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▪ Can there be a better motivator for the Giants than watching the Los Angeles Dodgers pour champagne at AT&T Park?
▪ Winning three straight divisional titles is a first for the Dodgers, but they haven’t won anything important since 1988. So reminds every Giants fan.
▪ Lost in the Giants’ gloom: Another first-rate job by Bruce Bochy. Stretching that heavily bandaged team to the season’s final week was a virtual magic trick.
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▪ How thoughtful that the Giants and A’s conducted an Old Timers Day for Tim Hudson and Barry Zito. And then both pitched like old men.
▪ A first impression on Hudson as he pitched for the Modesto Athletics in 1998: Future big-leaguer.
▪ The A’s will remember Zito’s 23-5 record and Cy Young Award in 2002. The Giants take with them Zito’s 2-0 record and 1.69 ERA in the 2012 postseason.
0.86Jeremy Affeldt’s career postseason ERA
▪ Both teams won’t soon forget their never-dull stay on Planet Zito.
▪ A dead heat on points of concern for Fresno State: That the Bulldogs don’t have a quarterback, or that they were physically pushed around by San Jose State.
▪ A special push from Spartans freshman linebacker Frank Ginda (Pacheco High): Five tackles.
▪ Modesto’s former national champion discus thrower and three-time Olympian Suzy Powell has expanded the population: Matthew John Roos, born last week.
▪ Ditto the former world champion rower and Olympic silver medalist (2004) Ali Cox of Turlock: William Antonio Verissimo, 6 weeks old.
▪ Bryson DeChambeau, the Modesto-raised golfer, can’t defend his NCAA title next year because Southern Methodist was penalized for past recruiting violations.
▪ DeChambeau owns a safety net – berths in the 2016 Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.
▪ That 62-20 margin at Oregon is not uncommon. But this time Oregon was the victim, thanks to Utah.
▪ Shock value aside, here is the Utes’ biggest win under coach Kyle Whittingham: Utah 31, Alabama 17, 2009 Sugar Bowl.
▪ The Modesto Junior College Pirates’ 3-1 start will receive the ultimate litmus test Saturday night: City College of San Francisco.
▪ Just because: Earl Cooper.
▪ The Bears traded two top defenders after an 0-3 start. Is it just me, or has patience and rational thinking gone the way of the dodo bird and fax machines?
▪ More about fire sales and patience: Two seat licenses at Levi’s Stadium last year were purchased for $60,000. The owner is trying to unload them for $23,000. And they’re not alone.
▪ This is what happens when you lose back-to-back 43-18 and 47-7... and are loading the bus before halftime in both games.
▪ The 49ers did not err by keeping Colin Kaepernick (four interceptions last week) and letting Alex Smith go. They erred by drafting Smith over Aaron Rodgers.
▪ To be fair: 22 other teams skipped on Rodgers.
▪ I would be surprised if Rodgers, after watching the 49ers secondary the last two weeks, hasn’t already sent thank-you cards.
▪ Kaepernick has enjoyed his best games against Green Bay. But that was before owner Jed York basically blew up the team.
▪ Nationals relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, who has done next to nothing for the team, attacked the team’s best player, Bryce Harper. Your Nationals season in one dugout episode.
▪ The Warriors won the NBA title in part by avoiding major injuries. So the new season begins with Steve Kerr’s bad back.
▪ When burnt orange turns into raging red: Texas dropping back-to-back games on a missed kick (Cal) and a bobbled punt snap (Oklahoma State).
▪ A three-point breakdown on the career of the Giants’ Jeremy Affeldt: 1. Weird injuries, 2. 0.86 ERA in the postseason and, 3. Three rings.
▪ The Giants’ motto: Wait till the next even-numbered year.
The Giants and A’s won’t soon forget their trip to Planet Zito.