An A's-Giants territorial rights play by Ray Ratto


An A's-Giants territorial rights play by Ray Ratto

Because we want you to fully understand all the issues involved in the new As-Giants spitfest, and because you and we want you to get maximum enjoyment out of it, we have put together a little play to help explain it.

We would have gotten the principals in a room to explain their positions in a calm and rational manner, but since Charlie Johnson and John Fisher are too busy with their invisibility shields to make their cases, and we couldnt really endure Lew Wolff and Larry Baer going at each other for an hour at the same time in an enclosed room, we thought this might offer some clarity.So we begin, in a seemingly quiet suburban home, in an upstairs playroom, where two obnoxious children are arguing yet again.AS: Shut up!GS: You shut up!AS: No, you shut up! You started it!GS: No, you started it!BUD SELIG (in the role of DAD): What the hells going on in there?AS: Hes being mean to me!GS: He deserves it!BUD: Do I have to get up?AS and GS: No, Dad.BUD: Then both of you shut up! Im watching a game!AS: Stop going on my side of the room!GS: Youre on my side of the room!AS: No Im not. You cant have the whole room!GS: Yes I can. Im bigger than you. You can have the garage. Or the treehouse. Or the middle of the freeway. This is mine!AS: Bite me. Im taking my share!GS: Not if I kick your butt you wont!AS: Ill kick your butt! In fact, Ill wait until youre sleeping and brain you with the lamp!GS: Oh yeah?AS: Yeah!GS: Look, you gave me your side of the room a long time ago, and I made plans to clean up my side of the room based on that.AS: That was two brothers ago, dumb ass. I dont care what your deal was with them, Im here now and I want my share back.GS: Well, youre not getting it.AS: Bite me again, yes I am. You only want my side of the room so that I cant live here any more.GS: Well, duh. If I could convince Mom and Dad to stop feeding you so you would die and I could bury you in the backyard, I would.AS: You dont even want my side of the room.GS: No I dont, but I dont want you to have it. I dont want you to have the same fun Im having. Besides, you dont want to have friends. You chase everyone you know away because youre such a slob.AS: Im NOT a slob.GS: Shut up. You let your playroom turn into an eyesore because you think you can just fix up this room now. You break your toys, or you give them to other kids in exchange for some crappy toy you get rid of the next day. Nobody wants to play with you.AS: And all your friends are snotty braggards who dress up like animals and wear fake beards like thats supposed to be cool. Your friends are lame.GS: Yeah, well, they have money that they give me because Ive convinced them Im their friend. So you can bite ME. Besides, I was here first.AS: And you did a crappier job with your side of the room until Mom and Dad painted your half and put in new carpeting.GS: Well, thats because I know how to suck up to them.As: Look, why is this such a big deal to you? Why cant you just share?GS: Because I hate your guts and I want you out. Ive always hated your guts. Ive only hated you a little less lately because it seemed like you didnt give a damn and just wanted to stay out of my way. Now youre pissing me off again.AS: Yeah, and I hate your guts. You got your part of the room fixed up and now you act like youre the king of the world. Well, now I want my side fixed up so that youll shut up for awhile.GS: And if you fix it up, then youll stay, and I dont want you here.AS: Theres nowhere else to go!GS: Well, you could wander into the woods and be killed by a bear. Im fine with that.AS: You couldnt kill me. Youre a big candy, and you always have been. Ill fix up my room, and Ill start screwing with you every day like I used to.GS: Thats my room, and youre not touching it.AS: Shut up!GS: You shut up!AS: Daaaaddd!!GS: Daaaaddd!!BUD SELIG: DAMN IT, WHAT DID I TELL YOU TWO NOT FIVE MINUTES AGO? I SAID SHUT UP, RIGHT? WE WILL DEAL WITH YOU TWO BABIES WHEN WERE DAMNED GOOD AND READY! NOW YOU SIT ON YOUR SIDE, YOU SIT ON YOUR SIDE, AND I DONT WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER PEEP OUT OF EITHER OF YOU!AS: HES BEEN DOING THIS SINCE I GOT HERE!GS: I GET TO DO IT! IM BETTER THAN YOU!AS: NO YOURE NOT! YOU SUCK!GS: YOU SUCK!BUD: IM TAKING OFF MY BELT, AND THE NEXT PERSON WHO EMITS A NOISE IS GOING TO FEEL IT!AS: I WANT TO TALK TO MOM!GS: YEAH! WE WANT MOM!BUD: MOM IS OFF FIXING THE DODGERS AND THE METS RIGHT NOW, AND WE LIKE THEM BETTER BECAUSE EACH OF THEM ARE WORTH MORE BY THEMSELVES THAN YOU ARE TOGETHER!AS: BUT THEYRE AWFUL!GS: AND THEYRE THIEVES!AS AND G'S: AND THEYRE ALWAYS IN COURT!BUD: AND THEY PAY MORE RENT THAN YOU, SO THEY MATTER AND YOU DONT! YOUR MOTHER WILL BE HOME WHEN SHES HOME, AND THEN WELL FIX THIS, YOU WHINY LITTLE CREEPS! UNTIL THEN, EITHER KEEP IT DOWN, OR ILL TAKE THE BELT TO BOTH OF YOU! GOT IT?AS AND GS: Yes Dad.BUD: God, I hate children sometimes.AS: Pssstt. I hate Dad.GS: Pssstt. I hate Dad, and I hate you too.AS: You starting up again?GS: Yeah. Wanna make something of it?Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal


Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal


PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.


California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.


California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

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.”