Sandoval back in lineup for showdown with D'Backs

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Sandoval back in lineup for showdown with D'Backs

June 14, 2011

GIANTS (37-29) vs.
ARIZONA (37-30)

Coverage begins at 6 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

ARIZONA (AP) -- It's not a surprise the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants are atop the NL West. That the Arizona Diamondbacks are a close second, however, is.

With Matt Cain on the mound, the Giants look to prevent the surging Diamondbacks from overtaking them for the division lead Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set at Chase Field.

Banged up and weary, the Giants (37-29) head into this first-place showdown following their first off day after going 10-10 during a stretch of 20 straight games.

Despite catcher Buster Posey lost with a broken leg and second baseman Freddy Sanchez out indefinitely with a dislocated shoulder, San Francisco has a one-half game lead over Arizona (37-30), which has won 22 of 30.

URBAN: Sanchez rehab plan is risky

"To still be in first place shows we've battled through it so far, and things should be better," right fielder Nate Schierholtz said.

That could come with the expected return of slugger Pablo Sandoval, who has been out since April 29 with a broken hand. Sandoval, batting .313 with five homers and 14 RBIs, is a lifetime .361 hitter with eight home runs and 30 RBIs versus Arizona.

San Francisco's starting pitchers did not receive more than three runs of support in any game of a 6-4 homestand that concluded Sunday with a 4-2 win over Cincinnati. The Giants are 22-5 when they give their starters three or more runs and 15-24 when they score two or fewer.

"If we hit a lick, we might be 10 games over the Diamondbacks," said first baseman Aubrey Huff, batting .321 with four RBIs the last seven games."

REWIND: Giants stage late rally to top Reds, split series

Cain (5-4, 3.36 ERA) has not needed much support in winning his last two starts - giving up two runs and nine hits in 16 innings with 18 strikeouts. He struck out a season-high 11 on Wednesday and threw a five-hitter in beating Washington 3-1 on Wednesday.

The right-hander has been almost as dominant while going 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA versus Arizona this season. He's also allowed one run and seven hits in 14 innings to win his last two at Chase Field, including April 15 when he yielded that run and four hits in a 5-2 victory.

San Francisco is 5-1 versus Arizona in 2011, and has won eight of 10 at Chase Field. However, the Diamondbacks have won 10 of 13 at home and took the final three of a four-game road set at Florida.

"This will be a good check for us," manager Kirk Gibson told the Diamondbacks' official website. "We're looking forward to that. They're a good team. We're good too."

Arizona also will hand the ball to rookie Josh Collmenter (4-1, 1.12 ERA), who has a 13-inning scoreless streak. A converted starter, Collmenter has allowed four earned runs in 34 1-3 innings to go 3-1 in six starts.

The right-hander gave up four hits in five innings but did not factor in the decision of a 2-0 win at Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"He's been a challenge for everybody so far," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.

This is Collmenter's first start against the Giants, but he pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in a 6-5, 12-inning home victory April 17.

Catcher Miguel hit three doubles and had four RBIs in Monday's 12-9 win at Florida. He's hit .444 with six RBIs his last four games, but is 2 for 18 versus San Francisco this season.

Teammate Stephen Drew has batted .379 with 11 RBIs his last 15 games, and .344 with three homers against Cain.

Report: Colts request permission to interview Paton

Report: Colts request permission to interview Paton

George Paton, one of the remaining possibilities for the 49ers’ general manager position, is reportedly on the Indianapolis Colts’ list of candidates to fill their vacancy, too.

The Colts have requested permission to speak with Paton, the assistant general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reported on Monday.

Paton is scheduled for a second interview with the 49ers on Friday, along with Atlanta offensive coordinator and San Francisco’s presumptive head coach, in Atlanta.

The Colts also requested permission to interview Seattle co-directors of player personnel Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, USA Today reported. Kirchern and Fitterer also interviewed with the 49ers. Kirchner pulled his name from consideration, while the 49ers informed Fitterer he would not be asked back for a second interview.

The Colts fired general manager Ryan Grigson on Saturday. Owner Jim Irsay said Indianapolis’ vice president of football operations Jimmy Raye III would be a candidate. The 49ers also interviewed Raye, who was informed he would not be included in a second round of interviews.

Arizona vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough is the other known candidate for the 49ers’ general manager position that opened when the firing of Trent Baalke was announced at the conclusion of the team’s 2-14 season.
 

'Woke' David West is going to fight the fight against Donald Trump

'Woke' David West is going to fight the fight against Donald Trump

Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage starts today at 3:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

He is a credentialed NBA star, with enough personal wealth to choose achievement over dollars, the conviction to stand on principle and such an acute cultural awareness that he’s simply unable to tune out the despair gripping much of America.

David West has deep concerns and many questions.

It’s not that he questions himself and everything he was taught and remains committed to teaching others. The Warriors forward, 36, has seen inequality, up close, yet still continues to believe in the human spirit and its capacity to overcome.

Though he clearly is disturbed by the wave of crude belligerence represented by our latest president, Donald Trump, inaugurated only days ago, what’s more distressing to West is the transparent bigotry and misogyny, which points up the rampant ignorance behind his rise.

“He brought out an element of our society that a lot of folks assumed was dead,” West said on the CSN Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast. “A lot of folks assumed that that part of our country was no longer, based on the election of President Obama. But what Donald Trump did was, he reached for a demographic of people who responded to some of the most infantile, non-decent language that you could expect coming from a president candidate. Folks bit.”

West didn’t bite. Didn’t even think about biting. No, he’s going the opposite way.

He’s going to fight the fight. The married father of two is going to do it by flexing his mind more than his imposing 6-foot-9, 250-pound physique.

He’s going to stand with the millions of women who marched over the weekend. He’s going to stand with the millions of people who feel their quest for justice is endangered. He’s going to stand with those whose health care is in peril. He’s going to stand with those who understand that science telling us that climate changes is a grave global threat.

West is going to stand for truth and fairness and courtesy, even if he is uncertain whether the president sending out angry tweets and advocating “alternative facts” will be standing at his side.

“All the tactics that he used to get elected are the very things that someone like me, who works with youth on a consistent basis, are the things that we try to talk our young folks out of being,” West said. “We try to talk our young people out of being bullies. We try to talk our young men out of disrespecting women. We try to talk our young people into being accepting of other people’s opinions and other people’s walks of life.

“And he is the complete opposite of all of that.”

West, who earned his degree in communications from Xavier University in 2003, studies people of all stripes, from the great philosophers such as Nietzsche and Plato, to his coaches and the youngsters he mentors. He has a passion for knowledge as well as a profound appreciation for others with similar pursuits. Moreover, he believes in first-hand involvement.

So he involves himself in issues pertinent to gaining knowledge and investing -- financially, emotionally and intellectually -- in the future. He examines reality and how it relates to such issues as the infant mortality rate, the hypocrisy contained within United States Constitution and the tenuous dynamic between law enforcement and people of color.

West doesn’t stop there. He is a crusader for human rights. He has made multiple visits to Africa to peel back the layers of those who inhabit the continent. He is acutely attuned to matters of climate change; he’s the lone athlete/celebrity on the advisory board of Zoetic Global, an American-based group devoted to clean-energy technology, specifically hyperkinetic turbines.

West is, in the vernacular, “woke.”

He vocalized full support for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose very public attempts to shine a light on the frequency of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement.

There was considerable outrage over Kaepernick’s perceived disrespect of the flag as a symbol for the country when his actual cause is a plea for fairness.

“And people are too one-sided, too one-dimensional in their thought process, to get to that,” West said. “So all they saw him doing was a physical gesture. All they saw him doing was taking a knee.

“The issue, when we get to the basis of all this, is that there is a group of people who want justice -- people who want justice. And regardless of opposite or opposing views, justice should be just. And it should be for everyone. And when that environment doesn’t exist or is not readily available in terms of what we’re witnessing, then people are going to have things to say.”

Asked about the value of and prevalence with which sports celebrities speak up, as Kaepernick did, West offered an enlightening response.

“I’m not sure that the athletes, in terms of a collective group, are in a position, in terms of information, to take the type of stand that Colin took,” he said. “That’s kind of what gets lost in the interpretation as well. Folks see him, and if you’ve ever listened to Colin speak or if you ever followed him, he has a large information base. And I think it’s unfair to assume that other pro athletes have that same base.

“That’s very important, because what we have now, on the flip side, is very low-information athletes or former athletes who do speak up and who say things, who should not be saying anything at all.”

As for those NBA authority figures, such as Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, comfortable with sociopolitical dialogue openly and from a knowledgeable perspective, West expresses gratitude for their words and effort.

“Those guys are different,” he says, “because they take the time to become a little bit more understanding of the guys they are around most of the year.

“Steve wants to know how we feel about what popped up on the news yesterday or the day before, about what’s going on because all of that plays a part who you are.”

As irritated as West is with the disrespect frequently shown to former President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander-in-chief, he was pleased with Obama’s ability to reply with “dignity and class” under sometimes trying conditions.

We have elected in Trump someone who West, putting it mildly, “somebody who’s not as nuanced in dealing with folks.”

West is among a select group of high-profile athletes to speak openly of his concern about Trump. Knicks center Joakim Noah expressed his discontent, as has Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and former 49ers receiver Torrey Smith.

West, however, is among the elder statesmen of American athletes. And someone who puts his mind and time where his heart is. So, there remains at least . . . hope.

“We’re just in for a very different type of administration, where we’ve got to brace for a different type of leadership, unlike anything this country has ever seen,” he said of Trump. “For a lot of folks, they’re just trying to see what he’s going to do next. What’s going to happen? Some of the things he’s said, the things that he’s backed up, the things he’s projected of himself out onto the world, I don’t think anybody expected him to be able to get elected to such a prestigious and powerful seat in this country.

“I don’t know how you balance it. We all have to just wait and see. Folks inside the political system, who are tasked with the job of keeping him in check and keeping him under control, we’ve got to hold their feet to the fire.”