Zuri Berry: Summer shuffle good for NorCal
Summer is the season of change.
This summer represents the changes on the sports landscape as well as any other for the professional teams in Northern California. Yesterday’s latest reminder was the Golden State Warriors trade for point guard Marcus Williams. Two days before that, it was the San Francisco Giants dumping second baseman Ray Durham for prospects.
Let’s not forget the Oakland A’s, which traded Rich Harden, Joe Blanton and are shopping around closer Houston Street.
Who’s next? Omar Vizquel?
Let’s stop and take the positive pill for a minute, because a lot of what’s happened is in the best interest of all teams involved – at least on this coast and at least depending on who’s telling you so.
Without a doubt, the Warriors are the biggest winners in a strategic move to replace lost all-star Baron Davis at the helm. Williams fell out of the lottery just two years ago, picked No. 22 by the New Jersey Nets and was hailed as the future replacement of Jason Kidd.
Whether the Nets were willing to give him Greg Oden patience or not, especially with Keyon Dooling in the picture, Williams basically fell into the Warriors’ lap in return for a future first rounder.
I say, that’s a steal that moves the W’s into the young upstart crowd. He’ll have Corey Maggette to dish to, Stephen Jackson and if he’s lucky, Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins.
The key will of course be if Ellis re-signs.
On the other hand, the Giants are still searching for keys to success, somewhat emulating the moves of their American League neighbors: Young and inexperienced over known and outdated. Dropping Durham is a part of a long-term plan of getting younger and finding strengths in the team’s farm system. Vizquel, who is batting .166 currently, is a possible victim of this philosophy.
The A’s, who have perfected the scraping the barrel strategy, are currently in the midst of their own reworking and a little old pennant chase won’t get in the way of their long-term goals of mediocrity.
So as the Warriors move forward, the Giants re-dedicate themselves and the A’s shake off any attempts at long-term stability, change whistles in the air.
For good, for bad and for worse, this summer has all the intangibles of a mint new flavor and yet all the taste of expired milk.
Is it tiring? No. Is it old? Yes. Does it give room for pause? Most definitely.
As most fans will tell you, you like or dislike these recent moves depending upon whatever your team is telling you. If Billy Beane says the A’s will have the best chance of winning and going back to the playoffs with this revamped squad, he’ll get no squealing from the peanut gallery. Neither will Chris Mullins or Brian Sabean.
As the author Miguel de Cervantes once pontificated, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” We can take what’s given to us now, and judge later in the Fall and Spring – if we’re so lucky.
Zuri Berry is a sports writer at The Union. His column appears Wednesdays. You can also read his blog online at TheUnion.com/blogs/Sports. You can contact Zuri via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4244.
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Highly successful postseason runs come to an end for local Little League teams