Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The meaning of Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. It's a day to celebrate all that we're thankful for in life, with the added perks of gathering with friends and family to share laughs, eat turkey sandwiches and watch wall-to-wall football coverage.
All of that sounds really good. Unless, of course, you're a diehard baseball fan craving nachos, hot dogs, peanuts and, well, actual baseball, If that's you, Thanksgiving will do little to satisfy those cravings. Instead, as everyone around you breaks the ice with football talk and gathers around to watch the seemingly endless hours of Phil Simms commentary, you'll only be reminded how far removed we are from the World Series, and how far we still are from spring training.
The reality is, dedicated fans of our national pastime are firmly entrenched in no man's land, and there's still no light at the end of the tunnel. It's all about getting through another day, and in this case there's no escape from football's powerful clutches. Unless you follow these few helpful tips, of course.
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- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
Your browser does not support iframes. Coming off an 82-win season that included an extended stay atop the NL Central standings, the Milwaukee Brewers feel like a team that's one, maybe two impact players away from really establishing themselves as threats in a rapidly improving division. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of wiggle room left on the team's budget, which will make it difficult to swing a major deal this offseason. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. A return to full health by All-Star Ryan Braun could be enough to offset what was clearly missing as 2014 slipped away.
It's early in the process, but the 31-year-old outfielder sounds optimistic that will be the case. Nearly two months after undergoing a cryotherapy procedure on his ailing right thumb, a procedure that involved injecting sub-zero temperatures into his thumb to freeze the damaged tissue, Braun says he's swinging the bat pain free and feels 100%.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
With Thanksgiving upon us, we here at Big League Stew are taking a step back to reflect upon another remarkable season in baseball while showing appreciation for all of the players, personalities, performances and moments that make us thankful for its existence. It's a list that, if allowed, we could keep writing all the way until Christmas. But we've narrowed it down to our top 20.
Of course, you're free to share what you're thankful for in baseball as well. Hit us up in the comments or on Twitter.
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The greatness of Clayton Kershaw At 25, Kershaw added a third Cy Young award and an almost perfect no-hitter to his résumé. Capable of making history every time he takes the baseball, we should all be thankful we're witnessing the ascension of an all-time great whose prime seasons may still be ahead of him. (Mark Townsend)
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- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
Wrigley Field may not be ready for its close up after all when it hosts its first-ever night season-opener on April 5. According to Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney, several different hurdles — some expected, some not — have caused delays in rebuilding the ballpark's bleachers, which could result in them not being open when the bright lights go on next spring.
That is not the expectation, but Kenney said there are contingency plans in place to accommodate season ticket holders within the rest of the stadium if they cannot sit in the bleachers by Opening Day. Kenney suggested that, if that happens, they will not sell single-game tickets in the bleachers for Opening Day (or however long they need to complete work).
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
One of the biggest free agent names available came off the board on Wednesday when Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas agreed to a six-year, $68.5 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was a surprising deal in that Tomas was expected to but didn't surpass Rusney Castillo's record $72 million for a Cuban free agent, and also because Arizona was considered nothing more than a fringe contender right up until MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reported the news.
It's an unpredictable business sometimes, but Tomas' upside has fascinated general managers, scouts and experts alike for months now.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
The pursuit of free agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas took a quick and stunning turn on Wednesday. Expected to become the richest Cuban defector to date, with a $100 million contract seemingly within reason, Tomas agreed on a six-year, $68 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to a report from MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.
Though he'll earn a higher yearly average, Tomas' deal falls short of Rusney Castillo‘s seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, which ultimately topped deals signed by Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu. Castillo's deal was viewed by many as a starting point for Tomas in terms of total money, but apparently the market didn't develop as envisioned.
In the other surprising twist, Arizona was only viewed as a periphery player at best in the Tomas sweepstakes as recently as Wednesday afternoon. New D-Backs general manager Dave Stewart discussed his interest with Zach Buchanan of the Arizona Republic earlier in the day, stating that no formal offer had been issued, though both sides understood what the other was looking for.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Chances are, Thanksgiving dinner is already on your mind. You might be preparing to cook it, salivating over the prospect of it or traveling somewhere to eat it with friends or family.
There's a lot to consider when answering: Are they cooking? Are you placing a premium on good company? Or being able to say, "Guess who I shared turkey with?" Or are you just thinking about the funniest pairing? Each of those is acceptable.
Here are our favorite reader responses to the query. As you can see, some people answered in earnest:
@bigleaguestew Brooks Robinson. He was an incredible player and is a genuinely good person.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
'Tis the season to speculate about baseball roster moves. By nature, MLB's Hot Stove season is a fantasy mix-and-match game, where fans have fun dreaming up scenarios that would best benefit their team of choice.
While we love to hear free-agent rumors, we might love trade gossip more. We know who the free agents are. But the players who could be traded? That's much more mysterious.
These trades often come out of nowhere, like the deal that sent Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals. Other times, you hear a lot about potential trades before a team pulls the trigger.
Consider this list the latter. These 12 players have been gossiped about to some extent the past two months, and their situations look ripe for a swap. Our list ranges from the high-priced (that's you, Cole Hamels) to potential bargains (Ian Kennedy, come on down).
Click the photo at the top to start the slideshow.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew1 day ago
When Hanley Ramirez went from the Red Sox to the Marlins in a blockbuster trade after the 2005 season, he was viewed as one of the best shortstop prospects in baseball.
Now 30, Ramirez returned to Boston on Tuesday after signing a four-year deal for $88 million but it won't be at the position that made him such a hot commodity nine years ago.
With fellow offseason acquisition Pablo Sandoval set to take over at third base and Xander Bogaerts the incumbent at short, Ramirez and his bat appear headed to left field, adding another name to Boston's already crowded outfield.
It's a list that already includes veterans Yoenis Cespedes, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, and Daniel Nava, youngsters Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. and Cuban free-agent signing Rusney Castillo. At Ramirez's introductory press conference, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington acknowledged a trade to clear up the current logjam might be on the way.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Pablo Sandoval put on a Boston Red Sox uniform Tuesday and was introduced to the media as Boston's new $95 million man.
He sat there, next to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, and said the things that players say at these types of press conferences: He was excited for a new challenge, he's looking forward to playing with David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, he loves Fenway Park.
The most existential moment, however, came when Sandoval was asked about the panda. Panda — as inKung Fu Panda — is his nickname. Fans wore panda hats in San Francisco because they loved him so much. Leaving as a free agent doesn't mean a star has to divorce himself from a nickname, but Sandoval's answer was a bit peculiar.
"Ben didn’t sign one guy,” Sandoval said. “It was a two-for-one deal. The panda is with me.”