The Giants have mostly put the era of bad contracts behind them, but there are still two bad ones on the books with Barry Zito and Aubrey Huff.
Zito’s is by far the worst, probably the worst free-agent signing in history. It is also the most inexplicable because he was pitching just across the Bay with the A’s.
Writers, including me, who were watching the A’s could see a steady decline in Zito’s effectiveness from his Cy Young season in 2002. But the Giants made Zito the “face of the franchise” with his signing after the 2006 season. Yikes! Read More
The A’s will be a mystery to Japanese fans when they open the regular season against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo this week. But then, they’ll also be a mystery to Oakland fans when they have their opener at the Coliseum on April 6. We know only one thing: They won’t be contenders.
In the 2000-2006 period, the A’s were in the playoffs five seasons, had two seasons with more than 100 wins and set an American League record with 20 straight wins in 2002. Read More
Despite the near-hysteria of the last two weeks, it seems that Peyton Manning never seriously thought of coming to the 49ers.Consider: Read More
Signing Peyton Manning would get 49ers fans very excited, but it could be a disastrous move.
History tells us that quarterbacks who have built a Hall of Fame résumé with one team, as Manning certainly has, usually can’t replicate their success with new teams.
The one exception in 60 years is Norm Van Brocklin, who went from the Rams to the Eagles and led Philadelphia to an NFL championship. Read More
The 49ers and Raiders are approaching the 2012 season quite differently. The 49ers are trying to mount another attack at the Super Bowl. The Raiders are trying to undo the damage caused by the ridiculous contracts Al Davis gave out in the two years before his death.
Niners general manager Trent Baalke set his primary mission as keeping together a defense that was at the core of the 49ers’ run to the NFC Championship Game. Read More
Cal and the Pac-12 Conference got no respect from the NCAA selection committee Sunday and, guess what? They didn’t deserve any.
At one time, West Coast basketball in general, and the Bay Area in particular, were the class of college basketball, as USF won back-to-back national titles and Cal won its only NCAA crown within five years. Read More
Before Jerry Rice said the 49ers should sign Peyton Manning, he should have thought back to the history of the team when he was there.
In 1993, Joe Montana returned after missing all but one quarter of one game in the previous two years because of injuries. Steve Young had been the league MVP one of those years, but coach George Seifert said Montana would be the starting quarterback going into training camp. Read More
Quarterbacks were the first subject as Cal coach Jeff Tedford had a media teleconference call Monday.
Danville quarterback Zach Kline came to Cal a semester early, so he’s eligible for spring practice, which will start March 13. How much does that help him?
“It’s always a help for a quarterback to participate in practice,” Tedford said. “Just being in a huddle, getting to know the offense, all those things help.” Read More
Everybody knows the 49ers need to strengthen their receiving corps. Here are four ways they can do it:
1. The draft. In the two drafts he’s conducted, general manager Trent Baalke has shown that he likes to draft players with upside in the first round, Aldon Smith last year, Anthony Davis the previous year. He will also draft for need — but only if they’re good players. Smith filled a need for an outside pass rusher, Davis and Mike Iupati the need for offensive linemen. Read More
Major League Baseball has gone from one extreme to another on performance-enhancing drugs, but still doesn’t have a realistic approach, as the botched Ryan Braun case shows.
At first, Commissioner Bud Selig was quite happy to ignore the issue because steroids helped produce the great home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, with McGwire setting a then-record with 70 home runs.
Attendance boomed. Forgotten was the fact that the confrontation between Selig and the players association in 1994 had resulted in the cancellation of the World Series. Read More
Movies about sports often take liberties with the facts, and “Moneyball,” nominated for best picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards, is no exception.
“Moneyball” deviates from the facts in four ways:
- It portrays the 2002 A’s as possessing a secret formula for success that had eluded other teams. Read More
Two players who sometimes make up the same battery, catcher Buster Posey and pitcher Barry Zito, are the biggest question marks as the Giants’ pitchers and catchers start spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The question with Posey is whether he can be the same player who won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 before being sidelined by a horrendous collision at home plate on May 25. After his broken bones healed, Posey started a long rehabilitation process. Read More
New Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is making rational decisions as he builds for the future, hiring mostly young coaches and making one startling, but wise, decision by releasing Stanford Routt last week.
The question is, though, do Raiders fans want rational? Read More
Freddie Solomon, who died Monday of cancer, should have been the receiver who made the most dramatic catch in 49ers history, but the fates decreed otherwise, so it is Dwight Clark who is remembered. Read More
It’s a given that the Giants will have strong pitching again, but hopes that their offense will be much improved are largely based on problematical players.
There’s only one certainty: A healthy Buster Posey will give a big middle-of-the-lineup boost to the offense. Posey is the team’s best hitter, one who knows how to go to the opposite field with an outside pitch or pull an inside pitch for extra bases, even a home run. He gives the Giants an extra boost because he plays a position where offense is often sacrificed for good defense. Read More