It’s less than two weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline. One team needs a dependable reliever and reserve outfielder. Another starting pitcher wouldn’t hurt, either. The other side could use almost any young talent who doesn’t break the bank.
So isn’t it time for the Athletics and Giants to put aside any petty differences, pick up the phone and introduce themselves to each other?
The A’s and the Giants haven’t completed a trade, at least one in which a player from each team changed sides, since 1990. Coincidence? Hardly. The A’s are hacked off that, when they looked into a move to San Jose not long ago, the Giants threatened to invoke their territorial rights. Since then, the two have had conversations, we’re told, but they haven’t extended beyond hellos and good-riddances, apparently.
Yet if the object is to improve the product, who cares if a suitable trade partner is 15.8 miles away? The A’s and Giants aren’t in the same league let alone division. In style and substance, the franchises couldn’t be further apart.
The Giants should have New York Yankees relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman on their radar. Either almost certainly would require an elite prospect in return, and the Giants don’t have many to offer. Would they part with Christian Arroyo or Tyler Beede, the crown jewels of their farm system? Their track record says no.
But the A’s and Giants have to do something soon. If operations chiefs Billy Beane and Brian Sabean set aside their egos, they have the resources to complete a lesser deal that benefits both sides.
Start with veteran pitchers Sean Doolittle and Rich Hill, who could fill two of the Giants’ most urgent needs at the moment. Sure, both have had minor physical problems recently, but they’ve been efficient when able.
Then there’s Josh Reddick, an experienced outfielder who packs a two-way game and lots of energy. The Giants are said to be interested in him.
There’s something to be had for the A’s as well. Pitcher Albert Suarez looks to have a future. Given the chance to play regularly, outfielders Jarrett Parker and Mac Williamson could reach the next level. The Giants also could offer a less established prospect such as the highly regarded Phil Bickford.
If Beane and Sabean get really serious, they can drop an Arroyo-for-Sonny Gray bomb on us.
OK, if they can’t do any of these, can we at least get Glen Kuiper for Duane Kuiper for one weekend in the broadcast booth then?
DAVID IS GOLIATH: The home run that Boston Red Sox monster David Ortiz clubbed against the Giants on Tuesday still hasn’t come down. It was measured at 442 feet, although MLB downsized it to 398 feet because Jake Peavy was on the mound.
Which leads to this question: If a player such as Ortiz plans to retire after the season, what’s to prevent him from getting all ’roided up? If he gets caught after that fact, what are the MLB police gonna do — slap him on the biceps?
Of course, Ortiz has never used steroids, period, so help him Rafael Palmeiro. Still, the possibility points to another flaw in the MLB drug policy, which it brags is the best in professional sports.
REST OF THE STORY: The home run rate is at an all-time high in the big leagues this season, but commissioner Rob Manfred assures us that it has absolutely nothing to do with steroids, so that settles that.
THE (VERY) OLD BALLGAME: Ratings for the recent All-Star Game were at an all-time low, but that isn’t news anymore. All-Star Games in every major professional team sport have been in decline for decades.
Here’s the difference: The median age of viewers is 54.6 years. Of the 8.2 million who tuned in to the snoozefest, less than one in five (18 percent) were in the 12-to-34 range. In other words, unless you feed pigeons, drive Buicks or wear slip-on shoes, you probably couldn’t care less about baseball.
But when the old-timers check out, what then? That leaves a lost generation with no emotional attachment to the game. Not many will have collected gum cards, listened to games on the radio or seen someone pitch a complete game. Very few will have played fast pitch or whiffle ball let alone Strat-O-Matic.
That’s when the All-Star Game ratings will be news again.
WEST KNOWS BEST: If Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski is smart, he’ll chain Draymond Green to the bench in the Olympic Games. Because you never know when the Warriors’ goofball will kick some foreigner in the privates and trigger a nuclear war.
And make no mistake about it — on the heels of a misdemeanor assault charge, Green is fully intent to go all Dennis Rodman again at some point. As he told reporters the other day, “Being me has gotten me this far.”
Yet when team consultant Jerry West openly questions your accountability or lack thereof, it’s time for a reality check.
“[Green] has made a great name for himself right now, and he needs to understand he has a greater responsibility,” West told KNBR recently. “Not only to — forget the team — he needs a responsibility to himself. He needs not to put himself into these situations.”
Then again, what the heck does a Hall of Famer like Jerry West know?
JUST SAYIN’: There’s nothing wrong with the Giants that a healthy Joe Panik and Hunter Pence (hold breath here) won’t cure in the next few days.
Did you see that Houston Astros player throw his bat over the head of Lew Wolff at The Oakland Mausoleum on Tuesday night? Dude woke up the 92-year-old A’s co-owner. How rude.
Some so-called experts claim the 49ers have the least talented roster around. Ha! Balls ranks them second — one spot behind Stanford but ahead of Cal and San Jose State.
Congrats to the Chicago Bulls on their gut-wrenching, hard-earned NBA Summer League title. But the parade down Michigan Avenue was a bit much.
Some believe the entire Russia team should be banned because of illegal drug use. Strange. Others believe the U.S. table tennis team should be suspended because it won’t take drugs.
YOUR TURN: “Are you ever off base. OKC played five men against the Warriors. Cleveland played nine: five players, three refs, and the NBA front office. LeBron James was an absolute thug and was allowed to get away with it. Stephen Curry on the other hand got called for the most absurd touch fouls. The Draymond Green suspension is yet another example. It is James who should have been suspended. Cleveland won but not without a lot of illicit help.” — John Hurabiell, San Francisco
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