San Francisco Sports News

A’s fall 6-4 at Minnesota, Cahill gives up five runs

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
MINNEAPOLIS — Over their previous 57 games, the A’s lost back-to-back games just twice, in consecutive games at Denver last month. Thursday at Target Field, the Twins made it two rare Ls in a row for Oakland, which had dropped the series finale against Texas the previous day. Trevor Cahill continued his good at home, bad on the road trend, allowing five runs in Minnesota’s 6-4 victory. “We’ll use it as motivation, I don’t think there’s any other way to take it,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said of the consecutive losses. “We’ll come back out here tomorrow, refocus, regather ourselves and take it out on whoever’s pitching for them. We’ll be ready to roll and hopefully do some damage.

Gil Brandt, Pat Bowlen nominated for Pro Football Hall of Fame

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen have been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, as contributors to the game. Brandt, a consultant to the NFL and one of the key figures in the staging of the draft, was one of the key contributors to the building of the Dallas Cowboys. As vice president of player personnel from 1960 through ’89, he helped Dallas grow into one of the most powerful and popular sports franchises in America. Bowlen, 74, a longtime owner of the Denver Broncos who has Alzheimer’s disease, is the only owner in NFL history with 300 overall victories during his first 30 seasons. Under his leadership, the Broncos have won three Super Bowls and seven conference titles.

49ers trade linebacker Eli Harold to Lions

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
The 49ers keep saying goodbye to Trent Baalke’s draft picks. On Thursday, the 49ers traded outside linebacker Eli Harold to the Lions. In the deal, the 49ers will receive a conditional 2020 seventh-round pick, reported. Harold, a 2015 third-round pick, has five sacks in a career that includes 25 starts. Last year, Harold had 34 tackles and two sacks in 11 starts. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan inherited 31 of ex-GM Baalke’s draft picks in February 2017 and they have shed 23 from the roster. Only 12 players remain who were part of a 2-14 season in 2016.

Back in Minnesota, Fernando Rodney says A’s will ‘go to the World Series’

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
MINNEAPOLIS — Fernando Rodney, the Twins’ closer less than three weeks ago, was a big attraction for reporters at Target Field on Thursday, and he took the opportunity to make a bold prediction. Asked how far the A’s could go this year, Rodney said, “We go to the World Series, man! We have a good team. From what I’ve seen of these guys, they’re relaxed, they go outside, they play baseball and have fun. That’s really important.” Rodney, who had 25 saves with Minnesota before going to Oakland in a waiver-claim deal, is working mostly in the seventh inning, with Jeurys Familia and Blake Treinen pitching in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. All three men have been All-Stars.

Three share Northern Trust lead; Tiger Woods 5 shots off pace

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
Back in the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in five years, Tiger Woods was stuck in neutral. Kevin Tway, Jamie Lovemark and Vaughn Taylor each opened with a 5-under-par 66 and shared the lead Thursday at the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust in Paramus, N.J. Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka were among those one shot behind. Woods had two birdies, two bogeys, 14 pars and a 71 that left him in the middle of the pack. Woods, who on Wednesday agreed to a $9 million winner-take-all match with Phil Mickelson to be played in Las Vegas on Thanksgiving weekend, might have expected better Thursday after hitting nine of 14 fairways. He just didn’t give himself many chances.

Giants’ Brian Sabean: ‘Total rebuild’ unlikely despite disappointing season

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
NEW YORK — Throughout Brian Sabean’s 22 years of constructing Giants rosters, the word “rebuild” has not been in his vocabulary. The focus was to supplement the roster, not strip it, and the strategy led to eight postseasons and three World Series titles. These days, the roster is flawed and on the older side, and one of Sabean and Co.’s most challenging offseasons awaits. The Giants are heading for a possible second straight losing season, need to address an inefficient offense and will weigh all options on how to reshape their roster for 2019. Except one, it seems. Sabean isn’t leaning toward a massive rebuild.

Matt Holliday makes return to Rockies

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
The 38-year-old All-Star outfielder sauntered into the Colorado clubhouse at Coors Field and instantly felt like a rookie again. Matt Holliday was back at home. The Rockies selected the contract of Holliday from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday after he signed a minor-league deal last month. A seventh-round pick in 1998 by Colorado, Holliday played the first five seasons of his 14-year career with the Rockies, hitting .290 as a rookie in 2004 and helping lead Colorado to its only World Series appearance in 2007. He’s hoping to reprise a similar role this season with a Rockies team in the thick of the playoff chase.

Raiders tight end Jared Cook feels at home in Jon Gruden’s system

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
Let go by the Packers, a pass-catcher joins the Raiders and leads the team in receiving in his first season in Oakland. In a few months, that could be Jordy Nelson’s story line. Currently, it applies to Jared Cook. Cook, a 31-year-old tight end, departed Green Bay in free agency after the 2016 season and signed with the Raiders, for whom he quickly became a reliable target for quarterback Derek Carr. He had a team-leading 688 receiving yards last year and was second to Michael Crabtree with 54 catches. This season has reunited Cook and Nelson, the longtime Green Bay receiver who was cut by the team in March.

Gerran Brown’s medical retirement leaves Cal seeking inside-linebacker depth

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
Cal’s inside linebackers refer to themselves as the “Tone Setters.” The group found themselves trying to alter a subdued setting Wednesday night, when head coach Justin Wilcox announced that junior inside linebacker Gerran Brown had been forced into a medical retirement. “He could have been a key to our team this year,” junior inside linebacker Evan Weaver said of Brown, who was fourth on the team with 61 tackles last season. “It just creates opportunities for the younger guys. … It’s going to create an opportunity for those guys to show up before they even thought they might have touched the field.

Golden Gate Fields’ first summer race a big payday

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
The summer racing season at Golden Gate Fields got off to a surprising — and for some, quite profitable — start Thursday when 25-1 longshot Senorita Cometa won the day’s opening race. Ridden by Victor Flores, Senorita Cometa won the one-mile $13,000 maiden claimer for 3-year-olds and up in 1:39.73 and paid a stout $59.40. Sweet Congrats was second and Mal’s Harbor third.

At Stanford practice, Brandon Fanaika has a rooting section: his wife

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
It’s down to the home stretch in the duel for Stanford’s starting left guard spot. Brandon Fanaika, whose primary competition is Devery Hamilton and Foster Sarell, has a slight advantage in one respect: He has his No. 1 fan at just about every practice. His wife. Fanaika is the only married player on the team. The former Hannah Hyde played soccer at the University of Utah, and the two had a long-distance courtship for 2½ years after being introduced by Chase Hansen, Hannah’s classmate at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah. Hansen is now a senior linebacker at Utah. The two were married in March 2017.

Honor Bowl at St. Francis features top-flight high school football teams

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
St. Francis head coach Greg Calcagno can’t wait for the season opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday with Southern California power Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks. Frankly though, he really can’t wait for the final whistle. “Then I can really relax and enjoy some highly competitive football,” he said. That’s because St. Francis serves as the site of one of the more successful high school football showcases on the West Coast, the Honor Bowl. The St. Francis-Notre Dame game is the second of five games over two days at the picturesque venue, which can hold more than 5,000 fans and features a famed Bay tree just off the track outside the north end zone.

NFL players, coaches, refs grapple with new helmet rule

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
The NFL is taking shots for the new way it’s legislating hits. This summer, pro football’s exhibition season centers on fallout surrounding a new rule banning players from lowering their helmets before contact. The NFL’s 32 owners unanimously approved the change in March. The new rule states that players, regardless of their position, will be penalized 15 yards or possibly ejected for lowering their head to initiate contact with their helmet against an opponent. The change marks the boldest step the NFL has taken to improve safety and reduce concussions, and comes at a time that football is under growing scrutiny for the long-term, debilitating effects it has on its participants.

Stanford’s 3-time defending national soccer champs open chase for No. 4

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
Since Virginia won four straight NCAA men’s soccer titles in the early 1990s, no school had won three in a row until Stanford did it the past three seasons. A fourth could be difficult. The Cardinal have lost seven starters from last year’s team, including Pac-12 Player of the Year Foster Langsdorf, Top Drawer Soccer’s Division I Player of the Year Tomas Hilliard-Arce and fellow All-Pac-12 first-team selections Corey Baird and Drew Skundrich. On top of those departures, Stanford will have a target on its back. Every opponent will want a shot at taking down the king.

Giants’ Madison Bumgarner outduels Jacob deGrom in win

San Francisco Chronicle Sports - Thu, 08/23/2018 - 22:27
NEW YORK — The Giants ventured into yesteryear and played a clean and crisp baseball game that provided a reminder of the good old days. Madison Bumgarner was mostly dominant over eight innings and hit a decisive run-scoring double off Jacob deGrom to lead the Giants to a 3-1 victory over the Mets. In his first appearance at Citi Field since his shutout in the 2016 wild-card playoff game, Bumgarner threw perhaps his most impressive outing of the season, yielding one run on five hits in eight innings. “Everybody’s got their own parks they like pitching or hitting at,” said Bumgarner, who’s 6-0 with an 0.59 ERA in six career starts in Queens, giving up three earned runs in 46 innings.

Giants celebrate Bonds’ offensive heroics before bats go silent against Pirates

Bay Area Mercury News Sports - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 21:54

SAN FRANCISCO–With a No. 25 plaque hanging in between Willie Mays’ No. 24 and Juan Marichal’s No. 27 down the left field line at AT&T Park, Barry Bonds jogged out to left field in a cream jersey one last time.

Bonds, 54, is still in excellent physical condition and looked like he could strike fear in an opposing pitcher if he wanted to, perhaps more than the Giants’ lineup has of late.

Aside from a 13-run outburst Friday, the offense has gone ice cold this week and was once again a source of frustration as the Giants failed to scratch across a run for their soldout crowd in a 4-0 loss to the Pirates.

“You could feel the crowd and the energy, we just couldn’t get it going offensively,” manager Bruce Bochy said.

Despite having another opportunity to gain ground in their division following losses by the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, the Giants squandered the chance and remain 6.0 games back in the National League West.

Though Saturday’s spotlight belonged to Bonds, whose No. 25 became the 10th different jersey number to be taken out of circulation by the Giants, the rest of the evening went off script.

Before suffering their sixth loss in eight games, the Giants held a ceremony that lasted nearly 90 minutes for fans who were reminded there may never be another player like the all-time home run leader. The two-hour, 18-minute game following the ceremony forced fans to remember the Giants are still searching for a permanent solution to the void Bonds left.

While San Francisco experienced its greatest heights as a franchise in the post-Bonds era, the team did so without ever finding a long-term replacement in left field. Since the beginning of the 2007 season, the Giants have started 12 different Opening Day left fielders in 12 years.

Two different players, Alen Hanson and Gorkys Hernández, manned the position during Saturday’s game, but this year’s Opening Day starter in left, Hunter Pence, has been relegated to pinch hit duties.

Though Saturday was circled on the calendar to celebrate the 15 seasons Bonds spent launching balls beyond outfield fences as a Giant, the current iteration of the offense never got off the ground against Pirates starter Trevor Williams.

“Baseball is such a game of momentum and unfortunately it’s been going the wrong way the last week or so,” catcher Buster Posey said. “You hope a game like last night would kind of turn the tide and it still can.”

Like Bonds, Williams is a product of Arizona State and he tweeted this week that he feared Bonds would come out of retirement for the day to hit against Pittsburgh. Though Bonds ran out to left field before the game, he never stepped in the batter’s box and Williams cruised through seven shutout innings.

The Giants’ pitching staff didn’t stack up, as spot starter Ty Blach tossed two scoreless innings before running into trouble. Blach allowed a run in the third and then surrendered a three-run homer to first baseman Josh Bell in the top of the fourth.

“I felt like I had really good stuff, the one pitch was just enough over the plate to where he could leverage it,” Blach said. “I didn’t think it was that bad, but he was able to make a pretty good swing on it.”

Blach lasted four innings Saturday and was relieved by Casey Kelly, a former first round draft pick of the Red Sox who made his debut with the Giants Saturday. Kelly was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento Friday after reliever Derek Law was optioned and threw five scoreless innings out of the bullpen in his first big league action since 2016.

“He mixed four pitches, commanded the fastball really well and has got a good curveball,” Posey said. “The changeup had some movement, he mixed in the slider and it was impressive.”

Bonds acknowledges rough ending

Bonds grinned from ear to ear during Saturday’s pregame ceremony, laughing at stories from former teammates and managers before choking up when reflecting on the role his late father Bobby played in his development.

Once the game started, Bonds met with reporters and was given an opportunity to reflect on the closure a jersey retirement ceremony brought to him after the Giants told him they wouldn’t bring him back for the 2008 season.

“I don’t deny it, I wish I had one more year,” Bonds said. “The way it happened was not right, but it’s okay. I’m okay with that. And I left everything I had on the field, so I’m definitely okay with that.”

Bonds said he takes a greater satisfaction out of walking into AT&T Park and knowing his on-field performance helped the stadium get built than he does out of seeing his retired number alongside those of other Giants legends.

“I built this park, that’s all,” Bonds said. “When I walk in this ballpark, I know whose house this is. It’s our house as a unified city, but I know who did that.”

  • San Francisco Giants slugger had his number retired Aug. 11, 2018. Here is a look back at his career. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • San Francisco Giants coach Bobby Bonds, left, follows his son Barry, right, off the field at the Giants' spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 25, 1993. (AP Photo/Gary Stewart)

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  • Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants sits in the dugout prior to a March 1993 game. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds slams the first of three consecutive home runs off of Milwaukee Brewers' starter Cal Eldred while Brewers' catcher David Nilsson, left, looks on in the first inning Sunday, Aug. 22, 1999, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Gary Dineen)

  • Barry Bonds heads around the infield after hitting his first of two three-run home runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Oct. 1, 1993, in Los Angeles. Bonds became the first player to win four Most Valuable Player Awards, capping a record-breaking season in which his 73 home runs set the biggest mark of all. The 37-year-old outfielder, who hit .328 with 137 RBIs for the San Francisco Giants, received 30 of 32 first-place ballots and 438 points in voting for the National League award announced Monday, Nov. 19. 2001, by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

  • San Francisco Giants player Barry Bonds waves to the crowd after hitting a home run in his first home at bat off Florida Marlins pitcher Chris Hammond during the second inning of their game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Ca., April 12, 1993. The game is the Giants' home opener and the newly-acquired Bonds' first regular season game at Candlestick Park. (AP Photo/Kristy MacDonald)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds bats against the New York Mats at Shea Stadium, May 3, 1994. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds jumps to catch a fly ball off the bat of Atlanta Braves' Javy Lopez during fourth inning action in Atlanta, Monday, April 1, 1996. The Braves beat the Giants 10-8. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

  • San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds is shown at bat in the 66th All-Star game in Arlington, Texas on July 11, 1995. (AP Photo)

  • San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds pauses after slamming into the wall when he failed to catch up to a double off the bat of Florida Marlins right fielder Gary Sheffield in the eighth inning of the first game of their National League Division Playoff series Tuesday, Sept. 30, 1997, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami. The Marlins won 3-1. (AP Photo/Jeff Boan)

  • San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds celebrates on top of the Giants dugout after they beat the San Diego Padres to win the National League West title in San Francisco, Saturday Sept. 27, 1997. The Giants won the game, 6-1, and won their first playoff berth since 1989. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds raises his hands after his second home run of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the seventh inning at 3Com Park in San Francisco in this Aug. 30, 1998 file photo.(AP Photo/Susan Ragan)

  • This is a June 22, 2001, file photo showing San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds, left, leading off first base in front of St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire in the first inning of a baseball game in St. Louis. McGwire has finally come clean, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998. (AP Photo/James A. Finley, File)

  • San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds, #25, tosses his bat after getting his 171st walk in the 6th inning, breaking Babe Ruth's 1923 Major League Record for walks in a single season, against the Houston Astros at Enron Field on Wednesday, October 3, 2001. (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News)

  • Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants is greeted by his son Nikolai (25) and the rest of his team 04 October, 2001 after hitting homerun number 70 against the Houston Astros at Enron Field in Houston, Texas. Bonds tied Mark McGwire's season record of 70 homeruns in a season. (Jeff Haynes/Agence France-Presse)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds connects with the ball for his 71st home run of the season against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, Oct. 5, 2001, at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. Bonds has the record for most home runs in a season beating Mark McGwire's home run record of 70 set in 1998. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Barry Bonds' mother Pat holds a copy of the Mercury News Ballpark Extra minutes after Bonds broke the season home run record Friday October 5, 2001.

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds hits his 72nd home run of the season October 5, 2001 at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, surpassing his first inning record when he broke Mark McGwire's record of 70 with his 71st home run. The Giants' slugger hit both home runs off Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Chan Ho Park, his 72nd in the 3rd inning. REUTERS/Lou Dematteis

  • Barry Bonds jokes with teamates on the bench the day after he set the HR record of 72. Pitcher Kirk Rueter is behind him. The Giants loss the game to the Dodgers, 6-2. (Gary Reyes/Mercury News)

  • San Francisco Giants' left fielder Barry Bonds has a laugh with Milwaukee Brewers' first baseman John Vander Wal between innings of a spring training game Saturday, March 8, 2003, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Barry Bonds holds up the 2003 MVP award that he received prior to the start of the San Francisco Giants game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day in San Francisco, Monday, April 12, 2004. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds waves to the crowd after receiving Silver Slugger award on opening day ap Pac Bell park in San Francisco, Monday, April 7, 2003. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

  • San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds catches a liner hit by Quinton McCracken of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning , Friday July 9, 2004 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Dino Vournas)

  • Home run record holder Hank Aaron greets San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds before the start of the All-Star Home Run Derby in Houston, in this July 12, 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • Fans cheer on Barry Bonds after he hits a homerun on the bottom of the 5th of the season opener at the SBC Park in San Francisco on Monday afternoon. Giants beat against Milwaukee Brewers 7-5. (Joanne Hoyoung Lee/Mercury News)

  • San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds holds his glove up after making a sliding catch of a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' Ramon Martinez in the fourth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 9, 2006.(AP Photo/Francis Specker)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds (25) runs the bases after hitting his 750th career home run off Arizona Diamondbacks' Livan Hernandez in the eighth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 29, 2007, in San Francisco. The hit puts Bonds within six of breaking Hank Aaron's home run record. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

  • Barry Bonds hits home run number 754 in the first inning against the Florida Marlins at AT&T Park in San Francisco on July 27, 2007. Marlins pitcher was Rick Vanden Hurk. Bonds is one home run away from tying Hank Aaron's all-time home run record. (Mercury News/Gary Reyes)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds follows through on his swing for his record-setting 756th home run in the fifth inning against the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park in San Francisco California, Tuesday, August 7, 2007. (Paul Kitagaki Jr/Sacramento Bee/MCT)

  • Fans celebrate Barry Bonds' home run No. 756 against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco on August 7, 2007. Barry Bonds breaks the all-time home run record set by Hank Aaron in 1974. (Gary Reyes/Mercury News)

  • Barry Bonds acknowledges the cheers of the 43,154 spectators who witnessed his 756th career home run to break Hank Aaron's career home run record. Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants, Aug. 7, 2007, AT&T Park, San Francisco. (Gary Reyes/Mercury News)

  • San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds waves goodbye as he leaves the baseball game at the end of the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007 in San Francisco. It was the last time that Bonds played as a San Francisco Giant in San Francisco. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)

  • Barry Bonds leaves the Federal Courthouse in San Francisco, Calif. on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011 following his sentencing for his obstruction of justice conviction in connection with the Balco steroids scandal. He was sentenced to two years probation, 30 days of home confinement and 250 hours of community service. (Gary Reyes/ Mercury News)

  • Barry Bonds reacts to a fan in front of the Federal Building in San Francisco after a federal jury found him guilty of obstruction of justice on April 13, 2011. A mistrial was declared on three perjury charges. The jury had been in their fourth day of deliberations on the case. Bonds was found guilty of one count of obstructing justice for allegedly lying to a federal grand jury about knowingly using steroids back in 2003. (Gary Reyes /Mercury News)

  • Miami Marlins batting coach Barry Bonds greets Lou Seal at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, April 22, 2016. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

  • Former San Francisco Giant Barry Bonds joins Willie Mays on the field before the start of the home opener at AT&;T Park in San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, April 3, 2018. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

  • Former San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds talks to Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) following the Warriors 121-116 win over the New Orleans Pelicans for Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

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