Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
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After finishing the 2014 MLB season on the highest of highs, the defending champion San Francisco Giants now face another challenge as the get ready for 2015. Hunter Pence, their starting right fielder, iron man and walking-talking energy drink, will miss the start of the season
Pence was hit in the left forearm by a pitch Thursday in the Giants' spring training game against the Chicago Cubs. Team doctors diagnosed that Pence had a broken forearm, and x-rays later confirmed it's a "non-displaced fracture in left forearm."
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
The Major League Baseball Players Association sprung to the defense of Josh Hamilton on Thursday, lashing out about "cowardly" leaks of confidential information regarding Hamilton's pending punishment.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
You've already enjoyed Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar's gold SUV, the first of our ridiculously pimped-out MLB rides this spring. Well, Alfredo Simon, the new Detroit Tigers pitcher, sees Escobar's gold SUV and raises him a chrome Mercedes.
Here it is, via Chris Iott of MLive.com:
Your car, what do you call that color? Alfredo Simon: "Chrome." pic.twitter.com/uZjFxRNJKl
If you had missed it, here's Escobar's eye-catching mode of transportation:
Now if we can only get our shortstop a Rawlings Gold Glove to put inside his car. pic.twitter.com/XTFScA1nLk
It figures that Escobar and Simon will face each other a few times this year, since they both play in the AL Central. Perhaps they should wager paint jobs on the results. Loser goes tan.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
You'll hear this many, many times during the 2015 season, but it's important here: There's no replacing Derek Jeter. Not in the hearts of New York Yankees fans. Not at shortstop. And not as the team's captain.
Well, about that last one, that's what Yanks GM Brian Cashman believes. He said Thursday that the team should never have another captain. Cashman believes now that Jeter is retired, so too should be the role of Yankees captain.
You mean they're not giving it to A-Rod?!? We were really looking forward to that press conference.
Anyhow, here's what Cashman had to say about Captain Fo2ever Derek Jeter on the Mike Lupica Show, via the New York Daily News:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
David Ortiz has already said he doesn't care for the new MLB rule that says he and his big-swinging buddies have to keep one foot in the batter's box between pitches to help improve the pace of play. No surprise there. Big Papi has his very own pace of play.
But after the first few days of spring training games, The Stew is here to profess that we love the new rule. Not necessarily because it's sped up the game (maybe it will, we'll see, too early to tell right now), but because we've been entertained by players who aren't used to the new rule yet. Like Ryan Howard:
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
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It's our duty to remind you that spring training stats mean little in the grand scheme of things. They're a small sample size collected against mostly inexperienced minor leaguers and fringe major leaguers battling it out for the final open spots on the 25-man roster. Little is to be truly learned or extracted from said numbers, although players would obviously rather come out looking impressive than having to answer questions about performance in March.
With that mind, it's also our duty to point out when a player is flat out raking, and so far Oakland A's shortstop Marcus Semien is doing just that to the tune of five hits, two home runs, one walk and seven RBIs in his first six plate appearances this spring.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Miller Park in Milwaukee is often referred to as "Wrigley Field North" because of the large numbers of Cubs fans who make the 90-mile drive north and take over the ballpark whenever Chicago visits the division rival Brewers. However, as we learned on Wednesday, Wrigley Field North nearly became a real thing this season with the Cubs beginning renovations to the original.
According to CBS Chicago, the Cubs realized their plans to renovate Wrigley Field with a four-phase, $375M project were ambitious. That complications could easily arise during the unpredictable winter months in Chicago that would delay progress and leave them unprepared. And it was with that in mind that the Cubs seriously considered a contingency plan that would have seen them move all 81 of their scheduled home games in 2015 to Miller Park.
The Cubs are instead gambling on the renovations going smoothly and all four phases being completed without too much overlap into the MLB season. However, as they've already learned in phase one, there are no guarantees that mother nature and other complications won't arise.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
The fate of Josh Hamilton will rest in the hands of a single arbitrator, according to Mike DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
The four-person panel put together to decide whether Hamilton should enter a rehabilitation program for substance abuse following his recent admitted relapse reached a stalemate on Wednesday and remained deadlocked as of the Times' report. The original panel was reportedly made up of two attorneys and two physicians, one of each appointed by the commissioner’s office and the players’ union. It's unclear how the fifth and decisive arbitrator will be selected.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
Billy Bean, who was named the league's first ambassador of inclusion by former MLB commissioner Bud Selig in 2014, is making several planned visits to camps this spring to share his story and provide guidance for players and team employees in support of the gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The most recent stop came on Tuesday, when Bean visited the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla, and in that one stop, it may have already been proven just how important Bean's role will be to the league going forward.
For this visit, general manager Sandy Alderson wanted to put Bean — who played in parts of six seasons and for three different teams from 1987-1995 — in uniform so he could spend the day truly embedded with the team, allowing him to interact with players in the clubhouse and on the field. It was a decision that was universally embraced by Mets players, including veteran Daniel Murphy, who afterward didn't hide the fact that he disagreed completely with Bean's sexual orientation.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Arizona Diamondbacks won the title for most ridiculous stadium food in MLB last season with their $25 mega corn dog, the D-bat. Now, they're trying to make sure that title stays in Phoenix.
The D-backs on Wednesday introduced their Churro Dog, a dessert that takes the shape of a hot dog, but instead is a churro in a donut bun, then topped with frozen yogurt, plus caramel and chocolate sauce. That's 1,117 calories of sweetness.
D-backs CEO Derrick Hall told ESPN's Darren Rovell:
"We've found that desserts work really well in the heat we have here," Hall said. So team chef Michael Snoke got together a focus group of eaters and tested out his Churro Dog idea, and it was immediately loved.