Were back, and more chemical than ever


Were back, and more chemical than ever


--- The United Bay Area Chambers Of CommerceYes, were back, and better than ever. Bartolo Colon has just joined Melky Cabrera on the outlaw list, being suspended 50 games for rampant testosterone, and while you may not like it, it is what is it, and it glows in the dark.So we own it together, just as though they were the territorial rights to San Jose. Theres no need for us to be shy any longer. We are again on the cutting edge of syringes, topical creams, stuff you pour into your eyes, ears, nostrils and whatnot.So back off, all you outworlders. As Dobie Gray sang so many years ago in the song that should be the national anthem, The In Crowd, Other guys imitate us, but the originals still the greatest.Actually, we dont even know where the PED craze really started, just like nobody is actually sure what the first rocknroll song was. But the As of the late 80s were part of the first true craze (kind of the Sun Records of chemical enhancement), the Giants moved to the forefront when BALCO and session man Victor Conte had a series of hits in the early 2000s, and now in the space of a week, we get two more guys with the new synthetic testosterone craze.Which also isnt very new, except that baseball is now tracking more successfully for it.Now this may be a matter of shame for many of you, and you may choose to be either embarrassed or angry at this new development. If youre Buck Showalter or Jim Leyland or Mike Scioscia or Joe Maddon, you can fire out snot bubbles of fulminate rage about the advantages the As got when Colon was pitching, just as Don Mattingly and Kirk Gibson did a week ago.Well tough darts, middle schoolers. This is apparently what were good at finding and signing guys who have an athletic epiphany that comes in a handy tube.This is not to suggest that either the Giants or As actually knew Cabrera and Colon were packing heat, as it were. We have no way of deducing that without a handy paper trail that almost certainly does not exist. In fact, this is more coincidence than anything else.But appearance is everything in a shallow world, so we own what we have to own, and we will do it proudly."A FEW OF OUR GUYS CHEAT. GET YOUR 2013 SEASON TICKETS AND FIND OUT WHOS NEXT"

-- The Giants and AthleticsLook, we could give you some song, dance and magic tricks about how we abhor this kind of thing and how it makes us look bad, but youre not going to listen to that. If you think this is about the entire Bay Area, we cant help straighten you out.So were going to wear the coat, and were going to be loud about it. I mean, if you have to take your medicine, its better to down it in one gulp, make that Hello-Kitty-Dropped-Off-A-Building face and get on with your day.So thats what were doing. Yes, baseball can fix some of its drug testing by making it perfectly transparent and independent, and Bud Selig can look all cross and bothered about how this affects his legacy, and we can all breastbeat ourselves into an angina attack about this.But wheres the fun in that?So screw it. This is us, for good or ill. Were back, and more chemical than ever. You thought we were out of the loop, but you cannot keep us down forever. Your favorite team will be next. Your favorite player will take a 50 for eye of newt concentrate, Brazilian wombat extract or pixie blood, but dont you get all smug and self-righteous. We were here first, and that will never change. So back off, pretenders."OUR BOUNDLESS ENERGY COMES IN A TUBE. ASK US HOW."

-- The side of every bus in the nine-county area.Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Twitter @KatieUtehs

Young A’s fan writes letter to team after fires take home, beloved memorabilia

Young Athletics fan Loren Jade Smith is among the thousands of people affected by the Northern California wildfires. Along with his family's home, the fire storm took his most valued possession -- his A's memorabilia collection. 

In his disappointment, Smith wrote a letter to the A's that has since gone viral. 

After the letter was shared throughout the Twitterverse, A's President Dave Kaval said the team would reach out to Jade and his family to replace his memorabilia. 

And since Kaval's announcement, the A's community of fans has responded with offers to send the young fan some memorabilia. The A's have even set up an address where fans can send Smith their gifts. 

Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?


Who can we blame for epidemic of teams losing three straight elimination games?

Fox’ Matt Vasgersian, who does his job well,  declared the New York Yankees’ American League Division Series win over Cleveland to be amazing.

It is not. Not any more.

In fact, the Yankees winning three elimination games in succession is a feat that has happened seven times in the past three years. And we can only conclude from that that they’re not making teams that can avoid the bad beat the way they used to.

The 2017 Indians joined the 2016 Indians, Warriors and Thunder, the 2015 Clippers, Capitals and Texas Rangers, the 2014 Penguins and Sharks, the 2013 Red Wings, the 2012 Reds and Cardinals, the 2011 Penguins, the 2010 Bruins and Capitals as proud laryngectomy victims – teams that needed to win only one of three (or in the Sharks’ case, four) games to advance in the playoffs (or in the Warriors’ case, win).

That’s 15 times this “amazing” thing has happened, which means that by any estimate, teams that needed to win three consecutive games to escape the icy hand of Uncle Death are now pretty much the norm in this decade.

And why, you ask? I blame Twitter. I blame global warming. I blame video games. I blame smartphones. I blame phones. I blame the new president. I blame the old president. I blame Satan. I blame participation trophies and orange slices and juice boxes. I blame the players and I blame the owners and I blame the fans and definitely those smarmy bastards in the media. They’re the worst.

I blame you. Hell, I think I blame Matt Vasgersian.

But whomever is at fault, we have here an epidemic of feet strangling their owners when everything seems their cheeriest. And unless we live in such misery-enriched times that good times are only precursors to far worse ones, there is no sensible explanation. Players’ windpipes are no smaller than they were a decade ago. The Internet is older than seven years. Close-out games are not materially more difficult than they were before 2010.

And yet winning that one extra game is suddenly like finding out your SAT test has been written totally in anagrams. In other words, when things look brightest, that’s when you know you’re totally screwed.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Terry Francona. In a few weeks maybe. Not right away. Not unless you’re keen to see how it feels to have your neck used as a bathmat.