I was just down in the basement studio taping tomorrow’s HBT Extra. You know what the best part of doing that is? While the technical people are getting the technical things squared away, Tiffany Simons and I just talk about stuff. The news, the weather, whatever.
We have often talked about how it would be great if we could just tape our chats and leave the baseball out of it. I bet it would be a good show. We have a George and Gracie thing going on that I think would work.
In any event, there was a classic exchange today. I was talking about the Marlins new ballpark and how fancy schmancy it is. Tiffany brought up the new fish tanks and asked if I thought a ball could break the glass. I said no, I think they tested that already. I added that the real concern is about the noise bothering the fish. Here was Tiffany’s response:
Excuse me, but where do they think fish live? In the ocean. Where they can get eaten by sharks. I’m sorry, but if I were a fish I’d rather deal with a little noise than get eaten by a shark.
There was a little righteous head-bobbing going on while she said it too. I did not see any finger-wagging, however. Regardless, it was epic. So glad we’re back taping HBT Extra again.
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.
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.