Getty Images

Major League Baseball names batting championships for Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn

46 Comments

SAN DIEGO — One last bit of unfinished business from last night’s All-Star Game involves an announcement from Major League Baseball that, while it won’t likely change the way we refer to a batting championship, was a nice gesture all the same.

Before the game, Major League Baseball announced that each league’s batting championships have been named in honor of a great-hitting Hall of Famer: Tony Gwynn in the National League and Rod Carew in the American League. Carew was on hand for the announcement at the ballpark last night. It was great to see him given his recent health problems. The late Gwynn was represented by his family.

Gwynn was a career .338 hitter who was the last man to seriously challenge .400, batting .394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season. He is tied with Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates for the most batting titles in NL history. Carew was a seven-time American League batting champion who was a lifetime .328 hitter. He hit .300 in 15 consecutive seasons (1969-83).  Between 1972-1978, he won six batting crowns in seven years.

No, it’s not likely people will routinely say things like “Hey, Jose Altuve won the Carew Award!” But it’s a nice gesture all the same. The crowd at Petco cheered Carew loudly last night and cheered the calling of Gwynn’s name wildly. It was a nice moment.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images
1 Comment

Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.