Urban: A's Staking Claim as Contenders


Urban: A's Staking Claim as Contenders

June 1, 2010URBAN ARCHIVEA'S PAGE A'S VIDEOMychael Urban
If the current 10-game road swing through Baltimore, Detroit and Boston is, as the Chronicles brilliant Scott Ostler suggested, the Are We For Real? Tour, the answer --seven games and five victories into the trip -- has to be a resounding yes.

They have one of the most impressive starting rotations in the game right now, even without lost-for-the-year-again Justin Duchscherer, the bullpen is deep and versatile, the defense has been dazzling, and the offense is finding creative ways to get around its obvious lack of power.

Oh, and its time to give Bob Geren some credit. When a team bounces back from striking out 17 times on Sunday to beat another pitchers capable of getting double-digit punchy (Justin Verlander), the manager has to be lauded for having an even-keel club.

It doesnt even really matter what happens at Fenway Park, where the Elephants on Tuesday night are scheduled to open a three-game series, with lefty Gio Gonzalez taking on Red Sox right John Lackey.

That resurgent Ben Sheets and Brett Anderson, who was as sharp as ever in his first start off the DL over the weekend in Detroit, are the starters slated to follow Gonzalez to the mound in Beantown suggest that a Red Sox sweep is highly unlikely -- and anything short of being swept will send the As home with a winning record on the trip.

Remember, the only thing preventing many people from truly believing that the As are as good as theyve played thus far was a miserable record away from Oakland, where theyre a dominant 18-9.

The road record was 5-13 before this trip, 5-14 after the trip opened with a loss to the lowly Orioles.

Now its a far more respectable 10-15, thanks to a terrific series against the Tigers that earned Oakland a ton of respect from one of the most respected men in the game.

Theyre a very good team, Ostler quoted Detroit manager Jim Leyland as saying. I really like em. I like em a lot. Theyre a really good team.

Translation: Theyre for real.

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Reports: Mavericks ship former Warriors center Andrew Bogut to 76ers

Reports: Mavericks ship former Warriors center Andrew Bogut to 76ers

Andrew Bogut is reportedly on the move.

The Mavs are trading the former Warriors center to Philadelphia, according to multiple reports.

The full trade: Bogut, Justin Anderson and a 2017 first-round pick for 76ers big man Nerlens Noel.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the pick is Top-18 protected.

Bogut has appeared in just 26 games this season and is averaging 3.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in 22.4 minutes.

The 32-year old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July, and could be bought out by Philadelphia, according to multiple reports.

The Cavs are a potential landing spot for Bogut, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

Lynch's hirings of Peters, Mayhew left no room for Gamble

During the month the 49ers had no general manager or head coach, Tom Gamble was the next-highest-ranking football official and was charge of the personnel department on an interim basis.

But CEO Jed York made it clear from the beginning Gamble, whom Trent Baalke promoted to assistant general manager just prior to the start of training camp last summer, would not be considered for a promotion to general manager.

John Lynch, with no front-office experience, was hired over Arizona’s Terry McDonough and Minnesota’s George Paton. Before Lynch’s introductory press conference, he hired two top lieutenants in the personnel department to usurp Gamble on the organization's power structure.

On Wednesday, the 49ers announced what had become inevitable: Gamble was leaving the organization.

“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” Gamble said in a statement. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Lynch’s first move as general manager was to hire Adam Peters away from the Denver Broncos to serve as 49ers vice president of player personnel.

Lynch worked alongside Peters when Lynch took part in Broncos meetings and prospect evaluations, which included a trip to the NFL scouting combine, prior to the 2013 draft.

“That month, month-and-a-half, I actually sat next to Adam every day,” Lynch told CSNBayArea.com. “Those are long meetings. I’d listen to him and we’d talk in between about players. I just saw way back then, he’s a guy who’s highly respected in the league. I firmly believe in two, three years, he would’ve been a GM. He was on that track, at least.”

During Lynch’s introductory press conference a week later, he announced the hiring of Martin Mayhew as senior personnel executive. Lynch and Mayhew were teammates in the secondary for Lynch’s first four NFL seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mayhew spent seven seasons as Detroit Lions general manager. Mayhew should be able to provide Lynch with valuable counsel as learns on the job after spending the past eight seasons as a TV analyst on FOX.

“Martin has sat in the seat as a general manager and his experience will play an integral role in helping us locate the type of football player we want representing this organization both on the field and in the community,” Lynch said.

Gamble recently completed his 29th NFL season and his 10th with the 49ers in two stints. After he was fired as Philadelphia Eagles vice president of personnel late in the 2014 season, and came back to the 49ers in the 2015 offseason.

While with the Eagles, Gamble was one of the few individuals in the front office who worked well with Chip Kelly. Gamble played an important role in speaking up for Kelly and bringing him to the 49ers last offseason.

Kelly and Baalke were fired after the 49ers' 2-14 season, and the 49ers promoted the ability to create a fresh start when a new coach and general manager. While the 49ers were expecting Gamble to remain with the organization through the draft, his spot with the organization was going to be tenuous with a new regime.

“He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him,” Lynch said in a statement. “After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities.”