Mark Townsend

  • Crazy Legs Gardner: Yankees affiliate unveils Brett Gardner bobble-leg doll

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 15 hrs ago

    When it comes to ballpark promotions, we always look to the minor leagues for next-level creativity and potential new trends.

    While we're not yet sure if this is a trendsetter, we know with certainty it falls under the category of innovative. The Tampa Yankees — Class A Advanced affiliate of the New York Yankees — will be giving away Brett Gardner bobble-leg dolls at Steinbrenner Field on Sept. 5.

    Yes, you read that correctly. A bobble-leg doll.

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    Take a look.

    Brett Gardner Bobble Legs Giveaway! http://t.co/KT3mnQQIaX pic.twitter.com/rKa3znDpp4

    At first you may have thought that meant the head is stationary and the legs do the bobbling. That would be incorrect. The head bobbles and the legs bobble too, giving fans twice the bobble.

    What a STEAL of a deal for the first 500 fans to walk through the gates on Saturday. 

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  • Clayton Kershaw goes the distance as Dodgers finish sweep of Giants

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 16 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.

    When we're looking back at how the NL West was won in 2015, chances are we'll be talking about the just completed three-game series at Dodger Stadium.  

    At several points this season, it looked as though the Dodgers were poised to lose their grip and allow the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants to overtake them. That never happened, and now they have complete control again after sweeping the Giants out of town.

    The Dodgers completed the task behind Clayton Kershaw. Their star left-hander was on point in Wednesday's 2-1 victory, going the distance and striking out 15.

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    Speaking of strikeouts, Kershaw has now set a career-high with 251, and we still have four weeks to go. 

    Is Kershaw getting better?

    RYAN ZIMMERMAN AND JONATHAN PAPELBON SAVE THE NATS

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  • Chris Davis' walk-off home run wakes up sleeping fan at Orioles Park

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 17 hrs ago

    The Baltimore Orioles were in a season-altering slump coming in to Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. 

    After losing 12 out of 13, the defending American League East champions have all but officially removed themselves from playoffs contention.

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    It's a disappointing reality to be sure, especially considering there were realistic expectations that they could repeat in a wide open division. With that in mind, it would be difficult to blame fans in Baltimore if they were feeling apathetic. In some cases, it might even render them sluggish or outright bored, to the point that they'd fall asleep in the bleachers at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.

    At least that appeared to be the case for one fan during Wednesday's game. He was spotted sprawled out over several seats in right-center during the 11th inning, but he received the ultimate wake-up call from Chris Davis.

    Hey bro, it's time to get up and celebrate. The Orioles just won a baseball game!

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  • Foul ball comes to eat, destroys Rangers fan's nachos

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 19 hrs ago

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    Spending a few hours at a major-league ballpark brings many layers of excitement and anticipation. There's the baseball game itself, the players, the atmosphere and the scenery, just to name a few of the more appealing attractions.

    Of course, there's also the delicious ballpark food. It doesn't matter if you're going for the biggest and best item on the menu, or a mid-game snack like popcorn or nachos and cheese, that's all part of what we look forward to.  

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    Unless this happens.

    All together, in slow motion. 

    Nooooooo!

    One always has to be aware, regardless of seating location. Just ask this other Rangers fan who lost her nachos and wore the cheese while sitting in the upper deck at Globe Life Park back in May. 

    That was a long-distance bull's-eye by Prince Fielder.

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  • Ruben Tejada gets inside-the-park homer after Domonic Brown tumbles over wall

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 20 hrs ago

    The New York Mets season has been filled with memorable moments, both thrilling and unique.

    On Wednesday, they added one that fits under both categories when Ruben Tejada raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

    Of course, inside-the-park home runs are always thrilling because of the drama involved. There's a race going on as the runner flies around the bases and the fielders chase down the ball, hoping to relay it back to the infield in time. In this case though, the circumstances were definitely unique as Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown actually tumbled over the wall down the right field line, allowing Tejada to get a major head start.

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    Ouch.

    The fall looked like it could be bad for Brown. He was obviously shaken up after banging his knees and landing hard on the concrete, but remained in the game initially. He was removed from the game later however due to concussion concerns. 

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  • Doctors suggest limiting Matt Harvey to 180 innings: Will it impact Mets postseason push?

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 22 hrs ago

    As The Stew's Chis Cwik wrote earlier on Wednesday,the New York Mets are being very cautious when it comes to handling their young pitchers.

    They've already skipped Matt Harvey once in August. They have designs on skipping rookie right-hander Noah Syndergaard this weekend. And they also fully intend on returning to a six-man rotation with the return of Steven Matz. 

    Those are all protective measures instituted to limit the innings on their young arms. With Harvey, though, it's proving to be a little more complicated as doctors have advised the Mets to limit his innings to 180.

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    Without question, this is one storyline that needs to be followed closely down the stretch.

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  • Eight-year-old meets Mike Trout after undergoing life-changing eye surgery

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    Your browser does not support iframes. The best thing about Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout isn't that he's among the very best players in the game today, it's that he's also among the most caring, compassionate and giving.

    Prior to a recent Angels home game, Trout's genuine kindness was on display again when he spent much of his day hanging out with eight-year-old Thomas Walkup.

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    Walkup, who's also from Trout's hometown of Millville, New Jersey, wasn't in California for a family vacation or to meet up with Trout specifically. He was legally blind due to a condition called “shaky eye syndrome” and traveled there to undergo life-changing surgery.

    We're happy to say Walkup's vision has improved greatly since undergoing the operation, which was funded in part by the people of Millville and nearby communities.

    There was no hesitation on Trout or the Angels part, and Walkup's improving spirits were raised even higher after spending the day at Angel Stadium.

  • A's unsuccessfully attempted to have 2016 schedule altered due to travel concerns

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    The Oakland A's likely cringe every time the next season's schedule comes out. Along with the Seattle Mariners, they travel the most miles annually due to their location and the location of other teams in their division, and they knew 2016 would be no different.

    Only this time, it kind of was different.

    As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the A's were truly upset after learning of their 2016 travel schedule, which they considered to be brutal in comparison to previous seasons. 

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    Here's more from Slusser's report.

    It sure seems like the A's have good reason to be annoyed, but there's really nothing they can do other than point out the issues and hope they aren't repeated.

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  • Randy Flores hired as Cardinals scouting director in aftermath of hacking scandal

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

    For all the success and stability the St. Louis Cardinals have enjoyed over the past 15 years, they've recently experienced a surprising amount of turnover atop their scouting department.

    On Friday, they added another new face to the department, hiring former reliever Randy Flores as their fourth different director of amateur scouting in the past five seasons. Flores takes over for Chris Correa, who was dismissed earlier this summer after admitting to having a role in the Cardinals’ breach of the Astros’ computer network.

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    Correa was with the Cardinals long enough to oversee their 2015 draft, but took an extended leave of absence soon after and was ultimately fired on July 2 amid the investigation.

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  • Lance Lynn carves up Giants, injures ankle in Cardinals win

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 4 days ago

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    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 was a bittersweet afternoon for Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn.

    On the plus side, he was excellent on the hill, silencing the San Francisco Giants bats for seven scoreless innings in the Cardinals 6-0 victory. Lynn allowed six hits, walked two and struck out two en route to his 11th win.

    On the down side, he was forced from the game with an ankle injury that according to reports looked worse than it actually was.

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    That sets up the rubber match on Sunday with Jaime Garcia facing off against Chris Heston. 

    MIKE FIERS STAY HOT FOR ASTROS

    Coming off a dominant no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his previous outing, Houston Astros right-hander Mike Fiers stayed hot in their 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

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