Marine Staff Sergeant Christopher Hill, an Iraq War veteran with severe post-traumatic stress disorder, has a new lease on life thanks to Jake Peavy and Barry Zito's Strikeout for Troops program. Zito introduced Peavy to a reluctant Hill at one of the foundation's events where, as Hill recalled, "As soon as [fellow Alabama native Peavy] spoke, I thought, 'That sounds like me.' He started talking about home, and I thought, 'This guy isn't stuffy at all.' The next thing I know, I broke out of my zone. I was talking and laughing. Jake's a funny guy. Before I left, he shook my hand and said, 'If there's anything at all you ever need, you contact me.' I never expected that. A lot of what I do now was because someone like Jake gave me a few minutes of his time."
08/25/2011 5:20 PM ET
Big Leaguers Notebook: Aug. 25
Peavy aids war veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder
"It hits home," said Peavy, who continues to champion Strikeouts for Troops and recently played video games with deployed soldiers. "I can't imagine what these families go through ... You can't imagine how traumatized some of these kids are -- and they're kids, some of them 18, 19 years old, who just stepped on a bomb in Iraq and now his whole world, his whole life is changed. For him not to have his mother by his side because she can't afford to be there, to play a small part in that means the world to me. When a mother hugs you and thanks you for allowing her to be with her son who just had his legs amputated, I get chills thinking about it." (Chicago Sun-Times)
Rangers teammates Mitch Moreland, Matt Harrison and Mark Lowe traded bunt signs for air traffic control signals when they spent a day making boarding announcements, scanning tickets and surprising Dallas travelers as honorary staff members of Southwest Airlines.
"I certainly didn't feel like a natural because public speaking isn't really my thing, but it was fun," said Harrison. "It's cool to see the behind the scenes of how an airline works." (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Rays outfielder and diabetic Sam Fuld offered up a unique Twitter contest, promising two tickets to the first fan to correctly predict his pregame blood sugar level.
"I like to be in low-mid 100s for the game," tweeted Fuld. "Texas heat, lots of heavy steak in Texas...things to consider." The #guessthebs winner... 174. (Twitter: 1 | 2 | 3)
Check out the science behind the Brewers' 4-6-3-2 triple play. (YouTube)
Batting practice might look chaotic to the average fan, but pregame exercises and rituals are part of a carefully orchestrated routine that help Major Leaguers play at their best.
As Michael Cuddyer explains, "The day for a baseball player is much longer than the average fan knows, and there is actually an order to what looks like chaos." From the time the Twins veteran arrives at the park at 2 p.m. to the time the last hitting group is done taking swings in the cage, "everything is worked out down to the minute." Read more about the method to the madness on Cuddyer's blog. (Fox Sports North).
Foul catch showdown: Mike Stanton's flip (MLB.com) versus Robert Andino's barehanded snag (MLB.com). Who ya got?
Did you know? Players in the Major Leagues represent 14 different foreign countries, but South Korean outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is the only player to represent an entire country by himself. (USA Today)
Tweet of the Day: "Hey guys, it's my birthday! Can I get a RT?" -- Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins), who turns 24 on Thursday.
Quote of the Day: "I can't imagine hitting 600 home runs. It's very, very difficult to be a home run hitter and be consistent. In order to hit 600, I mean, Jim has played for 25, 30 years (laughing). You have to be consistent for that entire time in order to get to 600. It's a tremendous feat. I couldn't be more proud of him." -- Derek Jeter on the magnitude of Jim Thome hitting his 600th home run this season. Jeter and Thome sat down together during the recent Yankees-Twins series to talk about their milestone achievements, mutual respect and being ambassadors for the game of baseball. (Fox Sports North)