Caper Republic

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please try to register or login.
The New York
#1 Posted : 11 August 2018 01:22:34(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 15/06/2018(UTC)
Posts: 391

OAKLAND , Calif. — Two teams that began heading in opposite directions at just about the time they saw each other last month hook up again when the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics open a two-game interleague series Tuesday night.

The Padres were within arm’s length of .500 at 34-40, having won nine of 15, when the A’s ventured into San Diego and used a ninth-inning, two-out, two-strike, game-tying home run from Stephen Piscotty off relief ace Brad Hand to trigger a two-game sweep, winning 4-2 and 12-4.

The Padres now head north well out of contention in the National League West, having lost 11 of 14.

The A’s, meanwhile, have won 12 of 15 to surge well above .500 at 46-39 and into contention in the American League wild-card race.

Oakland has made much of its recent run without standout third baseman Matt Chapman, who has taken time off to allow pain in his right hand to subside.

Two cortisone shots later Alex Cappa Color Rush Jersey , Chapman had a pain-free hitting session Sunday and was sent to Class A for an injury-rehab game Monday.

It’s possible he could be reinstated from the disabled list during this series.

“He hit a few off the back wall in center field, so that tells me enough,” A’s manager Bob Melvin observed Sunday. “Getting him back in the lineup will be a nice little kick for us.”

The A’s need no such boost in their pitching. They have allowed two or fewer runs in four of their last five games.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-3, 2.82 ERA) will look to extend that impressive run while at the same time taste his first career success in interleague play.

The 29-year-old began the A’s recent pitching showcase with six innings of two-hit, scoreless ball in a 3-0 win at Detroit last Wednesday.

He has never faced the Padres in his career, and has lost both interleague starts despite a 2.45 ERA.

One intriguing potential matchup in the series is A’s closer Blake Treinen against Padres slugger Eric Hosmer, a pairing that carried a bit of history into a game-ending showdown in the A’s earlier 4-2 win in San Diego.

Then a member of the Kansas City Royals, Hosmer bombed a two-run, go-ahead homer off Treinen in the eighth inning of their first career head-to-head last August.

Treinen then extracted a measure of revenge in the June 19 rematch in San Diego, closing out the 10-inning game by striking out Hosmer as he represented the potential tying run.

Bassitt will be opposed by left-hander Clayton Richard (7-7, 4.29) , who had a four-game winning streak stopped in a 5-2 loss at Texas last Wednesday.

He retains a good interleague record (9-5, 3.50) despite not having beaten an American League opponent since 2015.

You have to go back three years before that to find his last appearance against the A’s in Oakland, but it was a memorable one. He shut out a playoff-bound A’s team for 7 2/3 innings in 2012, allowing five hits in a 2-1 win.

He has faced the A’s three times in his career, twice as a starter, and gone 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA.

One A’s hitter that Richard will have to deal with is the aforementioned Piscotty, who played last season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Piscotty has dominated the head-to-heads, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a flyout to deep center field in the only non-hit of the matchup.

A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy, another former National Leaguer, also has a successful history against Richard, going 7-for-18 (.389) with two doubles and a homer.

Kawhi Leonard has a new team , and Gregg Popovich isn’t the coach.

This is where the San Antonio Spurs are at right now, as this impasse between the franchise and its best player continues even as the season is almost certainly winding down. There are only questions, no answers.

How is Leonard doing? The Spurs act like they don’t know. Leonard isn’t saying, either. He hasn’t been around the Spurs so far in these playoffs, rehabbing in New York, and Popovich is deferring questions to ”Kawhi and his group.”

That’s ironic. Unwillingness to answer certain questions is part of the Spurs’ mystique. Popovich can be an interviewer’s dream or an interviewer’s nightmare, but now, it’s the Spurs who are the ones seemingly frustrated by the lack of answers. Their best player was barely around this season, and with the Spurs looking almost certain to be knocked out of the playoffs soon by Golden State an offseason of what’s next is looming.

Leonard won’t be on the floor for the Spurs in Game 3 when their first-round series against the Warriors resumes on Thursday in San Antonio. We can also say how unlikely it is he will not be in Game 4 on Sunday or in Game 5 if San Antonio finds a way to extend this series. The official reason remains ”return from injury management” from what began as right quadriceps tendinopathy.

That’s why when Popovich lauds another player – in this case, LaMarcus Aldridge, who has been the first option in San Antonio with Leonard gone – the narrative immediately turns to whether the Spurs coach is throwing shade.

”LaMarcus has been a monster all year long ,” Popovich said Monday after the Spurs fell into a 2-0 series hole against the Warriors. ”He’s led our team at both ends of the floor. He doesn’t complain about a darned thing out on the court. He just plays through everything. I can’t imagine being more proud of a player as far as playing through adversity and being there for his teammates night after night after night.”

It’s entirely possible that Popovich was merely complimenting Aldridge.

It’s entirely possible that Popovich was throwing a subtle jab at Leonard, too.

Aldridge was asked by USA Today Sports about Leonard postgame and declined comment, other than saying ”he has to do what’s best for him.” And that’s most understandable.

Leonard – who is under contract for next season already, and has a player option that he can exercise in 2019 – will be eligible to be offered the supermax contract this summer, a five-year deal worth around $220 million. It’s unknown if that offer is coming. It’s unknown if Leonard would accept, anyway. He may just want to start over elsewhere.

His caution in coming back to playing is understandable. There are two oft-cited parallels that Leonard needs to avoid. Grant Hill shortened his career by trying to come back too soon from injury, and Isaiah Thomas – once certain he would get a max deal – faces a very uncertain future because of hip issues exacerbated by playing when he was hurt.

Aldridge is right. Leonard has to do what’s best.

That means it’s entirely possible the next time Popovich gets to use Leonard in a game will be in 2019 – when USA Basketball heads to the FIBA World Cup. Popovich has taken over for Mike Krzyzewski as national coach, and Leonard is one of the 35 players under consideration for that team. There’s a minicamp for the U.S. squad in Las Vegas this summer, and if Leonard is there, his dynamic with Popovich will be a huge storyline.

The Spurs have themselves to blame for at least part of this mystery.

There’s always been a secretive air to them. Answers are not easy to get from the Spurs, which sometimes gets construed as arrogance. David Robinson was engaging Breeland Speaks Color Rush Jersey , but hardly an open book. Tim Duncan prided himself on revealing as little as possible. Popovich gives incredibly deep and thoughtful answers on many topics, but that list rarely includes his own team.

Leonard, who appeared in nine games in the regular season, has been the same way.

He doesn’t drop hints on Twitter, doesn’t vent on Snapchat, isn’t one for long-winded answers. Among the few times he really lets himself loose in the public eye is when the Spurs tape their annual commercials for the grocery chain H-E-B , one spot sillier and funnier than the next – like the one where Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, using horrible British accents in an effort to seem fancy, ask Leonard if he wants some steak and he replies, ”indubitably.”

Happy times like those seem so long ago. It’s close to impossible to envision this having a happy ending.


Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds(at)

#2 Posted : 01 May 2020 00:27:47(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 27/04/2020(UTC)
Posts: 54,134
Location: GEO

#3 Posted : 05 August 2020 01:39:25(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 27/04/2020(UTC)
Posts: 54,134
Location: GEO

#4 Posted : 24 December 2020 08:14:34(UTC)
Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 22/12/2020(UTC)
Posts: 25,114

Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Website by Excelium Limited (
Based on the YAFVision Theme by Jaben Cargman (Tiny Gecko)
Powered by YAF 1.9.5 RC1 | YAF © 2003-2010, Yet Another Forum.NET