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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: The Phillies “suck” and their ballpark is “unsafe”

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Even though a large part of the state he leads is in the Philadelphia metro area, New Jersey governor Chris Christie is no Philly sports fan. He roots for the Cowboys (and hates the Eagles) and he prefers the New York teams — Mets, Rangers and Knicks — to any of the professional sports teams that play in his state (or used to play in his state) or in Philly.

But geez, man, ya gotta be so obnoxious about it, Chris? From CSNPhilly.com:

Christie appeared on SNY TV on Wednesday night to talk about the New York Mets, another awful team he is a fan of. The topic of Philadelphia came up.

“The Phillies suck. Let’s just start with that,” Christie said. “They’re from Philadelphia. They’re an awful team. They’re an angry, bitter fan base and it’s not safe for civilized people to go to Citizens Bank Park if you want to root for the other team. Ya gotta believe what? Ya gotta believe we’re awful people.”

That last comment was apparently based on the Phillies painting the old 1973 Mets slogan, “Ya Gotta Believe” on their clubhouse wall down in Clearwater. Which, as I noted yesterday, is fine given the Tug McGraw connection, but we’ll leave that go.

I think most of you who have been around here for a while will remember that I am no fan of the Phillies and that, back when Phillies fans were rooting for a winning team, feeling their oats and talking big in the HBT comments every day, I liked to bait them a good deal. 100% guilty as charged. I’d like to think, however, that I was a bit more artful and less bile-and-spittle-spewingly crass about it than Christie is here.

In related news, there is a lot of speculation that Christie will be soon be brought on board the Trump Administration in order to calm things down. Seems right.

UPDATE:

Yankees sign top two draft picks

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The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

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.