Mark Townsend

  • The Walk Off: Royals gaining ground quickly in AL Central

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    The American League Central is starting to get very interesting, and not surprisingly the defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals are right in the middle of it all.

    With Saturday's 2-1 win against the White Sox, the Royals have shaved 4 1/2 games off their deficit in the standings over the last seven days. That puts them 2 1/2 games behind Chicago entering play on Sunday. If they complete the three-game sweep, the difference will narrow even more.

    [Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now

    Of course, the White Sox and Royals aren't alone. The Indians sit 1 1/2 back despite a loss on Saturday, and the Tigers have moved to within 3 1/2 with a win. Needless to say, the next quarter of the season will be telling in terms of how this division plays out.

    Kansas City's bullpen took it home, allowing just one run on three hits.


    There's also this. 



  • The three best features at Coco Crisp's nearly $10 million mansion

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Considering Crisp grew up in Los Angeles, playing in Oakland has been more convenient than his past gigs in Cleveland, Boston and Kansas City. And considering he's been making some really good money — he's earned a little over $60 million to date, according to Baseball Reference — it allowed him to purchase a season home in the Bay Area, and also a dream home closer to home, just outside Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley.

    [Elsewhere: Yankees become latest victims of Oakland Coliseum plumbing]

    According to the Wall Street Journal, Crisp bought the nearly 17,900-square-foot, five-bedroom home for a cool $7 million. Now though, that dream home is for sale, with the property value listed at $9.995 million. 

    Needless to say, there are 9.995 million reasons why the good majority of us will never own or even come near the property, but that won't stop us from dreaming.

    There's a lake in the backyard

  • George Springer decided to play some football dressed as a T-Rex

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    [ Join a Yahoo Daily Fantasy Baseball contest now ]

    That was also the plan before Saturday's game against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park, though this time Springer added a highly entertaining twist to the proceedings.


    Well, we'll just have to take his word that it's George Springer dressed up as a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

    @brianmctaggart Springersaurus*

    Or Springersaurus. Whichever you prefer.

    It's actually not the first time Springer has donned a costume for his pregame ritual, which we're going to assume serves to loosen him up both mentally and physically. In fact, one time before he dressed like an actual Houston Texans wide receiver. 

    [Elsewhere: Yankees become latest victims of Oakland Coliseum plumbing]

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  • The Mets discussed a crazy idea to help jumpstart Matt Harvey

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    For whatever reason, New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey hasn't looked right this season. His first eight starts were marred by inconsistency, then his ninth start on Thursday veered past inconsistent and into disastrous territory. In just 2 2/3 innings, Harvey allowed nine runs, six of which were earned, in a 9-1 loss to the Nationals.

    It was the shortest start of Harvey's career, and it was also the most damaging to his confidence and his ERA. In turn, that's led to an undeniable feeling of uneasiness as both the player and team search for answers. 

    [Related: From bad to worst: Matt Harvey gets rocked again in Mets loss]

    But that was far from the only strategy discussed. As the report also notes, the Mets were looking at solutions that run deeper than baseball mechanics, conventional wisdom and perhaps even logic. 

    Desperate times call for desperate measures, but are we really at the burning things stage? 

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  • How Colby Lewis used his head and glove to get two crazy outs

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    We were sent one of those reminders on Friday night in Houston, though fortunately for Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis, the results were more positive than they were painful.

    [Elsewhere: Jason Heyward injured making great diving catch in San Francisco]

    Well, that's easy for me to say. After all, the ball did actually deflect off Lewis' head after exploding off the bat of Carlos Correa at 101 mph. However, Lewis managed to absorb the blow and stay in the game. Better yet, he got an out from it too as Rougned Odor backpedaled into short center field and then dove forward to make the awkward grab.

    "I felt it a little bit," Lewis said after the game. "Your eyes kind of shake a little bit and then I came right to. I turned and saw the ball in the air and I was worried about the out, yelling at Rougie to get the out."

    Lewis never went down or appeared dazed on the hill, so he clearly caught two lucky breaks on this play.

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  • Rougned Odor's punch-related autograph signing has been canceled

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Odor was also slated to benefit monetarily after agreeing to sign "punch items" during an upcoming appearance at a Texas memorabilia shop. 

    [Related: Rangers' farm team selling drink named after Rougned Odor's punch]

    However, just as quickly as that agreement was reached, the event was canceled.

    Not surprising: The event that promised that Rougned Odor would sign punch photos has been canceled.

    According to the report, a regular signed Odor photo would have cost fans $59. However, any fight related photo or item would have cost an additional $40, bringing the price to $99.

    That would be a pretty expensive autograph, but the Field of Dreams management was still expecting a huge turnout as of Saturday morning. 

    More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Yankees become latest victims of Oakland Coliseum plumbing

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Let's be honest, it just doesn't feel like baseball season until we hear a good old plumbing story from the Oakland Coliseum.

    I guess that made Friday night opening day then. The issues were back in full force, and this time it was the New York Yankees who were left to scurry while plugging their noses.

    [Elsewhere: Giancarlo Stanton is mired in the worst slump of his career]

    According to multiple reporters on the scene, crews were working feverishly on Saturday afternoon to fix a leak that developed in the Yankees dugout restroom during Friday night's game. The leak eventually spread into the dugout itself, and as you can probably surmise did not give off the most pleasant scent. 

    The event is not expected to hamper Saturday's proceedings, but the scene was still quite a mess less than two hours before first pitch.  

    There's a little issue with the restroom in the visiting dugout...

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  • Giancarlo Stanton is mired in the worst slump of his career

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    When you think Miami Marlins baseball, the first images that come to mind are of Jose Fernandez pitching a gem, Giancarlo Stanton hitting moonshot home runs and Marlins Man showing up at every sporting event known to man. 

    Two of those things remain true, but one has disappeared this month. That would be Stanton's ability to hit moonshot home runs, or really even get the ball in play. 

    [Report: MLB nearing changes to strike zone and intentional walks]

    The All-Star slugger is currently mired in the worst slump of his seven-year career. After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Friday, Stanton has gone 4-for-45 with 23 strikeouts over his last 13 games. 

    Somehow, the Marlins are staying afloat during Stanton's slump. Despite losing Friday's game 4-1 to the Nationals, they're 9-9 this month and 21-20 overall. But they obviously need Stanton to get things turned around, and the sooner it happens the better. 


  • Royals need to rediscover winning formula on the road

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 days ago

    Fast forward to the here and now, and perhaps the biggest reason the Royals have been unable to gain traction this season has been their inability to win on the road. That's something they'll need to change moving forward, and the wheels could start turning on Saturday when they face the first-place Chicago White Sox in the Yahoo Sports' Free Game of the Day.

    You can stream the game for free at Yahoo's Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 2:10 p.m. ET.

    [Report: MLB nearing changes to strike zone and intentional walks]

    Those are franchise-changing and history-defining wins that show how remarkably focused the Royals were on each task, and how little they were fazed by each challenge on the road. That's what's been missing from the Royals this season.

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  • Jason Heyward injured making great diving catch in San Francisco

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Heyward had just completed a remarkable diving catch in what's known as Triple's Alley, surely taking away at least three bases from Giants' leadoff hitter Denard Span. However, his momentum carried him directly into the wall, forcing his upper body to bend awkwardly. 

    [Elsewhere: Own Bryce Harper's jersey from dugout fight with Jonathan Papelbon]

    The outfield wall is mostly padded in San Francisco, though there's a slight opening at the bottom where Heyward hit. That didn't help matters, but given the angle and the force there was nothing Heyward could do to prevent his body from being jarred by the impact. 

    Heyward remained on the ground for several minutes as his Cubs teammates surrounded him and the team's athletic trainer tended to him. He was able to walk off under his own power, which was a good sign.

    After the Cubs completed their 8-1 win against the Giants, Heyward was available to speak to the media. He revealed x-rays were negative and that he'll undergo an MRI on Saturday.