The Giants’ Cody Ross has proven that timing is everything. The outfielder, who swings with his right hand and throws with his left, joined the team in late 2010 from the Florida Marlins and quickly proceeded to drop jaws with his batting skills. In the post-season, Ross rang up five home runs, five doubles, and ten RBIs. Considered the Giants’ greatest October hitter since Barry Bonds in 2002, Ross was named MVP for the National League Championship Series and helped his new team win the World Series for the first time since 1954. Ass-kicking aside, the sincerely modest Ross, who is signed to the end of the year for a handsome $6.3 million, hasn’t let success go to his head. He approaches the 2011 season with cautious optimism, realizing the team has to prove itself all over again—this time with reality TV cameras following them into the locker room.
From March 10 - 31, Patagonia wants to hear from you. Every year, the brand's 27 U.S. stores receive $5,000 to distribute among three local environmental groups of their choosing during the Voice Your Choice campaign. Everyone's a winner, and all you have to do is vote for your favorite. Bonus: you don't have to shell out a dime … unless you find yourself smitten with a ski jacket or climbing gear while you cast your vote in-store.
Napa's Bialla Vineyards makes only 500 cases of wine a year and they don't want to make more. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a part of a group of so-called "cult wines," meaning high-quality, limited-production varietals that sell out extremely quickly. The high price point of Bialla Cabernets ($125 a bottle) makes sense when you consider the care taken in producing the wine. Bialla hand-destems each grape, in what proprietor Vito Bialla calls "the ultimate in quality control and tradition." Bialla is one of the only vineyards in the valley who hand destems their grapes.
The Bay Area’s liberal politics extend beyond the Keen-sandal-wearing, Prius-driving hippies who run the city councils. There are also strong opinions about the way you should raise your children. Begin with a drug-free birth, carry your baby in a sling, and breast-feed and co-sleep until the kid goes to college. No television, no sugar, no plastic toys, and absolutely no spanking. Make all your own baby food using local organic produce, and don’t put anything on your child’s skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.