With baseball’s hot stove league in full swing, the NFL’s regular season at the midpoint, the NBA and NHL kicking into gear and college football entering the stretch drive, there’s certainly no shortage of sports-related topics up for discussion in the Bay Area this week. So let’s knock a few of them around, shall we?
GO YOUNG: More and more, you’re hearing Giants fans admit that they’d be OK with Barry Bonds taking a hike. So now seems like the right time to end the Old Guy Era. Keep Omar Vizquel, but let every other Giant over the age of 34 walk. If the fans see a clearly defined plan to get younger, they’ll embrace it — even if it requires a couple of years of patience.
GO SOUTH: The A’s are said to be announcing plans for a new stadium in Fremont next week and there’s nothing about the notion that isn’t appealing. The die-hards who regularly show up in Oakland shouldn’t have any problem driving a bit longer, while creeping further into the South Bay should help the A’s entice on-the-fence fans in that area to check out the new digs. It certainly won’t hurt the Giants and it’ll finally put a stop to the empty rhetoric from Oakland city officials who say they want to keep the A’s but won’t lift a finger to make it happen.
GO NUTS: The 49ers have a legitimate shot at a winning streak this weekend when they take on the Detroit Lions in Rock City. If they get it done, it’s time to back off Mike Nolan for a while. Nobody said he’s a miracle worker and if you can’t see that the team is improving under him, you’re not watching very closely.
GO AWAY: “The greatness of the Raiders” is the biggest joke in pro sports. You can’t get shut out on “Monday Night Football” twice in a season and lay any claim to anything even approaching greatness. Sadly, Al Davis, a true visionary and pioneer in his heyday, has also become a living, breathing punch line. Time to sell the team, big boy.
GO PRACTICE YOUR FREE THROWS: Sure, the coach is different this year. But is the team? Doesn’t look like it so far. As long as the Warriors fail to hit 70 percent of their unguarded shots from 15 feet, Don Nelson’s presence won’t amount to appreciable improvement.
GO DEEP: Caught Sharks fever yet? Probably not, unless you’ve had it all along. And that’s the way it’ll always be here until the team makes it to the Stanley Cup finals. And if they lose, it’s right back to apathy.
GO FISH: As in, try again. Cal football is fun to watch, but the Bears aren’t going to beat Southern Cal. Maybe next year.
Mychael Urban is the author of “Aces: The Last Season On The Mound With The Oakland A’s Big Three — Tim Hudson, MarkMulder and Barry Zito” and a writer for MLB.com.