Mark Townsend

  • Binghamton Mets unveil very patriotic Independence Day jerseys

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If at first you don't succeed, try again. That's a very good mantra to live by in general, and it's a good mantra to live by in the world of business and marketing. With that said, credit the Binghamton Mets, a minor-league affiliate of the New York Mets, because they keep trying.

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    After announcing 'Netflix & Chill' Night earlier this week — and perhaps not completely understanding its ramifications — they have come back strong with perhaps the most patriotic promotion in professional sports. 

    Happy Independence Day, baseball fans.

    Your #BMets will sport patriotic jerseys on our Independence Day Weekend finale! Come see the double fireworks! pic.twitter.com/WYj20dmVjt

    But the real winner here: the jerseys.

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  • Blue Jays making long overdue switch to dirt infield this season

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    It's finally happening. The Toronto Blue Jays will have a regulation dirt infield at Rogers Centre for the first time since the facility opened in 1989, and the change will be in place in time for their 2016 home opener on April 8.

    The Blue Jays made the announcement via their official Twitter account on Wednesday. The statement noted that the installation process will begin next Monday, Feb. 8, which will give them  70 days to complete the project.

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    We are pleased to announce that work will begin the week of Feb 8 to install a regulation dirt infield in time for the 2016 regular season

    This will be a standard dirt infield. The field will have dirt extending all around the basepaths, with the interior remaining turf as is until they make the switch to grass.

    It will look a little something like this. 

    [Elsewhere: How the free agency landscape changed 40 years ago today]

  • Hot Stove Digest: Lazaro Armenteros is drawing serious interest

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.

    WAITING GAME: As many as nine teams are interested in Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros, and he's willing to wait until the international signing period begins on July 2 to find the right deal. [@JesseSanchezMLB

    DONE DEAL: Jeurys Familia avoided arbitration with the Mets, agreeing to a one-year, $4.1 million deal. [@JonHeyman]

    FRESH START: Ken Rosenthal details why a fresh start in Arizona may be exactly what Jean Segura needs. [Fox Sports]

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  • Good news: Mets to wear 1986 throwbacks several times in 2016

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Sports fans are by and large a nostalgic group. Any chance we get to relive classic moments in the history of our favorite teams, we jump on it. And anytime we hear a throwback jersey or uniform will be making a comeback, it's a cause for celebration.

    And with that said, we now celebrate the New York Mets.

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    According to an ESPN New York report, the Mets will not only be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the franchise's most recent World Series championship in 1986, they will also be bringing back the classic 1986 jerseys and making them a part of their regular season rotation in 2016.

    In January, the team announced a formal celebration would take place from May 27-29 at Citi Field, with several players and coaches from that team, including manager Davey Johnson, making an appearance. But Wednesday's report guarantees that celebration will last all season long.

  • Frustrating free agent market leads Jonny Gomes to Japan

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Veteran outfielder Jonny Gomes was among the many veteran free agents impacted by the slow developing free agent market this winter.

    That was until Wednesday, when he decided he couldn't wait any longer.

    According to a Ken Rosenthal report, Gomes will be leaving MLB all together after agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan,

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    It's a tough, almost unpredictable terrain out there right now. Look no further than the numerous notable free agents who remain available on Feb. 3 for proof of its glacial pace. Dexter Fowler, Ian Desmond and Yovani Gallardo are among the bigger names still looking for a place to call home in 2016, and until some of those dominoes start to fall it'll be tough for guys like Gomes to find their place.

    In the meantime, Gomes is determined to make the best of his next venture.

  • Hot Stove Digest: Diamondbacks open to acquiring a closer

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.

    STAY BUSY: D-Backs general manager Dave Stewart might not be done making moves this winter. He says he's still open to adding a closer. [@BNightengale]

    READY TO REBUILD: Ryan Braun is embracing the Brewers decision to rebuild. [@AdamMcCalvy]

    STAYING... FOR NOW: Brewers owner Mark Attanasio expects Jonathan Lucroy to be with the team come opening day. [@Haudricourt]

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    NEW VOICE: Joe Block is joining the Pirates as their new play-by-play man on radio. [@joe_block]

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  • Holy Cow! Watch 'The Story of Harry Caray' on MLB Network Presents

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray will be featured in the one-hour documentary titled "Holy Cow! The Story of Harry Caray." The program will premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET, and will be narrated by award-winning actor and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan William Petersen.

    As they always kindly do, the good folks at MLB Network gave us an advanced look at the program, and we'll just say it might be, it could be.... no, let's be honest, it absolutely is a home run.

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    The program also focuses on Harry Caray's life away from the booth, which highlights his incredible and perhaps unlikely path into the broadcasting booth and ultimately baseball's Hall of Fame. 

    From his humble beginnings as a poverty-stricken orphan, to his health struggles later in life, to his constant struggle to balance family life with his career, notoriety and a larger-than-life personality that was always in demand. No stone is left unturned. 

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  • Topps turns Mike Trout's wall-climbing catch into baseball card

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    At age 24, Mike Trout has already provided several incredible moments that will live on in baseball lore. High on that list would have to be Trout's most recent breathtaking webgem, which took place at Angel Stadium on Sept. 26

    That would be the catch where Trout literally climbed the outfield wall in Anaheim to take a three-run home run away from Seattle's Jesus Montero.

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    One thing that can't be argued though is just how aesthetically pleasing the catch was. If only someone could have captured an action photo as Trout sat atop the wall and caught the ball, it would make one outstanding baseball card.

    And would you look at that. Topps comes through in a big way, not only making Trout's excellent grab into a baseball card, but making it the No. 1 card for their 2016 baseball collection.

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  • Alex Avila to father Al: 'I can't wait to kick your (bleep)'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    One of the more interesting storylines to follow this season will take place in the AL Central. That's where veteran catcher Alex Avila, formerly of the Detroit Tigers and currently of the Chicago White Sox, will do regular battle with father Al Avila, who now serves as Tigers general manager.

    That's right, a father-son rivalry within an already well established division rivalry that never seems to cool off. 

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    While it's assumed the family feud will be of the family-friendly variety, there's a pretty good backstory here that should fuel Alex Avila's fire. For all intents and purposes, his father let him walk away from Detroit in free agency this winter, deciding that the Tigers needed to go a different direction with their catching situation.

    Alex Avila reiterated today that when he signed with White Sox, he told his dad(the GM of the Tigers) "I can't wait to kick your (bleep)."

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  • Hot Stove Digest: Salvador Perez, Royals trying to rework contract

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Welcome to The Stew's Hot Stove Digest, our daily rundown of MLB news, rumors and gossip for Hot Stove season. Here you'll find a recap of all the day's action and other fun stuff from around the Internet.

    RENEGOTIATING: Salvador Perez says his agents are currently working to renegotiate his team-friendly contract. [MLB.com]

    DISCUSSIONS: The Royals and Mike Moustakas have discussed a two-year deal to buy out his arbitration years. [@FlannyMLB]

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    TRADE: The Diamondbacks got their infielder, acquiring Jean Segura from the Brewers. [The Stew]

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