OAKLAND — No big deal and no pressure at all on Mark Jackson and Co., this is only the most heralded, most gabbed-about Warriors season launch in decades.
Maybe, after all the trumpet blasts, there will be opening-night jitters Wednesday at Oracle Arena against the Los Angeles Lakers. Maybe that will carry through the first weeks of the season.
Maybe all of the Warriors’ working parts will not quite mesh and mobilize immediately.
Maybe with Harrison Barnes missing the first few games (at least) because of a foot injury and maybe with the Warriors’ rebuilt bench and readjusted coaching staff, there will be a stumble or two early.
But that is also the larger theme of this main-stage Warriors season: They actually don’t need to be great from the start.
– Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News
The A’s had two Gold Glove finalists this season in right fielder Josh Reddick – who won honors last season – and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes.
Neither earned Gold Gloves this season, with Shane Victorino of the Red Sox winning the award in right and Alex Gordon of the Royals in left.
The award, presented by Rawlings, is voted upon by managers and coaches; this year, the Society for American Baseball Research also provided an aggregation of defensive metrics called the SABR Defensive Index to account for about 25 percent of the vote. Using these measurements, which include Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating, among other analytical tools, Victorino and Gordon were worthy recipients; Victorino’s Gold Glove is his fourth, Gordon’s his third. (Victorino was third in the league in UZR, for instance, and Reddick ninth; Victorino saved 24 runs, and Reddick 13.)
In addition, Reddick was limited to 114 games because of his nagging wrist injury, and his offensive numbers dipped; offensive numbers should not factor, but often managers and coaches do go by overall reputation, including prowess at the plate.
–Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
SANTA CLARA — Jim Harbaugh is undecided whether he will allow himself a day off during San Francisco’s bye week. Even with a whirlwind stretch of travel finally over.
It all will depend on how prepared the 49ers coach feels a few days from now for the Carolina Panthers, who come to town for a Nov. 10 game at Candlestick Park.
The way his team is rolling right now, who could blame Harbaugh for wanting to keep on working?
After a road game at Tennessee followed by a weeklong stay in London before beating the winless Jaguars on Sunday, Harbaugh is happy to be back on familiar ground, even citing the joy of looking out at the green practice fields at the training facility.
“One of the other bonuses of a long stay away, you get nine days away, is just how fresh your facility feels when you get back and the practice fields, the food, the comfort of your own bed, your kids,” Harbaugh said as he began his Tuesday news conference. “But, the facility we’ve been in, the meeting rooms, offices that the fellas have been in for the last six to nine months now feel, `wow, it’s great to be back.’ This is new, it’s not stale bread anymore. It’s another bonus. So, it gives you life and enthusiasm, which is a good thing.”
–The Associated Press