Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 mins ago
Welcome to the future! The 16th annual Futures Game (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET on MLB Network) is upon us, which means All-Star week in Minneapolis is about to officially kickoff.
For those who may not be familiar with the Futures Game, the concept is exactly what the name implies. 50 of the game's brightest prospects will be present and divided into teams representing the U.S. and the World (view full rosters here), and for seven innings they'll have an opportunity to showcase their skills on a national stage.
For many diehard fans, it's actually the most anticipated event of the week. With an impressive list of alumni that includes greats such as Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Miguel Cabrera and Bryce Harper, it's clear the Futures Game isn't just about hype. It always delivers on its promise to provide a sneak peak at tomorrow's stars.
If you're not sold on the Futures Game concept or were already planning on watching the World Cup Finals instead, here are five good reasons to change the channel to MLB Network on Sunday afternoon. We promise, you won't regret it.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
The Milwaukee Brewers are going through their toughest stretch of the season, having lost 10 of their last 11 games. But none of that matters on Saturday. Not following the news that shortstop Jean Segura's 9-month-old son died on Friday in the Dominican Republic.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the heart-wrenching announcement prior to Milwaukee's game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, but was unable to offer many specific details.
"He was sick," Roenicke said of Segura's son. "(Segura) was on the phone yesterday before the game, and they thought he was OK and getting better. I don't really know much more than that.
"I don't know if it's been (going on) a while. Saying that, it may have been a couple days. I don't really know."
Roenicke says Segura has been placed on the bereavement list and is already traveling back home to be with his family. The team will give him as much time as he needs to grieve and come to grips with an unspeakable and unexpected tragedy.LiveSt. Louis5 - 0MilwaukeeFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
The "Human Highlight Film" nickname that once belonged to NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins may need to come out of retirement. Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton is staking his claim to assume that title on an almost nightly basis, and if so given threatens to take it to all new heights.
That's not hype. That's not overstating his speed, quickness or athleticism. That's just truth. And if you don't believe it, perhaps you should check out his slick baserunning move on Friday night that turned an easy out into a scintillating bunt single.
It happened on the first pitch Hamilton saw leading off the first inning. Hamilton's gameplan was to push the bunt past Pittsburgh's left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke on the first base side, which he was able to do. However, he bunted the ball way too hard, which allowed first baseman Gaby Sanchez to scoop it up and run to the line for an easy tag.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
The walls have been slowly closing in around the Milwaukee Brewers this month, and they certainly won't feel any more comfortable in their surroundings following Friday's painful 7-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Brewers seized control of the game early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead in the second inning against returning Cardinals starter Joe Kelly, but the resilient Redbirds started pecking away with two runs in the fourth on Matt Adams' two-run homer. In the sixth, they plated four more runs. Kolten Wong led off the inning with a solo blast, while Jhonny Peralta added another two-run shot to even things up. Then in the ninth, Matt Holliday delivered the knockout punch with a solo home run off All-Star closer Francisco Rodriguez.
It's the type of win the Cardinals have become known for. At a time when they could be reeling – following the loss of Yadier Molina – they come off the deck fighting again until the final out.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
The traveling Minnesota Twins fan who once made headlines for shaving Joe Mauer's name and No. 7 into his back hair, jersey style, has returned to the national spotlight. This time around, he's showing his support for shortstop Brian Dozier, who on Monday night will represent the Twins during the Home Run Derby.
When we first saw the fan in 2011 he was in Milwaukee taking in an interleague game against the Brewers. He also made an appearance at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in 2012 reppin' Mauer. On Friday, he ventured to Coors Field to watch as the Twins fell to the Rockies 6-2. Probably not the result he was looking for, but, hey, at least his guy Dozier had a nice game with a single, double and walk.LiveMinnesota2 - 0ColoradoFollow Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew19 hrs ago
The New York Yankees will be without Masahiro Tanaka for at least six weeks after he was diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his elbow on Thursday, and no one feels worse about that fact than Tanaka himself.
On Friday, the 25-year-old right-hander, who signed a seven-year, $155 million deal in the offseason, did something we rarely see in professional sports. He actually issued an apology to the Yankees organization, his teammates and the fans for getting injured. More specifically, he apologized for not being there to fight with them during what will undoubtedly be a difficult stretch.
“As recently announced from the team, I will be going through some treatment and rehab on my injured elbow over the next several weeks. I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love. Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.LiveNY Yankees1 - 0BaltimoreFollow Game
- Big League Stew21 hrs ago
Before the shock and anger of LeBron James returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers could even settle in down in South Florida, the St. Lucie Mets — Single-A affiliate of the New York Mets — were announcing a promotion that could help sooth the souls of angry Heat fans, at least through the end of baseball season.
According to a team press release, Heat fans who come to Tradition Field over the next week will have an opportunity to trade in their LeBron James jerseys or T-shirt jerseys for a St. Lucie Mets season ticket. That means access to all 25 of their remaining games this season, as well as a Mets T-shirt to help replace the LeBron item in your wardrobe.
Not a bad deal at all.
Heck, even if you're not a Heat fan, it might not be a bad business decision to find a marked down LeBron item at a local business — you know it's only a matter of time — just to trade in for the promotion. St. Lucie premium box seats run for $8.50, so if you attend just ten games and maybe flip another half dozen at face value, you'd come out well ahead.LiveMiami0 - 0NY MetsFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Texas Rangers' disappointing season took another hit this week when injured catcher Geovany Soto was arrested on misdemeanor marijuana charges.
Soto, was stopped for speeding at 10 p.m. Wednesday in Grapevine, Tx., and that's when officers discovered marijuana in his car. Soto had less than two ounces, according to the Dallas Morning News, and was accordingly charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities said Soto was cooperative. He was later released on $500 bail.
Soto and the Rangers both released statements Friday. We'll start with Soto:
"I was stopped by Grapevine Police on Wednesday night. I am embarrassed and would like to apologize to my family, the Rangers organization, and our fans that I was taken in on this charge,” Soto said in a written statement. “Because this is an ongoing case, I cannot discuss this matter any further at this time.”
From the Rangers:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
The Cleveland Indians were playing the New York Yankees on Thursday night, and no matter what American city you live in, it's always a big deal when the Yankees come to town.
But at least a couple Indians fans were more interested in a guy who wasn't even there — NBA star LeBron James. LeBron-mania was bubbling in Cleveland earlier that day amid rumors that a big announcement was coming. That didn't happen. As we know, it came Friday morning. LeBron was going home. So imagine how excited these guys in the Cavs jerseys are right now.LiveChi White Sox3 - 0ClevelandFollow Game
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Derek Jeter isn't waiting until his final MLB game is done before putting out his first book. "The Contract," the rookie released from Jeter Publishing, is due out Sept. 23 with pre-orders now available on Amazon.
That's two days before Jeter's final regular-season game at Yankee Stadium and five days before what could be his final MLB game, Sept. 28 in Boston, if the Yankees don't make the playoffs. That'll already be a busy week in the life of Jeter. Now add his first book release to the mix.
It was announced last fall that one of Jeter's post-baseball pursuits would be book publishing, once he inked a deal to create Jeter Publishing with book giant Simon & Schuster. "The Contract" is aimed at 8-12-year-olds who are interesting in baseball but juggling schoolwork.
Here's the description from Amazon (typos aren't ours):