Gutierrez: Vandy RHP Gray an obvious choice for A's


Gutierrez: Vandy RHP Gray an obvious choice for A's

June 6, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVEA's PAGE A's VIDEOPaul Gutierrez

Sure, the A's had been linked with Connecticut outfielder George Springer in mock drafts, ranging from Baseball America to ESPN in recent weeks, days and hours. But Oakland's farm system has a relative lack of depth in pitching, what with so many of the A's pitching prospects already with the big club.So when Springer was drafted No. 11 overall by the Houston Astros and Vanderbilt right-hander Sonny Gray was still there for the taking at No. 18, the choice was obvious.Gray, born 10 days after the A's finished their four-game sweep of the Giants in the 1989 World Series, became Oakland's first-round draft pick in the 2011 first-year player draft."We've gotten to know him personally for a number of years and he just has incredible gumption and fortitude," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said in a conference call with reporters. "He's one of those kids who isn't backing out of any situation. He's not afraid of anything.
"He's going to go out and do everything he can on any given day to get you out."Gray is 11-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts for the Commodores, whose season continues this weekend in a best-of-three Super Regional against Oregon State. Opponents are also hitting .192 against him in 107 23 innings and he has 115 strikeouts and 39 walks."He's a bulldog-type of guy who was a championship quarterback in high school and has played on the USA national team," said New York Mets scout and CSN Bay Area baseball analyst Shooty Babitt. "He's got a complete mix of 'stuff' with a power fastball. He's a competitor with a good arm who goes out and wins."The stigma is that he's a 5-11 righty."Meaning, many see him as being too short andor slight to be effective over the long term. Some observers, though, think he might remind A's fans of Tim Hudson and Huston Street. Others see him as a Roy Oswalt-type of hurler, what with a low-to-mid 90's fastball that can hit the high 90's on the radar gun. Plus, Baseball America named Gray as having the best secondary pitch in college ball.Coming out of high school in 2008, Gray was drafted in the 27th round by the Chicago Cubs. But he decided to attend and play for Vandy and his stock his risen accordingly.Entering this season, Gray was the fifth-ranked pitcher in college by Baseball America after being second-team all-SEC in 2010 in going 10-5 with a 3.48 ER in 19 outings, 16 starts. He led the Commodores with 113 strikeouts, 108 23 innings pitched and 48 walks as a sophomore. He was also a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2009 after going 5-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 22 appearances."Strength-wise, I think I attack hitters really well," said Gray, who acknowledged his primary concern is pitching for Vanderbilt this weekend rather than negotiating a contract. "I come and try to give you my best stuff and I think having that competitive sprit and that competitive mind serves you well on days you don't have your best stuff."Listed at 5-feet-11, 200 pounds, Gray said he was "6-feet" tall. When pressed, he laughed and said, "5-11-and-a-half."The last college pitcher the A's used a first-round pick on was James Simmons out of UC Riverside in 2007. Simmons is currently on double-A Midland's disabled list with right shoulder impingement syndrome.The A's have also made a habit of drafting college players in the first round. Since 1997, Oakland has drafted only one high school player in the first round - pitcher Jeremy Bonderman in 2001. Eric Chavez was a high school star when the A's selected him with their first pick in 1996.Oakland's last three first-round picks are ranked by Baseball America in their top five prospects - Jemile Weeks (No. 5), Grant Green (No. 1) and Michael Choice (No. 3) - while Cliff Pennington (2005 first-rounder) and Landon Powell (2004 first-rounder as compensation for losing Keith Foulke via free agency) are obviously with the big club. Alas, Oakland's farm system is ranked a lowly 28th among the 30 big league clubs.With just four picks in the first five rounds - Oakland surrendered its second-round pick to Tampa Bay as compensation for signing free-agent reliever Grant Balfour this offseason - the A's are tied for the fewest such picks in that span. Their next pick is in the third round, No. 105 overall, and again at No. 136 overall in the fourth. The A's will then select every 30 picks thereafter.

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2016. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima.