You might not know the name Masahiro Tanaka right now, but that's about to change. According to MLB Network reporter Ken Rosenthal, the 25-year-old pitcher from Japan has just accepted a big-time deal with the New York Yankees.
The Yankees haven't officially announced anything yet, but word is that the team signed Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract. It also includes an opt-out clause that will allow Tanaka to become a free agent after four seasons. He had been wooed by numerous teams this offseason, including the Angels, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and White Sox.
A year ago, baseball writers elected no new members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But today was a different story. The Baseball Writers Association of America voted in three new Hall of Famers: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine.
"This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out because you can only dream so big, as this is as big as it gets for me," Thomas said.
Thomas earned his spot in Cooperstown by picking up 478, or 83.7 percent, of the votes cast, while Glavine received 525 votes. But Maddux was as close to a unanimous pick as baseball has seen in years — he received 555, or 97.2 percent, of the votes.
In order to be enshrined in the Hall, a player must receive at least 75 percent of the votes cast. Writers can vote for up to 10 players on their ballot. Craig Biggio just missed the cut with 74.8 percent of the vote. Maddux, Thomas, and Glavine will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27. They'll go in with managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre.
Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas are three of the greats of the modern era of baseball. Here's a closer look at their Hall of Fame careers:
So, by now you know that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston had a huge game last night, leading the Seminoles to the BCS national championship. Winston has emerged as a big-time college QB, not only winning a national title but the Heisman Trophy this season, too. But what tends to get lost in Winston's story is that he's also a top baseball talent. Like Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Winston is a two-sport threat, able to get it done on the baseball diamond as well as the gridiron.
Need proof? Look no further than the videos the MLB Fan Cave dug out of their archives today, especially this one where Winston guns down a runner at the plate — from halfway into right field:
Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado won the 2013 Rawlings Platinum Glove award in November. And with their victory came a win for sabermetricians, too. For the first time, the sabermetric SDI (SABR Defensive Index) was factored into who won the award (along with votes from baseball fans).
"This year's Rawlings Platinum Glove winners were both the statistical leaders in each league — based on our new SABR Defensive Index,” SABR President Vince Gennaro told me. “It's great to see their outstanding defensive seasons rewarded with this prestigious award.”
There were plenty of great defensive players in baseball this season that could have won the Platinum Glove. So what set Simmons and Machado apart? Let's go to the videotape!
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia is known for delivering fastballs, changeups, and sliders to strike out batters. But during this holiday season, Sabathia is spreading cheer and handing out gifts to the children of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Columbus Clubhouse.
If you've ever thought about running outside in the winter to shag some flies or take some batting practice, check out this incredible photo of Progressive Field in Cleveland. The home of the Indians is blanketed in snow after a storm rolled through the area last week. The Browns had a game to play, so the crew at FirstEnergy Stadium had to work nonstop to make sure everything was ready for fans and the game. But at Progressive Field, there isn't a game scheduled for months — which means we get to see the ballpark transformed into a winter wonderland. And fortunately, Cleveland Aerial Media was there to capture it in all it's beauty. (They have a few more shots of Progressive Field up on their Twitter page.)
Photo: Aerial Cleveland
In the November issue of Sports Illustrated Kids, there’s an illustration that imagines current sports legends such as Stephen Curry, Miguel Cabrera, the Manning brothers, and Brittney Griner sitting down at a Thanksgiving meal. Now imagine Yogi Berra calling together a dinner between Yankees legends, past and present, such as Derek Jeter, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard, and Lou Gehrig. That would be pretty cool! And that’s exactly what happens in Eric Simpson’s play Bronx Bombers.