A's acquire Kouzmanoff from Padres for Hairston

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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics have acquired third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and prospect Eric Sogard from the Padres out outfielders Scott Hairston and Aaron Cunningham.
Kouzmanoff was long expected to be dealt, but this is a stunning destination for him given his horrible on-base percentages and seemingly overrated defense. Kouzmanoff made some headlines last year with his outstanding .990 fielding percentage — he committed just three errors in 139 games at third base — but his range is average at best. He’s also a career .261/.308/.435 hitter who hasn’t gotten any better with age. The 28-year-old has seen his OPS tumble from 786 in 2007 to 732 in 2008 and 722 last year. Petco Park certainly has something to do with the ugly line, but it’s not responsible for his 139/23 K/BB ratio in 2008 and 106/27 K/BB ratio in 2009.
The Padres seem to get the far better of this deal. Hairston and Cunningham can both function as solid regulars in the corner outfield spots, and now they get to move Chase Headley back to third base, where he’ll likely be more valuable. They’ll probably go with Hairston in one spot and let Cunningham battle Will Venable and maybe Kyle Blanks for the other.

Nationals owner Mark Lerner had his left leg amputated

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Mark Lerner, son of Ted Lerner and a co-owner of the Washington Nationals, had his left leg amputated earlier this month. He was diagnosed earlier this year for a rare form of cancer that a attacks connective tissue and treatment had been ineffective, so doctors removed the limb.

The news was revealed in the form of a letter Lerner wrote to Washington Post columnist Barry Svrluga, who had inquired about Lerner’s uncharacteristic absence from the ballpark of late. Lerner:

“With my doctors and medical team, we decided that amputation of that leg was my best choice to maintain the active and busy lifestyle that I have always enjoyed. The limb was removed in early August and I’m healing well, cancer-free, and looking forward to my eventual new prosthetic.”

Lerner, 63, has been known to dress up in a Nats uniform and shag fly balls with the team during batting practice. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and, if his prosthetic allows, some more BP shagging at some point in the future.

New Marlins owners are going to dump David Samson, keep the home run sculpture

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The Miami Herald reports that the future Miami Marlins owners, Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, have informed Major League Baseball that they do not intend to retain current team president David Samson. Derek Jeter will replace him as the person in charge of baseball and business operations.

Samson has been a polarizing figure in Miami and has been seen as Jeff Loria’s front-facing presence in many ways. He led the effort for the team to get its new stadium, which led to political scandal and outrage in Miami (not that he didn’t get his stadium). In 2014, he appeared on “Survivor.” He did not survive.

What will survive, however, is the famous home run sculpture in the outfield at Marlins Park. You’ll recall some reports earlier this week that Sherman and Jeter were thinking about removing it. If so, they’ll have a lot of hurdles to jump, because yesterday the Miami-Dade County government reminded them that it was paid for by its Art in Public Places program, it is thus owned by the county and that it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

I know a lot of people hate that thing, but it has grown on me over the years. Not for its own aesthetic sake as much for its uniqueness and whimsy, which are two things that are in extraordinarily short supply across the Major League Baseball landscape. Like a lot of new and different bits of art and architecture over the course of history, I suspect its initial loathing will increasingly come to be replaced by respect and even pride. Especially if the Marlins ever make another World Series run, in which case everything associated with the club will be elevated in the eyes of fans.

On this score, Sherman and Jeter will thank Miami-Dade for saving themselves from themselves one day.