Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
It always seemed like such a novel idea: If you're a team not in contention and you have a star who's going to be a free agent after the season but wants to stay, why not trade him and then sign him again a few months later?
You get a prize in return at the sacrifice of a few meaningless months. What's there to lose? The two sides shake hands, agree this is only temporary and plan for better things in the following year.
It's devious, somewhat conniving and glorious on a "House of Cards" sort of level.
That's not exactly what's happening with the Boston Red Sox and Jon Lester, there’s a little more nuance than that. But the Red Sox are in the rare situation where they could re-sign their traded-away star and put him in the same lineup as the guy they got in return, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Guy Fieri turned Throwback Thursday into Party-in-the-Back Thursday by sharing a picture of his mulleted self at a San Francisco Giants game in 2000.
It figures that Fieri, the prolific Food Network host, once had a mullet. It makes perfect sense, actually. We'd just never imagined it before.
Alternate versions of Guy Fieri's hair are a hot topic on the Internet this week. Buzzfeed posted an image of what Fieri might look like with a different hairdo and it attacked trending-topic lists far and wide.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
Like many things on the Internet, some of what shows up on Jose Canseco's Twitter feed is too good to be true.
A perfect example is that made-to-grab-headlines moment last week when Canseco said his reattached finger fell off during a poker tournament.
Turns out Canseco made it up. It was a hoax, he admitted to TMZ Sports, inspired by Halloween. Canseco shooting off his finger isn't a hoax — at least as far as we know. But that odd Chapter Two, when it supposedly fell off and was caught on camera? Never happened.
Per TMZ Sports:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
"Another Marlins scam."
In no uncertain terms, ESPN commentator and noted baseball fan Keith Olbermann gave us his opinion on Giancarlo Stanton's new $325 million mega contract with the Miami Marlins. It's another of Olbermann's scathing sports rants, which are always fun, and this time he's throwing haymakers at one of baseball's top punching bags — Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
There's no shortage of skepticism about Loria and the Marlins, given their history of promising better days ahead and then fire-selling at the first glimpse of trouble. Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown and Jeff Passan have each written columns in the past week wary of Stanton's commitment to the Marlins. Brown says the contract is a one-man trust fall. Passan writes that Stanton's playing a dangerous game by trusting Loria.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
The Rob Manfred era is almost upon us, and MLB owners agreed Thursday that the league's new commissioner will get a five-year contract as he begins his job.
Manfred takes over for Bud Selig on Jan. 25, but before that happens there was a little issue of his contract, which was decided at the two-day owners' meetings in Kansas City, Mo.
Manfred's five-year contract — two more than the minimum three-year deal a commissioner can get — was unanimously approved.
His contract vote was handled "quickly and quietly," according to Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal. That's in contrast to Manfred's election, which took longer and was more contentious, as a segment of owners led by Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox didn't back Manfred. He received the exact number of votes needed for the job: 23.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew21 hrs ago
According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Boston Red Sox prospect Cody Kukuk was arrested in Long Beach Calif., on Wednesday on an outstanding warrant in connection with a home-invasion robbery that took place in Lawrence, Kansas on Nov. 8.
Kukuk, 21, is a native of Lawrence. Another man, 20-year-old Gabriel Patterson, was also arrested in Long Beach in connection with the same robbery. Both men have been charged and will remain jailed without bail.
Two other men, 21-year-old Zachary John Pence and 19-year-old Driskell Alan Johnson, were charged in the same robbery last week in Kansas.
Police alleged that the men entered the Arkansas Street apartment with handguns, battered residents and took their belongings, McKinley said last week.
Court documents allege that cash, two cellphones, an Xbox 360 and the contents of a safe were taken during the incident.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
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Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann made history on the final day of the regular season, pitching the first no-hitter in Expos/Nationals history since Dennis Martinez hurled a perfect game on July 28, 1991.
In order to complete his feat, Zimmerman needed an extraordinary defensive effort from left fielder Steven Souza, who robbed Christian Yelich of sure extra bases with a full out diving grab as his momentum carried him away from home plate. It was, to put it mildly, one of the best defensive plays of the season. And with the added significance of preserving history, the catch was immediately vaulted to one of the most memorable regular season plays in recent history.
It's certainly a play Zimmermann will never forget. Thinking his entire performance had gone for naught, he immediately put his head down after contact, only to react with the same amazement as the Nationals Park when Souza secured the baseball.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
It wasn't a headline grabber like the signing of Billy Butler on Tuesday night, but the Oakland A's signing switch-pitcher Pat Venditte could prove to be one of the more interesting under-the-radar moves that takes places all winter. The A's added Venditte on a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training,according to his agent Marc Klingman.
For those who might not be familiar with Venditte's story, the 29-year-old is a true switch-pitcher capable of retiring professional hitters with his right or left arm. Like a switch-hitter, he determines which arm he's throwing with depending on who he's facing. In the instance he faces off against a switch-hitter, he has to declare which arm he's throwing with before the at-bat begins. That's to avoid a repeat of the comical moment in the video above from a minor league game in 2008.
That rule has actually been dubbed the Pat Venditte rule. So if nothing else, he'll always have that distinction.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
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The MLB All-Stars are in the home stretch of a nearly two-week tour in Japan. All that remains is one final exhibition game against Team Japan to be played early Thursday morning in Okinawa. After that game, the MLB All-Stars will board a plane to make the long flight back across the pond to the United States, and one can only assume assistant coach — and Cleveland Indians skipper — Terry Francona will be on high alert.
That's because on the team's flight to Okinawa, Francona was the subject of a dare that Los Angeles Angels reliever Hector Santiago fearlessly accepted and carried out in front on his teammates.
The mission: Kiss Terry Francona's bald head while he's catching a few zzz's and face the potential consequences.
Here's the result, as captured and posted to Santiago's Instagram account.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 day ago
Welcome to Oakland, Billy Butler, where the A's are usually a fun bunch of ballplayers.
News broke Tuesday night that the A's had inked Butler to a three-year, $30 million deal, a nice sum for the ex-Kansas City Royals designated hitter, who's coming off a disappointing season.
On Wednesday, the A's made the deal official, as GM Billy Beane told reporters he expects Butler to play first base as well as DH, and give Oakland a better righty bat in the middle of the batting order.
Meanwhile, other factions of the A's operation were busy making Butler feel welcome too. The A's social media team made this clever Vine about Butler, who is nicknamed Country Breakfast.