Chris Webber

Best Baseball Team in the Bay? Look East, My Friend

Billy Beane is certainly not perfect. While he has let several players go over the years, with mixed success, Beane did go all in on Eric Chavez, who starts this season on the disabled list. Again.

But the curve on which Beane is graded on is based both on his own team’s lower-lower-lower middle class payroll and the very conspicuous orange and black example of how money can’t buy everything, just a BART ride across the bay.

But even though the A’s have seemingly thrown in the towel on 2008, they still have a decent little anonymous squad going. Emil Brown was a great signing; he doesn’t have the peak value of Milton Bradley, but he’ll play the entire season and won’t fight any umpires.

Rich Harden got the A’s first regular season win in Japan last night, allowing only one hit and three runs over six innings. Quick, name another A’s starting pitcher besides Joe Blanton.

No, Barry Zito doesn’t count.

Still though, the A’s will probably win more games, have more fun, and sell more hot dogs (due to their All You Can Eat Section, the only section open in the upper deck, or as I like to call the tarped area, The Ambience) than the Giants. By any measurement, Beane is doing a good job considering the circumstances.

He probably knows how to spell “Gamer,” too (remember, there’s no “I”).

Bye Webber, Bye Braun, Hello Noah?

If I was a Warriors p.r. person, I would have asked Chris Webber to star in the latest “It’s a Great Time Out” TV ad, only wearing his old Michigan uniform, hugging a basketball and frantically calling timeout while bent over at the waist.

The thing with Webber, if you paid him enough he’d probably do it.

Cal finally fired Ben Braun, after twelve of the most boring years of coaching the Pac-10 has ever seen. It’s almost like Braun was the son of the chancellor, I’ve never seen a Division I basketball coach at a relatively high-level program get so little done in over a decade.

Really, what are Braun-coached teams known for, besides different uniforms every couple of years? Certainly not a commitment to defense, an exciting offense, or even one solid tournament run (five times in 12 years is horrible for a school like Cal). The fact that he had Leon Powe for two full years and did absolutely nothing was almost comical.

Good news! I heard Bruce Bochy over the weekend say that Noah Lowry is coming along fine and should be ready fairly soon. Of course, what else is Boch going to say?

It’s not that I’m a pessimist — let’s just say whenever the words “unusual” and “surgery” are heard in the same sentence, it doesn’t seem like a good time to get one’s hopes up for a quick return to violently throwing a baseball 100 times every five days.

Oakland A’s Starters Besides Blanton and Harden: Chad Gaudin, Justin Duchscherer, and Lenny DiNardo.

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