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Mike Schmidt makes public statement regarding the Odubel Herrera controversy

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Phillies broadcaster Mike Schmidt criticizing outfielder Odubel Herrera, saying that the 2016 All-Star can’t be a team leader because of the “language barrier.” Understandably, Schmidt received criticism for his comment, made during an appearance on local sports radio.

Schmidt called Herrera personally to apologize, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. And Schmidt made a statement to the public, as CSN Philly’s John Clark reports:

It’s been made known to me that my answer on a radio interview this morning to the question, “can the Phillies build a team around Odubel Herrera” was disrespectful to Herrera and Latin players in general. I’m very sorry that his misrepresentation of my answer occurred and may have offended someone. I assure everyone I had no intention of that. Odubel is a dynamo on the field, and as he becomes more comfortable with the language, his leadership skills will improve, and no doubt he will be a centerpiece in the Phillies future.

This is not exactly an example of a good apology. Schmidt starts off with, “It’s been made known to me,” which shows us that he still doesn’t see the issue with what he said; rather, he’s going by other people’s reactions to it. A good apology would include recognition of the issue and accepting responsibility.

Schmidt wasn’t taken out of context, either. He was asked if Herrera was a player the Phillies could build around, and the outfielder’s ability — or perceived lack thereof — to communicate was an important factor to Schmidt.

Later, he refers to the blowback as a “misrepresentation of my answer,” which shifts blame from him saying something problematic to other people. Schmidt then says that that misrepresentation “may have offended someone.” So not only are other people at fault for misinterpreting what he said, but they’re also wrong for being offended by it.

Lastly, Schmidt says that Herrera’s leadership will improve “as he becomes more comfortable with the language,” which is basically restating what he said on the radio that got him into trouble in the first place. While Herrera isn’t 100 percent fluent in English, he speaks enough of it to get by, just like thousands of other players who have played the sport. Some of those, like David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre, have become the leaders of their teams. One need not have English as a first language to become a leader.

Clark also reported Herrera’s response. “I don’t agree with his comments. It’s disappointing,” Herrera said.

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.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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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.