Good to be the A's

ragostini@modbee.comJune 8, 2013 

Reading time, two minutes:

• The Athletics on Graffiti Weekend are that sleek and shiny '57 Chevy that just owns 10th Street.

• The Giants? Until Saturday night, they were the broken-down Studebaker with the faded paint job. Leaking oil.

• It's good to be the A's: Grand slam while trailing 3-0 in the seventh? Check.

• One-hop double-play ball to the shortstop to escape a jam? Check.

• Ninth-inning opponents' fly balls caught at the wall? Check.

• The new Moneyball: Take pitch, after pitch, after pitch, and then Yoenis Cespedes (or anyone else in the A's lineup) knocks the ball into the next county.

• The Giants? A slow-moving beast seemingly waiting for Paul Goldschmidt to beat them. Over and over.

• A caveat about Goldschmidt: He's torching everyone this season.

• The Giants' two rings point to the power of getting hot at the right time, but: For the first time, their rotation looks vulnerable long-term (three quality starts in 18 games).

• If George Lucas was the manager: Han Solo at leadoff, Luke Skywalker batting cleanup and Darth Vader, of course, as closer.

• Art Thompson III covered high school sports for The Bee in the early 1980s. Thanks to him, the Modesto High gym is still Panther Palace. For his whereabouts these days, read on.

• College World Series-bound: Giants draft pick Nick Vander Tuig (Oakdale), Kevin Kramer (Turlock) and the UCLA Bruins.

• The unofficial theme song from this week's Oklahoma-Tennessee final of the Women's College World Series: California Girls. Neither team would have got there without 'em.

• From the Timing Is Everything Dept.: Michael Malone seems like an earnest young hire, but wouldn't George Karl have looked good leading the Kings back into the playoffs?

• If LeBron James doesn't go Mach 4, the Spurs win it all.

• And who would have said that after the first two games of the Golden State series?

• The Spurs' Gregg Popovich makes reporters ask real questions. No lazy "talk about" stuff around Pop.

• Enjoyed watching her: Enochs grad and state medalist Faith Makau, the area's best female middle-distance runner in years.

• And speaking about tomorrow: Oakdale's Hannah Chappell (discus), a Section Masters champion and seventh in the state as a freshman.

• Gearing for his fourth U.S. Open: Beyer alum Matt Bettencourt.

• The Brewers' Ryan Braun dodged a drug ban on a technicality and trashed the character of a sample collector. This time, he goes down. Hard.

• For East Coasters who enjoyed a good laugh over Balco, here's your contribution to the drug wars: Biogenesis.

• Translation: We'll see your Victor Conte and raise with Tony Bosch.

• About Alex Rodriguez: Aren't the Yankees fine without him?

• Loved how Serena Williams closed out Maria Sharapova to win the French Open for her 16th Grand Slam title: Aces, three of them, at 118, 121 and 128 mph.

• Thompson lives in Long Beach and is an assistant girls basketball coach at reigning state champion Long Beach Poly.

• The solution for the Giants: Acquire a left fielder. And page Cliff Lee.

• The solution for the A's: What solution? They're a cruise down McHenry on a summer night.

Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or (209) 578-2302. Follow Ron via Twitter @modbeesports.

Ron Agostini

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