Mark Townsend

  • Eight-year-old meets Mike Trout after undergoing life-changing eye surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. The best thing about Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout isn't that he's among the very best players in the game today, it's that he's also among the most caring, compassionate and giving.

    Prior to a recent Angels home game, Trout's genuine kindness was on display again when he spent much of his day hanging out with eight-year-old Thomas Walkup.

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    Walkup, who's also from Trout's hometown of Millville, New Jersey, wasn't in California for a family vacation or to meet up with Trout specifically. He was legally blind due to a condition called “shaky eye syndrome” and traveled there to undergo life-changing surgery.

    We're happy to say Walkup's vision has improved greatly since undergoing the operation, which was funded in part by the people of Millville and nearby communities.

    There was no hesitation on Trout or the Angels part, and Walkup's improving spirits were raised even higher after spending the day at Angel Stadium.

  • A's unsuccessfully attempted to have 2016 schedule altered due to travel concerns

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

    The Oakland A's likely cringe every time the next season's schedule comes out. Along with the Seattle Mariners, they travel the most miles annually due to their location and the location of other teams in their division, and they knew 2016 would be no different.

    Only this time, it kind of was different.

    As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the A's were truly upset after learning of their 2016 travel schedule, which they considered to be brutal in comparison to previous seasons. 

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    Here's more from Slusser's report.

    It sure seems like the A's have good reason to be annoyed, but there's really nothing they can do other than point out the issues and hope they aren't repeated.

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  • Randy Flores hired as Cardinals scouting director in aftermath of hacking scandal

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 9 hrs ago

    For all the success and stability the St. Louis Cardinals have enjoyed over the past 15 years, they've recently experienced a surprising amount of turnover atop their scouting department.

    On Friday, they added another new face to the department, hiring former reliever Randy Flores as their fourth different director of amateur scouting in the past five seasons. Flores takes over for Chris Correa, who was dismissed earlier this summer after admitting to having a role in the Cardinals’ breach of the Astros’ computer network.

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    Correa was with the Cardinals long enough to oversee their 2015 draft, but took an extended leave of absence soon after and was ultimately fired on July 2 amid the investigation.

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  • Lance Lynn carves up Giants, injures ankle in Cardinals win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 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.

    It was a bittersweet afternoon for Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.

    On the plus side, he was excellent on the hill, silencing the San Francisco Giants bats for seven scoreless innings in the Cardinals 6-0 victory. Lynn allowed six hits, walked two and struck out two en route to his 11th win.

    On the down side, he was forced from the game with an ankle injury that according to reports looked worse than it actually was.

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    The injury occurred in the eighth inning when Lynn attempted to field Juan Perez's chopper. Lynn fielded it cleanly, but then twisted his right ankle trying to throw to first. The Cardinals are calling it a mild ankle sprain, though given what happened to Adam Wainwright this season Cardinals fans might hold their breath until they see him pitch again.

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  • Fan dies after falling from upper deck at Turner Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    A fan has died after falling from the upper deck into the lower-level stands at Turner Field during Saturday's Yankees-Braves game.

    The tragic incident occurred while the Yankees were batting in the seventh inning. Alex Rodriguez had just been announced as a pinch-hitter when Fox Sports 1 play-by-play man Justin Kutcher reacted to the fan's fall and suggested play be halted.

    Most of the crowd went unaware initially as their attention was focused on Rodriguez. The players and fans appeared unaware as well, as the action continued without interruption.

    Before Rodriguez settled in, the Fox Sports 1 broadcast briefly flashed a shot of the crowd as stunned fans looked on and medical personnel quickly arrived on the scene.

    Here's more from the Associated Press: 

    Bad scene, fan fell from an upper deck behind home plate. They spent 5-10 minutes trying to revive him, took him on out body board

    The fan was taken to Grady Hospital in Atlanta and was later pronounced dead from his injuries. 

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  • Mets acquire former D-Backs closer Addison Reed to solidify bullpen

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Even with his New York Mets holding a six-game lead in the National League East, general manager Sandy Alderson is still looking for ways to solidify his roster.

    On Saturday, he went for an upgrade in the bullpen, acquiring Addison Reed from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    ESPN New York's Adam Rubin was the first to report a deal was in place, pending the physical.

    Source: #Mets acquire Addison Reed from #Dbacks pending physical.

    Newsday's Marc Carig has since confirmed the deal, noting that Reed will likely be a two month rental since he'll likely carry an expensive arbitration price tag.

    Here's how the rest of the deal shakes out. 

    The #Dbacks will get Matt Koch and Isan Diaz from #Mets once physicals are approved from YIV_FILTER_HOLDER_0002 in Addison Reed trade.

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  • Vin Scully returning for 67th and likely final season with Dodgers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

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    It's official. Vin Scully, arguably the greatest living broadcaster in baseball, sports or any other form of entertainment, will return to Dodgers television booth for what he expects to be his final season in 2016.

    With help from Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Scully's 2016 return was officially announced to the fans at Dodger Stadium during Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs.

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    An announcement was also made on social media, where baseball fans collectively rejoiced. 

    OFFICIAL: It'll be a very pleasant 2016. Vin Scully to return for his 67th season. pic.twitter.com/i2WrutItRO

    Scully, 87, met with the media on Saturday to discuss his future. Something the always humble Scully couldn't believe was necessary. 

    You're kind of a big deal, Vin. And not just in Los Angeles. 

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  • Lewisberry, Pa. wins U.S. Championship, advances to LLWS final

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The closest thing to a home team at the Little League World Series emerged from the pack on Saturday to claim the United States Championship.

    The little leaguers from Lewisberry, Pa. — a community of 356 people that's located 97 miles south of the host city Williamsport — earned the crown by knocking off the very capable team from Pearland, Texas, 3-2.  

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    The game wasn't decided until the sixth and final inning when Lewisberry's Chayton Krauss smacked an opposite field single to score Braden Kolmansberger with the game winner. Kolmansberger started the rally by drawing a walk, and then moved to third on Jaden Henline's single. Henline also homered in the fourth inning to tie the score 2-2.

    Cole Wagner, who had starred for Lewisberry leading up to the final, was a big part of the win as well. He connected on a first-inning home run, his fourth of the tournament, and pitched 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball before being lifted due to pitch count restrictions.

  • Hat trick! Edwin Encarnacion hits three homers, drives in nine in Jays win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    If Major League Baseball is really concerned about pace of play, they might have to consider instituting a short-term mercy rule for all of the remaining Toronto Blue Jays games this season.

    Just ask the Detroit Tigers.

    Toronto's "no mercy" tour continued at their expense on Saturday afternoon at the Rogers Centre. The Jays offense erupted early and often as they slugged their way to a 15-1 victory.

    The star on this particular day was Edwin Encarnacion, who entered play with a 23-game hitting streak. It didn't take him long to extend it to 24. In the first inning, Encarnacion started the scoring with a mammoth three-run homer. 

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    That was just the beginning though for Encarnacion. In the sixth inning, he stepped up again and launched a two-run homer off Guido Knudson. One inning later, he capped his monster afternoon with a grand slam against Alex Wilson, giving him three home runs and a career-high nine RBIs for the game. 

    They aren't kidding.

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  • Jonny Gomes fully embraces first career relief appearance against Yankees

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Position player pitching appearances have become such a regular part of baseball this season, we probably haven't appreciated some of the performances — both pitching and entertainment wise — to the fullest extent.

    That wasn't a problem, though, when Atlanta's Jonny Gomes took the hill in the Braves' 15-4 loss against the Yankees on Friday night. Gomes embraced his first career relief appearance from the time Freddi Gonzalez told him to warm up to the moment he danced off the mound after striking out Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell.

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    It was, in a word, glorious.

    It all began with Gomes' entrance. When the bullpen gate opened, Gomes jogged to the hill like a confident reliever with some pep in his step. Of course, his confidence was immediately challenged when Chris Young greeted him with a home run. However, after first being taken aback, Gomes simply tipped his cap, collected himself and moved on. 

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