Players join Labor Day Tweet-a-Thon
Longoria among ballplayers participating in holiday event
Top Major Leaguers joined people who work in the entertainment and news media industries for a Labor Day weekend Tweet-a-Thon to celebrate the protections, rights and opportunities that union membership provides.
MLBPA members including Evan Longoria, Michael Cuddyer and C.J. Wilson joined with members of the country's leading entertainment unions, -- Actors' Equity, AFTRA, and Screen Actors Guild -- to tweet about the advantages of being a #unionmember, all in 140 characters or less.
Their mission is to broadcast the critical role unions play today for workers in sports and showbiz but every industry.
For more information visit www.unionmember.org. Throughout Labor Day weekend the site will display tweets from union members and supporters who use the #unionmember hashtag.
Accident no longer an issue for Maine: After nearly dying five years ago in an auto accident, Scott Maine now sports a scar that goes across his head from ear to ear. But these days, the Cubs' rookie says the accident isn't at the top of his mind.
"It's not really a big deal to me," Maine told MLB.com. "It's not like, 'Oh my God, I almost died.' I'm still here, walking and talking. Until my heart stops beating, I guess then I'll worry about it."
May advancing as catcher: Having been recalled from Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday, Lucas May is ready to meet the challenges of catching with the Royals. Originally drafted as a shortstop and later converted to an outfielder, May moved behind the plate while in the Dodgers' organization in 2007.
"This is my fourth year doing it and, for the first two or three years, it's about being able to do all the fundamentals -- blocking balls, throwing," May told MLB.com. "But last year and this year, it's been more about learning how to call the game and knowing hitters and doing homework."
Walden playing beyond his rookie years: Jordan Walden has taken on increased responsibility in the Angels' bullpen. The rookie was designated one of the team's primary setup men after just six days in the Majors.
"That was very surprising," Walden told the Los Angeles Times. "It still hasn't even sunk in that I'm here."
Hudson caps hot August with award: Tim Hudson was selected the NL Pitcher of the Month for August, when he went 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA over six starts. In his last outing in August, Hudson set a career high with 13 strikeouts.
"Well-deserved," teammate Billy Wagner told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "He's been our MVP. He's stepped up and pitched some incredible games when we needed him to and picked up our bullpen and picked up our team. It's a very good run for him, and hopefully, one that continues."
Bogusevic gets awaited promotion: September callup Brian Bogusevic is a former first-round draft choice, so making the Majors was somewhat expected. But he was drafted as a pitcher out of Tulane, not a hitter.
"It's what everybody wants to hear while they're playing in the Minor Leagues," Bogusevic told MLB.com. "I just couldn't wait to get here and start playing here."
In 2008, he made the switch to outfield. This year he hit .277 with 13 home runs, 57 RBIs and 23 steals for Round Rock.
Allen hopes to make his mark in left field: The D-backs are seeing whether prospect Brandon Allen can switch from first base to left field. He played left field three times for Triple-A Reno -- where he also batted .261 with 25 home runs and 86 RBIs -- and impressed manager Brett Butler.
"[Butler] said he was fine out there," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told The Arizona Republic. "He had no problems tracking the ball, he dives for balls. Probably the biggest thing is his arm adjusting from the infield to the outfield."
On Wednesday against San Diego, he hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning and also made two outstanding catches in the field.
Hard work pays off for Esposito: In 2007, Brian Esposito made a very brief debut in the Majors with St. Louis. The catcher had been playing in the Minors until Thursday when he joined the Astros as September call-up.
"At the end of the day, I put all the work in and to just get an opportunity like this makes you feel like all the hard work you've put into it has paid off," Esposito told MLB.com. "It's a good feeling for me. I know I worked hard and busted my butt to get myself in position to do this."
Luebke gets surprise start after promotion: Padres callup Cory Luebke found was preparing for his first start in Friday's game against Colorado in Petco Park.
"I don't think the fact that I'm starting has settled in yet," Luebke told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Luebke was 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA for Portland after going 5-1 with a 2.40 ERA at Double-A San Antonio. In his last 13 innings of work for Portland, he did not allow a run.
Braden stretches out, bounces back: Dallas Braden was pitching well against the Yankees on Thursday until he was overcome with leg cramps that knocked him from the game. Braden was forced to lie down on concrete between innings and took an IV after he left the game.
"I felt like a Labrador lying on the kitchen tile," Braden told the Braden told the Oakland Tribune of his breaks on concrete.
Peralta coming through in the clutch: Jhonny Peralta has had a strong year hitting in RBI situations.
"It's happened to me a lot," Peralta told MLB.com. "I know already the situation. With a guy in scoring position late in the game, I know how I need to approach. To me, it's natural. I try to be patient at home plate and try to look for one pitch. I try to look for contact.
"In that situation, you don't swing too hard. Try to look for contact. That's my key right there."
Tabata making smooth transition: Jose Tabata made his debut with the Pirates on June 9, and since then has enjoyed plenty of quick success in the process.
"I'm surprised," Tabata told MLB.com. "I thought, 'Wow, I'm in the Major Leagues. I don't know about that.' But I'm playing how I can play. I did it in the Minor Leagues, and now I'm doing it here."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.