Let’s call it Territory Purgatory.
The A’s are in it; Bud Selig’s “blue-ribbon panel” has kept them in it for more than three years now; and with an emphatic victory this week in a fairly comical battle of press releases, the Giants made it clear that they’re rather enjoying — and are perfectly willing, able and expertly equipped to help extend — it.
Give the A’s some credit for at least coming out with some information on the urban legend about late owner Walter Haas Jr. giving the Giants the rights to South Bay rights at issue way back when.
But take that same credit away for the ambiguity of the information, and for weakening the stand that the press release seemed to represent by bringing up the ludicrous aside about being OK with the Giants putting a Dugout Store in Walnut Creek, the heart of A’s territory.
But the Giants strengthened the perception that they’re better organized and informed with a release that leaned not a whit on ambiguity but on cold, hard, detailed facts. The Giants’ rights to that region have been unanimously ratified or acknowledged — “unanimously” means the A’s were down with it, too, gang — into the MLB constitution three times!
Look, I want to see the A’s win this one. The market is more fun with two teams in it, no matter where they play.
But if this week’s press-release pissing match were a prizefight, it was the Giants as Ali in his prime, beating down some emaciated stiff who stumbled into the ring after a day snuggled up with a plastic bottle of supermarket gin.
Makes you suspect that, as rumored of late, Territory Purgatory is in fact going to end up with the A’s in Hometown Hell.
IN NEED OF 5-HOUR ENERGY: Anyone else troubled by the hangdog vibe of Warriors coach Mark Jackson these days? On Wednesday, the Dubs starters fell behind 21-4 and looked utterly pathetic with what Jackson called “just an embarrassing effort” — a demoralizing loss in front of yet another big crowd the deserves far better for packing Oracle on a nightly basis.
But what happened on the court wasn’t as eyebrow-arching as what Jackson said afterward. After noting that the starters displayed a disturbing lack of “energy, effort and passion,” the coach said coaches shouldn’t have to coach energy, passion and effort.
Isn’t Jackson supposed to be kind of a motivational guru? He sure as heck isn’t a genius with X’s and O’s; he’s never been a head coach at any level of the game. And while we’d love to think professional athletes bring energy, effort and passion to the table every time out, the truth is that they don’t, and some coaches are lauded as great coaches solely because they can coax those things out of the players who might be lacking or short on them.
The comments just reeked of dejection, and it’s a particularly bad look on Jackson, whose own energy, effort and passion was a big part of his hiring in the first place.
SPEED ROUND: If you’re worried about Tim Lincecum, get a hobby and check back at the end of the month. It’s not a big deal that the Rockies smoked him this week. ... Overlooked in the immediate aftermath of Peyton Manning being cut by Indy is that Andrew Luck, fair or not, is forever going to be seen by Colts fans as one of the reasons for Manning’s clunky exit stage right. Nothing like a little pressure as you transition into the NFL. ... The A’s didn’t really suggest that Yoenis Cespedes wasn’t quite in “baseball shape” when he arrived in camp, did they? Have you see this kid? He’s every Greek god in one. And what is baseball shape? Was David Wells in it? Stop.
Mychael Urban, a frequent co-host of The Wheelhouse (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) on 95.7 FM The Game, can be followed on Twitter @BigUrbSports. His website is UrbsUnchained.com.