Mark Townsend

  • Twins' Eddie Rosario homers on first pitch he sees in MLB career

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Memo to MLB pitchers young and old: Whatever you do, don't give the new, young hitters anything to hit in their MLB debuts. They're coming up swinging and they're ready to make an instant impact at your expense.  

    On Tuesday night, Carlos Perez of the Los Angeles Angels made his instant impact, becoming the first player since Miguel Cabrera in 2003 to hit a walk-off homer in his major-league debut.  

    On Wednesday, Eddie Rosario of the Minnesota Twins decided he really didn't want to wait that long. Instead, he offered at the first pitch he ever saw in a major-league uniform, depositing Scott Kazmir's 91-mph fastball in the left field bleachers at Target Field for an impressive opposite field home run.  

    One pitch. One swing. One home run. 

    We don't need Statcast to tell us that's optimal efficiency for a major-league hitter. But as you can probably surmise, there are numerous historical tidbits worth mentioning in connection to that one swing. 

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  • Joey Votto bumps umpire Chris Conroy following ejection, suspension likely

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    The Cincinnati Reds should anticipate being without first baseman Joey Votto for a game or two in the not too distant future.

    The former National League MVP was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and is very likely to face further disciplinary action after making chest-to-chest contact with home-plate umpire Chris Conroy. 

    The heated exchange took place after Votto went down swinging against Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, and after Votto spiked his helmet in clear frustration.

    What wasn't immediately clear, however, is whom that frustration was directed at. Earlier in the at-bat, Votto reacted unfavorably to Conroy's called first strike. Votto did one reverse turn in the batter's box and appeared to say something to Conroy, which wasn't forgetton moments later. 

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    Chances are we won't know any other specifics until all parties meet the media following the game.

    Then the bump. 

    The contact wasn't violent, but it doesn't have to be to draw MLB's attention.

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  • Archie Bradley bonds with Phoenix teen hit by line drive on same day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Archie Bradley and 14-year-old Nicholas Shumaker from Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz., have something in common that no two baseball players wish to share.

    On April 28, both were pitching for their respective teams when disaster struck in the form of vicious line-drive comebackers, which left both of their short-term futures in baseball in question.

    However, little did they know that in those moments of anguish and uncertainty, the foundation was laid for a new relationship and a special bond. A bond that sustained them through the early part of their recoveries, and may only grow as they continue with their respective comebacks.

    Looking back at that potentially life-altering night, Bradley was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez, which according to statistical data was traveling 115 mph off the bat.

    Only 12 balls this year have been clocked at 115 mph or faster off the bat. The 12th hit Archie Bradley in the face today. Amazing he's OK.

    It appears it worked as hoped. 

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  • John Axford watched historic boxing match through apartment window

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Did you spend $100 on the boxing match of the century between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night?

    That's great if you did. Hopefully you came away more satisfied than most customers seemed. But we think Colorado Rockies reliever and Oscar's aficionado John Axford got one up on you thanks to his resourcefulness.

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    With the Rockies on the road in San Diego, Axford's viewing options were actually pretty limited considering he didn't have his own home to return to. It didn't help that Colorado's 4-2 loss to the Padres didn't end until just before the fight started, either. By that point, the bars were likely packed, and going to the team hotel may have cost him valuable time.

    Seriously. We're not making this up. They peeped through a window to catch the action.

    Oh, the humanity. 

    Shameless, but awesome.

  • Torii Hunter offers apology, explanation for tweet about Floyd Mayweather

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter created an unexpected — at least in his mind — uproar on Saturday night when he tweeted that what Floyd Mayweather does in the ring is strictly business, and what he does outside the ring is non- essential or should have no impact on how Mayweather the fighter is viewed.

    Understandably, this rubbed some people the wrong way, as it came across that Hunter was willing to ignore or dismiss Mayweather's history of alleged domestic violence. 

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    Here's the tweet in question.

    Not surprisingly, that tweet disappeared from Hunter's feed quickly on Saturday night.

    Even less surprising, he offered an apology and an explanation on Sunday, stating that he wasn't taking Mayweather's history of domestic violence into consideration when tweeting, and he was purely focused on Mayweather the fighter.

  • Dodgers fan Bobby Crosby films himself catching home run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

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    Everyone in Hollywood wants to be a star on some level. Otherwise, how else could you explain the unusual but entertaining — and potentially star-making — moment that played out during Saturday's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game at Dodger Stadium.

    When Arizona's Aaron Hill stepped to the plate in the fourth inning, Dodgers' fan Bobby Crosby positioned himself in the left field bleachers His mission was two-fold. First and foremost, he wanted to catch a home run ball. But beyond that, he also wanted to catch the moment for his own personal film collection, because simply being on TV catching a home run wouldn't be enough. 

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    Of course, as things turned out, Crosby ended up receiving quite a bit of TV time anyway.

    In fact, he already put together a special video in celebration.

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  • Jake Marisnick makes remarkable catch running up Tal's Hill in Houston

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

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    If you're not paying attention to the Houston Astros, you're missing quite a show.

    On Saturday night, baseball's hottest team hit five home runs against the Seattle Mariners to extend their winning streak to nine.

    We repeat, NINE. There are still five teams in baseball that don't have nine wins all season, but the Astros have won nine straight and 17 overall.

    It's an amazing story that may or may not have staying power. We'll sort that out as the season moves along, but if they keep making plays like Jake Marisnick's running catch on Tal's Hill on Saturday, the galaxy might just be the limit.

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    The play happened in the sixth inning with Houston holding a 9-4 lead. Logan Morrison squared up a Collin McHugh pitch and sent it soaring toward Tal's Hill in center field.

    We'd hope so, and we know for a fact his pitcher appreciated it.

    "Play of the year," said starter Collin McHugh.

    We think he's joking.

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  • Carlos Quentin is retiring at age 32

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    After a roller coaster few weeks professionally, veteran outfielder Carlos Quentin has elected to walk away from baseball all together, according to FOX Sports Ken Rosenthal.

    Quentin, who’s been playing at Triple-A for the Seattle Mariners after being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Atlanta Braves in the stunning Craig Kimbrel trade on April 5, and then subsquently released by the Braves, has decided to retire at age 32.

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    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported that Quentin left his team in Tacoma on Thursday after going 3-for-17 in five games. He was signed to the Seattle Mariners on a minor league deal and was immediately granted his release after making his request following Thursday's game. He's now in the process of making his retirement official. 

    Quentin confirmed as much in a statement released on Friday. 

    We certainly wish him well in the next phase of his life. 

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  • Deja Vu: Like Angels, D-Backs lose when runner struck by batted ball

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Baseball is a strange game sometimes. You can go for what seems like forever without seeing a specific unusual ending, and then you can see it twice in one day.

    For example, earlier on Saturday we wrote about the Los Angeles Angels painful loss in San Francisco, which ended when baserunner Taylor Featherston was struck by Matt Joyce's batted ball. Late Saturday night, the same finish happened in Los Angeles, where the Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4.

    There was a little more drama in San Francisco, where Joyce's ball would have tied the game had it advanced cleanly into the outfield. Here, it was still dramatic in Los Angeles as David Peralta represented the tying run. However, his smash ticketed for center field bounced off runner Jordan Pacheco to end the game.

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  • Torii Hunter posts controversial tweet supporting Floyd Mayweather

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter has been known to share his opinion on a wide range of topics over the years — controversial, sensitive or otherwise — with little consideration for those who might be offended and hurt by their meaning. 

    Most notably, Hunter was quoted in late 2012 stating that it would be "difficult and uncomfortable" accepting a gay teammate into the clubhouse due to his religious beliefs. But there have been other instances as well involving race and sexuality, and many of those comments have struck nerves and stirred emotions that leave people uncomfortable.

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    Unfortunately, Hunter entered that delicate territory again on Saturday night prior to the highly anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

    I got Money Mayweather tonight.!👊🏾

    Think about that and read it a few times.