Mark Townsend

  • Jerry Dior, designer of MLB logo, dies at 82

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Jerry Dior, the designer of Major League Baseball's enduring and iconic logo, has died at the age of 82. His wife Lita confirmed the news on Friday. revealing that Dior died on May 10 following a battle with cancer.

    Born in Brooklyn, Dior designed the “silhouetted batter” logo in 1968 while working for Sandgren & Murtha, a marketing company in New York City. The logo was officially adopted by MLB in 1969 and has remained front and center for 46 years without a single tweak or reconsideration.

    The design is basic even by standards of generations gone by, but its simplicity may be its charm. After all of these years, it remains fresh and endearing to MLB fans young and old. 

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    It's also interesting to note that Dior never received any royalties and only received public credit for designing MLB's logo until 2009, some 40 years after its debut.

    The New York Times explains: 

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  • Bryce Harper may skip Home Run Derby with father nursing injury

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Those hoping to see Bryce Harper participate in the 2015 Home Run Derby at Great American Ball Park were dealt some potentially disappointing news on Sunday.

    According to Cincinnati.com's C. Trent Rosecrans, Harper's status for the event is up in the air. Not because of any baseball related concerns or injuries he's suffered, including the bruised back that forced him to miss Saturday's game, but rather the health of his father, who handled pitching duties when Harper finished second to Yoenis Cespedes in the 2013 derby.

    As the story notes, Ron Harper recently had surgery on his rotator cuff following a snowboarding accident and may not be ready to throw by July 13. If he's not available, it sounds like Bryce will skip the event all together out of loyalty and perhaps even comfort. 

    "I probably won't be able to do it this year, because he's my guy," Harper said of his father.

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  • Astros prospect Derek Fisher drives in 12 runs in Cal League debut

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    How's this for announcing one's presence in a new league?

    Houston Astros 2014 first-round draft pick Derek Fisher made his California League debut for the Lancaster Jethawks, Houston's Class-A advanced affiliate, and in a matter of five plate appearances on Saturday night established a new league record by driving in 12 runs in a single game.

    As you can probably surmise, Fisher wasted no time making an impact. Batting second in the order, he launched the first pitch he saw for a solo home run to open the scoring in Lancaster's eventual 16-3 victory.

    Then he did this in the second inning.

    Fisher has done it again...already! He slugs a grand slam to right-center, and it's now 6-0! #rockthehawk

    And this in the third.

    And just one inning later... Here comes @DeFish23's 2nd grand slam (3rd homer). An oppo shot! pic.twitter.com/QfhwioLmXy

    Three innings. Three at-bats. Three home runs and nine RBIs in his league debut.

    It almost doesn't sound possible or realistic, but it happened. And he obviously wasn't done there.

  • Andrew McCutchen gives batting gloves to young Pirates fans in San Diego

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    With one MVP, four All-Star selections and a Gold Glove award already under his belt, there's nothing really left for Andrew McCutchen to win aside from the coveted World Series trophy.

    That's the big one, of course, and the one McCutchen ultimately hopes to earn, but we'd like to take up some more space on McCutchen's mantle first by creating and immediately handing him a new award for being the coolest guy in MLB.

    We could even name it after McCutchen, because he's seriously the coolest guy in MLB.

    That was proven once again on Saturday night following Pittsburgh's 5-2 win in San Diego. In the stands behind McCutchen were two young Pirates fans and their father, and it was clear their intentions were McCutchen's attention, if only for a second to get a nod or wave.

    What they ended up getting was far more than that.

    After Mark Melancon struck out Friday's walkoff hero Derek Norris to end the game, McCutchen's first move wasn't to celebrate with his teammates. He jogged over to those two young fans in left field and handed them his batting gloves.

    Well played, Andrew McCutchen. Thank you again for your kindness.

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  • Khris Davis suffers knee injury striking out, will require surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The Milwaukee Brewers dreadful start to the 2015 season has been dreadful in every way imaginable. Somehow, the news only continues to get worse.

    In Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, left fielder Khris Davis was the 500th career strikeout victim of right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, which on its own was somewhat interesting and certainly notable for Hellickson on a personal level.

    However, making matters much, much worse for Davis and the Brewers, he actually injured his knee swinging awkwardly at the final pitch and suffered a torn meniscus that will require surgery and sideline him for an indefinite period.

    Just when you think it can't get worse, Khris Davis suffers knee injury striking out and needs surgery.

    On Saturday we wrote about Indiana University turning a strikeout into a triple play. Unfortunately for Davis, he turned a strikeout into what's expected to be an extended stay on the disabled list.

    The worst indeed, which again describes the Brewers unbearable 16-34 record through 50 games.

    Well, maybe.

  • Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams had surgery for completely torn quad

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The St. Louis Cardinals knew they would be without first baseman Matt Adams for an extended period after he pulled up with a quad injury during Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    An MRI confirmed as much, revealing that Adams had suffered at least a partial tear of his quad, which they knew would require surgery and sideline him up to four months.

    On Friday, team orthopedist Dr. David King performed the surgery on Adams and discovered he had suffered a complete tear, which cements the recovery time at no less than four months and almost certainly ends his season.

    "It's really premature to understand what that that would look like, but our hope is that he has a full and complete recovery," general manager John Mozeliak said of Adams possibly returning before the end of the season. "Obviously, we expect Spring Training to be normal. In terms of whether we'd be able to have him available for late September or if we were to be playing in October, time would tell."

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  • Angels launch five homers off Shane Greene, win third straight against Tigers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days 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.

    If it wasn't official before, it's official now: The bloom is off the Shane Greene rose that had unexpectedly emerged for the Detroit Tigers during the early part of April.

    After allowing just one earned run in his first three starts, Greene has struggled with consistency, alternating good stretches with downright ugly stretches in the weeks since. Saturday's outing against the Los Angeles Angels would fall under the latter, as Greene's season hit rock bottom with five quick thuds, as in five home runs. 

    That's five home runs in less than two innings we should add, which positioned Greene in uncharted territory.

    Shane Greene is only MLB pitcher in last 100 yrs to give up 5 HR in fewer than 2 IP.

    The barrage started in the first inning with solo homers from Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun. In the second inning, Matt Joyce and Carlos Perez went back-to-back, giving the Angels four solo home runs in their first seven batters. 

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  • Minute Maid Park concourse was temporarily flooded on Saturday

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The city of Houston and much of southeast Texas has been inundated with severe weather and heavy rains this week, leading to flooding conditions and the entire area being declared a disaster by President Obama.

    Unfortunately, they didn't get any relief on Saturday as a new line of powerful thunderstorms hit the area, leading to new concerns about flooding and the well being of local residents. The new line actually moved through as the Astros were playing host to the Chicago White Sox, and the torrential rains even led to temporary flooding in the ballpark's concourse..

    Of course, Minute Maid Park is equipped with a retractable roof, so the action on the field was not impacted. However, fans were advised to remain clear of the left field concourse as the water rose to about four inches.

      The water stood for about 5 or 6 minutes, according to the Astros, so it wasn't a major issue. But it was a stunning visual nonetheless.  

    Flooding inside Minute Maid Park during @astros-@whitesox game pic.twitter.com/hBWRQPcCUS

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  • Cubs players sport Blackhawks jerseys to show support

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Many sports fans in Chicago were facing a dilemma on Saturday with the Chicago Cubs scheduled to face the Kansas City Royals about an hour before their Chicago Blackhawks take the ice against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.

    Mother Nature solved that, sending a mix of rain, wind, cold and all around miserable weather to Chicago, resulting in the Cubs game being postponed and rescheduled for September.

    That's good news for the fans, who can now give their full attention to the Blackhawks. Apparently, it's also good news for the Cubs, who despite the rain gathered on the field to take this team photo of every player and coach sporting a Blackhawks jersey and showing city unity.

    #GoHawksGo pic.twitter.com/oJxCbRsGKO

    That looks like a group that's ready to watch hockey. Baseball can wait until Sunday.

    Game off but #Cubs team pic in #Blackhawks sweaters on pic.twitter.com/pq2iPK4YNq

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  • Ross Ohlendorf defeated Wade Miley in a cow-milking contest

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    It's a tradition unlike any other at Globe Life Park.

    On Friday night, the Texas Rangers held their annual "Farm and Ranch Day" as they prepared for their second game against the Boston Red Sox, and as is always the case, the night's proceedings included a pregame cow-milking contest between players from the respective teams.

    This season, the Rangers were represented by Lockhart, Texas native Ross Ohlendorf, who actually grew up on a Longhorn ranch. Though he entered with limited cow-milking skills, he still fit the bill better than anyone else on the roster.

    “There is definitely a difference,” Ohlendorf said. “But I’m excited to get down in there. I think I milked a cow once when I was younger. I watched a YouTube video last night to prepare.”

    Proving once again that Youtube is the best educational tool we have left. Well, aside from Big League Stew that is.

    [Listen up! We've got Rays star Evan Longoria on this week's StewPod]

    Here are other sights from the event.

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