Mark Townsend

  • Jed Lowrie-Brett Lawrie double play combo not likely in Oakland

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    After the Oakland A's reacquired veteran infielder Jed Lowrie in a trade with the Houston Astros on Wednesday, our thoughts immediately turned to the possibility of a Lowrie-Lawrie tongue-twister double play combination with Brett Lawrie also on the A's roster.

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    Even the A's seemed to be preparing fans for the possibility with this tweet immediately following the trade.

    Lowrie. Lawrie. Lowrie. Lawrie. A pronunciation guide.

    [Hot Stove: Byung-Ho Park traveling to U.S., deal expected with Twins]

    Headline writers everywhere consider that a missed opportunity as well. 

  • Report: Byung-Ho Park traveling to U.S., deal expected with Twins

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    In a sign that Korean slugger Byung-Ho Park is nearing a deal with the Minnesota Twins, reports say the two-time Korea Baseball Organization MVP is headed to the United States thiis weekend.

    Citing a report by a South Korean news agency, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press says that Park will travel to the U.S. on Sunday, making a quick stop in Chicago to meet with Alan Nero, his agent. Park will then travel to Minnesota to meet with Twins brass and take a physical, which is another sign negotiations are progressing.

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    Here's more from Berardino:

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  • Mike Hessman, the minor-league home run king, has retired

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    Mike Hessman, the minor league career home run leader in the United States and Canada, announced his retirement after spending 20 seasons in professional baseball.  

    Hessman, who will turn 38 in March, hit minor league home run No. 433 on Aug. 3 against former major-league pitcher Dustin McGowan to surpass Buzz Arlett on the all-time list. That would prove to be the final home run of Hessman's professional career. He also hit 14 homers over parts of five MLB seasons, and added another seven during two stints in Japan, giving him 454 overall.

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    With the Tigers season lost this year, many fans clamored for Hessman to be recalled so he could go out on top. That call never came, but Hessman does go on a high-note having established the minor league record. 

  • Report: Marlins fired broadcaster Tommy Hutton for being 'too negative'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    Just when you thought the Miami Marlins had exhausted every avenue possible to make themselves look like an out-of-touch, poorly run organization, another story like this one surfaces.

    On Nov. 23, the Marlins and broadcaster partner Fox mutually agreed not to renew the contract of broadcaster Tommy Hutton, who had been in the team's television booth for 19 seasons. That decision was met with confusion around baseball, given that Hutton had been one of the team's very few constants over the past two decades. Hutton didn't understand it either. All he was told was that the team and company had jointly decided to go a different direction.

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    He said a Marlins vice president called him after the game and said that owner Jeffrey Loria prefer he not mention the ballpark’s dimensions.

  • Miami PD considers Yasiel Puig case closed, Dodgers decline to comment

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    New details on Yasiel Puig's reported fight at a martini bar in Miami have emergedcourtesy of the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez.

    After speaking to Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department, Hernandez has learned that though Puig was clearly involved in an altercation on Wednesday night, what was reported to the Miami PD paints a far less troubling scene.

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    In a series of tweets with direct quotes from Moss, TMZ's claim that Puig's "scuffle" stemmed from him shoving his sister was refuted. Moss also stated the Miami PD considers the case closed after Puig and the bouncer who confronted Puig declined to press charges.

  • Photos hint at new, brighter color scheme for Padres in 2016

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    After the unveiling of the 2016 All-Star game logohinted at a potential change in the San Diego Padres color scheme, new photos have seemingly confirmed at least a temporary change for the upcoming season. 

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    According to Tom Arzaga, a Lids employee in the San Diego area and a self-proclaimed Padres hat collector, new hats are now in stock that match the brightened color scheme included in the logo. 

    Here's a picture in natural sun, finally.

    As far as experience tells me, this is an Authentic On-Field. Lacks the full brim sticker, so take that as you will.

  • Blue Jays add another starter, sign J.A. Happ to three-year deal

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Toronto Blue Jays continued compiling depth in their starting rotation Friday, signing veteran left-hander J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million. 

    The team announced the deal early Friday evening, its third notable move to its starting rotation this winter. Toronto also re-signed right-hander Marco Estrada to a two-year, $26.5 million deal and acquired right-hander Jesse Chavez in a trade with the Oakland A's on Nov. 20. 

    The Blue Jays have been adding depth with the expectation that David Price will leave in free agency this winter. Price has shown interest in re-signing, and fans are definitely clamoring for his return, but the Jays seemed to realize quickly that he would be priced out of contention. Hence, the move to build depth with cheaper options. 

    For what it's worth, Fox Sports' Jon Morosi says this signing all but officially ends the possibility of Price returning. 

    David Price won't return to Toronto. #BlueJays announce their longest-term rotation investment of winter: J.A. Happ, three years, $36M.

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  • How to survive Thanksgiving as a baseball fan: Volume 2

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It's that time of year again: Thanksgiving!

    The meaning of Thanksgiving is self-explanatory. It's a day to celebrate all that we're thankful for in life, with the added perks of gathering with friends and family to share laughs, eat turkey sandwiches and watch wall-to-wall football coverage.

    All of that sounds perfect, unless of course you're a baseball fan craving nachos, hot dogs, peanuts and actual baseball providing an escape. Sorry, folks, that's not how it works. Thanksgiving will do little to satisfy those cravings. Instead, you'll be stuck with Joe Buck and Phil Simms as background noise, and you'll be reminded how far removed we are from the World Series, and how far we still are from spring training.

    The reality is, dedicated fans of our national pastime are firmly entrenched in no man's land, and there's still no light at the end of the tunnel. It's all about getting through another day, and in this case there's no escape from football's powerful clutches. That is, unless you follow our helpful suggestions to create that escape while fulfilling all of the expected obligations.

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  • Hank the Ballpark Pup to make stage debut in 'A Christmas Carol'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It's been awhile since we've heard from Hank the Ballpark Pup, but it turns out there's a good reason. The Milwaukee Brewers canine mascot, who stole the hearts of baseball fans when he trotted on to the scene during spring training in 2014, is preparing to steal hearts again on the theater stage.

    According to Cait Moyer, author of the Brewers' blog Cait Covers The Bases, Hank will make his acting debut at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater on Dec. 9, during a production of the Charles Dickens’ classic 'A Christmas Carol.' 

    Everyone from @MayorOfMKE to @Brewers's Hank "Ballpark Pup" will join us onstage #ACC40th.

    Holiday pawtographs for all!  

  • Ken Johnson dies at 82, was only pitcher to throw nine-inning no-hitter and lose

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Ken Johnson, the pitcher behind one of baseball's most notable anomolies, has died at age 82.

    Johnson's son, Kenneth Jr., confirmed the news to the New York Times on Wednesday, stating his father had battled Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in his later years and ultimately died from a kidney infection on Nov. 21.

    Johnson leaves behind a notable legacy in baseball, though not necessarily for the totality of his career. Johnson spent parts of 13 seasons (1958-70) in the big leagues, suiting up for seven different teams (Athletics, Reds, Astros, Braves, Yankees, Cubs and Expos) while posting a respectable 3.46 ERA over 1,737.1 innings.

    It's a career worthy of a cap tip, but it's his remarkable performance on April 23, 1964 that will be most remembered in baseball lore.

    While pitching for the Houston Colts .45's, Johnson allowed no hits to the Cincinnati Reds, yet still took the loss in the game. That marks the only time in MLB history that a pitcher lost despite throwing a nine-inning no-hitter.

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