THE BUZZ: Buster, Harbaugh, Pitt


THE BUZZ: Buster, Harbaugh, Pitt

1. Buster Posey is not supposed to block the plate this season. Thats what the Giants say. But can you ask a catcher not to do something that hes already been trained to do? The Minnesota Twins dont think so. Theyve told Joe Mauer to go ahead and block the plate because its part of the business. The collision is coming. Brace yourself.

2. Andrew Luck doesnt need to hire a publicist. Not while Jim Harbaugh is in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine gushing about Luck to anyone who will listen. Harbaugh didnt go to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl but is there this week. He took a side trip to Bloomington to sit on the Indiana bench and act as a manager for his brother-in-law, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean. Harbaugh folded and unfolded chairs for time outs to the delight of observers.3. Jeremy Lin was humbled by the Miami Heat on Thursday. He looks like a guy who could use a break from the spotlight this weekend, maybe even sleeping in that fancy new apartment hes reportedly moved into the one that has a view of the Statue of Liberty. But instead hell be in Orlando for the Rising Stars Challenge, coached by Shaq. Lins impact can be felt everywhere. On Friday morning Kwame Brown was a trending topic in the Bay Area. Why? Because he was signed after the Warriors cut Lin.
4. Ryan Braun won his appeal for violating baseballs drug policy and wont have to serve a suspension. MLB drug testers must either be too young to remember the OJ Simpson trial or are just plain stupid. DNA evidence in the Simpson trial was tainted when police forensic scientist Andrea Mazzola admitted to carrying a vial of Simpsons blood around in her lab coat. A MLB tester did the equivalent, taking Brauns urine home instead of sending it to the lab. This is how you run a billion dollar business? Sticking the urine on the shelf with the mayonnaise?
5. Billy Beane will take off the flip flops and khaki shorts on Sunday and don a tuxedo for the Academy Awards. Hell walk to red carpet to support Brad Pitt, telling the Chronicle Its got nothing to do with me. Except, of course, it has everything to do with Billy. Without him, theres no movie. Dont know if Pitt will win George Clooney seems to be the favorite. But bet on Moneyball to win Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zailian did what few thought possible, turning Michael Lewis book into a very entertaining film.
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Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights


ANAHEIM -- Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday night.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. John Gibson stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced after giving up his fifth goal. Anaheim had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

Four goals came in the third period. First, Anaheim pulled within one when Ondrej Kase stole the puck from behind the net and quickly fed Getzlaf, who fired it past Dell.

One minute later, the Sharks answered when Thornton's slap shot went in.

Boedker's second goal gave San Joe a 5-2 lead, and Karlsson's goal on goalie Ryan Miller made it a runaway.

The Ducks first found the net in the final minute of the second period, but that took a two-man advantage and a bit of luck.

Rakell was camped a few feet below the crease when he snapped a shot. San Jose's Justin Braun stuck out a stick, but it deflected the puck off the back of Dell's arm and into the net.

It was Rakell's team-high 17th goal this season.

San Jose appeared to take a commanding 3-0 lead on a power play in the second period. Boedker fired a shot from the top of the right circle that whistled past Gibson.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Anaheim's No.1 line turned the puck over. Thornton snapped it out to Labanc, who popped free for a breakaway. He beat Gibson on his short side for his fifth goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a nifty give-and-go when Tomas Hertl skated down the far side and sent a pass through the legs of Anaheim's Brandon Montour and right to Vlasic in front of the net.

Vlasic snapped it past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season.


Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.

Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles


49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.