Brazil: 20 thoughts from the Sharks' playoff run

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Brazil: 20 thoughts from the Sharks' playoff run

May 24, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKS VIDEO
Brodie BrazilCSNCalifornia.com

1) As Ive learned, it is indeed possible to spend 10,000 of the companys money chasing the Sharks all across North America for six weeks.2) Each opponent, and its subsequent fanbase, thought they were better than San Jose from the outset of each series. Los Angeles, in true SoCal fashion was out to shock the world. Detroit and its self-described mystique was destined to advance. And then of course Vancouver was owed a trip to the finals, because well after all, Canadians invented hockey.3) Canucks fans support their team very well on the road. Sharks fans shouldnt be mad or frustrated at this, but instead take a chapter out of their book. Nothing like making the enemys advantage your own advantage.

4) Tim Hortons is the best breakfast spot in the world. Whoever franchises a location in San Francisco will make a lot of my money.5) No Show Joe sure showed a lot of people his true colors. Not only as the points leader through three rounds of the postseason, but also as the leader inside the Sharks' dressing room. All of this while playing through pain. Hard to believe he will still have doubters, but then again, I wont be surprised.6) Paying the extra 10 to sit in the exit row, always worth it on the long flights.7) Its the easy way out as a journalist, blogger, or fan to pick an underperforming star player and ask Where has ___ been this series?. When was the last time you saw a championship team have all of its players going 100 at the same time? Never. Exactly.8) HP Pavilion is louder than Staples Center, Joe Louis Arena and Rogers Arena. This is not bias, this is truth.9) Logan Couture might be the biggest bright spot in the organizations future. The kid has already exceeded expectations, and shows no signs of slowing down.10) Angry Birds still manages to make ME angry at times, but is the best time killer for airplane, bus, taxi and train rides.11) The people and media outlets who covered San Jose the least this regular season seem to be most critical of their performance in the postseason.12) It is completely normal to ask someone, or yourself What day is today? anytime youre past the first round.13) Todd McLellan is an incredibly composed man. Through the controversy and the celebration of emotional hockey games, he always delivers eloquent words to the media, and you can only imagine he is the exact same to his players when the doors are closed.14) Your big free agents this year are: White, Wallin, Huskins, Eager, Nichol, Wellwood, Mayers and Setoguchi. At least half of them will be back, Id guess. Which ones, well have to see.15) In retrospect, werent two goaltenders better than one?16) Funny how any series won always seems easier in hindsight. For example, at the time I remember thinking how many battles there were in the Kings series but now looking back, it seemed like a relatively painless series.17) In 2011, the Sharks played their latest game in the calendar year (May 24th), and played the most postseason hockey of any season (18 games).18) They also were the only team to appear in the Conference Finals each of the last two years, which seems to be a lost fact on a lot of people.19) I honestly dont know how any regular man puts up with a full-time beard. It beats shaving every day, and is fun for the playoffs but thats about where the benefits end. 20) With a postseason this long, next year will be here before you know it.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on