A's Braden teaching Gio how to 'Own It' on the mound


A's Braden teaching Gio how to 'Own It' on the mound

March 1, 2011

PHOENIX -- A's manager Bob Geren is so used to giving injury updates, he ticks them off as though there's a checklist in his head.He'd far prefer talking about more positive subjects, of course, and he certainly got one Tuesday. So after talking about Andrew Bailey's 40-pitch mound session, the progress of ailing hurlers Michael Wuertz and Rich Harden, and shortstop Cliff Pennington's anticipated Cactus League debut Sunday, he lit up while discussing left-hander Gio Gonzalez's outing against the Reds."Hard to beat that for a first outing," Geren said, shaking his head as if amazed by Gonzalez's two perfect innings that featured five strikeouts.RELATED: Gio sharp in A's loss to Reds
Gonzalez wasn't nearly as impressed. Following his dominant outing, he spoke extensively with regarding his progress as a pitcher -- and Dallas Braden's massive role in said development."Dallas has been huge for me," Gonzalez said. "Dude, I mean huge."Braden, Gonzalez said, has mastered the art of 'Owning It'. That is, when he takes the mound, he's utterly convinced that he's the baddest man on the planet, and nobody can beat him.SIEGEL: The great MLB arms race
"It's not easy to just start doing that," Gonzalez told me, "but once you kind of get it, it's incredible what your mind can do. And thanks to Dallas, who, before every start I make, is reminding me, reminding me, reminding me how good I am, I'm starting to get it."He certainly was 'Owning It' on Tuesday. Gonzalez said his goal was to simply throw strike one, try to get quick outs, try to keep his pitch count down. That's his focus this spring, and because he had a breakout 2010 and doesn't have to worry about earning a roster spot anymore, he has the luxury of working on things without sweating results.Alas, his pure stuff is so nasty, the Reds couldn't hit it."Trust me, I wasn't trying to strike guys out," Gonzalez said. "Sometimes it just happens that way."Another area in which Braden has helped Gonzalez is in game preparation. But not in the way you might think. Braden hasn't taught Gonzalez how to prepare for an opponent. He does the work for Gonzalez."He spends the whole week before his start studying, breaking everything down, how he's going to approach different guys," Gonzalez said. "He's a student. And because our styles are similar, he basically does all the work I'd be doing, so I don't have to do it. And then, last year he'd pitch in front of me in the rotation, and I'd watch and just be, 'Oh, OK. That's how you get that guy, that's how you get this guy.'"Dallas is incredible. He's the best leader and teacher I've had."

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.