Comment of the Day: Silicon Valley and the Oakland A's

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Earlier today I noted how Silicon Valley CEOs are getting on board the bring-the-A’s-to-San Jose train. I said that I thought this was a weird thing for tech company CEOs to be doing, inasmuch as it shows a boosterism — and an economic ignorance — that is usually reserved for politicians and  car dealers and insurance executives. My general thinking: you’d think our leading edge technology CEOs would be above that kind of provincial stuff.

A regular reader from the Bay Area — not APBA guy, BTW — wrote in to tell me, no, they most certainly aren’t above that provincial stuff:

It drives them nuts that San Jose “which is larger than San Francisco”
remains the second sister (or even the third) of the Bay Area.  And it
really drives them nuts that most of the world renown of the region goes
to this vague term “Silicon Valley” instead of the much more bankable
“San Jose”.  And I can assure you that they have plans to call them the
“San Jose A’s”  and every single telecast say, “in the capital
of Silicon Valley” or something like that.

And even further, I am
guessing that the SVLG is made up of a bunch of former orchard owner’s
grandchildren who now own every low-rise office park that carpets this
fine valley, and that they are every single bit the Midwestern insurance
company/car dealer mentality, writ slightly more Cabernet-loving and
Ferrari-affording due to their lucky geographic location. 

Oh, snap.

Kris Bryant on Joey Votto: “He’s the best player ever … He’s a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

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The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.

As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”

Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”

Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”

Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.

Video: Daniel Descalso hits D-Backs’ third inside-the-park homer of the season

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Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.

It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.

As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.