The curveball: Resurrection of a lost art

This is my March feature. In the 1980s, the slider replaced the curveball as the breaking ball of choice, and the curveball almost died. It faced extinction. Say mass for the curveball. On second thought, hold that mass. People who know say the curveball is coming back to life. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti is someone who knows. He spoke about the unexpected resurgence of the curve at the Giants’…

March 14, 2015

Giants a dynasty? Weigh them against what the 49ers did

Here is my Saturday column. Credit the Giants for winning their third World Series in five seasons. Good going, Giants. Just don’t call them a dynasty. The Yankees were a dynasty. They won four World Series in five years with the same group of core players: Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neil, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. We will remember that group the rest of our…

November 1, 2014

Lincecum makes it look like fun

This is my Wednesday column on Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter. WARNING: This is a baseball column. Feel free to skip this. SAN FRANCISCO – Tim Lincecum’s curveball dropped 18 inches. Will Venable drove the ball into the dirt a foot past home plate. The ball bounced five times – it took forever getting to second base. Joe Panik didn’t panic. He took a knee, caught the grounder and flipped it to…

June 25, 2014

Little goes right for Posey

This is my Saturday column on Buster Posey. WARNING: This is a baseball column. 49ers’ fans — feel free to skip this. SAN FRANCISCO – Buster Posey turned on C.C. Lee’s hanging slider and crushed it deep into the left field bleachers during the bottom of the sixth inning of the Giants’ 5-3 victory against the Indians Saturday afternoon. The solo home run was Posey’s first hit against a right-handed…

April 26, 2014

Depth is A’s edge on Giants

This is my Thursday column on the difference between the Giants and the A’s. WARNING: This is a baseball column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. PHOENIX – The Giants hope. The A’s don’t. The biggest difference between the two teams right now. The Giants hope so many things go their way this season. They hope Pablo Sandoval keeps his weight down. They hope Angel Pagan stays healthy….

February 20, 2014

Mike Morse, power and puzzle

This is my Wednesday column on Mike Morse. WARNING: This is a Giants column. 49ers fans — feel free to skip this. SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Former Giant Mark DeRosa pressed his thumb into the back of current Giant Mike Morse’s left wrist and Morse almost levitated. DeRosa was a Giant in 2010 and 2011. He hit just one home run during that time because he had an injured wrist no…

February 19, 2014

Mark Jackson stirs up a storm

This is my Tuesday column on Mark Jackson: WARNING: This is a Warriors column. 49ers fans, feel free to skip this. OAKLAND – Out of nowhere, Mark Jackson started to act like a desperate head coach on Monday night. Before the Warriors played the Philadelphia 76ers, Mark Jackson informed the media that his starting center, Andrew Bogut, would miss his third game in a row with a shoulder injury. A…

February 11, 2014

Big decision time on Pablo Sandoval

Here is my Monday column on Pablo Sandoval. SAN FRANCISCO – Here’s the question of the year for the Giants: What should they do with Pablo Sandoval? Entering Monday night’s game against the Mets, the 26-year-old All-Star third baseman was 3-for-his-past-37. And he looks way overweight, more so than usual. The mechanics of his swing are out of whack and he can’t field his position – he already has committed…

July 8, 2013

Geep Chryst improves 49ers red zone offense despite small hiccup

SANTA CLARA – It has come to our attention that quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst is in charge of game planning the 49ers red zone offense every week. The 49ers have scored touchdowns on 56 percent of their red zone trips this season – 11th best in the NFL, and 16 percent better than their red zone TD percentage last season – 40 percent. But the last two weeks, the offense…

December 7, 2012

Alex Smith to throw out first pitch at Giants’ playoff game Saturday night

Alex Smith will throw out the first pitch tonight at AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants’ playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds. A few hours before the game, the Giants’ manager, Bruce Bochy, was asked about Smith throwing out the first pitch: “This club has a lot of 49er fans. We may take a look at him, too. He’s got a pretty good arm,” Bochy said, giggling.

October 6, 2012