Sunday, October 31, 2010
Apologies to Raiders Fans but my baseball team is 1 win away from clinching the World "Freakin" Series. Sure I went out to the coliseum and watched my beloved Raiders cook the sea birds this afternoon. I watched Darren McFadden rush for over 100 yards, Darius Heyward-Bey catch for 105 yards, the defense sack the quarterback 8 times and allow only 47 yards rushing. The Raiders offense put up over 500 yards for the second straight week. No Raiders team has ever accomplished this feat. Ever!
I saw backup quarterback Jason Campbell pass for 310 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. He impressed me with how he bounced back from a flat first half of play.
I also saw a new Raiders weapon in fullback Marcel Reece. Though listed at fullback, Reece runs like a halfback, catches like a receiver and looks like a punt or kick returner when in space. He simply exploited the Seahawks defense in so many different ways. Reece should be added to the Raiders gameplans moving forward.
The one bad highlight of the day was seeing pro bowl cornerback Nmandi Asomougha go down with an ankle or foot injury. He was down for quite a while but managed to get up and off the field with assistance from two Raiders staff. Reports are the x-rays were negative and it appears to be a bad sprain. They say sprains are more painful than breaks when they first occur, which might explain the painful look of Nmandi's when tenderly hopping to the sideline.
Great Game Raiders, two wins in a row. We're 4-4 at the halfway point of the season with division leading Kansas City (5-2) coming into our house next week. Its Time!
Freddie Sanchez, with a snagging snowcone catch in the 2nd inning, led the impressive defensive plays of the Giants infield. And when Aubrey Huff put the Giants ahead 2-0 with a blasting home run to right, Bumgarner went into cruise-control and hushed the Texas Rangers, their fans, team President Nolan Ryan and the two former U.S. Presidents (GW & GWjr) in a Giants style of baseball domination:
And on this night of young'ins, Giants rookie catcher Buster Posey sent a pitch 404+ feet over the centerfield wall in the 8th to solidify the dominating night. Buster, like Bumgarner and many of the young Giants players, has shown a maturity in his playing that has the so-called experts checking the baseball history stats. Its truly a wonderful time to be a Giants fan. Don't stop believing!
The San Francisco Giants are one game away from claiming their first World Series Title in 52 years of play in the Bay. I almost hate to see this magical season end, even if it is in triumph. Tim Lincecum is on the mound for tomorrow's game 5. The city will have a big jumbo screen set up at Civic Center for free viewing of the game. AT&T Park should've opened their gates for fans to watch the game there, but I'm sure they're insurance wouldn't cover damage from a fan celebration.
With a Giants win tomorrow, time will stand still in the San Francisco Bay Area. Don't get caught frozen out of the historic moment. Watch the Damn Game!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The team along with its manager and staff are simply in a zone. Those athletes who know about being in "the zone" know that its more than physical and as close to perfection as the malaligned universe will allow human effort to reach. I call it Harmony, Championship Harmony!
Not quite the twilight zone. Orange Man is Giants fan Kevin Boutin returning to his seat at AT&T Park. Photo: Liz Hafalia/The Chronicle
Giants pitcher Matt Cain handled the Rangers lineup like a a teen texting on an iphone. Watching Cain deliver 102 pitches in seven innings so effortlessly, you almost forgot about the slugging threat the Rangers reportedly pose to their opponents. Cain gave up four hits and no runs as the Giants played some all-star defense behind him. The pitcher also had a base hit he smacked up the middle.
Yes folks, tonight the Giants pitching was masterful, the hitters patient and the opponent silenced. There was a moment when I swore I saw an angel on the outfield wall. In the top of the 5th with the game scoreless, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler leads off with a smash hit to left center on an 0-2 count. The ball sailed high and deep into the night as if it had a date with destiny. Its destiny turned out to be the top of the center field wall which it doinked then mysteriously pounced back into the glove of center fielder Andres Torres. Kinsler was limited to a double and Matt Cain would force three of the next four hitters to ground out or pop out to end the inning. I've never seen a ball with so much home run potential bounce back toward the outfield with such........conviction.
Edgar Renteria was Boss Batter tonight as he smashed a home run over the left field wall to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 5th inning. It seemed that would be all Cain would need to win it for the Giants, but Texas became generous in the 8th as the Giants scored seven runs with two outs, many on walks with bases loaded. You almost felt sorry for the Rangers pitchers. But Nah, it was a Rangers pitcher who treated our hitters like Rodney Dangerfield, "No Respect."
For the Giants the game became a laugher, for Texas their hopes of winning the series went on red alert!
So the Giants are headed to Arlington, Texas tomorrow where they have three games to either awaken a sleeping giant or put a fork in him and take off with his horse, cowboy hat and boots so he won't try following you home for supper.
Over the weekend there was another underdog named Cain who overpowered his favored opponent with a barrage of hits. The proud Mexican-American slugger is now the new UFC Heavyweight Champion after defeating the so-called undefeatable Brock Lesnar. It was quick and painful to watch former champion Lesnar get chopped down and stumble toward defeat. But this is UFC where on any give day the act of submission could be yours.
As for the new Champion, his name is Cain Velasquez and here's a clip of his post-fight appearance on the George Lopez show:
Even with a four run lead that began as a six run burst in the 5th, the Giants found a way to torture us fans just a bit. First they teased us by batting in three more runs to extend the lead to 11-4. Then in the top of the ninth the Rangers bats came to life against Giants pitchers Ramon Ramirez and Jeremy Affeldt. Closer Brian "Fear The Beard" Wilson would come in to end any comeback threat as the Giants celebrate winning game 1 in convincing style, 11-7.
The Boss of the night was Freddie Sanchez who had four hits in five at bats. Three of those hits were doubles for a World Series record. Sanchez wore #12 in Pittsburgh and now wears #21 here in San Francisco. The connection? Roberto Clemente. Go Freddie!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Nobody expects a rogue like you to be attending a royal gathering such as this, the World Series. But you know you're more than worthy of being a part of this grand event.
The word is out, someone has leaked the news that a sparkling orange coach delivered an eccentrically strange guest just minutes ago outside on Willie Mays plaza. Inside, all eyes, including the gem-like pair belonging to the prettiest and richest woman in attendance, are on the stairway leading into the grand place. The woman, like a shining trophy, awaits the one destined to win her heart.
Your entry cuts into the crowd's silence like a knife through butter, meltingly smooth and precise. Here is how you enter Game 1 of the World Series; an unexpected guest who's thrilled to be going to the championship to claim your long awaited prize.
Monday, October 25, 2010
DENVER - OCTOBER 24: Tight end Zach Miller of the Oakland Raiders strides into the endzone in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 24, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
The Oakland Raiders, coming off a 17-9 loss to the 49ers, annihalated the Broncos yesterday. They put up 59 points, the most ever by a Raiders team. RB Darren McFadden ran for 165 yards on 16 carries, QB Jason Campbell connected on 12 of 20 passes for 204 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions. The offensive line blocked, the defense defended and the Silver & Black had the most dominating performance over any opponent since Rich Gannon was steering the ship to its last Super Bowl.
If you're familiar with the Game Review section of the San Francisco Chronicle, a peak at it will reveal something you've probably never seen. The little man who's usually sleeping or barely sitting up in his chair on Raiders reviews is out of his chair clapping with a his tongue hanging out his mouth in exhileration. That in all four phases of the game review: Offense - Defense - Special Teams - Coaching. Congratulations Raiders! And thanks SF Chronicle for putting aside your biases and giving a great win its rightful due.
The score was 24-0 at the end of the first quarter. 38-7 at the half. 59-14 at the end of the third quarter. And the Raiders rested as the Broncos laid down in the 4th. Coach Tom Cable has the Raiders team ready for this game. The 59 points executed to perfection will be a measuring bar for the Raiders the rest of the season. I know is was a lowly Broncos team but until this win the Raiders were in the same pool of teams as the Broncos, maybe lower.
Now the Silver & Black are second in the division and carry a 2-0 record in it; the best within the division. We are positioned to climb out of the football cellar and make some noise this season. We're 3-4 with nine games left to play. A lot can happen in the span of nine weeks.
Coming into the Oakland Coliseum this weekend will be the NFC West division leader Seattle Seahawks, a decent team but beatable. We beat'em in the preseason easily. With this Sunday being Halloween, a Raiders Holiday, I expect our team and fans to come out and "Frighten" the opponents in ways the've never been.
Raider Nation & the Oakland Raiders Are Back! BOOOOoooooooo!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Pregnancy - Labor Pains - Birth
Whenever I, a grown man of advancing years, watch footage of a woman giving birth I cringe, uncontrollably buckle my knees, then cover my ears as I pray for the baby to come soon and end the poor mothers suffering. I've heard women describe the experience as "painfully beautiful," knowing that they're the vessel through which the Almighty has chosen to populate his garden.
To many a man alive birth is true torture. To the sweating, laboring mother giving birth, it can be one of the most memorable moments in her life that produces a most beautiful gift; a gift she carried in her body for nine months from that early spring conception. She courageously suffered through the morning sickness, the back pain and the emotional swings while all the while persons were telling her how beautiful and glowing her face appeared. At times during the pregnancy she thought herself the ugly duckling, at other times Cinderella impatient to attend the ball. When she finally got to look at and hold her newborn she cried with joy, knowing that the pain and suffering was well worth the gift of delivering a child and being crowned with the accomplished title of motherhood.
Hence we have the 2010 San Francisco Giants baseball team, pregnant with promise in the spring of 2010. Sports doctors gave them little hope of surviving a full term pregnancy and delivering successfully in October. The team was simply too weak as early tests showed possible defective antibodies. A health plan was devised which fed the team some new nourishing supplements via free agent and fresh farm team additions. It was a unique assembly of used and new experimental parts that made up the team’s treatment plan. It took time for the treatment to take effect and still they continued bidding for a prized slugging discovery before the abortive deadline date of early summer. The deadline would come and go without any slugging additions; the team would have to carry their load with a slightly challenged lineup of slugging power.
Threatened by complications caused by rival teams, lacking in slugger proteins, the team, still pregnant with promise, rallied in its final trimester stage. This latter stage of the pregnancy saw the teams’ little promise survive threats of post season elimination as the team battled and barely pulled through the final home stretch series of challenges. The teams’ dominating immune system pitched around and through opponents to make up for its compromised slugger protein counts, avoiding pregnancy setbacks and possible miscarriage.
Thanks again to the teams’ immune system of clutch pitching; the one game playoff setback was in fact avoided the last day of the season.
The teams’ water broke on October 7th as specialists from Atlanta and then Philadelphia flew in with suggestions of terminating the pregnancy. The team and family of fans never gave up hope as local doctors Kuiper and Krukow prescribed Ashkon pills to those losing faith during heartbreaking playoff losses. The pills had a collective uplifting effect as emotionally charged chants of “don’t stop believing” were heard echoing throughout the homes of many a San Francisco Giants fan. It was a harrowing and torturous two and a half weeks pacing outside the delivery room.
The San Francisco Giants delivered and now wear the crown of National League Champions.
And on Sunday everyone rested!
October 24, 2010
Imagine if your friend added you to a NAMBLA group which represents men who solicit relations with young boys. It actually happened to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg when a friend added him to the NAMBLA group as a way of bringing attention to his concerns of this Facebook feature.
When I left Facebook due to privacy concerns, no I wasn't a group member of NAMBLA, I was concerned over how Facebook utilizes all the personal data it monitors and collects. There didn't seem to be enough checks and balances in their network to make me feel secure. Now something like this exposes even more the "No Opt Out" way of doing business on Facebook's network.
I suggest if you use Facebook to ask yourself the age old question: If someone is giving me something that appears to be free, what is it really costing me to enjoy their so-called free gift? The answer to that question my friend might be something you'd rather not know.
Facebook's groups Help Center confirms that there's simply no way to prevent people from adding you to groups. And the critics say that rather than being added automatically, friends should be given the choice to opt into any groups.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
The San Francisco Giants played their usual "Torture" baseball to win game 6 in Philadelpia and advance to the 2010 World Series.
The Phillies were the 2009 N.L. Champions and it took a Knockout Punch by Jose Uuuuribe to beat the former champion. The game was a classic duel that ranks right up their with the best. I'm too excited to go into the details. I encourage any and all baseball fans to catch the highlights and/or replay somewhere.
My San Francisco Giants have shut the mouths of ESPN announcers and east coast sports broadcasters by taking the NLCS 4 games to 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The San Francisco Bay Area is going stark-raving mad with celebration.
I leave you to join in the championship festivities.
Congratulations My San Francisco Giants on Winning the 2010 National League Championship.
Torture truly never felt so GOOD!
Friday, October 22, 2010
After watching the dejected Yankees walking off the Rangers field and seeing all the Rangers fans deliriously celebrating their first ever American League Championship, I lost my cool.
I've been overly cautious when it comes to predicting my San Francisco Giants future fortunes. I've been infected with the baseball bug of superstition. I kept my trap shut through the final regular season series against the San Diego Padres. I attended two NLDS games against the Atlanta Braves and humbly refrained from uttering anything pertaining to the NLCS. I wouldn't even allow myself the pleasure of mentioning the "you know what" series when we went up 3-1 on the Phillies this week.
But tonight I courageously peeled the seal off that bottle of superstition and you know what they say about once the seal is broken; you can't stop the spirits from flowing freely.
The Giants are now up 3-2 in the N.L. series against the Phillies. They have tomorrow and Sunday to claim their N.L. crown in Philadelphia. It won't be as easy as it was for the Rangers who seemed to have the New York Yankees number. But I believe my team will get the job done. Any other team might be shaking in their cleats returning to the home of the defending National League championss for games 6 & 7, but not the Giants. They've thrived all season on taking the torturous path. To have it any other way just wouldn't be their style.
So I congratulate the Texas Rangers for getting to the........Big Sheeew. I look forward to this weekend's conclusion of the NLCS knowing that my Giants are the better team. So let the 2010 tour of torture continue its magical victory march to the Big Sheew.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The San Francisco Giants are 1 Game away from going to...............the BIG Shewww. Last night's game against the Philadelphia Phillies was classic Bochy-Ball, where Giants manager Bruce Bochy played the right players at the right time. What makes Bochy so masterful in his way of managing is that he trusts his instincts and "stays the course" with his choices. It was a classic exhibition of Giants Torture 2010, and it was beautiful.
San Francisco AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Renteria, SS 4 0 0 0 1 1 1 .083
Wilson, B, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Sanchez, F, 2B 5 1 1 0 0 0 3 .235
Huff, A, 1B 5 2 3 1 0 1 1 .313
Posey, B, C 5 0 4 2 0 1 1 .313
Burrell, LF 2 1 0 0 2 0 2 .182
Romo, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Uribe, SS 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .143
Ross, C, RF-LF 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 .417
Sandoval, P, 3B 4 0 1 2 0 0 4 .250
Rowand, CF 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 .200
Casilla, S, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
a-Ishikawa, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .500
Lopez, Ja, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Schierholtz, RF 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Bumgarner, P 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Torres, CF 2 1 1 0 1 0 1 .167
Pablo "Panda" Sandoval, Andres Torres, Freddie Sanchez, Aaron Rowan, Cody Ross, Buster Posey, Aubrey Huff, Madison Bumgarner, Romo, Wilson and Juan Uuuuuuribe!
The Giants are truly a motley crew of players with all sorts of strengths and weaknesses. What Bochy seems to have done is harnessed the positive forces of each player into a single unit while separating and suppressing their weaker forces on the bench, rendering them harmless.
Today the Giants have an opportunity of a lifetime. With a win they will send the Phillies home for Halloween and set-off a hometown celebration that'll rival any sporting event the Bay Area has hosted since "The Catch" game between the 49ers and Cowboys 1982.
What makes this moment in Giants baseball so special and exciting is that it was so "Unexpected." Now, with a 3-1 series lead going into today's NLCS game 5, we Giants fans expect to see our team cross the threshhold of destiny and make the rest of the league believers. The San Francisco Giants are a great ballclub and yes, torturous, but so much fun to watch.
Giants Magic Number Is 5
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
NLCS Game 3
Giants 3 Phillies 0
The San Francisco Giants now lead the series 2-1 with two more games to be played at AT&T Park. This playoff ride is more fun than I can remember the 2002 Giants playoff ever being.
In 2002 we expected to win with Barry blasting balls out of the ballpark. Here in 2010 we're praying to win and our prayers are being answered in miraculous ways over and over. What better way to heal from seven seasons of playoff drought and a slugging hero who's still facing grand jury charges?
The San Francisco Giants have restored the spiritual faith of Bay Area baseball fans!
Monday, October 18, 2010
I burst into this world through a feminine canal gushing with a liquidious love so nourishing, that almost half a century later I still get goosebumps thinking of Mom's painful ordeal in birthing me.
Sacrifice is a mother's middle name. She does it over and over for her child throughout its life, without ever asking anything in return. Sacrifice is not a duty to a mother, its a way of mothering. She continues her sacrifice to the grave, where she prays to find reward and rest from her journey as well as ongoing angelic responsibilities toward her offspring.
I spend today in honor and acknowledgement of my mother's many sacrifices for me and the rest of our family. My hope is that her peaceful rest is God's reward to her for a motherhood well done.
Happy Birthday Mom
I promise to live my life in a way that your sacrifice in birthing and raising me will better humankind in unselfish ways as long as I live.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
A: Quarterback Jason Campbell is playing like Alex Smith
B: Red zone offense and play-calling is not getting it done
note: B is likely a direct result of A
If coach Cable hasn't given a half-time speech that includes detailing the opportunity winning gives them with losses by division rivals San Diego and Kansas City, then I expect the Raiders to come out flat in the second half and eventually let 49ers running back Frank Gore break one for the lead.
Its a travesty that we sf bay area fans have to watch two unproductive quarterbacks as the meat of our Giants sandwich weekend. Can't wait for NLCS game 2 after this cheesy meal.
Here we go, second half begins.
Cody Ross has his eyes on his solo homer in the third inning. Ross went deep again in the fifth. Photo: Michael Macor / The Chronicle
Someone with either the genius of an Einstein or the dyslexia of an ESL student pointed out that Cody Ross spelled backwards is Ssory Doc (Sorry Doc), as in sorry Doc Halladay for hitting two homers off you and beating your Phillies 4-3 in game 1 of the NLCS.
Cody Ross, the former Florida Marlins castaway who's referred to as the 'accidental Giant', is being hailed as the Giants playoff mvp player to date thanks in part to his 5-RBI and .353 batting average this post season. Cody and Giants pitching have played a Huge role in the teams' post-season success, none bigger than last night's success in the city of Brotherly Love.
Remember folks, Philadelphia fans once booed Santa Claus at an Eagles game. They tried getting to the Giants starting pitcher last night with whistles and catcalls, but the Freak weathered the storm and delivered the goods.
Giants ace pitcher Tim 'The Freak' Lincecum went seven strong innings and appeared to be getting stronger after throwing 100 pitches. The Freak matched the Doc in number of home runs (2) given up, but the Phillies ace seemed just a bit more shaken by his and the Giants hitters smelled it.
Cody FREAKIN Ross has got us Giants fans seriously believing that this just might be the year. Their magic number is now 7.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
John 'Bud Fowler' Jackson
1860s During the Civil War, soldiers, black freemen and emancipated slaves play the game across the widening map of America.
1867 Colored World Championship.
1878 John "Bud Fowler" Jackson becomes the first black pro baseball player, for a team in Chelsea, Mass.
1880s Black teams such as the St. Louis Black Stockings and New York Cuban Giants are formed.
1883 Chicago White Stockings star Cap Anson, pictured right, refuses to play against the Toledo Blue Stockings unless black catcher Moses "Fleetwood" Walker is removed from the field.
1887 The International League bans future contracts with black players, starting an era of segregation that will last until 1945.
1890s "Colored" teams, in an effort to survive, take to the road, and barnstorming - a term originally used to describe a flying circus - is born.
1901 Baltimore Orioles manager John McGraw attempts to play black second baseman Charlie Grant by disguising him as a Cherokee named Tokohama.
1920 Owner-pitcher Andrew "Rube" Foster of the Chicago American Giants joins with fellow "colored" team owners to form the seven-team Negro National League.
1920 The six-team Negro Southern League debuts.
1923 Independent team owners Ed Bolden and Nat Strong organize the six-team Eastern Colored League.
1924 The first Negro World Series is played between the Negro National League's Kansas City Monarchs and the Eastern Colored League's Hilldale club of Darby-Yeadon.
1931 The death of Rube Foster, the Great Depression, and the flight of the popular Kansas City Monarchs doom the Negro National League, leaving the Negro Southern League as the only "major" league for black players.
1933 A new Negro National League forms.
1937 The seven-team Negro American League is born and includes the Kansas City Monarchs as well as the Homestead Grays, who feature Josh Gibson, also known as the "black Babe Ruth."
1945 Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey signs Kansas City Monarchs infielder Jackie Robinson and assigns him to Montreal of the International League.
April 15, 1947 Robinson debuts with Brooklyn, becoming the first black major-league baseball player of the modern era.
July 1947 Cleveland owner Bill Veeck signs Larry Doby, pictured right, making the former Newark Eagles slugger the first black American League player.
1948 Leroy "Satchel" Paige, the Kansas City Monarchs pitching legend, becomes the oldest rookie ever when he signs with the Cleveland Indians. He later becomes the first black player to pitch in a World Series.
1952 With more than 150 former Negro-leagues players now integrated into pro ball, the Negro American League folds.
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers all-star catcher Roy Campanella wins the National League's most-valuable-player award, the third such award won by the Philadelphia-born future Hall of Famer (the others were in 1951 and 1953).
Raiders Defense Baby!@
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Dave Martin / AP
The San Francisco Giants finished their five game series against the Atlanta Braves in typical torturous fashion; they came back twice, once to tie it and then to take the lead for good in the top of the 7th inning.
Closer Brian Wilson finished the game in a way that only Brian Wilson can. He allowed two runners on with one out before retiring the next two batters on a strikeout and a groundout. The Giants gave retiring manager Bobby Cox his due at games end, then rushed to the clubhouse for champagne and tears of ecstasy.
Our San Francisco Giants are heading to the Nationl League Championship series against defending NL champion Philadelphia Phillies. Game 1 is this Saturday and the starting pitchers are Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay, two of the elite pitchers in the National League. Its Showtime Folks.
So get ready boys and girls, the torture continues when the Giants begin yet another series battle on their way to.................dare I say it? On their way to Glory!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
San Diego came into the Oakland Coliseum with a 13 game winning streak against the Raiders that dates back to 2003. Raiders special teams started the game out with a blocked punt for a safety followed by a blocked punt for a touchdown. I'd never seen my team do that before.
The Raiders defense was sliced up by Philip Rivers passes while stuffing the Chargers running game. All hope seemed lost for the Raiders when QB Bruce Gradkowski left the game in the 2nd quarter with a shoulder sprain. In comes backup Jason Campbell who took a few series to get on target but once he felt his rhythm was more than adequate in filling in for Bruuuuce.
My boy Nick Miller had a nice punt return that he almost took to the house. TE Zack Miller was a receiving juggernaut making plays at critical times. RB Michael Bush ran like a beast as he grinded out short yardage. FB Rock Cartwright saw action and did well on special teams (1 blocked punt) and as a blocker for Bush.
The big play came with the Chargers driving for the go ahead/winning score in Raiders territory. Raiders defensive coordinator Marshall finally decided it was time to blitz Rivers and the decision paid off in points. On the play, Rivers goes back to pass and Raiders defender Michael Huff gets a hand on the ball just before Rivers can begin his forward motion. Upon review it was decided that the ball was a fumble and the long return by Raiders Tyvon Branch would stand as a touchdown. The Raiders defense, after being shredded throughout the game by Rivers passing, had sealed the deal for the team and given them a 34-27 lead that would hold up for the win.
Meanwhile, about the same time the Raiders were wrapping up their win the San Franciso Giants were closing out a 9th inning come from behind victory over the Atlanta Braves in their NLDS game 3 matchup. Atlanta was leading the game 2-1 in the inning when the Giants began sprinkling their bats and balls with magic dust. A few errors later the Giants were pinching themselves to make sure the 3-2 lead they'd taken wasn't just a dream. It wasn't. Giants lead series 2-1.
The Stanford Cardinal football team took out one upstart southern California team in the last seconds of a seesaw battle while the Cal Bears trampled over the other sister from the south. Both games were played here on Northern California home turf.
Why even the heartbreaking Golden State Warriors got into the winning act as they won two games over the weekend with ease. It might be too early to crown the Warriors NBA playoff contenders, but if the magic dust floating in the Bay Area air this weekend continues to pay visits throughout the winter, we just might be pulling out our "We Believe" t-shirts come spring time.
And then there's the winless San Francisco 49ers who capped off the weekend with an NFL Sunday Night game appearance. Oh, well, all good things must come to an end and this is where Bay Area magic lost its luster. The 49ers, next week's Raiders opponent, showed the football world just why they haven't won a game up to now. They competed against the Philadelphia Eagles minus Mike Vick, as if they were being watched by the football critics. They looked decent one moment and sloppy the next. They are the 2009 Raiders with Jamarcus Russell, beating themselves and no answer in sight for recovery. They may want to take a page from the Raiders notebook and bench starting quarterback Alex Smith. You can't win games when your QB is fumbling and throwing interceptions at critical times. See Jamarcus in Wikipedia for details.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Entering AT&T Park for the NLDS game 1 matchup between the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves, I overheard one Giants fan yelling,
"Sh!t, I want a Freaking No-Hitter. If the Phillies can get one, why not us?"
The fan was referring to Wednesdays "No-No" thrown by phillies pitcher Roy Halladay. The odd thing about the fan's wishful statement was the many agreeing replies it drew from fans who overheard it, myself included.
So when Tim Lincecum threw his final strikeout in the ninth inning, number fourteen, I remembered the earlier "No-No" wish and began laughing and celebrating like the ugly green Philly Phanatic , as the Giants took game 1 of the series 1-0.
Being at the game and seeing Lincecum's accomplishment made me feel as if Roy Halladay himself had time-warped into AT&T Park and pitched a spectacular game wearing a Lincecum jersey. The fan atmosphere, the evening stillness and the pitching duel between Lincecum and Derek Lowe made for a classic autumn baseball feast. We Giants fans ate it up!
What Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum did to the Atlanta Braves lineup was simply Historic! Who knew that in his first MLB playoff appearance, Lincecum would deliver in such commanding Cy-Young fashion? I'm still celebrating, hoarse vocal cords and all, as I prepare for Game 2 at AT&T Park. For the Giants their Iron Horse, Matt Cain, will be pitching. Oh Yeah, I'll be there, watching wishes and dreams come true.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
On the last day of the final regular season the San Francisco Giants scored 3 runs to 0 against the San Diego Padres to earn their first National League West Division Championship in seven years. This Season has been Torturous and Magical for the Giants and their fans.
Funny how thoughts of last season's final home game come to mind. I'd taken my glove and ball to the game and afterwards, with the Giants out of the post-season once again, I moped around the park and downtown SF tossing that ball into the air, catching it in that old leather glove and saying to myself, "just wait'll next year."
Well, next year has come, the glove and ball will accompany me to a playoff game and I'm as happy as a mouse in a cheese factory. In the traditional style of comedian David Chappele:
The Raiders kept from beating themselves this weekend and were rarely penalized. If only the Raiders offensive line could protect the quarterback. If only the Oakland defense could avoid giving up that one big play to a top league rusher that saps the energy out of the boys. A "How-To-Tackle-Fantasy-Rushers" class would defnitely be in order.
Again, gotta give our Defensive boys credit though, they battled to the end and gave the offense a final chance with three minutes remaining. But when your quarterback is dodging missiles that pierce through an offensive line like hot knives through butter, chances are that winning drive evaporates before it reaches the 50-yard line.
Wide receiver Zach Miller played like a pro bowler and the Raiders as a unit gave us fans plenty to cheer for, but again the other team on the field seemed just a step ahead in execution and consistency.
Yep, the hometown Raiders gave it the good ole college try, but the Texans ain't no team of academia classman playing for an edu-ma-cation. The Houston Texans are a professional football team who've taken their game to the next level.