Welcome To The Patrick Willis Era

August 22, 2007



Frank Gore: move over.

Alex Smith: to the left, to the left.

Arnaz Battle: don’t even think about it.

This is now Patrick Willis’ team.

Yeah, that’s right, we’re hopping on the bandwagon of the draftee we previously dubbed God Junior. Thanks to Willis’ stellar preseason (and, judging by the photo above, his really intense stare), Coach Nolan announced that Willis will not only be in the starting lineup, but the move will essentially bench Brandon Moore, “the team’s leading tackler last year and by all rights its best defensive player”:

Nolan said the moves were “due to what the rookie has done and not so much what Brandon has done. Brandon has been an integral part of our football team and he’ll remain that.”

From the start of camp, Willis (6-foot-1, 242 pounds) has shown his coaches and teammates why he was named the nation’s top collegiate linebacker and defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference.

“He’s very instinctive, very athletic,” Nolan said. “He covers a lot of ground.” Plus, the coach said, because of Willis’ speed and nose for the ball, he has the ability “to make something out of nothing” when the defense breaks down.

Since the move essentially affects four players, Nolan wanted to make it as soon as possible, for continuity’s sake. The veteran players are understandably disappointed with their benching, but Moore will still get some playing time from the defensive end position in passing situations, so all is not lost for B-Mo.

As for the baby linebacker beast, Willis will also benefit from having one of the NFL’s best linebackers in history, Mike Singletary, on the Niners’ coaching staff. The rook’s already got many of physical attributes and instincts needed to become great; with a little instruction and experience, the sky is the limit.

So, welcome to the Patrick Willis Era.

Shuffle At Linebacker [SFGate]

[Photo courtesy: The Jackson Sun]


A Letter To Tim Lincecum: “So, About That ‘Jesus’ Nickname …”

June 20, 2007


Dear Tim Lincecum,

We’re sorry.

Not too long ago, we christened you as the second coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We even gave you an uber-creative nickname. It’s just that things were looking so good.

You remember those halcyon days, don’t you? After a month in the minors, you had a tidy 0.29 ERA, and after a 6-inning, 14-strikeout outing in Fresno, the brass decided that you couldn’t stay on the shelf any longer. A Russ Ortiz injury gave you a national spotlight to make your hyped debut and you impressed. You had a string of really, really good starts (even if the offense didn’t help you out), and after a strong seven-inning outing at Shea against the best team in the league, your ERA was down to 3.24. You were a lock for Rookie of the Year.

But then things started to fall apart. The starts have shortened and your control has waned, culminating in last night’s game, where the Brewers “scalded” you for six runs in two innings and 15 of your first 19 pitches were balls. In your last four starts, you have an ERA over 10. Which is not ideal.

Now you’re mired in a terrible summer on a terrible team with a circling steroid circus. We’re sorry.

Not to sounds egotistical, but it’s our fault, really. We should have started with lower expectations than Jesus, maybe Moses or Abraham. We could have come up with some comparisons about leading us to the chosen land or sacrificing something. Oh well.

But don’t worry; you’re young. You’ll figure it out. Maybe you need to skip a start, rejuvenate your spirits, talk to your dad or something. Pray in Gethsemane. Whatever.

Just keep the faith. We will.

And again: all apologies,

Say Hey (along the Bay Area media, believers and Giants fans everywhere)

Rasheed Wallace Needs To Be A Golden State Warrior

June 5, 2007


The Warriors’ offseason needs have been well-publicized on this blog and others, and with the Detroit Pistons’ recent implosion at the hands of the Cleveland Lebrons, we’d like to propose a trade that involves bringing Rasheed Wallace to the Golden State Warriors.

From the Pistons’ point of view, consider Bill Simmons’ take on the state of the former world champions:

Clearly, they need to move Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace — both of whom should have significant value to younger teams looking for one veteran to get them over the hump — then build around Hamilton (who has a team-friendly contract), Tayshaun Prince (ditto), Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson (major sleeper), the 15th pick in the 2007 draft and whatever they can get for Billups and ‘Sheed (whether it’s young players, picks or cap space). It’s the only move.

Rasheed would give the Warriors exactly what they need. Alongside Biedrins, the Warriors would have a legit frontline. Nellie can go small if need be as well, since Rasheed can easily slide over to center, as he did this year. Rasheed is an excellent defender who can finish and can shoot the three. He would fit in perfectly.

The obvious choice to be moved is Michigan-native Jason Richardson, who can be traded straight up for ‘Sheed (salary-wise), but the Pistons are pretty set at the two and three positions, with Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince signed to reasonable long-term deals. So, the main candidates become Al Harrington or a resigned Mickael Pietrus, packaged together with a Patrick O’Bryant or Monta Ellis.

A package of Pietrus and Ellis for Rasheed seems like it could benefit both teams. The Pistons get a shakeup with some much-needed youth and athleticism, while the Warriors get a big man who can defend and rebound in a system like Nellie’s.

Added bonus: oh, just think of the entertainment value of having Stephen Jackson and Rasheed Wallace on the court together for 82+ games. It’s a locker room conversation gold mine!

Please let this happen.

Clip Of The Day: Monta Ellis, And-1 Spokesman

May 8, 2007

Look who’s cashing in on a breakout year … There are about a dozen snarky remarks we could make about Monta’s playoff performance, but the kid deserves some props for keeping the Warriors afloat during the injury-riddled, Dunleavy-laden first half of the season. A well-earned sponsorship for the youngster. Now all he needs is a good nickname. Ideas?

Via the good gents at Golden State of Mind.

Clickery: The Weekend That Was

May 7, 2007
  • The Tim Lincecum Era didn’t start with a bang, but the Giants still managed to split the four-game set with the Phils despite a Sunday night loss. His line: 5 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 5 walks, 5 K’s and 100 pitches, including one that topped 100 on the radar gun. More on the Giants later. [SFGate]
  • Nick Swisher and his increasingly long hair hit another homerun yesterday as the A’s took two of three from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. [SFGate]
  • During the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, Roger Clemens announced to the crowd that he was coming back for $28,000,022. The last two digits match his uniform number. Classy guy, that Rog. He’ll be 45 in August. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the entire Giants starting rotation (Zito, Morris, Ortiz, Lowry, Cain) is making a total of $22,395,00 this year. [ESPN]
  • Mayweather beat De La Hoya in a pretty entertaining fight on Saturday night, despite the inevitable and predictable grumblings for a sequel. [Youtube]
  • The NBA Playoffs continued. The Jazz beat the Rockets to earn the right to face your Golden State Warriors (tonight). Meanwhile, the Cavs, Pistons and Spurs all won their first games in the second round.
  • No, this won’t jinx anything. Not. A. Thing. [100% Injury Rate]
  • Brady Quinn’s girlfriend is getting more mockery attention than she ever dreamed of. Poor girl. Unless you believe all the rumors. Because then she seems kinda mean. [Kissing Suzy Kolber]
  • Oh, and something happened with the Sharks and that hockey business. [SFGate]

Well, Well. Look Who’s Coming To A Nationally Televised Game Near You

May 3, 2007

https://i0.wp.com/www.badensports.com/images/lincecum.gifThis afternoon, the Giants placed Russ Ortiz on the 15-day disabled list. They recalled infielder/Bellarmine product Kevin Frandsen, but it seems highly probable that the best pitching prospect in America, Tim Lincecum, will get Ortiz’s scheduled Sunday start.

It’s unclear if Ortiz is actually hurt–his alleged injury is “neuritis in his pitching elbow”–but the discrepancy between Ortiz and Lincecum is rather clear.

Ortiz: a record of 1-2, 6.44 ERA; age 32; his last start: eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Lincecum: a record of 4-0, 0.29 ERA; age 22; his last start: six innings, 14 strikeouts, zero runs.

The future is here. We are getting absolutely giddy at the prospect of a Cain-Zito-Lincecum-Lowry-Jonathan Sanchez rotation penciled in for the indefinite future.

Giants expected to bring up Lincecum [SFGate]

What Do Monta Ellis And Gheorghe Muresan Have In Common?

April 27, 2007

https://i2.wp.com/www.esports.lv/forums/thread-images/ellis_400_060323.jpgWhile you may know him as the best player in the league with acne, Monta Ellis racked up another distinction yesterday: he was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. The 40th overall pick in the 2005 draft, Monta started 53 games this year for Nellie’s Warriors after hardly playing at all last year. The second-year pro averaged 16.5 points, 4.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds.

With his free-wheeling style and aesthetically-challenged nature, Ellis is a perfect fit in the Warriors athletic, ugly backcourt.

The last Warrior to win the MIP Award was another lightning quick guard taken in the 2nd round, Mr. Gilbert Arenas. And that worked out well for the Warriors.