Urban: New Feature -- Urbs' Daily 5


Urban: New Feature -- Urbs' Daily 5

Sept. 1, 2011


Follow @MUrbanCSNMychael Urban

To celebrate the start of the final month of Major League Baseball's regular season, today we introduce "Urbs' Daily 5," a list of five MLB-related questions presented by CSNBayArea.com Insider Mychael Urban to initiate debate, discourse and discussion among the game's most passionate fans. Look for it every Monday through Friday, and be sure to post your answers to the questions in the "Comments" section below.1) When the Giants parted ways with Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada on Wednesday, eating more than 15 million in the process, was it more about performance or attitude?
Obviously, neither player lived up to the contract he was given; performance played a huge role here. But Tejada's recent response to being asked to bunt in a pinch-hitting appearance was a horrible look, and while Rowand was careful not to air any grievances over playing time in public, it's no secret that he was unhappy with his role.

2) If Ozzie Guillen's relationship with White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is beyond repair and he's available this offseason, would A's GM Billy Beane roll the dice, break form and hire the controversial South Side skipper for 2012?
Fair or not, the common perception is that Beane, as strong a personality as you'll find among men in his role, would prefer to have a manager he can control. Guillen, clearly, would not be that. But he'd certainly represent a dramatic departure from the status quo, and the status quo has been as vanilla as Guillen is Ben & Jerry's "Phish Food."3) If the Phillies don't win it all this year, will their season be considered a flop? In short, is it World Series or bust?
Widely considered the best team in the game, Philadelphia is running away with the National League East behind the most imposing starting staff in recent memory. If they don't at least win the National League pennant, the city will be devastated.4) Which is the most dangerous Wild Card contender in the game this season?
Let's be honest: The Braves are going to be the NL's WC rep, and it'll be the Yankees or Red Sox in the American League. All three have obvious strengths and flaws.5) If you had one game to win, who'd be your starting pitcher?
Roy Halladay, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez are among the obvious choices. Got another? They're all rested and ready to rock; you're in a do-or-die situation. Make the call.Don't forget to leave your thoughts, folks. Registering takes less than a minute and the brain power of a squirrel. Let us know how you'd handle today's Daily 5.

Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices


Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch didn’t bring his helmet to Tuesday’s OTA practice. Didn’t need it then, or on Monday.

Not for a cameo appearance during individual drills. The veteran running back wasn’t available during team sessions, and spent most of the two-hour practice working in the team’s performance center.

Lynch skipping full-speed work isn’t cause for alarm. First of all, it’s May. Second, Lynch is in great shape but still ramping back up after a season away from NFL football. It would make sense to ease him back in during the spring.

Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t say when Lynch’s activity would increase, but wasn’t concerned one bit about Lynch’s limited OTA participation – he routinely skipped them while playing in Seattle -- and praised the Oakland native’s level of involvement in the Raiders offseason program since a new contract was worked out and his rights were acquired from Seattle on April 26.

“He’s coming along. He’s doing great. There are no issues there,” Del Rio said. “He has been here like he said he would. He has really been committed. He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me. It’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He is committed to being here and is excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”

Lynch was on the practice field for some team periods analyzing plays with offensive teammates, and was working out with them after the session. Del Rio didn’t delve into when Lynch’s on-field activity would increase, but there’s no reason to rush a veteran player who ultimately must be ready come September.

“He’s doing great,” Del Rio said. “He’ll continue to do the things we’re asking him to do. He is really soaking up the system, and has done a great job fitting in.”

That’s clear. He gets on well with left tackle Donald Penn and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and gravitates toward fellow former Seahawks like edge rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. General manager Reggie McKenzie said last week Lynch was already entrenched in the Raiders locker-room culture, which was evident in how teammates talked about him.

“Getting Marshawn has been great,” Penn said. “He brings a lot of energy here and a lot of momentum. It feels good having him here. We joke around a lot, having fun. You all probably don’t know Marshawn, but he’s a pretty funny guy. He’s really cool, and it’s good having him around here.”

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Marlins-A's coverage begins at 6pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After missing four games, Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup as the A's begin a series against the Marlins Tuesday night.

Miami Marlins:
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) DH
5. Justin Bour (L) 1B
6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
7. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
8. J.T. Riddle (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF
Jose Urena -- RHP

Oakland A's:
1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Mark Canha (R) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) DH
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Jesse Hahn -- RHP