Urban: Blogging From AT&T


Urban: Blogging From AT&T

Sept. 29, 2010
Burrell With Another Magical Memory (7th Inning Update)

Are you kidding?Its enough to be blessed with big-league talent.Being blessed with movie-star looks -- tall, dark and handsome -- is almost overkill. Yet the powers that be decided that wasnt enough for Pat Burrell. Lets make him a sympathetic figure, a prodigal son, and a cornerstone of a pennant race. And lets let him hit a bunch of homers, including one really late in the season in front of a full house of fawning fans.Seriously. Whomever is responsible for doling out goodness needs to relax. Pat Burrell has gotten way more than his share.Lincecum Finding His Groove (5th Inning Update)

As my Twitter followers often so eloquently note, Haters gonna hate. So its little wonder that Chris Lincecum, the father of Giants wunderkind Tim Lincecum, gets accused of being everything from a Svengali to an attention-seeker to a thorn in the side of the Giants coaching staff.None of these things are true. Not even close. Hes a father who loves and defends his son, just like every other father on earth should aspire to be.He has the utmost respect for the Giants coaches, and its not his fault that the media often seeks his opinion when Tim isnt pitching particularly well. Heck, I did it 20 minutes ago.And because Chris Lincecum is as straight-up honest a man as youll ever meet, the man for whom the description salt of the earth seems created, he gives me time when I ask for it.All I asked of Mr. Lincecum, whom I texted after the second inning, was what he thought of Tims early struggles.I think hes got it now, Chris responded. Its his legs.Sure enough, Tims thrown up nothing but zeroes since his father told me hes got it.Father knows best.Giants Fans Already Counting Chickens (3rd Inning Update)

Based on the general vibe emanating from AT&T Park before Wednesdays game against the Diamondbacks, the Giants are already in the playoffs.Theyre not, of course, but that hasnt stopped anyone from grabbing my right arm, spinning me around and saying (oddly enough, with fairly slurred speech), Shanchys pishing Game 3, right?Uh, yeah. Sure. Whatever, bro. Can I have my bicep muscle back while its only half-torn?Anyway, not to bring Bill Polian into this, and not to be a buzzkill for Giants fans on this lovely evening by the Bay, but the whole playoffs thing is far from fait accompli.And to echo my good friendcolleaguereverse-moral compass Raymond Lucious Ratto, do you really want this thing to be decided before the Padres get to town?I dont. As a childhood Giants fan and as a journalist, I want this bad boy to go down to the wire. The childhood fan in me wants the Padres to wear it, to watch as the Giants get down in celebration on the field in front of them. As a journalist, duh; the longer it plays out, the more drama I have to try to capture and convey.The Giants are down 1-0 in the top of the third. The Padres are up 1-0. Not saying I want the Giants to lose and the Padres to win, but I do want to be able to comb my hair tomorrow. Lishen, you bashtard! Leave my bysheps alone!
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A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.

Del Rio’s anxiety level up with trio of Raiders going extreme in New Zealand


Del Rio’s anxiety level up with trio of Raiders going extreme in New Zealand

Raiders Pro Bowl left guard Kelechi Osemele, running back Taiwan Jones and safety Brynden Trawick are currently enjoying their offseason in New Zealand. 

But a few videos they posted going white-water rafting and bungee jumping left head coach Jack Del Rio a bit anxious. 

"Anxiety level went up a bit thinking of my BIG pro bowl LG on the rapids!!" Del Rio tweeted Monday. "Can't leave out Brynden or Taiwan either ... have fun and be safe"

Osemele has posted a handful of photos and videos from the trip, including one of a raft capsizing with the caption: "It got real out there!!! Category 4 Rapids #NewZealand." Another showed the 6-foot-5, 333-pounder doing a backflip off a bungee platform with the caption: "Just did a backflip off the highest swing in the WORLD!!!!!!! Crazy!!! #LivingLife"