Released by the Phillies, John Bowker heads to Japan

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Philadelphia released John Bowker so that he could sign a deal to play in Japan, putting an end to (or at least putting on hold) a big-league career that just never really got going.

Bowker was the Giants’ third-round pick in 2004 and always put up strong numbers in the minors, hitting .307 with an .886 OPS in 139 games at Double-A and .314 with a .922 OPS in 311 games at Triple-A.

His only real extended chance in the majors came in 2008 and he fared decently for a 24-year-old rookie, hitting .255 with a .708 OPS in 111 games, but since then Bowker has totaled just 272 plate appearances in the majors while hitting .202. He probably deserved more of an opportunity at some point, but Bowker will likely make more money in Japan than he would have as a role player in America anyway.

Behold: The new Marlins logo

Marlins
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The Marlins have not released their new uniform design — at least not yet — but they did release their new logo today. That’s it up top. It’s not too bad? Here’s the secondary logo, which you could maybe imagine on a cap?

The logo appears at the end of the video below which is, until the final few seconds, not about baseball at all. It’s about Miami. A “this is our town” promotional thing which takes you on a tour and shows you people and the culture of the city.

A lot of times when sports teams do this stuff it seems somewhat contrived, but I think it’s pretty cool here. The Marlins have almost never sent much of a “we are a part of our community” message. Jeff Loria lived in New York for Pete’s sake and, of course, they infamously consider themselves a foreign corporation for legal purposes. Before this, the most they ever seemed to want out of Miami is tax subsidies and to be left the hell alone.

You can’t just market your way into a community — and the Marlins have a long way to go before they can earn back any sort of trust from baseball fans in Miami —  but the fact that they are at least trying to make themselves part of the Miami community is probably worth something.

Anyway: