In only a few days, the season has improved dramatically for the Giants. Baseball joyfully provides for such rapid swings of success and emotion.
As opposed to the sport that matters most here in England, soccer, or as they call it, football.
Yes, Wimbledon is on, a spectacle among the rain drops, a bit of sporting pride for a country desperately searching for some. Especially after the Italy-England quarterfinal match in the European Cup. Read More
It has to end sometime, doesn’t it, this Tim Lincecum agony? There have been pitchers who mysteriously lost their accuracy or their speed, Steve Blass back in the ’70s, Rick Ankiel not so long ago, but they didn’t win two Cy Young Awards. Then again ...
A 2-8 record for Lincecum? That reads like a typographical error. It has to be 8-2, right? He reached 93 mph on the radar gun. He struck out six in Seattle. In five innings. Which is the problem.
Not the six strikeouts, the five innings. Read More
Tiger Woods didn’t have a chance. Either did Jim Furyk or Graeme McDowell. Or Ernie Els. Not at Olympic Club.
Not on the Lake Course. Not in a U.S. Open.
You think a place nicknamed the Graveyard of Legends is going to give us a champion everyone expects and everyone knows?
You think the sun is going to shine in June on the Northern California coast?
You think Tim Lincecum is going to win a game?
Stop thinking. Read More
The guy with him, the Masters champ, the one who shot a — heh, heh — cool 8-over 78, said after getting up close, if not personal, “That was the old Tiger. That was beautiful to watch.”
Still an endorsement from Bubba Watson, while not unappreciated, didn’t have Tiger Woods enthralled.
Woods had one of the few sub-par scores, a 1-under 69, the opening round of the U.S. Open on Thursday at Olympic Club. But as he pointed out a couple days ago, this course and this tournament unite to create one of golf’s most difficult tests. Read More
he U.S. Open is a movable feast, shifting from the old golf world to the new and then back again. It is a carnival of emotion and tradition that is both a national championship and regional reflection.
The Super Bowl and World Series are big-city spectaculars. The Masters never wanders from the red-clay country of southeast Georgia. Read More
He was the kid from The City, 19 years old and confident in his golf. But when the 1966 U.S. Open was set for his home course, the Olympic Club, he was so pessimistic about his chances of qualifying he didn’t even sign up a caddy.
In the end, the only bag Johnny Miller carried was his own, from the car to the rack outside the pro shop. A BYU student at the time, Miller managed to grab the last qualifying spot for the Open during an event in Utah. The legend had started. Read More
There’s always someone emphasizing the negative, someone reluctant to acknowledge success, someone who looks at what Rory McIlroy did in last year’s U.S. Open, lapping the field as it were, and suggests the course wasn’t that difficult or the other golfers went about things improperly.
Who cares? Maybe Congressional Country Club outside Washington, D.C., was too wet and too wide to provide a perfect Open test. Maybe the rest of the pros didn’t bring their games. McIlroy, then a 22-year-old, brought a game both remarkable and record-setting. Read More
Fourteen years ago, Willie Brown, then the mayor, was saying, “The U.S. Open is wonderful. It’s a $150 million boon to San Francisco, and being the center of golf worldwide for a week — that can’t hurt.”
Fourteen years ago, Phil Mickelson was tying for 10th and Tiger Woods for 18th.
Fourteen years ago, Casey Martin was having the ride and rounds of his life.
Fourteen years ago, 1998, the last time an Open was held at Olympic Club, Matt Kuchar was low amateur.
Then and now. The more things change, the more the main characters stay the same. Read More
The season is far from ideal. There’s that Timmy thing, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are still in front of the division. But now the Giants have hitting and speed, and with the season still four months from conclusion, they very well could finish where everyone thought they would: in first. Read More
The U.S. Open places a premium on emotion and psychology. “A lot of players,” said four-time Open champion Jack Nicklaus, “are eliminated the moment the tournament starts.” Nicklaus, certainly, wasn’t in that category. Neither were Lee Janzen or the late Payne Stewart.
The Open comes to San Francisco’s Olympic Club next month for a fifth time, and for a while now, we’ve been told how in those other four the wrong man won and Olympic, out there across the Great Highway from the Pacific, is the graveyard of champions. Read More
On one side of the family was a Hall of Fame first baseman, on the other an outfielder involved in one of the more famous plays in World Series lore. The baseball genes were there for Charlie Culberson.
“I guess you could say that,” Culberson agreed, “it’s neat to have that history.”
Culberson is the newest Giant, the second baseman who was in the minors Saturday night and in the bigs Sunday afternoon. “A dream come true,” he said, “but now that I’m here, it would be nice to stay. I just have to play the game.” Read More
‘These are the major leagues,” insisted Vida Blue on Comcast SportsNet this week. “This has got to stop.” Not the way the Giants are fielding. Or fumbling.
Who knew the Bad News Bears would be resurrected in orange and black? It was one thing when the Giants couldn’t hit a moving ball. It’s another when they can’t catch one.
“They’re killing me,” said Bruce Bochy, the Giants manager said of what loosely may be called his team. In truth they’re killing themselves. A club built around pitching can’t give the opposition four outs an inning. Or five outs. Read More
Six weeks now. Six weeks until America’s golfing championship returns to that place known as the Graveyard of Legends, San Francisco’s Olympic Club, where the chill settles, the fog swirls and expectations end up buried like a ball in the thick rough.
Olympic, alongside the Great Highway, a couple hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean, where the first hole runs atop the San Andreas fault and the last hole has a green fronted by bunkers that look very much like the letters I-O-U. Read More
What’s to worry? Tim Lincecum wasn’t going winless this season. You mean you thought that was possible? Oh, ye of little faith. And of first-inning jitters. True, he’s not where he would hope to be, but neither is he where he was.
“Baby steps,” was Lincecum’s observation. For Giants fans, it was more like, “Oh, baby, what a step.”
It had been a difficult beginning, for Lincecum, and for the Giants, giving fans and journalists, two groups lacking patience and often perspective, a reason to act as if the sky were dropping when Tim’s sinker was not. Read More
SANTA CLARA -- So the 49ers and Alex Smith will live happily ever after, and please don’t mention that dalliance with Peyton Manning. As far as Randy Moss, the only thing that matters, we’re told, is how Randy acts when he shows up, which presumably he’ll do in time. Niners general manager Trent Baalke spoke with the media Wednesday about next week’s NFL draft, and because as usual he wouldn’t tell us anything more specific than the team would select “the best player available,” we had to deal with the known — Alex and Randy — rather than the unknown. Read More