Billy Beane, Athletics re-raise all in
WASHINGTON -- The Oakland Athletics had already made the biggest trade of the baseball season, acquiring starting pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs shortly before the All-Star break. On Thursday, just hours before the non-waiver trade deadline, they went all-in.
The Athletics traded star outfielder and back-to-back Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes to Boston along with a competitive draft pick in exchange for star pitcher Jon Lester, outfielder Jonny Gomes and cash.
The trade gives the Athletics arguably the best playoff rotation in baseball, featuring Lester, Samardzija, Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir. Lester owns the lowest World Series ERA MLB history (min. 20 IP) at 0.43. Samardzija has posted a combined ERA under 3.00 in 17 starts between the Cubs and A’s. Kazmir owns the third-best ERA in the American League at 2.37, with a 1.02 WHIP. Gray’s 2.65 ERA ranks seventh in the AL, and is 5-0 with a 1.03 mark in his last five outings.
Gomes provides the A’s an adequate replacement for Cespedes against left-handed pitching, against whom he owns a .279/.379/.495 split against them, actually slightly better than Cespedes’ .275/.348/.496. Oakland will likely platoon Gomes, possibly with their other Thursday acquisition, outfielder Sam Fuld, who was acquired from Minnesota for the suddenly expendable starter Tommy Milone.
Lester is a free agent at the end of the season, while Cespedes is under contract through the 2015 season for the Red Sox. We’ll have more on trade deadline deals as they come together.
Texas A&M unveils gaudy new football complex
WASHINGTON -- Texas A&M University is making its pitch to the top recruits in Texas and around the country by showing off its new facilities on Twitter.
Each player’s locker includes an LED screen showing the student-athlete’s name, position, hometown and yes, even Twitter handle.
But wait, there’s more. Here are a couple more shots of the facilities, which are part of a $20.8 million renovation project. That, of course, comes in addition to the $450 million worth of upgrades to Kyle Field, the home of A&M Football.
As to whether any of this money could be spent simply paying student-athletes, well…
No need to roam for this gnome
The Nationals will be giving away Jayson Werth Garden Gnomes
to the first 25,000 fans at Tuesday night’s game. If you’re still
looking for a ticket, you’d better hurry.
Despite being a midweek game against the lowly New York
Mets, a huge crowd is expected. Center field gates open at 4:30 for the 7:05
p.m. game, so you’ll want to arrive early.