Mark Townsend

  • Cole Hamels thanks Philadelphia with full-page ad

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 42 mins 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 11 hrs 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 13 hrs 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 16 hrs 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 19 hrs 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 22 hrs 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. http://t.co/T9BjLnuKGi pic.twitter.com/fESjnzqflA

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  • White Sox legend Billy Pierce dies at 88

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day 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. 

  • Mark Teixeira homers from both sides, makes history in Yankees 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 Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira are taking turns being the New York Yankees offensive leader. That's pretty impressive considering Yankees fans didn't know what to expect from either, with A-Rod coming off his suspension and hip surgery and Mark Teixeira battling back from wrist problems.

    On Friday, it was definitely Teixeira's turn to do the damage. New York's first baseman muscled up to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in their 13-6 victory against the Chicago White Sox.

    Batting right-handed against White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, Teixeira launched a second-inning grand slam that broke the game wide open early. Two innings later, Teixeira stepped up left-handed against Matt Albers and connected for a two-run blast.

    In doing so, Teixeira has now homered from both sides 14 times, which sets a new MLB record.

    Teixeira has now homered from both sides of the plate 14 times, a MLB record. He was tied with Nick Swisher.

    Whew. 

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  • Wilmer Flores caps emotional week with walk-off homer against Nationals

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    You couldn't write a more dramatic script if you spent years trying.

    Two days after Wilmer Flores fought back tears on the field, thinking he was about to be traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in a blockbuster Carlos Gomez trade, the New York Mets shortstop brought Citi Field to its feet with a 12th-inning walk-off home run against the Washington Nationals. 

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    Talk about a roller coaster of emotions. 

    It was simply among the most heart-wrenching things we've seen play out on the field. Knowing how he was feeling, and knowing his future was likely to change at any moment. We almost wondered why he was being put through that stress so openly, but as we later learned, the trade itself was never meant to be completed.  

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