Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The Philadelphia Phillies aren't going to be any good this season and everybody knows it. Fans are prepared for it. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted recently the team is going to have trouble scoring runs. Even Aramark, the Citizens Bank Park concessionaire, seems to be in agreement.
Or maybe that's just a keen inference on our part.
Aramark and the Phillies announced Tuesday that this season they'll be selling booze at Citizens Bank Park's general concessions areas for the first time. Beer they already sold, but liquor and wine were only available in the fancier parts of the ballpark, like the premium seats. Not any more.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Eating healthy has become a major agenda for restaurants and food companies over the past couple years. Thank goodness, minor-league baseball hasn't gotten the memo yet.
The Kane County Cougars have introduced one food item for the 2015 season that is not shy about its number of calories. Based on its description, the Heart Attack Burger sounds like it could deliver what it promises.
New in 2015, the Heart Attack Burger should cover any fan's breakfast, lunch and dinner palate. The half-pound beef patty is topped with grilled onions, a fried egg, slice of melted cheddar cheese, chipotle bacon mayo, two strips of bacon with a pair of grilled cheese sandwiches serving as its bun. The burger will be available for $12 at Ozzie's Grill, located on the concourse level behind home plate.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Star Wars jerseys have become quite the popular promotion among minor-league clubs. Last season, we saw at least four teams wear uniforms inspired by characters who existed a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
With the usual suspects already getting their own jerseys, the Altoona Curve decided to take a different approach to Star Wars night.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
As part of their special events this season, the Oakland Athletics recently introduced Pride Night. Pride Night will "celebrate the Bay Area's LGBTQ community." Partial proceeds from the event will benefit a non-profit charity supporting the LGBTQ media arts.
After hearing about the promotion, some fans decided they did not want to attend the game, and would rather sell their tickets. Enter Eireann Dolan, girlfriend of A's reliever Sean Doolittle.
Dolan put up a post on her website, telling Athletics' fans that she will buy their tickets if they don't want to go to Pride Night.
A’s fans; if attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME!LiveOakland4 - 4LA AngelsFollow Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
A familiar face might be making a return to a major league mound near you in 2015.
Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia signed a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick.
Garcia, 38, was last seen in the big leagues in 2013 when he split time between Baltimore and Atlanta and even made a postseason start for the Braves. He spent all of 2014 pitching in Taiwan for the EDA Rhinos after he was released in spring training that year by Atlanta.LiveChi White Sox2 - 0LA DodgersFollow Game
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
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There are two things that stand out about Mike Napoli: he's got a big beard and he's ridiculously strong.
The beard is always on display, so he showed off some of that stunning strength in the Red Sox's spring training game on Monday night against the Twins to remind us that he brings both style and substance.
Napoli hit a monster shot to left field in the fourth inning, which is impressive by itself, but what's even more spectacular is how he managed to muscle the ball over the wall given what happened to his bat. Check out the video: when Napoli finishes his swing, all that's left in his hand is the bat's handle.
We've seen broken-bat homers before, though this one might have them all beat. The barrel of the bat broke clean off and ended up near third base and Napoli still powered the ball into the seats.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
The Cincinnati Reds announced a new ballpark feature Monday that any mother will love: A nursing suite where breast-feeding moms can retreat during a game for a more comfortable, more private moment with their child.
Phil Castellini, the Reds' chief operating officer, told ESPN that the club had an increasing number of women asking for a better place to nurse. Pro sports stadiums are loud, crowded and sometimes sticky — so finding a serene place is a bit of a challenge. As a father of five, Castellini knew this was a serious demand, so the Reds created something special at Great American Ball Park.
"It just didn't make sense that we would put a couple chairs in the women's bathrooms," Castellini told ESPN.LiveCincinnati0 - 1MilwaukeeFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
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The Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies nearly came to blows Monday. While no punches were thrown, two coaches were ejected after benches emptied during the fifth inning. All of this happened during a spring training game where the results don't matter.
The entire incident began during the previous inning. After a strikeout, infielder Sean Rodriguez began shouting at pitcher Kevin Slowey while walking toward the dugout. Rodriguez had called for time during the at-bat, but it was not granted by the home plate umpire. Slowey threw his pitch, and eventually wound up picking up a strikeout at the end of the at-bat.
Rodriguez continued yelling at Slowey at the start of the next inning, challenging him to a fight, according to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. Slowey said he was surprised at the reaction.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Chicago Cubs made their decision Monday, sending uber-prospect Kris Bryant down to the minors. Bryant's possible demotion had become a major controversy this spring.
Members of the Cubs front office expressed that Bryant would likely need more seasoning in the minors. While Bryant's agent, Scott Boras, believed his performance, nine home runs over 40 spring at-bats, should have been enough to earn him a spot on the club.
Boras accused the club of sending Bryant down in order to manipulate his service time. If Bryant spends about two weeks in the minors this season, the Cubs will gain an extra year of control on Bryant once he's eligible to reach free agency.
With the move now finalized, the Major League Baseball Players Association weighed in on the situation.LiveChi Cubs1 - 3TexasFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
With a week between them and opening day, the New York Mets pulled off two trades Monday that should strengthen their bullpen.
The club acquired Alex Torres from the San Diego Padres earlier in the day, then swung a deal to get Jerry Blevins from the Washington Nationals on Monday afternoon.
Both are left-handed relievers, a scarce quantity on the Mets roster before this. Sean Gilmartin, a Rule 5 draft pick from the Minnesota Twins, was the only lefty reliever still with the club at this juncture of spring training. Gilmartin is 24 and has never pitched in the big leagues. He had a 5.19 ERA in 10 Grapefruit League appearances.
The price for the Mets' late-March shopping spree? Matt dan Dekker, a backup outfielder, is going to the Nats, while pitching prospect Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later are headed to the Padres. All in all, not too bad.
Just like that, #Mets looking at carrying not one, not two, but THREE lefties in their Opening Day bullpen: Blevins, Alex Torres, Gilmartin.