Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saltzman Says...Charitable Barry Bonds at it again

Barry Bonds never liked the media and never cared what his public perception was.  Most of that stemmed from the inconsistent treatment his father Bobby Bonds received over his career.  Bonds has always been a very charitable person and that is something he has kept very private.

Here is the link to the article

As a Giant, Bonds was always rumored to be this amazingly generous man when it came to charities or people that he cared about and would always go above and beyond what was "expected."  For example, there were several stories that during Sue Burns final days, Bonds was by her side almost daily.  Burns, one of several part owners of the Giants, became a very close friend of Bonds. 

With all of the clouds around Barry for what he did, what he allegedly did and what he didn't do, it is clear that Bonds was concerned with doing the right things off the field.  While he might not have had time for autographs like others at the ballpark, he never had a problem giving those type of gifts to people in need.  The Stow's children is an example of that.  They now own an autographed bat and glove by the All-Time Home Run King.

Saltzman Says...Two sides to everything

Bryan Stow may not be back to his old self again, but his family has certainly seen the best of what Giants and Dodgers fans have to offer over these last two months.  Consistent donations have been pouring in from stadiums, restaurants, celebrities, etc...

But now the family is on the attack themselves.  The Stow family has filed a lawsuit against Frank McCourt for cutbacks that "led to perfect conditions for an attack." 

I understand the family's frustration.  Well, I don't.  I might never understand how much pain a family must go through when someone they love is in a medically induced coma.  What they have gone through over the last 7 weeks might be more gut wrenching than anything I have ever experienced in my life. 

I just don't understand what the family hopes to accomplish with this lawsuit.  If they take this to trial and win some money from the McCourts, it will certainly be better spent than how they have wasted money.  Mrs. McCourt allegedly has a house just for her clothes.  However, this trial would certainly be a waste of taxpayer money. 

With all the beautiful gifts this family has received since March 31, 2011 from all walks of life, why not just let that be part of the healing process.  To see so many people come together should help make up for what this family is suing the Dodgers for in the first place.

Saltzman Says...A wonderful birthday gift

My dozens and dozens of readers.  I get to share with you one of the most special moments of my life today.  I am 31 years old today and as we speak, my sister, Kari Snell, is giving birth to her first child.  A soon-to-be angel named Kiora Audrianna Snell.  With the exception of my wife, Danielle Saltzman, I could not think of a more precious birthday gift.  I am so blessed to have a loving, wonderful family and what a great day that we will all share.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saltzman Says...Derion Taylor wins State

Derion Taylor wins State
CSM’s Taylor wins NorCal triple jump title on last leap
May 18, 2010, 01:31 AM By Fred Baer, Special to the Daily Journal
Northern California triple jump champion Derion Taylor will lead a quintet of College of San Mateo athletes into the California Community College Athletic Association Track and Field State Championships at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster on Friday and Saturday. Taylor does not like to lose. The Bulldogs’ freshman produced a personal best of 48 feet, 7 1/2 inches on his final jump to win the NorCal title over the weekend at American River College in Sacramento.
He equaled his personal best of 47-5 in the fifth round to take the lead — briefly. But favored Ka Wai Ng of De Anza responded with a jump of 48-0 3/4.
“I thought about what I needed to do after that,” said Taylor. “It was a competition and I don’t like losing.”
Taylor, who had jumped 47-5 to win the Central Coast Section title for Evergreen Valley last year, composed himself for his final jump. He had a “perfect” tailwind of exactly 2.0 meters per second, just at the allowable limit to get the win on his sixth attempt — although missing the CSM school record by a half inch.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Saltzman Says...Joe Perry 1927-2011

Hall of Fame Memorial

Hall of Fame Player Page

49ers Official Tribute Page

Date:   Saturday, May 21
Time:    1 p.m.
Location:   Academy of Art University Morgan Auditorium
Address:    491 Post St.
                   San Francisco, CA, 94105

Saltzman Says...Bay Area Bullets

  • Hard Luck Cain - Matt Cain pitched 7 1/3 last night, allowing 2 runs, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead.  Juan Uribe got the big hit, a 2 out, full count double to left center off of Brian Wilson in the bottom of the eighth.  

  • Cody Ross is Boss Again? - Cody Ross hit a three run home run in the 9th to give the Giants a 8-5 win after blowing a 5-2 lead in the eighth.
  • Mark DeRosa has played his last game? - DeRosa's wrist hit another setback last night, and it could mean the 2 year DeRosa experiment has failed for the last time.
  • Sharks get Chewed Up - Sharks get destroyed in Game 2, specifically on power play after power play and lose 7-3.  No Sharks team has ever come back from a 2-0 deficit in team history.  The Sharks are 0-8 in series after losing the first two.  They have never even taken it 7 in any of those series.  Is this Sharks team the best of them all...only one way to prove it.
  • A's lose in extras - A Daric Barton error in the 10th led to an unearned run and a extra innings loss for the A's.
  • Ping Pong Balls bounce for Cleveland - Warriors haven't moved up to the top 3 since Joe Smith was the #1 overall selection by the team in 1995.  The Warriors will stay at 11, which means unless somebody in the top 10 wants a current Warrior more than their pick, the Warriors won't be getting a top 10 talent they so desperately need.
  • Raiders Head Coach selling tickets - Everyone from the CEO to head coach Hue Jackson to actual ticket reps are being asked by the Raiders to sell season tickets during the lockout.  The Raiders decided instead of laying off their workers, creating furlough days or cutting back, they would put everyone to work.  Of all the strange things to come from Mount Davis, this one is one of the hardest to define.  Is it brilliant and encouraging, or is it crazy and typical of the organization?
  • Richard Seymour and Jason Campbell in charge? - Seymour and Campbell are running a camp in Atlanta for all Raiders players, and 25 have already committed to being there for a four day camp.  Seymour will be in charge of the defense and Campbell will run the offense.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Saltzman Says...San Jose Giants win 18 inning thriller

Nobody imagined on Monday that the game would end on Tuesday

Instant Classic: Giants Win 18-Inning Thriller

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Giants staged a dramatic rally scoring four times in the bottom of the 18th inning to earn an improbable 10-9 victory over the Stockton Ports at Municipal Stadium. In a game that didn't conclude until early Tuesday morning, Jarrett Parker reached base on a fielding error committed by Ports shortstop Dusty Coleman with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 18th to score the winning run. San Jose had to rally in the 11th and 13th innings to avoid defeat before overcoming Stockton's three-run top of the 18th to win the contest. The Giants finish their seven-game homestand with six wins and improve their overall record to 25-13 - two games ahead of the Ports (23-15) for the top spot in the first half North Division race.

San Jose was down to their last out in the bottom of the 11th inning when Ryan Cavan belted a solo homer to right field before Parker's RBI double in the bottom of the 13th tied the score again. After Stockton took a 9-6 lead in the top of the 18th, Chris Dominguez hit a key two-run single in the bottom of the frame before Nick Liles tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Then with the bases loaded, two outs and the count 3-2, Parker hit a sharp grounder to shortstop that was bobbled by Coleman, whose hurried throw to first was late as Wendell Fairley raced home with the winning tally.

Dominguez (5-for-8, HR, 4 RBI) tied a San Jose Giants single-game record with five hits, including a first-inning home run, to lead the offensive attack. Gary Brown (3-for-8, 2B, SB) extended his hitting streak to 11 games while Hector Sanchez (2-for-7, 2B, 2 RBI) collected at least one RBI in his 11th straight contest.
The back-and-forth affair saw the Ports rally from an early 4-0 deficit scoring twice in the top of the fourth before two more runs in the eighth inning to tie the game. Stockton took their first lead in the top of the 11th as Mitch LeVier led off with a single against reliever Hector Correa before Anthony Alilotti's sacrifice bunt and Max Stassi's RBI single.

The Ports then appeared to be closing in on a victory as pitcher Scott Deal quickly retired the first two Giants batters of the bottom of the 11th before Cavan stepped to the plate and crushed the first pitch of his at-bat well over the fence in right field for a solo homer. The home run, Cavan's fifth of the season, tied the score 5-5.

After neither team scored in the 12th, Stockton plated a single run in the top of the 13th without the benefit of a hit. Facing Ari Ronick, Aliotti drew a leadoff walk before Stassi dropped down a sacrifice bunt. However on the play, Ronick threw wildly to first for an error allowing Aliotti to advance to third and Stassi to move into second. Leonardo Gil then delivered a sacrifice fly to center plating Aliotti with the go-ahead run.
San Jose though again rallied as Brown led off the bottom of the 13th with a groundball to third that was stopped by a diving Gil, but a wild throw pulled the first baseman Alioti off the bag for an error. After
 Brandon Crawford sacrificed Brown to second with a bunt, Parker lined a double to left that easily scored the runner tying the game 6-6. Parker, however, was stranded at second as Sanchez flied out and Cavan struck out to end the inning.

Andy Reichard entered the game for the Giants with one out in the top of the 14th inning and had to pitch out of trouble in the 15th and 16th frames. In the top of the 15th, Aliotti singled with one out and was at third base with two outs before Reichard induced Gil to groundout to third. Then in the 16th, Rashun Dixon led off with an infield single, was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third when Conner Crumbliss grounded out. However, again Reichard was able to keep the game tied as Coleman flied out to center.

The Giants had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the 16th inning as Sanchez singled with one out before Dominguez hit a two-out single to put runners on first and second, but Joseph struck out swinging to end the threat.

The contest was delayed briefly after the 16th inning as the game had reached the California League curfew. The rule states that no inning can begin after 11:50 PM, but after receiving clearance from the league to continue, the teams were allowed to resume action with the top of the 17th.

In the 17th, Reichard worked around a two-out walk before the Giants again put a runner in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the inning. After the first two batters were retired, Brown doubled into the right field corner before Crawford walked. Scott Hodsdon was then summoned from the bullpen and he promptly struck out Parker to end the inning and force an 18th frame.

Stockton finally broke through with a big inning in the top of the 18th as Gil singled up the middle to leadoff before Dixon hammered an RBI double to the fence in left field to put the Ports back in front. After a sacrifice bunt moved Dixon to third, Crumbliss singled to left plating the second run of the inning. Then with two outs, Michael Choice produced an RBI double down the right field line to make it 9-6.

Needing an extra-inning rally for a third time, Sanchez began the bottom of the 18th by drawing a four-pitch walk. Cavan followed with a sharp double into the right field corner before Dominguez brought home both runners with a single up the middle. The rally continued with Joseph moving Dominguez to second with his first sacrifice bunt of the season before a wild pitch advanced the potential tying run to third. Liles then hit a sacrifice fly to left easily scoring Dominguez to bring San Jose even at 9-9.

The inning continued with two outs and nobody on as Fairley reached base on a bad hop groundball to shortstop that was officially scored as a single. After Brown singled and Crawford walked to load the bases, Parker worked the count full before hitting another sharp grounder to Coleman at shortstop. Coleman though bobbled the ball and was unable to retire Parker with his throw to first as Fairley scored the game-deciding run prompting a wild celebration of Giants players near first base.

Reichard (2-0) earned the win for San Jose despite giving up three runs in the top of the 18th. Reichard worked 4 2/3 innings of long relief with three runs (all earned) on seven hits allowed, one walk and two strikeouts.

Hodsdon (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season after surrendering all four runs (three earned) in the bottom of the 18th.

The Giants took an early 4-0 lead with four runs in the bottom of the first inning on Sanchez's one-out, two-RBI double and Dominguez's two-out, two-run homer down the right field line.

San Francisco Giant Santiago Casilla made his second rehab start on the mound for San Jose. Casilla, who is recovering from an elbow injury, pitched two scoreless innings working around a pair of singles and one walk. He threw 26 pitches before giving way to scheduled starter Craig Westcott.

Westcott yielded a two-run homer to LeVier in the top of the fourth, but had settled down to retire eight straight hitters from the fifth through the eighth innings. However, Stockton rallied in the top of the eighth as LeVier connected for a one-out, RBI double to knock Westcott out of the game before Aliotti hit a sacrifice fly against Correa to tie the score 4-4.

Correa stranded the potential go-ahead run at second base in the eighth before not allowing a hit in the ninth or tenth innings.

The Giants out-hit Stockton by a 17-16 margin. Parker (2-for-9, 2B, RBI), Cavan (2-for-8, 2B, HR, RBI) and Fairley (2-for-7) also had multi-hit games for San Jose.

Notes: The game ended at 12:48 AM on Tuesday morning ... The teams combined for 13 pitchers (Stockton 7, San Jose 6) ... The Giants won their first extra-inning game of the season in three attempts ... It was also their first walk-off win this year ... The Ports had been a perfect 4-0 in extra-inning games ... Dominguez joined Liles, Brown and Alex Burg as San Jose players to have five hits in a single game this season ... Westcott (5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), Correa (3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO), Mitch Lively (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 SO), Ronick (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO) and Reichard all pitched out of the Giants bullpen ... Correa was officially charged with San Jose's first blown save since April 13 ... The Giants had converted 14 consecutive save opportunities ... San Jose's two-game lead in the division is their largest of the season ... Stockton suffered their first series loss this year ... The final time of game was five hours and 38 minutes - just 18 minutes shy of matching the longest home game in San Jose Giants history (5:56, May 12-13, 1995 vs. San Bernardino).

Box Score

Game Log

Andrew Baggarly Says...

It was an epic game at Single-A San Jose Monday night– and not because Santiago Casilla began it with two scoreless innings in a rehab appearance. Actually, the game lasted into Tuesday morning. It was an 18-inning marathon that ended at 12:49 PDT after five hours and 38 minutes. The Giants came back not once, not twice but THREE times against Stockton in extra innings (11th, 13th and 18th innings), and the final comeback, believe it or not, was a four-run rally to take a 10-9 victory.
Amazing. I’d like to know how many folks stayed for the duration. They probably saw one of the greatest baseball games in Bay Area history.

Kawakami Points Out...Sharks can't drop Game 2

Can 'Nemo' help prevent the Sharks from going down 2-0 in Vancouver?

...the Sharks have never come back from a 2-0 series deficit (or a two-game deficit of any kind) in a playoff series, I do think that’s significant.

Mostly because they’re down 1-0 to Vancouver and play Game 2 tomorrow. If they lose, well, that’s going down 2-0… and…

The Sharks have gone down 2-0 in a playoff series eight previous times, and they are 0-8 in those series.
In fact, they’ve never taken any of those series even to 7 games. Going down 2-0 has been the death knell for the Sharks, as it is for most NHL and NBA teams.

Just a fact: Down 2-0 is tough.

(The Sharks have been down 3-1 three times and are 0-3… but each of those series started 2-0, so I will not add those to the number.)

The eight series…
-2010 Western Conference Finals: The Sharks dropped the first two to Chicago in San Jose… and lost the series in four games.
-2009 first round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Anaheim in San Jose… and lost the series in six games.
-2008 second round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Dallas in San Jose… and lost the series in six games.
-2004 Western Conference finals: The Sharks dropped the first two to Calgary in San Jose… and lost the series in six gmes.
-2000 second round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Dallas in Dallas… and lost the series in five games.
-1999 first round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Colorado in San Jose… and lost the series in six games.
-1998 first round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Dallas in Dallas… and lost the series in six games.
-1995 second round: The Sharks dropped the first two to Detroit in Detroit… and lost the series in four games.

* Here’s the positive side of this: If the Sharks win Wednesday, they’ll tie the series 1-1, and the Sharks have won 8 of the 12 playoff series they’ve started 1-1.
That’s including the first round this year, when the Sharks split with the Kings, then won the series in six games.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors next coach nearing decision?

Joe Lacob is back in the country.  What does this mean for the Warriors fan base?  According to some reports, the Warriors will go through the June draft without a coach.  According to other reports, however, the Warriors will pick up the pace considerably now that Lacob is back from his vacation.  Larry Riley, the Warriors general manager, has apparently already started the interviewing. According to, Golden State officials met with former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown and top Dallas assistant Dwayne Casey last week.  The Warriors have also received permission according to different reports to speak to Lawrence Frank of the Celtics and Chuck Person and Brian Shaw of the Lakers.  Frank was a former head coach in New Jersey and Brian Shaw is an Oakland native.  The three potential candidates that seem to be out of the running are long time Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, former Houston Rockets and New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and top San Antonio Assistant, Mike Budenholzer, who is believe to be the future successor of Gregg Poppovich.

Could Brian Shaw come home to Oakland to lead the Warriors?

So again, what does this all mean for the Warriors fan base?  It seems clear that Joe Lacob, Larry Riley and Bob Myers, the Warriors new assistant GM, have a plan in place.  It seems like, from an outsider's view, that the coach is a chip in the same way the players are.  If you believe reports that the coach might not be hired until after the draft, than the next coach's opinion of his own players loses its value.

It would seem that barring a big trade, Stephen Curry, David Lee, Dorell Wright, Ekpe Udoh, and Monta Ellis are the safest bets to stay, probably in that order.  As much as the team publicly loves Monta, it is possible that the team would move him if it meant getting a better defender to team with Curry.  If talks were to heat up with Philadelphia, for example, for Andre Iguodala, a swap of perimeter players could happen.  Andris Biedrins also seems a safe bet to stay, but only because his stock has never been lower.

Reggie Williams, Acie Law, Al Thornton, Charlie Bell, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Lou Amundson could all be moved or released.  Amundson is the only one of that group that is a strong defender.  With Jeff Adrien and Jeremy Lin possibly playing more in the D-League than the NBA next year, that means that only 7 players by my count are likely to return next year.

PG Stephen Curry
SG Monta Ellis
SF Dorell Wright
PF David Lee
C Andris Biedrins
PF/C Ekpe Udoh
PF/C Lou Amundson
PG Jeremy Lin
PF Jeff Adrien

The Warriors would desperately need a starter at C who can score, a defensive minded guard, and a defensive minded wing player.  Those three positions that have been discussed quite heavily this off-season, would give the Warriors the 8 man rotation all good teams possess.  With Biedrins and Amundson allowed to be fringe players instead of consistent contributors, the team's chances for success would improve dramatically.

I will keep you all posted.

Saltzman Says...Kevin Frandsen suspended 50 games

Associated Press Says...

NEW YORK -- Kevin Frandsen, a second baseman for the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, was suspended for 50 games Wednesday following a positive test under baseball's minor league drug program.
A veteran of five seasons with the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Angels, Frandsen signed a minor league contract with the Phillies on April 1. He became a free agent in December when the Angels declined to offer a 2011 contract, then went to spring training with the San Diego Padres, who released him on March 25.
The commissioner's office said he tested positive for Ritalinic Acid, which essentially is the same as Ritalin, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Baseball players can obtain therapeutic use exemptions for drugs to treat ADHD, and Frandsen would not have been suspended if he had a TUE for Ritalin.
His agent, Damon Lapa, did not return a telephone call seeking comment.
The 28-year-old Frandsen had a .243 career average with seven homers and 53 RBIs. He is hitting .321 this season at the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
In addition, free agent outfielder Joe Dickerson was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for an amphetamine. The penalty will start after he signs with a major league organization.
There have been 24 suspensions this year under the minor league program. While there have not been any suspensions under the major league program, Manny Ramirez retired rather than face a 100-game ban following a second violation.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

Saltzman Says...Don't forget Kevin Frandsen at his best on a day like this

19 for Life
“19 For Life” is a foundation created to celebrate the gift that DJ Frandsen was to his family, friends and his community.  He lived his life with a strong will, optimism and compassion.  The “19 For Life” Foundation is a lasting legacy to DJ’s beliefs in giving back, making a difference, being a man for others and never giving up.

Saltzman Says...Hollis Thompson to stay at Georgetown

Former Bay Area product and De La Salle grad, Hollis Thompson, has decided to withdraw his name from the NBA Draft and return to Georgetown for his junior season.

The players listed below from U.S. colleges and institutions have notified the NBA that they wish to be removed from the list of “early entry” players eligible for selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Olu Ashaolu, Louisiana Tech
Keion Bell, Pepperdine
Laurence Bowers, Missouri
TyShwan Edmondson, Austin Peay
Kim English, Missouri
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh
Desmond Holloway, Coastal Carolina
Terrell Holloway, Xavier
Orlando Johnson, UC-Santa Barbara
Reggie Johnson, Miami
Tiondre Johnson, Coastal Bend JC (TX)
Kevin Jones, West Virginia
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
David Loubeau, Texas A&M
Greg Mangano, Yale
Cameron Moore, Alabama-Birmingham
Darrion Pellum, Hampton
J.P. Primm, North Carolina-Asheville
Ralph Sampson III, Minnesota
John Shurna, Northwestern
Tony Taylor, George Washington
Hollis Thompson, Georgetown
Thomas Tibbs Jr., Staten Island
Charlie Westbrook, South Dakota
Brandon Wood, Valparaiso

Following the NBA's early entry withdrawal deadline of 5:00 PM (EDT) on June 13, 2011, a full listing of players will be released who provided the NBA with timely notice that they wish to be removed from the list of “early entry” players eligible for selection in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rashard Mendenhall Says...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

            I appreciate those of you who have decided to read this letter and attain a greater understanding of my recent twitter posts. I see how they have gotten misconstrued, and wanted to use this outlet as a way to clear up all things that do not truthfully represent myself, what I stand for personally, and any organization that I am a part of.
            First, I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA. I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. Not just in the US, but families all over the world who had relatives in the World Trade Centers. My heart goes out to the troops who fight for our freedoms everyday, not being certain if they will have the opportunity to return home, and the families who watch their loved ones bravely go off to war. Last year, I was grateful enough to have the opportunity to travel over seas and participate in a football camp put on for the children of US troops stationed in Germany. It was a special experience. These events have had a significant impact in my life.
“What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...”
            This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics. In the bible, Ezekiel 33:11 states, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!...”. I wasn’t questioning Bin Laden’s evil acts. I believe that he will have to face God for what he has done. I was reflecting on our own hypocrisy. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the world celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.   
            Nothing I said was meant to stir up controversy. It was my way to generate conversation. In looking at my timeline in its entirety, everything that I’ve said is with the intent of expressing a wide array of ideas and generating open and honest discussions, something I believe we as American citizens should be able to do. Most opinions will not be fully agreed upon and are not meant to be. However, I believe every opinion should be respected or at least given some thought. I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm. I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name. 
           It was only meant to encourage anyone reading it to think.

Champion Apparel Says... the company issued a statement today saying they were dropping Mendenhall as a spokesman for their product.  Here was their official statement:

"Champion is a strong supporter of the government's efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall, who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers. While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best."
Saltzman Says...

I commend Rashard Mendenhall for speaking out for what he believes.  He is not against our troops.  He is not against our President.  He is not against America.  He was simply stating that some Americans need to remember that the same celebration they were doing for the murder of Osama Bin Laden, extremists around the world were doing when 9/11 happened 10 years ago.  As Mahatma Gandhi says..."an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."  Don't lose sight of what Mr. Mendenhall was saying. 

As for Champion Apparel, unfortunately, this is very typical of an American based company during a controversy.  Instead of coming out and saying, "while we don't agree with Mr. Mendenhall's view on this issue, we respect any citizen's ability to speak up for their beliefs.  We believe it is right of all Americans to feel safe to express their opinions in a democracy."  Would that have been so difficult to say?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Saltzman Says...Sharks proving themselves in the clutch

The San Jose Sharks have spent 20 years trying to put together a team that can compete for the Stanley Cup. 

1. Goaltenders: They have had talented goaltenders over the years, from Arturs Irbe, Evgeni Nabokov and now Antti Neimi.  Irbe was the first great goaltender in Sharks history and he certainly help establish the young franchise as a force to be reckoned with.  With the arrival on Nabokov, the team saw a new level of success.  Instead of challenging for the 8th seed and trying to upset top teams like Calgary and Detroit, Nabokov helped establish the Sharks as a perennial winner.  Through 2010, Nabokov helped lead the Sharks to six straight playoff appearances.  After losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals, the Sharks decided to part ways with Nabokov and ended up signing the man who beat him on the way to a Stanley Cup himself.  Antti Niemi, or Nemo, as he is called by teammates has helped lead the Sharks to a 3-0 series lead over Detroit for the second straight year.  With one more victory, the Sharks will make back-to-back trips to the Western Conference finals.  It is a round of the playoffs the team never got to until their 19th season.  Now in year 20, will last year's Stanley Cup winning goalie be the secret ingriedient?

2. Playoff Experience:  From Doug Wilson, now General Manager, who played his final years in San Jose, to Vincent Damphousse, Mike Ricci, Teemu Selanne, Rob Blake and Jeremy Roenick, the Sharks have always tried to bring in veterans who knew what playoff hockey is all about.  Despite never winning a championship, two very important things happened along the way.  These veterans heightened the expectation level of the franchise that getting to the playoffs is the bare minimum each season.  The second thing it established is that San Jose is a great place to play.  San Jose is a place that great hockey players want to play, and that has kept the high level of play here year after year.  It is the reason that both Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley as well as Dan Boyle and Niemi chose to come to San Jose, and why they are leading this franchise to games they have never played before.

3. Tremendous Scouting:  Doug Wilson and his staff have done a marvelous job over the years in bringing in talent and that is most evident in the drafting of several key components that makes the Sharks a favorite each year to challenge for the cup.  From Patrick Marleau in 1997 to Logan Couture in 2007, the Sharks have always done well on draft night.  Devin Setoguchi, Torrey Mitchell, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Clowe, and Douglas Murray are just some of the key contributors to the 2011 team that were drafted by the Sharks.  Even the trade for Dany Heatley came about because the Sharks could afford to give up former draft picks Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek.

Will 20 years be the year?  Let's watch and find out.

Will Marleau, Thornton, Heatley and Boyle help the Sharks win the Stanley Cup?

Saltzman Says...Irvington Students have Sharks Fever

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saltzman Says...Warriors can learn from playoffs

Here's hoping every Warrior player and front office member is watching every second of the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder's series in round two of the Western Conference semi-finals.  The Western Conference has always been loaded with talented players and teams, specifically big men, and this series shows how close and yet how far the Warriors really are.

As important as it is to have a Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook or a Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to run your team through, it is as critical to have a Kendrick Perkins, Nick Collison or Thabo Sefolosha, as well as a Tony Allen, Shane Battier and Darrell Arthur.  Those six role players have been monumental defensively.  They have helped their teams not only to get to the second round, but also in scaring the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks who are battling for the right to play them.  Also not to be forgotten are roles of players like Eric Maynor and Greivis Vasquez who have been outstanding running the point for the 2nd unit.  Perkins, Collison, Sefolosha and Maynor have helped the Thunder become one of the best all-around teams in basketball.  Allen, Battier, Arthur and Vazquez have done the same for the Grizzlies.

The 2011-12 Warriors will only be as good as the team they build.  Hopefully with Bob Myers hired as the assistant GM to Larry Riley, the Warriors will be more active in bringing in the right pieces to be a playoff basketball team every year.

Will the hiring of Bob Myers be the change that leads to smarter personnel decisions?

Saltzman Says...The 2011 Battle Cry

Brian Wilson has coined a phrase that has already been used internationally to describe the capture and murder of Osama Bin Laden.  You're Welcome.

The Post might have gone too far here

Saltzman Says...Jose Reyes a Giant?

It is certainly a intriguing idea.  The idea of a top of the lineup difference maker who can play shortstop for the next 5-7 years for the Giants.  At 29, Jose Reyes certainly has some outstanding years left in his body.  However, if we look at Rafael Furcal, there is certainly some red flags to signing Reyes beyond 2011.

Both play a similar brand of baseball, which is hard nose, all out and never let your body get in the way of a triple baseball.  These two lighting fast Dominican-born shortstops have a lot in common.  They are both career .286 hitters who have some pop.  Furcal had 78 home runs by age 29, and Reyes has 75.  Furcal had 251 stolen bases and Reyes already has 342, both have been caught less than 90 times in their career, so it is more than speed.  These guys scare opposing pitchers.  When Furcal signed with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2006, I knew they had signed a difference maker.

Now, since Furcal's 29th birthday, durability has been a series issue.  Years of averaging 150 games a year took its toll on his body and since he turned 29, Furcal has only played in 150 games in one season (2009).  In no other season in his 30's, has he even played 100.  When healthy, Furcal is one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in the game...when healthy.

Reyes only played in 36 games in 2009, so durability must be looked at when evaluating the Mets shortstop.  If he can stay on the field, he is one of the games best, and clearly the top free agent option on the market this coming off-season.

If the Giants were to pull off a Reyes trade this season for a package that included Zach Wheeler or Jonathan Sanchez and other minor leaguers, they could look to offer Reyes less money over less years than he might make on the open market.  With all the chaos surrounding New York the last few seasons, it might be a nice change of pace to be in a locker room with fun loving players like Pablo Sandoval, Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell.

Reyes might be safe for now, but trade talks should heat up this summer

Monday, May 2, 2011

Saltzman Says...Harbaugh can afford to be patient

2011 Draft Recap: 49ers Edition

The 49ers certainly stunned some fans with their first selection.  When the pick came in, many people felt the 49ers would snag a highly touted prospect out of Missouri.  Well they were right.  However, when the pick turned out to be Aldon Smith instead of Blaine Gabbert, it certainly shocked a lot of fans.

Harbaugh is not in a win or else mode like many other coaches.  Teams who have GM's and Head Coaches on the hot seat pick for now.  Harbaugh can afford to pick for tomorrow.

When a team selects a project in the first or second round, as the 49ers did with Aldon Smith and QB Colin Kaepernick, they are hoping to have a great team in two or three years.  A coach like Harbaugh can afford to make those selections because he should still be here in 2013 and beyond.  His predecessors, Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan drafted with the same philosophy, and now Alex Smith, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Joe Staley and Michael Crabtree are Harbaugh's players.  It's a cutthroat business to draft players knowing someone else might end up coaching them through their prime years.  That will be the case with Staley and Crabtree for Harbaugh.

In time, Smith could become an elite pass rusher, and Kaepernick could become the star QB for the 49ers.  The two biggest questions are will that actually happen and will Harbaugh be around long enough to see it?

It's easy to smile in the first year of a five year contract.  Will Harbaugh be smiling in 2014?