Big League Stew
- David Brown at Big League Stew32 mins ago
When St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck hired 3-foot-7 Eddie Gaedel to pinch hit back in August 1951, he needed a little uniform for the little person to wear. In a pinch, Veeck turned to Bil DeWitt, an executive in the front office and former owner of the Brows, for help. DeWitt had an answer: A custom uniform worn by his 10-year-old son, Bill Jr., could be tailored quickly enough for Gaedel to use.
Veeck removed the No. 6 on the back — for Bill DeWitt Jr.'s favorite player, Bobby Dillinger — and had a "1/8" sewn into the jersey. Suited and ready, Gaedel strolled to the plate with a 17-inch, 23-ouce bat and orders not to swing. Gaedel walked on four pitches by Detroit's Bob Cain and was removed for a pinch runner — but never to be removed from history.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew1 hr ago
It's official, the story of Hank the Dog, the stray taken in by the Milwaukee Brewers, has moved far beyond a cute spring training tale. Hank is now a legitimate Milwaukee pop culture phenomenon — and he's only lived there for a day.
As The Stew told you Friday, Hank got called up to join the big team in Milwaukee after becoming a fixture at the team's training camp in Arizona. He flew to Milwaukee on Sunday aboard a chartered flight with Brewers executives. Hank has a forever home waiting at the residence of Marti Wronski, vice president and general counsel for the Brewers, and her four children.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
Big Government is at it again, and not even the baseball team located in our nation's capital has been spared it's overreach. The Federal Aviation Administration recently told the Washington Nationals that it was flying a drone at spring training without expressed permission. No, not from Major League Baseball, but Uncle Sam himself. CBS News reports:
That figures. What about radio-controlled airplanes, which have been in use for decades? They're left to self-regulation, basically, by the users. But RC planes aren't drones — until you strap a camera to them, apparently. How long until the rules for drones are sorted out? Months, possibly years. GM Mike Rizzo has been to the White House; you'd think he has some pull. But no.
"Technology is crazy," Stephen Strasburg told the Washington Post at the time. It is, but bureaucracy is crazier.
Here's some of the footage the Nationals captured for scoreboard use:
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
Barry Bonds concluded his week with the San Francisco Giants as a special hitting instructor Sunday.
While Bonds' spring gig inspired the usual debate about his spot in baseball history, the man who hit 762 career home runs used his short return to MLB to say he's a different person than when he stopped playing seven years ago.
But not everything is different. Bonds can still hit baseballs very, very far, even on the cusp of his 50th birthday. Bonds snuck away Sunday and took batting practice out of the public view, and according to Carl Steward of the Bay Area News Group, the results were classic Bonds:
- David Brown at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
They dye the river green in Chicago for St. Patrick's Day. They might as well paint the bases green in Fort Myers, Fla., for a Boston Red Sox-St. Louis Cardinals game in the Grapefruit League on Monday.
What might be a new touch are the white shamrocks stenciled on top of each base. Perhaps they did that in past seasons. Is it over the top? It is, but that's what happens on St. Patrick's Day, when we beat all of our snakes to a pulp to satisfy the baseball gods! Or perhaps not.
In addition to the bases, the Cards are wearing green caps, and the Red Sox are wearing green jerseys with shamrocks and caps.
Big BLS H/N:
- - - - - - -
- David Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Hall of Fame slugger Mike Schmidt says he feels "fantastic" after recently completing his last round of chemotherapy treatment for Stage 3 melanoma. His treatment prevented him from being a spring instructor for the Philadelphia Phillies, but Schmidt reported to camp in Florida on Sunday to inform the masses of how he's doing. And with an obligatory message:
Get your skin checked. Schmidt says he feels like the "luckiest man alive" because he got his skin checked by a dermatologist after finding a random spot on his hand. Schmidt, who is 64 years old and plans on joining the Phillies broadcast in a limited capacity this season, also says he's grown wary of sunlight.
Cubs fire team psychologist who had his own locker, dressed in team gear and shagged balls during batting practiceDavid Brown at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
"Losing is a disease. As contagious as polio" — sports psychologist in "The Natural."
Utilizing psychology is nothing new in sports, including Major League Baseball. The mental part of the game can be of the utmost importance considering the high and relatively even talent level of most who play. The Chicago Cubs, alleged to be responsible in their own way for mental disorders in some fans through the years, are in the market for a new psychologist after letting go of Marc Strickland. He had been with the organization since 2009 and with the big club since 2010.
A typical team psychologist consults away from the ballpark during office hours, but Strickland was different. He reportedly acted like a coach, writes Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune:
- Big League Stew5 hrs ago
Baseball's back! As we get closer to the regular season, stop by The Stew Periodically for a helping of spring storylines.
JOSH HAMILTON SAYS HE IS CONFIDENT that playing two weeks of spring training games will be enough for him to be ready for opening day. Hamilton is set to appear Monday after missing all of the Cactus League season until nowbecause of a strained left calf muscle, Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports.
The Angels’ outfielder has hit in live batting practice for thee straight days and said he “felt totally different” on Saturday, with his timing and at-bats being a lot better.
Asked Sunday morning about the possibility of starting the season on the disabled list in order to get more at-bats, Hamilton said: “That’s not even on the table right now.” Hamilton previously said that he typically likes to get somewhere between 45 and 55 at-bats to get ready for the regular season, but he can also double up in Minor League games to do so.
It also sounds like Hamilton will be taking a calculated risk by cramming extra preparation into a smaller amount of time.
- David Brown at Big League Stew17 hrs ago
- - - - - - -
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
After literally wandering into Milwaukee Brewers camp as a stray in mid-February, Hank the Dog — named after former MLB home run Hank Aaron — has been the talk of the baseball world. Almost immediately after his arrival, the Brewers took Hank into their family as an unofficial spring training mascot, and even found him a new permanent home in Milwaukee. They're just not saying who with.