Bay Area Topics
World Series Game 7
The Giants players woke up Tuesday with a special feeling.
“You know that today could be the day that you walk away a World Series champion again,” Brandon Belt said.
Lucky guys. They get to do it all over again Wednesday.
Except, with the added reality that Wednesday could be the day they walk away World Series losers.
And that the Kansas City Royals have grabbed all the momentum in the World Series, with their 10-0 humiliation of the Giants.
The Giants collapsed in spectacular fashion in Game 6, caving to the Royals before most of you probably got home from work, or had fought your way up to the bartender in your local establishment. Starter Jake Peavy was manhandled, and the Royals chased him after just one and a third innings, batting around in the second and scoring seven runs. The Giants bats went stone cold against Royals rookie Yordana Ventura, who was pitching for his fellow Dominican Oscar Taveras who was killed over the weekend in a car crash.
For the Giants, the game was ugly. It was demoralizing. Depending on what happens in the Series finale, it puts Peavy’s name on the short list of Giants all-time goats.
But it is also forcing the greatest thing in sports: a Game 7.
“It’s a cool opportunity,” Buster Posey said.
Hunter Pence agrees.
“It’s incredibly entertaining for fans, incredibly entertaining for baseball,” Pence said. “You can’t predict the unpredictable.”
An all-or-nothing game is only fitting for these two teams. They both started this playoff run with what was essentially a Game 7 – a one-game Wild Card playoff that launched the Royals and the Giants on exhilarating, exhausting October runs. They both survived those long ago games and have now reached the furthest point a postseason can possibly stretch.
Warriors vs. Kings Season Opener
Steve Kerr has five championship rings from his playing days, led a team to the conference finals as a general manager and called countless other games deep into the playoffs from his courtside seat for TNT.
The Golden State Warriors are banking on that success continuing in the one NBA role he’s yet to fill.
Kerr makes his head coaching debut Wednesday night in Sacramento for a Warriors franchise that hasn’t been beyond the second round in 40 years against a Kings team that would settle for simply slipping into the postseason.
Fifty-one wins and extending the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers to seven games weren’t enough for Mark Jackson to keep the job he’d held for three years, a span in which Golden State won more playoff games (nine) than it had over the previous two decades (six).
In steps Kerr, who won three titles with the mid-90s Bulls and two more in San Antonio. He had a reasonably successful three-year run as Phoenix’s general manager in between stints as TNT’s lead color analyst, but has never coached.
“These guys are already really good,” Kerr said of the Warriors’ core. “We’re not trying to change everything. All we’re trying to do is help them get even better. Basketball is all about how the pieces fit, and the pieces already fit pretty well here.”
While the Warriors are hoping Kerr can lead them to at least their first conference finals appearance since 1974-75, the Kings haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2005-06.
They’ve won 28 games in each of the past two seasons and have the league’s worst winning percentage over the past six, but a little certainty over the state of the franchise is providing some optimism. After the threat of a move to Seattle loomed large 17 months ago, Sacramento is clearing ground for a new downtown arena and appears stable under new owner Vivek Ranadive.
“Last year when the season started, I said it wasn’t going to be about wins and losses,” Ranadive said. “When I came here and we bought the team, there was dysfunction in the locker room, there wasn’t mutual respect, the arena was literally falling apart, the roof was falling down. So we brought in a new team, we restored stability, we restored respect, we put in a strong culture.
“But this year, let’s be clear: it is about wins and losses.”
DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay will be the focal points after teaming with Curry and Thompson to help the U.S. win gold in the FIBA World Cup, but while the Warriors have plenty beyond their two stars, the Kings’ depth is a major question mark.