Athletics have narrowed down preferred ballpark sites to two

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With the Oakland Raiders leaving town and the Golden State Warriors moving across the Bay to San Francisco, the momentum and enthusiasm for a new Oakland Athletics stadium has ratcheted up considerably. Now, Oakland Magazine reports, the A’s have narrowed down the potential sites for a new ballpark to two:

The Oakland A’s are now focusing on two sites in the city for a new ballpark: Laney College near Lake Merritt and Howard Terminal on the waterfront next to Jack London Square, according to four knowledgeable sources. Two of those sources say the Laney College property has edged into the lead as the team’s preferred spot.

Laney College area is close to downtown between Interstate 880 and Lake Merritt and near a BART station. According to the article, the preferred site is the Peralta Community College site noted on this map:

Oakland folks: weigh in to give your thoughts about that site, would ya?

The secondary site, Howard Terminal, is close to the waterway that leads into the Bay, but is farther from public transportation. There are concerns about heavily-used railroad tracks near there, however, which fans would have to cross in order to get to games.

The article says that the Laney College site seems to be preferred based on public polling being conducted by the A’s which focuses more heavily on that site, but A’s president Dave Kaval told Oakland Magazine that all three sites — these two and the Coliseum site — are all still on the table. He would not be likely to admit that one site is preferred over others, however, as the club wouldn’t want to tip its hand in negotiations.

Either way, the club is supposed to announce a site selection by the end of the year. What they’ll do, I have no idea. All I hope is that they choose a site that is 100% unable to be used by the Oakland Raiders if and when they come back from Las Vegas, once again looking to squat on A’s property.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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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.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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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.”