Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
As the end of Derek Jeter's fantastic career nears, the race to honor his legacy has accelerated. On Friday, the folks at New Era added its contribution to the farewell tour, and we must admit it's among the coolest items Jeter has received all season.
Prior to Friday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, New Era CEO Chris Koch presented Derek Jeter with a one-of-a-kind bronzed version of the New Era 59FIFTY Yankees cap.
Here's another look at it.
As you can see, the bronze version also includes the Jeter sidepatch that the team is currently wearing.
That attention to detail is certainly appreciated. As is New Era's generous $22,222 donation to Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation.
That honor came on the heels of Major League Baseball releasing its official tribute ad to Jeter, which included notable appearances from Mo'ne Davis and Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout.
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- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking for wins any way they can get'em as they near a second straight postseason berth and division championship. With that goal in mind, it must be nice to know they can turn to two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw every fifth day, because even on days when he's not his usual dominant or efficient self, he simply can't lose.
Kershaw was credited with his 20th victory in the Dodgers 14-5 win over the Cubs on Friday afternoon, despite only lasting the minimum five innings needed to qualify. That snapped a string of 17 consecutive outings with at least seven innings pitched.
After being spotted a six run lead in the first inning, Kershaw gave three runs right back, and needed 106 pitches to survive the afternoon. Kershaw allowed those three runs (all earned), seven hits and tied a season-high with three walks. It's a subtle reminder that the win stat is often more misleading than it is telling of a pitcher's true value or performance on a given day, and that our celebration of such milestones is outdated.
- David Brown at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
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Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko insisted he would "finish on the field" in his final major league season after he sustained a broken hand, and 17 days later he's back in the lineup.
Konerko is playing first base and batting sixth for the White Sox, who take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on Friday night. Coincidentally, the Trop was the site of the only inside-the-park home run of his career, in 2000, so it makes for an extra-special stop on his farewell tour. Konerko has said he's retiring after parts of 18 seasons in the majors, mostly with Chicago.
Konerko's farewell appeared to be dealt an unfair blow Sept. 2 when he applied a tag to Danny Santana of the Minnesota Twins and sustained a broken bone in his glove hand. From the moment everyone realized the seriousness of the injury, Konerko was quick to say it wouldn't keep him from playing again, even with time growing short.
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
One great detail about September in Major League Baseball: Rookies are made by veterans to do embarrassing stuff because they're new.
One great detail about National League baseball in Chicago: Wrigley Field is located in a residential/commercial neighborhood that allows ballplayers to run out for a snack, or coffee, or... have a rookie run out for coffee. Yeah!
Such happened to Los Angeles Dodgers rookie slugger Joc Pederson on Friday morning, before a matinee against the Chicago Cubs. Dodgers teammates interested in consuming more than what was available inside of the visitor's clubhouse used their prerogative to send Pederson and a clubhouse helper to the nearest Starbucks, across the street, for some Mocachocolattes, Arianagrandes and Venticuatronueves.
And Pederson had to wear his full uniform — sneakers instead of cleats being the exception — when he made his coffee run. That's the funniest part, too, because baseball players always look so odd when they're dressed up in "the world" but not "at the ballpark."
Commence with the Joc-ularity!
- David Brown at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
The people of Kansas City typically seem to be optimists, but not necessarily because of their sports teams. Talk to my father-in-law about pro football, and surely he'll quip, "Chiefs coming back? They've been saying that since the '70s."
The Kansas City Royals historically haven't inspired noticeably different feelings among baseball fans. Kansas City Star reporter Andy McCullough noted this when previewing the team's biggest series of the season — their biggest in nearly 30 seasons — a three-game set against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium that begins Friday night.
The Royals trail the Tigers, heavy favorites before the season started, by just a half-game in the American League Central. They're in better shape for the wild card. The team put playoff tickets on sale Thursday. They're the constant talk of area barbers. People want to believe, but it has been since 1985 that the Royals made the playoffs and won the World Series, so...
From the Star:LiveDetroit10 - 0Kansas CityFollow Game
- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Whatever slim chance the Milwaukee Brewers still had of making the playoffs diminished even further Thursday night thanks to some unlikely heroics from one of the most anonymous members of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Tony Cruz, a backup catcher only playing because St. Louis pinch-ran for All-Star Yadier Molina in the ninth inning, delivered a game-winning, 13th-inning single up the middle to plate Matt Adams from second and give the Cardinals a 3-2 victory.
St. Louis had already rallied from a 2-0 deficit thanks in part to a boneheaded eighth-inning miscue by Brewers first baseman Mark Reynolds. Instead of attempting to start an inning-ending double play on a hard ground ball, Reynolds nonchalantly strolled to first base and got just one out, extending an inning that would eventually culminate with the Cardinals tying the game by getting four straight two-out base runners off Jonathan Broxton.
- Big League Stew21 hrs ago
The Boston Red Sox put runners at the corners with nobody out in the ninth inning Thursday night, and with Will Middlebrooks batting, they appeared to be in great shape to tie the score or even go ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A rare moment of success, in a last-place season full of disappointments, was at hand.
Middlebrooks even came through with an infield single. It was about the worst thing he could have done.
Middlebrooks hit a ground ball that bounced up the third-base line and hit teammate Jemile Weeks in the back, while he was in fair territory and before he could get back to the bag.
Something had gone wrong. It had to, as it has happened countless other times for the Red Sox in a nightmarish 2014 season.
From the Providence Journal:
Home-plate umpire Mike Muchlinski, after a short delay, declared Weeks to be in fair territory and thus out.
“My natural instinct was to get back on the slow chopper,” Weeks said. “There was a lot [of bad luck] involved.”
- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
There are two things hard to fathom about Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown's mesmerizing third-inning catch on Thursday night.
That he caught the ball, and that he did not break his wrist or dislocate his shoulder in the process.
Brown came up wincing and shaking his right arm after robbing Jedd Gyorko of at least a single with a diving catch in which he held onto the ball despite his glove hand getting pinned at an awkward angle behind his back. The 27-year-old outfielder stayed in the game and produced two hits and an RBI in the Phillies' 7-3 loss at San Diego.
The strong performance from Brown ended an eventful day on a high note for the young outfielder.
Earlier Thursday, Brown posted a photo on Instagram with the caption, "It's been great. Time to move forward. Thanks for everything #love." The text was intended to be about a break-up with his girlfriend, but so many Phillies fans thought it meant he had been traded that Brown actually had to post in the comments section to diffuse speculation.LivePhiladelphia1 - 3OaklandFollow Game
- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
Like most of us, Mark Teixeira can't stand to see beer go to waste.
That much is abundantly clear from the New York Yankees first baseman's disapproval Thursday night after a fan spilled 16 ounces of liquid gold all over the man sitting next to him while trying to catch a foul ball down the first base line. Worse yet, it appears the beer spilled for nothing since neither one of them were able to retrieve the foul ball.
Thankfully for the Yankees, Teixeira showed off better hands than the two Yankees fans. Teixeira probably saved a run with this spectacular diving stop in the third inning, robbing Jose Reyes of an RBI single, preserving a scoreless tie and helping the Yankees eke out a 3-2 victory.
No wonder Teixeira was shaking his head over the spilled beer. With soft hands and quick reflexes like that, it probably never happens to him.
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- Jeff Eisenberg at Big League Stew1 day ago
When Oakland dropped its fourth straight game to the Angels on August 31 to cede control of the American League West race to its biggest rival, the A's surely believed their once-promising season had reached rock bottom.
Little did they know at the time how much worse things could get.
Oakland has lost 11 of its first 16 games in September, a miserable stretch that continued Thursday when the A's were swept at home by the last-place Texas Rangers. Two errors and two wild pitches cost Oakland in game one, a ninth-inning bullpen collapse spoiled game two and the A's hardly seemed to have any fight left by game three.
Whereas Oakland boasted baseball's best record and a four-game lead over the Angels as recently as August 10, the A's have since lost an astonishing 16 games in the standings to their rivals to the south. Now there's no guarantee Oakland will even make the playoffs, let alone win the division, as the A's currently hold just a 1.5-game lead on Seattle for the final Wild Card spot