IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: A’s clinch playoff spot; Rossi honored
A’S CHAMPAGNE FLOWS: At the beginning of the season, Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin asked his squad to be a .500 team. Talk about over achieving. Remarkably, the team others in MLB thought would fold, never did. On Monday night, they punched their ticket to the playoffs. It is a nearly unbelievable experience for a team that ended in last place in the AL West in 2015, 2016 and 2017. However, this team matured in mass. Clutch hitting and sound pitching makes one wonder how far they can go. We will know more on Wednesday.
ROSSI HONORED: On Tuesday night it was time for IndyCar to hand out the hardware. At their Victory Lap awards celebration they honored Scott Dixon for winning the circuit. However, Alexander Rossi received his second place accolades as well as the Firestone Drive to the Finish Award. He completed all but two laps this season. No one can doubt that it was a brilliant season for the Nevada City native. Injured Robert Wickens also appeared via a pre-taped video presentation.
BOBBY EVANS OUT: The San Francisco Giants’ tailspin claimed another victim on Monday as General Manager Bobby Evans was fired. The team is clearing the deck for next season. At his firing, the team sat at 64-98, a dreadful outcome. The acquisitions of Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen never panned out. It has been an injury-riddled, disappointing season and management must make changes.
MINER SURPRISE: Fairfield has been a nemesis in the not-too-distant past, but the Nevada Union Miners rose to the occasion. It was a nifty 21-0 win as the defense led the way. Coach Brad Sparks commented, “Really proud of the defense.” Indeed! The four sacks complemented by four turnovers were the big differences. While Kaleb Smith and Matt Dal Bon posted sacks, it was Dawson Fay again on offense with 205 yards on 26 carries. Miners rising? Last night’s game vs. Placer will be a major barometer.
FIRST HALF DOOMS NINERS: Patrick Mahomes is the new fan favorite in Kansas City. On Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers found out why as he orchestrated touchdowns on his first five drives. San Francisco simply put themselves in a hole from which they could not emerge. To their credit, the 49ers came back to make it a 35-24 game. However, a phantom pass interference call and the injury to Jimmy Garoppolo brought the curtain down on this one.
HOPE DISSOLVES: Garoppolo was tagged as the great hope for the 49ers this season. Now, it all disappears amidst a torn ACL that he suffered in his left knee as he stretched to earn a few more inches on a fourth quarter scramble. He is out for the season, as are our hopes for a postseason berth. The 49ers will not recover from this. Now enters C.J. Beathard who struggled in the preseason and was 1-4 in 2017. It is truly bad luck for the San Francisco squad. This campaign is done.
FOURTH QUARTER WOES: Coming into the game vs. the Miami Dolphins, the Raiders had scored 0 points in the fourth quarter. They were tied for 26th by allowing 23 points. Their 6:01 in time of possession ranked 29th. Opponents had converted 7-of-16 third down plays, 30th in the NFL. Indeed, while holding a 17-14 halftime lead, it was time for another monumental collapse. They allow Miami to run wild as Oakland ended up losing 28-20. Jon Gruden, once considered the salvation, has to be scratching his head. Now time to prep for Vegas?
CLAY MATTHEWS VICTIMIZED: It is the third straight week in which Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews gets a roughing the passer call, and this one was ridiculous. The NFL hit a new low after this incident. While pass rushing Alex Smith, he followed through on a hit and was flagged. Replay after replay showed the flaws of the new quarterback-protection rule. He remarks after the game, “Something has to change. It’s a football play.” ESPN’s Monday night football remarked, “Unfortunately, the league is going in a direction players don’t like.”
COUSINS ‘ON SCHEDULE’: The Warriors are staying hush-hush on the return of DeMarcus Cousins. The few things that have been exposed is that Golden State will not hold him back for the playoffs. General Manager Bob Meyers notes, “When he can play, he’ll play. We won’t rush him, but we will also not hold him back.” It is stated that he is improving and much better than he was seven months ago. Meyers concluded, “It is an exciting thing that our whole team is looking forward to.” Another update is scheduled for 4 weeks.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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