Everyone wants a piece of history. The Chicago Cubs know this. And they’re capitalizing on it: the club sent emails to season-ticket holders on Tuesday offering to sell them leaves of Wrigley Field ivy from the 2016 season.
The cost: $200 per leaf. Plus $15 shipping and handling. The email said that there are, appropriately, 2,016 ivy leaves available. Limit ten per customer. I assume there is a certificate of authenticity involved. It’d be a shame if you were sold fake foliage.
This is nothing new, of course. The Yankees and a lot of other teams have sold dirt — just dirt from the field — for a significant chunk of change. The Chicago Blackhawks once sold melted ice from their 2013 Stanley Cup championship season. Melted ice is, of course, just water. It set you back $99 if you wanted some.
It’s your money. Do what you want with it. But know that, if you spend $200 for a dang ivy leaf, you WILL be cited in some article chronicling the degeneracy and downfall of western civilization some day. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Not that it’s all bad. With the ivy gone we’ll be better able to see the wall the purchasers of the ivy will be lined up against when the revolution comes.
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.