Mark Townsend

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 32 mins 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.

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    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. 

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  • Pete Rose joins FOX Sports as a baseball analyst

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 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. 

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

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 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.  

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs 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. 

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    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. 

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 7 hrs ago

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    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.

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 hrs 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.

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    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.

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  • Mets winning streak reaches six as Bartolo Colon improves to 3-0

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 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's not surprising that the New York Mets are an improved team in 2015. It is, however, quite surprising that they've taken to winning so quickly.

    With a 4-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday night, the Mets have run their early season winning streak to six and their overall record to 8-3, which is good enough for first place in the NL East.

    Starting pitcher Bartolo Colon has been a catalyst for New York's fast start, and if you're at all familiar with his history, you'll be shocked to hear his contributions haven't been limited to just pitching. After going 10 seasons without an RBI, Colon has driven in a run in each of his last two starts, including a game-tying sacrifice fly on Friday.

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  • Mike Trout becomes youngest player to hit 100 home runs, steal 100 bases

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout may rewrite the entire baseball history book before he walks away from baseball, but for now he'll have to settle on joining baseball's most notable triple digit club younger than any other player in history.  

    With his sixth-inning two-run home run off Houston Astros starter Roberto Hernandez, Trout reached 100 home runs for his career. That alone is actually pretty remarkable considering he's just  23 years and 253 days old. However, Trout had already surpassed the 100 stolen base mark — he's at 104 to be exact — which officially makes him the youngest player ever to join the 100 home run and 100 stolen base club.  

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    The previous mark, by the way, was held by another famous player who had a noteworthy night on Friday. He would be none other than New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, who reached the 100/100 club at 23 years old and 309 days old. 

    The ultimate game-changer, Mike Trout is. 

  • Alex Rodriguez mashes 477-foot home run at Tropicana Field

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    As Alex Rodriguez closes in on another home run milestone, he's leaving very little doubt that he's still among the most powerful and productive hitters in MLB. 

    On Friday night at Tropicana Field, the New York Yankees slugger connected for career home runs No. 657 and 658, which moved him to within two of Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time home run list. If that wasn't enough, he also came through in the eighth inning with a go-ahead RBI single, which held up as the difference in New York's 5-4 victory.  

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    It was a breakthrough game for A-Rod on several levels. But purely from a power perspective, it proved that he can still change a game at any time with one swing.

    ESPN Stats and Info adds that A-Rod's home run is the longest hit by any Yankees player over the past 10 seasons, and it's the longest at Tropicana Field over that same span. 

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  • Josh Hamilton meets with Angels' teammates and manager Mike Scioscia

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    With the Los Angeles Angels traveling to Houston for a weekend series against the Astros, many Angels players were finally able to touch base with teammate Josh Hamilton, who's been staying in Houston since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder on Feb. 4. 

    Of course, it's well known that Hamilton has been kept separated from his teammates since admitting to a drug and alcohol relapse just prior to the operation. Hamilton was not brought in to spring training to continue his rehab. He doesn't even have his own locker at Angel Stadium, which is notable considering he's on the disabled list but not suspended. It's also reported he won't be making any appearances at Minute Maid Park.  

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    Here's more from MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez

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