Mark Townsend

  • White Sox legend Billy Pierce dies at 88

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Billy Pierce, a seven-time All-Star pitcher who spent the prime of his career with 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 following season. 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 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. 

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  • Mark Teixeira homers from both sides, makes history in Yankees win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 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 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 9 hrs 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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  • Padres inquired about Paul Goldschmidt in trade talks for Craig Kimbrel

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 12 hrs ago

    Coming off one of the most aggressive offseason's in recent memory, San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller surprisingly allowed Friday's non-waiver trade deadline to pass without making a major deal. 

    As has been reported, Preller remained active in talks for many of his big trade pieces, which included All-Star outfielder Justin Upton, starting pitcher Tyson Ross and closer Craig Kimbrel, but couldn't lock down a return that appealed to him.  

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    The market for Kimbrel in particular seemed to heat up in the final hours, with teams like the Yankees and Diamondbacks all known to have interest. However, if the words of Arizona general manager Dave Stewart are to be believed, then it's quite easy to understand why Preller came up empty. 

    Dave Stewart says Paul Goldschmidt's name came up in talks with Padres but he's not sure if it was "realistic or if it was play."

    In sincerity or in jest, that's a conversation that's going to lead nowhere quickly.

  • Jerry Seinfeld tweets Mets deadline deal 'a Cespedes for the rest of us'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    There was much rejoicing in Metsville on Friday as general manager Sandy Alderson finally landed the big bat he's been seeking.

    After a proposed deal for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez fell apart on Wednesday, Alderson took things down to the wire as Friday's non-waiver trade deadline neared. Literally moments before the clock struck 4:00 p.m. on the east coast, word trickled in that New York had landed slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers, which is exactly the boost New York's long-struggling offense needed.

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    Understanding the impact Cespedes can immediately have on the offense, it's no wonder why fans are so thrilled. Especially for those diehad fans, such as comedy and television legend Jerry Seinfeld, who have stood by the team through years and years of frustration. 

    In fact, when learning of the deal on Friday, Seinfeid joined fans in celebration in the most Seinfeld way possible, with a Festivus joke.  

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  • Justin Upton's home run caps wild Padres comeback at rain-soaked Citi Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    All-Star outfielder Justin Upton can be had if the price is right. The San Diego Padres have made that very clear with the trade deadline looming on Friday afternoon. He could even be had by the New York Mets if they were so inclined to take the plunge and take on the remainder of his $14.5 million salary. 

    That doesn't seem likely as of Thursday evening, and even if it did, it would be far too late to overturn the second significant gut punch Mets fans have received since Wednesday night. 

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    With the rains pouring down on Citi Field on Thursday afternoon, the Mets were one out from victory when the umpires were forced to the call for a delay. When play resumed 45 minutes later, the Mets were still that one out away from victory, and closer Jeurys Familia was still the man on the hill. Then the chaos began. After a pair of singles from Derek Norris and Matt Kemp, Justin Upton launched a three-run home run that stunned the crowd and gave San Diego an 8-7 lead. 

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  • Troy Tulowitzki homers, drives in three in big debut for Blue Jays

    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.

    The Toronto Blue Jays stunned the baseball world when they acquired All-Star Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. 

    On Wednesday, shock turned to awe, as Tulowitzki put on an offensive display that reinforced his position as baseball's top all around shortstop.

    With cheers raining down at every mention of his name, Tulowitzki whipped the 27,060 in attendance at Rogers Centre into a frenzy in the third inning with a blistering two-run homer off Philadelphia's Jerome Williams.  The home run actually snapped an 0-for-21 streak for Tulowitzki at the plate, which was the longest hitless stretch of his career. 

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    That was just the beginning though, as Tulowitzki followed with a pair of doubles and scored two more runs to pace Toronto's 8-2 victory.   

  • MLB Trade Deadline Digest: Cole Hamels trade puts focus on David Price

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The Stew's Trade Deadline Digest recaps the day in news and rumors as MLB gets closer to the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. If you missed any of Wednesday's action, we're here to help you catch up with all the important links and tidbits.

    DONE DEAL: Cole Hamels is headed to the Texas Rangers in a blockbuster eight-player deal. The Phillies will receive Matt Harrison and five prospects. [Jeff Passan]

    DECISION MADE:  The Tigers are "rebooting," and will try to trade anyone whose contract is expiring. That includes David Price and Yoenis Cespedes. [ Detroit Free Press ]

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    WAIT A SEC: Joe Maddon met with Starlin Castro and told him he would not be dealt. [Carrie Muskat]

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  • Marlins pipe in 'obnoxious' noises during Nationals batting practice

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Wednesday was quite an interesting day for the Miami Marlins.

    It started with reports that the team was back to its salary-shedding ways, sending pitcher Mat Latos and and top bench hitter Mike Morse to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a trio of minor leaguers. However, as the day went on, that trade struggled to cross the finish line as all players involved remained put when Wednesday's action began.

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    According to Yahoo's Jeff Passan, that deal has now morphed into a three-team involving the Atlanta Braves. However, based on the sounds playing over the Marlins Park sound system during Washington Nationals batting practice, perhaps there was some concern that the Marlins.had.... well, we'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Went back through BP tape and found the fart noise during #Nats BP. This is not a joke. pic.twitter.com/Q7dweOdk19

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  • Phillies rebuild reaches next phase with trade of Cole Hamels

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Despite mounting evidence that a rebuild was exactly what the Philadelphia Phillies needed, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. had remained hesitant to go all-in until this past winter. That hesitance — which many say was rooted in stubbornness — may have cost the Phillies potentially significant returns on players like Cliff Lee, who's now injured, and Chase Utley, whose value has decreased.

    As the old saying goes though, better late than never.

    Following back-to-back 89 loss seasons over the past two seasons, Amaro changed course and officially began the rebuilding process by trading Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December. The process picked up again this week with the trade of Jonathan Papelbon to the Washington Nationals. Now he's taken perhaps the big step in the process by unloading his hottest commodity, veteran left-handed pitcher Cole Hamels, to the Texas Rangers. 

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