Is Tony Gwynn looking to become part of a Padres ownership group?

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Some tea leaves are being read regarding Tony Gwynn’s movements in San Diego:

Gwynn met for two hours on Tuesday morning with Thomas Tull, movie mogul and prospective Padres purchaser, at a downtown hotel. That tidbit was first leaked via Twitter by a person claiming to be a hotel employee and then confirmed by U-T San Diego’s Tim Sullivan … Gwynn met for two hours on Tuesday morning with Thomas Tull, movie mogul and prospective Padres purchaser, at a downtown hotel. That tidbit was first leaked via Twitter by a person claiming to be a hotel employee and then confirmed by U-T San Diego’s Tim Sullivan.

There isn’t a more popular or well-loved figure in San Diego baseball than Tony Gwynn. So, to the extent that face-of-the-franchise considerations matter — and based on Nolan Ryan in Texas and Magic Johnson in L.A., it does to some degree — if you want to buy the Padres, it can’t hurt aligning yourself with Tony Gwynn.

 

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.