Urban: 'Big-league Brandon' a no-brainer for Bochy


Urban: 'Big-league Brandon' a no-brainer for Bochy

June 8, 2011

Thanks to wave after wave of injuries, inconsistent play and epic slumps, Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn't had the luxury of many "no-brainer" decisions this year.Starting Tim Lincecum on Opening Day was one. Brian Wilson getting the ball in the ninth inning of a close game is one of the skipper's few regular "duhs." Ditto penciling in Freddy Sanchez at second base -- as long as he's healthy.Pretty much everything else that's crossed Bochy's plate has required thoughtful consideration, consternation, concentration.Until now. Add to the list of locks: rookie Brandon Crawford as the starting shortstop.Bochy won't come right out and say it yet, but after Crawford on Wednesday turned in the defensive play of the game, singled, tripled in the go-ahead run in the seventh and scored a big insurance run moments later in San Francisco's 3-1 victory over the Nationals, he came close.
RECAP: Cain brilliant, Giants take series from Nationals
Bochy barely contained a smile when he was asked, point-blank, if Crawford still will be his guy when third baseman Pablo Sandoval returns from his minor-league rehab stint."I'll say he'll be there quite a bit," Bochy said, mindful as always not to ruffle any veteran feathers. "You have to be impressed with the job he's done out there."Even the veteran whose feathers figure to be most ruffled, Miguel Tejada, is impressed."Oh, man," Tejada said, eyes wide in genuine admirationamazement upon being asked about Crawford, who snapped out of a 3-for-16 homestand slide Wednesday. "He's going to be special, man. Real special."Thing is, Crawford's already looking like something special. That "it" people talk about? Crawford has it, and it comes through in body language that exudes supreme confidence without a whiff of arrogance. A member of Single-A San Jose's championship club last season, and again immediately before being called up May 11, Crawford is a prospect no longer.He's Big-League Brandon."He believes," Bochy said. "He's got that sense of belonging."URBAN: The Cain & Crawford show
His skills belong at this level, too. The diving play he made to stop a sure RBI single from shooting into center field in the top of the seventh was impressive on its own; that he quickly bounced to his feet and threw a rocket to first base for the out was next-level stuff."That play up the middle," Bochy said with a subtle shake of his head, "we haven't seen that in a while."Certainly not from Tejada, who was moved to third base when Sandoval, who is targeting next Tuesday, returns to the roster.And when that happens -- it's a no-brainer, right? -- Tejada will move to the bench.

Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious


Draymond originally concerned his knee injury was more serious

Programming note: Warriors-Pelicans coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

On Friday morning, the Warriors announced that Draymond Green is going to play on Friday night against the Pelicans.

After shootaround, Draymond talked about the left knee strain he sustained on Tuesday.

"It didn't lock up. I tweaked it. I was concerned. I honestly thought it was my meniscus. It was a big relief," Draymond told reporters in New Orleans. "The next day when I woke up, the pain was a little better.

"As that day went on -- once I got the MRI, I got it early - -and then I went and got treatment and it felt a lot better.

"I hadn't even got the results but I was pretty confident at that point."

Draymond sustained the injury late in the third quarter against Houston and did not play in the fourth quarter.

He registered nine points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists before exiting.

Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager


Dusty Baker out as Nationals manager

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals say manager Dusty Baker won’t be back next season.

The team announced the move Friday.

Baker led the Nationals to the NL East title in each of his two years with the club. But Washington lost its NL Division Series both times.

His contract expired at the end of this season.