David Brown

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David Brown is an editor of Big League Stew, and has contributed to the blog since its opening season in 2008. Dave has covered Major League Baseball since 1998, first with the Associated Press and later the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, Ill. Born and raised in Chicago, Dave's favorite player growing up was (and remains) Fred McGriff.

  • Arizona’s Trevor Bauer tosses special ball to wrong dugout

    Oh, rookies.

    Right-hander Trevor Bauer made one of the more anticipated major-league debuts of the season Thursday night, and he looked pretty green. Selected third overall in the 2011 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Bauer came into 2012 rated the No. 9 prospect in the league by Baseball America. Fans have been calling for his promotion pretty much ever since Bauer left UCLA. His first results were disappointing, though; Bauer allowed two three runs over four innings, his outing shortened by a groin injury.

    Bauer's future starts no doubt will be more memorable — except for one thing. After Bauer poured over a 93 mph fastball for a strike on his first pitch to Atlanta's Michael Bourn, catcher Miguel Montero flipped the ball back to Bauer — like any catcher would. Before he threw another pitch, Bauer was instructed by Arizona's bench to toss the ball out of play so it could be saved as a memento. Bauer complied, tossing the ball into Atlanta's dugout.

    Who do you work for, Bauer?!

    Read More »from Arizona’s Trevor Bauer tosses special ball to wrong dugout
  • Anywhere but the face.

    If you're a student of pickoff moves to first base (anyone, anyone?), sometimes you'll see a baserunner step toward the first base bag and put his hand up in apparent attempt to protect his face from an errant throw. Only, who has ever seen an errant throw on a pickoff move actually hit a guy in the face?

    Seatttle's Franklin Gutierrez can answer that question now after being struck on the right side of his face on a throw by Boston's Franklin Morales. Gutierrez writhed in pain and grabbed his head, laying on the ground for about two minutes before walking off the field aided by training staff. Gutierrez sustained a mild concussion, the Mariners said late Thursday night.

    Frightening. And amazing accidental accuracy.

    Read More »from Franklin Gutierrez hit in face with pickoff throw, sustains concussion (VIDEO)
  • The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.

    No Mo: Most ninth innings used to be cake for the Yankees when Mariano Rivera was healthy. And with closer Rafael Soriano unavailable Thursday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi entrusted a two-run lead to Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada and David Robertson. None of them are Mo, either, and Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox made the Yankees pay with a go-ahead three-run home run in a 4-3 Chicago victory. The key moment was Rapada's throwing error on a potential double-play grounder against A.J. Pierzynski. Derek Jeter probably made White Sox closer Addison Reed a little nervous with his long fly to deep right with a runner aboard in the bottom of the ninth, but outfielder Alex Rios (and not a fan in the stands) came down with the ball for the last out.

    Four aces: Take away a solid single to center by Ryan Hanigan in the sixth inning Thursday night, and Madison Bumgarner pitches a no-hitter for the San Francisco Giants. Regardless, his one-hitter against the Reds in a 5-0 victory was the fourth straight shutout twirled by the Giants. They're the first team since the Orioles in 1995 and the 17th team overall since 1918 to pitch four straight shutouts. Bumgarner also struck out eight and, because the Dodgers lost to the Mets, the Giants moved into first place by themselves in the NL West for the first time this season. Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum started the Giants' previous three games.

    Saltaladroppia: Seattle's John Jaso (Jingleheimerschmidt!) drove in Casper Wells with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to reward a dominant, 13-strikeout effort by Felix Hernandez in a 1-0 victory against the Red Sox. Hernandez allowed five hits and a walk over 128 pitches in a vintage performance, and led the charge out of the dugout to celebrate on the field after Wells scored. A two-hop throw from right field by Cody Ross would have kept the game scoreless on Jaso's single if Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia had kept possession of the ball at the plate.

    Bauer sour: Trevor Bauer made his highly anticipated debut for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he suffered a strained groin and lasted only four innings. His tricky groin has been a recurring issue all season for Bauer, one of the top pitching prospects in the league after being made the third overall pick in the 2011 draft. He hopes to make his next start in five days. Arizona beat Atlanta 3-2 after Chris Young hit a tie-breaking home run against Craig Kimbrel in the ninth.

    Little guy with a big hit: Handed a two-run lead in the ninth inning, Astros closer Brett Myers allowed six runs, including a go-ahead grand slam to San Diego's Alexi Amarista in a 7-3 loss. Amarista, who at 5-foot-7 and 150 pounds is one of the smallest players in the league, went big for the first time in his major-league career.

    Read More »from The Juice: Viciedo’s big homer makes Yankees long for Mo, Bumgarner pitches like mad
  • Yankees lose CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte to injuries on same day

    Pettitte (left) and Sabathia during happier times. ... What? (Getty)One day in January, GM Brian Cashman changed the complexion of his team and sparked excitement among New York Yankees fans by trading for Michael Pineda and signing Hiroki Kuroda. The results of the moves have fallen somewhere between mixed and disastrous, yet the Yankees find themselves in first place in the AL East anyway. For now.

    It might be time for Cashman to roll the dice again, considering New York suffered two significant injuries Wednesday. The Yankees lost ace left-hander CC Sabathia for at least two starts because of a groin injury and resurgent lefty Andy Pettitte is out for six weeks because of a broken left ankle, sustained when a line drive hit him during Pettitte's start against the Indians. Pettitte actually stayed in the game and threw a pitch after being hit, but came out afterward.

    [Related: Mike Trout lands unbelievable catch (Video)]

    Cashman has told reporters he doesn't want to go outside of the organization for help (not with the sharks circling, looking to feed on lopsided trades of desperation), so for now Freddy Garcia and rookie Adam Warren will take the open spots in the rotation.

    Read More »from Yankees lose CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte to injuries on same day
  • Ducks — real-live ducks! — roosting in Coors Field visitor’s bullpen

    (via @pbsenerchia)Coors Field in Denver tends to be known for two things. One, its propensity to give up home runs. Two, the baseball humidor inside the stadium that was installed to curb the home runs. Another aspect of the park, an aesthetic one, also should be noted: The wilderness beyond the outfield fence. Coors must be the most topographically accurate stadium in Major League Baseball as it relates to the region. It really looks like the Rocky Mountains out there!

    To wit, a family of ducks apparently has moved into the visitor's bullpen. What was it like for Washington Nationals pitchers to walk amongst the waddlers? Here's a conversation on Twitter between Washington Times reporter Amanda Comak and Nats right-hander Ryan Mattheus:

    @acomak: Here's something weird: Gio [Gonzalez] said there were three ducks (geese maybe) sitting on the plate in the bullpen when he went to warm up.

    @RyanMattheus: @acomak they have they're own private pond! And we feed em seeds all game! #petbullpenducks

    @acomak: @ryanmattheus seriously???

    @RyanMattheus: @acomak so serious! We crack the shells for them! A mom and two baby ducks! #duckyfriends

    @acomak: @ryanmattheus Amazing.

    Isn't it, though?

    Deadspin, however, told a different story.

    Read More »from Ducks — real-live ducks! — roosting in Coors Field visitor’s bullpen
  • The mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, honors Matt Cain for his perfect game by awarding him the key to the city. Not for use with Candlestick Park. (AP)

    The Juice is back for its fifth season of fun! Stop by each weekday for an ample serving of news from the action, plus great photos, stats and video highlights.

    Giant cheapskates: The San Francisco Giants shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second time in a row, and Ryan Vogelsong outpitched Clayton Kershaw for the second time this season in a 2-0 victory at AT&T Park on Tuesday night. Vogelsong, who went seven innings, lowered his ERA to 1.85 at home the past two seasons. The Giants also shaved the Dodgers lead to one game in the NL West, the closest second-place San Francisco has been to first place since the first day of the season. Melky Cabrera delivered melk a home run and Pablo Sandoval drove in the other run for the Giants, who blanked the Dodgers in San Francisco for a second straight game for the first time since 1987. L.A. has dropped seven of eight. At least Matt Kemp still controls the All-Star game's Home Run Derby.

    This Rizzo ain't no Muppet: The Chicago Cubs first baseman of the future arrived in the present and delivered two hits, driving in the go-ahead run in a 5-3 victory against the Mets. Welcome to Chicago, Anthony Rizzo. May we call you "Tony"? OK, Anthony it is. Rizzo, who turns 23 in August, hit .342 with 23 homers at Triple-A after coming over from the Padres system over the winter. Cubs fans had been begging for him to be called up, because nothing else is going well on the North Side, so why not? Originally a product of the Boston system (he was part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade), Rizzo didn't hit well in a 49-game trial a season ago with San Diego. But that was then, and these are the Cubs.

    Pretty boy at last: Gavin Floyd had not beaten the Minnesota Twins in a span of eight starts since 2009, so he was due. Floyd shut out the Twins for seven innings, striking out nine in a 3-2 victory for the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. Alex Rios hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who staved off a ninth-inning rally by Minnesota after losing the shutout. Kevin Youkilis had a single in four at-bats, in case you're wondering how the trade from Boston is going.

    Yu like it in Texas: Yu Darvish continued to be difficult to beat on home ground for the Texas Rangers in a 7-5 victory against Detroit. Darvish, who allowed four runs and four hits over seven innings, has been credited with a victory in each of his first seven starts at Rangers Ballpark. He also had 10 strikeouts, reaching double digits for the fourth time, and seemed to adapt well to the 100-plus degree heat recorded at game time. Via the Elias Sporting Bureau: Other than Darvish, the only other pitcher in the past 50 years to win his first seven career home starts was Carlos Perez, who won eight for the Montreal Expos in 1995. So there's that. Prince Fielder drove in four runs for the Tigers, who slipped to 36-38.

    You don't get to decide, Bronson: Cincinnati Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo was spinning a no-hit, no-walk game for seven innings before unraveling a bit in the eighth and losing the shutout. But Drew Stubbs, fresh off the disabled list, hit a go-ahead solo home run against John Axford on the first pitch of the bottom of the eighth in a 4-3 victory. The Brewers dropped 8 1/2 games out of first in the NL Central, which apparently prompted Aroldis Chapman to do remedial somersaults after getting the save.

    Read More »from The Juice: Vogelsong outduels Kershaw in Giants win, Anthony Rizzo makes Cubs debut count
  • Umpires, like any other category of human being, make mistakes. But the error that umpire Mike DiMuro made in Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night defies any explanation.

    DiMuro incorrectly credited New York Yankees outfielder Dewayne Wise with a catch in the seventh inning after he tumbled into the front row of seats, Derek Jeter-style, on a foul ball hit by Jack Hannahan of the Cleveland Indians. With the benefit of video replay, it's easy to see the ball fall out of Wise's glove and roll down the row to a fan in a red shirt, who picked it up and held it aloft as DiMuro came over to investigate.

    Some investigation it was, too. DiMuro didn't even ask for Wise to show him the ball. He simply assumed he caught it and signaled as such. Wise, not about to argue his team out of an out, instead kept his glove closed, collected himself and ran off the field — canary in mouth, if not ball in glove. After the game, won 6-4 by the Yankees, Wise copped to the drop. And DiMuro admitted he made a terrible mistake. Via the Twitter of WFAN reporter Sweeny Murti:

    Ya' think? Perhaps it was too much to ask DiMuro to notice Wise drop the ball on sight, though Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Paul Hoynes said DiMuro was "late" to the play. But to not ask the player to show the ball — any casual fan knows that's Umpiring 101 — it's inexcusable. Perhaps DiMuro just trusted that Wise, known for another gravity and logic-defying play in a much bigger moment, can catch absolutely anything.

    But, as the video above and screencap below show, he cannot.

    Read More »from Umpire Mike DiMuro blows call after fan (and not Dewayne Wise) ends up with foul ball (Video)
  • Matt Kemp: No Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby


    As captain of the NL's Home Run Derby squad, Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers gets to pick who will slug for his side. The same goes for AL captain Robinson Cano, the event's defending champion. Kemp already said he invited teammate Andre Ethier to join him at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 9, so that leaves two spots on the four-man squad. One of them will not be given to 19-year-old Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

    Kemp explained to reporter Jorge L. Ortiz of USA TODAY why Harper failed to make the cut:

    Harper has earned enough respect from his peers that Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, who drew a five-game suspension after intentionally hitting him with a pitch earlier this season, said the hard-nosed outfielder got his vote for the All-Star Game.

    That wasn't enough to sway Kemp, who said he already has his four-member team in place and mostly chose the participants on the basis of stats.

    "That's how I got in last year,'' Kemp said. "I had a lot of home runs in the first half. So you have to take that into consideration.''

    Considering that Harper has seven home runs, which doesn't even put him in the top 40 in the NL, it's hard to use numbers to argue with Kemp picking others instead — even in the case his of buddy, Ethier. Still, it was a valid, non-clown question that bro Ortiz asked of Kemp. There's been talk of adding Harper and 20-year-old Mike Trout of the Angels to the All-Star festivities. Trout should be playing in the game (and he might), but the Derby would be a way for one or both to participate for certain.

    Adding Harper would be good for buzz for the Derby, which seems to get more and more stale every season. Good buzz means good ratings. And the Derby, unlike the All-Star game itself, doesn't "count," so winning it isn't the point. It's to put on the best possible show, or the anticipation of the best possible show. Harper might not hit one ball over the fence, but he would get more people to watch than Ethier would.

    Which leads me to this: Why is Major League Baseball entrusting a marketing decision to a player?

    Read More »from Matt Kemp: No Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby
  • Blue Jays sign 49-year-old Jamie Moyer to minors amid pitching injuries

    (AP)When right-hander Henderson Alvarez left his start because of elbow stiffness at Boston's Fenway Park on Monday night, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Farrell might have had a fleeting thought about coming out of retirement to pitch.

    After all, who was left? Alvarez was the fourth member of the Jays starting rotation to go down over the past 12 games, following Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison.

    Well, the Jays didn't actually consider activating their skipper, but they have signed someone nearly as old.

    The Jays confirmed they agreed with 49-year-old left-hander Jamie Moyer on a minor-league deal. He will report to Triple-A Las Vegas and join its starting rotation with no promise of being promoted to the majors. Moyer recently was granted his release by the Baltimore Orioles — who weren't prepared to bring him up — after posting a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts, 11 hits and no walks over three appearances for Triple-A Norfolk. The Rockies released Moyer on May 30 after he posted a 5.70 ERA in 10 starts, though he did become the oldest major leaguer to get a win along the way.

    The best news about GM Alex Anthopoulos making this signing: Considering the Canadian exchange rate, Moyer is only 47. After all, 45-year-old Omar Vizquel has been playing like a 43-year-old all season. Hooray for market inefficiencies! (And just wait 'til they pair up to do "I'm Not Rappaport!")

    But whatever you do, don't make "Jamie Moyer is old" jokes where Jays left-hander Ricky Romero can hear them. As one of the team's few healthy hurlers, Romero doesn't have time for jokes when it comes to Toronto's pitching predicament.

    Read More »from Blue Jays sign 49-year-old Jamie Moyer to minors amid pitching injuries
  • (Big League Stew, AP)

    LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — If you happen to be near Kansas City and want some All-Star gear commemorating the upcoming game at Kauffman Stadium, the Hy-Vee grocery store at Langsford Landing has what you want. T-shirts, caps, most of everything.

    Near the back of the store, by the toilet paper, liquor and dairy — three of the essentials in life — hangs a Jeff Francoeur jersey, autographed by No. 21 for the Kansas City Royals himself. The jersey appears to be the center of a display to sell beer, but it's far removed from the All-Star stuff. It's on a plastic hanger suspended from the ceiling by a wire, and spins at the whim of the building's air conditioning.

    The same can be said for Francoeur's baseball career. Just when you think it's headed one way, it retreats in the other direction.

    Read More »from Jeff Francoeur autographed jersey hangs by thread in Kansas City area grocery store


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