Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Daniel Nava of the Boston Red Sox handed the Kansas City Royals a major setback to their playoff aspirations Sunday. But did the Royals, who haven't reached the postseason since winning the World Series 29 years ago, have to be so darned helpful to him?
With several better options seemingly available, Royals manager Ned Yost used right-hander Aaron Crow to face Nava, a switch-hitter, with the bases loaded and Kansas City leading by a run in the top of the sixth inning. Nava turned on the first pitch, a 93 mph fastball on the inside corner, and crushed it to right for a grand slam. The Royals lost 8-4 and, with the Detroit Tigers beating the Cleveland Indians, fell 1 1/2 games back in the American League Central.
Why was using Crow a bad idea?
• Nava, who hadn't hit a grand slam since his major league debut some 1,400 or so plate appearances ago, came in batting .210 with a .301 slugging percentage for his career against left-handed pitchers.
• Nava was batting .158 with a .193 slugging against lefties this season.
Daniel Nava told reporters he looked out at the bullpen, expecting a lefty to come into the game. He was surprised to face Crow.Mon, Sep 155:10 PM PDTChi White Sox at Kansas CityPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
A reporter asked Kelly Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles what it was like to come through with a game-winning hit Sunday night against the New York Yankees, his former team.
Kelly Johnson on getting GW hit vs former team (Yankees): "I have a lot of former teams now." #orioles
Six former teams in all, including all five from the AL East since 2012, and three in the span of a month after the Yankees dealt Johnson to the Red Sox on July 31, before they turned over Johnson to the Orioles on Aug. 30. It must be nice to be in demand. Johnson was in demand by O's teammates — for celebratory pie — after knocking in Steve Pearce to cap a two-run rally in the ninth against David Robertson to beat the Yankees 3-2 at Camden Yards.Mon, Sep 154:05 PM PDTToronto at BaltimorePreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians did something Saturday night — well, a few things — a major leaguer probably shouldn't do after a tough loss.
• He went on the internet.
• He checked Twitter.
• He responded emotionally to an emotional message left by fan Tom Horsman that was uncomplimentary toward the Indians.
Kipnis frequently engages fans on Twitter, which is great, but he leaves himself open for moments like this:
To see the tweet uncensored, click here. Kipnis has not deleted it, as others might have.
The fan explained that he had driven all of the way to Comerica Park (from Cleveland, presumably) to watch the Detroit Tigers win 5-4 after Alex Avila hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth. It was the kind of loss that ripped your heart out if you're an Indians fan or — as sometimes we forget — a player.
I get it..You can be frustrated. We got guys underachieving, not playing well, no ones hot and no real mashers, AND WERE STILL IN THIS THINGMon, Sep 155:10 PM PDTCleveland at HoustonPreview Game
- David Brown at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Did closer Jonathan Papelbon grab himself in the ninth inning Sunday afternoon in order make an obscene gesture toward booing Philadelphia Phillies fans, or was he merely adjusting his jockstrap and/or protective cup, as ballplayers do, because his equipment had gotten out of alignment?
Is Major League Baseball going to punish umpire Joe West for putting his hands on Papelbon, and grabbing his jersey in order to move him out of the way, after Papelbon confronted West because of the ejection?
MLB won't have a fun time sorting all of it out. If only Papelbon could have pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, instead of blowing the save in a 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. After allowing four runs, Papelbon walked off the mound and, about midway to the Phillies dugout, grabbed his groin.
The AP photo. Make your own conclusions pic.twitter.com/dLtg51nCuz
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Every fantasy football league has that guy who either holds up the draft, or doesn't pay his dues on time. If you're unfortunate enough, sometimes you'll have both. Apparently, outfielder Jayson Werth was the latter guy in the Nationals team fantasy football league last season, and according to league commissioner and Nationals reliever Craig Stammen, it cost Werth his valuable spot in the league for 2014.
While making a radio appearance with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Thursday, Stammen revealed that Werth was way late paying his league dues. As in, months after the football season ended. And, as a result, Werth was not invited back.
“We kicked Jayson Werth out of the league this year,” Stammen said. “Jayson failed to pay last year. He didn’t pay until spring training, so we kicked him out of the league for late payment.”
Now that's a commissioner who's willing to put his foot down.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
When the Pittsburgh Pirates broke camp in March, they didn't have a clear position in mind for Josh Harrison. His versatility — he plays all three outfield position and three-fourths of the infield — guaranteed he'd receive plenty of playing time, but when or where it would come was not set in stone.
As it goes in baseball, things tend to change quickly. By the end of April, Harrison was playing every day in right field while the Pirates waited for top prospect Gregory Polanco to develop in Triple-A. By July, his numbers clearly justified his first All-Star selection, which Harrison received.
With Pittsburgh's outfield getting healthy and in order following the break, Harrison was transitioned again, this time to third base in place of Pedro Alvarez. Alvarez, who led the NL in home runs in 2013, first lost his position due to prolonged defensive struggles, and then suffered an injury that will keep him out for the season.
So now it's solely up to Harrison to man the hot corner, and like every other assignment Pittsburgh has given him, he's making sure the job gets done right.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
It would appear Logan Morrison made an unnecessary turn somewhere around Aberdeen (Washington, that is).
Either that, or he was just a little too aggressive attempting to break up an inning-ending double play on Saturday night in Seattle.
We'll go with the latter, but admittedly it took a few seconds for it to settle in that Morrison literally slid 6-8 feet away from the second base bag, directly into Oakland shortstop Jed Lowrie, who was attempting to dodge contact and turn a double play.
Lowrie ended up eating the baseball rather than attempting to throw and ultimately getting scraped off the dirt. Needless to say, he made the right decision. However, the umpiring crew - particularly Brian Gorman, who was manning second base - seemed to struggle with the reality of Morrison's aggression, and at least initially didn't rule interference.
That would obviously change after A's manager Bob Melvin ran out and alerted the crew that Morrison was sliding to a base that didn't exist.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Atlanta Braves shortshop Andrelton Simmons has shown he can make every play on the infield, often with relative ease due to his next-level athleticism and cannon-like right arm.
At this point, there's really no way to successfully challenge him when he's in his domain, so it appears Simmons is now challenging himself by expanding his jurisdiction to areas far away from his home position.
For example, during Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Texas Rangers, Simmons decided to pursue Michael Choice's popup into shallow center field. It wasn't hit hard, but it was hit high, allowing Simmons to gain ground quickly. Center fielder Emilio Bonafacio ran a long ways, too, and was in position to make the play. Given that he's the captain of the outfield, it really should have been his play to make. However, he gave way to Simmons, whose back was completely to the infield.
It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, and quite frankly it probably would have been with just about any other shortstop. Just not Simmons. He snatched the ball out of the air, and then instinctively spun and fired a rocket to first base nearly doubling off Luis Sardinas.Mon, Sep 154:10 PM PDTWashington at AtlantaPreview Game
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
One of the big concerns with Major League Baseball mandating the installation of metal detectors at every stadium beginning in 2015 is how it will impact fans getting into the stadium in a timely manner.
Those concerns certainly won't be quieted after Saturday. Not after a full security screening at Miller Park in Milwaukee — which would probably be considered a test run — produced long lines outside the stadium, and even led to the start of the game being delayed 15 minutes to accommodate fans who were still waiting as the scheduled start time neared.
The start of the Brewers game tonight has been pushed 15 minutes to help allow fans to get through enhanced MLB security measures.
That's obviously problematic, though with a pushed up Saturday start of 6:05 locally it's not as big of a deal as delaying a weeknight 7:05 game.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
Only moments before Alex Avila stepped up to the plate representing the go-ahead run in Detroit, the Kansas City Royals wrapped up a 7-1 win over the Red Sox, temporarily moving into a first place tie with Detroit. That meant a Tigers loss would result in another switch atop the AL Central standings, but Avila wasn't having any of that. With his team down by a run, he turned on a 3-2 pitch from Indians reliever Bryan Shaw and deposited it in the right field bleachers for a two-run homer that would prove to be the difference in Detroit's 5-4 win.
Avila's home run marked the third lead change in the game. Mike Aviles, not to be confused with Avila, put Cleveland ahead in the sixth with a two-run double. Cleveland would threaten to extend the lead in the eighth, but Torii Hunter made a diving catch with two outs to rob Yan Gomes and the Indians of at least two more runs.