Section 925 Podcast Episode 44 – “The Bro” Talks Deflategate

A relic of the Candlestick Era, "The Bro" was trusted with handling NFL game balls from 2010-2013 (Photo by SportsPickle.com)

A relic of the Candlestick Era, “The Bro” was trusted with handling NFL game balls from 2010-2013 (Photo by SportsPickle.com)

Former 49ers intern-equipment manager “The Bro” (@TheBro49) sits down with Tripper (@Tripperino) to set the record straight on #Deflategate. The Bay Area cult hero discusses his football playing days in Oakdale, his time on the Candlestick sidelines, football air pressure, and his predictions for Super Bowl XLIX.

Find it here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-30T06_57_36-08_00

Or on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/section-925s-podcast/id554906376?mt=2&uo=4

Section 925 Podcast Episode 43 – Bachelor Fantasy Suite Podcast

JadeBach

Josh (@jphunsucker), Kelly (@KellyLiz1321), and Becky (@Becky_Diel on Instagram) are once again in the Section 925 fantasy suite. They hand out roses and thorns, discuss Jade’s breakout performance/covered up tattoo, provide examples of interpersonal skills for bachelor contestants, give Ashley I. a new name, bid farewell to Ashley S., and give their fantasy suite picks.

Check it out here: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-26T23_38_46-08_00

or Search Section 925 on iTunes.

Section 925 Podcast Episode 42 – The Bachelor Fantasy Suite

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Josh (@jphunsucker), Kelly (@KellyLiz1321), and Becky (@Becky_Diel on Instagram) forgo their individual couches and stay together in the in the Section 925 fantasy suite. They discuss who won and who lost this weeks episode by handing out roses and thorns, explain why Jimmy Kimmel is the pinnacle of corporate synergy, debunk what a Costco trip is really like, investigate why Bachelor Chris “can’t talk good,” praise self aware non-kissing, rule on whether the “Amazing Jar” is filled with contestant money, answer a text question from @TheRealReno about censorship, and entertain other uber important worldly topics.

Click to listen: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-20T00_39_06-08_00

(or search “Section 925″ on iTunes)

Section 925 Podcast Episode 41 – Niners Insider Matt Maiocco Discusses the Jim Tomsula Hire

tomsula

Niners beat writer Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) returns to the Section 925 Podcenter to discuss yesterday’s hire of Jim Tomsula.

Click to listen: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-15T08_41_55-08_00

Section 925 Podcast Episode 40 – The Bachelor Fantasy Suite Pod Talks All Things Bachelor

Chris Soules acting like The Bachelor

Chris Soules acting like The Bachelor

Josh (@jphunsucker) takes Kelly (@KellyLiz1321) and Becky (@Becky_Diel) into the Section 925 fantasy suite to talk all things Bachelor. Is Britt a Hollywood plant or genuine Bachelor contestant? Did Mylie Cyrus and Kelly Kapowski have a baby named Britt 20-something years ago? What are the girls names again? Why does Chris skip leg day at the gym. Can you have a deep-V “zip-up-the-middle” hooded sweatshirt? Why does the Bachelor insist on being so incestuous? Why is Ashley S so hated/loved and is she on or off medication. Plus more answers to questions that don’t matter.

Click to listen… http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2015-01-13T08_27_46-08_00

Section 925 Podcast Episode 39 – Niners Beat Writer Matt Maiocco and Co. Discuss Bay Area High School and Pro Football

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Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN), Devin Regan (@DevinRegan3), and Tripper Ortman (@Tripperino) join Connor for a Bay Area football roundtable. The four discuss Campolindo High School’s dramatic victory in this year’s state championship football game, completing an historic 16-0 season. The roundtable also dives deep into the state of the San Francisco 49ers, with Maiocco providing insight on his respect for Jim Harbaugh.

Click to listen: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2014-12-30T23_11_56-08_00

“Oakland A’s Mailbag” – Fans Lament Josh Donaldson’s Departure

JD was "Green Collar" in every sense of the word. (photo by Mike Zarilli)

JD was “Green Collar” in every sense of the word. (photo by Mike Zarilli)

By @Section925

Last week, Josh Donaldson became the latest casualty on the long list of star ballplayers that the Oakland A’s organization has decided to cut ties with. And this one, like so many others before, hurts. The hurt goes far beyond just that fact the Lew Wolff and Billy Beane are doing away with an exceptionally productive player (An All-Star last year, as well as top-8 finishes in the MVP voting the last two seasons.)

It has more to do with Donaldson’s gritty/dirtbag persona spurred on by a faux-hawk under his flat billed A’s lid and multiple head-long dives into the third base tarp. The soon to be 29-year-old from Pensacola, Florida by way of Auburn has now been shipped north of the border to play for the Blue Jays. Left in his wake is an increasingly beleaguered group of die-hard A’s fans, forced to put yet another star A’s player jersey at the bottom of their dresser drawer. Read their thoughts below:

@Section925: “Donaldson gone. That hurts.”

J House: “Yeah, thought he’d be around for the long haul. Expect a couple more big trades through the weekend. Billy rapid fires when he’s in one of those moods.”

Casey Smith: “#countrybreakfast2015″

Craig Branstad: “Don’t like it.”

G. Wheeler: “RIP Josh Donaldson.”

Raider Hoang: “Do you know any of the people we got?”

Wheeler: “No dude, no. It’s just the same old song and dance. How can we be respectable without spending any money? Trade literally any player with value for minor league pitchers with upside.”

The Rogue: “F@#* OFF LEW WOLFF. STOP R@*&%G MY TEAM”

Reno Wright: “Josh Reddick says it’s clear to him and other Athletics players that the team is now in rebuilding mode.”

Chiang of Fools: “[Andrew Blair Shredding]”

Chris Cosden: “Yeah it stings.”

Ali S.: “F@#$ the A’s.”

Bobby Glasser: “Beane just reasserting that he cannot handle any player with an ego….”

The Big Three

Tejada

Rickey

Jason/Jeremy

Damon

Swisher

Bartolo

Balfour

Cespy

The list goes on…

Smith: “(putting on tinfoil hat) – it’s hard not to think the JD’s rant against the front office last year didn’t have something to do with this…”

Tripper Ortman III: “I have given this some thought over the past couple days, and while I think there may be some merit, especially because the one person Beane has ever truly loved was Eric Chavez, who was as milktoast as they come (I also note that Rickey was before Beane’s time and he has now been brought back into the fold — and remember, always take Rickey in small doses — and Balfour, we don’t pay free agent closers generally).  That said, I think that Beane looks strictly at value, not just (or even primarily) at value to the A’s, but value on the trade market.  What can he get for this guy?  That is what he is looking at.  Like a good chess player, I think Beane is looking several moves ahead when he makes one move.  As disappointed as I am that the Cespedes deal didn’t bring a ring and that JD is gone, I remain hopeful that Beane will keep making moves to keep the A’s competitive in a tough division that got tougher with Nelson Cruz going to Seattle today…”

Glasser: “Tripper, the Kool-Aid is kicking in….  Beane’s moves are supposed to make sense, and that is the problem.

Granted, we are not GM’s, we are not Billy Beane’s…  we are A’s fans.  With that badge we so proudly wear comes the love of the extraordinary, the unique, the low attendance, the blah blah blah antiquated stadium we call comfortable, the personalities, the white shoes, damnit, yes white shoes.

No other team has white shoes.  We need to field a team befitting of those things we adore.  Numbers, dollars, WAR ratings, OBA, whatever; those things are not what drives Oakland A’s fans….  What Beane/Wolff forget is the human factor…  This is tough to admit, but I’d much more prefer a World Series-less team with the likes of JD, Cespy, Coco, Reddick, Sogard (yes), than a team built on stats, trade-value, scouting report, etc.

Speaking of Chavez….  Check out his stats compared to games played/salary.  Over the course of numerous, injury-plagued seasons, Chavez got paid over $40 million, while playing roughly ONE season’s worth of games.  Beane should be on the records for the biggest salary bust in all of pro sports.

History is made up by the players that played the game….  Something is wrong when a GM becomes bigger than the game.  And for that, he must fall.”

@Section925: “As Jim Rome would say, ‘Rack him.’

…Thank God we’re not Giants fans.”

Tripper: “Amen to that. And I didn’t say I liked it, just that I think that is the way he looks at it.  And I don’t blame him, I blame Lew and his ownership group.  They don’t want us and we don’t want them.  Sell the team.”

(photo by Jason O. Watson). Follow @Section925 on Instagram for more photos like these...

(photo by Jason O. Watson). Follow @Section925 on Instagram for more photos like these…

Section 925 Podcast Episode 38 – Spinelli Talks Bay Area Sports and Music

The Raiders finally got one. (photo by Ezra Shaw)

The Raiders finally got one. (photo by Ezra Shaw)

San Francisco sports/music/culture expert Adrian Spinelli (@Spinelli37) hops on a pod to discuss the latest in Bay Area sports and music. The EverythingEcstatic.net and Bold Italic writer fills us in on the NFL, MLB, and NBA, not to mention the newest trends in local music. 

Click to listen: http://section925blog.podomatic.com/entry/2014-11-22T14_24_35-08_00

“El Classico” – A Brief Rundown From the Land of La Liga

Pepe of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring his team's 2nd goal on Saturday... (photo by Denis Doyle)

Pepe of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring his team’s 2nd goal on Saturday… (photo by Denis Doyle)

By Bryan Maag (@HalfBAM)

This game (“El Classico”) is watched by more people around the world than then Super Bowl and World Series combined. These two teams play twice a year in league play and then may play in the Champions League or Copa del Rey. Last year Gareth Bale made a famous run against Bartram to finish the game off, outrunning him past the halfway point and putting it past Barca’s second goal keeper.

This year the teams have changed and adapted. It seems that Madrid is playing the style of play that Barca originally made famous: one touch futbol. Last year Barca swept the league series but lost out on the trophy to Real, which made the central base of Spain very happy.

Barcelona must be looked at like an island much like Monico, they were suppressed under the Franco regime during World War II and have been the team that has been the symbol of the sovereignty ever since. Barcelona just put their backing behind Catalon independence which could create a lot of problems in La Liga. The Spanish capital cannot allow an independent state to play in their national league unless they yield some power to the economic benefits that Barcelona provides.

Barcelona is a key shipping port for trade as well as a tourist attraction that brings in millions of dollars to the Spanish government. Losing Catalonia would be a significant tax loss and economically a strategically big loss to Spain which makes these games so important.

Half a billion people watch the El Classico, the only country predominantly rooting for Madrid is Spain.

So here is my recap of Saturday’s game. A 3-1 victory for Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid…

Lucho (Enrique) played for Madrid before he switched to Barca. He knows that these games mean more to the players individually than they do to the fans. After all, Barca is still on top of the league. He started Xavi and Pique who have had subpar seasons up to date. Lucho has instilled tight lines back into the Barca game and Madrid exploited their gaps. Marcelo was always left open on the left wing because Mathieu (the new Barca center back) was put on the fullback position which is usually controlled by Jordi Alba because he needed to stop set pieces.

He did not succeed today in his task. Once upon a time there was a left back at Barcelona with the name of Eric Abidal, a Frenchman that could cover the back but was let go by the prior ownership because of hepatic cancer, leaving the Baulgrana faithful questioning if the slogan “more than a club” indeed really meant anything.

Today Madrid asserted their midfield dominance. So much money is placed on putting the ball in the goal these days. You have to wonder if the midfield makes more of a difference than the actual attack, Iniesta went out early, but Barca did not have an answer because they were playing for their B team.

Real won two titles last year without beating Barca in the league, so VISCA BARCA.

“The Pure Swing of Joe Panik” – A Giants Rookie Arrives on the Big Stage

Panik's swing looks effortless from the left side (photo by Jason O. Watson)

Panik honed his effortless swing growing up in upstate New York (photo by Jason O. Watson)

By Connor Buestad (connorbuestad@gmail.com)

The first time I met Joe Panik, we were standing in a dirt parking lot at dusk in San Jose, under the post-game glow of the low budget lights at “The Muni” or “San Jose Municipal Stadium” down the street from San Jose State University. The home of the Single-A Giants, The Muni is certainly not short on charm, but it also isn’t long on amenities either. An untouched relic of a bygone era of minor league baseball, The Muni does exactly what it is designed to do: cultivate the dreams of 20-year-old kids as they take their marks on the race to the major leagues.

The reason for my visit with Panik was a mutual friend, Mike Carozza. A baseball nut from the same upstate New York hometown as Panik, who grew up playing on the same little league fields as the younger Joe. Now they were both out west, attempting to make a name for themselves in San Francisco one way or another.

The three of us talked at length on that random South Bay summer night. The conversation probably wouldn’t have lasted as long, if it wasn’t for the fact that Panik was scheduled to make a public appearance at a team function later that evening. Public appearances have never been Panik’s thing. He’d much rather just talk the nuances of hitting outside his car after game 109 of a long minor league baseball season than glad-hand a bunch of people at a corporate event. But that’s just Joe.

Earlier that night, Panik had made a baby step toward his current post as the starting second baseman for the Pennant winning San Francisco Giants. He had shared the clubhouse and the infield with Pablo Sandoval, who was down in Single-A San Jose on a rehab assignment. By that same October, Pablo was hitting three home runs in one World Series game versus Justin Verlander and the Tigers, en route to the Giants’ second World Championship in three years.

Panik spent that same October of 2012 back in his hometown of Yonkers watching the World Series with his dad on Fox like the rest of us. Fast forward two short years and now Joe Panik is a far cry from Single-A San Jose, as he’s found himself in the Fall Classic himself, still just 23 years of age.

In a word? Pure. (photo by Nhat V. Meyer)

In a word: Pure. (photo by Nhat V. Meyer)

I haven’t talked to the soft-spoken, humble-as-can-be Panik since his call up to The Show. I can only guess as to what his experience has been like as a member of the Giants. But before Panik was called up to play for San Francisco, he made a stop in Triple-A Fresno to play for the Grizzlies. And Carozza and I were there for that pit stop as well, earlier this summer.

We were in Sacramento to be exact. Site of yet another nameless, faceless minor league weekday day-game. The kind of game that attracts more serious sunbathers than serious baseball fans.

We talked to Joe after this game too. This time it wasn’t in a dirt parking lot, but rather a sterile open-air shopping mall type deal in Sacramento. We ran into some veteran pitchers at the same restaurant. Pitchers that had already been up in the majors and had been sent down to Triple-A, forced to struggle their way back up. Panik discussed in earnest about how he was going to navigate his way up to San Francisco. It wouldn’t be easy, he admitted. As cliche as it sounds, he was close, but so far away. As much as he looked like a big league baseball player at that restaurant, no one was even close to recognizing the Giants’ top prospect. He would still be a nobody in the minors, until he proved otherwise.

On June 21st, young Joe got the call. And somehow, thanks to someone, an unknown blog that calls itself “Section925” was there to break the news. By this time of the year, the Giants had tried their hand with seven players at second base, including the high priced slugger Dan Uggla and World Series hero Marco Scutaro. Even so, Brian Sabean finally chose to look past Panik’s small home run totals and instead decide to focus on his picturesque left-handed swing, his steady glove, and his even steadier .300 average. Sabean’s decision, one might argue, came up aces.

In the 73 games Panik played in for the Giants this year, he hit a staggering .305. And in the League Championship Series versus the Cardinals, Panik hit a dramatic home run to help push the Giants into the World Series. If Brian Sabean wanted more home runs, he got one.

A veteran he is not, but don’t expect Panik to be overwhelmed by the World Series stage starting Tuesday in Kansas City. For anyone that has ever met Joe, knows that he never gets too high or too low. We won’t compare him to that other Joe who played football at Candlestick Park, by way of Pittsburgh, but you get the idea. The Joe Panik coming out party started in June, and it has been slowing gaining steam. Look for the party to hit it’s peak this weekend at 24 Willie Mays Plaza. At the World Series.

Jeff Kent never managed to win a World Series. Can Joe Panik do it in his first year? (photo by Thearon W. Henderson)

Jeff Kent never managed to win a World Series. Can Joe Panik do it in his first year? (photo by Thearon W. Henderson)

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