Raiders

Bay Area gets shunned

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Bay Area gets shunned

Robert Braunstein

On Sunday the CIF announced the teams and sites for the first ever NorCal regional playoffs. The winning teams earn the right to play for a state title the following week, December 15 at the Home Depot Center in Southern California.

You can certainly argue the merits of one team making the regional game over another. Sacred Heart Prep as Section champs has a right to be upset not being chosen after a one loss season and section title. Both McClymonds and Central Catholic have more losses as the two teams chosen to play for the D-IV NorCal crown.

What you cannot argue is how the Bay Area is being slighted by the CIF. With five Bay Area teams earning spots in the NorCals, not one of the games will be played in the Bay Area. All five games will be played in Sacramento or North. In fact, no CIF event in any sport will be played in the Bay Area this year.

I shot the De La Salle game in a downpour Saturday night at Dublin High School, a site that works well for the section title games. I talked with NCS Associate Commissioner Karen Smith at the game and expressed my concern I was only hearing about Sacramento sites for the NorCal games. She assured me there were sites in the Bay Area like Dublin High and Diablo Valley College also being considered.

But neither was chosen, so national power De La Salle will, in effect be the visitor when the Spartans play Folsom at Sacramento State University this Saturday night. I asked the CIF in a conference call why all five Bay Area teams have to travel when there were other options in the Bay Area.

There was no real answer.

They talked about fine facilities where both schools will be honored to play. Sure, the facilities are great, they’re just not in the Bay Area. Clayton Valley is an easy choice to play at Diablo Valley College instead of Lincoln High school. Instead the Ugly Eagles will drive to Lincoln High in Stockton to play Oakdale, a big drive for both teams and against what the CIF tries to avoid in having a neutral site in the middle.

None of this seems to make any sense. The Southern Section has its regional games being played all over Southern California, one game in Long Beach, another in San Diego, another in Orange County. So why is Northern California different? Why is there not a single CIF event scheduled for Northern California this year? Basketball regionals and finals are also in Sacramento and Stockton. The state football finals are in Southern California, as is wrestling, golf, and track and field. Cross Country is in Fresno.  The Volleyball finals were just held in Irvine where the South won three out of the five matches. Sacred Heart Prep lost a fifth game 15-13 after traveling 300 miles to play.

It wasn’t too long ago when CIF final games were played in the Bay Area. The Oakland Coliseum was the site for many state basketball final games. Volleyball finals were played a few years ago at San Jose State’s Events Center. We have lots of great facilities in the Bay Area. Kezar stadium would be a great place to host the St. Ignatius vs Granite Bay game this Friday night. UC Berkeley hosts the NCS Meet of Champions and would be a fine location for a state meet. The CIF doesn’t seem to consider how people will get to these events. How do you get to Bakersfield from the Bay Area for the wrestling finals? You can’t fly there, you have to drive. Not a problem if you live in Southern California, but if your home is the Bay Area it’s kind of a big drive.

Money is the main reason the state basketball finals are at Arco Arena every year (or whatever it’s called now). I understand you get a great deal, but could you not get just as good a deal at UC Berkeley, Maples Pavilion, or San Jose State?

It all comes down to fairness. Bay Area schools are at least an equal part of what should be the equation in putting together sites each year for these games. Bay Area teams shine every year with great representation in every sport in the final games. To not have a single CIF event hosted at a Bay Area site is inexcusable.

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

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USATSI

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

Donald Penn is set to earn over $7 million this season in the second of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with Oakland. But the 34-year-old veteran wants more.

Penn, who has started all 16 games in each of the last nine NFL seasons, is not reporting to training camp because he is unhappy with his contract situation, according to Ian Rapoport. 

Penn reportedly wants to be paid like a Top 10 left tackle. He played like one last year. He allowed just 28 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps and gave up just one sack, though it was the takedown where Derek Carr broke his fibula. 

Penn stands 6-foot-5, weighs 305 pounds, and -- at left tackle -- occupies a crucial position of the offensive line that protects prized quarterback Derek Carr.

The Raiders don't have another solid option at left tackle, unless they disrupt the line and move left guard Kelechi Osemele over.

Penn has seen the Raiders invest heavily in offensive linemen since he signed on, with massive contract given to Osemele and Rodney Hudson in recent seasons. The Raiders just gave right guard Gabe Jackson a five-year, $56 million contract extension. 

The Raiders should have $14.825 million in salary cap space remaining this season after the release of Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones. 

 

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

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USATSI

Source: Giants' top pitching prospect expected to miss rest of season

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a postseason spot long gone, the Giants hoped to take a look at some of their top prospects in September. Another injury will likely keep that from being a reality for the organization's top minor league pitcher. 

Right-hander Tyler Beede is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin strain while warming up for his last start, NBC Sports Bay Area has learned. Beede, a first-round pick in 2014, will be sidelined at least four weeks, but he is headed to the club's facility in Scottsdale to rehab and keep open the possibility of being ready at some point in September.

The more likely scenario is that Beede pitches in the Arizona Fall League after the season in order to get more innings under his belt. After throwing 147 1/3 innings in Double-A last year, he was at 109 innings in Triple-A at the time of his injury. Beede is viewed as a 2018 rotation option, so the Giants will need him to get more work in before this year is over. 

The timing is brutal, and not just because Beede was potentially a month away from a September call-up. When he got hurt, Beede was coming off one of his best starts of his season with the River Cats. He allowed just one unearned run in seven innings on July 19, striking out five and walking one. Teammates raved about the stuff Beede showed that day, but he wasn't able to build off the start. He got hurt while warming up in the bullpen for his following start. 

The 24-year-old battled inconsistency at times in Sacramento, but of his final five starts with the River Cats, three were of at least seven innings with two-or-fewer earned runs. He certainly looked headed for a September call, and at times this year, he has been mentioned by team officials as a potential starter down the stretch. Overall, Beede had a 4.79 ERA in 19 starts. His final month was his best; he posted a 3.57 ERA in July. 

It's been an odd season for the Giants in terms of developing prospects. Christian Arroyo likely would have been called up after the Eduardo Nuñez trade, but he is also in Arizona, rehabbing after hand surgery. Austin Slater seemed to win the left field job, but a groin injury has him out for a couple of months and the Giants now want him to play winter ball to get extra at-bats. Arroyo and Slater have not officially been ruled out for the rest of the season, but it'll be hard for the Giants to get either player ready by the end of September.