Mark Townsend

  • Hot Stove Digest: Jose Fernandez could seek $30 million a year

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs 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.

    BIG MONEY: According to Barry Jackson, the Marlins are under the impression that Jose Fernandez will seek $30 million a year when he becomes a free agent. [Miami Herald]

    WBC UPDATE: Australia qualified for the 2017 World Baseball Classic with a 12-5 victory against New Zealand. [MLB.com]

    HARPER HYSTERIA: What will Bryce Harper be worth on the open market in three years? Dave Cameron examines. [Fangraphs]

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  • Rod Carew discusses health issues on next MLB Network Presents

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    We'll hear all about those battles, both on the field and off, on the next installment of MLB Network Presents titled "Rod Carew: The Fight of His Life." The program will premiere Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 9:00 p.m. on MLB Network.

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    Filmed at Carew’s Southern California home and Minnesota’s Target Field and hosted by legendary broadcaster Bob Costas, the one-hour program chronicles Carew's on-going health issues. Carew shares vivid details of his massive heart attack and takes us through the extensive recovery process. Carew is very open and emotional about his battle, as are his wife, Rhonda and his heart surgeon, Dr. Dan Meyer, both of whom reinforce Carew's courage and toughness.

    Carew also shares the emotions he's gone through during these past six months and how the experience took him back to the loss of his 18-year old daughter Michelle, who died after battling leukemia.

    It's a recommended watch.

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  • Rays turn Kevin Kiermaier's home run robbery into bobblehead

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    On April 16, the Rays will be giving away a Kevin Kiermaier bobblehead depicting his incredible home run robbery of Manny Machado last season at Camden Yards.

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    Sound familiar? 

    It should. Mike Trout once made an eerily similar play at Camden Yards during his rookie season, and that too was turned into a bobblehead by the Los Angeles Angels.

    There's just something about that ballpark that lends itself to memorable home run robberies (probably the low fences from the left field line to the right field wall) and makes it look good on a bobblehead.

    #Rays promotions include a @KKiermaier39 Platinum Glove bobblehead on April 16 pic.twitter.com/Jc3pJM84CC

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  • Jose Bautista had courtside view for memorable Slam Dunk Contest

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    If you missed Saturday night's Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, you actually missed an entertaining show.

    Anticipation for said Dunk Contest used to rival that of an NBA Finals game (or maybe a regular season baseball game in May), but those were the days when legends like Michael Jordan regularly participated and athletic beasts like Vince Carter took part.

    Nowadays, the expectations have fallen far enough that some are happy enough if there are more made dunks than missed dunks that are redone over and over again. 

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    That changed on Saturday though. Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic produced a truly magical performance. A duel if you will, which took many of us back to the days of Jordan and Dominique Wilkins, or Jordan and Spud Webb, or Jordan and anyone really.

    The dunks were wild, the scores were perfect, and the energy in the arena was palpable even on television. 

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  • Hot Stove Digest: David Wright could be limited to 130 games

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs 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.

    WORKLOAD:  Mets general manager Sandy Alderson would like to limit David Wright to 130 games this season to help keep him fresh. [ ESPN New York ]

    HELLO, CHICAGO: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says an All-Star game at Wrigley Field could happen very soon. The next open year is 2019. [CBS Chicago]

    OPENING DAY: No surprise here. Bruce Bochy officially named Madison Bumgarner the Giants opening day starter. [San Jose Mercury News]

    NICE PANTS: Bill Murray was supporting his Cubs Saturday.

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  • Check out the newly approved protective headgear for pitchers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    In their continuing effort to better protect pitchers, MLB and the MLBPA have approved a new protective headgear design that will be available during spring training.

    According to ESPN's Outside The Lines, 20 major-league pitchers are expected to receive the new Boombang headgear early in spring training and will be the first to experiment with the model.

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    The new model gives the appearance of a partial batting helmet, including ear protection based on which arm the pitcher throws with. Research done by Boombang showed that line drives to the side of the head typically strike right-handers on the right and lefties on the left because of follow-through position, making the side protection crucial.   

    Here's more information from the Outside the Lines report:

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  • Joe Mauer still experiences blurred vision after 2013 concussion

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    In a concerning revelation, Minnesota Twins star Joe Mauer admits he occasionally experiences blurred vision at the plate stemming from a concussion sustained during the 2013 season.

    Speaking to the Pioneer Press this week, Mauer linked his symptoms to the concussion he was diagnosed with in August 2013. Mauer began experiencing his original symptoms after absorbing at least two significant foul tips while he was catching. Mauer would go on to miss the final six weeks of that season as a result of symptoms and hasn't been quite the same hitter since.

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    Mauer says bright sunshine is a trigger for the blurred vision because of the additional strain it causes on his eyes. He plans on experimenting hitting with sunglasses during daylight hours when he reports to spring training, hoping it will bring relief and help him track pitches better.

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  • New Zealand born high schooler forfeits eligibility to play in WBC

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    For many of the countries involved in the qualifying process, it's a pretty exciting time. Not often is the baseball spotlight put on South Africa or New Zealand, for example, but it's there now and they've both embraced it with big wins during this round.

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    In New Zealand's case, there's actually a pretty interesting story to go along with the success they've enjoyed. Jimmy Boyce, an 18-year-old high school pitcher who attends Mount Si High in Snoqualmie, Wash., is representing his country of birth during the qualifying round this weekend. In fact, he picked up the win on the hill in Friday's 17-7 victory against the Philippines.

    “I knew, but that’s a risk I wanted to take,” Boyce said. “That’s something I wanted to do for my country. I think there’s no greater feeling than that … This means absolutely more than anything. I’ve been growing up playing for New Zealand all my life and I’m not going to stop.”

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  • Jenrry Mejia denies knowledge of PED use following lifetime ban

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Hours after becoming the first player to be permanently suspended by MLBfor a third positive test for PEDs, Jenrry Mejia denied knowledge of his use.

    According to ESPN New York's Adam Rubin, Mejia spoke to Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez on Friday and relayed the following message, which was translated from Spanish by Rising Apple:

    “I’m going to appeal. Lose or win, I have great faith. I have to clear my name.” Mejia was quoted as saying. “I will take this case to the ultimate consequences. It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

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  • Mets will survive Jenrry Mejia's banishment from MLB

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The baseball world was stunned Friday by the news that Jenrry Mejia had tested positive for PEDs for a third time, resulting in a permanent suspension from the league.

    Mejia earned the dubious distinction as the first player to receive a lifetime ban under MLB’s “three strikes and you’re out” PED policy. He's also sure to earn ridicule from his peers who attempted to support him throughout his ordeal, and from fans who simply can't comprehend the choices he's apparently made.

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    Mejia's career unraveled quickly. At this point last year he was penciled in as the New York Mets closer following a strong showing to end the 2014 campaign. Now he's out of baseball all together, and the Mets will have to make plans without him.

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