Big League Stew
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew1 hr ago
So maybe you haven't been paying a lot of attention to Major League Baseball (what's wrong with you?) down the stretch this season, and you checked in to ESPN's broadcast of the first postseason game Tuesday night between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.
You might have found yourself asking who is the female voice providing stellar analysis and what is her background?
She is Jessica Mendoza, a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner with Team USA in softball and one of the best players in the history of the sport. She made her debut in the booth during a baseball game in August and did so well she earned a seat on Sunday Night Baseballand now covering the playoffs.LiveHouston3 - 0NY YankeesFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The Houston Astros struck first in Tuesday night's AL wild-card game, when Colby Rasmus annihilated the first pitch of the second inning off New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. It was a looooong homer to right field that gave the Astros a 1-0 lead in the winner-take-all contest.
Oh, and Rasmus punctuated it with his fun* bat flip:
*Yes, we really mean fun .
For good measure, teammate Carlos Gomez gave us a nice — albeit different — bat flip after his fourth-inning solo homer off Tanaka.
Carlos Gomez is the Martins Scorsese of bat flips pic.twitter.com/H5JvH0uIdV
You hit a home run in a wild-card playoff game at Yankee Stadium, go ahead and flip that bat, son. Don't be surprised if you get a fastball to the back in the future — baseball unwritten rules being what they are — but, hey, flip that bat.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
If you're a sports fan of a certain age, having your emojis set up for the playoffs is as important as having a good spread of snacks.
Thus, Twitter and MLB unveiled on Tuesday custom emojis for the baseball postseason. Each team in the playoffs gets it own emoji that fans can trigger by tweeting a specified hashtag. There are also emojis for the postseason and World Series. Here's a look:
Here's the thing, though: The emojis only works as long as the teams are alive in the World Series hunt. So if you're a fan of one of the wild-card teams, you better get those thumbs moving and those hashtags flying.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- Jay Busbee at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
The Big Hurt comes to Grandstanding! We welcome in Frank Thomas, Hall of Famer and one of the greatest hitters of all time. The former White Sox slugger is now an analyst for Fox Sports, and he joins us to talk about this postseason and his own remarkable career. Which players and teams does he see as the difference-makers this season? How did he deal with the pressure of carrying teams and the disappointment of falling short in the postseason? What does he think needs to be done to increase the participation of African-American youngsters in baseball?
This was a fun interview, and we think you'll enjoy it. Catch Frank and the rest of the Fox Sports team covering the postseason starting Oct. 8 and running right through the World Series.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Ichiro Suzuki's quest to reach 3,000 hits in Major League Baseball will continue in 2016.
The future Hall of Famer, legendary hitting aficionado, and occasional relief ace, re-signed with the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, Ichiro will receive $2 million in 2016, and the Marlins will also hold a $2-million option for 2017 season.
Ichiro, who turns 42 on Oct. 22, will be entering his 16th big league season — his second with the Marlins — just 65 hits shy of 3,000. Between Japan and MLB, Ichiro has collected a total of 4,213 professional hits, which ranks second all-time to Pete Rose's 4,256. He'll return to Miami in the same outfield reserve role he occupied in 2015, but that should still give him a fair shot at reaching one or both of those milestones.
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Lifelong Yankess fan Helen Fowler passed away during the final week of baseball's regular season at 85 and let's just say she won't be putting in a good word with the man upstairs for Alex Rodriguez.
Fowler's obituary, published in the Star-Ledger, noted Fowler's love for the Yankees but made sure to point out that love did not include Rodriguez. The obit doesn't provide any further perspective on Fowler's dislike for the noted PED violator who hit 41 home runs this season after missing a year while suspended for those transgressions.
It's hard to get the full story about anyone's life in the space allowed for obituaries in most newspapers these days. So taking time to take a swipe at A-Rod indicates her dislike of the man must have been pretty intense. Here is the obit published in the paper.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Following Wednesday's National League wild card game, one of the top three teams in baseball will be eliminated from the postseason. That's unfortunate for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh, but that's the way it is.
While regular season record isn't always a perfect reflection of team talent, it's pretty safe to say both the Cubs and Pirates have a legitimate chance at winning the World Series. Whichever team advances could be favored over St. Louis Cardinals during the NLDS, and it's not tough to envision a scenario where the Cubs or Pirates are favored over whichever team makes it to the NLCS.
These aren't weak wild card teams that stumbled into the playoffs with 85 wins. These are exceptionally strong clubs that were penalized because they play in the same division as the Cardinals.Wed, Oct 78:08 PM EDTChi Cubs at PittsburghPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The New York Yankees' season will be decided by one game. After a hard-fought 162-game schedule, everything is on the line during the American League wild-card game. With a win, the team continues its pursuit of the franchise's 28th World Series title. With a loss, everyone goes home.
Considering the stakes, the Yankees probably want to send out their best lineup during this do-or-die affair. Well, the team submitted its best lineup Tuesday, and that version of the lineup doesn't include $153 million man Jacoby Ellsbury.
Instead, the club will go with Chris Young, Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran in the outfield. Alex Rodriguez will fill his usual spot at DH, meaning Ellsbury will sit on the bench to start the contest.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
We know the Kansas City Royals' record this season. It was an AL-best 95-67, giving them the AL Central title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Even though we know how the Royals' season turned out, this fan-made video that tallied every Royals game is no less entertaining.
Scott Jones (aka @KCSportsNerd) is the man who created and stars in the video. It's a simple concept but one that he executed to perfection. Each day he answered whether the Royals won in a different way. The results are quite amusing. Jones actually made these videos all season (talk about dedication!) and what you see above is a supercut of all 162 videos. Top-notch stuff.
- Yahoo Sports Staff at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
With the MLB postseason about to begin, we know the stakes. All 10 teams have the same goal: Making it to and winning the World Series.
For individual players, though, there are plenty of other storylines that make them interesting in October. Some are looking to build a legacy (hello, Clayton Kershaw), some are playing for a winter payday (hi, Johnny Cueto), some seek redemption (A-Rod, meet Josh Hamilton) and others are on the cusp of national fame (Carlos Correa and Gerrit Cole, come on down).
We looked up and down the rosters of MLB's postseason teams and we found 12 players we thought were particularly intriguing. They aren't necessarily the best players on each team or the most valuable, but they're guys who have something to prove or who might play a bigger role than expected.