Gregory Bull/ap file photoIn recent Giants news

Gregory Bull/ap file photoIn recent Giants news

In leaving Giants, Tim Flannery simply embarking on a new journey

Everything in life can be labeled one of two ways: Good for Ball or Bad for Ball.

It doesn't even have to be about sports. Starbucks, for instance, is generally Good for Ball. A bit pricey, but now that it has cracked the code on attracting tweens, it's a quick and easy stop to keep the whole family hummin' for the journey ahead.

Being told, at a Starbucks, that said Starbucks is “out of coffee right now”? Decidedly Bad for Ball. This happened to me twice last week, and I've got a 10-year-old witness. Less frosted pumpkin bread and more dark roast, people. It's what you do.

You see how it works, right? Good, because it's time once again to take a quick spin around the sports world and start slapping some labels.

n Raised in a region filthy with excellent writers, I long ago grew accustomed to reading a fellow local scribe's prose and feeling a mixture of admiration and jealousy. But a big-league coach? Come on. What outgoing Giants icon — yes, that rare iconic third base coach — Tim Flannery posted on Facebook as a farewell was nothing short of genius in liquid literary form.

Do yourself a favor and find it. Then read it twice. Soak it in. Learn from it. Then try to apply it to your life somehow. The Flan Man was put here to help, and he's reaching out. Take his hand. Good for Ball.

n Most reasonable people, upon hearing Pablo Sandoval throw the Giants and their fans verbal bouquets during his well-played introductory news conference in Boston, probably eased off on any bitterness they had been feeling since the news of his departure broke. Hard to begrudge a man wanting a new challenge.

But then you hear that he might have taken less from the Red Sox than what the Giants would have been willing to pay. On the surface, that totally jibes with the new-challenge thing, and thus should make his decision all the more palatable.

Yet it doesn't. It stings a little more now, if anything. “Panda” wanted out, plain and simple, and upon further inspection, the verbal bouquets now seem a little wilted. A little stinky.

He left for a hotter hottie. Bad for Ball.

n Given his demands, the Giants signing Jon Lester seems unlikely right now. Given the mood of controlled defiance likely permeating the front office in the wake of “Panda's” quasibetrayal, don't be surprised if they pull it off.

Then the fans can look at it as Pablo for Lester, and that's a trade a lot of fans would make. Good for Ball.

n The knowledge that the Giants won it all in 2010 with Sandoval surfing splinters should help the healing too. Look, it sucks that he's gone. No two ways about it. He's the kind of guy you could see getting old here. And yes, getting fat. But he would have been OUR fat Panda, like he's always been. That's why it hurts.

But the Giants have won with him and without him, and how many guys can you say that about? Pretty much everyone with a '10, '12 or '14 title who isn't named Buster or Madison. All is not lost.

So back away from the phone, the keyboard or whatever else you use to spew sports hatred. Burning negative energy while there's still confetti stuck to the base of some shrubs along the parade route is a waste of time, and a tacit expression of no confidence in Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy. You should know better. Bad for Ball.

n As annoying as Richard Sherman can be, he absolutely crushed it with his mockery of the NFL's self-congratulatory new approach to player safety. After years of coming off like just another blowhard with some impressive physical skills, finally Sherman flashed the critical thinking, articulation and intelligence that earned him the right to call himself a Stanford Man. Good for Ball.

n And finally, can everyone please stop worrying about LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers? He's the best player in the world, and they will be fine when the playoffs roll around.

Meanwhile, the nation is barely getting anything beyond passing mention of the Warriors, the Most Interesting Team in the World. Bad for Ball.

Jon LesterMychael UrbanPablo SandovalTim Flannery

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