Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now


Football withdrawals got you down? It’s only natural, I mean, Colin Kaepernick’s absurd shoe collection can only hold over one’s football-related obsession for so long.

Relax, you guys, it’s back and it’s coming to AT&T Park this week. Only it’s the variety of football that’s predominantly played one’s foot.

Italian Serie A champions Juventus will face the always-tough English Premier League stalwarts Everton on Wednesday night at AT&T Park in the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup competition.

So the wait for watching Kaepernick run over/around people will have to continue to wait, along with the satisfaction of seeing those oh-so-beautiful golden helmets that gridiron aficionados fawn over. But for those who follow the world’s most popular sport, Juventus-Everton is a pretty big deal.

Juventus feature legendary goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon, who helped Italy win the 2006 World Cup, former Manchester United and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and the ageless, bearded midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

Everton boast American No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Howard (Oh, did you hear the U.S. won the Gold Cup on Sunday?) and Belgian superstar Marouane Fellaini. Fellaini’s outlandish afro is worth the price of admission alone.

Watching “the beautiful game” may also provide a source of rare 2013 non-frustration for regular AT&T Park goers (more on that later).

But speaking of frustration…

Whatever the A’s are drinking and whatever those uniforms were that they wore on Saturday, we’ll take it all. It’s working. And it’s anything but frustrating.

Oakland’s lead atop the AL West surged to six games over the almost-afterthought Texas Rangers after the A’s disposed of their Southern California rival Angels in the form of a resounding 3-1 series victory.

On Saturday, Derek Harris belted his first career pinch-hit home run to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead while the A’s donned their extremely, umm, colorful 1969 uniforms. They were something.

"I think they’re sick,” Brandon Moss told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. “They make a statement.”  

It’s been a statement-type year for the defending AL West champions, whose 62-43 record is only bettered in the American League by the Boston Red Sox (63-43).

To cap the series win, Cuban sensation Yoenis Céspedis had four RBI as the A’s had to come from behind twice, but still rallied to send off the Angels with a wild 10-6 victory.

The A’s play host to the Toronto Blue Jays starting tonight.

This is where the real frustration sets in…

Even AT&T Park hasn’t been friendly to the San Francisco Giants.

The defending World Series champions were swept on their home turf by the lowly Chicago Cubs in the most white-knuckle of fashions, too: three consecutive one-run losses.

As a result, San Francisco sits a season-high 12 games below .500 and are 9.5 games behind the NL West-winning and locally despised Los Angeles Dodgers.

But not everything is all awful and bitter at AT&T Park.

Lifelong Giants fan and Lieutenant with the San Francisco Fire Department Tony Rivera was recently announced as the winner of this year’s Giants Ring Raffle with all proceeds benefiting the Giants Community Fund and the Junior Giants.

The U.S. Navy veteran and native of San Francisco’s Mission District was honored at home plate last Saturday and awarded an authentic World Series ring. The fund raised upwards of $500,000.

Alas, something to smile about on AT&T Park's baseball diamond.

Tweet frustration or outlandish beards to: @seanswaby

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