Nick Swisher ‘can’t wait to hit against’ Cliff Lee

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The New York Yankees are sick and tired of Cliff Lee.

They’re sick of listening to everyone talk about him. They’re tired of answering questions about how awesome he is. And they’ve certainly had enough of watching him in their nightmares as he bounds off the mound after yet another strikeout, cackling madly to himself as if to say “how can it be this easy?”

The Yankees’ frustration boiled over just a bit in the form of a Nick Swisher mini-rant on Wednesday, when the outfielder became incensed when he overheard a reporter asking a teammate about you-know-who.

“You guys are talking about Cliff Lee?” said Swisher, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN-New York.”[Expletive], who cares?”

More from Marchand:

As he walked off, Swisher said, “I can’t wait to hit against his [behind].”

Later, when asked about saying this out loud with reporters present, Swisher cut off a question when the words “Cliff Lee” were uttered.

“I’m not talking about Cliff Lee,” Swisher said. “I don’t give a [expletive].”

Oh Nick. Don’t you know that if you insult Lee you’ll only make him angry? (And yes, like Mongo, Lee will park his ox wherever he likes, thank you very much)

Of course, you can understand the Yankees getting tired of the constant Cliff Lee questions, especially when there is this annoying thing called Game 6 that they have to deal with first. Should they find themselves unable to score any runs against Colby Lewis on Friday, the issue will be moot – except for the “Cliff-Lee-in-pinstripes” queries.

As far as Swisher goes, I’m glad he popped off. Maybe he shouldn’t voice such opinions out loud, but the sport would be a lot less fun if everyone just regurgitated Nuke LaLoosh clichés all the time.

And maybe Swisher really can’t wait to face Lee. His career line against the ace left-hander? .320/.419/.640. Wow.

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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.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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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.