Change of venue isn’t good 

It’s getting so I’m afraid to pick up a newspaper, listen to a radio, watch a television, surf the Web, open an e-mail, even answer my cell phone these days.

Every day it seems the world as I’ve embraced it takes another hit and I’m spending a lot of energy ducking for cover.

The latest bulletin I wish I could have avoided had the 49ers saying someday they’ll be playing NFL games in Santa Clara. They said something about a lousy infrastructure at Candlestick Point makes that new stadium they have been dreaming of unbuildable.

When did a lousy infrastructure become a negative to football fans? We’ve been stuck in traffic leaving Candlestick for years and, in recent years, 49ers fans have needed that time for a cooling-off period. Where better to come to grips with the fact that the 49ers were unable to score a touchdown or that Mike Nolan didn’t do the right thing on fourth-and-goal?

Cursing the fate of your favorite football team is best done with the windows rolled up. Banging the steering wheel in frustration is an option with an automobile standing still. I don’t want to be doing that at 75 mph heading up Interstate 280.

In fact, if the 49ers do move, I’m hoping they consider installing some kind of postgame traffic jam for moments like these.

The 49ers’ bombshell came seemingly within minutes of the A’s saying Fremont is the perfect place for Major League baseball. Nothing against the city of Fremont, but somewhere in the details of this whole idea says the stadium will be located five miles from the nearest BART station.

To me, the idea of taking in a baseball game on a sunny afternoon involves sitting down and eating peanuts. Hiking is not something I want to include. If I want outdoor exercise, the Bay Area offers plenty of scenic and challenging options.

And If I find myself desperate for athletic activity I can always chase that city bus that wouldn’t wait an extra second for me at a bus stop. I don’t need a baseball team figuring into my pulse rate or cholesterol level.

The A’s decision also has me worriedabout today’s youth. When I was a boy, I learned a lot about this country’s geography by finding the cities of baseball teams on a map of the United States.

If the A’s make it to Fremont, the American League West will consist of the Fremont A’s, Arlington Rangers, Anaheim Angels, making the Seattle Mariners the only team with so much as a marking. What’s a kid supposed to make of that?

Now I’m not just being a stick in the mud here. I realize change is a part of life here in the Bay Area and sometimes I’m the first to embrace it.

Heck, I’m all for the Giants playing next season under the direction of the San Diego Padres’ manager. If Barry Bonds ends up with the Texas Rangers, my world won’t fall off its axis. As far as I’m concerned, he can take Pedro Feliz with him.

I’ve incorporated the new Bloomingdale’s downtown into my plans when I must shop. And I can be found star struck at least once a week at the space-age textures and colors of the athletic garb displayed at the new Adidas store.

I may not be exactly thrilled about Tower Records folding up shop — I spent many an afternoon walking those aisles — but I’ll get over that. I survived the closing of Il Fortelli’s on Hyde Street, my favorite restaurant in the city, a couple of years back, so anything’s possible.

In fact, I find change sometimes brings with it a sense of humor, like Stanford finding its football team winless, while Rutgers rolls along undefeated and nationally ranked. Whatever it is about this phenomenon that defies explanation adds to the beauty of sport.

Tim Liotta hosts the weekend edition of "Sportsphone 680" on KNBR (680 AM).

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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Wednesday, Dec 17, 2014

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