Friday, August 10, 2007
I was checking out the stories of interest for newspaper coverage this week, and the same city kept popping up: San Francisco.
Barry hit his love-him-or-hate-him-its-his-record-now homer. Bill Walsh passed away. A handful of Bay-area universities are gearing up for football season. We're dealing with a lot of ish here.
So, no East Coast Bias here at Awful Announcing - we're going west, young personage of indeterminate gender.
The newspaper of record is the San Francisco Chronicle, and it's chock-full of great stories this weekend.
First up, Barry hits his dinger, and sports columnists start feuding over whether it's legit or not. Some "edgy" writer going by the nom de plume of Betting Fool is acting incredulous that the media is all over Bonds' jock looking for track marks. But he tries to cast it as an east coast-west coast feud. Outside of the hip-hop game, that just doesn't fly.
* The New York Daily News is home to Mike Lupica, the "Shetland Sports Columnist," who has been pissy about the Bonds thing from the start. He ends his latest column with: "Once, 33 years ago, the home run record, off the bat of Aaron, was the greatest and most glamorous record in baseball. Not anymore. Now it is Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. That's it and that's all."
Big shock he inserts a Yankee record over Bonds, a few dozen hits strung together over a two-month period? Or more than 750 homers? Yeah, good call.
Come on Shetland Sports Columnist, you know the greatest record in sports is the Yankees choking away a 3-0 lead in the ALCS to the Red Sox.
If you're gonna pop off, pony boy, stand up when you do it. Oh wait, you already are.
What the hell is the deal recently with San Franciscans hating on short people? First Bonds vs. Costas, and then Brave Anonymous Mouthy Columnist vs. Lupica? Also, the ad-hominem attack in the middle of a column seems out of place. But I guess hate sells these days, especially if it's in response to other hate.
Henry Schulman notes that the fire sale gained steam almost as soon as Barry did his thing, too. Mark Sweeney, known primarily for his ability to pinch-hit in a tight spot, is on his way to the Dodgers.
Sweeney's last act for the Giants was his 16th pinch-hit of the season, a sixth-inning single. Last month, he collected his 151st career pinch- hit to pass Manny Mota for second all-time. Now he will work with Mota, a Dodgers coach. Sweeney remains one of the best at what he does, but he is a commodity the 2007 Giants no longer need.
"To be frank, we're not a good enough team to have a guy like Mark on it, a premium pinch-hitter," Sabean said.
The new name in town is Rajai Davis (part of the Matt Morris trade), who will probably see a lot of playing time in Left now that Barry is done forcing his way into the record books.
Rajai Davis splayed his youthful exuberance all over the field in a defeat that resulted in a split of four games against the Nationals. Davis had his first career three-hit game with a bunt single, bloop double and solid single. He also stole two bases and scored the Giants' run.
Davis became the 10th Giant to start in left field this season, as Barry Bonds rested, and made his first start against a right-handed pitcher, Joel Hanrahan.
Don't you just hate it when exuberance gets splayed all over the place?
Changing gears now, Nancy Gay gives a fond hometown farewell to the beloved Bill Walsh:
Before and after the service, amid the warm, sun-splashed gathering in Stanford's Serra Mall, the message of love and togetherness that Walsh hoped to foster at his memorial positively flowed.
Not through tears, or sadness. But through hugs and kisses and long embraces that reminded everyone there that they were all bound together, by a man whose commitment to perfection, to achievement and winning and sacrifice touched them so profoundly.
"I feel so much joy here today! This is my family! These are my people. And I love them. I truly do," exclaimed former 49ers wide receiver Freddie Solomon, who was one of countless Walsh charges to feel the exact same way.
And just in case you wonder who was in charge of the 49ers while everyone else was at the service, it looks like Mike Singletary kept his eagle eye on the team for an hour or so:
At 9:41 a.m. Thursday, Mike Singletary became an NFL head coach ... for 89 minutes.
Singletary appreciated the poignancy of his brief stint in charge of an NFL team coming on the same day that Walsh was eulogized. Like many a young coach, this former ferocious linebacker sought Walsh's counsel when he decided to get into coaching.
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to call out the editor who let "former ferocious" go. One, it's stilted. Two, I'm pretty sure Singletary is still ferocious, so I'd prefer "ferocious former linebacker". But that's just me.
And, not to be outdone, the cross-bay Oakland Raiders announced.... their new long-snapper.
Up until now, most members of Raider Nation probably hadn't heard the name Jon Condo. And the job of long snapping probably has not been a hot topic of conversation in the Black Hole.
That could change.
Oh, my. I guess you have to try to wring some excitement out of the Raiders beat however you can, but that was some mighty purple prose for a special-teamer.
In College Football news, Cal's Nate Longshore has been added to the Manning award watch list. I would also like to announce that he is in consideration for the Pac-10 Porn Name All-Stars once again this season.
The Manning Award was created in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, and will be presented to the winner following the bowl season. It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the candidates' bowl performances.
What, we couldn't wait around for Cooper?
And the Stanford
Toby Gerhart smiles at the pun that his lack of participation in spring football practice was "a tough break." Indeed it was.
The Cardinal running back was coming off a promising freshman season with the football team and just starting to round into form on the Stanford baseball team in mid-February when he was hit by a pitch on the right forearm, breaking his arm.
So instead of getting acclimated to new coach Jim Harbaugh and his playbook, Gerhart became a sideline observer, limited to light, non-contact drills.
There's a real Chicago feel to the San Francisco coverage, what with Singletary and Harbaugh getting mentions. Which is OK with me, as San Francisco and Chicago are probably my top two favorite U.S. cities to visit.
That's it for this week. I'll be off next week, going to my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Too bad there won't be any alcohol, but then again, I guess that's part of why she lived to be 90 years old.
See you in a couple!