A's Get All Bases Covered

A's Get All Bases Covered

Jan. 15, 2010A'S PAGE

TheRaiders dominated the local news cycle again Friday with, um, zeronews whatsoever.Then,late in the day, along came the other professional sports franchise withOakland in its name. And the A's came with real news. Prettybig news, actually. In trading a Quadruple-A outfielder (Aaron Cunningham) andanother outfielder who just didn't seem to fit (Scott Hairston) to the Padresfor Kevin Kouzmanoff, the A's finally landed a solid young third baseman to carrythe position a few years into their seemingly bright future.As Inoted in a blog last week, the A's have been talking to San Diego aboutKouzmanoff for quite some time. That those talks have finally shaken fruit fromthe tree is the biggest win of the offseason for Oakland GM Billy Beane.And giventhat Beane has been dealing with an extremely sick son for the better part oftwo weeks, credit likely should go to his assistant GM, David Forst. Togetherthey filled their team's most glaring need and turned a so-so winter intosomething much closer to good.

There wassimply no way the A's were going to count on Eric Chavez. That would be insanegiven his health history. And they weren't thrilled with the notion of Jake Foxat third on a regular basis, so they went out and got what they needed whilegiving up very little of consequence.Why wouldthe Padres make such a seemingly lopsided deal? Pretty simple. Kouzmanoff, a28-year-old with decent pop (18 homers, 88 RBIs last year) and a solid glove atthe hot corner, is eligible for arbitration, and the San Diego is in noposition to add to its payroll. Hairstonis arb-eligible, too, but he's not going to get anything close to the kind ofraise for which Kouzmanoff is in line. But wait,you might say. Aren't the A's supposed to be cheap, too?Not ascheap as the Padres need to be right now. Messy divorce down there, you know.Must be a SoCal thing; the Dodgers are wearing it, too.Besides,Beane and Forst always had some money set aside for this rainy day, thanks inpart of the shell game that resulted in getting CoCo Crisp, Jack Cust andJustin Duchscherer for about 10 million this year.So wheredoes Fox play? He'll probably play all over. Maybe he ends up holding downfirst base; nothing is going to be handed to Daric Barton as this point, and ifthe A's can prevent super-prospect Chris Carter's arb clock from starting for awhile, they most certainly will.Does itreally matter where Fox plays, though? This deal was about the A's getting allof their bases covered, and third base was the only one still bare.Interesting,too, that the A's would manage to wrangle the spotlight from the Raiders.Oakland's two teams -- the Warriors can't fully claim the Biggidy-O until it'sstitched on their jerseys -- are the only two teams in pro sports that have anexecutive as the face of the franchise.As AlDavis is the Raiders, Billy Beane is theA's.But justas there's a huge difference between no news being news and news being made,there's a huge difference in the levels of respect each man has with his team'sfan base. One manis behind the times, and the other always seems one step ahead.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.


Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

Ty Lue: Celtics 'harder to defend' than Warriors

The Warriors possess four 2017 All-Stars, three 2017 All-NBA team members and had the highest-scoring offense during the offense. They are 12-0 this postseason and have won those 12 games by an average of 16.3 points.

The Celtics lost All-NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas for the rest of the postseason and don't have another All-Star on the roster.

But for Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue, it sounds like he has an easier time scheming to defend the Warriors.

"The stuff (the Celtics are) running, it's harder to defend than Golden State's (offense) for me, as far as the actions and all the running around and all the guys who are making all the plays, so it's a totally different thing. Like, they hit the post, Golden State runs splits and all that stuff but these guys are running all kinds of (stuff). And Brad's (Stevens) got them moving and cutting and playing with pace and everybody is a threat," Lue said Wednesday, according to Cleveland.com.

The Cavs rallied to beat the Celtics in Game 4 on Tuesday night to take a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Despite the commanding series lead, Lue isn't looking ahead of a potential NBA Finals matchup with the Warriors.

"You can't. As much as you want to, it's not over," Lue told reporters.

The Cavs have a chance to wrap up the Eastern Conference Finals on Thursday when they face the Celtics in Boston.

The NBA Finals begin June 1 in Oakland.