The Athletics had their FanFest over the weekend. As we mentioned the other day, owner Lew Wolff met fans and heard complaints. Said complaints were lodged in one-on-one sessions with said fans, so we didn’t get to hear them, but based on the article at MLB.com about it, it sounds like Wolff met with some displeasure but nothing notable. Not terribly surprising. I suppose that if you’re THAT angry at the A’s you’re not gonna bother showing up to FanFest to begin with.
Also of note: Wolff thinks the A’s target date for opening in a new ballpark is 2016. He’s also pretty open to Manny Ramirez joining the team.
The quote of the day, however, didn’t come from Wolff. It came from the Athletics’ number one starter Brandon McCarthy:
“I know there are a lot of people who have had questions about the moves that have been made, but I do like the front office stepping up, answering questions and showing that there is a path that we’re taking and there’s reasons for all of this. It’s not just drunk monkeys throwing at a dartboard. People have a plan, and they’re trying to do something.”
I was a big fan of “Moneyball,” both the book/movie and the concept. But I think I’d be even more excited if the new inefficiency in building a ballclub was drunk monkeys throwing things. And the best part: I bet that stuff would actually work in the playoffs.
NOTE: In the off chance that my undergraduate primatology Professor Lori Sheerhan is reading this, yes, I am quite aware that the picture accompanying this article is a drunk ape, not a drunk monkey. Also know that, over the past 20 years, I have had far more occasion to use all of the anthropology stuff you taught me when picking up my minor than I have any of the political science stuff I learned in my major, so thanks.
Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.
Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.
Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.
Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.
It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.
While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.
The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”