The Calm Before the (Desert) Storm

The Calm Before the (Desert) Storm


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- With the exception of a smoking cabbie on the way to the Oakland airport, everything went off without a hitch on Day 1 of my first trip to spring training -- Tuesday -- as a member of the CSN Bay Area team. Window seat with nobody next to me, friend in wait at the Phoenix airport, easy breezy at the rental car counter, got into the rental house no prob.Not much in the way of actual baseball today, however. Pitchers and catcher report to Giants camp Wednesday, and that won't be all that thrilling, either. They pop in, the docs check 'em out, and they leave. The first workouts are Thursday.Not to worry, though. We'll have access to most of the guys tomorrow, so the content will start flowing. I'm particularly amped about our new toy, the Flip Cam. My boy Steinmetz used it at the NBA All-Star Game in Dallas, and now I'll be taking you behind the scenes in the desert with one of my own. Player interviews, tours, off-the-wall features you won't find anywhere else, etc..Check back here often, too. I'll be sending multiple dispatches a day, video and blogs and news.For now, it's the calm before the storm, and I'll be spending it at my favorite haunt, Frasher's Steakhouse and Lounge on Scottsdale Road. When you come down here for the games, make sure you stop by and tell 'em I sent you. The grub is great, the vibe is better and the people are top-shelf.Can't wait to get to the yard tomorrow. A new season awaits. Should be a blast.--Mychael Urban
What's on your mind? Email Mychael and let him know. He may use it in his weekly Mailbag.

49ers freeze ticket prices for 2017, 2018 seasons


49ers freeze ticket prices for 2017, 2018 seasons

The 49ers on Tuesday informed season ticket holders that ticket prices will not increase for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. 

"We are announcing that 49ers season ticket pricing will be frozen through the 2018 season," the team wrote in an email to its season ticket holder. "Invoices for your 2017 season tickets will be made available to view and pay online in the coming weeks, including the option to enroll in a multi-month payment plan."

"Thank you for your valued and continued support as a 49ers Season Ticket Member. We look forward to serving you this season!"

The 49ers will enter the 2017 season with a new general manager and head coach after firing both Trent Baalke and Chip Kelly following their 2-14 2016 season.

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Sharks trade Tommy Wingels to Senators

Tommy Wingels has been traded to the Ottawa Senators for a pair of depth forwards and a seventh round draft pick in 2017, the Sharks announced on Tuesday.

Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini, both right wings, will be assigned to the AHL Barracuda.

Robinson, 25, has 12 points (7g, 5a) in 33 AHL games with Binghamton. In seven career NHL games with Ottawa, the six-foot-six, 230-pound New Jersey native has one goal and one assist.

Stortini, 31, has three points (2g, 1a) in 22 games for Binghamton this season. The six-foot-two, 220-pound Ontario native has appeared in 257 career NHL games with Edmonton and Nashville, posting 41 points (14g, 27a) and 718 penalty minutes.

The move clears the way for the Sharks to activate injured forward Tomas Hertl, who is day-to-day with a right knee injury that required surgery in mid-November.

According to a source, there is a very good chance Hertl returns to the Sharks on Thursday against the Oilers.

San Jose will retain 30 percent of Wingels’ $2.475 million salary, according to the Senators, which comes out to $742,500.

Wingels, 28, posted 122 points (51g, 71a) and 197 penalty minutes in 337 career games with San Jose over parts of seven seasons. He was originally drafted by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

He is the second player that has essentially been pushed off of the Sharks’ roster as they incorporate younger players like Kevin Labanc and Timo Meier into the fold. Matt Nieto was waived in early January, and claimed by the Avalanche on Jan. 5.

"Tommy has been a valuable member of our franchise for many years, a phenomenal teammate and a true role model on and off the ice for our organization and the NHL," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "As a team evolves and younger players push for roster spots, unfortunately tough decisions have to be made. We wish Tommy and his wife, Molly, nothing but success in the future.

"We also want to welcome Buddy and Zach to our organization. They add size and depth to our reserve list and we look forward to having them in San Jose.”