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Jim Harbaugh to Coach 1st Base for Detroit Tigers in Spring Training Game

Passionate coaching is valuable in any sport.

It’s so valuable, in fact, that for the right man, teams will recruit across league lines.

In the eyes of the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates, Jim Harbaugh is precisely the right man.

For one inning (or possibly more), the Michigan football leader will take on the responsibility of coaching first base for the Tigers come Wednesday afternoon.

Update from Wednesday, March 2

Here’s a look at Coach Harbaugh in action:


–End of Update–

And he’s already attracted attention from the opposition. According to the Bradenton Herald‘s Jason Dill, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle would like Harbaugh to don black and gold as well:

I told him with his passion for stirring things up, why wouldn’t he just half the game, coach the game for the Pirates. I don’t think that’ll fly, but that’s right up his alley. I’ve encouraged him to try and get out early to spend some time with our group and our team before the Tigers get onto the field.

It’s an easy transition for Harbaugh. He gleefully accepted similar responsibilities for the Oakland A’s a season ago.

The Detroit News‘ Angelique S. Chengelis reported Harbaugh even had aspirations of being a professional baseball player.  

But Michigan football fans needn’t worry about losing their spirited chief. The Wolverines will be taking the trip to Florida along with their khaki-clad coach, and spring practice will occur at IMG Academy. 

What? You didn’t think one of the fieriest men to ever wear a headset would skip out on the opportunity to double his sideline shouting time, did you?

[Detroit News, h/t For the Win]

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Baltimore Orioles Eliminate Pie-Smashing Celebrations for Safety Reasons

Super Bowl winners dump gallons of Gatorade over their coach’s head. The NBA Finals conclude with stormy champagne showers. NHL champions sip (or guzzle) from Lord Stanley’s Cup. In short, sports celebrations are inexplicably intertwined with the decidedly messy utilization of food and beverage.

One MLB team, however, will part with a similar time-honored tradition. The Baltimore Orioles put an end to their beloved victory commemoration: a postgame pie in the face.  

The announcement, which came from notable sweet-smashing instigator Adam Jones via Twitter, began with some serious foreshadowing. 

Then, of course, the news came: no more celebratory on-field dessert consumption. But why?

As it turns out, the gleeful pranking has been deemed hazardous.

Is it the sugar intake? The terrifying tin? Perhaps the velocity of the impact itself is cause for concern?

Regardless of the reason for the tomfoolery’s abandonment, fans can still expect to see some horseplay. Jones isn’t abandoning antics of all kinds. In fact, he’s already fielding alternative ideas.

If his hashtags #PantsThem and #Swirly are any indication, however, his teammates may soon be lamenting the change in protocol.

[Twitter, h/t the Big Lead]

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Yankees Emphasize Russell Wilson over Cam Newton Qualities in Media Training

All New York Yankees can check their attitudes at the door—along with any other excessive outward emotions or opinions.

Following the trend of encouraging progressively more prescribed athlete reactions, the renowned baseball organization aimed to instill within its players the makings of a proper postgame interview.

Their subjects of study? Quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

According to ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, the session went something like this: 

During the Yankees’ media training, the Super Bowl is being used to portray the right and wrong way to act. Part of a video shown to pitchers and catchers compares how Cam Newton handled his Super Bowl loss to the way Russell Wilson dealt with his defeat the previous year.

Sports fans are already well aware of the dichotomy between Wilson’s polite bow and Newton’s abrupt exit, but as many have pointed out, passion is a difficult thing to quell.

Wilson’s teammate Richard Sherman was mightily criticized for his own postgame outburst. Recently, fellow Seahawks defensive back Earl Thomas took to Twitter to criticize the NFL’s restrictions on individual expression. 

The various personalities seem to suit Seattle, but don’t expect the Yanks to be embracing the assortment of commentary. If tight-lipped is what they’re aiming for, however, perhaps Marshawn Lynch would have been the best example of all. 

[Yahoo Sports]

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AL MVP Josh Donaldson to Play Viking Warrior in History Channel Show

What do Blue Jays and Vikings have in common? Well, if you’re referring to the fowl and the historical people, nothing.

But now that AL MVP Josh Donaldson is getting grimy and suiting up in armor for the History Channel’s upcoming fourth season of Vikings, there is a connection!

According to the press release, this is what fans of both the show and the third baseman can expect:

Donaldson will play the role of “Hoskuld,” a Viking warrior of great skill, in an episode that will air later this year as part of the fourth season. Two-time All-Star Donaldson will film in Ireland this week. Donaldson is a massive fan of “Vikings” and recently tweeted a photo unveiling a striking, new Viking hairstyle inspired by the character “Ragnar.”

Given that Donaldson broadcasted that braided coif in early December, the news should come with little surprise. Still, the level of commitment required to at least semi-permanently modify the look of his locks bodes well for his forthcoming performance. 

And if that wasn’t enough to build the anticipation, peep the Season 4 trailer:

Donaldson seems nowhere to be found—which makes sense given that he has yet to begin shooting—but where there is an overcast sky and thunderclaps, there will almost certainly be downpour.

The Bringer of Rain is on the horizon.

[For the Win, h/t]

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Upset Cardinals Fan Torches Jason Heyward Jersey After He Signs with Cubs

Understatement: St. Louis Cardinals fans have not taken the news well that Jason Heyward has left for Chicago.

After the report that the outfielder signed an eight-year, $184 million deal with the Cubs, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, some fans took a page out of Cleveland’s book and opted to give J-Hey a warm, crackling farewell a la LeBron James—burning his jersey, of course.

Considering the Cardinals lost pitcher John Lackey to Chi-Town as well, it’s not surprising to see at least one fan become unhinged. Division rivalries make people do crazy things.

[h/t The Score]

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Red Sox Star David Ortiz Destroys Zombies with Baseball Bat in ‘Fallout 4’ Mod

Warning: Video contains graphic content.

David Ortiz isn’t just crushing balls over the Green Monster anymore. He’s crushing the monsters (along with other mutated people and creatures) themselves!

In a recent Fallout 4 modification posted by YouTuber Richie Branson, the Boston Red Sox’s beloved designated hitter is cast as a post-apocalyptic protagonist, taking down anything and everything in his path with a baseball bat.

Update from Saturday, Nov. 14

MLB has issued a statement, via Steve Annear of the Boston Globe, saying that the league will not allow the Ortiz character in the game.

“The use of these marks is an infringement of our rights. We plan to enforce those rights,” an MLB spokesman said in an e-mail to the Boston Globe on Thursday.

–End of Update–

Sound familiar? Although very similar, even down to the uniform, there are a few differences between this Ortiz and his real-life counterpart.

In Fallout 4, Big Papi favors a decidedly pricklier, nail-laden version of his favorite maple wood, and he bats right-handed in the game rather than lefty.

The part about him surviving a cataclysmic event and single-handedly combating the harsh nuclear environment, however, is completely accurate.

[Richie Branson, h/t SB Nation]

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Best Twitter Buzz Ahead of Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Wild Card Matchup

The Chicago Cubs will need dominating pitcher Jake Arrieta to bring out his inner bear when taking on Gerrit Cole and the Pittsburgh Pirates in Wednesday night’s NL Wild Card Game—what is sure to be a hard-fought, low-scoring affair.

The Cubs, parched after ages of championship drought, have cobbled together an impressive season despite—or perhaps thanks to—a young lineup. The Pirates, in a similar situation two seasons ago, enter as the more seasoned group. Both teams find themselves entering the postseason with one of the three best records in the majors, yet neither have spent considerable time as the MLB‘s marquee teams.

As some have pointed out, including these two squads, this season’s pennant race consists of some atypical contenders:

Unusual, particularly in this instance, does not mean unappealing. Fans and analysts alike have shown a keen interest in this one-game matchup which many believe will be an insufficient showcase of these two squads:

One fan, and likely many more, is even altering his health habits in his pursuit to see this contest:

More than any other baseball game, this one will be won or lost by the right arms of starting pitchers Arrieta and Cole:

To get a better sense of exactly the kind of gunslinging talent we’re working with, check out Fox Sports MLB’s breakdown of their performances when facing each other this season:

Arrieta is almost undeniably the single greatest reason why the championship-ailing Cubs are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. With the Cy Young Award contender leading the charge, Chicago enters this matchup with droves of momentum.

In fact, it’s a historical amount of momentum:

Perhaps it’s the reason that Arrieta is so confident heading into battle.

According to’s Carrie Muskat, the ace pitcher said that his opposition is a team he’s “comfortable with analyzing, scouting and pitching against.”

He added that the Pirates have “an extremely balanced group of guys in that order who can make a lot of things happen,” but that he feels “confident I can neutralize a lot of their power, a lot of their speed guys with different sequences.”

“I intend to have some pretty good success,” Arrieta said.

He took to Twitter to convey an even stronger message of confidence:

The Pirates are the owners of the preferred matchup statistic, however:

Despite this, Cole, by contrast, has been more reserved in his pregame predictions.

In a statement reported by the AP (h/t CBS Chicago), the Pittsburgh pitcher stated that “there’s a lot of luck involved” in these playoff contests. Of the other factors, Cole said, “there’s a lot of little details that matter. And the team that takes care of those the best comes out on top usually.”

As one fan pointed out, the key to both teams’ success will be besting these blue-chip pitchers:

In essence, then, the men braving their bruising throws at the plate may be most important. For tonight, those players will be:

While the order that they’ll be taking to the plate has changed, certain things likely won’t.

Take Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, for example. Facing Cole, Chicago will need to see that he continues to produce at this high a level:

However, according to USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, much like his teammate, Rizzo isn’t concerned:

On the flip side, the Pirates will rely on center fielder Andrew McCutchen to put some wear on Arrieta‘s arm.

Pirate’s catcher Francisco Cervelli clearly feels that he’s up to the task:

After scrapping through what will no doubt be a grueling nine innings, the winner of this contest will be rewarded with a challenging series against the division rival St. Louis Cardinals, who, according to’s Jenifer Langosch, have made their starting pitcher selection for Friday’s game:

In regard to Wednesday night’s showdown, like IGN says, there will be no personal biases. However, riding Arrieta‘s hot hand, the Cubs look mighty ferocious. And besides, everyone already knows this one has been decided for years:


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Dodgers vs. Giants Live Blog: Instant Reactions and Analysis

At a cursory glance, the final Blue Crew and Bay Bombers showdown of the 2015 season seems somewhat uninspiring. The Los Angeles Dodgers, crowned NL West division champs on Tuesday, shut down their California rivals’ flirtation with postseason possibilities in the process.

With one team celebrating and the other standing in the rain, there certainly couldn’t be any reason to tune in—or could there be?

After witnessing Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers gleefully shut them out of contention (at home, no less), it’s difficult to imagine that the San Francisco Giants want some extra salt in their wounds—that much was made clear Wednesday, when the Giants hit the presumably celebration-hungover Dodgers with a 5-0 victory.

And the Dodgers? Well, some momentum heading into the playoffs wouldn’t hurt. 

Although it seems as if L.A. won’t be making a tremendous push for home-field advantage, per’s Mark Saxon, there will at least be some underrotated players looking to make an impression with the extra field time.  

Make no mistake, however. After being abruptly stunned just a day ago, the Dodgers won’t be taking the same lackadaisical approach to this contest.

So who will it be in the interstate fight for (momentary and isolated) supremacy? Check back in at 3:45 p.m. ET to discuss and find out!

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Astros vs. M’s Live Blog: Instant Reaction and Analysis

It’s time for the Houston Astros to put their game faces on!

The 82-74 squad will attempt to lock up the AL’s second wild-card position during its three-game series with the Mariners, while Seattle only has next season to look forward to.

A team fighting for its playoff life squaring off against one already eliminated? Yawn.

Not so fast!

According to Seattle Times reporter Ryan Divish, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said he will still be putting their best men on the field, with the exception of their pitchers.

If Houston still wishes to hold on to its starry-eyed aspirations of winning the AL West, they’ll have to do more than just pray that the Texas Rangers take a tumble—they’ll have to earn it. 

Check back in at 10 p.m. ET to chat about the ‘Stros down-and-out comeback (or discuss the blow of crushing defeats the franchise has unfortunately gotten used to being dealt).

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