San Jose land deal for potential new A’s ballpark being investigated

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Via Ballpark Digest, we learn that someone thinks that the land transferred by the city of San Jose for potential use for an A’s ballpark was illegal:

The transfer of land destined for a new San Jose ballpark is officially being reviewed by California Controller John Chiang to determine whether it was done legally. California municipalities were warned in early 2011 that assets of city and county redevelopment agencies would be transferred to the state in order to balance the budget. For the most part, that indeed happened … but San Jose created a separate Diridon Development Authority and transferred the land there.

If this is found to have violated the 2011 order, the land would have to be returned to the state, rendering it ineligible to be used for a ballpark.

Eh, call me cynical, but I think this is the best sign that the A’s may move there we’ve seen in years.  I mean, when was the last time one of these ballpark schemes were accomplished without questionable nonsense going on? This just shows they’re serious, right?

Umpire ejects Adrian Beltre for moving on-deck circle

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As far as ejections go, this is one of the stranger ones you’ll hear about. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning of a game his team trailed at the time 18-6. Beltre was a few feet away from the circle towards home plate and was asked by Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider to get into the circle. So rather than step a few feet back to his right, Beltre picked up the circle and dragged it to where he was. And that got him ejected by second base umpire Gerry Davis. Manager Jeff Banister was also ejected after having a word with Davis.

Here’s a video from Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Beltre, by the way, went 3-for-3 with a walk, a pair of doubles, and a solo home run. He’s now four hits away from 3,000 for his career.

Video: Phillies prospect J.P. Crawford hits an inside-the-park grand slam

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Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford’s stock has fallen sharply this season. He had an abysmal first three months, batting .203/.321/.276 in 291 plate appearances. Baseball America rated him the 12th overall prospect in baseball going into the season and rated him No. 92 in their midseason top 100. It was bad.

Since the calendar turned to July, however, Crawford has been more like his normal self. In 92 at-bats this month entering Wednesday night’s action, he was hitting .300/.391/.650 with six home runs, 13 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a terrific 15/12 K/BB ratio.

Crawford padded his stats more on Wednesday night as he circled the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam. Via the IronPigs Twitter:

Crawford was actually dead-to-rights at home, but he fooled the catcher with a great late slide.

Crawford finished 1-for-3 with a walk along with the slam on the night as the IronPigs beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-2.