Urban: Giants 'gripping' without Beltran


Urban: Giants 'gripping' without Beltran

Aug. 10, 2011


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Mychael Urban

SAN FRANCISCO -- Carlos Beltran has a sore wrist and the Giants are off Thursday, so Beltran didn't play Wednesday.It made sense in every way; Beltran is the Giants' offensive bell cow, whether he's earned that title since his arrival or not. And the last thing you want is for your golden goose, however temporary or even silverbronze he might be, to fight a nagging injury while fighting late-season fatigue and fellow contenders down the stretch.RECAP: Giants walk eight Pirates, fall 9-2 to lose series
So give him the day off. Thursday's a freebie. Again, makes all the sense in the world.

Unfortunately, when you're the defending world champions and lucky to be in first place but mired in the kind of offensive funk that Beltran was brought in to help avoid, sense and rational thinking and anything else associated with less than all-out panic don't resonate right now with a fan base finally coming to grips with its own greed.In the euphoria of early November 2010, a lot of fans proclaimed such satisfaction with having finally experienced that long-elusive World Series high that they'd temper their expectations for a few years, soak it all in, give the boys something of a pass.Yeah, and that lasted about halfway through spring training.
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That's why the Beltran situation is officially something on which to keep a very close eye. Hell, given the current state of the Giants, it might even be something worth flipping out over -- at least between now and Friday, which is when the club is "hopeful" about Beltran being back.Not to crank up the volume on the alarm, but the Giants were hopeful that Freddy Sanchez would make it back this season, too. And like Sanchez, Beltran has a very recent and very bad injury history.And like Sanchez, who lost a couple of months of post-surgery recovery time in an attempt to rehab his shredded throwing shoulder with exercise, Beltran is suffering from an injury that's kind of a big deal relative to the rigors of his job. Find a hitter without strong and healthy wrists and you'll find a hitter who isn't hitting.Or isn't playing. Either way, a big blow to the champs' collective psyche. Or should we say another big blow, along with Buster Posey's injury and Sanchez's injury and Barry Zito's continued demise and Jonathan Sanchez's latest debacle, or ... you get the picture.Perhaps you've heard the popular new phrase in baseball when it comes to pressing, stressing and digressing. It's "gripping." Not gripping as in, last year's playoff run was gripping. Gripping as in, the Giants are gripping when they get runners in scoring position. And boy, are they ever.Well, here's another spin on gripping, a triple-grip: If Carlos Beltran isn't gripping a bat Friday, the Giants and their fans will be gripping, and the Giants themselves will cease to be gripping (in that good way) until he is.

After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


After best start in franchise history, Quakes' rough season ends on low note


A San Jose Earthquakes season that began with the best start in franchise history ended on Sunday with an all-too-familiar result and feeling.

A Sporting Kansas City first half penalty shot and 89th minute-goal was more than enough offense to finish the Quakes' season on a low note in what was a 2-0 loss at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

The Earthquakes finished the 2016 campaign with an 8-14-12 record -- their 12 losses are tied for second most since returning to San Jose after a two-year hiatus in 2008.

The shutout is also the 12th the Quakes suffered this season and San Jose has now missed the playoffs four straight years.

San Jose pressed Sporting Kansas City in the first half and was almost rewarded with a goal on both occasions.

But it was Kansas City who made the most of their opportunities and those don’t come much better than a penalty shot. 

Benny Feilhaber stepped up to the spot in the 27th minute after an awkward bounce hit Cordell Cato in the arm, forcing the referee to call for the penalty. Feilhaber beat David Bingham to the keeper's left for his seventh goal of the season.

The second half was noteworthy for its chippiness more than any real threat by San Jose to try and equalize. Referee Drew Fischer handed out five yellow cards in the half -- three to the Quakes. 

Sporting KC left the game way beyond reach for San Jose when Feilhaber found a streaking Dominic Dwyer on the right side who emphatically finished past Bingham for the 2-0 result. 

Man of the Match: Feilhaber gave San Jose fits the entire match and the Quakes had no answers for the midfielder. Feilhaber and Dwyer almost connected on a couple of other occasions that might have made the result worse for the Quakes. 

Attendance: 20,371 watched Sporting KC advance to the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Up Next: It's back to the drawing board for the Quakes who will reconvene in Tucson next season for preseason camp. 

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

Draymond: Hate 'comes with the territory'

OAKLAND – As the hours and minutes toward opening night tick down for the Warriors, forward Draymond Green has an idea of what’s coming this season.

Constant surveillance, plenty of opinions and a lot of debate are in store.

And in the wake of signing megastar free agent Kevin Durant, Green and the Warriors can expect plenty of resentment.

“Usually, when you’re doing something the right way, people hate,” Green said after practice Sunday. “And, usually, when you’re doing something someone wants to do, they hate. Usually when there is success, with success comes hate. So that kind of just comes with the territory. It really doesn’t matter.

“KD being here definitely adds to that. But with the success we’ve had, people are going to hate us anyway. That comes with the territory.”

Though Durant is certain to be targeted for boos, Green also will hear his share. NBA fans generally cast a few players as villains, and Green moved snugly into that role last season with his kick to the groin of Oklahoma City center Steven Adams, followed by throwing a jab to the groin area of Cleveland star LeBron James.

The mini-skirmish with James, in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, landed Green on the suspended list at a critical time: Game 5.

The incident also affixed Green’s photo to the wall featuring NBA road rascals, right up there with the likes of Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, DeMarcus Cousins, Metta World Peace and, at various times, Kobe Bryant.

Because Green is in that role and Durant, at least for now, is the subject of so much unfavorable scrutiny, there is a sharper edge to the identity of the Warriors.

“Some people say we’re villains,” Green said. “I don’t think we’re really going into this saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. We need to do this.’ ‘Who . . . cares?’ It really doesn’t matter what role people try to make you play. It’s about getting on the court, getting between these lines and performing.

“What everybody else draws up and tries to make you out to be . . . they can make you out to be whatever they want. If you’re winning games, or not winning games, that’s what matters. I don’t think this team is looking and saying, ‘Hey, we’re villains. Let’s do it.’ Nobody cares.”

Green was the subject of a much-publicized magazine article that depicted him as a source of unrest among this teammates and coaches. He’s acutely aware of the characterization and realizes he must walk a fine line or risk puncturing team chemistry.

He’ll accept being the villain, and perhaps even embrace the booing. Only Steph Curry among the Warriors shares Green’s profound delight in silencing arenas on the road.

“This is about getting between these lines and performing,” Green said. “Everything else outside of that, it really doesn’t matter. Things are going to be said. Some things are not going to be said. But when it’s all said and done, the only thing people are going to talk about at the end is whether you won or lost.