BUZZ: Lincecum on display; another A's opener; nasty Sharks

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BUZZ: Lincecum on display; another A's opener; nasty Sharks

1. Lincecum & Co. Tim Lincecum is a Yahoo! search topic on cold days in January, so hes definitely the man of the hour today, as he takes the mound for the Giants season opener against the Snakes. The Giants have made their customers happy in the past week, locking up Matt Cain and bucking their history to go with youth Hector Sanchez, Brandon Belt. Well, except for that spry left fielder, who might remind us of the days whenBarry Bonds emulated a statue by the Chevron sign.

2. Ryan Clowe is a trending topic, not because theSharks won on Thursday night and not because they made the playoffs even before they won, thanks to losses by Colorado and Dallas, but because he stuck his stick out from the bench to interfere with a play. Thats cheating, folks. The Sharks cheated, they fought including Joe Thornton -- they were nasty and desperate. They looked like theyd had a pep talk fromGregg Williams.

3. Gregg Williams I dont care how long youve watched the NFL or how low your expectations are for NFL coaches, the Greg Williams tape targetingAlex Smith, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and other 49erswas still stomach-churning, an ugly peak behind the curtain of Americas favorite sport. But given how the 49ers hit theSaints in that game, they probably had a similar discussion in their defensive meeting the same night.

4. Bobby Petrino Raise your hand if you thought Petrino was a scumbag when he fledLouisville for the Atlanta Falcons, then jumped ship with three games left in the NFL season so Razorbacks fans could serenade him with Sooooo-eeee. Raise your hand if you think Jessica Dorrell needs some self-esteem lessons.

5. The As the Swingin Anonymous Guys get to have their second opening day in less than two weeks, this time without the jet lag or the sushi. However, its unlikely theyll top the crowd of 44,000-plus that watched their first game at the Tokyo Dome where the stands were tarp-free..

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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