Patience, Please, Padilla Will Get His


Patience, Please, Padilla Will Get His

April 19, 2010


The Vicente PadillaAaron Rowand issue has Giants fans awfully fired up, and understandably so.

The rivalry between the Dodgers and Giants is fueled by the respective fans bases, and it seems fairly clear that Giants fans are a little more passionate than their front-running, late-arriving, early leaving counterparts.

So when one of the Giants takes a fastball off the face from a Dodgers pitcher with a reputed disregard for the health of his opponents, Giants fans justifiably want to get a compensatory pound of blue flesh.

Preferably black and blue. As in someone needs to go down, and go down hard.

And someone does. As I noted in my Monday in Bay Ball piece, Im fairly certain that Padilla wasnt throwing at Rowand in that situation. But given Padillas reputation, any time he drills someone a red flag goes up.

Dont think the Giants werent seeing red, too. But dont jump to the misguided conclusion that because they didnt immediately retaliate -- by giving Padilla a taste of his own evil medicine, or by having Tim Lincecum return serve the following day by drilling a Dodger whose offensive impact is commensurate with that of Rowand -- that Bruce Bochy or Dave Righetti or Lincecum or Barry Zito or any of the pitchers who took the mound over the weekend after the incident in question is soft or weak or scared.

What they are, as a group, is smart. For they werent just seeing red. They were seeing the big picture. Thats their history.

Case in point: Prince Fielder. Granted, they didnt have any more chances last year to give the big fella a shot to the ribs after his bowling-pin homer celebration in Milwaukee, but they didnt forget it over the offseason.

They deposited it in the Bank of Payback and made their withdrawal -- two, actually -- when it wouldnt impact anything but Fielders ample backside.

Plunking Padilla when he came to the plate after the incident Friday would have been too obvious, meriting automatic ejections for Waldis Joaquin -- whom the Giants needed to eat a couple of innings -- and Bochy; inexplicably, the umps didnt issue a warning when Rowand was drilled in the grill, but they dont have to give one before they toss someone in retaliation situations.

Lincecum lighting someone up during a 9-0 rout would have been obvious, too, and the last thing the Giants need is their ace risking a suspension.

Zito? Not in that kind of game, where every baserunner represented the tying or go-ahead run.

So the Giants again are taking the path of patience with this one, too. They dont face the again Dodgers for 69 days, and by then things will have blown over a bit. They might even wait until their third or fourth series of the year against their rivals to dish out some retribution.

But make no mistake. This is not over. Nor is the Casey Blake situation. Trust me on this.

In fact, dont be surprised if the Giants kill two birds with one stone. Blake is to the Dodgers essentially what Rowand is to the orange and black -- a gritty, hard-nosed player with moderate pop.

Saturday, July 31, AT&T Park. Blake gets thumped in the thigh in his first at-bat, blitzed in the back in at-bat No. 2. The second HBP brings a warning, the Dodgers cant retaliate without losing their pitchers and manager, and the home crowd goes wild.

Relax, the Giants arent letting anyone walk all over them. Theyre chillin in the weeds before striking when the prey least suspects it. Wouldnt you rather watch it unfold in your own backyard?

--Mychael Urban

Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters


Two Warriors named All-Star Game starters

After sending four players to the NBA All-Star Game last season in New Orleans, the Warriors are halfway to repeating the feat this season.

Point guard Stephen Curry and small forward Kevin Durant were voted in as Western Conference starters for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the NBA announced on Thursday.

Though Curry has missed 15 games -- nearly one-third of the season -- it has not hurt his popularity; His No. 30 is the NBA’s best-selling jersey for the third straight season. He is averaging team-leading 27.7 points, 6.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds, and 1.65 steals per game.

Curry is the first member of the Warriors to be named a starter for five consecutive All-Star games. As the player with the most fan votes, Curry becomes a captain and is in position to select the members of his team.

Durant, who has missed eight games this season, was named as a starter for the sixth time, the first four coming when he was a member of the Thunder.

Durant is averaging 26.2 points (fifth in the league) 6.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.05 blocks (fourth in the league) per game.

WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault


WNBA All-Star sues Cal over alleged sexual assault

BERKELEY — Former California women’s basketball player and current WNBA All-Star guard Layshia Clarendon has filed a lawsuit against Cal claiming she was sexually assaulted by a longtime member of the athletic department.

The school acknowledged the lawsuit Wednesday night and said the staff member, Mohamed Muqtar, had recently been placed on paid leave. The assistant director of student services, Muqtar has been working for the university for just more than 25 years, the school said. An e-mail to Muqtar’s Cal email account was not immediately returned.

Cal said in a statement “the University is aware of the complaint, but has not received a copy of the lawsuit nor had the benefit of reviewing the allegations.”

Clarendon, who plays for the Atlanta Dream and was at Cal from 2009-13, posted on Twitter her thoughts about the lawsuit.

She said in three separate tweets:

— “Regarding the news today: I want the shame to not be my own anymore, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.”

— “My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else. That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. #TimesUp.”

— “It feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.”

Cal explained in its statement that this case goes beyond the athletic department for investigation.

The statement reads: “Our department policy states that once anyone in Cal Athletics is made aware of any instance or allegation of a violation of University policy involving a coach, staff member or student-athlete, those matters are referred to the appropriate departments on campus responsible for investigating them. Athletics does not have its own specific conduct process nor does it investigate allegations or cases on its own, but follows the University’s policy and works in concert with campus professionals who are responsible for those areas. All university staff are also required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training, and those programs have increased in recent years. Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected. We encourage anyone who is feeling distressed or troubled to contact the PATH to Care Center and other campus resources.

“Layshia holds a special place in our history for her contributions to Cal women’s basketball both on and off the court and we are saddened to hear of the allegations that are coming to light today.”