Mark Townsend

  • A's depth to be tested with Coco Crisp reportedly needing elbow surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 53 mins ago

    Despite signs to the contrary, the Oakland A's remained hopeful that outfielder Coco Crisp would be ready for opening day. Unfortunately, those hopes all but faded late Wednesday night following an exclusive report from the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.

    According to Slusser, Crisp's ailing right elbow will require more than just rest. It's believed he'll soon undergo surgery to remove a bone spur and chips. If that's the case, Crisp will begin the season on the disabled list and miss anywhere from 6-to-8 weeks.

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    He's simply a player the manager can pencil in anywhere and know exactly what he's getting, which has to be a comforting feeling. 

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  • Mets famous bullpen car sells for $90,000 on eBay

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    If you were interested in owning your own piece of New York Mets history, what better piece would there be to own than the old Shea Stadium bullpen cart?

    Unfortunately, you can't have it anymore. Bidding for the Electric powered Presidente Cart opened on eBay on Wednesday with a beginning price of $10,000. By the time bidding closed a few hours later, the winning bid came in at $90,000, which is roughly three times more than what the seller's were anticipating.

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    The giant Mets cap that doubles as a roof is pretty cool as well. But the value goes far beyond the look. There's also some notable history with the cart that dates back to 1967 and continues beyond the point it went out of full-time service in the 1980s.  

    Note to new owner: Keep it plugged in. Especially during the winter.

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  • Youth ballplayer leaps over catcher to score wild run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    As youths, many of us enjoyed participating in a game of leapfrog every now and then. However, how many of us can say we were able to show off our leapfrog abilities in the middle of a competitive sporting event? 

    It's probably a pretty short list, but it now includes 11-year-old Devin Avedissian of the San Diego Force youth baseball team. During a San Marcos Wood Bat tournament game played on March 29, Avedissian was able to size up the opposing team's catcher and leap over him in one epic and effortless bound to score one wild and remarkable run for his team. 

    The play had disaster written all over it from the beginning.  Avedissian immediately started for home after watching the wild pitch skip past the catcher. Just as quickly, however, the ball shot off the wall like it hit the bricks at Wrigley Field and ended up right back in the catcher's possession.  At that point, most players — experienced or otherwise — would stop in their tracks and take their chances in a rundown. Just not  Avedissian. He was determined to score, and the result was downright incredible.

    Seriously. Check out that sick air.  

  • Jason Hammel on Wrigley Field construction: 'It looks like Baghdad'

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    In an attempt to describe what the impact on-going renovations at Wrigley Field might have on a professional level in terms of preparation and on a personal level as a fan, Chicago Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel was pretty straight forward on Wednesday. 

    In fact, he was probably a little too straight forward with his choice of words, which led to an awkward and unfortunate comparison between the conditions at Wrigley Field and the conditions in Iraq's capital city of Baghdad. 

    “I’m excited,” Hammel said. “It looks like Baghdad, but you know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow there. It is what it is right now, and we’re going to deal with it, but it’s exciting. It’s a long time coming and fun to be a part of, even if it will be a little sketchy to get around." 

    [Baseball is back! Check out Yahoo For Spring Training for great spring training pics.]

    By the way, for what it's worth, Hammel does seem genuinely appreciative and excited about the efforts being made to bring Wrigley Field up to today's ballpark. .  

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  • Union workers gather at spring training to support underpaid minor leaguers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Hoping to bring awareness to the conditions under which minor-league players work, and more specifically the wages they earn, which often falls below minimum wage, the United Food and Commercial Workers’ union and its allies are gathering at four different spring training games this weekend to show support and provide information to questioning fans.  

    According to Ted Berg of USA Today Sports, the union had scheduled rallies at games in Tampa and Lakeland, Fla. on Saturday and will be in Scottsdale and Surprise, Ariz. on Sunday.

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    Here are more details of the mission, courtesy of UFCW:

    United Food and Commercial Workers’ union and allies will leaflet at four major league spring training games to raise awareness among fans about the plight of minor league players who often make less than minimum wage, are often not paid at all and are not paid federal overtime wages….

  • Twins offering bloody mary garnished with cold slice of pizza

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    At some point in the very near future every MLB and Minor League Baseball team preview that's published will feature more food and drink scouting reports than actual player scouting reports.

    That's the direction we're trending, folks. Might as well jump on board now. Kind of like the Minnesota Twins did this week when they introduced the $19 "College Daze Bloody Mary," which comes garnished with a cold slice of pepperoni pizza in addition to many of the usual fixings one might be accustomed to.

    The new item will be available at Hrbeks' restaurant, which is named after former Twins' first baseman and Bloomington, Minn., native Kent Hrbek. Here's a peek courtesy of Jeanie Hrbek, Kent's wife.

    College Daze bloody mary at #Hrbeks. Comes w slice of cold pizza! 🍕 pic.twitter.com/AohJtCJHpm

    And here's the full description, courtesy of Hrbeks'.

    Apparently this is the logical progression from last season's "Better Burger Bloody Mary," which came adorned with a full bacon cheeseburger.

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  • Soccer team reenacts George Brett's pine tar incident at Yankee Stadium

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    While Yankee Stadium awaits the return of its summer long tenants, it will occasionally play host to football, hockey and even professional soccer. On Saturday, the schedule called for a Major League Soccer matchup between the home-standing NYCFC squad — which is actually co-owned by the New York Yankees —  and Sporting Kansas City. 

    The game itself was exciting we're sure — Sporting Kansas City won it 1-0 on a 12th-minute goal — but we're actually far more interested in the video that surfaced on the winning team's Youtube page following the game.

    With the stadium clear of fans and presumably only a few stadium workers on hand, three players from the Kansas City team took the field to reenact one of baseball's most famous — or infamous — scenes: the George Brett pine tar incident from July 24, 1983.

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  • Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson banners removed from Angel Stadium entrance

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    You can walk or drive past any major league stadium and figure out pretty quickly which players the corresponding team views as faces of the franchise.

    The Los Angeles Angels are no exception to that rule. At the main entrance to Angel Stadium, six large banners each featuring the likeness of an Angels player welcome fans to the ballpark every day, and the message is simply: "These are our guys. Take'em or leave'em."

    With that in mind, MLB.com points out that this season's Angels banners have undergone some major changes despite the team making few significant changes during the offseason. Of the six banners, only Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver remain from last season. Basic math tells us that means three banners were removed and three new banners were put up in their place.

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    Here's a look at the new banners. . 

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  • Mariners prospect Victor Sanchez dies from injuries in boating accident

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Seattle Mariners pitching prospect Victor Sanchez died on Saturday, six weeks after sustaining serious head injuries in a boating accident in his home country of Venezuela. He was only 20. 

    According to the initial reports, Sanchez was swimming off the beach in Carapao, Venezuela on Feb. 13 when he was struck in the head by a boat propeller. Sanchez sustained a double skull fracture and a hematoma upon impact and later suffered a stroke as a result of his injuries. After undergoing emergency surgery, Sanchez went into a coma and was never able to regain consciousness. 

    According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, Sanchez's agent, Rafa Nieves, confirmed the news on Saturday night. 

    A short time later, Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik released the following statement.

    At 6-foot and 255 pounds, Sanchez was just starting to work his way into the Mariners long term plans. He finished the 2014 season ranked as their 11th best prospect according to MLB.com, a position he cemented by posting a 4.19 ERA in 23 starts for Double-A Jackson.

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  • Will Ferrell responds to criticism from John Madden over spring training stunt

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    If you were keeping score at home back on March 12, you can probably rattle off the exact order of events and appearances made by actor Will Ferrell during his five-stadium Cactus League tour. In one day, Ferrell achieved his goal of playing 10 different positions for 10 major league teams, and in the process raised an estimated $1 million for Cancer for College and Stand Up to Cancer.  

    The stunt was created for the right reasons. It didn't interfere with any meaningful games or take away opportunities from upcoming players. And overall, it made for a unique baseball experience and a fun break from the usually mundane routines of spring training. It was pretty much impossible to find a reason to hate the idea or its execution, even if you might be growing tired of Ferrell's comedic stylings.

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    Bah, humbug!

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