Giants Playing Hardball?

Giants Playing Hardball?

Jan. 19, 2010GIANTS PAGE
The first thing I thought when I heard the proposed salaries that Tim Lincecum (13 million) and the Giants (8 million) exchanged Tuesday was, Huh?Then, Wow.Then, Are the Giants trying to lose this thing?Now that Ive had some time to soak it in, though, Im going to give the Giants the benefit of the doubt.Surely this is merely a step toward the logical resolution of a multi-year deal that takes Lincecum through his arbitration years. Right?If it isnt, its back to, Wow. They really are trying to lose this thing!If you arent intimately familiar with the arbitration process, heres all you really need to know at this point: If the sides dont agree on a deal before the case is heard in February by a three-person panel, that panel must pick the Giants number or Lincecums number.Right now, which number would you pick if you were on the panel? Im giving Lincecum his 13 million with zero deliberation.Ryan Howard holds the arbitration-award record at 10 million, and hes a beast, no question about it. Money well-earned. But Lincecum is the pitching equivalent of Howard and then some, and the Giants are offering him 2 million less?Please tell me theres more to this.Please tell me its a clever precursor to a four-year, 64 million deal.Please tell me something with more certainty than, Well, hes eligible for arbitration three more times, so hes not going anywhere!The only certainty right now is that if a deal isnt struck between the sides before this bad boy goes to a hearing, the Giants will lose.-- Mychael Urban

Kings adamantly disagree with perplexing foul call at end of loss to Rockets

Kings adamantly disagree with perplexing foul call at end of loss to Rockets

SACRAMENTO -- Every time the Houston Rockets tried to pull away, the Sacramento Kings answered Wednesday night in the team’s home opener. It was a heavyweight contender throwing body blows at a 100-to-1 underdog riding a huge home crowd advantage.

And then the ref called the fight.

With the Kings trailing 98-95 with 26 seconds remaining, the Rockets attempted to inbounds the ball and George Hill made a play. From the video replay, it appeared that the ball tipped off the fingertips of Houston's Eric Gordon and the nearest official called Kings ball.

Hill and teammate Garrett Temple celebrated the turnover and the sold out crowd went crazy.

The play went under review and not only was the call overturned, but Hill was assessed a personal foul. Gordon went to the line and hit two freebies to give the Rockets a 100-95 lead and effectively ended Sacramento’s chances.

In the confusion of the moment, it turns out that an official on the opposite side of the court called a personal foul and the replay wasn’t to check on possession, but to determine which Kings player would be assessed a personal foul.  

The Kings can’t call shenanigans on the officials, the league has stiff penalties for that. But they seemed just as confused as everyone else in the building when asked about the call during postgame interviews.

“I could have swore that the refs pointed out of bounds, our ball, but they said they called a foul, so it is, what it is,” Hill said following the game.

Hill avoided digging himself a hole with the league and a potential fine as reporters tried to dig deeper. 

Head coach Dave Joerger gave an account of what the officials said following the call, but he too seemed perplexed by the play.

“That was a foul,” Joerger said of what the officials told him on the sidelines. “I adamantly disagreed. They said they called it at the time, which I didn’t see. So that was more my argument than whether it was a foul or not.”

Sacramento continued to compete in the final seconds, but they were forced to foul intentionally down the stretch and the Rockets were able to hold them at bay to come away with the 105-100 victory.

Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season


Report: Gordon Hayward 'unlikely to return' this season

Despite the severity of Gordon Hayward's injury, there was a small bit of hope that he might be able to return this season.

It appears that won't happen.

Hayward underwent surgery Wednesday night and is "unlikely to return this season," his agent Mark Bartelstein told ESPN.

"We expect him to make a full recovery and return to his All-Star form," Bartelstein told ESPN.

The Celtics' prized offseason acquisition suffered the terrifying ankle injury just five minutes into his Boston debut on Tuesday night. He was diagnosed with a dislocated left ankle and broken tibia.

After playing in Cleveland on Tuesday, the Celtics returned to Boston for their home opener on Wednesday against the Bucks. Prior to the game, a 30-second video message from Hayward to the fans was played in the arena.

“What’s up, everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s had me in their thoughts and prayers,” Hayward said. “I’m going to be all right. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more than to be with my teammates and walk out on that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here, and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight.”