Not Much Guessing for A's Lineup

Not Much Guessing for A's Lineup

Jan. 22, 2010A'S PAGE
The As held their annual sponsors luncheon and their 2010 media day Thursday, and on my way to the former I decided to do the same type of Guess The Lineup blog that I did for the Giants a while back. After talking with Oakland manager Bob Geren, though, I realized there wont be much guessing involved. He sounded like a man pretty set on how things are going to shake out if -- and even he conceded that this is a massive if -- everyone stays healthy throughout spring training. The only guessing regarding the lineup at this point relates to the biggest if of all, Eric Chavez. If Chavez is healthy, the lineup presented and discussed on Thursday nights SportsNet Central -- and further examined below -- could change dramatically from day to day. If Chavezs most recent comeback attempt, this time as an uber-utilityman, doesnt pan out, heres what youre likely to see come Opening Day: 1. Rajai Davis, LF: Geren said Davis, last years breakthrough player for the As (and biggest doh! for the Giants), might have to learn to play on a corner. Translation: Coco Crisp is going to start in center field. You dont give a guy 4.5 mil and ask him to move; you tell the guy who just enjoyed his first taste of big-league success to move. 2. Coco Crisp, CF: A seemingly delightful chap with a quick smile and engaging charm, Crisp claims to be healthy in the wake of surgery on both shoulders that cost him much of 2009 with the Royals. Hes been a leadoff man for much of his career and said hed like to do it in Oakland. But Geren likes to go right-left-right or left-right-left up and down his lineup to give opposing bullpens matchup problems. Andconsidering that the only name he threw out as a potential No. 3 hitter was that of a right-handed hitter, Crisp, who hits from the left side, Crisp seems slated to follow Davis, a righty swinger with virtually the same offensive skill set. 3. Kurt Suzuki, C: Last seasons team leader in RBIs, Suzuki was the most consistent contributor and has improved every year that hes been in The Show. Its not a stretch to think he could get his batting average up in the .300s and go 20 HRs110 RBIs hitting in this spot. Batting third and handling a young starting staff is a ton of responsibility to throw at a guy heading into his third full season, but Zook is equipped to handle it. 4. Jack Cust, DH: Cust hits from the left side, buthe fitsas the cleanup manas much for his power and ability to get on base as anything. Hes the only guy on the team that you can be near-certain will hit close to 30 bombs. 5. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B: His 88 RBIs for the lowly Padres last season matched Suzukis RBI total for the lowly As. Cust runs better than most people think, and Kooz is a solid gap-to-gap guy, so it's easy to see Cust drawing a walk and rumbling around to score as a Kouzmanoff drive short-hops the wall in deep left-center at the Coliseum.6. Ryan Sweeney, RF: The other centerfielder in what should be an awfully good defensive outfield, Sweeney had been used in the leadoff, No. 2 and No. 3 spots (among others) during his time with the As, and if he starts hitting with more power, hes a candidate to swap spots with Suzuki at some point. For now, this is a low-pressure, potentially high-RBI spot for Sweeney, who is still just 24 years old and developing. 7. Mark Ellis, 2B: You never really know what kind of offensive production youre going to get from Ellis, who can be streaky with the bat. Buthe's beenone of the best glove men at his position over the past several years, and you knowhe'll give youget smart at-bats, some surprising power and heady work on the bases. 8. Daric Barton, 1B: On this one I have to hedge; Id give backup catcher Landon Powell -- a legit power threat with nice patience -- a serious look at first base this spring. And Chris Carter is definitely going to get a look. But for now its Barton, for whom this season is the biggest of his career. If he doesnt cement himself as a regular, hes going to disappear in a hurry. 9. Cliff Pennington, SS: Coming off a nice showing in his first dose of regular run with the As, Pennington is a pesky, fleet-footed switch hitter with some pop and a good eye. Against lefty starters, hed give Geren right-left-right throughout the order. He was a better hitter against righties last year, though: .307 vs. 200. Again, a healthy Chavez would change everything. But this will suffice until further notice. And with speed at the top and bottom, and at least decent power from 3-8, its certainly an improvement on what we saw for most of 2009.--Mychael UrbanWhat's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

OAKLAND – In the final preseason game on the schedule, at his new home of Oracle Arena, Kevin Durant entered the highlight zone.

The team’s newest superstar exhibited his entire scoring arsenal, dropping 3-pointers, soaring in for dunks and swishing mid-range post-ups.

The most impressive dunk came with 9:02 left in the quarter, when Durant took a pass from Draymond Green and finished the fast break by taking off from about 10 feet and throwing it down.

[POOLE: Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers]

The most impressive trey came with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter, when Steph Curry came down in transition, slipped a pass to Durant, who threw it in from 32 feet.

Durant scored 14 points in the third quarter, 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep.

Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one block.

Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers


Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers


OAKLAND – The preseason ended Friday night with the kind of offensive fireworks the Warriors expect to carry into the regular season.

Stephen Curry scored 35 points and Kevin Durant poured in 28 points as the Warriors overcame an early 16-point deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 107-96 at Oracle Arena.

Ian Clark added 17 points to bolster the scoring of Curry and Durant.

With the exception of the first five minutes, the Warriors starters sparkled, outscoring Portland 84-50 over the next 31 minutes and leading by as much as 21.

The Warriors finished the preseason with a 6-1 record.

Damian Lillard, playing two miles from his old neighborhood, led Portland with 20 points. CJ McCollum added 16.


Simply put, that would be Curry and Durant.

Curry’s line: 35 points (12-of-21 from the field, including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), four rebounds and two assists. He scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters. He played 28 minutes and finished plus-17.

Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot. He scored 14 points in the third quarter. Durant played 31 minutes and finished plus-2.


Draymond Green didn’t score much, only 4 points, but his put his fingerprints on this game in just about every other way. He hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds, passed for six assists, adding a steal and a blocked shot. He played 26 efficient minutes, finishing plus-15.

Ian Clark still is trying to nail down a spot in the rotation and he made another impressive argument on his behalf. Coming off the bench with 4:09 left in the first quarter, he took two shots and made them both, including a 3-pointer. Playing both guard positions, Clark had 17 points (7-of-11, 3-of-6), two assists, one rebound and one block.


Warriors: C JaVale McGee (L knee strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) was listed as out.

Blazers: C Meyers Leonard (lower back soreness) and G Shabazz Napier (L ankle sprain) were listed as questionable. Leonard entered in the third quarter. Napier did not play. C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) was listed as out.


The Warriors open the season Tuesday, Oct. 25, when the San Antonio Spurs visit Oracle Arena.