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Twiter user, @MLB

French Teen Becomes The First Female On MLB's International Registration List

Twiter user, @MLB
Twiter user, @MLB

In order to sign as a free agent with a pro baseball team, international players need to be placed on the international registration list. This is typically done after a Major League Baseball-affiliated event at which representatives from the league confirm a player's birthdate and citizenship. It doesn't mean that the player in question will get signed, but it's a necessary prerequisite reserved for players under serious consideration.

This past weekend 16-year-old French girl Melissa Mayeux became the first-ever female to be placed on the list. Right now, she plays on the French national under-18 league, as a quick, competent shortstop while also starting for France's senior national softball team. Her talent landed Meyeux on many pro team's radars when she was just 14 years old.

MLB Director of International Game Development Mike McClellan, who has been tracking her career for two years, says, "She's a legitimate shortstop who makes all the plays and is very smooth and fluid in the field. She swings the bat really well and is fearless." He cites a particular at-bat recently in which she ripped a single off a 19-year-old Dominican pitcher who was throwing 91 mph.

Teams are not allowed to sign 16-year-olds before July 2, so pretty soon we'll find out if any of the MLB's clubs are ready to take a chance on Meyeux although frankly, at this stage, it's unlikely she'll get signed. It's rare for a European player to enter an organization at such a young age. But even if she goes unsigned this year, Meyeux's career is far from over. Later this summer, she'll be among a highly select group to attend MLB's European Elite Camp. If she doesn't go pro, she'll remain eligible to play for an American college team in a couple of years. And if she stays among France's elite players, you'll have a chance to see her on the international stage at 2017's World Baseball Classic.

You can watch a 2013 video of 14-year-old Meyeux in the field below:

[h/t MLB.com]

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Fox Sports, YouTube
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Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

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Great Big Story, Youtube
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Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
Great Big Story, Youtube
Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

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