Give the other teams in the Bay Area this much. With the 49ers running away with every ram of attention we have to give this week, theyre still in there swinging from their keisters for a piece of your notice.
Theyre failing, but what are you going to do? This is how it works, how its always worked, and how it will always work. Were contemptible frontrunners. We play the hot hand.
The Giants went deep, signing Pablo Sandoval for three years to cover his arbitration years, and are either getting a huge bargain (if he has the 2009 or 2011 years) or making a horrific mistake (if he has the 2010 year). They also signed Nate Schierholtz for some amount of money (I told you we only have so much heed to pay), and swapped gross national product figures with T. Leroy Lincecum in arbitration.
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The Giants filed at 17 million, an absurdly high figure for a pitcher. Lincecum filed at 21.5 million, which is downright Jeter-ific. And the midpoint of those numbers, the one they are likely to settle at, is Barry Zitos salary for 2012, give or take a catered party for El Cerrito.
This is the sort of thing that would have fans turning great shades of purply-angry in normal circumstances, but in the current climate, where Alex Smiths hands are growing in size audibly by the minute, an exchange of money figures dont move the needle much.
The As signed outfielder Seth Smith, which other than giving hitting coach Chili Davis another potential home run hitter to shape, didnt move the needle much at all. This, though, is how the As roll moving the small pieces of furniture while waiting for someone to put a new roof on for free. Maybe if Brad Pitt announced the next signing . . . but then, the movie didnt win any Golden Globes, so hes probably moved on to his next project Mayhem With A Shiny Gold Hat: The Justin Smith Story.
REWIND: A's acquire Seth Smith from Rockies for Moscoso, Outman
The Raiders fired coach Hue Jackson after one last flurry of image repair that he continues to this day. Apparently the new version is that equipment man Bob Romanski traded for Carson Palmer. And since everyone is convinced that the job is Green Bay assistant Winston Moss to have, even a coaching search hasnt shaken anyones glassy-eyed stares. Maybe Brad Pitt. Maybe Bill Belichick. Maybe Amy Trask. Or lets get really insane and suggest that it could be Greg Papa. A mere football coach wont really do here.
The Warriors are particularly desperate. They have resuscitated David Lee from his place of honor at the NBAs kiddie table, and their tour of the dregs of the Eastern Conference is working out better than most road trips they take. On the other hand, theyre still 5-8 and 11th in the West, which is where they always are, so theyre going to have to try a hell of a lot harder than this. Maybe playing naked in New Jersey might do the trick.
And the Sharks well, they paid a referee to job them out of a game-winning overtime goal last night against Calgary before winning in a shootout, but since its not April, that one falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. In fact, were not sure that playing naked Thursday against Ottawa would help at all.
RECAP: Sharks outlast Flames in shootout 2-1
Cal is having a great recruiting year in football, but is losing a coach a day to the University of Washington, thus creating the philosophical conundrum, If you got lots of great players to attend your school but you have no coaches to make them better, was it a good recruiting year?
In basketball, both Cal and Stanford continue to battle fiercely for what looks like the only NCAA Tournament invitation or maybe you havent seen the Pac-12 this year. The national smart guys (well, Yahoos Pat Forde, anyway) have even invented a pejorative for whats happened to the conference Howlandization.
And Tara Van Derveer is winning her 83rd consecutive conference title, raising a bar so high that she would have to consume live animals while throwing cleavers into the student section to get people to divert their attention from whatever version of mighty men with humble hearts Jim Harbaugh is tossing about today.
So thats it. For the time being, theres nothing to stop the 49ers from being the 49ers the way they were in the 80s and 90s except the New York Giants.