Warriors Merely Hanging On

Warriors Merely Hanging On

Mar. 6, 2010


Were really not judging the Warriors on wins and lossesanymore. Were judging them on whether they hung in a game or not. Thats not good. But thats the way it is, and so lets throw some stuffaround about the Warriors 122-117 loss at Atlanta on Friday ... Thats now two games on this trip where Anthony Morrow had abig 3-pointer that he didnt make. Against Miami, he had a 3 that would havegiven Warriors lead with 12 seconds left, but it didnt go down. Friday night, Morrow missed a 3 with 40 seconds left thatwould have tied the game against the Hawks. -- Speaking of two games now on the trip Never going toquestion Ronny Turiafs effort, but hes played a big role in two of the threegames thus far. Turiaf couldnt come up with Stephen Currys super-crisppass on a pick-and-roll that likely would have been a dunk and tie game lateagainst Miami. Curry got the turnover, and deserved it, but Turiaf had a shotat catching the pass.Against Atlanta, Turiaf committed an inexplicable sixth foulwith 44 seconds left trying to deny Al Horford a little bit from the basket.The Warriors had just gotten a three-point play by Curry at the other end topull within one. Horford ended up making both free throws to put Atlanta upthree, setting the stage for Morrows miss.-- My man (thats the way I refer to him) Bruce Jenkins in theChronicle wrote that coach Don Nelson wasnt in on the proposed deal that wouldhave sent Monta Ellis to Memphis for O.J. Mayo and Hasheem Thabeet. Hes absolutely right. Nelson had no idea about that. AndNelson has no say-so when it comes to personnel decisions. Thats the way itsbeen most of the season. This was something I banged out from a mid-December postabout the subject: Time to clear up a little misconception about Nelson andhis role when it comes to personnel matters. Point is, he doesnt have much ofone. From what Im told, general manager Larry Riley certainlydoesnt clue in Nelson on the day-to-day of whats going on.In fact, Riley makes a point not to include Nelson oneverything because he knows how itchy Nelson can get when it comes down to thiskind of stuff. If the Warriors make a trade, Nelson isnt going to be the onedoing it. The Stephen Jackson trade was all Riley and the next trade will beall Riley, too. Bottom line is Nelson is out of the loop when it comes tomost of personnel, and thats the way the Warriors want it.--Matt Steinmetz

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Giants notes: Crawford in concussion protocol after collision in outfield

Giants notes: Crawford in concussion protocol after collision in outfield

LOS ANGELES — When the Giants got Evan Longoria back last month, they immediately found themselves without Brandon Belt. They’re hoping not to repeat that process.

Belt could be back Tuesday, but it’s unclear if he’ll be taking throws from his usual shortstop. Brandon Crawford collided with Gorkys Hernandez in a nasty fifth-inning collision and was put in the concussion protocol. Manager Bruce Bochy said Crawford was feeling much better after the game, but the Giants know all too well that these things can be unpredictable. 

“It rattled him pretty good,” Bochy said. “For precaution reasons, he came out. He’s in the concussion protocol but he feels pretty good. We’re hoping for the best. We’ll re-evaluate him, but right now it looks pretty good, I’ll say that.”

The Giants have had three players go into the concussion protocol in the last nine days. Buster Posey and Nick Hundley avoided the concussion DL after taking foul tips off the mask. Crawford took a thigh to the face as he chased Clayton Kershaw’s pop-up down the left field line. He went down but quickly popped back up, and at first it looked like Hernandez was in more pain. The left fielder jammed his wrist but stayed in the game. Bochy said Crawford looked shaken as he came off the field. 

Crawford is the club’s most irreplaceable player, so any ability to go on a run here may depend on Tuesday’s evaluation. Alen Hanson took over at short and later gave way to Chase d’Arnaud. 

--- Belt was 1-for-3 with a double in his second rehab game for Triple-A Sacramento. Team officials will now decide if he needs one more game there, or if he’ll face Alex Wood on Tuesday. 

--- It’s been a while since a Bumgarner-Puig showdown, and there wasn’t any drama Monday. Puig flied out in his first at-bat and angrily batted his bat down as he left the box, but Bumgarner simply smiled and shook his head. After Puig popped up in the sixth, the two came close to crossing paths on the infield, but they never looked at each other. 

--- Hundley was the hero tonight. He’s 5-for-12 this season as a pinch-hitter, with a homer and six RBI. 

--- Jeff Samardzija threw a short simulated game and likely will do that one more time before starting a rehab assignment. Samardzija said he feels great. Of course, he said that the last time, too, but there seems to be more confidence with team officials this time that the shoulder is healed. 

--- Tip of the cap to d'Arnaud and his infield coaches. He was out taking grounders at short on the homestand and said it was because you never know when you'll be needed at a new spot. When Hundley pinch-hit for Hanson, d'Arnaud was needed. He moved from second to short and Joe Panik entered as the second baseman.

Matt Chapman makes public plea to A's fans after win over Mariners

Matt Chapman makes public plea to A's fans after win over Mariners

OAKLAND -- The Oakland A’s are good. In fact, they might be really good, but you wouldn’t know it by the number of fans streaming in the turnstiles. While the vibe around the team is amazing, the players are starting to notice the lack of support and they are starting to get vocal about the issue.

Matt Chapman is the latest A’s player to step up and make a public plea to the Oakland fanbase. After posting multiple highlight reel defensive plays to go with three doubles, three runs and a pair of RBI, the second-year third basemen topped his night off with a pointed message.

“I just want to use this time to just encourage people in Oakland to come out, man,” the 25-year-old star said on the A’s telecast following the A’s 7-6 win on Monday night. “All the fans and support we can get, we can really appreciate it. Tonight, we’re fighting ‘til the very end against the Mariners and I just wish we can get some people out here, man. We’re fun to watch. We really want our fans to come out and support us, it’d be great.”

Chapman is 100-percent correct. This is an exciting and fun team to watch. They play hard. They hit home runs. They hustle all over the field and they have one of the best bullpens in major league baseball.

The announced crowd of 10,400 fans is not what you would expect to see when a team is in the thick of a postseason chase. With the win, the A’s moved to 71-48 on the season. They trail the Houston Astros by just two games for the lead in the West and they have a 2.5 game lead over Seattle for the wildcard.

Chapman is on the cusp of being the next superstar. He’s a player that fans would love to see play his entire career in green and gold. There is a history of players like him leaving long before they should, but at some point fans need to show up and appreciate him for the special player he is and the unique team that the A’s front office has assembled. 

This club is pacing for 97 wins. They have momentum and they are in the midst of a long homestand against division rivals fighting for a playoff spot. It’s probably time for the fanbase to come to the ballpark and show them the love and respect they deserve.