Well folks, Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner, and we here at The Bay Area Sports Journal wish all our readers and their families the very best. We'll be away for a few days starting Christmas eve and returning December 27th and won't be posting at that time so I figured I just do another quick version of the Bay Area sports notes.
A's: The A's have gone into full on fire-sale mode and it's making one wonder whether this team is long for the Bay Area. Tearing down your team and dealing away your young, marketable stars is not the way to get baseball to help back you for a new ballpark. They've lost half their lineup to free agency, and dealt away 23 year-old fan favorite, Trevor Cahill. Their latest giveaway was left-hander Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals in exchange for 4 minor leaguers. While I really like young Brad Peacock and A.J. Cole, I just think they could have gotten at least one major league proven player with those two for a healthy 26 year-old left-handed all-star starting pitcher. Ian Desmond would have been nice! Danny Espinosa would have upgraded the offense, but the deal obviously shows the A's are not worried about 2012 or 2013.
Raiders: Each Bay Area team gets the Saturday game this week, as the NFL switches over to Saturdays now with the NCAA regular season finished. Both have games that favors them, though the Raiders will have a tough go of it in Kansas City again without Darren McFadden and the Chiefs coming off the Green Bay upset. I still think the Raiders win this game on the arm of Carson Palmer, who's quietly been great after coming in mid-season with no training camp. He's kept the Raiders playoff hopes alive but they have to win Saturday to stay on track. They should do that though as long as their defense keeps Kyle Orton in check and the Raiders can keep their wideouts (mainly DHB and Denarious Moore) on the field cause KC has a good secondary and a lock-down corner in Brandon Flowers, so the Raiders need options! Still should see a lot of Michael Bush though too.
49ers: The Niners are facing a similar situation with the Seattle Seahawks, who have come on tremendously strong in the 2nd half of the season. If they take them too lightly, the Seahawks will take advantage of the 49ers, so they have to stay on their game. They're still fighting for a first round bye with New Orleans and have plenty to play for, so it's not a game where you take your starters out at halftime. They have to let Smith loose cause Seattle packs a tough front-7 that will focus on Frank Gore. With the emergence of Kyle Williams and the strong play of Mike Crabtree and Vernon Davis though, that shouldn't be a problem for the Niners. To get them ready for the playoffs, I'd like to see Alex throw the ball 30 times just for the heck of it, even if they're leading 23-7 or something like that. Take some shots down field. You know if you see New Orleans or Green Bay in January, your going to have to do it, my as well start now.
For Warriors and Giants talk, be sure to check out The Warriors Rundown and The Giants Baseball Blog! Also, we'll be talking a lot more Fiesta Bowl upon our return as well as Andrew Luck and his chances our votes for the Heisman. Cal also has the Holiday Bowl on the 28th and we'll be sure to get our thoughts on that as well!
So, we'll should be back by the 27th for sure, maybe even a late post on the 26th, but definitely by the 27th. Merry Christmas all from here at The Journal!