Warriors

Crisp sparks Athletics' 5-2 win over Mariners

453478.jpg

Crisp sparks Athletics' 5-2 win over Mariners

April 24, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SEATTLE (AP) When Coco Crisp is getting on base, the Oakland Athletics' struggling offense hums.The Oakland speedster had three hits, scored three runs and stole a base in sparking the offense. Josh Willingham added three RBIs in the late innings and the A's earned a series split with a 5-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday. GUTIERREZ: Twice-plunked Willingham gets revenge with bat
Crisp has six hits in his last two games, breaking a skid that saw him bat just .175 over the pervious 15 games. After being shut out by Seattle on consecutive nights, the offense broke through for 14 runs and 22 hits over the weekend."When he gets rolling, our offense takes off. There's no doubt," A's manager Bob Geren said.With the game tied at 1 in the seventh, Crisp reached on a fielder's choice against reliever Aaron Laffey (0-1) and moved to third on a single by pinch-hitter Conor Jackson. Willingham followed with a double down the left-field line that Milton Bradley misplayed in the corner and allowed Jackson to score from first to give Oakland a 3-1 lead.Seattle got a run back in the bottom half as Michael Saunders led off with an infield single. Jack Wilson reached on a throwing error by Kevin Kouzmanoff and the runners advanced as the ball caromed into the stands. Ryan Langerhans picked up an RBI on a groundout to first that allowed Saunders to score, but Wilson was left stranded at third as Ichiro Suzuki flew out to center and Chone Figgins struck out looking.The Mariners threatened again in the eighth inning, but pinch-hitter Luis Rodriguez struck out to strand the tying run at third."We've got to break through this," Seattle manger Eric Wedge said. "We had opportunities on and off throughout the course of the ballgame. These guys are going to have to figure out a way to fight through whatever they are going through mentally, fundamentally for that matter, and finish off innings. That's the difference in the ballgame."Oakland tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the ninth inning to seal the win.Brett Anderson (2-1) allowed two runs, one earned, and struck out six over seven innings of work to earn the victory. Brian Fuentes came on in the eighth inning and struck out three of his four batters in picking up the four-out save. It was his sixth save in seven chances."It was quite an effort late for him," manager Bob Geren said. "He pitched well the whole game but he showed me something in the seventh right there to get through that inning. He got some big outs for us there at the end.""He used two different speeds on his breaking ball very effectively. He threw the ball well."Hideki Matsui came up with a two out single to right field that scored Crisp from second to give Oakland the 1-0 lead.Suzuki led off with a bunt single of his own in the bottom half of the first and, despite appearing to be picked off by Anderson, was able to get into second base safely when Daric Barton's throw hit him in the backside.A grounder to second by Bradley brought Suzuki home and tied it at 1.Mariners starter Doug Fister worked out of a jam in the fifth after giving up a leadoff triple to Crisp. Adam Kennedy snared a one-hopper from Barton at first and kept Crisp from advancing home. Fister then forced David DeJesus to pop up to third base and Willingham flew out to end the threat.Crisp then flashed his glove. In the sixth inning, Miguel Olivo led off with a drive to center that Crisp tracked down and caught running full speed before slamming into the wall with his left shoulder. Crisp seemed to favor it briefly before shaking it off and staying in."I know he's going to be sore. He's going to feel that wall," Geren said. "He stayed in the game and kept playing, just both sides of the ball, on the bases, he did everything. He's an exciting player to manage, to watch. ... Big spark. When he has a day like that, it can really carry the team."Notes: Fister allowed just four hits and one run over six innings for Seattle. ... After the game, Seattle optioned OF Carlos Peguero and RHP Josh Lueke to Triple-A Tacoma. The team activated 1B Justin Smoak off the bereavement list and recalled RHP Dan Cortes. Both Smoak and Cortes will be with the team Tuesday in Detroit. ... Crisp recorded his third triple of the season, tied for most in the majors with Tampa Bay's Sean Rodriguez. All three of Crisp's 3-hit games this year have come against Seattle. ... Suzuki was the team's designated hitter for the first time this season, getting the day off in the field.

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

derozan-ref-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

warriors-rivals-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Who is now the Warriors' biggest rival?

Earlier we discussed how the Golden State Warriors have seemingly moved beyond hating on NBA officials (three technical fouls in 18 days is a stunning reversal of their formerly disputatious form), but we may have forgotten one new reason why they have found a more Buddhist approach to the cutthroat world of American competitive sport.

They lack someone new to hate.

Their much-chewed-upon rivalry with the Los Angeles Clippers actually lasted two years, and now the Clippers are busy trying to prevent military incursions into their locker room from the Houston Rockets. Their even more famous archrivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be imploding – with the total connivance of the Cavs themselves – before our eyes. Even cutting off their hot water made them laugh when two years ago not letting the Warriors' wives get to the game on time torqued them mightily.

And since we know that you locals desperately need a bête noire for your heroes (even though their biggest foe is actually their own attention spans), let us consider the new candidates.

HOUSTON

The Rockets have been among the Warriors’ most persistent contender/pretenders, having faced them in both the first round of the 2017 postseason and the conference finals in 2015. Both ended in 4-1 Warrior wins as part of a greater piece – Golden State is 19-4 against the Rockets in the Warriors’ bad-ass era, 10-2 at home and 9-2 on the road, and has finished an aggregate 59.5 games ahead of the Rockets in the past three and a half years.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include James Harden and Chris Paul, while Rockets fans loathe Draymond Green and Kevin Durant and work their way down from there.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 32,353): 19. The Rockets need to win a playoff series before even matching the Clippers, who as we all know came and went in a moment.

SAN ANTONIO

The previous platinum standard in Western Conference basketball, the Spurs have never really gone away, though they have aged. Their pedigree is not in dispute, and Steve Kerr has essentially become the next generation of Gregg Popovich. It is hard to create a rivalry out of such shamelessly mutual admiration.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include . . . uhh, maybe Kawhi Leonard for winning two Defensive Player Of The Year Awards instead of Draymond Green, though that’s not much to go on, frankly. Spurs fans hate Zaza Pachulia for stepping beneath Leonard and ending last year’s series before it started.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 23): 1. If they didn’t have to play against each other, I suspect these two teams would date.

OKLAHOMA CITY

The Thunder’s 3-1 collapse in 2016 is all but ignored now because the Warriors did the same thing one series later, but lifting Kevin Durant was quite the consolation prize for Golden State, and the definitive finger in the eye for the Thunder, who turned their team over completely to Russell Westbrook, for good and ill. Even with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony are still trying to relocate their stride.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Westbrook and Anthony for defining the I-need-the-ball-in-my-hands-to-function generation, and owner Clay Bennett for Seattle SuperSonics nostalgics. Thunder frans hate Durant, followed by Durant, Durant, Kim Jong-un, Durant, leprosy, Draymond Green’s foot, and Durant.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 440): 220. Westbrook is a human lightning rod, Anthony is the antithesis of what Warriors now regard basketball (they’d have loved him a quarter-century ago), and Stephen Adams for getting his goolies in the way of Green’s foot. Plus, some savvy Warrior fans can blame OKC for extending their heroes to seven games, thus making the final against Cleveland that much more difficult. This could work, at least in the short term.

PORTLAND

Damian Lillard is a much-beloved local. Plus, the Blazers have never interfered in the Warriors’ universe save their 1-8 postseason record. There are no truly hateable players on either side, though Stephen Curry threw his first mouthpiece in Portland, and Green is a perennial.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 1): 0.

BOSTON

The new pretender to throne, with the Eastern Conference’s version of Kerr in Brad Stevens. Even better since taking advantage of Kyrie Irving’s weariness with LeBron James, and until proven otherwise the team the Warriors should most concern themselves with.

Hateable players for Warrior fans include Irving, who made the only shot in the last five minutes of Game 7 of the 2016 Finals, while Celtics fans hate Durant for not signing with them.

RIVALRY RATING (out of 67.7): 26, though this will rise if the two teams meet in the Finals. The last time they did, Bill Russell owned basketball.

THE REST OF THE EAST

Still too remote to adequately quantify, though Toronto, Miami and Milwaukee are clearly difficult matches for the Warriors. If you put them together, Kyle Lowry, Demar DeRozan, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Hassan Whiteside with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe coming off the bench, coached by either Eric Spoelstra or Jason Kidd, would make a fun team for the Warriors to play against. Probably not functional, but fun.

And finally:

SACRAMENTO

Some decade the two teams’ geographical proximity will matter, but for now, they remain essentially two full professional leagues away from each other. We just mentioned them so Kings fans wouldn’t feel any more slighted than they already do.