The Astrodome is falling apart

11 Comments

Astrodome.jpgThis doesn’t get me as misty as seeing Tiger Stadium turning into ruins, but it stinks pretty bad all the same:

Hailed as the
“Eighth Wonder of the World” when it opened in 1965, the
Astrodome now sits vacant and in disrepair out on Interstate 610.

The world’s
first domed sports stadium lost its last major tenant eight years
ago. It hosted occasional functions afterward – a family rented
the floor for a bar mitzvah party for $15,000 – but has been virtually
shut down for two years. Its exterior metal work is rusting. Water
stains surround the base. It’s no longer
up to code.

There’s a lot of talk of what to do with it — indoor ski slope! planetarium! — but that talk always starts when people try to figure out what to do with old buildings. Those things are almost always pipe dreams, but I suppose entertaining such options, however ridiculous, are part of the grieving process.

But denial will soon give way to acceptance. And numbers: it would cost about $88 million to demolish the Eighth Wonder of the World, while it would cost about $900 million to renovate and turn into something useful.  As such, I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the Astrodome doesn’t have long left.

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

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.