Big League Stew
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew5 hrs ago
If you happen to be out for dinner with a big leaguer, there's a pretty good chance he's the one that will pick up the tab, especially if he plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to a study by The Associated Press, the average major league salary in 2015 projects to be around $4.25 million, the first time that figure has ever been above $4 million. The average salary was $3.95 million in 2014 and $3.65 million the season before that.
Just less than a week ago, Forbes reported that the value of major league teams had skyrocketed to an unprecedented level. There's never been more money in baseball and there's plenty to go around.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew7 hrs ago
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It's a good thing the start of the regular season is less than a week away, because Lloyd McClendon's managerial tirade game is already in mid-season form.
In the fourth inning of Seattle's Cactus League game against Cleveland on Tuesday, Indians left-hander Bruce Chen threw back-to-back pitches behind Rickie Weeks. Earlier, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez had plunked Michael Brantley, and Chen's two wild throws could be seen as an attempt to retaliate.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter elected to warn both benches before the rift escalated further.
Almost immediately, an animated McClendon emerged from the dugout and was promptly tossed by Porter, which spurred the Mariners manager's on-field rant. Once he was done, he had to jog all the way out to right field because the clubhouse at Goodyear Park is located beyond the outfield walls, not behind the dugout.
When he met with reporters, McClendon explained why he was so upset.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
Take this with as many grains of salt as you take any kind of predictions this time of year: PredictionMachine.com has calculated that by sending down uber prospect Kris Bryant, the Chicago Cubs have hurt their playoff chances by 7.5 percent.
PredictionMachine.com runs something it calls The Predictalator, which simulates games 50,000 times to gather the most accurate predictions.
In the case of Bryant — who was demoted Monday, mostly because putting him in the minors to start the season will push back his free agency a year — The Predictalator says the Cubs have made a mistake that will cost them 1.4 wins this season. It lowers their playoff chances from 53.2 percent to 45.7 percent.
- Israel Fehr at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
R.A. Dickey, one of the oldest – and certainly wisest – players in MLB, could be on the verge of adding another special chapter to his already uncommon story.
This will be Dickey's 19th season in professional baseball, a journey with so many twists and turns its been compared over and over to the pitch that gave him a new lease on life on the mound, the knuckleball.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew11 hrs ago
Colorado Rockies reliever John Axford left team camp last Wednesday after his 2-year-old son was bitten by a rattlesnake, according to the Denver Post.
Following Wednesday's game, Axford received a call from a Phoenix-area hospital, explaining that his son had been bitten twice on the foot by a rattlesnake. Axford, 31, said he was in "sheer panic" upon hearing the news.
Axford's son, Jameson, is currently in stable condition. Doctors believe they were able to save his foot, though it's possible he'll need to have one of his toes amputated. It's believed Jameson stepped on a baby rattlesnake while walking in the backyard of the family's house in Arizona.
Axford returned to camp briefly Tuesday in order to throw a bullpen session, but said he doesn't know when he'll be able to come back to the club on a full-time basis. He's currently planning to stay with his family for as long as possible.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant eviscerated pitchers this spring. While his exceptional performance didn't lead to a major-league call-up, it was immortalized in another way.
Hitting .425, with nine home runs, over 40 at-bats deserves recognition. And the people over at Strat-O-Matic Games were happy to oblige.
Here’s a peek at what Kris Bryant’s monstrous Strat-O-Matic card would look like based on his 2015 spring stats. pic.twitter.com/pLh9OOqH0N
As long as you don't roll a two, you're in great shape.
Let's clear one thing up, though. This is not Bryant's official card. This is what his card would look like if it were based solely on his spring stats.
Once Bryant is called up, the company will likely release Bryant's official game card. While that probably won't be as dominant, it should still be pretty darn useful.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew14 hrs 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 Stew16 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 Stew17 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 Stew19 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!