Big League Stew
- Kyle Ringo at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It was a big night for the long ball in the major leagues Tuesday. A lot of baseballs seemed to be flying a long way including one from Justin Smoak that ended a game in walk-off fashion in Toronto and another from George Springer that completely left the stadium in Houston. But maybe the most interesting came off the bat of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.
Thompson had a big night in the Dodgers’ 10-5 victory over the Rays. He went 2-for-5 with four RBI and smashed a a second-inning home run off Rays starter Matt Moore that literally never fell back to earth.
Thompson's home run hit the "C" ring catwalk and didn't come down. That's the sixth time at the Trop a ball hit a catwalk and didn't fall.
- Big League Stew4 hrs ago
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Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks famously said, “It’s a great day for a ballgame; let’s play two.” A pair of minor league teams hope to do one better on Wednesday. The Potomac Nationals, a Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, and the Lynchburg Hillcats, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, have scheduled a tripleheader for Wednesday after games on Monday and Tuesday were interrupted or postponed by rain in Lynchburg, Va.
The teams will resume a game that was suspended in the top of the fifth inning Monday, starting at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and then plan to play a pair of seven-inning games later in the evening. Potomac was leading the suspended game 4-2 when play was stopped on Monday.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Warning: this video contains NSFW language.
Hollywood is calling for David Ortiz, and he'll be playing the role he was born to play: himself. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Boston Red Sox slugger will appear in the upcoming movie Patriots Day, which is about the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Ortiz will be re-enacting the emotional speech he gave at Fenway Park on April 20, 2013, just before the first game at the stadium after the tragic bombing. In the speech, Big Papi spoke to the fans, thanking the first responders and then passionately exclaiming "This is our [expletive] city, and no one is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong." It was an incredible moment, and a film about the bombing wouldn't be complete without it.
Though the speech took place at Fenway Park, Ortiz won't be filming there. That scene will be filmed at an airplane hangar in South Weymouth, MA that used to be a naval air station. There's a good reason that scene and others are being filmed close to, but not actually in, Boston. From The Hollywood Reporter:
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Even a casual fan can appreciate a tremendous baseball rivalry. The Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals have emerged as a strong one in recent years, and there's always excitement involved when the San Francisco Giants take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That said, you just can't beat an old classic. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox have had one of baseball's best rivalries since the infamous Babe Ruth trade back in 1935. Even when one of the teams experiences a down year, watching New York and Boston go at it is usually a tremendous, drama-filled experience.
Thanks to Yahoo Sports' Free MLB Game of the Day, you'll have the opportunity to watch those two clubs battle it out right here on Yahoo Sports on May 6.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
On the field, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper has performed like one of the best, if not the best, players in the majors. But due to MLB rules, he's unlikely to be compensated as such until he hits free agency following the 2018 season.
That's not the case off the field. Harper reportedly made history Tuesday, signing the largest endorsement deal ever by a baseball player, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell. That deal is with Under Armour. The company has reportedly locked up Harper for the next 10 years.
While Under Armour announced the deal Tuesday, the company did not release the terms or the length of the extension. Harper has been with the company since 2011.
As part of the new deal, Harper gets his own shoe deal. Under Armour will begin selling the Under Armour Harper One, a baseball cleat, in July, according to Rovell.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
The most anticipated pitching performance of the season will take place Friday. Shockingly, it doesn't involve Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw or Noah Syndergaard. In fact, it involves a player who has posted a 4.68 ERA over the past four seasons. Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum will hold his showcase Friday, and scouts from at least 20 teams are expected to attend.
Looking at his numbers, it might seem somewhat surprising that Lincecum is drawing so much interest. The former two-time Cy Young winner has produced more like a back-end starter in recent seasons, even losing his starting role occasionally with the Giants. His strikeout rate and fastball velocity have tumbled, while his ERA continues to rise. Injuries have played a role in his decline, but Lincecum is believed to be healthy now.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
A month into the Major League Baseball regular season the Chicago Cubs are still World Series favorites. This shouldn't come as a big surprise. The Cubs have lived up to expectations with an 18-6 record, and have outscored opponents by a league-leading 83 runs thus far this season. A month into the season, the've retained their 5/1 World Series odds according to Bovada. Everything is going to according to plan on the North Side.
It's the South Side where things are completely off the rails. Following their hot start, the Chicago White Sox are one of the biggest risers in the Bovada odds. The site listed the White Sox at 33/1 to win the World Series on April 4, but now have the club at 12/1, making them co-favorites in the American League with both the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays.
If the Cubs find a way to falter, Bovada likes both the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals in the National League. Both teams are going off at 10/1 now.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
It should come as no surprise that the fastball is Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander's most important pitch. His blazing heater is what made him a standout prospect in the minors, and in his first couple seasons in the majors, Verlander was near the top of the league in fastball velocity.
Things have changed now. The days of Verlander being in the top-10 in fastball velocity have passed. Some of that is due to the fact that every starter is suddenly averaging 95 mph these days, some of it is due to diminished stuff that comes with age.
Verlander's fastball velocity has been slowly declining since 2009, when he averaged 95.6 mph with the pitch. Outside of a poor 2014, he's mostly been able to compensate for the loss in velocity.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The New York Yankees have had a pretty putrid start to their 2016 season. They’re seven games below .500, and their record of 8-15 has them in last place in the AL East. When a team does this badly, it’s not usually just one thing. So what's failing the Yankees?
On the hitting side, things are fairly bleak. Aside from Starlin Castro, who is having a blistering start to the season (he’s currently hitting .314/.352/.500), most of the Yankees’ lineup is underperforming. Catcher Brian McCann’s overall numbers look decent (.262/.360/.415), but he’s currently mired in a 3-for-19 slump over his last six games. First baseman Mark Teixeira showed a spark during the Yankees’ series with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers a few weeks ago, hitting .391 over six games, but he’s cooled right back down. Shortstop Didi Gregorius hasn’t been able to find any consistency either, his average plummeting to .221 after an impressive first week.
- Liz Roscher at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Every major leaguer knows how important it is to stay fit during the long baseball season. But Monday night during the Philadelphia Phillies-St. Louis Cardinals series opener, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took that to a whole new level.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Cardinals had a man at first with Molina at the plate. Phillies reliever Brett Oberholtzer fired a 1-2 pitch to Molina that was extra close to his knees and calves, which made Molina scoot back from the plate. Except his little jump caused him to tip forward toward the ground.