Mark Townsend

  • Jennie Finch set to make history with independent baseball team

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 38 mins ago

    For the first time in professional baseball history, a female will manage a men's team.

    It will happen this Sunday, May 29, when the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League officially welcome softball legend Jennie Finch as their guest manager for one game when they take on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard.

    [Elsewhere: Adam Wainwright thinks MLB proposal is a 'horrible idea']

    According to a press release from March, Finch will also be involved in pregame activities, such as throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and participating in a pre-game meet-and-greet with fans. The attraction though is having a chance to witness history, as Finch will be in charge of managing the Bluefish from the dugout for the entire game.

    She's even matched her skills against MLB players in the past, often getting the best of them with her impressive arsenal. 

  • Mike Napoli's teammates won't let him live down embarrassing slide

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 hrs ago

    He proved that to Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale on Tuesday when he split the outfielders for a two-run triple. The triple was Napoli's first since April 15 of last season, and it couldn't have come at a better time as it helped Cleveland knock Sale from the ranks of the undefeated with a 6-2 victory.

    [Elsewhere: Joc Pederson got dissed by Barry Bonds after simple request]

    Unfortunately for Napoli, the triple also highlighted those two previously mentioned facts: He's not fast, and he's not graceful. That led to one of the most awkward and embarrassing slides we've seen in a long time as he arrived to third base only somewhat safely.

    Better: Mike Napoli's triple or his slide? pic.twitter.com/4YmRtMdrZ8

    To his credit, Napoli has been a good sport too, even donning a neck brace for a photo after the game. 

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  • Cubs and Jake Arrieta tie MLB record despite rare rough outing

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 hrs ago

    That continued to be true on Wednesday, despite the fact that Arrieta posted his worst outing in over one year. 

    [Roundtable: What should the Mets do with Matt Harvey?]

    Arrieta allowed four runs (all earned) on seven hits over five innings, but extended two remarkable streaks as the Cubs ultimately outslugged the Cardinals 9-8

    Arrieta won his 20th straight decision, which in its own right is very impressive. Beyond that, the Cubs have now won the last 23 regular season games started by Arrieta, which ties the MLB record set by the Braves and Kris Medlen. 

    The @Cubs have won each of Jake Arrieta's past 23 starts, tied for the longest such streak in MLB history (2010-12 Kris Medlen) @EliasSports

    Will it be automatic? Far from it. But given all the factors in play, no wise person would bet against the Cubs on Jake Arrieta Day. 

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.  

    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

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

    TOP PERFORMERS 

    There's also this. 

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT 

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 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 4 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. Before most Astros games, outfielders George Springer and Jake Marisnick like to hit the field early and throw the football around as part of their pregame routine. 

    [ 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.

    Springer pic.twitter.com/PfZBpklmJO

    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. 

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 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 4 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes.

    Every now and then we'll get a scary reminder of how dangerous it is for pitchers to stand 60-feet, six-inches away from home plate.

    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."

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

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 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. 

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  • Yankees become latest victims of Oakland Coliseum plumbing

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 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... pic.twitter.com/bmjEaFfqe3

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