Fairfield's Avila TKOs Gutierrez in hometown bout

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Fairfield's Avila TKOs Gutierrez in hometown bout

March 25, 2011

Ryan MaquianaCSNBayArea.com

In front of a nationally televised audience, 18-year-old super bantamweight Manuel Tino Avila impressed his hometown fans with an emphatic second round technical knockout over Frank Gutierrez at the Fairfield Sports Center.Despite Avila having only two professional bouts under his belt, Golden Boy Promotions saw fit to feature the recent Rodriguez High School graduate on Telefuturas Solo Boxeo Tecate series. He did not disappoint, sending Gutierrez to the canvas three times en route to the stoppage.The first knockdown came late in the first round via a straight right hand and a flurry that had Gutierrez reeling into the ropes. Avilas ensuing flurry had his opponents gloves touching the ground for the count. However, Gutierrez was saved by the bell.The following round would not be as forgiving, as a swift left hook came crashing on Gutierrezs chin, sending him down for the count once more. As the brave Gutierrez rose to his feet, Avila closed the show with a straight right hand that seemed to hit Gutierrezs chin and graze his midsection. With Gutierrez decked for the third time, the referee waved the bout off at 0:59.Being out here and hearing the crowd feels great, said Avila. After the referee stopped it after I finished the fight, it felt good to perform like that in front of everyone. Avila moves to 3-0 (2 KOs), while Gutierrez drops to 2-9-2 (1 KO).The Fairfield fighters next bout is scheduled for either San Franciscos Longshoremens Hall on April 15 or in Southern California around the same date.

MORE RESULTS FROM FRIDAY'S CARD

In the upset of the night, world-ranked featherweight Antonio Escalante of El Paso, Tex. (24-4, 15 KOs) was knocked out in the first round with an overhand right by Alejandro Perez of Salinas (15-2-1, 10 KOs). Official time was 2:57. San Jose light middleweight Clint Coronel (4-1-2, 1 KO) defeated Sacramentos Carlos Musquez (3-5, 3 KOs) in a six-round split decision. One judge had it 58-56 for Musquez, but that tally was overruled by 59-56 and 58-56 scores for Coronel. In the fight of the night, Sacramento lightweight Guy Robb (3-0, 1 KO) edged out a four-round majority decision over Manuel Morales (0-1). The Grant Union High product outlanded his opponent in a display of offensive fireworks, taking two cards 40-36 and drawing on the other 38-38. San Ardo super bantamweight Roman Morales (2-0, 1 KO) defeated Fairfields Danny Pantoja (0-4-2) by a 40-36 four-round unanimous decision on all three cards. Light heavyweight Trevor McCumby of Glendale, Ariz. (2-0, 2 KOs) defeated Nathan Ortiz of Crystal River, Fla. (0-2) by technical knockout at 1:13 of the first round.

Santiago Casilla signs, but who will close for the A's?

Santiago Casilla signs, but who will close for the A's?

Santiago Casilla says he’s returning to his baseball home, which requires only a trip across the Bay Bridge.

The A’s finalized a two-year $11 million contract with the former Giants closer Friday, adding him to a bullpen that has no shortage of late-inning relief options for manager Bob Melvin.

“There’s an old saying that it’s always good to return home, and I’m very happy to get this new opportunity with the Athletics,” Casilla said on a media conference call, via interpreter Manolo Hernandez Douen.

It’s “new” in that the 36-year-old Casilla spent the past seven seasons wearing black and orange. But his major league career is rooted in Oakland. The A’s signed him out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur free agent back in 2000, and he spent his first six seasons with Oakland, the first two of those pitching under the name Jairo Garcia.

He’s since won three World Series rings with the Giants, including notching four saves during the 2014 postseason. His final season with San Francisco ended on a sour note last year, however, as he was demoted from the closer’s role during a rough September.

What role will he find in 2017?

Casilla, who reportedly can earn up to $3 million in incentives based on games finished, joins three other relievers in the A’s ‘pen who have legitimate big league closer’s experience — John Axford, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Doolittle was the closer entering last spring but shoulder problems derailed him for a second consecutive season. Madson handled the ninth for most of 2016 and notched 30 saves, but general manager David Forst made it clear Friday that the Opening Night closer has yet to be determined.

“We had a number of different guys save games last year,” Forst said. “… Santiago saved almost 80 games the last couple years. He’s got a lot of experience. As we talked to him and his representatives, he made it clear he’s willing to do anything. It’s great for Bob to have a number of options. It’ll sort itself out in spring training as to who the guy is to start the season.”

Doolittle, Axford, Ryan Dull and Zach Neal combined for 12 saves last season. But even though the A’s are fully stocked with ninth-inning options, it’s fair to question whether any of them is a clear-cut answer for the closer’s role as spring training nears.

Madson’s seven blown saves tied for second most in the American League. Doolittle hasn’t pitched a full season since 2014. Axford issued 4.11 walks per nine innings last year, and Dull’s biggest strength is his ability escape jams when entering mid-inning.

Casilla went 2-5 with a 3.57 ERA and 31 saves last season, striking out a career-best 10.1 per nine innings, but there was some turbulence. He was displeased with Giants manager Bruce Bochy last May after being pulled from a game. Then he struggled mightily in September and lost the closer’s role. Bochy didn’t call on him at all as the bullpen coughed up a ninth-inning lead to the Cubs in Game 4 of the NL Division Series that ended the Giants’ season. That decision had Casilla in tears after the game.

Asked Friday if he harbored any hard feelings toward the Giants, Casilla replied: “It’s a new year, a new team. I have left this in the past.”

Forst pointed to Casilla’s sustained velocity — his fastball averaged 93.6 miles per hour last season — and his expanded repertoire over his career as reasons why the A’s went after him.

“His numbers were really good — 65 strikeouts, 19 walks,” Forst said. “As we got through the offseason I think we thought he was being overlooked a little bit just because of the narrative surrounding his departure with the Giants. I wasn’t around and I don’t know what went on, but it seems like a few blown saves marred what otherwise was a fantastic season for him.”

In other news, the A’s signed veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training. Forst noted De Aza’s ability to play all three outfield spots and his speed as traits that caught the A’s attention.

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

The 49ers reportedly continue to pursue Gus Bradley to serve as defensive coordinator on presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

The 49ers have increased their offer to Bradley, Mike Siliver of the NFL Network reported on Friday. Bradley wanted to work with Tom Cable, according to the report.

Cable interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday but removed his name from consideration on Tuesday after he and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner sensed their 49ers’ interest in them intended to receive a commitment from Shanahan, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Bradley served as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2009 to ’12. In Bradley’s final season on Pete Carroll’s staff, Seattle ranked first in the NFL in points allowed and fourth in total yards.

Bradley became head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. His teams went 14-48 before he was fired with two games remaining in the season.

The 49ers this week inquired with the Chicago Bears about the possibility of bringing back Vic Fangio to the organization to serve as defensive coordinator. The 49es were informed, according to a source, that the Bears would not let Fangio out of his contract. Fangio was the defensive coordinator for all four seasons with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh.