Bob Melvin rips A’s after sweep by Angels

Bob MelvinBob Melvin ripped his Oakland A’s after they lost to the Angels 9-1 on Sunday, which ended a 4-game sweep by their AL West rivals.

The A’s entered Thursday’s series opener one game behind the Angels in the division and ended up five games back after Sunday.

“What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don’t play like that,” Melvin said after the game. “The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in… I can’t remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.

“The reason I’m upset is because that’s not who we are. That’s not who we’ve been for three years. And for the last … I don’t know how long, it’s mounted. It’s been frustrating. But that last three games for us is just not who we are. At all. And it’s embarrassing. They all should be embarrassed.”

The A’s were held scoreless for a streak of 29 straight innings during the series. They held a closed-door meeting after the sweep.

“I definitely think something needed to be said,” third baseman Josh Donaldson said. “This is the time of the season where you need to start playing your best. And right now, we’re playing our worst.”

Despite the 4-game sweep and a 5-game losing streak to the Angels, the series between the teams is still tied 8-8. The A’s still have a full month to make up ground on the Angels, including a 3-game series later in the month in Oakland when they might be able to flip the standings. It’s way too early to count them out or hand the Angels the division.

Cubs warmup jerseys honor Jackie Robinson West Little League team

jackie-robinson-westLast month’s Little League World Series featured the individual brilliance of Mo’ne Davis, who became the first Little League player to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The tournament also brought us the story of the Jackie Robinson West team from Chicago, the United States champions. Despite losing to South Korea in the final game, the All-Stars from Chicago made the city proud.

During a rain delay between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs, the crowd at Wrigley Field gathered around televisions to watch Jackie Robinson defeat a team from Nevada to to claim the U.S. championship.

On Monday, the Jackie Robinson West team is being honored at Wrigley. As an added bonus, the Cubs wore special warmup jerseys and hats to salute their Little League counterparts.

The Jackie Robinson West team was also honored by the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field over the weekend. Reverend Jesse Jackson hosted a breakfast for the players, their parents, and coaches. He will also be taking them to Disney World. A local funeral home paid the rent for the family of one member of the team for the next year.

To be sure, this has been an experience everyone involved with the Jackie Robinson West Little League team won’t soon forget.

Kate Upton and Justin Verlander nude photos leaked

Kate Upton Justin Verlander

Alleged nude photos of Kate Upton and boyfriend Justin Verlander were leaked online Sunday as part of a massive celebrity photo leak.

The alleged nude photos show the Detroit Tigers ace and supermodel girlfriend naked in a bathroom standing side-by-side in profile with the mirror. Upton, who has twice appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, is seen holding up a cell phone which she used to snap the pictures. Verlander’s bare bottom is visible in both photos, while Upton’s is visible in one and covered by Verlander’s hands in the other.

Upton and Verlander first met while shooting a commercial for MLB 2K12 in 2012 and began dating soon thereafter. The two refused to confirm their relationship in 2012, and it seems like they broke up at some point later in the year or in early 2013. But the two got back together and began making numerous public appearances together at the beginning of the year. Upton has also gone to watch many of Verlander’s games this season.

Neither Upton nor Verlander have addressed the nude photos. Upton did not tweet at all on Sunday, while Verlander has not tweeted since last week. Upton stated in a recent interview that she would not get naked because of the negative backlash from blogs and social media.

Numerous celebrities have been victims of the massive leak, with some confirming the authenticity of the photos and others saying they are fake.

According to BuzzFeed, the photos appear to have originated on a 4chan forum where they were posted by an anonymous user. The user claimed to have obtained the photos through an iCloud leak and was offering to sell them for bitcoins. A master list posted by the anonymous user indicated they had photos and/or videos of around 60 celebrities.

The most prominent target of the leak was Oscar Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, who had several nude photos hit the web. Her representatives confirmed the authenticity of the photos and threatened to prosecute anyone who posted or spread the photos.

Other celebrities allegedly victimized by the leak include Kirsten Dunst, Teresa Palmer, Becca Tobin, Jessica Brown Findlay, Krysten Ritter, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Brie Larson, Ali Michael, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Victoria Justice. Athletes McKayla Maroney and Hope Solo were also alleged victims of the leak.

Justice claimed the pictures of her were fake:

Winstead confirmed the authenticity of the photos while lashing out at the hacker and those who viewed her photos:

Logan Forsythe elbows Dustin Pedroia in head sliding into second base (Video)

logan-forsythe-elbowAs if the Boston Red Sox weren’t having a tough enough season already, Dustin Pedroia was forced to leave Saturday’s game early after taking a shot to the head from Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe.

Sliding into second base after tagging up on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Hanigan, Forsythe swung his right elbow, which connected with the left side of the head of Boston’s four-time All-Star.

Now, I’m not going to say that was intentional on Forsythe’s part, because that’s something only he knows. However, if you told me that doesn’t look like a natural motion I probably wouldn’t disagree with you.

Vine: Twitter/Jared_Carrabis

Jesus Montero threw ice cream sandwich at heckling Mariners scout

Jesus-Montero-MarinersAt one point, Jesus Montero was a promising prospect in the New York Yankees organization. He was later sent to the Seattle Mariners in the trade that brought Michael Pineda, yes that Michael Pineda, to New York.

Since then, it’s been one bad thing after another.

Last August, Montero was suspended 50 games for his involvement with Biogenesis. Earlier this year, the catcher/designated hitter arrived to spring training 40 pounds overweight and said all he did after playing winter ball was eat.

Montero is currently in the minor leagues, where his bat has shown signs of life that led to the expectations placed on him a few years ago. Unfortunately, a recent incident involving a member of the Mariners organization will be all anyone is talking about for a while.

As Tyler Maun of MiLB describes, Montero approached the stands with a bat after exchanging words with a Mariners scout.

Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker yelled at him to hustle off the field, according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.

According to a game offical, the cross-checker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the cross-checker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.

And the career of Jesus Montero continues to spiral out of control. As recently as 2012, Baseball America had Montero as its No. 6 prospect heading into the season. While his ability to hit helped earned that ranking, incidents like this won’t help him realize that potential in the majors.

In February, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said he had “zero expectations” for Jesus Montero. Whatever goodwill Montero may have built by hitting .286 with 16 home runs and 74 RBIs in Triple-A this season is probably gone now.

H/T Big League Stew

Greg Amsinger does it again by calling Buster Posey walk-off homer (Video)

Greg Amsinger is the closest thing to a baseball psychic we have in this world. Remember when the MLB Network analyst absolutely nailed his prediction of Mike Trout driving in Derek Jeter with a double in Jeter’s final All-Star game? Amsinger did it again with Buster Posey’s walk-off home run on Wednesday night.

“I’ve got that feeling in my bad knee, just so you know,” Amsinger said when Posey strolled to the plate with a runner on first in the ninth. “My bad knee never lets me down. … All I’m saying is we might get a, ‘IT IS OUT OF HERE.’ So let’s listen in live on MLB Tonight.”

The second Amsinger said that and they started listening in, Posey hit a towering shot down the left field line. And wouldn’t you know it, the ball cleared the wall and we heard, “IT IS OUT OF HERE!” Amsinger reacted accordingly.

Plenty of analysts throw mud at the wall in situations like that and hope that it sticks, but Amsinger seems to nail these predictions in detail. The man just might be The Baseball Whisperer.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Francisco Cervelli took a foul tip to the nuts (Video)

Not even a cup could protect Francisco Cervelli from experiencing momentous amounts of pain after he was hit in the nuts by a foul tip during Wednesday’s Yankees-Tigers game.

As soon as Cervelli went down, a Yankees trainer bolted out of the dugout to assist him. While Cervelli was trying to regain his wind, the trainer had his hand on Cervelli’s collarbone, causing the YES announcers to briefly believe that’s where the catcher was struck. After another replay, they realized he was actually hit in the worst region possible.

Francisco Cervelli nuts

Clearly everything was knocked out of him. Poor guy.

See all the other nut shots we’ve posted here at LBS over the years.