Giants, Huff complete two-year deal

322356.jpg

Giants, Huff complete two-year deal

Nov. 23, 2010

GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO GIANTS' STATEMENT ON HUFF SIGNING
Mychael Urban
CSNBayArea.com

SANFRANCISCO -- In a move that ensures continuity of clubhouse cohesionand returns to the 2010 World Series champions their most consistentand productive everyday player, the Giants on Tuesday announced thattheyve signed first basemanoutfielderclass clown Aubrey Huff to atwo-year contract.Huff, who turns 34 on Dec. 20, batted .290(165-for-569) with 35 doubles, 26 home runs and 86 RBIs in 157 gamesfor the Giants, who signed him to a one-year deal worth a reported 3million before last season.Huffs deal, a source told CSNBayArea.com, features an average salary of 10 million and includes a club option for 2013.Coming back has alwaysbeen my first choice, said Huff, who will appear at a 2 p.m. (PT)press conference at AT&T Park on Tuesday. The Giants were the onlyteam that called me last offseason, and to do what we were able to do its such a great group of guys makes it a pretty easy decision tocome back.A day after it wasannounced that Huff had finished seventh in the National League MVPvoting, San Franciscos team leader in nearly every offensive category-- including batting average, home runs, RBIs, hits, walks (83),on-base percentage (.385) and slugging percentage (.502) -- the Giantsconfirmed that hell remain a member of the club through the end of the2012 season.Were extremely excitedto be able to re-sign Aubrey, said Giants general manager BrianSabean. He was an integral part in the teams success last season, notonly with his outstanding play in the field, but also providing a greatclubhouse presence. Huff ranked 10th in theNL in on-base percentage plus slugging (OPS) with an .891 mark, and hewas fifth in the league with 28 go-ahead RBIs and seventh with 14game-winning RBIs.In his first careerpostseason in 2010, Huff batted .268 (15-for-56) with one home run andeight RBIs in 15 games to help the Giants win their first World Seriesin San Francisco history and first overall since 1954. Huff provided a keytwo-out game-tying single in the 9th inning in the Giants 3-2 victoryover the Braves at Turner Field in Game 3 of the Division Series, thengave the Giants a 2-0 lead in Game 4 of the World Series at Texas,hitting a two-run home run off Tommy Hunter. Huff had ended the 2010regular season having played in 1,479 games without reaching thepostseason, which at that time was the third-longest postseasondrought. Huffs defensiveversatility was an important factor in the Giants success in 2010 as heplayed errorless defense in both left (24 starts) and right field (33starts), and committed just three errors all season, all of which cameat first base (97 starts).

Raiders could play in Oakland through 2019, 'if fans would like us to stay'

Raiders could play in Oakland through 2019, 'if fans would like us to stay'

PHOENIX – The Raiders were approved to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas on Monday by a 31-1 vote of NFL owners.

That doesn’t mean they’re leaving anytime soon. The Raiders plan to play two, possibly three more seasons in the East Bay before heading out of town.

The Raiders have one-year team options to play at the Oakland Coliseum for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and plan to exercise them both while their Las Vegas stadium is being constructed.

Their new stadium won’t be ready for football until 2020, leaving a limbo year in 2019 without a temporary venue.

“If the fans would like us to stay there,” Davis said, “we’d love to be there for that and possibly talk to them about extending it for maybe 2019 as well and try to bring a championship back to Oakland.”

The Raiders are staying in the Bay Area because the Las Vegas area does not have a suitable venue to host NFL games. Sam Boyd Stadium hosts UNLV games, but would need upgrades, especially to the locker rooms and stadium security to host Raiders regular season games. There are talks of the Raiders playing a preseason game there in coming years.

The Raiders could play the 2019 season at other Bay Area venues, including Cal’s Memorial Stadium and Levi’s Stadium. Davis has been adverse to playing in the 49ers’ home park, but may be willing to using it as a temporary venue.

Much of that depends on fan reaction to permanent Vegas relocation. If attendance is down or fans are hostile, the Raiders could look elsewhere for temporary digs outside the Bay Area as soon as 2018 by sprucing up Sam Boyd. The Raiders need to build a practice facility in Nevada as well before moving there permanently.

If fans continue to support a rising squad expected to compete for a division and conference titles over the next few seasons, then the Raiders could stay put.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the Silver and Black will be the Oakland Raiders as long as they play in the Bay Area. The Raiders would like to stay there a while, though they can bail if things don’t work out.

“We’re still the Oakland Raiders and we are the Raiders and we represent the Raider Nation,” Davis said. “As I said earlier there’s going to be some disappointed fans and angry fans. It’s going to be up to me to talk to them and let them know why, how and what has happened. Hopefully we can work things out and work together for the future.”

Davis said any season ticket holders jilted by this move can receive refunds on deposits already paid.

“If any fans who have given season ticket deposits want refunds, we’d be happy to do that,” Davis said. “Well, not happily, but we would do so absolutely.”

Marleau back to the middle as Sharks deal with no Couture, Haley

Marleau back to the middle as Sharks deal with no Couture, Haley

SAN JOSE – All four of the Sharks’ lines have been in a blender for much of the season. 

Now, with Logan Couture out for at least one game and probably longer, and Micheal Haley getting tagged with a one-game suspension, the coaching staff has no choice but to mix and match the remaining forwards in time for Tuesday’s home game with the Rangers.

They’ll hope it’s the right recipe to snap out of what has been a miserable six-game losing streak in regulation, including the last two in which the Sharks have been outscored 13-3 by Dallas and Nashville.

The most notable player to be shifted is Patrick Marleau, who will apparently be centering the second line against New York. It will be just the fifth game he starts at center this season, and first since Feb. 11 in Philadelphia, when he was filling in for an ill Couture.

Marleau, of course, has played plenty of center of the years, including the second half of last season and first handful of playoff games when he was in the middle of the third line.

“I don’t think there’s been a year where I haven’t played center, so it’s just one of those things, move in and out,” Marleau said. “We’re interchangeable throughout the whole lineup, anyway.”

Marleau has been among the Sharks’ better players lately, with three of the team’s last five goals. He has 26 goals on the season, third on the team, and is fifth on the Sharks in points with 44.

“Patty is playing great. I don’t think we could ask for more from him,” said coach Pete DeBoer. “Arguably a lot of nights this year he’s been our best forward. He’s playing hard, he’s playing strong. He’s been a real valuable piece for us. We wouldn’t be in the spot we’re in this year without him and the way he’s played this year.”

Marleau is set to skate with Melker Karlsson and Mikkel Boedker, as Karlsson is good to go after missing the last eight games with a lower body injury. The 26-year-old Swede is having a nice season with 19 points (9g, 10a) in 60 games.

The third line featured Tomas Hertl between Joel Ward and Marcus Sorensen, while Chris Tierney will center the fourth line with Timo Meier and Joonas Donskoi.

Karlsson, who confirmed he was ready to return, said: “Cooch is out, and we’ll see how long he’s going to be out, but I’ll do my best. I’m going to work hard, and hopefully can get going here.”

Marleau described Karlsson as “tenacious on the forecheck, causes a lot of turnovers. He’s hungry on that puck. He’s going to get his opportunities, and I’m sure he’ll put a few in the back of the net.”

* * *

Of course, the Sharks don’t care who scores the goals, just as long as it’s someone. It’s been a season-long issue for them to get their depth scorers to do more, and if they want any chance at reclaiming first place in the Pacific Division while Couture is out, that will be a necessity.

Among the players that will bring their scoring woes into Tuesday’s game will be Donskoi (no points 13 games), Hertl (no points in 12 games), Boedker (no points in 10 games), Ward (no points in six games), Sorensen (one assist in 10 games) and Tierney (one goal in 12 games).

Could Couture’s absence be a wake up call for those guys?

“I would hope it doesn’t take an injury to get that. That’s something we’re looking for, it’s something we’ve challenged the group to get more out of them,” DeBoer said. 

“They’re the first guys to recognize they’ve got to give us a little bit more. That’s been an ongoing process. The good news is they’ve all done it before. I feel that they all have the ability to raise their level another notch here before the playoffs. I think they have enough character that we’ll see that.”

Time is growing short, as the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin in a little more than two weeks.

Marleau said: “When you go into playoffs, [secondary scoring] is usually what makes a difference. We need everybody contributing and guys stepping up at different times. We know that in this room, and guys are looking forward to doing that.”