Mark Townsend

  • Four impact players who could still be traded in August

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 14 hrs ago

    The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, which means the bulk of the trading activity is behind us and the majority of marquee names available have already been moved. But that doesn't mean trading season is over. Far from it, in fact.

    Remember that blockbuster nine-player trade from 2012 that saw the Los Angeles Dodgers acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto from the Boston Red Sox. That happened on Aug. 25, making it perhaps the most notable post July 31 trade in recent memory.

    Will there be a post deadline deal this season that tops it? It's enitrely possible. In fact, we'll run through some players who might be good candidates to be moved. In order to happeh though, it would require any player on the 40-man roster that's involved to pass through revocable waivers.  

    The process itself sounds complicated, but it's pretty basic in its steps.

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  • Growling Twins wish mascot T.C. Bear a happy 'National Bear Day'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 hrs ago

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    With the non-waiver trade deadline having passed on Friday, it's time for baseball fans, executives, and especially the players, to sit back, catch their breath, and, if need be, let out a few growls of joy or discontent this weekend.

    You know, kind of like many Minnesota Twins players and manager Paul Molitor in that video you see above.

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    OK, so that obviously wasn't in response to Minnesota adding veteran reliever Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays. It was done in honor of the team's long time mascot T.C. Bear on National Bear Day.

    Happy National Bear Day, @TC_00!

    See, we weren't kidding.

    Regardless of the hows and why, we have grown men growling, roaring and basically acting the part of a bear for the entertainment of millions. Does the reason why even matter?

    Well done, Twins. And a happy belated National Bear Day to all.

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  • Cole Hamels thanks Philadelphia with full-page ad

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 18 hrs ago

    Parting is such sweet sorrow, even when we're fully prepared for the new road ahead.

    On Saturday, Cole Hamels officially started his new journey with the Texas Rangers exactly one week to the day after his historic final appearance with the Philadelphia Phillies. On that day, Hamels went out on the highest of highs, pitching the 13th no-hitter in franchise history. An accomplishment Hamels said ranked second only to winning a World Series championship in Philadelphia. 

    As they always say though, when one door closes, another door opens. In his Rangers debut, Hamels was not so sharp, allowing five runs over seven-plus in a 9-7 loss to San Francisco. However, if Hamels is to make history and win a championship again, it will likely come in a Texas Rangers uniform.

    That's his future. But before he gets too comfortable, Hamels and his wife Heidi wanted to bid the city of Philadelphia a proper farewell and thank Phillies fans for their support with this special full-page ad in Sunday's morning Philadelphia Inquirer.

    The message reads:

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  • Clayton Kershaw extends scoreless streak to 37 innings in Dodgers win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    It seems we've been down this road before.

    As a matter of fact, it was just last Sunday that Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke had his 45 2/3 inning scoreless streak snapped two starts short of equaling or surpassing Orel Hershiser's MLB record. Now it's the big lefty's turn. Reigning NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw is on a streak of his own that is now approaching that same historical mark.

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    The Dodgers ace tossed eight scoreless innings, limiting the Angels to two hits and a walk in the 3-1 victory on Saturday. That extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak up to 37, which means he could surpass Greinke's streak next Friday in Pittsburgh. Greinke's streak, by the way, ranks sixth all-time. 

    Advantage, Kershaw. Advantage, Dodgers. 

  • Wade Davis allows first homer since 2013, a streak covering 125 2/3 innings

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    We do our best to remain unbiased around the Big League Stew offices, but if you'd don't mind us saying we would not be opposed to a Royals-Blue Jays postseason series this October.

    The defending American League champions from Kansas City and quickly emerging powerhouses from Toronto are currently battling in a four-game weekend series that has been highly entertaining. 

    Coming off their aggressive push at the trade deadline, the Blue Jays took rounds one and two in exciting fashion on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the resilient Royals battled back to win 7-6 in one of the most thrilling back-and-forth games played all season.

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    In fact, the longest streak now belongs to Tigers reliever Blaine Hardy, who is currently sitting on 77 innings. We'll have to check in with him again next June. 

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  • Report: Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox president and CEO

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Boston Red Sox are about to experience a major shakeup. 

    According to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, team preisdent and CEO Larry Lucchino will officially relinquish his posts later this year when his contract expires.   

    Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald adds that the Red Sox have been exploring a succession plan for Lucchino for some time. With his contract running out, it was decided that now's the time to put that plan into action and take away Lucchino's everyday responsibilities.

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    E xecutive vice president and COO Sam Kennedy will take over for Lucchino, which was another key factor according to the Herald report. The Red Sox wanted to promote Kennedy now, rather than risk losing him down the road. 

    Here's what Kennedy had to say about his promotion. 

  • Matt Williams expresses frustration after Bryce Harper's third ejection

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper plays baseball with a passion that constantly drives him to be the best player on the field. But there's also a growing concern that Harper's passion too often manifests itself into rage, which has proven detrimental to the Washington Nationals cause. 

    The latest example came during the 11th inning of Washington's 2-1 loss to the New York Mets on Friday night.  With the score then tied at 1, Harper was called out on strikes against New York reliever  Hansel Robles . After the out was registered, Harper immediately confronted home-plate umpire Jerry Meals, giving him an earful and briefly getting in his face.

    And just that quickly, Ha rper was ejected for the third time this season for  arguing balls and strikes .

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    Granted, Harper seemed to have a legitimate beef about Meals' called third strike. It's also believed he wasn't thrilled with an earlier pitch in the at-bat.

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  • C.J. Wilson likely done for season with elbow impingement, surgery required

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Los Angeles Angels may be without left-hander C.J. Wilson for the rest of the 2015 season.

    On Saturday, the ball club announced that Wilson is dealing with a left elbow impingement, which is "secondary to arthritis." The 34-year-old veteran later added that he’ll require surgery to clean out a bone spur, which would put the remainder of his season in serious doubt. 

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    C.J. Wilson: left elbow impingement - "secondary to arthritis," according to #Angels. No timetable for return from DL.

    CJ Wilson: MRI earlier this season showed bone spurs. He says he'll need surgery.

    After having perhaps his worst season in the big leagues in 2014, Wilson had bounced back nicely this season. Over 21 starts, he's posted a 3.89 ERA and 110/46 K/BB and has seemingly done a much better job keeping the Angels in games into the later innings.

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  • Kendrys Morales avoids tag, scores run with incredible slide

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Kansas City Royals designated hitter K endrys Morales  is rarely among the most athletic players on the field, hence the reason he's paid almost exclusively to hit. 

    However, during Friday night's game in Toronto, he managed to shock everyone watching by pulling off one of the most ridiculous slides we've seen all season.  

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    It happened in the first inning with Kansas City already on the board and threatening for more. With runners on second and third and two outs, newly-acquired Ben Zobrist delivered a clean single to right field off Toronto starter Drew Hutchinson. Lead runner Eric Hosmer scored easily from third, but a play was clearly developing with Morales coming around third and Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista charging. 

    Let us admire from above.

    Kendrys Morales. Stop it.

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  • White Sox legend Billy Pierce dies at 88

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star pitcher who spent the prime of his career with the Chicago White Sox, died Friday morning at the age of 88 after a battle with gallbladder cancer. 

    Pierce spent 18 season in the majors, debuting with the Detroit Tigers on June 1, 1945. He appeared in five games for Detroit that season and 22 games in 1948 before being dealt to the White Sox during the offseason. That's when Pierce's career would begin to flourish.

    In 13 seasons with Chicago, Pierce made at least 32 starts and posted an ERA under 4.00 every year. During that stretch, Pierce was named starting pitcher for the American League All-Star team three times, including 1955 when he posted a career-best 1.97 ERA and league best 200 ERA+. He also appeared in one World Series for Chicago while accumulating 186 of his 211 career victories.

    Pierce's uniform No. 19 was retired by the White Sox in 1987. The team has also honored him with a statue on the outfield concourse at U.S. Cellular Field.

    Billy Pierce was simply one of the best to ever don a White Sox uniform, and perhaps one of the most underrated on a national scale. He will definitely be missed.