The "curse of MT"

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Someone please kill Twitter. Kill it with fire:

Following the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Yankees, Thursday night at
Fenway Park — their eighth victory in as many meetings with New York
this season — Sox majority owner John Henry posted on his Twitter
account: “the MT Curse?” The ‘MT’ was assumed to be in reference to
Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, who signed with the Yankees
instead of the Red Sox. But a few hours later, in an email to WEEI.com,
Henry wrote: “Purely Entertainment. Nothing more. I don’t believe in
curses.”

OK, that’s not fair. Twitter isn’t the problem here. It’s just the
medium. This is really two problems, a minor one and a major one. The
minor one is that John Henry doesn’t know how curses are supposed to
work. The Red Sox allegedly failed to win the World Series for over
eight decades because they gave up the guy they should have kept, not
because they got him. For there to be some curse analogous to that of
the Bambino here, it would have to be the curse of, hell, I dunno, John
Smoltz or Brad Penny or something. Wait, the Yankees didn’t want those
guys. Look, just make up your own curse, I don’t have time to think
that through.

The major problem here is the pathological overreaction to this kind
of stuff by the East Coast media. So John Henry said something somewhat
off-the-wall late in the evening. Henry is my mom’s age. She’s so batty
we can’t take her in public, so this isn’t exactly news. Nevertheless,
we can be assured that Henry’s tweets will be all over the Boston and New York media today. If that seagull thing had happened in the Sox-Yankees game the bird’s family would be on all of the talk shows today.

Yankees sign top two draft picks

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The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.