Perhaps it is best left to Brian Wilson — who himself falls into the category of “is he fact or fiction?” — to summarize the life and career of the kid who catches his pitches. Read More
You realize all you can be is yourself. Barry Zito said that. The world swirls about him, the debate goes on, the arguments continue. But all Barry Zito can do is be himself.“I definitely have something to prove,” Zito conceded. Zito is not the Giants’ main man, not their No. 1 pitcher, not their best pitcher. He remains their most controversial, however, booed by some fans, questioned by some journalists, apparently doubted by some baseball people. Read More
He was the kid so poor he was forced to use cardboard for a baseball glove. Miguel Tejada excelled because he needed to excel. The other option was a life of struggle.So if along the way, Tejada may have played loose with the truth as well as playing some brilliant baseball, well, that could be understood, if not approved. He gave the wrong date for his birthday, wanting teams to believe he was younger. He gave Congress the incorrect answers in testimony in Rafael Palmiero’s steroid loose. Read More
It’s difficult to tell if Aubrey Huff is serious or serial. He comes across as two-thirds sarcasm, one-third smart-aleck, exactly the sort of ballplayer needed in any clubhouse and by any journalist.You want comfort, stay on the other side of the clubhouse. With Huff nearby, complacency doesn’t have a chance. Neither does any form of self-satisfaction. He’s as abrasive as he has to be and as embraceable as he chooses to be. Read More
So the Giants finally have their World Series win. As A’s loyalists like to point out, that leaves San Francisco three behind the team from Oakland — a team suddenly more relevant than Lew Wolff’s desperate attempts to move to San Jose or the whispered hints of Major League Baseball to contract the franchise into oblivion.One remembers that slogan on the billboard at the eastern section of the Bay Bridge put up by the A’s: “While they were building a ballpark, we were building a team.” Also that other little zinger, “No splash hits, four world championships.” Read More
He’s not quite a national monument. That label belongs to the other entity from Carlsbad, N.M.: the caverns. “It’s a pretty neat experience,” Cody Ross said of visiting his hometown attraction. “Especially as you get older.
“As a kid, I didn’t appreciate it as much.”
This from a ballplayer who in his career was not appreciated at all — until early last autumn.
Then at age 30, in his 12th season of professional ball and with his fifth major-league organization, Ross — all smiles and timely hitting — became a star of the postseason for the Giants. Read More
It wasn’t an escape. Not according to Tim Lincecum, although some might view it exactly as that. He simply headed north, back to the state of Washington and away from the state of hysteria in which, metaphorically, he had found himself.
“It was like going home for the weekend for most people,” said Lincecum of his ... well, maybe retreat is too strong a word. Let’s say escape from the world of questions, notepads and, yes, baseball.
“I got away from the job,” Lincecum said. “Home with my friends and family.” Read More
He is back in jail again, for being loyal. Or being a bit crazy. Or because, as some believe, we are a world of skeptics and some day he will be paid for his silence.
Greg Anderson is the man no one can understand.
Except he’s remarkably disciplined, perhaps principled. He’s also the individual Barry Bonds is fortunate to have by his side, if not literally, since Barry is in a court room and Anderson is behind bars.
“Everyone’s negotiable,” was an observation of Muhammad Ali. Greg Anderson doesn’t seem to be. Read More
Buster Posey, for one, seemed composed from the first time he picked up a baseball, or no less significantly picked up a team.
Same thing as the good people in San Francisco will verify, for Joe Montana, or in the vernacular of success, “Joe Cool.”
Others are not as gifted. They must adapt. They must develop. Johnny Miller, who came from out on the Avenues and The City’s Lincoln High School to win a U.S. Open golf championship and then become a forthright TV commentator for NBC, used to talk about “choking levels.” Read More
Brian Sabean, the man who helped build the Giants into champions, said San Francisco has become a baseball city. Unquestionably. Yet, it is no less a football city, as we were reminded the other evening.The 49ers came first, a Bay Area original in 1946. The 49ers won first, at least in San Francisco, as their Super Bowl victory in 1982 came after titles by the A’s and Raiders. Read More
It was a preview of summer in the heat of spring, baseball that didn’t mean a great deal, such as who won or lost, but to players seeking perfection and capacity crowd of 8,330 seeking a day in the sun it meant a great deal.
Giants vs. Athletics on Saturday for the first time in 2011, an exhibition but also a celebration. The Bay’s ballclubs, 13 miles apart at home, but only 4½ here in the desert, dropping base hits in front of fielders and a couple of fielders, San Francisco’s Mark DeRosa and Oakland’s hot-dogging Coco Crisp dropping balls for errors. Read More
He is the last one, not so much standing but sitting, at his own table, with his autograph in silver ink on the top. It is there Willie Mays holds court in the Giants’ spring training clubhouse, reflecting upon a past inextricably linked to the present.
Part of a trio, connected by greatness and proximity in the days when New York had three teams and baseball was all flannel uniforms and grace.
“Mickey, Willie and the Duke,” a lyric from “Talkin’ Baseball,” which evoked a Golden Age of the game in New York. Read More
They’ve got an airport up Interstate 10 used as a parking lot for dozens of obsolete jets. This is a region for retirement, the Arizona desert, planes and people, a place to reflect on what used to be.
Such as Tiger Woods’ golf game.
He keeps saying he’s getting close, keeps believing he’s about to wake up the echoes. “My game is progressing,” he said Tuesday. “And it feels like we’re heading in the right direction.”
Where he was headed Wednesday was home, out of the World Golf Championships Accenture Match Play tournament. Read More
The 7½-year itch. The government’s unrelenting attempt to convict Barry Bonds begins once again next month, yet another form of March Madness.
According to the best reports, the feds are now into taxpayers for $6 million in trying to prove Barry is guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. And they’ll be spending a great deal more. Read More