Bay Area Sports Beat: What You Need to Know Right Now
It does not suck to be a fan of Oakland-based sports franchises these days.
The freshly awesome Golden State Warriors got even more awesome this week when landing free-agent swingman Andre Iguodala. Then the A’s may have the best baseball team that no one outside of those who regularly don green and yellow know about.
Things are going to get more hyphy than usual in the O.Co/Oracle parking lot.
Some things of moderate significance happened to the San Francisco Giants this week, too, but WE DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT (yet).
For the sake of our walls remaining free of fist-shaped holes, we’ll start with those endorphin-inducing teams in Oakland.
Iguodala, an All-Star for the Denver Nuggets and a gold-medal winner in last summer’s Olympics, joins a stacked rotation for a team that gave the San Antonio Spurs fits during the Western Conference semifinals.
Now even bigger things will (and should) be expected of the Warriors with the addition of the athletic 29-year-old Iguodala. He hardly set the NBA ablaze statistically last season (13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists), but he brings two attributes the Warriors sorely lacked last season: an ability to get to the rim at will and a stout defensive presence.
He’ll slot alongside Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes to forge a scary three-man rotation of swingmen. Considering the Warriors’ two cornerstones, Stephen Curry and David Lee, were hobbled during the fateful series against the Spurs, optimism is running high for Iguodala and his new marriage with the Dubs.
“Mark Jackson does an incredible job with his players, in terms of getting the most out of them,” Iguodala told NBA.com. “I feel like I fit right in. I think me and (Barnes) are going to be one of the best wing combos in the league. And Steph Curry, he’s one of the most popular players in the league right now.
“They’re going to push me; I’m going to push them.”
His deal spans four years and is worth $48 million.
Same ol’ under-the-radar A’s
What does the second-best record in the American League get you? One All-Star? Yeesh.
Only three teams in all of baseball have a better record than the defending AL West champions (the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals) as they’ve surged to a 52-37 record.
Apparently the individual performances that have contributed to the team-wide success have largely gone unnoticed to the rest of the league.
Veteran starting hurler Bartolo Colon was Oakland’s lone representative when the rosters were announced on Saturday, drawing a mild ire from the clubhouse considering most expected that closer Grant Balfour and third baseman Josh Donaldson would be selected.
After all, Balfour has been the American League’s only perfect closer (22-for-22 in save opportunities) and is perfect in his last 40 opportunities. Donaldson has paced the A’s in nearly every offensive category, leading the team in batting average (.319), home runs (15), RBI (57), hits (103) and on-base percentage (.388).
“We deserve more than one guy,” Donaldson told The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser. “I’m not talking about me, but Balfour, and Jed Lowrie is one of the top hitting shortstops in the game, and throw Coco (Crisp) in there. More guys than just one in here are All-Stars—that’s why we’ve been so good.”
The Giants, on the other hand, have not
The defending World Series champs’ season has gone from good to middling to bad to unfortunately-a-part-of-history bad.
Now having lost 16 of their last 21 games, Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey etched his name into MLB history at the Giants’ expense, no-hitting the already-stuttering Giants on Tuesday night.
It was the first no-hitter of the season.
San Francisco had the potential for a feel-good, bounce-back series against the hated Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, but A.J. Ellis belted a three-run double in the ninth inning of Sunday’s rubber match to seal the series win for Los Angeles.
Dodgers phenom and soon-to-be public enemy No. 1 in San Francisco Yasiel Puig celebrated like they won the World Series and all was wrong with the world again at AT&T Park.
And no, we (still) don’t want to talk about it.
My knuckles hurt and my walls hate me: @seanswaby