The addition of Jerry West rescues what could be an abnormally long off-season for the Warriors.
The Warriors signing Jerry West may or may not not help them reach the playoffs, but it was undoubtedly an excellently executed move in terms of timing. Their regular season ended with a fizzle, Keith Smart was left twisting in the wind for two weeks before getting the final handshake we all knew he'd receive, and Bob Myers was hired to replace Larry Riley as GM (just not yet). The Warriors were on their way to handing their fans the same big old plate of wait-and-see Chris Cohan had been serving up for the previous 15 years, it seemed. With their mediocre draft position and what could be an incredibly long lockout on the horizon, the Warriors faced a long period of uncertainty and fans prepared for months of wallowing -- until passing out due to excess cynicism, as per usual.
When Tim Kawakami broke the West-to-the-Warriors story (although for people who care about such things, Marcus Thompson II knew about it first), it marked one of the first stories about the team in recent memory that couldn't be mocked, or even questioned. Sure, West turns 73 on Saturday and his days of negotiating trades and/or salaries are over. However, West gives the Warriors -- whose recent requests to interview Jeff Van Gundy and Jerry Sloan for their head coaching vacancy were reportedly denied -- some much needed credibility in the league that values brand names more than any other.
For decades, the Warriors have been a homemade sailboat in a sea full of supertankers, and steady winds have been hard to come by. West doesn't have captain status anymore, but he at least signifies to prospective coaches and players -- and more importantly in some cases, their agents -- that the Warriors are trying to do something. Whether you're of the opinion that the more bright minds under one roof the better, or that there can be too many cooks in the draft war room (of all the silly battle-centric sports terms, "war room" may be the most ludicrous), it's impossible for any follower of the Warriors to say adding West doesn't make them more interesting.
Now if only West would walk around town wearing a "TEAM MONTA" or "TEAM STEPH" shirt, so we'd know where he stands on the most important question facing the squad.
The Bob Geren Watch Starts ... Now
- Brian Fuentes has been nowhere near effective enough in recent weeks (2 innings, 7 baserunners, 0 strikeouts and 4 losses in his past 4 outings) to vent as much as he did on Monday night about Oakland Athletics manager Bob Geren. But after a series against the Giants where Geren's managerial decisions caused more shoulder shrugs from observers than Pablo Sandoval's Twitter timeline, Geren might be lucky to last the season.
- Yes, I know it would be crass, unfair and maybe even ignorant to make a Denny Green press conference joke about the San Jose Sharks. That's why I wouldn't dare.
- Dan Dibley was lured away from KNBR to Sports Radio 95.7 FM to talk about sports for longer periods than five minutes at a time. I never understood why KNBR has traffic updates anyway. They don't have any helicopters or a "phone force," and it seems like there's a better way to find out where the wrecks are on 101 than waiting 20 minutes for someone to read an internet report from a half hour ago.
- As of Monday night, the Giants (27-19) had the 3rd-best record in the National League and the 8th-best run differential (+3). Are some teams better equipped to win close games than others, or will the Giants regress to their Pythagorean record of 23-23?
- From a game-saving diving catch against the Dodgers to a game-tying fly ball that soared into the arcade against the A's, it was Nate Schierholtz's week, leading to a certain local blogger rejoicing after finally getting to attend a Giants game for the first time in 2011 on Sunday.