Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew52 mins ago
Baseball clubhouses are no different than the local coffee shop, an airport lobby or the subway train. Wherever large groups of people gather, you're bound to see a high percentage of them messing around on their phones, laptops or other electronic and mobile devices while blocking out all of the commotion that exists around them.
However, there's supposed to be one major difference between a baseball clubhouse and those public places, and that's the atmosphere. While it may be acceptable to tune others out in public, where you're most likely surrounded by strangers, in the clubhouse you're supposed to be teammates with common interests, collective goals and countless reasons to be engaged with one another.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Breathe easy, Miami Marlins fans. Superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton is doing fine and was even able to finish Saturday's intrasquad game after being hit on the left hip by a pitch from Henderson Alvarez.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
The news isn't ideal for the Chicago White Sox, but apparently they feared much worse when ace left-hander Chris Sale hobbled into their spring training complex on Saturday morning.
According to a team press release, Sale suffered an avulsion fracture of his right foot in an accident at his home in Arizona on Friday. Initial reports suggest the injury will keep him sidelined for three weeks, which all things considered is far from a worst case scenario, but will put him in a race against the clock to be ready for opening day.
Sale underwent x-rays this am & will undergo further tests once swelling subsides. His status for Opening Day will be better determined then
General manager Rick Hahn indicated the injury occurred while Sale was unloading something off the back of his truck. Sale himself did not confirm or deny how it happened, but was apparently in good spirits while meeting the media.
Chris Sale joked he was fighting off an intruder. No other details. Doesn't seem concerned about long term injury. #WhiteSox
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
As a whole, minor league baseball continues setting a very high standard when it comes to unique ballpark promotions. But let us not overlook another area of strength for many of its clubs: The concession stand menu.
Somewhere below the standard baseball items, you're bound to find a few creative and ridiculously appealing items that wlll test your will and lighten your wallet. For example, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers — the Midwest League Class A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers — and team chef Tim Hansen unveiled a pair of new burgers this week that will instantly make you consider a trip to Appleton.
First, we have all the makings of a delicious bacon cheeseburger packed inside a funnel cake bun, which naturally gives us the Big Mother Funnel Burger.
Don't try saying that ten times fast, but do order it at least once if you're headed to a Timber Rattlers game this spring. It'll only set you back $20.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
On Thursday, Milwaukee Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett was going about his business after the Milwaukee Brewers wrapped up workouts at their spring complex in Maryvale, Ariz. when he discovered a stray dachshund wondering the area. According to Gennett via his Twitter account, he was able to make friends with the dog, or at least made him comfortable enough to ride along to the local vet, and that's where Gennett says the the dog will be cared for.
If the story sounds familiar, that's because it is familiar.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Veteran outfielder Juan Pierre has officially announced his retirement after 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, confirming a report from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
Thanks for all the tweets keep them coming it's true today I'm officially retiring today.Blessed and grateful to have played the game I love
The announcement comes as a mere formality, rather than a major surprise. The writing was on the wall for Pierre following a difficult year in 2013, which saw him hit just .247/.284/.305 across the board in 330 plate appearances. In fact, he seemed to be resigned to his fate in baseball following that season, understanding there wasn't much demand for aging outfielders with limited offensive upside.
"They can come and take away my jersey right now, and I'll be fine. I'll be OK with it either way."
Without a major league offer in hand, Pierre ended up sitting out the entire 2014 season. He didn't appear on anybody's radar this past winter either, so at 37 he's officially ending his journey after appearing in 1,994 MLB games and winning one World Series championship with the then Florida Marlins in 2003.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The New York Yankees still aren't sure what to expect from Alex Rodriguez this season, but it would appear they're going to exhaust all options to find playing time just in case he proves capable of contributing.
Well, that, or maybe they're just putting him through the wringer and trying to exhaust him outright. Either way, Rodriguez was spotted taking infield practice at first base on Friday, which would be an entirely new position for the 20-year veteran.
In fact, A-Rod wasn't even equipped with a first baseman's glove when he walked on the practice field at Steinbrenner Field, but Girardi still had him taking grounders and practicing fielding bunts from the position that's opposite his regular spot at third base.
- Ian Denomme at Big League Stew1 day ago
DUNEDIN, Fla. – Thanks to the Kansas City Royals’ miracle playoff drive to the World Series last season, baseball’s longest active playoff drought now belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays. It has been 22 years since Joe Carter hit his World Series-winning walkoff homer off Mitch Williams and the Blue Jays have not been to the postseason since.
It’s actually the longest playoff drought in professional sports, and team brass, fans, and players want to see it end. None more than All-Star slugger Jose Bautista.
Bautista is the longest-serving current Blue Jay, about to enter his eighth season with the club. In that time he’s been a part of four winning seasons but the team has never finished higher than third in the tough America League East. He has also become a perennial MVP-candidate during his time in Toronto, having gone to five consecutive All-Star Games and twice leading the majors in home runs. But during his first appearance at Blue Jays spring training on Friday Bautista said he would give it all up for a taste of the postseason.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
New name, same disappointment. Melvin Upton — the Atlanta Braves outfielderformerly known as B.J. Upton — got some unbossman-like news Friday. He's very likely to miss the rest of spring training and opening day because of a foot injury.
Upton, 30, has hit .196 in two seasons since signing a five-year, $72.25 million contract with the Braves. Anybody hoping that 2015 might bring a role reversal for Upton has to be disappointed that his season is starting on the wrong foot. (Pun absolutely intended).
Mark Bowman, the Braves' beat witer for MLB.com, has specifics:
The #Braves announced Upton will be sidelined throughout Spring Training. He will be in a cast for 2 weeks and a walking boot for 4-6 wks
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The horrors brought upon the world by the man known as "Jihadi John" are much larger than baseball.
But Friday, the Pittsburgh Pirates found themselves tangled up in headlines with the notorious masked ISIS executioner who is responsible for beheading a number of hostages on video.
"Jihadi John" has been identified by multiple news agencies as Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwait-born man who moved to London when he was 6. On Friday, British TV station Sky News shared an unmasked picture of him, as a 26-year-old wearing a Pirates cap.
JUST IN: Adult photo of "Jihadi John" Mohammed Emwazi revealed pic.twitter.com/LjPGV9LZDl
Not that anybody had accused the Pirates of supporting "Jihadi John" or condoning his vicious acts, but the team's PR department had the PR savvy (or maybe obligation) to quickly release a statement denouncing the whole situation. The team said: