Urban: Cabrera deal says Giants mean business


Urban: Cabrera deal says Giants mean business

July 30, 2011


Mychael Urban

Say this about Brian Sabean: Hes a man of his word. And then some.A little more than a week ago, during one of his impromptu session with the local press, Sabean verbally spat on the notion that the Giants as currently constructed werent good enough for the club to get where it intended to go. The intended ultimate destination, of course, is right back to Market Street, early November, for another delirious, intoxicating parade.Everyone and their dental hygienist knew that Sabean was going to do his damndest to land Carlos Beltran, but the Giants GM made it clear that in his eyes, Beltran alone wouldnt suffice. He was going to go big, as long as the market allowed him to do so.It has. Since that proclamation, Sabean has backed up his words with action -- the best and only way to engender faith among fans. Talk really is cheap. Acquiring proven, championship-quality talent is not.As such, three very good minor-league arms and a popular outfield prospect with considerable upside are gone. In their stead are starting second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who cost two arms; starting right fielder Beltran, who cost the biggest arm; and now starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who came at the cost of Thomas Neal, a gregarious and gifted young man who appeared to be ticketed for left field at AT&T Park sometime in the fairly near future until Saturdays somewhat stunning swap with the Indians.
NEWS: Giants acquire Orlando Cabrera from Indians
Thats exactly the kind of makeover that Sabean alluded was required, and dont be surprised if he makes another move -- the ad reads Championship GM Seeks Catcher With Brains Behind Plate, Brawn In Batters Box -- before Sundays non-waiver trade deadline. Or shortly thereafter; the deadline is a bit overblown that way.Why Cabrera? What does he bring? The first answer is easy: Miguel Tejada didnt work, and Cabrera was the best shortstop available. Emphasis, shortstop.Unlike the Keppinger and Beltran deals, and the deal for a catcher should it materialize, adding Cabrera was not about upgrading the offense. His numbers across the board are nearly identical to those of Tejada, who, quite frankly, is the better and more dangerous hitter between the two.This deal was about getting better up the middle defensively; Cabrera, 36, is only a year younger than Tejada, but hes maintained his range in his old age far better than Tejada, whose timetable for return from his strained abdominal muscle is far from clear.Dont think the lack of news about Freddy Sanchez doesnt factor here, either. Its been said in this space since his shoulder exploded: surgery is the only fix. Rehab is a band-aid all too easy and painful to rip off.So thats part of what Cabrera brings: a better glove than Tejada -- and a better bat than Brandon Crawford, whose roster spot would now appear to be in question given that Giants manager Bruce Bochy recently expressed reluctance to use a rookie as a late-game defensive replacement.What else does Cabrera bring? Class and clout, as evidenced by his short stint with the As, for whom he became a legitimate leader, and by his four playoff appearances in the past four years with four different teams.Thanks to Sabean, who deserves high praise for walking the talk, Cabrera -- and all Giants fans -- should be feeling awfully good about making it 5-for-5.

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally


Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally


Opportunity lost. The Sacramento Kings had a game handed to them on a silver platter Monday night in Phoenix and they couldn’t take advantage. Playing for a new head coach and without their star point guard, the Suns manhandled the Kings early and held them off late to come away with the 117-115 win and pick up their first win of the season.

Garrett Temple is known for his defensive prowess, but on Monday night in Phoenix, he was an offensive juggernaut. With the Kings falling behind early, the veteran wing hit 6-of-8 from long range to post 23 and keep the Kings in the ballgame late. He had a look at 3-ball to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.

It took Bogdan Bogdanovic less than a quarter to get comfortable with the NBA game. Phoenix drafted the rookie with the 27th pick back in 2014, but they abandoned their efforts to bring him over from Europe. He lit the Suns up 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but struggled to get it going after the break.

With Bogdanovic manning the two, fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox put on the jets at the point guard spot. Fox attacked Phoenix on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Skal Labissiere scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds off Joerger’s bench. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, while rookie Justin Jackson chipped in a career-best 10 points.

Buddy Hield couldn’t buy a bucket early, but his defense fueled his offensive in the second half. Hield grabbed a career-high five steals and added 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Sacramento’s Marquese Chriss did damage against his hometown team. The second-year forward dropped in 19 points and six rebounds before fouling out late. 

Devin Booker added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mike James finished with 18 points and seven assists starting in place of the exiled Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson came off the bench to score 15.


Temple caught fire and the Kings kept feeding him. Not known for his offense, the veteran wing went off in a wild game at the Talking Stick Resort Arena


Phoenix put the Kings on blast to start the game, outscoring the Kings starters 36-17 in the first 12 minutes of action. Dave Joerger went to his bench in the second and the combination of Fox, Bogdanovic and Labissiere went to work. The trio helped cut the Suns lead from 21 in the first quarter to eight before the half. They stole the momentum of the game.


Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic returned from a sprained right ankle to make his NBA debut. Labissiere tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off under his own power and returned to the game late.


The Kings return home to host DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday at Golden 1 Center. They’ll stick around Sacramento to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday before heading back out on the road for three games.

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

With just under three minutes to go and the Warriors leading by 25 points, Steve Kerr put the end of the bench into the game.

Somehow, with the game in control, rookie Jordan Bell found a way to produce the highlight of the night.

After Bell got a piece of Dwight Powell's shot, JaVale McGee batted the ball ahead. With no one in front of him, the rookie tossed the ball off the backboard and threw down a dunk. The sequence left his Warriors teammates flabergasted. But Bell may have broken an unwritten rule about showboating in a blowout game.

After the game, Draymond Green was not having it with possible criticism of Bell.

"Listen man, when you get on the basketball floor, I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go up 25 or with two minutes to go down 25, somebody is evaluating you. So you gotta play the game just like it's tied up or if you're up four or if you're down four. You gotta play the game the same way. Somebody is evaluating you. So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball. He got an And One. It was a great play. So, I got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That's what he did. I don't get all up into the whole 'Ah man, they're winning by this much, that's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference between if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It's a dunk," Green told reporters in Dallas after the Warriors' 133-130 win.

Green was then asked what he thought of the play, regardless of game situation.

"Great play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And One too. He missed the free throw though. We gotta talk about that. That's my message for him. Make the free throw," Green said.

Kerr reportedly apologized to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle after the game. Green commented on that.

"Steve's the coach. I'm not. That's not my problem," Green said.

Draymond wasn't the only member of the Green family defending Bell. His mom, Mary Babers-Green was on Twitter defending the rookie.