Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew34 mins ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The National League Championship Series is over and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers fair and square, L.A. manager Don Mattingly acknowledged.
But... the Cardinals also were trying to steal their signs. St. Louis batted .330 with runners in scoring position during the regular season — which is absurdly good — but were down to .259 with RISP in the NLCS. Was it in part because their intelligence — as in information obtained through spying — wasn't as good?
Before leaving baseball's winter meetings, Mattingly told ESPN Los Angeles that the Dodgers made some adjustments to reduce the possibility that Cardinals coaches on the field would steal their signs:
The Dodgers complained to the umpires at times about where Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo stood while coaching third base.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Russell Wilson changed teams Thursday morning. No, the Seattle Seahawks didn't drop their Pro Bowl quarterback. That would be loopy, and actionable in court. Wilson changed baseball teams. The Texas Rangers selected Wilson in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, taking him after the Colorado Rockies organization left him unprotected in their minor leagues.
The Rule 5 draft annually ends the winter meetings, where major league teams and their minor league affiliates come to talk trade, free agency and chum around at the bar. This season's meetings were light on official transactions, but Wilson's name popping up is a highlight. Here's his baseball card, which proves he's for real on the diamond.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
We've reached the final day. Baseball executives, agents, players looking for new teams and media members have gathered in Orlando this week for baseball's annual Winter Meetings. Thursday is fourth and final final day.
Given how the offseason has gone thus far, things are sure to be busy and unpredictable. We've already seen Roy Halladay declare his retirement, Mark Trumbo get traded in a three-team deal and the Mariners gobbling up players. What's going to happen on Day 4?
The Stew is here to help you stay up to date with the latest news and rumors. We've set up his handy tracker for you to follow all the final-day flurry.
- David Brown at Big League Stew4 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Baseball's winter meetings have come, and are going, quietly. Not a lot of trading or signing has happened at Walt Disney World — mostly just talking. One exception was that MLB has moved to outlaw crashes at home plate between runners and catchers. And one guy who's not happy about it is Pete Rose, who was banned from the game himself in 1989 because he was found to have gambled on baseball while manager of the Cincinnati Reds.
Among other things, Rose is famous for bowling over catcher Ray Fosse in order to score the winning run at the All-Star Game in 1970. Fosse was injured on the play and his career was never the same afterward. The Associated Press found Rose on Wednesday to get his take on the death of the home-plate collision. He thinks the game has been sacrificed to a bunch of wimps:
''What are they going to do next, you can't break up a double play?'' Rose said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press after MLB announced its plan Wednesday.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Every now and then the producers at the trivia show "Jeopardy" like to throw in a baseball reference that is relatively current or topical. Among the more recent examples, "That's a clown question, bro" was featured as a category following Bryce Harper's famous response to a media member in Toronto. The topic itself had nothing to do with baseball, or the media for that matter, but rather fictional and non-fictional clowns.
That wasn't so much the case on Wednesday's episode, however, as they instead elected to retroactively take a jab at one of the game's most controversial figures, Mr. Barry Bonds.
The "answer" in question came under the category of "Pop Quiz" and was easily spotted by viewers. Many immediately took to Twitter to alert those of us keeping a close eye on the winter meetings in Orlando.
Jeopardy tonight: "He fathered baseball * Barry Bonds." Trebek read it as "star" but we all know it's an asterisk. pic.twitter.com/j4xibJRBbf
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew14 hrs ago
The honors keep rolling in for New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera following his retirement from Major League Baseball. The latest — and undoubtedly one of the coolest — came on Tuesday when a City Council proposal to rename a street outside Yankee Stadium in his honor passed 47-0.
Yes, 47-0. It's virtually impossible to get any group of politicians to agree on just about every other issue, but they all agreed Mariano Rivera is worthy of his own street.
The New York Post, which played a big part in campaigning for Rivera's street, reports the proposal calls for one block of River Avenue — near 161st Street — to be renamed Rivera Avenue.
Here's a look at the location.
— Dom Monteverde (@dom_monte) December 10, 2013
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
The Walk-Off is your end-of-the-day collection of news and gossip from the world of baseball, plus the best of the blogosphere and other assorted goodness.
HOLD THE PHONE: According to Matt Kemp's agent, the Los Angeles Dodgers are no longer looking to trade Kemp. Andre Ethier now? [L.A. Times]
HE KNOWS WHAT'S UP: David Price is prepared for a trade, and open minded about an extension with a new team. Except maybe the Mariners. [Tampa Bay Times]
FAKE TRADES: What if the Dodgers, Rays and Mariners worked a three-way deal involving Matt Kemp and David Price? It might look like this. [For The Win]
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Buster Posey, your agony won't be in vain, or forgotten.
More than two years after Posey suffered a broken leg on a violent play at home plate, Major League Baseball announced it intends to ban the practice of a runner crashing into the catcher while trying to score. New rules also will govern catchers, not allowing them to "block" the plate as they currently are allowed. The details are still being sorted, but it will look something like what college baseball does. More tagging, no bowling over.
At a press conference during baseball's winter meetings Wednesday, New York Mets president Sandy Alderson laid out, in generalities, where the competition committee stands. The specific changes will be presented to owners at a meeting Jan. 16. Their group, along with the players union, will have to approve for the changes to be enacted for 2014.
Alderson said a spate of injuries to catchers, along with the growing general concern of concussions, led to change.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
Some pitchers welcome a move to the National League, because it means they get to bat. Bartolo Colon is not one of those pitchers.
Colon agreed to a two-year deal with the New York Mets on Wednesday, which will pay him $20 million. It also means he'll need to bat routinely. Watch the video above. That's him batting last year with the Oakland Athletics during an interleague game against the Milwaukee Brewers where there was no DH to help him.
Notice how he bails out of the box on a called third strike right down the middle. He later made contact and flied out — but ran to first base holding his bat.
Colon has been in the league so long that he was a rookie the year that interleague play began. He's 40 years old. He's played 16 seasons with seven teams, but only once has he played for an NL team. He has 10 hits in his career, which isn't bad for a pitcher considering he only has 96 career at-bats. But he doesn't have a hit since 2005. Five of his hits came in 2002 when he played for the Montreal Expos. He actually only has on hit since then.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew18 hrs ago
This is The Stew's running list of trades and signings that happen during baseball's winter meetings. We'll keep updating this post as the news happens. For more chatter and rumors, be sure to check out our winter meetings tracker.