Mark Townsend

  • Dustin Pedroia makes Braves pay for embarrassing defensive blunder

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    On a night where they had two legitimate reasons to celebrate — Freddie Freeman's drought-ending home run and A.J. Pierzynski's 2,000th career hit — they still managed to lose in convincing fashion. In fact, they weren't even competitive, dropping Wednesday's game 9-4 to the Boston Red Sox to fall to a league-worst 4-17 on the season. 

    [Related: Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends]

    As always, the numbers help tell story. The Braves four wins are the lowest in baseball. Their four team home runs are the lowest in baseball. Their 18 errors are the second most in baseball. However, the numbers don't always tell the whole story either. Sometimes you have to watch the games to get a full understanding of what's going on, and one play during Wednesday's game really captured what the Braves are going through. 

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  • The Walk Off: White Sox complete impressive sweep of Blue Jays

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Some people thought the Chicago White Sox would meet their match this week against the Toronto Blue Jays. Instead, they remained the American League's hottest team and perhaps proved they're here to stay.

    With Wednesday's 4-0 win at Rogers Centre, the White Sox extended their winning streak to six games overall and completed a three-game sweep that showed impressive resilience and versatility.

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    Coming into the season it was difficult to identify what exactly this White Sox team would be. So far anyway, they've looked like one of the more well-rounded teams in either league, which is further evidenced by their AL-best 16-6 record. They're doing a lot of the little things well, like identifying where their openings are, and then they're executing.

    TOP PERFORMERS 

    MUST-SEE HIGHLIGHT  

    THE SCOREBOARD

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  • Chip Caray channels Harry Caray as Braves home run drought ends

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    In the eighth inning of Wednesday's 9-4 loss against the Boston Red Sox, first baseman Freddie Freeman hit a home run off left-hander Tommy Layne to end their  15-game homerless streak. 

    [Elsewhere: Adam LaRoche wants you to celebrate take your child to work day]

    As you can tell from the call of Braves broadcaster Chip Caray, he was pretty excited. Excited enough that he broke out his grandpa Harry Caray's famous "It might be, It could be, it is" home run call, even adding a "Holy Cow" for added emphasis and perhaps meaning. 

    Caray had reason to be excited too. The home run was the first hit by a Brave since April 10 at Turner Field, which was Atlanta's fifth game of the season. On that afternoon, Drew Stubbs delivered a three-run homer against St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright. The Braves only hit two home runs prior to that, when Freeman and Adonis Garcia each homered against Washington's Max Scherzer.

    So yes, the drought was somehow worse than you imagined. 

  • Steven Souza Jr. repeats history with incredible diving catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

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    In the fourth inning, Souza took to the air to rob Baltimore's Chris Davis of sure extra bases. The play left Davis stunned and had Rays' Matt Moore looking on with a mix of shock and appreciation.

    We assure you Moore is saying "thank you" under that glove.    

    Yes, @SouzaJr really did do that. pic.twitter.com/XuAtwIwozj

    Souza's incredible catch was eerily similar to another diving catch he made while playing left field for the Washington Nationals. 

    This is kind of @SouzaJr’s thing. https://t.co/L18mNLkEw7 pic.twitter.com/BfCx7yZs8g

    Also worth noting, Souza's catch happened in roughly the same area at Tropicana Field where Kevin Pillar made this sensational diving catch last season. 

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  • Curt Schilling says ESPN is biased against political conservatives

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    One week after being fired from ESPN after commenting on and promoting a controversial anti-transgender meme on his Facebook page, Curt Schilling is firing back at his former employers. 

    In a one-hour guest appearance on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s “Breitbart News Patriot Forum,” the former pitcher-turned-analyst flatly accused the sports network of being biased against political conservatives and having inconsistent standards when it comes to reprimanding on-air talent. 

    [Related: Raúl Ibañez to replace Curt Schilling on ESPN's Baseball Tonight]

    According to Newsday, Schilling's commentary was recorded on Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to air at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Here's just a sampling of what he had to say. 

  • Tigers say Tyler Collins' demotion 'not linked' to obscene gesture

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 day ago

    Detroit Tigers outfielder Tyler Collins received good news on Tuesday when he learned he wouldn't face a suspension for an obscene gesture made toward fans during Monday's game at Comerica Park. He was only fined an undisclosed amount. 

    Any relief he may have felt was probably short-lived though, because Wednesday afternoon brought news that he was demoted to Triple-A Toledo, thus concluding a brief and unproductive two-week stint that will only be remembered for said gesture.

    [Related: Tyler Collins makes obscene gesture toward fans after misplay]

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  • Bryce Harper 'make baseball fun again' shirts show marketing savvy

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    [Elsewhere: Blue Jays' Chris Colabello suspended 80 games for PED use]

    Little did he know at that moment — though he obviously figured it out soon afterward — that his words would evolve into their own marketing campaign and now their own brand. That's exactly what we have now though with the Washington Nationals selling "make baseball fun again" t-shirts, which is the slogan Harper's memorable quotes have morphed into. 

    Get ‘em while they’re hot. Available at the #Nats Team Store. #MakeBaseballFunAgain pic.twitter.com/12gadd0yNJ

    It's a reminder that just about anything that's said or done can be turned into something marketable, especially when the brand behind it is as strong as Bryce Harper's.

    BLS H/N: For The Win

  • Nomar Mazara continues ascent with great game-extending catch

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    Nothing has changed since then. Mazara, who will turn 21 on April 26, has lived up to that hype every step of the way, especially since joining the Rangers on April 10.

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    In his first two weeks, Mazara has yet to look overmatched or overwhelmed against baseball's best, despite being MLB's youngest player. And honestly, it's mind-boggling just thinking of him in those terms considering his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame. He's a big kid who can hit and move and do just about anything on a baseball field, and those immense skills were on full display on Saturday.

    Of course, Mazara is mostly getting attention for his hitting. That's what happens when a rookie starts his career batting .357/.396/.476. But it was his defense that stole the show at U.S. Cellular Field, as jumped high to rob Todd Frazier of a game-winning hit. 

    His glove was right at the top of the wall near the yellow line, so it easily could have been a walk-off three-run homer.   

  • Yasiel Puig crashed a high school prom after game in Colorado

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    True story. 

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    Puig shocked the students from Chatfield High School in Littleton, Colo.— which is a suburb of Denver — a little before midnight. He even posed for pictures with the students to commemorate the occasion, which will someday validate some prom stories that no one else would believe otherwise.

    Después de ganar vine a sorprender a algunos estudiantes en su baile de prom @bellaabeita pic.twitter.com/p7wUOGMrXJ

    Despite his status as an MLB superstar, we're sure not everyone was immediately familiar with Puig upon his arrival. But one group of guys certainly knew who he was.  

    Chatfield Senior High Baseball Team pic.twitter.com/MSuiRhGzu5

    Chances are he even made a few new fans too, because he gave everyone there a moment they'll never forget.  

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  • Get to know Orioles rookie Joey Rickard

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 days ago

    [Elsewhere: Meet the reliever who has more strikeouts than Stephen Strasburg]

    Rickard earned his spot on the team with a strong spring. He received some extra playing time early in the regular season when Adam Jones was dealing with a rib cage injury. Now manager Buck Showalter is plugging Rickard in as his primary leadoff man.

    That goes to show how strong an impression Rickard has made, and he'll look to continue building on that in Sunday's matchup against the Kansas City Royals, which can be viewed as the MLB Free Game of the Day on Yahoo Sports. You can stream the game at Yahoo's Sports Home, MLB index and video home beginning at 2:15 p.m. ET. 

    Yeah, that adds up to a ridiculous amount of power potential on one roster.

    Most important, they're winning games. They're 11-5 record is tops in the American League and good for a 3.5 game lead in the AL East.