Someone might screw up the Dodgers worse than Frank McCourt: the NFL

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File this all under speculation but over at the L.A. Times’ Dodger Blog, Steve Dilbeck talks about how moving Frank McCourt out of the way may ease the way for the NFL to return to Los Angeles.  Why? Because there have been a lot of scenarios thrown around over the years which envision the Dodgers’ ample parking lot as a new home for a football stadium, and making such a vision into reality would be way easier if the owner of said parking lot were not a highly-leveraged dude like McCourt.

Fine and dandy. I don’t really care if they build a football stadium in the parking lot because I don’t ever park there.  But this little bit of speculation regarding a currently-eyeballed downtown site for a football stadium seems like a horror show:

The most radical and intriguing idea would be for the NFL to build in Chavez Ravine — where the team could build a larger stadium than downtown and have ample parking for larger crowds and tailgating — while a new ballpark would be built downtown at the proposed convention site Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke is currently pushing for a football stadium.

As in: get rid of Dodger Stadium and move the boys in blue downtown.  Dilbeck talks to a guy from Yahoo! who says that’s not mere crazy speculation by bloggers, as he’s been hearing such chatter from developer and investor types.  Which I guess still makes it speculation, just not as crazy because people like that can actually put plans in motion if they wanted to.

Can I go on record as saying that Dodger Stadium, despite its recent problems, is an absolute gorgeous ballpark in which baseball should always be played?  And that if keeping the NFL from interfering with that means keeping Frank McCourt in charge of the Dodgers, I’d be on board?

Great. We’re in agreement.

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.