Mark Townsend

  • Another baseball finds a beer cup, another fan chugs away

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    How's this for an oddity that could only happen in baseball?

    In one calendar day, we witnessed two instances of a baseball landing in a loaded beer cup at a major league ballpark, and on both occasions the fan ended up chugging down what remained of their beer without removing the baseball.

    We already reported on the Cubs' fan who actually caught Yonder Alonso's foul ball in her cup on the fly from her upper deck seat at Wrigley Field. Just hours later at AT&T Park in San Francisco, a Giants' fans had similar luck — or misfortune, depending on how much you value your beer — although the circumstances leading up were entirely different.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    What followed was some volleyball action as the baseball deflected off the hands of a young fan presumed to be the target and directly into this gentlemen's adult beverage.

    - - - - - - -

  • Alex Torres earns first career save while wearing new protective headgear

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 11 hrs ago

    New York Mets reliever Alex Torres was a pioneer of sorts when he became the first pitcher in MLB to wear a form of protective headgear in a regular season game. That significant moment in baseball's journey to better protect its pitchers happened last June 21, when Torres was still pitching for the San Diego Padres.

    What's most notable here in 2015 is that the model Torres wore then is apparently already as outdated to him personally as the old Padres uniform in his closet, which seems to suggest a continued evolution and improvement with the product.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Did we mention bulked up?

    Old hat vs. new hat:

    "I love this game and this game is my life," Torres said before Saturday's game. "I need to take care of myself."

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Josh Donaldson's walk-off home run caps Blue Jays comeback victory

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 13 hrs ago

    Take a look around the league with Big League Stew's daily wrap up. We'll hit on all of the biggest moments from the day that you may have missed, while providing highlights, photos and interesting stats.

    Lost in the drama in Boston and Kansas City this weekend has been the excellent series that's playing out in Toronto. On Friday, the Braves topped the Blue Jays by one run despite being outhomered five to two. On Saturday, the Braves used the long ball early to build a four-run lead, but the Blue Jays ultimately prevailed 6-5 in 10 innings

    Josh Donaldson, who was acquired from the Oakland A's in one of the offseason's more surprising trades, landed the decisive blow with a walkoff solo homer off Sugar Ray Marimón in the 10th. The home run was Donaldson's third in two games, and his 11th hit overall in five games. He's absolutely sizzling.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

  • Royal Retaliation: Yordano Ventura ejected after beaning Brett Lawrie

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    The hostilities that developed between the Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals on Friday night spilled over into Saturday's rematch.  

    After serving up a two-run home run to Oakland's Josh Reddick, which capped an A's five-run fourth-inning rally, Kansas City right-hander Yordano Ventura drilled Brett Lawrie with a 99 mph fastball in apparent retaliation for Friday's aggressive slide that left Alcides Escobar injured.

    As a result of the beaning, Ventura was immediately ejected by home plate umpire Jim Joyce. It was actually very similar to a scenario that played out in Boston on Friday, when Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected for hitting Pablo Sandoval after an aggressive slide. There were no warnings beforehand in either game and both pitchers were ejected on the spot.

    With that in mind, Ventura might be looking at a suspension on top of the ejection, assuming MLB agrees with its umpires.  

    Escobar's status remains day-to-day. 

    Here's the message Lawrie says he's sent to Escobar.

    - - - - - - -

  • Cubs fan catches foul ball in full beer cup, proceeds to chug beer

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

    Step aside, Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro and all other professional baseball players in attendance at Wrigley Field on Saturday afternoon, for you are not the star we wish to honor.

    Instead, we'd like to turn everybody's attention to the fan seated second row in the upper deck along the third base line, as it was her ninth-inning catch of Yonder Alonso's foul ball that ended up stealing the entire afternoon.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Equipped with only a full beer cup to collect her souvenir, this fan made the best use possible of said cup under the circumstances. Without thinking twice, she extended her cup as the baseball quickly approached, and then watched as it dropped perfectly within its confines. 

    It was one of those plays you couldn't make twice if you tried it 200 times, but fortunately for her she was 1 for 1 at being awesome on Saturday. Well, actually, 2 for 2 if you count the celebration. 

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    - - - - - - -

  • Pete Rose joins FOX Sports as a baseball analyst

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    While new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred contemplates Pete Rose's request for reinstatement, baseball's all-time hit king is taking his own step closer to the game after being hired by FOX Sports as a TV analyst. 

    FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal reported the news on Thursday, noting that Rose will serve as a guest analyst for the MLB on FOX pregame show on FOX and FOX Sports 1. He'll also make appearances on "MLB Whiparound," "America's Pregame" and "FOX Sports Live" on FOX Sports 1, which means we'll be chock full of Pete Rose analysis before this season ends. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Needless to say, there were no qualms and concerns, so Rose is set to take the air. 

    [Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness.]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Kris Bryant's first big-league hit is a broken bat RBI single

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 21 hrs ago

    After a mostly unspectacular debut on Friday afternoon, Kris Bryant's second major-league game was basically been the inverse, and perhaps one that's more in line with the Cubs expectations. 

    The bounce back performance on Saturday afternoon saw Bryant reach base five times in six plate appearance, including his first major-league hit.

    Granted, it wasn't necessarily the dramatic moment many people envisioned, but the Cubs will absolutely take the result. With one out and runners on the corners in the fifth inning, Bryant delivered a broken bat single that dropped just in front of San Diego center fielder Wil Myers and scored Dexter Fowler with the tying run. The Cubs ultimately won the game 7-6 in 11 innings.  

    A thing of beauty it was not, but it still counts.

    Besides that, it had to be good for the Cubs to see Bryant finally handle a slider away. Padres' right-hander Tyson Ross typically has a good slider, too, but left this one up just enough for Bryant to extend his arms and get the ball into the outfield.  

    [Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness.]

    - - - - - - -

  • Report: Angels and Josh Hamilton in talks to settle dispute

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Los Angeles Angels and Josh Hamilton may be in the initial stages of settling their ongoing dispute, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. 

    In a series of interesting tweets sent out Saturday morning, Rosenthal reports that the two sides are in talks aimed directly at resolving their dispute stemming from Hamilton's recent admitted relapse involving drugs and alcohol, and there are several scenarios being explored that would allow both the Angels and Hamilton to move on. 

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    Among the options would be a trade, which would obviously have to include the Angels picking up a good chunk of the $83 million owed to Hamilton over the next three seasons. 

    Another option would be a buyout. Though, according to Rosenthal, that might be difficult to swing if the MLBPA has a say in matters. 

    [Check out Big League Stew on Tumblr for even more baseball awesomeness.]

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

    - - - - - - -

  • Ubaldo Jimenez was ejected from no-hit bid after plunking Pablo Sandoval

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Your browser does not support iframes.

    We had to check the calendar a few times on Friday, because it sure seemed closer to the stretch run in September and or mid-October than mid-April.

    A good example of the intensity and craziness played out in Boston, where an unusual set of circumstances led to an untimely ejection for Baltimore Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who was making an early bid to no-hit the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

    Jimenez was cruising along into the fourth inning, having allowed three walks, when with two outs he nailed Boston third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the back of his right shoulder with a pitch. In the eyes of home plate umpire Jordan Baker, that pitch was considered retaliation for an incident earlier in the game that was reminiscent of the play that caused benches to clear later Friday night in Kansas City.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

  • Alcides Escobar suffers knee sprain on aggressive slide from Brett Lawrie

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Oakland A's and Kansas City Royals played some good old fashioned hardball in their first regular season matchup since last season's wild AL wild-card game.

    The intensity and energy inside Kauffman Stadium truly made it feel like another do-or-die matchup in October, rather than a regular Friday night in April, and one play in particular exemplified that intensity and energy.

    Unfortunately, it also resulted in an injury to Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. According to reports, Escobar sustained a mild sprain and contusion to his left knee, which was the result of an aggressive slide by Oakland's Brett Lawrie, who was attempting to break up a double play that had very little chance of happening regardless of his actions.

    [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball: Sign up and join a league today!]

    At almost the same time the ball and Escobar arrived to second base, Lawrie arrived too with a late, aggressive slide and his cleats in the air. The slide caught Escobar right on the left knee and spun him around in his tracks.

    - - - - - - -