Saturday, April 14, 2007

Enjoying Bay Area Sports

Fresh off a four hour Friday night baseball game where the Oakland A's played superbly in their 11 inning win over the New York Yankees, 5-4. The night was full of fans rooting for both teams at McAfee Coliseum. Though I'm a New Yorker by birth (Let's Go Mets), I had to go with my local A's team as they suprised us all with some very outstanding plays. I foresee the A's getting back to the playoffs with this years team, which seems to be even better than last years. They've got pitching, hitting and defense going for them.

As for the SF Giants, they're still climbing out of the hole they dug themselves into the first two weeks of the season. Friday's game resulted in a 8-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Barry Bonds hit home runs 736 & 737 to inch within 18 of tying Hank Aaron at 755.

The Golden State Warriors, The Playoff possible Golden State Warriors blew out their NorCal rival Sacramento Kings 125-108. They are currenly in a three-way tie for the 8th and final western division playoff spot. The team as a whole has turned it up a few notches and are playing some very inspired basketball. Though they're not in control of their playoff destiny, their chances are as good as any of the other three teams (Lakers, Clippers, Hornets) vying for the final spot. Just Win Baby!

The San Jose Sharks dropped a game to the Nashville Predators in Nashville last night, evening their best of seven NHL playoff series at 1-1. My understanding is that the two teams are both improved from last season and pretty evenly matched. Go Sharks!

My Oakland Raiders added another piece to their rebuilt offensive line in signing former Denver Bronco Cooper Carlisle. Now comes the draft.

After all the talk this week about radio/tv talk host IMUS making racially disturbing comments about the Rutgers Women's Basketball Players, we have a much more interesting and proud racial milestone in sports to recognize come Sunday. The day will mark the 60th anniversary of desegregation in major league baseball. Though we as Americans, especially African-Americans, should be proud of the steps major sports has taken the past 60 years to make ours the land of Freedom, Justice and Opportunity for All athletes, we can't sit back and think we've arrived at that goal today. Our attitudes about ourselves and each other in this salad bowl we call the U.S.A must continually work toward tolerance, acceptance and understanding of our differences as well as our similarities. Hopefully athletes like Tiger Woods, Dana Patrick and even the Rutgers women's basketball players are inspiring today's generation of young aspiring athletes to strive forward and knock down obstacles that once stood in the way of those who came before them.

I've never quoted Barry Bonds, and I probably won't find myself ever again quoting Barry, but for me as an African-American male who loves baseball, he summed up the feelings I have about the Jackie Robinson 60th anniversary of breaking the color barrier in professional baseball. When asked what Robinson meant to him, Bonds said:

"What does it mean to all African American athletes? But I don't think only African American athletes should be answering the question. I think baseball should be answering the question as well. Some of the white ballplayers should be answering that question as well, not just African American ballplayers. We already know what it means to us. We've answered that question over and over."

Of course those biased against Barry might misunderstand his meaning, but I, and I'm sure many African-Americans understand and applaud Barry's reply.

Barry plans to wear No. 42 in Sunday's game against the Pirates, in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Almost forgot our San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League, they were friday night victims of the New Orleans VooDoo, losing 67-54. I'd never heard of the VooDoo until Friday. I just can't imagine what their team logo looks like, nor their team mascot. Gotta be something with a skull or crossbones. Whatever the image, they had the magic potion going for them on Friday, even if it was black magic potion.

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