Slap Hitter: Coal for Everyone!


Sports fans of the East Bay colors will be having a humbug holiday season unless they're on the Cal football team, and even they don't get much Yule cheer, unless traveling back and forth over the Bay Bridge for a week is some sort of a Hot for 2009 trend I might have missed.

The Golden Bears are playing in San Francisco's AT & T Park for the Emerald Bowl, which is probably as chuckleworthy for out-of-towners as the Poinsettia Bowl sounds to us. The University of Miami has won the booby prize honors of being sacrificed on the altar of Opponent, but at least gives the locals a chance to see the home team win at the old ballyard.

The Raiders inept year comes to a clumsy end this Sunday, and features dead-man-walking head coach Tom Cable ruining the Silver and Lack's Christmas by demanding that they have a full practice that day. Across the Bay, breath-of-life head man Mike Singletary, is giving the Niners the day off. We'll see if forgoing friends and family for work results in the Raider's being able to run 2/3 of a flea-flicker in their finale.

Golden State now has two defensive coordinators and no real defensive oriented ballers. They have squandered two years of good will in two months, but still must play on for the next five. Look for point forwards, Development League starters and more mad scientists stylings from soon to be former skipper Don Nelson. Then there is the neat melding of reduced news coverage combined with less need to read about the Warrior's latest twenty point thumping at the hands of.....everyone.

College hoops look great. Wait until league play and road games, until then we temper our enthusiasm.

Lastly how bout those A's? Spurned by mediocrity Rafael Furcal, unable to reel in the Big Unit, a superannuated, multi-millionaire has-been, but still hot on the heels of another expensive seen-better-decades baseballer, Jason Giambi, gives Oakland rooters something to look forward to in '09. And who cares if he isn't new or shiny or sturdy or capable of filling any spot in the lineup other than D.H? He's marked down, contains many of his original parts and knows the way to the Coliseum! So what if there's nobody else interested in buying? What says Christmas in Oakland better than blowing the dust off the shelf item, scrubbing it clean (carefully!) and slapping a stick-on bow for St. Nick to drop (carefully!) down our chimney. Man,if that doesn't get him laughing like a bowl full of jelly, wait til you see our bullpen next spring!— Kibby Kleiman