Kevin Baxter: ‘Rams Are Favorite For Los Angeles’

Angels outfielder Shane Victorino crashed into the wall at Oakland Coliseum while attempting to make a catch Monday.

That he didn’t make the catch soon became an afterthought. That’s because the section of the wall that Victorino hit came loose, fell down and had to be repaired. The game, which the A’s won 11-5, was delayed 10 minutes.

While this was certainly an embarrassment for the A’s, isn’t it also an embarrassment for Major League Baseball?

“Well yeah, it is,” LA Times MLB writer Kevin Baxter said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “If RG3 is going to leave Washington, he shouldn’t come to Oakland if they’re still playing in this stadium. It’s bad. They had 22 hours to change the field from a football field to a baseball field before yesterday’s game. It wasn’t nearly enough time. There’s still football stripes all over the place. There’s a huge 50-yard-line marker right behind the mound, and as you mentioned, Shane Victorino ran into the wall. I talked to him just a few hours ago. He didn’t even hit it that hard and the wall came down. So it’s kind of a bad situation here. The Oakland A’s are trying to get a new stadium. They want to move down to San Jose. The Raiders are talking about moving to L.A. So this stadium really is just sitting here and no one’s taking a whole lot of care with it or of it. We come here every summer with the Angels, and it seems to be getting worse every year.”

Baxter said he does not see the Chargers and Raiders one day sharing a stadium in Los Angeles.

“I can’t see that happening,” he said. “One or both could move. Probably one. I think probably the Rams are the favorite right now. I think the NFL has to like the fact that the stadium plans are so far advanced and that it won’t cost them any money. I think the Carson Stadium, from what I understand, there have to be a lot of things that go right. It almost looks a little bit like a pipe dream, whereas the Hollywood Park site where the Rams might move – Stan Kroenke’s site – that looks pretty solid. I envision the Rams coming here. Yeah, there could be a second team at that Carson site, but I don’t see two teams, especially two teams from the same division, sharing a stadium. I just don’t see how that would work.”

Getting back to the Angels (66-66), though, what has happened to them? On July 20, they were 54-40. They’ve since gone 12-26 and are 3.5 games back of the Rangers in the Wild Card.

“If they were in the NL, they’d be 9.5 games out of the Wild Card,” Baxter pointed out. “I was talking to Huston Street earlier today and he said that this 3.5-game deficit is a blessing – and it really is. They still think they’re in it. They play Texas seven times in September. They think they’re one winning streak away from getting back into it.”

The Angels scored just 86 runs in August – the fewest in the majors – and had one of the worst team ERAs in the AL.

“They couldn’t do anything,” Baxter said.

It doesn’t help that Mike Trout had just one home run and hit below .200.

“That’s not a Mike Trout month,” Baxter said. “That’s a Ferrall month at the plate. There’s clearly something wrong with him at the plate. If the Angels don’t pick up some ground in the next week, they’re probably done.”

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