Spander: Spring unkind to Bay Area teams 

The San Jose Sharks — they’re not to be confused with the San Jose A’s. The A’s still are playing. So are the San Francisco Giants, unfortunately.

If it weren’t for the Houston Astros, the Giants would have a losing record. If it weren’t for the Giants, the A’s would have a losing record. If it weren’t for the Sharks, we’d have to rely on the Warriors’ lottery selection for the story that never ends.

If it weren’t for the Warriors ... hey, Larry Ellison: Buy the franchise already.

Eight days in May. The Giants nearly got swept. (They won a game in San Diego, of all places.) The Sharks did get swept. The Warriors lost three spots in the NBA draft order. Be upbeat.

To imagine the We-Don’t-Want-to-be-in-Oakland A’s were the only franchise around here that knows how to win defies logic, if there is anything logical in trying to figure sports.

One certain thing is that if you don’t score, you can’t win. Which is why the Sharks were in trouble, never getting more than two goals in any of the four losses to the Chicago Blackhawks.

And which is why the Giants still are in trouble, having been shut out five times and picking up a single run five other times in 10 of their first 43 games. Now Tim Lincecum is struggling. Are you allowed to say, “Wait till next year,” before Memorial Day?

The A’s, meanwhile, keep poking along in relative secrecy, although when the Giants went over to Tarpaulin Tech last weekend, there actually were people in many of the seats which didn’t have covers over them.

In the spring, baseball mavens suggested the A’s might be better than previously believed, and damn if they aren’t right. The A’s and the Giants have virtually the same record, which has to be a plus for Oakland and a very large minus for San Francisco.

But the Giants have recorded one notable achievement, unlikely to be duplicated for a while, by being involved in two one-hitters. One was by their own bad-luck pitcher, Jonathan Sanchez (yes, everybody who throws for the Giants is a bad-luck pitcher) and one by the opposition. They lost both games 1-0, of course.

The Giants faithful have decided it’s all the fault of Bruce Bochy, who can’t make out a lineup card properly, and either isn’t giving Pablo Sandoval any rest or is giving Bengie Molina too much rest. Maybe Bochy isn’t Joe Torre, but how do you manage a team that can’t hit a pitched ball?

Brian Sabean, the GM, is also considered a culprit, but what was he supposed to do, steal Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers?

The probability that the Giants will have a worse record this season than last is poking us in the eyeballs. Meanwhile, the A’s could continue their anonymous pursuit of respectability, unless Mr. Beane decides it is expedient to dispatch talent after the Summer Solstice.

Will Sabean and the Giants, to the contrary, acquire someone who knows how to get a runner in from third? Probably not.

Oh, well. Look at it this way: The Niners and Raiders open camp in two months.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on and E-mail him at

About The Author

Art Spander

Art Spander

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on and Email him at
Pin It

Speaking of Sports

Latest in Other Sports

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation