's offense.Sat, Jul 121:05 PM PDTAtlanta at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Derek Jeter's farewell tour is leaving Cleveland with a few cool gifts.
The New York Yankees captain is doing the ol' farewell tour thing as he inches closer toward retirement. As is custom now after Mariano Rivera's send-off last season, opposing teams aren't letting Jeter leave town without a little something extra in his suitcase.
The gifts have varied in coolness — the A's gave him some wine (meh) but the Angels gave him a huge surfboard (bodacious!) Good luck fitting that surfboard in your overheard compartment on the team plate, Jeets.
Both gifts Jeter received Thursday from the Indians need to be handled gently too. They gave him a personalized guitar (since Cleveland is the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) and a portrait of himself made out of Lego. It depicts a homer he hit against the Indians in 1996.
Closeup of the Jeter Lego mosaic: pic.twitter.com/yPHzmTBJsb
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
If not for one pitch, we'd be talking about Clayton Kershaw's 45-inning scoreless streak.
That one pitch, an 88 mph slider that Chase Headley sent over the fence in the sixth inning, was all the San Diego Padres could muster against the Los Angeles Dodgers ace Thursday night. He threw his 14th career complete game, striking out 11 and surrendering just three hits. The Dodgers beat the Padres 2-1.
Kershaw had pitched 36 consecutive scoreless innings coming into the game. He hadn't given up a run since June 13, before his no-hitter. The way Kershaw has been pitching lately, it wasn't out of the question that he could challenge Orel Hershiser's record of 59 straight scoreless innings from 1988. But it wasn't to be. Kershaw's streak was halted at 41 innings.
Since June 2nd, Clayton Kershaw is 8-0 with a 0.74 ERA, 80 strikeouts, and 6 walks. Aloe Blacc wrote a song about him. #TheManLiveSan Diego0 - 1LA DodgersFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
When was the last time you saw a 5-8 forceout at second base on a bunt? Anyone? Bueller?
Watch this bit of baseball wonder above and you'll see the aforementioned abnormality courtesy of the St. Louis Cardinals. The play started with a mental lapse, but ended with enough hustle to make you forget something was wrong in the first place.
Here's how it unfolded: Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez squared around to bunt with two runners on in the sixth inning. The Cardinals had put a play on for such an event, sending their shortstop to cover third base and their second baseman to cover first while the corner infielders charged. So far, so good.
When Volquez popped up the bunt and didn't quickly leave the batter's box, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter decided it was better to let the ball drop and try to turn a double play. The ball hit the ground, he grabbed it and threw to second base. Did you pick up on the problem here? No one was covering second.LiveSt. Louis5 - 6MilwaukeeFollow Game