Mark Townsend

  • A-Rod's young daughter reveals 'craziest' thing her dad has done

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Alex Rodriguez's eight-year-old daughter Ella completed an assignment at school for Parent's Day, and in the process may have revealed some her father's biggest secrets.

    Well, that's assuming her information is accurate. We have reason to question said accuracy after listing his age as 43. But what do we really know? She's been to more of his birthdays than we have.  

    [Related: Alex Rodriguez has refined his mechanics and his bat flips]

    Apparently, Rodriguez had no issue with this information, accurate or otherwise, getting out. In fact, he helped spread the word by tweeting a photo of her assignment on Saturday. There were several interesting answers included, but we can't help but focus on the craziest thing Alex Rodriguez has ever done through her eyes. 

    Ella's Parents Day assignment! ❤️ it honey. Daddy isn't 43 yet but by then, I promise I'll know how to cut an 🍎.

    Maybe that realization will come with age, too. 

  • Mariners baserunning gaffes lead to absurd game-ending double play

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    We're sure that overwhelming sense of dread crept into their minds on Saturday night too when the Seattle Mariners threatened to rally in the ninth inning at Safeco Field. However, in a stunning twist, it was actually the first-place Mariners who managed to run themselves right out of the ballpark with the worst display of baserunning we've seen in a long time.

    [Elsewhere: Chase Utley authors perfect responses to Mets 99-mph message]

    To try explaining this play will undoubtedly lead to confusion and then failure. Even those involved couldn't possibly understand how Seattle went from first and third with one out, to game over despite the baseball never being put in play.

    We'll just say this: Both Shawn O'Malley, who was on third, and Kyle Seager, who was on first, literally ran into absurd outs. What's most impressive though is how they did it in seamless succession, which made it look like the Twins had executed something spectacular.

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Young fan gives Max Scherzer adorable advice on hitting homers

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer has not only developed into one of MLB's most dominant pitchers, he's also a pretty decent hitter.

    That seems to be the trend these days among the National League's top hurlers. It's well documented that pitchers like Madison Bumgarner, Jake Arrieta and Clayton Kershaw are all capable of supporting themselves with important hits, and even the occasional home run.

    [Elsewhere: Bryce Harper cuts up batting gloves after mammoth home run]

    The latter though is one thing that's missing from Scherzer's statsheet. In 198 career plate appearances, he has 33 hits, but none of those have left the ballpark. He has a knack for making contact — he's only struck out 53 times — and he's laid down 19 sacrifice bunts, but he's yet to square up a baseball Bartolo Colon style to get that first career homer under his belt. 

  • Should the White Sox make some changes?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    After surprisingly keeping pace with the crosstown Cubs in April by posting a 17-8 record, they've since faltered in May, dropping 15 of 25 games. The six-game lead they built in the AL Central is completely gone now, and they've lost two straight this weekend to the Kansas City Royals that they should have won.

    [Related: Comebacks and collisions have defined the Royals strange week]

    On Friday, they blew a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning. On Saturday, it was far worse, as they coughed up a 7-1 lead in the ninth inning, allowing Kansas City to score seven runs.

    Now they'll look to avoid a devastating sweep on Sunday in the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo's Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 2:15 p.m. ET. 

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • The Walk Off: Yu Darvish is back and appears to be in fine form

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The Texas Rangers rotation got a big boost on Saturday with the return of All-Star Yu Darvish.

    Making his first start since Aug. 9, 2014, Darvish looked like he never missed a beat, let alone nearly 22 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery. In five innings of work, Darvish limited an impressive Pittsburgh Pirates offense to one run on three hits while striking out seven. That was good enough to earn the victory as the Rangers ultimately triumphed 5-2.  

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now

    Perhaps most encouraging to the Rangers is that Darvish's fastball had some serious zip on it. He registered in the 90s all night long, even hitting 98 a few times in the first two innings. He mostly settled in between 94-96 and featured good command, walking just one in the game. Sometimes control is the last thing that comes back to a pitcher following Tommy John surgery, so perhaps that's another encouraging sign.

  • Chase Utley authors perfect responses to Mets 99-mph message

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Two things, in fact. As in a solo home run and a grand slam that helped fuel a Dodgers 9-1 victory.

    [Related: Noah Syndergaard ejected after throwing pitch behind Chase Utley]

    On this night though, the entire approach backfired. Not only was Syndergaard immediately ejected, which cost New York arguably their best starter right now, Utley was hardly fazed by staring down the 99-mph pitch as it zipped behind him. Instead, it seemed to sharpen his focus even more, which is saying a lot given the circumstances and his career-long success against Mets pitching.

    Entering Saturday's game, Utley had homered 36 times in his career against New York. That's six more than the next closest team, the Miami Marlins. Now that number is 38, as Utley dialed up not one, but two absolutely perfect responses to Syndergaard's heater. 


    That's when you know the feelings are real. 

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Noah Syndergaard ejected after throwing pitch behind Chase Utley

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The 99-mph fastball was assumed to be retaliation for Utley's take-out slide on Ruben Tejada during last season's NLDS, the result of which broke Tejada's leg. Home plate umpire Adam Harami wasted no time signaling that Syndergaard's night was over. He also ejected Mets' manager Terry Collins, who vehemently argued his decision. 

    [Related: Report: Mets unhappy with Dodgers defensive positioning tactics]

    Syndergaard's complete intentions were unclear, but it is safe to assume he at least wanted to send a message. The league will now have to decide if he meant to hit Utley with that message, or if he simply wanted to make Utley uncomfortable.  

    As for Saturday, Syndergaard flatly denied there was any intent behind his pitch, which comes as no big surprise.  

    Syndergaard isn't worried about discipline -- since he wasn't throwing at Utley.

  • Comebacks and collisions have defined the Royals strange week

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    The wild victory was Kansas City's second consecutive comeback win against Chicago, and it temporarily moved them into a first place tie in the AL Central. The Cleveland Indians still have a chance to leapfrog both with their own win on Saturday. 

    [Elsewhere: Diamondbacks need Zack Greinke's best on the mound more than ever]

    The Royals entered that ninth inning trailing 7-1, and appeared to have the wind taken from their sails when Perez went down. But the resilience that made them World Series champions last season quickly came to the forefront. Kansas City scored seven runs on six hits and four walks in the frame, with six runs being charged to White Sox closer David Robertson.  

    Fittingly, it was Perez's replacement, Drew Butera, who had the biggest hit in the frame. He tied the game with a two-out double, then eventually scored the winning run on Brett Eibner's RBI single. 

    There was definite concern for Perez, who appeared to take the impact directly on his left knee.  

  • Indians fans put discarded beer cans to best possible use

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    As wonderful as baseball can be, sometimes the action on the field can be overshadowed by those who make up its audience.

    That was the case on Friday in Cleveland, as a group of fans seated near the right-field foul pole stole the show with an epic creation.

    [Elsewhere: There's a good explanation for Howie Kendrick's mysterious actions]

    Behold, the beer-can pyramid, which many are also dubbing the beeramid.

    Starting the #beeramid #TribeLive

    According to the folks at SB Nation, the pyramid included 112 cans and stood over four feet tall at its peak.

    Welp. We had to take it down. 😭

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Tigers wander into the strangest double play of the season

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. A typical baseball season produces thousands upon thousands of double plays. Still, we doubt we'll see another double play quite as strange as the one turned by the Oakland A's on Friday night.

    Or perhaps we should say, we doubt we'll see another double play this season quite as strange as the one the Detroit Tigers served up to Oakland on a silver platter.

    [Elsewhere: Report: Mets unhappy with Dodgers defensive positioning tactics]

    If you're scoring at home, the official ruling was "3-2-batter's interference," which in this case meant Victor Martinez interfered with Yonder Alonso's throw to the plate. Martinez did so unknowingly, as he was simply wandering back to Detroit's dugout after popping out to Alonso in foul territory, but according to MLB's interference and obstruction rules it was still a violation.

    Here the explanation under Rule 6.01 (5):

    Was it a fluke? Absolutely.