John Wagner, The Toledo Blade

John Wagner

The Toledo Blade

Toledo, OH, United States

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Past articles by John:

Who's watching the International League standings? Not the Mud Hens

Mud Hens manager Doug Mientkiewicz said he will not engage in scoreboard watching while his team fights for its first Governors’ Cup playoff berth since 2007. “The minute you start looking at what other teams are doing, you lose focus on where you are,” Mientkiewicz said. “Our job is to make these guys better, and that doesn’t stop when the calendar changes.” But the first sign of a playoff race… → Read More

Mud Hens finish homestand with loss to Lehigh Valley

The Toledo Mud Hens suffered a 5-3 loss Sunday to Lehigh Valley at Fifth Third Field. Toledo lost two of three games to the IronPigs and posted a 2-5 record in its just-completed homestand. That cut the Hens’ lead in the International League’s West Division to just one-half game over second-place Indianapolis and one game ahead of third-place Columbus. What happened: Lehigh Valley took the lead… → Read More

BGSU dismisses 2 football players for credit card theft allegations

Bowling Green's Armani Posey looks over to coach Mike Jinks as he gives the thumbs up to the photographer start the team photo during Bowling Green State University's football media day last year. BLADE/KURT STEISS Enlarge BOWLING GREEN — Two members of the Bowling Green State University football team have been dismissed from program, apparently as a result of illegally using credit cards that… → Read More

Matt Manning moving up the ranks in the Tigers organization

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Lance Parrish managed the Great Lakes Loons in the Low Single-A Midwest League in 2007, and one of the pitchers there was a 19-year-old left-hander who was 7-5 with a 2.77 ERA. You might have heard of the guy: Clayton Kershaw. You know, the Los Angeles Dodgers star who has won three Cy Young Awards and was the National League MVP in 2014. “Everyone asks me, ‘Did you ever… → Read More

Bowling Green's Kruse selected in NHL draft

Bowling Green's Brandon Kruse (28) was selected by the Vegas Knights in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft. BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University hockey player Brandon Kruse was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the fifth round of this year’s NHL draft. Kruse, a sophomore forward for the Falcons, was named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s all-rookie team last… → Read More

Mud Hens claim shutout victory at Charlotte

Toledo's Jacob Turner (46) threw six shutout innings to lead the Mud Hens to a win at Charlotte Friday. Blade/Kurt Steiss Enlarge CHARLOTTE — The Mud Hens continued their strong road trip with a 4-0 victory over Charlotte at BB&T Ballpark Friday. Jacob Turner and three relievers — Paul Voelker, Daniel Stumpf and Kevin Comer — combined to to shut out the Knights on just three hits for… → Read More

Mud Hens avoid sweep with win over Norfolk Sunday

The Toledo Mud Hens avoided a series sweep Sunday by claiming an 8-3 victory against Norfolk at Fifth Third Field. Toledo used a three-run fourth inning to take the lead for good, then cruised to the win with a four-run seventh. What happened: For the third consecutive game, the Mud Hens fell behind as Norfolk scored two runs in the second against starter Josh Turley. But the Hens got one run… → Read More

Mud Hens manage just 6 hits in loss to Tides

One misstep cost the Mud Hens in a 3-1 loss to Norfolk at Fifth Third Field Friday as Toledo centerfielder Mikie Mahtook misplayed a ball hit by the Tides’ Mike Yastrzemski for an inside-the-park three-run home run. The Hens managed just six hits off five Norfolk pitchers. Toledo Mud Hens center fielder Mikie Mahtook slips and misses the ball during Friday's game against the Norfolk Tides at… → Read More

Tigers Alex Wilson passes test in rehab start with Mud Hens

It took only three pitches for Alex Wilson to test his injured left foot Tuesday. Tim Lopes, the first batter the Tigers reliever faced in his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field, hit a come-backer to the mound. Wilson caught the ball with a jump before whirling and throwing to first for the out. “I had to completely pivot and spin on it, which was one of the things that was… → Read More

Bowling Green football's Datrin Guyton arrested, suspended

Bowling Green's Datrin Guyton tries to catch a pass against Toledo at Doyt Perry Stadium last season. Guyton caught 31 passes for 585 yards for the Falcons in 2017. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green State University football player Datrin Guyton was arrested by the Wood County Sheriff’s Department Saturday and charged with robbery. The senior receiver is expected to… → Read More

Mud Hens enjoying one of best starts in franchise history

The start to the 2018 season has been one for the record books for the Toledo Mud Hens. Their 33-19 record in the first two months arguably is the best since the franchise entered the International League in 1965, and is indisputably the best in recent seasons. Two wins to start June give the Mud Hens 35 victories, the most in the IL and tied for the most in Triple-A baseball. How have the Mud… → Read More

Mud Hens pitchers shut down hot-hitting Syracuse

Four Mud Hens pitchers combine to limit hot-hitting Syracuse to just five hits as Toledo claimed a 5-3 victory at NBT Bank Stadium Thursday. Spenser Watkins allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings to claim the win, before Paul Voelker tossed two scoreless frames in relief and Victor Alcantara struck out the side in the ninth to claim his second save. What happened: The Mud Hens jumped on… → Read More

Comeback falls short for Mud Hens in 3-2 loss to Tides

The Toledo Mud Hens could not muster enough offense in a 3-2 loss Saturday to Norfolk at Fifth Third Field. Toledo managed just seven hits and had just one hit in nine at-bats with a runner in scoring position to lose for the second consecutive night. Toledo Mud Hens catcher Kade Scivicque drops the ball while trying tag Norfolk Tides' Mike Yastrzemski. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge What… → Read More

Huffman's 2 homers lead Mud Hens to win at Columbus Thursday

Chad Huff­man hit a pair of home runs, in­clud­ing the go-ahead grand slam in the sev­enth, to carry the Toledo Mud Hens to a 9-7 road win against the Columbus Clip­pers on Thurs­day at Hun­ting­ton Park. The win gave Toledo a split of its four-game road se­ries and helped it be­come the first team in mi­nor-league base­ball to reach the 30-win pla­teau. What happened: Huff­man’s two-run dou­ble… → Read More

Sharp 7: Weekly sports quiz revs its engines for Indy 500

Sharpen your sports wits with The Blade’s Sharp 7, a weekly trivia quiz designed to test your knowledge on a variety of subjects in the sports world. Today’s focus is on the Indianapolis 500, which will run next Sunday. 1. The Indy 500 is called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and the numbers back that claim up. What roughly is the seating capacity for Indianapolis Motor Sppedway, and what… → Read More

Mud Hens earn 3-2 win over Charlotte Wednesday morning

Four Toledo Mud Hens relievers combined to pitch them to a 3-2 victory Wednesday against Charlotte at Fifth Third Field. “Starter” Johnny Barbato retired all nine batters he faced, and Caleb Thielbar followed with three scoreless innings to claim the win. Kevin Comer got a game-ending strikeout to earn the save. What happened: The Mud Hens jumped in front with a pair of first-inning runs thanks… → Read More

Mud Hens hammer 6 home runs to pound Louisville

The Mud Hens slugged six home runs, with two by both Ronny Rodriguez and Christin Stewart, to slam Louisville 10-4 at Louisville Slugger Field Sunday. Toledo also got homers from Chad Huffman and Jason Krizan to win the series and improve to 23-12 on the season. Toledo's Ronny Rodriguez swings at a pitch at Fifth Third Field earlier this season. Rodriguez homered twice in the Mud Hens' lopsided… → Read More

6-run sixth propels Mud Hens to sweep of Clippers

The Mud Hens used a six-run sixth inning to claim an 8-4 victory over Columbus at Fifth Third Field Thursday. Toledo sent 10 batters to the plate in that frame and collected six hits plus a walk to fuel the rally. Toledo's Edwin Espinal celebrates after tagging out Columbus' Eric Stamets during Thursday's game at Fifth Third Field. Blade/Kurt Steiss Enlarge What happened: Columbus jumped in… → Read More

Sharp 7: Weekly sports quiz offers birthday wishes

Sharpen your sports wits with The Blade’s Sharp 7, a weekly trivia quiz designed to test your knowledge on a variety of subjects in the sports world. With today being the birthday of Victorian poet Robert Browning, Yugoslav communist revolutionary leader Josip Broz Tito and comedienne Totie Fields (look them up, folks), our focus is on famous sports figures who were born on this day. 1. This new… → Read More

Rodriguez homers twice in Mud Hens win over Louisville

Ronny Rodriguez slammed two home runs to carry the Mud Hens to a 6-5 victory Saturday against Louisville at Fifth Third Field. The Toledo bullpen played a key role in the sweep, allowing no baserunners in five innings while striking out eight. Ronny Rodriguez, center, is greeted in the Mud Hens dugout after hitting one of his two home runs in Saturday's 6-5 win over Louisville at Fifth Third… → Read More