Big League Stew
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Just when you thought the Los Angeles Angels' week couldn't get any more dramatic, here comes a weekend series in Texas against the Rangers and former outfielder Josh Hamilton.
The story here has been told many times over the past few months. In February, Hamilton suffered a drug and alcohol related relapse, which the Angels condemned and attempted to use as a way out ouf Hamilton's bad contract.
Ultimately, they were forced to eat the majority of the deal in order to trade Hamilton back to Texas, which sets up Friday's big reunion.
A lot has been said about the Angels' lack of support for Hamilton during his difficult time. Many felt they portrayed themselves in a bad light by immediately shunning him and distancing themselves. Before his comeback last month, Hamilton even said that he was denied a meeting with Angels owner Arte Moreno, noting that the two hadn't directly talked since last season.
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew3 hrs ago
Federal investigators have recommended charges be brought against at least one St. Louis Cardinals employee implicated in the probe of an alleged computer intrusion of databases belonging to the Houston Astros, according to a report from CNN.
Per the CNN report, the investigation is complete. It is not immediately clear which employee was in line to be charged or how high up the Cardinals' hierarchy that employee might be, but it's apparent they've pinpointed at least one individual's involvement.
Here's more from the CNN story:
The probe by investigators at the FBI's Houston office is complete, according to officials briefed on the matter, but is awaiting action by the Houston U.S. attorney's office. A U.S. attorney spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment.
The FBI's Houston office declined to comment on pending charges.LiveHouston9 - 8BostonFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew6 hrs ago
When the Chicago Cubs initially announced the Wrigley Field renovations, not everyone was on board. Some argued that Wrigley had so much historical relevance that it would be blasphemous to add video boards to the iconic stadium.
Well, the Cubs found a excellent way to get angry fans back on board with all the changes Friday. During the seventh inning stretch, the team played a video of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
That is exceptional!
Caray was famous for leading the crowd through the song when he was a broadcaster with the club. Following his death in 1998, the Cubs have opted to bring in celebrity conductors for the event.
The team will continue to bring in celebrities, but the new video boards allow them to occasionally stray from that plan, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.Sat, 4 Jul7:15 PM EDTMiami at Chi CubsPreview Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew8 hrs ago
Remember when New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez hit his 660th home run all the back on May 1? While it was a significant moment for Rodriguez, it wasn't all smiles and sunshine.
The hit sparked a debate over whether Rodriguez would receive a "milestone" bonus in his contract. When Rodriguez re-signed with the Yankees, a clause was inserted in his contract that stated he would receive $6 million any time he tied a player on the all-time home run list. With his 660th home run, Rodriguez tied Willie Mays, making him eligible to receive his bonus.LiveTampa Bay4 - 3NY YankeesFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
It took just more than two weeks, but New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez will finally receive his 3,000th-hit ball. The Yankees reached a deal with Zack Hample, the notorious fan who caught the ball. Hample initially told the team he was keeping the milestone souvenir.
So, what did it cost the club to get the ball back? Quite a bit, it appears.
But wait, there's more.
Along with $150K donation for A-Rod 3000 ball, Yanks will give @zack_hample memorabilia, tickets & other perks
On top of that, it appears Hample will present A-Rod with the ball at a news conference Friday. It's also probably not a coincidence that the Yankees mentioned Hample's Twitter feed in both of their posts about the ball.
- Ian Denomme at Big League Stew12 hrs ago
Over the first half of the 2015 season, the talk about the “best pitcher in baseball” has been mostly about some usual suspects like Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke, and some budding young stars like Dallas Keuchel and Chris Archer.
But one pitcher having a great season that few have taken notice of is Yovani Gallardo. The 29-year-old former All-Star is in his first season with the Rangers and has been a big part of their surprising start to the season. Over his last eight starts few in baseball have been better than Gallardo.
On Thursday night against the Orioles he extended his scoreless inning streak to 29.1 – the longest streak in the majors this year. The Rangers scored twice in the ninth to earn the win and are 6-2 overall in Gallardo’s last eight starts.
He hasn't allowed a run June 10, and hasn’t lost since May 19. Over those last eight starts he has given up just five earned runs in 51.1 innings, for an ERA of 0.88, with an opponent’s batting average of .169. For the whole season he has a 2.56 ERA (10 th best in the majors), and a 72/31 K/BB ratio. He’s 10 th in the majors with a 2.8 WAR.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew20 hrs ago
Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.
The Atlanta Braves managed to do something few teams have done this season: They registered a victory against Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer.
The win didn't come without controversy, though. With the two clubs knotted 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Scherzer took the mound hoping to send the game into extras.
Pedro Ciriaco led off the frame with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jace Peterson. That's when controversy struck.
Cameron Maybin hit a walk-off single down the third base line to win the contest. Whether the ball was fair or foul is up for debate. The ball took a big hop on the infield dirt and landed in foul territory once it hit the ground. Umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that the ball passed over third base in fair territory, making it a fair ball.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew22 hrs ago
If you live in Wisconsin, you are legally required to consume foods covered in cheese in large amounts. Because of that, it's no surprise a member of the Milwaukee Brewers just set a record for most cheesesteaks consumed at Citizens Bank Park.
Bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel emerged as both the hero we deserve, and the hero we need Thursday. During the team's four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Hanel ate an astounding 23 cheesesteaks.
Hanel actually broke a couple of cheesesteak records. Through three games, Hanel had consumed 18 cheesesteaks, breaking the three-day record set by New York Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill.
Miami Marlins pitcher Mat Latos held the four-day record with 18, but Hanel blew past that before Thursday's game even started.
The Brewers even captured the glorius event for all to see.
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew23 hrs ago
If you're going to play baseball, you better wear a cup. In fact, that might be rule No. 1 when it comes to the game. Nobody should ever experience what Adrian Beltre had to deal with when he was hit while not wearing one.
Beltre's division-rival Oakland Athletics seem to understand this. That's probably why they decided to conduct a cup check during Thursday's game.
That's Oakland reliever, and occasional closer, Sean Doolittle. It looks as though he may have failed the test. Doolittle at least has somewhat of an excuse. He's currently on the disabled list, so it's not like he's being reckless while on the field.LiveSeattle4 - 3OaklandFollow Game
- Chris Cwik at Big League Stew1 day ago
We here at The Stew love to celebrate the bat flip. When it comes to flipping bats, we'll consider all options. Bat flip on a walk-off home run? Love it. Bat flip on a single? Still good. Pitcher bat flip? Even better.
Well, step aside, people of the internet, because the greatest bat flip of all time may have been unearthed. First, let's set the stage. With his team down by one run in the top of the ninth inning, Jae-Gyun Hwang stepped to the plate with a chance to knot things up. He did not disappoint.
If you are impatient, you can skip to about 47 seconds in order to experience the flip in all its glory.
So, that is something.
Hwang's reaction is somewhat reminiscent of Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair. Instead of using his hands, though, Hwang opts to use his bat to follow the path of the ball. Once it lands it fair territory, Hwang unleashes one hell of a bat flip.
Overall, the flip was pretty strong. What makes this exceptional was the buildup. Hwang's reaction to whether the ball would go fair, combined with the movements of the bat take this one to another level. We love it.