Big League Stew
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew42 mins ago
Michael Pineda is the 2014 poster boy for pitchers who put a little something extra on the ball — and by that we mean a little something illegal. Junk ballers have been around as long as the game has, but baseball's unwritten code permits pitchers using things like pine tar and sunscreen to get a better grip, even though it's a clear and direct rule violation.
Ignore the mixed message in that, and just know that most players and managers look the other way, so as long as pitcher isn't too egregious. That was Pineda's downfall, slathering pine tar all over his neck for everyone to see.
- David Brown at Big League Stew1 hr ago
The ballpark marriage proposal has been done and done again, but one that happened at Fenway Park in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday night included a surreal twist.
Without apparently notifying the Boston Red Sox, without any acknowledgement by either TV broadcast and while a ballgame continued without seeming to notice what was going on in the front row behind home plate, a man dropped to one knee and proposed to his girlfriend during Shane Victorino's final at-bat.
A few members of the crowd in the rows behind the couple hooted and hollered, as the man offered and the woman accepted, but neither the hometown NESN or visiting YES TV crews mentioned what had to be obvious to anybody who was paying attention at home. The Busted Coverage blog, for example.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew2 hrs ago
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YANKEES TROUNCE RED SOX: On a day where they lost Michael Pineda to a 10-game suspension, then lost Ivan Nova to Tommy John surgery, the New York Yankees at least got one big win. They pummeled the rival Boston Red Sox 14-5 behind a strong outing from C.C. Sabathia and a four-RBI game from Yangervis Solarte.
Sabathia pitched six innings and struck out eight, while a couple familiar Yankee offensive heroes showed up — Mark Teixeira homered and Derek Jeter had a two-run single. Jacoby Ellsbury, the former Red Sox outfielder, had three hits and three RBIs too.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew9 hrs ago
Minor League Baseball teams continue to dig deeper intothe theme jersey craze, and on Thursday there were three unveilings of note — a "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" jersey, a Darth Maul jersey offering a new take on "Star Wars" nights and a bloody zombie apocalypse jersey.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew10 hrs ago
It's not just those glasses that make Joe Maddon the coolest manager in MLB. The Tampa Rays skipper also has himself a great sense of humor, as illustrated by his commentary on the Michael Pineda/pine tar controversy.
This is a touchy subject for a couple reasons: The usage of pine tar and other foreign substances by pitchers is far more common in MLB than suspensions for it suggest. And, the Rays play in the same division as the New York Yankees, so it might be a bit uncouth to comment on another team's business. But Maddon's take? It's pretty great.
I'm in favor of legalizing pine tar, but it's usage may have to begin with the Rockies and Mariners.
A pot reference, eh? Not only is it timely, but there's actually some truth in comparing baseball's battle against pine tar with America's ongoing debate about marijuana legalization.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
You know that mammoth cake version of Wrigley Field the Chicago Cubs had made for the stadium's 100th birthday party? Well, it'ssitting in the trash somewhere right now and the Cubs aren't happy about it.
A Reddit user named ChewysDingleberrys spied the cake waiting to be disposed of after Wednesday's celebratory events and posted pics online of the battered, uneaten cake, prompting the Cubs to issue a statement of disappointment.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew13 hrs ago
No surprise here: New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda has been suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball for "possessing a foreign substance on his person," which is the proper way of saying he slathered pine tar all over his neck and figured nobody would notice.
Pineda was ejected from Wednesday's game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox after home-plate umpire Gerry Davis inspected Pineda's neck at the urging of Red Sox manager John Farrell.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew15 hrs ago
Nick Young, the Los Angeles Lakers' sometimes-good, sometimes-hilarious shooting guard, threw out the first pitch before Wednesday night's Los Angeles Dodgers game. And much like the Lakers' season, it didn't go too well.
Young — nicknamed Swaggy P — seemed to think he was heaving up a half-court shot, not throwing a baseball 60 feet. He launched the ball high above the catcher, so high the catcher didn't even bother to try to grab it. Not Young's first air ball, and probably not his last.
The pitch was bad. It was for-the-ages bad. Especially considering he's a professional athlete and not a pop star or an actor, the types of people who usually bungle these things. Young didn't seem particularly embarrassed, though.
How y'all like my pitch lol
He warmed up and got pointers before the game. It looked like he could handle it.
- Mike Oz at Big League Stew16 hrs ago
Dude, no. No, no, no, no.
We can debate very many things in baseball — whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame, if WAR is a worthwhile stat, whether pine tar should be against the rules for pitchers — but here is one thing that we all should agree on: If a player at a baseball game tosses a ball to a kid, no adult should take it.
Never. Ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever.
Obviously the adult fan above at Thursday's Boston Red Sox-New York Yankees game at Fenway Park didn't get that memo. Because when Xander Bogaerts of the Red Sox tossed a ball to a young kid in the third inning, the "grown up" swooped in and snatched it. Booooooo!
- Mark Townsend at Big League Stew1 day ago
The wonderful thing about baseball is the story we expect to dominate headlines entering a game or a series can often be overshadowed by something unexpected or historic. You just never know which direction it will take, which keeps things unpredictable and gives us endless topics to discuss.
Such was the case during the anticipated Los Angeles Angels-Washington Nationals series this week featuring the first-ever regular season battle between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. We expected the spotlight to be trained on the two young phenoms throughout, but it was 41-year-old Raul Ibanez who stole the show on Monday with a three-run double in the eighth. Then on Tuesday, a red hot Albert Pujols connected for career home runs No. 499 and 500, which had many fans focusing on his milestone and thinking back to his explosive early days as a 21-year-old rookie in 2001.