Mark Townsend

  • Hank the Ballpark Pup transitions to Miller Park security dog — kinda

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 1 hr ago

    Despite the wishes of millions all over the world, Hank the Ballpark Pup did not receive serious consideration to become the Milwaukee Brewers new manager this week. General manager Doug Melvin and owner Mark Attanasio instead opted to go the traditional route, hiring former major leaguer Craig Counsell.

    We hope they know what they're doing. So far, Counsell had led to the Brewers to a 2-1 record against the Los Angeles Dodgers, including a win in a game started by Clayton Kershaw. But it won't always go that smoothly. 

    With that in mind though, it appears Hank is at least "under consideration" for another promotion at Miller Park.

    In the video included below — which is actually an ad for Hank's bobblehead night on May 10 — the Brewers are looking to transition our four-legged friend from official Ballpark pup and mascot to lead security dog in charge of keeping all who visit Miller Park safe.

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    He's best suited being good ole Hank the Ballpark Pup. 

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  • Cubs end Cardinals eight-game winning streak behind Jon Lester

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 2 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.

    One of the primary responsibilities of a major-league ace is to end losing streaks before they get out of hand, and before the team gets buried in the standings.

    With that in mind, Jon Lester was exactly what the Cubs signed him to be over the winter, holding the red hot St. Louis Cardinals to four runs (one earned) over seven innings in a Cubs 6-5 victory.

    The win snapped the Cubs season-long four-game losing streak. Just as importantly, it also snapped the Cardinals eight-game winning streak, allowing the Cubs to stay within 5 1/2 games of the division leaders.

    Offensively, the Cubs jumped on Cardinals' starter Lance Lynn early, plating two runs in the first on RBI singles from Kris Bryant and Starlin Castro. Anthony Rizzo added a solo home run in the third and a two-run double in the fifth to create some separation against the Cardinals relentless attack.

    RANGERS COMPLETE STUNNING SWEEP OF ASTROS

    It might be time we learn where the 2015 Astros truly stand. 

    Ouch.

  • Bob Uecker and crew were temporarily trapped in Miller Park radio booth

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 hrs ago

    This is no way to treat a Hall of Famer and his friends.

    Legendary Milwaukee Brewers radio voice Bob Uecker, his broadcast partner Joe Block, and several other members of the Brewers radio production crew were temporarily trapped inside their Miller Park radio booth on Wednesday night when the outside handle broke off the door leading in to their booth.

    With the door also locked from the inside, that meant no one could get in or out of the booth until the door was taken off its hinges.

    Don't worry, Bob, @joe_block and @JLevering4 are going to be ok pic.twitter.com/t1KQs3QxHt

    The ladder was necessary because the hinges were on the inside of the door, and because we're guessing no one preparing to broadcast a baseball game brings the necessary tools for such circumstances. 

    Thankfully, help was quick to arrive.

    We are getting saved in the booth. pic.twitter.com/3GInvWOm6s

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  • Twins' Eddie Rosario homers on first pitch he sees in MLB career

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 5 hrs ago

    Memo to MLB pitchers young and old: Whatever you do, don't give the new, young hitters anything to hit in their MLB debuts. They're coming up swinging and they're ready to make an instant impact at your expense.  

    On Tuesday night, Carlos Perez of the Los Angeles Angels made his instant impact, becoming the first player since Miguel Cabrera in 2003 to hit a walk-off homer in his major-league debut.  

    On Wednesday, Eddie Rosario of the Minnesota Twins decided he really didn't want to wait that long. Instead, he offered at the first pitch he ever saw in a major-league uniform, depositing Scott Kazmir's 91-mph fastball in the left field bleachers at Target Field for an impressive opposite field home run.  

    One pitch. One swing. One home run. 

    We don't need Statcast to tell us that's optimal efficiency for a major-league hitter. But as you can probably surmise, there are numerous historical tidbits worth mentioning in connection to that one swing. 

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  • Joey Votto bumps umpire Chris Conroy following ejection, suspension likely

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 6 hrs ago

    The Cincinnati Reds should anticipate being without first baseman Joey Votto for a game or two in the not too distant future.

    The former National League MVP was ejected from Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and is very likely to face further disciplinary action after making chest-to-chest contact with home-plate umpire Chris Conroy. 

    The heated exchange took place after Votto went down swinging against Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, and after Votto spiked his helmet in clear frustration.

    What wasn't immediately clear, however, is whom that frustration was directed at. Earlier in the at-bat, Votto reacted unfavorably to Conroy's called first strike. Votto did one reverse turn in the batter's box and appeared to say something to Conroy, which wasn't forgetton moments later. 

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    Chances are we won't know any other specifics until all parties meet the media following the game.

    Then the bump. 

    The contact wasn't violent, but it doesn't have to be to draw MLB's attention.

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  • Archie Bradley bonds with Phoenix teen hit by line drive on same day

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 8 hrs ago

    Arizona Diamondbacks rookie Archie Bradley and 14-year-old Nicholas Shumaker from Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, Ariz., have something in common that no two baseball players wish to share.

    On April 28, both were pitching for their respective teams when disaster struck in the form of vicious line-drive comebackers, which left both of their short-term futures in baseball in question.

    However, little did they know that in those moments of anguish and uncertainty, the foundation was laid for a new relationship and a special bond. A bond that sustained them through the early part of their recoveries, and may only grow as they continue with their respective comebacks.

    Looking back at that potentially life-altering night, Bradley was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez, which according to statistical data was traveling 115 mph off the bat.

    Only 12 balls this year have been clocked at 115 mph or faster off the bat. The 12th hit Archie Bradley in the face today. Amazing he's OK.

    It appears it worked as hoped. 

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  • John Axford watched historic boxing match through apartment window

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Did you spend $100 on the boxing match of the century between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night?

    That's great if you did. Hopefully you came away more satisfied than most customers seemed. But we think Colorado Rockies reliever and Oscar's aficionado John Axford got one up on you thanks to his resourcefulness.

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    With the Rockies on the road in San Diego, Axford's viewing options were actually pretty limited considering he didn't have his own home to return to. It didn't help that Colorado's 4-2 loss to the Padres didn't end until just before the fight started, either. By that point, the bars were likely packed, and going to the team hotel may have cost him valuable time.

    Seriously. We're not making this up. They peeped through a window to catch the action.

    Oh, the humanity. 

    Shameless, but awesome.

  • Torii Hunter offers apology, explanation for tweet about Floyd Mayweather

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

    Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter created an unexpected — at least in his mind — uproar on Saturday night when he tweeted that what Floyd Mayweather does in the ring is strictly business, and what he does outside the ring is non- essential or should have no impact on how Mayweather the fighter is viewed.

    Understandably, this rubbed some people the wrong way, as it came across that Hunter was willing to ignore or dismiss Mayweather's history of alleged domestic violence. 

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    Here's the tweet in question.

    Not surprisingly, that tweet disappeared from Hunter's feed quickly on Saturday night.

    Even less surprising, he offered an apology and an explanation on Sunday, stating that he wasn't taking Mayweather's history of domestic violence into consideration when tweeting, and he was purely focused on Mayweather the fighter.

  • Dodgers fan Bobby Crosby films himself catching home run

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

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    Everyone in Hollywood wants to be a star on some level. Otherwise, how else could you explain the unusual but entertaining — and potentially star-making — moment that played out during Saturday's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game at Dodger Stadium.

    When Arizona's Aaron Hill stepped to the plate in the fourth inning, Dodgers' fan Bobby Crosby positioned himself in the left field bleachers His mission was two-fold. First and foremost, he wanted to catch a home run ball. But beyond that, he also wanted to catch the moment for his own personal film collection, because simply being on TV catching a home run wouldn't be enough. 

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    Of course, as things turned out, Crosby ended up receiving quite a bit of TV time anyway.

    In fact, he already put together a special video in celebration.

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  • Jake Marisnick makes remarkable catch running up Tal's Hill in Houston

    Mark Townsend at Big League Stew 3 days ago

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    If you're not paying attention to the Houston Astros, you're missing quite a show.

    On Saturday night, baseball's hottest team hit five home runs against the Seattle Mariners to extend their winning streak to nine.

    We repeat, NINE. There are still five teams in baseball that don't have nine wins all season, but the Astros have won nine straight and 17 overall.

    It's an amazing story that may or may not have staying power. We'll sort that out as the season moves along, but if they keep making plays like Jake Marisnick's running catch on Tal's Hill on Saturday, the galaxy might just be the limit.

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    The play happened in the sixth inning with Houston holding a 9-4 lead. Logan Morrison squared up a Collin McHugh pitch and sent it soaring toward Tal's Hill in center field.

    We'd hope so, and we know for a fact his pitcher appreciated it.

    "Play of the year," said starter Collin McHugh.

    We think he's joking.

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