Giants open to Renteria return

Giants open to Renteria return

Dec. 2, 2010

Mychael Urban

SAN FRANCISCO -- After welcoming shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Giants Thursdayevening at AT&T Park, general managerBrian Sabean told that the door remains open for the return ofWorld Series MVP Edgar Renteria as a backup.
Its a legitimate need for us, Sabean said of ahaving a reliable backup to Tejada, 36, who finalized a one-year, 6.5 milliondeal with the Giants after passing his physical Thursday. Edgar hasexpressed a desire all along to come back, even in a reduced role, and ussigning Miggy doesnt intimidate him at all.

RELATED: Giants sign Tejada
We spoke to Edgar today, as a matter of fact. After opening the 2010 season as San Franciscos starting shortstop, Renteria, 35,spent much of the year on the disabled list and eventually lost his job to JuanUribe, who signed a free-agent deal with the Dodgers this week. Renteria batted .276 with three home runs and 22 RBIs in 72regular-season games with the Giants but worked his way back into the lineupduring the playoff in the wake of third baseman Pablo Sandovalsstruggles at the plate.
REWIND: Renteria named Series MVP
Against the Rangers in the Fall Classic, Renteria batted .412 with a.422 on-base percentage, two homers and six RBIs, including a three-run homerin the seventh inning of the Game 5, which the Giants won 3-1 to clinch thefirst world championship in San Francisco history. Edgar Renteria is a great guy and a very good player,Tejada said. I want to talk to him and Uribe to find out as much aboutmy new teammates as I can. I want to join the family quickly.Renteria filed for free agency before the confetti from the WorldSeries parade has been cleared from Market Street, but he has yet to receive any serious offerson the open market.FONTENOT INKS DEAL: The team had until 9 p.m Thursdayto sign or tender contracts to anyone unsigned for 2011 and did so for everyoneon the roster but two players. The biggest surprise among the moves, though not a massive shocker, wasthe signing of arbitration-eligible infielder Mike Fontenot to a one-year deal.Financial terms were not disclosed.Among the arbitration-eligible players tendered -- not formally signedbut still under club control for 2011 -- were lefty starter Jonathan Sanchez, playoffherooutfielder Cody Ross, relievers Javier Lopez, Santiago Casilla and RamonRamirez, and outfielder Andres Torres. They now have the option of negotiatingterms of a contract on their own (typically through an agent) or taking theircase before a three-person arbitration panel in January or early February.Not tendered contracts for 2011 were arbitration-eligible reliever ChrisRay and utilityman Eugenio Velez. Both are now eligible for free agency.

Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots


Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders cornerback David Amerson didn’t practice all week, but ran just well enough to be considered “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against New England.

Translation: Outlook for Sunday is not good, but Jack Del Rio’s fingers remained crossed real, real tight. The Raiders hope there’s a way he can be active against Tom Brady’s buzz saw attack, because their cover men are beat up.

Amerson has missed two straight with a foot injury, and has dealt with injury all year. Gareon Conley’s season officially ended Monday, when he was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Antonio Hamilton and Demetrius McCray were already there.

Reggie McKenzie hasn’t reached out for reinforcements. That leaves TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald and Sean Smith to play cornerback. Carrie’s been the rock, a sure tackler who hasn’t made spectacular plays but doesn’t give them up. McDonald has been forced into action, with holes let in his game.

Smith should be the No. 1 guy in this group, the steadying presence on the outside. That hasn’t been the case this year, where he lost a starting job in training camp and sub-package snaps during the season, only to have injuries to Conley and Amerson bring him in the fray.

He’s also been dealing with felony assault and battery charges in Los Angeles stemming from a July 4 incident in Pasadena.

Smith has been a lightning rod for fan criticism, a byproduct of his $9.5 million salary this year and explosive plays allowed early in the year.

If there’s an anvil weighing on his mind, teammates insist you’d never know.

“We’re human at the end of the day,” Amerson said. “You feel it, but you have to find a way to remain even keel and professional and do your job well.”

Smith will be counted on heavily Sunday against New England, especially if Amerson can’t play as expected. He has proven vulnerable to speed without help and proper disruption at the line of scrimmage, though that hasn’t been an issue lately because the Utah alum has recovered well after a rough start.

He got pulled after struggling against Vernon Davis in Washington. He didn’t play against the Chargers after giving up two huge plays to Baltimore the week before.

Amerson originally sprained his foot in Week 7 against Kansas City – he hasn’t played since – and Smith was called upon to respond. He wasn’t targeted in that game, and has been strong in coverage ever since.

Smith has allowed three catches for 12 yards in four targets over the last two games. The ninth-year veteran insists he wasn’t doing anything markedly different, and had zero interest in patting himself on the back for recent jobs well done.

“I’m not,” Smith said. “I’m out there doing my job, man, the best way I can.”

Smith says the off-field distractions during a roller-coaster season, one of his career’s most trying yet, haven’t impacted him much

“Nope. Not at all,” Smith said. “As long as I wake up a Raider, I’m all right. I’ll deal with whatever happens. I’ll always be there for my guys, and I’ll do whatever it takes to help our team win.”

Raiders defensive backs laud Smith’s locker room presence, saying he’s an excellent teammate. Cornerbacks in general must have a short memory when things go bad, to refocus and prevent that from happening again. Smith apparently has that in spades.

“I know how things go, especially when you have a target on your back,” Amerson said. “Sometimes you get hit with the perfect pass and you give up some plays. You can’t do anything about that but take advantage of the next opportunity. Sean’s a good player, and he definitely has that mindset.”

Smith will lend experience to this big game, something the Raiders need after suffering so many injuries.

"It sucks that so many of us have gone down,” Smith said. "You want to have all your guys out there, but that’s the NFL. Injuries happen. As long as everybody comes to work and acts like a pro, we’ll be all right. We all have a job to do. We all would like to start, but you have to be ready when your number’s called.”

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one


Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

Kevin Durant doesn't take it easy on anyone. Not even the children of teammate Zaza Pachulia.

After practice on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pachulia's two sons, Davit and Saba, were playing one-on-one at the facility the Warriors were using. Kevin Durant filmed one sequence and posted it to his Instagram Story.

One of Pachulia's sons grabbed the ball and drives around the other without dribbling. As he makes the shot, Durant offers his commentary and took a shot at the Warriors starting center.

"That's a travel. Such a travel. Same thing your pops do," Durant said, taking a shot at Pachulia.

Durant also had another message for Pachulia written on the video.

"Yo, @zazapachulia at some you have to teach the boys how to play off the bounce," Durant wrote.