Sep 23, 2013, 10:14 AM PST
Welcome to A case of the Mondays. There’s always a lot going on during the weekend. If you weren’t lucky enough to spend the past two days on the couch, you can catch up on the top five sports items you may have missed here.
No. 1 – A’s celebrate in style: There was something different about the A’s celebration after winning the American League West. After clinching the division on the final day of the season in 2012, their celebration was wild and hysterical. The players had confidence in themselves, but it was almost as if they were stunned to be in that position. This season, it seemed much more rehearsed. They clinched with six games to play. Not only did they expect this moment to happen, they were prepared with snowboard goggles.
The A’s are far more polished heading into the postseason this time around. They aren’t simply happy to be there.
“Anything short of winning the World Series isn’t gonna make us happy,” Josh Donaldson told Joe Stiglich during the celebration.
They’ve been in this spot before, but they thoroughly enjoyed the the moment.
No. 2 – The 49ers are a hot mess right now: The moment the A’s mathematically clinched the division, an audible “Lets go Oakland” chant could be heard on the 49ers game broadcast. That was the happiest any members of the 49ers crowd were on Sunday. Next week, a quarter of the NFL season will be complete. The 49ers aren’t where they want to be.
For the first time under Jim Harbaugh, they’ve lost back-to-back games. Patrick Willis probably won’t play next Sunday after leaving the game with a groin injury and Aldon Smith will be out indefinitely as he attempts to tackle his substance abuse issues. To make matters worse, it doesn’t look like Colin Kaepernick can put the team on his back in their absence. He has zero touchdowns over the past two weeks.
The 49ers haven’t seen a mess like this since Harbaugh took over.
No. 3 – Shaq joining the Kings?!: Well, sort of. After tormenting Kings fans for years as a member of the Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal is switching sides. O’Neal is buying his way into the Kings ownership group. Shaq used to spend his time crushing their hopes and dreams in the postseason, but is now singing a different tune.
No. 4 – Giants get to enjoy ‘Exit Sandman’: The timing of the San Francisco Giants trip to New York couldn’t have been more fortuitous. Since it’s the Yankees final homestand, they had several special moments planned for Mariano Rivera. On Sunday, the Giants were lucky enough to watch a classy ceremony that included a live performance of Rivera’s walkout song, Enter Sandman, by Metallica.
Getting one last up close look at the greatest closer to ever step onto a mound left the Giants in awe. They all lined up on the top step of the dugout to watch.
“There is no other Mariano,” Sergio Romo told Giants insider Andrew Baggarly. “I was joking to myself warming up, `I’m going to get a chance to pitch in Yankee Stadium.’ I didn’t get a chance to see Babe Ruth or Gehrig or Joe DiMaggio. But to be able to compete on the same mound against Mariano … I mean, he got to toe the rubber before I did. That’s pretty sweet.”
“It’s something they’ll always remember,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Baggarly. “These guys had a chance to see the greatest closer of all time.”
No. 5 – Raiders Mascot Scare: A tweet by ESPN’s sports and business correspondent led to widespread internet panic on Sunday.
Could the Raiders really be thinking of debuting this hideous thing on Monday Night Football in front of a national audience? Gasp. Fortunately, this thing will never see the field, save for a likely forced NFL promotion. The mock mascot that slightly resembles what a wrecking ball might look like after Miley Cyrus gets done with it, will merely be representing the Raiders on a Nickelodeon show called NFL Rush Zone.
Three to see:
If you’ve made it this far, clearly you have some time on your hands. Here are three stories that you simply must see:
— Jon “Bones” Jones and Alexander Gustafsson hung out at the hospital after their title fight. They both look like real winners here. In case you don’t follow UFC, the guy on the gurney won.
— As if another terrible season didn’t sting Angels fans enough. Yup, bees infested Angel Stadium this weekend. To make matters worse, this guy tried to clean up the bees with a broom. Seems perfectly logical.
— FTW put together the 17 awesome things about the Oakland A’s. Included in their list is this Cespedes family pig roast.
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