Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The wonderful thing about baseball is the story we expect to dominate headlines entering a game or a series can often be overshadowed by something unexpected or historic. You just never know which direction it will take, which keeps things unpredictable and gives us endless topics to discuss.
Such was the case during the anticipated Los Angeles Angels-Washington Nationals series this week featuring the first ever regular season battles between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. We expected the spotlight to be trained on the two young phenoms throughout, but it was 41-year-old Raul Ibanez who stole the show on Monday with a three-run double in the eighth. Then on Tuesday, a red hot Albert Pujols connected for career home runs No. 499 and 500, which had many fans focusing on his milestone and thinking back to his explosive early days as a 21-year-old rookie in 2001.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
It’s still a little too early to panic in Seattle, but another Mariners loss to the Houston Astros on Wednesday may have pushed fans to the brink. Seattle dropped each of the first two games in the series and came in losers of eight straight overall.
The outlook didn‘t look good here either with Houston holding a three run in the seventh inning, but one player and two swings turned that all around.. Third baseman Kyle Seager, who hadn’t homered in a game since Sept. 3, 2013, got Seattle on the board with a two-run homer in the seventh and then lifted them to a 5-3 victory with a three-run walk-off homer in the ninth.
It was obviously a much needed win for Seattle, who on the verge of back-to-back sweeps against Miami and Houston. Just the same, it was a much needed confidence boost for Seager. A .260 hitter over the first three years of his career, Seager came in hitting only .156 with two RBI on the season. Despite his struggles, manager Lloyd McClendon was determined to let Seager hit his way out of it. That patience worked to everyone‘s benefit on Wednesday.Thu, Apr 245:10 PM PDTOakland at HoustonPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Chris Colabello of the Minnesota Twins gave his mother, Silvana Colabello, one of the best birthday presents she could have ever asked for on Wednesday night, and it all happened in front of a live television audience watching on FOX Sports North.
Silvana and her husband were in attendance at Tropicana Field to watch their son's squad face off against the Tampa Bay Rays, which by itself was enough to make it a happy birthday. However, her day only got better as Chris came to bat in the fourth inning. At this point, FOX Sports North's Marney Gellner found Colabello's parents in the stands and began conducting an interview with the couple, and in the midst of the interview Colabello connected for a game-tying two-run homer that brought Silvana out of her seat and gave everyone watching goosebumps.
"Another present," Silvana exclaimed afterwards.
She then turned to Gellner and said, "You knew it," as if to suggest Colabello was planning this all along and Gellner was in on it.Thu, Apr 2410:10 AM PDTMinnesota at Tampa BayPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Former NBA all-star Tracy McGrady, who is now pursuing his childhood dream to play professional baseball, was officially named to the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters opening day roster on Wednesday. Team manager and former major leaguer Gary Gaetti confirmed the news to Fox 26 in Houston, stating that McGrady has done everything necessary to earn his roster spot and will open the season as one of his pitchers.
"Tracy is on the team," Gaetti said. "He's just done what needed to be done since the idea came about.
The 34-year-old right-hander made one appearance in an exhibition game last week against Alvin Community College, allowing one run on three hits in one inning of work. McGrady was the only Skeeters pitcher scored upon in the game, but Gaetti insists he's shown enough in workouts — including a fastball that has touched 90 mph — to suggest he can contribute moving forward.
- Mike Osegueda at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox weren't going to let Michael Pineda get away with using his pine tar stash against them twice. In the second inning of Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees, Farrell asked umpire Gerry Davis to check Pineda's neck, which appeared to have pine tar slathered on it.
Aye yi yi, Michael Pineda again?
Michael Pineda caught slippin’ this time. Ejected for pine tar on the neck. pic.twitter.com/Ji182KTggJThu, Apr 244:10 PM PDTNY Yankees at BostonPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Even as the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled out a much needed 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon — ruining the 100th birthday celebration at Wrigley Field and improving to 6-18 this season — the negatives outweighed the positives. That's because the team learned immediately afterwards that slugger Mark Trumbo, who's tied with San Francisco's Brandon Belt for the NL lead in home runs with seven, has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot.
Mark Trumbo has a stress fracture in his left foot, MRI shows. Will go for second opinion.Thu, Apr 2411:20 AM PDTArizona at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
You had to figure it would end this way.
The Chicago Cubs can't have nice things, they've shown this over and over again. So on Wednesday when the team was celebrating Wrigley Field's 100th birthday, when everything was going well, when they took a 5-2 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks into the ninth inning, you had to figure something would go awry, that the collapse might be looming.
And collapse the Cubs did: there were two walks, an error, then a grounder that bounced off second base and into the outfield to bring in two runs. Even the bases were plotting against the Cubs! Then came the game-tying single and finally the two-out, two-run, go-ahead double to right field that Justin Ruggiano almost caught.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
When the San Diego Padres signed oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson to an $8 million contract for the 2014 season, they were hoping they'd get a bounce-back season from the pitcher who had shown moments of brilliance in his MLB career.
Instead, they're getting a whole season of Johnson on the shelf.
Johnson will undergo Tommy John surgery Thursday, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock, ending his season with the Padres before it even began. It will be Johnson's second Tommy John surgery, and another chapter of rehab for a player who hasn't made 20 starts in four of his eight full MLB seasons.
Not only will it be another Tommy John surgery for Johnson, but it will also be his second elbow surgery in six months. He had offseason surgery to remove bone spurs.Thu, Apr 244:05 PM PDTSan Diego at WashingtonPreview Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
The Baseball Hall of Fame isn't the only place where Sammy Sosa isn't welcome apparently. The former Chicago Cubs slugger, the face of the franchise for a decade, wasn't invited Wednesday as the team celebrated 100 years of Wrigley Field.
The Cubs' pre-game ceremony included appearances from a number of Chicago sports icons — from Cubs legends Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins, Billy Williams and Andre Dawson to Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus of the NFL.
Bud Selig was there. Heck, even ex-Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster was there showing off his 2013 World Series ring won with the Boston Red Sox.
Sosa was not there.
And according to Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs didn't even invite Sosa, who hit a team-record 545 homers for the North Siders from 1992-2004.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
For Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary, celebrated Wednesday by the Chicago Cubs, it probably wasn't a huge surprise that the team chose to wear throwback jerseys. But the specific jerseys that the Cubs and the opposing Arizona Diamondbacks donned weren't your average MLB throwbacks.
The Cubs didn't wear Cubs jerseys at all and the D-backs didn't represent Arizona, rather Kansas City. The teams honored the first major-league game played at Wrigley Field, back on April 23, 1914. It was actually called Weeghman Field back then, and the Chicago Federals played the Kansas City Packers in the first game. Both teams were from the Federal League.
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