Urban: Bay Ball -- The Hot Stove is still lit


Urban: Bay Ball -- The Hot Stove is still lit

Dec. 21, 2010


Mychael Urban

TheGiants were very busy early, tending to Aubrey Huff, Miguel Tejada andPat Burrell. The As have been fairly busy throughout, adding DavidDeJesus, Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham. The Hot Stove of baseballsoffseason is always on, though, and both teams have plenty of time tocontinue shaping what each hopes will be a 2011 contender.

Andwith Christmas but four days away, what better time to hop onto aspeedboat modified to look like Santas sleigh and criss-cross the Bay?From the shores of McCovey Cove to Jack London Square we go On Tuesday the As landed Rich Harden, formerly known to someOaklanders as King Richard. A king no more, Harden is a low-risksigning at 1.5 million, and hes apparently going to get a chance towin the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. If hes healthy, hell winit. But starting pitchers are asked to go more than five innings maybetwice all spring, and the much safer play for the As would be to turnHarden into a seventh- or eighth-inning guy. Way more bang for the buckthat way.
NEWS: A's deal for Harden finalized
You can stop hyperventilating about those Aaron Rowand-for-KosukeFukudome trade rumors, Giants fans. A Giants source tells me itshighly unlikely to happen for the same reason Rowand-for-Raul Ibaneznever could. Rowand has two years left on his horrible contract, at 12mil a season. Fukudome, like the Phillies Ibanez, has one year left ona bad deal. Oh, and in case you missed it, the Giants and Phils nevertalked about a Rowand trade. Brian Sabean made that clear at the wintermeetings.The one pro to consider -- and surely the As have and are --regarding Harden as a potential starter: If hes healthy enough tomake, say, 15 solid starts, they could flip him before the inevitabletrip to the DL to a team desperate for rotation help. By that time,Josh Outman, who has missed the past season and a half while recoveringfrom Tommy John surgery, should be more than ready to step in. SoOakland would be getting 15 solid starts and a couple of prospects forabout 750,000 without suffering any sort of dropoff when Outman jumpsin.As predicted, Edgar Renterias agent claims his client was misquotedabout being insulted by the Giants offer to pay him 1 million to beTejadas backup. Good for Giants VP of baseball ops Bobby Evans foressentially calling B.S. Theres no way the reporter, ESPNdeportesEnrique Rojas, who is well-respected and highly trusted among Latinballers, makes a mistake like that.
REWIND: Renteria says Giants' offer shows 'lack of respect'
Remember when Billy Beane announced, for the first time as OaklandsGM, that he was going to blow it all up and rebuild? That was beforethe 2008 season, and he said he hoped to have a stable, sustainable,competitive team by 2010. He did. He does. If the 2010 As are healthy,theyre battling the Rangers to the wire. If the 2011 As are healthy,theyve got a good shot at winning the AL West. And while Matsui andWillingham are free agents after this season, with the pitching in handand the restored depth of the farm system, Beane and his crew should becommended for nailing the plan.
NEWS: A's signing of Matsui official
Based on the responses generated via Twitter to last weeks columnbashing Renteria, its been suggested that the Giants might have a PRproblem on their hands if they end up bringing him back. Hard toimagine any ill will lingering past the World Series ring presentationceremony in April, though. Willing it all -- and hitting the home runthat clinched it -- buys that much forgiveness.Forget about the ballpark mess for a moment, and whatever you think ofthe ownership group. Focus on the baseball. The As are a team thatcounts the Pirates, Indians and Royals among their revenuepayrollpeers, yet in Beanes 14 years at the helm, the As have the sixth-bestrecord in all of baseball. Pretty good stuff.
Ratto: Oakland still in game for new A's stadium
Nice to see Tim Lincecum starting to get recognized for what truly wasa sensational year. The further away we get from those rough times inAugust, the easier it is to put the whole picture in perspective. Hewas dominant when he needed to be, and thats the true measure ofgreatness in sports.And finally, dont hold your breath on Adrian Beltre, As fans. Theteam hasnt spoken to Beltres agent, Scott Boras, for a while, andBeane likes his holidays quiet. Maybe things heat up quickly, but fornow that section of the stove is cool to the touch.Thatsall for which we have time, gang. Rides over, and the year is endingsoon, too. Your MLB Insider will never be far away, however, and comenext week we present the Top 10 Stories in Bay Ball 2010. Until then,peace, peppermint bark and Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt -- always gowith the orchestral original whenever possible on holiday tunes -- toall.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.