San Francisco

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-122.4183

Notes from Giants' World Series win

The San Francisco Giants won the 2014 World Series championship last night over the Kansas City Royals, and I have just two words to describe their title run: Madison Bumgarner.

The big southpaw was outstanding during the seven game set, going 2-0 with a save and boasting a 0.43 ERA. Naturally, he was the unanimous choice for the Most Valuable Player award.

But it wasn’t just San Francisco’s ace that played wonderfully as they clinched their third title in five years. The veteran Pablo Sandoval had an outstanding series, which could prove to be his last with the Giants as he is now a free agent. He was perfect in game seven, going 3-for-3 and scoring two runs.

Both times Sandoval scored he did so courtesy of designated hitter Michael Morse, who had two RBIs in the game. Hunter Pence, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford also performed well for San Francisco last night and throughout the series.

Defensively, the play of the game for the Giants came in the third inning when rookie second baseman Joe Panik made a fantastic play on an Eric Hosmer hit to turn the reviewed double play with shortstop Crawford.

The Royals played admirably last night, but a couple of missed opportunities left them dissatisfied. Second baseman Omar Infante slipped while playing a Sandoval hit in the fourth inning, and Sandoval ended up coming home to score the eventual winning run later that inning.

And then, with the Giants just one out away from clinching, Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon hit an extra-base single that got him to third base due to San Francisco miscues in the outfield. Ninety feet from home is where the tying run stayed as Bumgarner forced Royals catcher Salvador Perez to hit a pop fly to the third base side for the final out of the series.

Overall, the series wasn’t quite as thrilling as I had hoped considering only two games were won by less than five runs, but it was a great one nonetheless. Last night’s game was only the second World Series game seven in the last 12 years, and with the Giants winning on the road a streak of nine home-team wins in the final game of the series ended.

The Giants ended the series with a team batting average of .277 and an earned run average of 3.98. The Royals finished with a .249 team batting average and a 4.28 ERA. Between the two teams, only two bases were stolen and five homeruns hit.

Pence (.444 AVG, HR, 5 RBI) and Sandoval (.429 AVG, 4 RBI) led the offensive attack for San Francisco, who scored a total of 30 runs in the series. Perez (.333 AVG, HR, 4 RBI) and Infante (.318 AVG, HR, 5 RBI) were the offensive leaders for the Royals throughout the series.

Royals, Giants face off in Game 1 of World Series

The 2014 World Series will get kicked off in Missouri tonight as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the best-of-seven series.

For the Royals, this is their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 1985. The Giants are back for the third time in five years and looking for their third title. Both teams started this postseason by winning wild card games and are looking to make history by winning this destiny-filled series.

Honestly, I have no idea who will win this one. My postseason bracket this year was awful and these two teams have been playing with some kind of magic that makes anything possible. Nevertheless, here’s my brief rundown of the matchups and my pick to win it all.

The starting pitchers that have been confirmed so far are as follows:

Game 1- (SF) Madison Bumgarner v. (KC) James Shields

Game 2- (SF) Jake Peavy v.(KC) Yordano Ventura

Game 3- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Tim Hudson

Game 4- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Ryan Vogelsong

Statistically, the Giants have a lower team earned run average (2.18) than the Royals (2.93), but I don’t think that completely sums up the pitching comparison. San Francisco’s starting rotation has been a little better this postseason, in my opinion, but Kansas City has a much deeper and stronger bullpen. The Giants’ relievers have been good, but their bullpen isn’t as solid as Kansas City’s.

Both closers successfully saved every game they were asked to, with San Francisco’s Sergio Casilla going 4-for-4 and not allowing a run in 6.2 innings pitched and Kansas City’s Greg Holland going 6-for-6 with one run scored in eight innings pitched. Again, I think the Royals have a slight advantage in pitching as the game goes on and I think their bullpen will need to be extra special against the Giants’ persistent offense.

Offensively, both of these teams are incredibly dangerous. They can both score big early and know how to get runs across the plate when the game is on the line. Kansas City has a better team batting average (.259 to San Francisco’s .244) and a number of guys with impressive hitting stats through the postseason, but you can’t underestimate the veteran hitters in the Giants’ lineup.

The Giants will be led by Buster Posey (.302 AVG, .354 OBP, 5 RBI), Pablo Sandoval (.326 AVG, .396 OBP, RBI), Hunter Pence (.256 AVG, .341 OBP, 3RBI) and former Longhorn Brandon Belt (.286 AVG, .409 OBP, 6 RBI, HR) when they come to the plate. As a team, they hit five homeruns and stole three bases in 10 postseason games so far. They have a number of supporting guys in the lineup that can get on base and drive in runs when needed.

The Royals’ offensive attack will be headed by Eric Hosmer (.448 AVG, .556 OBP, 8 RBI, 2 HR), Lorenzo Cain (.353 AVG, .378 OBP, 4 RBI), Mike Moustakas (.241 AVG, .267 OBP, 5 RBI, 4 HR) and Alex Gordon (.222 AVG, .400 OBP, 9 RBI, HR). With an impressive 13 stolen bases so far, I expect them to continue their aggressive base running. They have a lot of speedy guys who can get on base, and with eight homeruns hit as a team in the postseason, their power hitting is getting hot at exactly the right time.

Both teams have solid defenses that have made big plays to get them this far. Statistically, the Giants are better defensively with a .785 defensive efficiency ratio so far in the playoffs to the Royals’ .748 DER, but both have committed three errors, allowed three stolen bases and caught one runner in the postseason.

If San Francisco’s veteran Posey can control the Royals’ base running, it could affect their offense all the way through. But the Royals have had their way on the base paths against some great catchers already, so we’ll see what happens.

Choosing a winner in this series was very tough for me. Both teams are incredibly resilient and find ways to come up big when necessary and both can take quick leads and preserve them with solid defense. Every time I think one team has an edge, I recall something about the other team that makes me doubt whether any advantage exists.

I don’t think there is a set favorite to win this series. These teams are too similar and both are playing with this great vibe you only see in the postseason. Anything, and I mean anything, can happen when these guys take the field. I think, and hope, this series will go the full seven games and we’ll see some wild, extra-inning, walk off baseball.

So, who wins the title- the seasoned, veteran-filled team or the feisty club full of young stars? It’s an awfully tough decision, but I’m going to go with the Kansas City Royals.

Royals, Giants face off in Game 1 of World Series

The 2014 World Series will get kicked off in Missouri tonight as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the best-of-seven series.

For the Royals, this is their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 1985. The Giants are back for the third time in five years and looking for their third title. Both teams started this postseason by winning wild card games and are looking to make history by winning this destiny-filled series.

Honestly, I have no idea who will win this one. My postseason bracket this year was awful and these two teams have been playing with some kind of magic that makes anything possible. Nevertheless, here’s my brief rundown of the matchups and my pick to win it all.

The starting pitchers that have been confirmed so far are as follows:

Game 1- (SF) Madison Bumgarner v. (KC) James Shields

Game 2- (SF) Jake Peavy v.(KC) Yordano Ventura

Game 3- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Tim Hudson

Game 4- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Ryan Vogelsong

Statistically, the Giants have a lower team earned run average (2.18) than the Royals (2.93), but I don’t think that completely sums up the pitching comparison. San Francisco’s starting rotation has been a little better this postseason, in my opinion, but Kansas City has a much deeper and stronger bullpen. The Giants’ relievers have been good, but their bullpen isn’t as solid as Kansas City’s.

Both closers successfully saved every game they were asked to, with San Francisco’s Sergio Casilla going 4-for-4 and not allowing a run in 6.2 innings pitched and Kansas City’s Greg Holland going 6-for-6 with one run scored in eight innings pitched. Again, I think the Royals have a slight advantage in pitching as the game goes on and I think their bullpen will need to be extra special against the Giants’ persistent offense.

Offensively, both of these teams are incredibly dangerous. They can both score big early and know how to get runs across the plate when the game is on the line. Kansas City has a better team batting average (.259 to San Francisco’s .244) and a number of guys with impressive hitting stats through the postseason, but you can’t underestimate the veteran hitters in the Giants’ lineup.

The Giants will be led by Buster Posey (.302 AVG, .354 OBP, 5 RBI), Pablo Sandoval (.326 AVG, .396 OBP, RBI), Hunter Pence (.256 AVG, .341 OBP, 3RBI) and former Longhorn Brandon Belt (.286 AVG, .409 OBP, 6 RBI, HR) when they come to the plate. As a team, they hit five homeruns and stole three bases in 10 postseason games so far. They have a number of supporting guys in the lineup that can get on base and drive in runs when needed.

The Royals’ offensive attack will be headed by Eric Hosmer (.448 AVG, .556 OBP, 8 RBI, 2 HR), Lorenzo Cain (.353 AVG, .378 OBP, 4 RBI), Mike Moustakas (.241 AVG, .267 OBP, 5 RBI, 4 HR) and Alex Gordon (.222 AVG, .400 OBP, 9 RBI, HR). With an impressive 13 stolen bases so far, I expect them to continue their aggressive base running. They have a lot of speedy guys who can get on base, and with eight homeruns hit as a team in the postseason, their power hitting is getting hot at exactly the right time.

Both teams have solid defenses that have made big plays to get them this far. Statistically, the Giants are better defensively with a .785 defensive efficiency ratio so far in the playoffs to the Royals’ .748 DER, but both have committed three errors, allowed three stolen bases and caught one runner in the postseason.

If San Francisco’s veteran Posey can control the Royals’ base running, it could affect their offense all the way through. But the Royals have had their way on the base paths against some great catchers already, so we’ll see what happens.

Choosing a winner in this series was very tough for me. Both teams are incredibly resilient and find ways to come up big when necessary and both can take quick leads and preserve them with solid defense. Every time I think one team has an edge, I recall something about the other team that makes me doubt whether any advantage exists.

I don’t think there is a set favorite to win this series. These teams are too similar and both are playing with this great vibe you only see in the postseason. Anything, and I mean anything, can happen when these guys take the field. I think, and hope, this series will go the full seven games and we’ll see some wild, extra-inning, walk off baseball.

So, who wins the title- the seasoned, veteran-filled team or the feisty club full of young stars? It’s an awfully tough decision, but I’m going to go with the Kansas City Royals.

MLB Division Series Analysis and Predictions

The 2014 MLB postseason got kicked off with a bang in two very different Wild Card games.

On Tuesday night in the American League Wild Card game, it took 12 innings and a late rally in the eighth for the Kansas City Royals to win their first playoff game since 1985. A Salvador Perez walk-off carried them to an intense, hard-fought 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Wednesday’s National League Wild Card game was less action-packed, but impressive nonetheless. San Francisco’s ace Madison Bumgarner threw a dominant, complete game shutout with 10 strikeouts and allowed just four hits. Brandon Crawford made history with his fourth inning grand slam- the first ever hit by a shortstop in the postseason. For the Texas baseball loyal out there, former Longhorn Brandon Belt went 2-for-3 with two walks, a run and three RBIs to help the Giants send the Pittsburgh Pirates home.

Though I had the A’s advancing to their division series, I find it difficult to be too upset with the Royals because they played with so much heart. It helps my ego a bit knowing that the experts weren’t expecting that high-scoring of a game, either. At least the Giants made me look good.

Next up, we have four, best-of-five division series match-ups. Here’s my breakdown of each and my predictions on who will get one round closer to the World Series.

 

American League

 

Detroit Tigers (90-72) vs. Baltimore Orioles (96-66)

 

The Tigers will send RHP Max Scherzer (18-5, 3.15 ERA) to the mound and the O’s Chris Tillman (RHP, 13-6, 3.34 ERA) for game one of this division series.

The O’s haven’t announced their other starters, but expect to see Wei-Yin Chen (LHP, 16-6, 3.54 ERA) and Bud Norris (RHP, 15-8, 3.65 ERA) get a start at some point. The Tigers have penciled in Justin Verlander (RHP, 15-12, 4.54 ERA), David Price (LHP, 15-12, 3.26 ERA) and Rick Porcello (RHP, 15-13, 3.43 ERA) in that order for games two, three and four.

When it comes to pitching staffs, I have to think Detroit has a slight advantage. The numbers may not be terribly different, but the Tigers have a lot of veterans that know how to step up in big game situations. Detroit’s pitchers don’t give up the long ball too often either, which will be crucial to continue since homeruns are a big part of Baltimore’s game.

Offensively, I feel the Tigers have the advantage due to consistency throughout the line up. The Orioles hit an MLB-best 211 homeruns this season, led by Nelson Cruz’s MLB-high 40. Adam Jones (.281 batting average, 29 HR, 96 RBI) and Nick Markakis (.276, 14 HR, 50 RBI) provide some explosive offense, too. But the solid bats of Detroit’s Victor Martinez (.335, 32 HR, 103 RBI), Miguel Cabrera (.313, 25 HR, 109 RBI) and J.D. Martinez (.315, 23 HR, 76 RBI) are more consistent, I feel. The Tigers also have lots of guys who get on base and aren’t afraid to run.

Not to mention, the Tigers have the best team batting average (.277) in the majors and a better on-base percentage than the Orioles. Add to that the fact that the O’s stole just 44 bases all season while the Tigers stole 106, and it seems that Detroit’s offense is better-rounded and will find a way to get to Baltimore’s pitchers.

Since the Orioles have home field advantage through the ALDS, it’s possible they could jump out to an early series lead. But I think the Tigers are just a better, more experienced team and will advance to the championship series.

 

Kansas City Royals (89-73) vs. Los Angeles Angels (98-64)

 

The Royals will be using the momentum they created Tuesday night when they face the MLB-best Angels. The set pitching duels for the first three games of the series are as follows:

Game 1- KC Jason Vargas (LHP, 11-10, 3.71 ERA) v. LAA Jered Weaver (RHP, 18-9, 3.59 ERA)

Game 2- KC Yordano Ventura (RHP, 14-10, 3.20 ERA) v. LAA Matt Shoemaker (RHP, 16-4, 3.04 ERA)

Game 3- LAA C.J. Wilson (LHP, 13-10, 4.51 ERA) v. KC James Shields (RHP, 14-8, 3.21 ERA)

 

I have to give the pitching advantage to the Angels. Their staff has really come along throughout the season and seems to be heating up at just the right time. Kansas City also has a good staff, and their bullpen is as good as anyone’s. I’m especially looking forward to game two of this series because Ventura and Shoemaker have been lights-out in their last 10 starts.

Small ball plays a big part in Kansas City’s offense and I expect it to be a factor throughout this series. They have some power as well when you look at guys like Alex Gordon (.266 average, 19 HR) and Salvador Perez (.260, 17 HR). But the aggressive base running backed by speedy guys like Jarrod Dyson (.269, 36 SB) and Alcides Escobar (.285, 31 SB) sparks them most.

The Angels rely on power and consistency. Mike Trout (.287, 36 HR, 111 RBI), Albert Pujols (.272, 28 HR, 105 RBI) and Howie Kendrick (.293, 14 SB) are just a few of the big offensive names this team has to offer. The Angels score often and early, and I don’t foresee them having too much trouble doing so against the Royals.

Though I’m taking the Angels by a pretty large margin in this series, I’m not anticipating a sweep. I expect Kansas City to take game three at home with Big Game James on the mound, but I’m not sure if they’ll get any others.

 

National League

 

San Francisco Giants (88-74) vs. Washington Nationals (96-66)

 

After cruising to a victory over the Pirates, the Giants will have more of a challenge when they face the Nationals in this division series. The starting pitchers for the first three games are as follows:

 

Game 1- SF Jake Peavy (RHP, 7-13, 3.73 ERA) v. WSH Stephen Strasburg (RHP, 14-11, 3.14 ERA)

Game 2- SF Tim Hudson (RHP, 9-13, 3.57 ERA) v. WSH Jordan Zimmermann (RHP, 14-5, 2.66 ERA)

Game 3- WSH Doug Fister (RHP, 16-6, 2.41 ERA)

 

The Nationals pitching staff has been one of the best this season, boasting the lowest ERA (.303) in the MLB. They’ve also given up the least homeruns, which is an important aspect of San Francisco’s offense. They’ve watched their ace Strasburg’s pitch count and innings pitched carefully over the past couple of seasons for the moment they have now- a postseason berth and a team that could be playing for a while. All of Washington’s starters are heating up at the right time, collectively having the second-lowest ERA in the majors through the month of September.

Aside from Bumgarner, the Giants’ pitchers have been a little shaky lately. They’ve done a lot of moving the bullpen around and it has cost them. And with Washington’s offense heating up as well, I’m giving the pitching advantage to the Nationals.

Offensively, I have to go with the Nationals again. Their line up is stacked with guys that get on base, drive in runs and have a good amount of power- examples being Anthony Rendon (.287, 21 HR, 83 RBI), Jason Werth (.292, 16 HR, 82 RBI), Adam LaRoche (.259, 26 HR, 92 RBI) and Bryce Harper (.273, .344 OBP).

The Giants have a solid offense as well, with veterans Buster Posey (.311, 22 HR, 89 RBI), Hunter Pence (.277, 20 HR, 74 RBI) and Pablo Sandoval (.279, 16 HR, 73 RBI) leading the way. They showed they can score quickly on Wednesday, with Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt performing well. I just feel like Washington’s pitching and defense will be too much for San Francisco’s offense to overcome.

If you haven’t guessed so already, I’m expecting the Nationals to move on to the NL championship series.

 

St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (94-68)

 

The only set pitching duel we have for this match-up is possibly the best of all four series. The Cardinals will send RHP Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38 ERA) to face the winningest pitcher in the majors this season, Clayton Kershaw (LHP, 21-3, 1.77 ERA).

The Dodgers haven’t announced the rest of the rotation, but expect to see Zack Greinke (RHP, 17-8, 2.71 ERA) and Dan Haren (RHP, 13-11, 4.02 ERA) start at some point. St. Louis has penciled in Lance Lynn (RHP, 15-10, 2.74 ERA) for game two, John Lackey (RHP, 14-10, 3.82 ERA) for game three and Shelby Miller (RHP, 10-9, 3.74 ERA) for game four. It’s a close call, but I have to give the pitching advantage to the Dodgers.

Los Angeles has the upper hand in all major offensive categories, but both teams have deep line ups. The Dodgers are led by Adrian Gonzalez (.276, 27 HR, 89 RBI), Yasiel Puig (.296, 16 HR, 69 RBI) and Matt Kemp (.287, 25 HR, 89 RBI) and have a great supporting staff. The Cardinals’ offense is led by Matt Adams (.288, 15 HR, 68 RBI), Matt Holliday (.272, 20 HR, 90 RBI) and Jhonny Peralta (.263, 21 HR, 75 RBI) and is sparked by a number of guys that get on base consistently and know how to extend at-bats.

This series was the hardest for me to pick. When I sit back and look at the stats objectively, I have to pick the Dodgers. But there’s just something about the way the Cardinals play ball in October. They’re seasoned, deep, well-rounded and just find ways to win. These teams faced each other in last year’s championship series which the Cardinals won 4-2.

I wouldn’t mind being wrong in this series, but I have to go with the Dodgers pulling it off and advancing to the NLCS. I’m expecting this one to be really fun to watch.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Vanicek | Daily Texan Staff

After leaving her career at Google in San Francisco, UT alum Brit Morin’s is returning to Austin to host a variety of Texas’ small, do-it-yourself business vendors at “Re:Make.” 

A variety of local artisans are setting up shop at the Palmer Events Center on Saturday and Sunday for Re:Make, a festival that emphasizes how technology is revolutionizing the creative community. The convention will display about 70 of Texas’ small businesses that sell handcrafted merchandise. 

Re:Make first took place last year in San Francisco, where Morin’s company, Brit + Co., is based. Brit + Co. is an online media and e-commerce business that educates people on how to complete DIY projects and support makers. It developed Re:Make in efforts to expand and reach people offline. 

“The website is about the community of people who get together and learn how to make things and do things,” Morin said. “Re:Make is about bringing together the thought leaders and influencers of the maker community.”

In search of a creative outlet, Morin left her career and created Brit + Co. She realized that various digital tools were making it easier for people to make and distribute their creative productions.

After a turnout of about 5,000 people last year, Re:Make will return to San Francisco in September. Inspired by her company’s success, Morin decided to reach out to other areas, specifically, Austin. 

“I knew Austin, my hometown, was a great place to start,” Morin said. “I knew the community there and how creative of a city it was and that people would really respect what Re:Make is all about.” 

The event will take place over the course of two days, during which vendors will sell their handcrafted merchandise. The guests of Re:Make will be able to shop and be given the opportunity to learn how to create their own products at interactive stands called “Make Stations.”

“You can learn how to make everything from different types of DIY crafts to technology projects,” Morin said. “[From] robotics to how to properly decorate cupcakes.” 

Brit + Co. worked to recruit vendors who sell what people of Austin want to see. 

“We got involved with a lot of local organizations, like TechShop Austin, and organizations at UT, like in engineering, communications and art, to get the right people there that would have that Austin local vibe,” Morin said. 

Although the artisans come from all around Texas, the majority comes directly from Austin. Morgana Lamson, co-owner of Satchel and Sage, a printed goods and textiles business from Austin, heard about the San Francisco Re:Make through friends who attended the event and decided to participate in Austin this year.

“They said it was curated really well and everything was just really well-made,” Lamson said. “I think it’s good because our city has such a huge maker community and lots of people investing in the arts.”

Kelley and Kris Denby, owners of an Austin-based custom furniture business named Hemlock and Heather, are looking forward to being a part of Re:Make because it gives them a chance to sell directly to the public instead of through retailers. 

“We have never done an event like this before” Kelley Denby said. “They basically gave us this 10x10 booth for free, and I think that’s a really big deal because you normally have to buy in to these kinds of events.”

The couple said they find it important to interact with other makers and are excited that Re:Make will give them the opportunity.

“It’s really such a tight-knit, supportive community,” Kelley Denby said. “You would think that it would be really competitive, but we’re all just kind of trying to make a living.”   

Re:Make’s technology-based theme is geared toward a 20- to 30-year-old audience. 

“The combination of being able to learn how to make things and take them home with you as well as the curation is much different than your traditional craft fair,” Morin said. “It’s not your grandma’s craft fair.”

This article has been updated since its original posting.

NFC Championship Game a Matchup of Youth, Inexperience

When the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons face off in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, there are bound to be some players with wide-eyed expressions on their faces.  That’s because neither team boasts many players with much playoff experience, as both Matt Ryan and Colin Kaepernick earned their first playoff victories last week.  With so much at stake, how these teams handle this unfamiliar territory will determine who moves on to the Super Bowl.  With that, here are a few storylines to keep in mind heading into Atlanta on Sunday:

1) Can the Falcons’ Offense Fly High?

Boasting a fearsome duo at the wide receiver position in Julio Jones and Roddy White, Atlanta posses some serious talent at its skill positions on offense.  Oh, and they also have Tony Gonzalez, who’s still playing at a hall of fame level despite his age.  However, the 49ers defense, lead by linebacker Patrick Willis and defensive end Aldon Smith, is a physical unit that is capable of pressuring opposing quarterbacks at will.  How Matt Ryan handles San Francisco’s blitzes will play a huge role in this game.

2) Slowing Down Kaepernick

If the Falcons want to stand a chance, it’s imperative that they slow down 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who amassed more than 400 total yards of offense against Green Bay last week, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for two more scores.  What makes Kaepernick most dangerous is his ability to get out of the pocket and throw on the run.  In order for Atlanta to be successful, they need to keep Kaepernick stationary and contain him when he runs the read-option.

3) Fool Me Once, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice….

The 49ers were that close to earning a Super Bowl appearance last year, when they lost at home to the eventual champion New York Giants in overtime, 20-17.  Here they are a year later in the same position, only this time they’re heading into the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons went 7-1 during the regular season.  Having gotten back to within one game of the Super Bowl for the second straight year, will San Francisco get over the hump, or will Matt Ryan earn his second straight playoff victory having none before 2012?  Either will be a hot topic come Monday morning.

Prediction:

Although the Falcons have been basically unbeatable in the Georgia dome over the past several years, history has shown that teams can challenge them there in the playoffs, as they lost to Green Bay in 2011 and narrowly escaping against the Seahawks last week.  Despite Colin Kaepernick’s inexperience, he will turn in a good enough performance to go along with a strong outing by the San Francisco defense, and the 49ers will be on their way to New Orleans for a long-awaited Super Bowl appearance.

Score: 38-24, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO — Gay rights advocates are making plans to get other states to join California in banning psychotherapy aimed at making gay teenagers straight, even as opponents prepared Monday to sue to overturn the first law in the nation to take aim at the practice.

After months of intense lobbying, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill late Saturday that prohibits licensed mental health professionals from using so-called reparative or conversion therapies with clients under age 18. Brown called the therapies “quackery” that “have no basis in science or medicine.”
Two New Jersey lawmakers already are drafting similar legislation, while groups that helped get the California law passed are sharing research, witnesses and talking points with counterparts in other gay-friendly states, said Geoff Kors, senior legislative and policy strategist for the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights.

“There are lots of folks today who are looking at this, now that the governor has signed it,” Kors said. “We’ll be reaching out to all the state (gay rights) groups, especially in states that have had success passing LGBT rights legislation.”

Two Christian legal groups, meanwhile, said they would sue in federal court in Sacramento to prevent the law from taking effect on Jan. 1.

The lawsuits will be filed on behalf of therapists whose practices include efforts to help clients change their sexual orientations or reduce their attractions to people of the same sex; parents who have sought such therapy for their children; and teenagers who currently are undergoing it, lawyers for the California-based Pacific Justice Institute and Florida-based Liberty Counsel said.

Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said his organization plans to argue in court that the law infringes on the First Amendment and equal protection rights of individuals to give and receive information that matches their personal and professional beliefs.

“What this law does is tell minors that they can no longer receive information about same-sex attractions that they have been receiving and that they find beneficial to them,” Staver said. “It also puts counselors in a situation where they must present only one viewpoint of this subject.”

The law Brown signed states that mental health providers who use sexual orientation change efforts on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by their respective state licensing boards.

The original bill introduced by state Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, also would have required therapists to warn adult patients of the practice’s risks and limitations and to obtain their written consent.

Lieu dropped the informed consent provision, however, after a number of mental health associations in California — including the California Psychological Association and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists — complained that it interfered with the therapist-client relationship.

Both groups, as well as the other leading professional groups, ultimately endorsed the ban for juveniles.

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco may soon give new meaning to the word “downsizing.”

Supervisors are set to vote on Tuesday on a proposed change to the city’s building code that would allow construction of among the tiniest apartments in the country.

Under the plan, new apartments could be as small as 220 square feet (a little more than double the size of some prison cells), including a kitchen, bathroom and closet, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Current regulations require the living room alone to be that size.

— Compiled from
Associated Press reports

Fantasy Frenzy: Start or sit?

Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman congratulates receiver Mike Williams during a recent game for the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman congratulates receiver Mike Williams during a recent game for the Buccaneers.

Week 6 is upon us. Just like every other week, you’ll have some tough decisions to make with your roster. Here are a few suggestions of players to start and to sit.

Start:

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Freeman is a quarterback that leads his teams to wins and comes up clutch in the fourth quarter (except for last week’s embarrassing loss to San Francisco). But unfortunately for Freeman’s fans, his fourth quarter stats count for the same amount as the numbers in the other three — where Freeman is an average quarterback mostly because of Tampa Bay’s heavy reliance on the run. But this week, he will be forced to throw the ball to keep up with the explosive New Orleans Saints, so expect at least 300 yards throwing and a few touchdowns.

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals — The former Longhorn running back hasn’t had the greatest start to the season. He’s seen eight man fronts all year as defenses try to force rookie quarterback Andy Dalton to throw. But this week Benson comes up against a very favorable matchup with the Colts’ run defense, so he is a must start.

Mike Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The wideout has had a horrendous start this year with only 183 yards in five games after a stellar rookie campaign where he compiled 1,147 yards and 12 touchdowns. Expect Williams to get back on track this weekend against New Orleans, as Freeman should be targeting his most talented receiving option early and often.

Sit:

Santana Moss, Washington Redskins — Moss has been a solid fantasy option this season, averaging just under nine points a contest. But this week, the Redskins are going against an Eagles team that desperately needs a win, and a desperate team is a dangerous one. Expect Washington’s offense to be handcuffed all game, especially Moss who will be covered by this off-season’s biggest prize, Nnamdi
Asomugha.

Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts — Without Peyton Manning, the Colts have struggled, and Addai is no exception. He has only 249 yards and a touchdown this year, and to make matters worse, he went down with a hamstring injury last week. Don’t expect Addai to provide anything for your lineup this weekend, as it is questionable as to whether he will even see the field.

Jahvid Best, Detroit Lions — The second-year running back had a breakout game Monday against the Bears, rushing for 163 yards and a touchdown. But because Best had only rushed for 190 total yards in four previous games, his owners should be careful of the statistical anomaly. This week Best comes up against a stingy San Francisco defense, further raising the likelihood he will underperform.

At the Olympic Clubhouse, Webb Simpson locked his eyes on a small television and watched as Graeme McDowell’s 24-foot, playoff-inducing putt, sailed left. As he embraced his wife and celebrated alongside his caddy with an ear-to-ear grin, it set in that he was the new US Open champion.

The 2012 US Open concluded its competition Sunday in San Francisco, Calif., at the Olympic Club with Simpson finishing first. The Olympic Club course was set at par 70 for the weekend.

Simpson shot a 68 on Sunday, knotting his overall score at 1-over par — one stroke better than Michael Thompson and Graeme McDowell, who both tied for second place.

“This is only my second U.S. Open, and so I told myself, ‘don’t get too excited, don’t try to win,’” Simpson said. “When I was out there at first, I never really wrapped my mind around winning.”

Before this weekend, Simpson competed in only four majors, his best finish coming in the 2011 US Open at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Simpson now has three PGA tour wins and can now update his “best finish record” to first after his efforts at the Olympic Club.

Since not a single player finished under par after 72 holes, it’s clear that this course wasn’t “golfer-friendly.” Other than the fairways and greens, it seemed as if the sand traps were the better lies this weekend in San Francisco. The course served as a hellacious challenge to all golfers during the four-round tournament, including many of PGA’s biggest stars.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both had less than spectacular outings in the final two days. Woods, who was tied for the lead after the first two rounds, finished tied for 21st with 7 strokes over par, and Mickelson finished tied for 65th with 16 strokes over par.

Other notable golfers that were strong contenders in the PGA this year, such as Bubba Watson, Louis Oosthuizen and Rory McIlroy, failed to make the cut after the first two rounds.

“You hear all the guys say it, but it’s so true. The course is so hard, you don’t know if you’re going to make three or four bogeys in a row,” Simpson said. “I definitely thought about winning and wanted to win, but I was just trying to keep my mind focused on the hole that I was playing and just somehow make pars.”

Aside from the less impressive overall scores by every contestant, the amateurs that competed were another big story. Of the three amateurs that made the cut, Texas freshman and All-American Jordan Spieth finished best, tying for 21st overall with a 7-over par performance throughout the week.

After barely making the cut Friday being right at the +8 line, Spieth climbed the leaderboard and had a 1-under, 69-stroke day, marking his first round in the 60s at a major. “It was really hard,” Spieth said. “I was happy to get in my first round in the 60s in a major. That’s pretty cool. I felt like I played really well Saturday.”

Behind the low amateur Spieth were 17-year-old Beau Hossler (+9) and Patrick Cantlay (+11). On the final round Sunday, Hossler, a soon-to-be senior in high school and commit to the Forty Acres, donned a Texas Longhorns polo and a burnt orange and white Texas visor. “It’s only a learning experience, and I still have some time before I come out and start doing this for a living,” Hossler said.

Spieth was also excited to see the future teammate playing as well as he was on the course. “It would have been nice for both of us to be standing out there with the week that he had,” Jordan said in regard to Hossler’s second-place finish in the amateur race. “You’re going to see him not too far from now having plenty of success.”