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‘Heat don’t have a polite way of playing basketball’ – The Mercury News


John Collins entered this Eastern Conference opening-round playoff series against the Miami Heat hurting, as he dealt with finger and foot injuries. The Atlanta Hawks forward said he continues to find the experience painful.

“The first three games, I’ve been in a lot of pain, man,” he said ahead of Sunday night’s Game 4 at State Farm Arena. “I guess, to be frank, the Heat don’t have a polite way of playing basketball.

“So I’ve seriously been having to try to take a little bit extra measure to just try to take care of my body. Be that as it is, it’s the playoffs. So not complaining, but it’s real. So, got to get ready to do it again.”

The West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman High product said the Heat’s tactics also had him coming to the aid of second-year Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu in Friday night’s Atlanta Game 3 victory.

During the break between the third and fourth quarters, as Hawks coach Nate McMillan handled his televised interview, Collins and Atlanta assistant Chris Jent addresses the referees on behalf of Okongwu.

“The Heat were holding Onyeka as he was trying to jump in the air,” Collins said. “We were trying to explain to the official, I forgot who it was at the time, ‘that’s illegal.’

“You can’t do that, when somebody’s jumping, with two hands, and gets grabbed by the waist, that’s a foul. And again, kind of upset.”

Collins said he ultimately let it go, but then addressed it the following day at practice.

“I hate to see that type of stuff,” he said. “Somebody jumping in the air, I feel like that should be an easy one. But it is what it is.”

Missed calls

The NBA’s officiating report for Friday night’s 111-110 Heat loss cited a pair of late uncalled Hawks defensive 3-second violations, each of which should have resulted in a Heat free throw being awarded.

The first came with 56.6 seconds to play, on the sequence that featured a PJ Tucker 3-pointer that put the Heat up 110-109, with the officiating report ruling that Atlanta’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, “is in the paint for longer than three seconds without imminently actively guarding an opponent.”

Even more significant was a similar non-call on Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter with that same score with 15.6 seconds to play. On that play, Heat guard Jimmy Butler missed a jump shot, with the Hawks’ Trae Young then converting in transition to close out the scoring.

Had the call been made on Huerter, the Hawks likely would have been forced to foul the Heat, potentially down two at that stage (after what should have been a technical free throw).

Optimistic outlook

Heat center Bam Adebayo said he is confident that Kyle Lowry will traverse his hamstring issue as expediently as possible.

“I feel like he’s going to bounce back,” Adebayo said. “He’s one of those dudes who knows how to take care of his body his, he knows himself and his body his. So it wouldn’t shock me if he’s back out here soon.”

Adebayo said Lowry remains a valuable influence to fill-in point guard Gabe Vincent.

“Vincent has grown throughout this whole season, especially having Kyle in his ear,” Adebayo said. “It’s made him a point guard, better player. I’m excited for Vincent. This is his moment his and he ‘ll embrace it.

“He’s become our second-best point guard on the team. In that regard, we just take K-Low’s responsibility and just hand it to Vincent. I feel like he’s very prepared for that.”


Chicago White Sox OF Eloy Jiménez will miss an estimated 6-8 weeks with a right hamstring strain – The Mercury News


Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jiménez will be out an estimated six to eight weeks after suffering a right hamstring strain, the team announced Sunday.

The Sox placed Jiménez on the 10-day injured list.

“After returning to Chicago, Eloy will undergo further evaluation by White Sox team physicians at Rush and a treatment plan will be put in place,” the Sox said in a team statement. “The club expects to be able to provide an update prior to Tuesday’s game.”

The injury occurred in Saturday’s 9-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Jiménez hit a grounder to third in the second inning, stumbled after crossing first base and fell. He got to his feet but was taken off the field on a cart.

He is slashing .222/.256/.333 with one home run and seven RBIs in 11 games. He dealt with a bruised left ankle for a portion of this season. Jimenez played just 55 games last season after suffering a ruptured left pectoral tendon during a Cactus League game.


Ex-Met Michael Conforto to miss 2022 season with shoulder surgery rehab – The Mercury News


Michael Conforto had surgery on his injured right shoulder and will miss the rest of the 2022 season, his agent Scott Boras said Saturday night.

The ex-Met outfielder initially injured his shoulder in January, according to Boras, who also said the free agent will be ready for spring training in 2023.

“You don’t want any of your friends or teammates to go under surgery, especially as serious as a shoulder surgery, so I wish Michael all the best and a speedy, healthy, full recovery,” Mets’ slugger Pete Alonso said of Conforto Saturday.

Conforto has not signed with another team since turning down the Mets’ one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer in November to enter free agency.

His entrance into the market was highly touted by his agent, who dubbed Conforto the “King of Queens” in free agency.

Conforto spent the entirety of his career with the Mets, who drafted him in the first round of the 2014 Draft out of Oregon State University.

He made his big-league debut midway through the 2015 season.

He had a career-15.7 WAR, a .255/.356/.468 slash line and .824 OPS after seven seasons in Flushing.


Four candidates vie for Wilma Chan’s former county seat


A vice mayor, two ex-city council members and a former school board trustee are battling for the wide-open District 3 seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors held by Wilma Chan since 2011.

Chan, who had also served a stint on the board in the 1990s before she was elected to the state Assembly, was killed by a motorist in November while walking her dog in Alameda.

Her seat was temporarily filled that month when the supervisors appointed her longtime chief of staff, Dave Brown, to serve the rest of her term. The appointment was controversial because they did n’t consider other potential replacements and Brown lived outside the district — and Alameda County — until moving to Oakland just a few days before his selection her. The Alameda County Taxpayers Association has filed a couple of lawsuits contending the appointment wasn’t valid.

Brown said at the time he wouldn’t run for her seat in the June 7 primary election. He wouldn’t have been able to run anyway because the county’s charter requires elected officials to live within the district they want to represent at least a year.

District 3 includes portions of Oakland — Jack London Square, Chinatown and parts of downtown and East Oakland — as well as Alameda, San Leandro and San Lorenzo.

To win the seat outright, a candidate must collect more than 50% of the vote in the primary. Otherwise, the top two vote getters will run off against each other in the November general election.

The four candidates for District 3 are Oakland Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan, former Oakland Unified school board member and youth nonprofit director David Kakishiba, former Alameda City Councilmember Lena Tam and former San Leandro City Councilmember Surlene Grant.

Rebecca Kaplan is running for Alameda County Supervisor District 3. (Courtesy of Rebecca Kaplan)

As an at-large member of the Oakland City Council since 2009, Kaplan has been an influential force because she represents all city residents. Other council members represent the districts in which they were elected.

Kaplan’s progressive policy stances have earned support from tenants’ rights advocates and labor unions over the years but has drawn criticism from political moderates, some businesses and the police.

During her council tenure she has also served on the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board.

Before she was elected to the council, Kaplan served on the AC Transit Board for about seven years

David Kakishiba is running for Alameda County Supervisor, District 3. (Photo courtesy of David Kakishiba)

Kakishiba has been executive director of the nonprofit East Bay Asian Youth Center since 1980. He served on the Oakland Unified School District board from 2003 to 2015. He was the principal author of two Oakland ballot measures: the Measure K Oakland Kids First Initiative in 1996 and the College and Career Readiness for All Act in 2014.

Tam served on the Alameda City Council from 2006 to 2014 and was an Alameda County planning commissioner before then. She’s also held various local and regional board positions over the last two decades. Tam is the manager of the Water Planning Department at the East Bay Municipal Utility District, where she has worked for about 30 years.

Lena Tam is running for Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 3 (Courtesy of Lena Tam)

Grant was the first African American member of the San Leandro City Council. She was appointed to fill a council member’s term and then was elected for the next two terms — the maximum allowed in San Leandro.

Grant pushed for the city’s ordinance that requires affordable housing to be built as part of new residential developments. She has also co-founded an anti-racism, anti-bigotry coalition called Unity in the Community San Leandro and cofounded the city’s African American Business Council. She runs a consulting business focused on communications for housing and public affairs projects.

Surlene Grant is running for Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 3. (Photo courtesy of Surlene Grant)

All four candidates say reducing homelessness and alleviating the housing crisis are among their top priorities, along with finding ways to provide better health care access and increase public safety.

More than 800 unhoused people died in the county between 2018 and 2020, according to the county’s first homeless mortality report released earlier this month.

Grant said it’s difficult for people to navigate through the “bureaucracy” of social services. Many who need housing also need other services such as health care, she said, but her recent experiences in helping friends and strangers access county services left her feeling the system is disjointed. Even finding a place in the county’s website to start getting services can be confusing, she added.

“This is a time we need access, and people need information,” she said.

Grant said although she’s interested in the idea of ​​providing universal basic income to help those in need, she’d like to see it applied toward housing.

Tam also believes there should be a connection between housing and access to other services such as mental health care. She said mental health care historically has been underfunded and she wants to identify ways to allocate more money to community organizations that provide wraparound services to people who struggle with homelessness and lack access to health care.

Tam said she’d like to explore turning hospitals slated for closure into mental health care facilities.

Kakishiba said there needs to be a more coordinated strategy for reducing homelessness across the county .

“I have very little sense or understanding from the county that there is unified focus on addressing or reducing homelessness as the No. 1 county priority,” Kakishiba said.

He sees schools as key opportunities to connect wraparound services — ranging from health care to housing to emergency services — for families in need.

Kaplan said the county should do more to house people without homes while providing them other social services at the same time.

That way, Kaplan said, “you’re connecting people with resources, having already given them a place to be. That has proven to be one of the most effective strategies.”

Kaplan said the county should try to acquire more hotels or dormitories for the homeless.

She’d also like to see the county offer more options, such as providing sites with potable water and other resources where people can park and live in their RVs. The county also should identify more public land where affordable housing could be built, Kaplan said.

49ers’ six areas of need with or without Deebo Samuel


Just when you think the 49ers can’t have a more dramatic draft than last year’s daredevil play for their next quarterback, well, we now have drama. It just might not come to fruition.

Deebo Samuel’s trade request might fall on deaf ears of 49ers’ brass who don’t want to surrender last season’s catalyst to the NFC Championship Game.

Once the draft starts Thursday at 5 pm from Las Vegas, we’ll find out whether Samuel’s roll of the dice amounts to a jackpot that transforms the 49ers and another franchise.

If so, the 49ers would need a new wide receiver – or, preferably, a dual-threat “wide back” that became Samuel’s signature, preferred or not.

They would need to get back in the first round, after surrendering such slots in 2021, ’22 and ’23 for Trey Lance at No. 3 overall last year.

They would need … more to do, no matter what happens with Samuel. Here is a quick guide to preview the draft:


(Candidates are listed in previous previews)

Wide receiver: Obviously this takes precedence if Samuel is traded (the odds of which remain in the 49ers’ favor). Even if he stays, the 49ers should add a slot receiver and / or a deep threat, all of which would help Lance ‘s presumed ascension to Jimmy Garoppolo ‘s role his.

Center: Alex Mack has been mum publicly whether he’ll return for a 14th season (second with the 49ers). They could replace him with Daniel Brunskill, Jake Brendel or Colton McKivitz. Or they daringly pair a rookie center with Lance. Guards and a developmental offensive tackle also could be targeted.

Safety: High school teammates Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt may have played their last snaps together, seeing how Tartt is a free agent and Ward is under contract for one more season. A youth movement could be afoot at safety, or at least depth is needed behind Talanoa Hufanga, George Odum and Tarvarius Moore.

Running back: Yes, Elijah Mitchell ran for a 49ers rookie record last season (963 yards in 11 games), and, yes, they also drafted Trey Sermon a year ago. But the 49ers go through running backs like crazy. They should find another Day 3 gem.

Cornerback: Yes, the secondary needs help here, too, even after the expensive signing of Charvarius Ward, and even after last year’s drafting of Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir. Depth was a major issue, and they must replace K’Waun Williams in the slot.

Defensive end: This final position of need could have been guard, tight end or even a punter. But the 49ers can’t ever have enough speedy edge rushers for their wide-9 scheme.

Return of playoff basketball to the United Center rekindles memories of the Chicago Bulls’ past – The Mercury News


A small crowd of 3,739 showed up at the Coliseum on March 23, 1967, for the first home playoff game in Chicago Bulls history, a forgettable 113-107 Game 2 loss to the St. Louis Hawks.

It was the inaugural season of an expansion team that surprised everyone by making the Western Conference playoffs before getting swept in three games by point guard Lenny Wilkens and the Hawks.

“For the new Chicago Bulls, the season is over,” Tribune beat writer Bob Logan wrote after the final game. “They surely will be heard of again, however, on the Chicago sports scene.”

That was how it all started for the Bulls, a brand that became internationally known by the early 1990s.

Pro basketball was a tough sell in Chicago 55 years ago. The Bulls once drew the ire of the NBA by announcing a crowd of 594, and owner Dick Klein was ordered never to release figures like that again. John “Red” Kerr, the first Bulls coach and later a popular TV analyst, always brought a pocketful of dimes to games in the early days so he could call the newspapers afterward.

“I’d dial up the papers’ sports desks and say something like: ‘Hi, this is John Kerr, coach of the Bulls,’ ” he recalled in ’91. “’The Bulls won tonight 110-106, and Bob Boozer was our leading scorer with 26 points.’ The desk guy would say: ‘Boozer? How ya spell that?’ I’d say: ‘BOOZER,’ and then the operator would jump in and say, ‘Please deposit another dime.’”

When fans would call up the old Chicago Stadium and ask what time that night’s game was, Kerr would reply: “What time can you be there?”

As playoff basketball returned to the United Center on Friday night with Game 3 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s hard for many to imagine a time when the team struggled for attention, even going so far as to stage halftime shows in which fans could take to the mat against Victor the wrestling bear.

After having to play in an empty stadium for almost all the home games last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bulls led the league in average attendance in 2021-22 at 20,881 per game, moving back into the top spot for the first time since 2017-18.

The Bulls are now an iconic sports franchise like the New York Yankees or Green Bay Packers thanks to the six NBA titles they won from 1991-98, when Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, dominated on the court and Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson pulled the strings.

The Bulls haven’t returned to the NBA Finals since the “Last Dance” season in ’98 and barely competed the last four years. But executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas junked the former regime’s rebuild last summer and brought in DeMar DeRozanLonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, who teamed with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vučević to change the direction of the franchise.

It didn’t look that way Friday night in a 111-81 loss to the Bucks before a shellshocked sellout crowd of 22,667 that booed from the third quarter on. The Bulls desperately need a wake-up call Sunday afternoon in Game 4 to avoid falling behind 3-1 and facing elimination Wednesday in Milwaukee.

DeRozan said “a loss is a loss,” even one as abysmal as Game 3.

“Whether we lost by 30 or by one point, we’ve got to come back and compete and protect our home floor,” he said.

No matter how this series turns out, it’s safe to say the future of the Bulls is much brighter than it was one year ago. Re-signing LaVine obviously will be job No. 1 for Karnišovas, but the Bulls have reestablished themselves as an Eastern Conference contender. With a healthy Ball returning next season, the maturation of Patrick Williams and some offseason tinkering, expectations will be even greater for coach Billy Donovan’s team in 2022-23.

And that’s good news for the NBA, which always seems better when big-market teams such as the Bulls, Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are in the mix.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

The dynasty era may have fully transformed Chicago into a Bulls town, but the team still had a core following before the arrival of Air Jordan in 1984. Brian McIntyre, the former NBA director of media relations who began in the same capacity for the Bulls in the late 1970s, remembered when Chicago Stadium was less than half full after the era of teams led by Chet Walker, Bob Love, Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier came to an end.

But in 1981, a scrappy Bulls team led by Reggie Theus and Artis Gilmore upset the New York Knicks in the first game of a best-of-three series at Madison Square Garden, then came home to a raucous Stadium filled to the brim with 19,901 fans. Trailing by 15 in the third quarter, the Bulls rallied to take it to overtime and eventually won 115-114.

“I swear that was the loudest I’d ever heard the Chicago Stadium,” McIntyre said. “It was a late start for CBS, and everyone in the upper deck was plastered.”

The Bulls’ reward in the Eastern Conference semis was the Celtics. Larry Bird was so confident that he and his teammates were drinking into the wee hours at Butch McGuire’s on Division Street. A bartender asked Bird if he was worried about drinking so late the night before a game.

“Bird says, ‘We can beat the Bulls drunk or sober,’ ” McIntyre said.

Bird was right. The Celtics swept the series in four games on their way to the ’81 title.

The Bulls regressed again until selecting Jordan with the No. 3 pick in the ’84 draft. There were good moments — Jordan hitting “The Shot” over Cleveland’s Craig Ehlo to clinch a first-round series in 1989 — and down moments, such as being swept by the Celtics in ’86 and ’87.

After tough back-to-back playoff losses to the Detroit Pistons’ more physical “Bad Boys” in 1989 and ’90, the Bulls beat Magic Johnson and the Lakers for their first title in ’91, setting the dynasty in motion. Jordan always stepped up his game in the postseason, but Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, John Paxson, Toni Kukoč and Steve Kerr all had playoff moments that will live forever in Bulls lore.

The last time I covered the Bulls in the playoffs was in 1993, the third title of the first 3-peat. During an off day of the NBA Finals between the Bulls and Phoenix Suns, Jordan was asked if he thought the fan base would dwindle once he retired.

“That’s something (the organization) will have to pay attention to from a business aspect,” he replied. “I don’t know how long the fans are going to be as supportive. Or will they be as supportive? I hope that they will, because I certainly will be a fan of Chicago when I’m gone, and I’d love for the fans to maintain that support even when I’m gone because of what we’ve built here.

“It’s a good system now. I’d hate to see it change.”

Little did we know Jordan would retire the following October on the eve of the 1993-94 season. But fans continued to flock to the West Side after Jordan ‘s departure his and when he returned at the end of the 1994-95 season following his baseball sabbatical.

The real test came after the breakup of the dynasty following the Bulls’ sixth title in 1998.

In the first year of general manager Jerry Krause’s rebuild, the Bulls still finished first in average attendance despite a 13-37 record in a lockout-shortened season. But the losing wore on fans, and the Bulls sunk to ninth in attendance by 2001-02, when Tim Floyd — Krause’s hand-picked replacement for Jackson — finally was fired midseason.

Derrick Rose’s knee injury in the first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012 ended what might’ve been a championship season, and neither Rose nor the Bulls recovered in the ensuring years. The post-Jordan drought continued.

But a decade after Rose’s franchise-altering injury, DeRozan, LaVine, Vučević and Caruso are hoping to pull off a first-round upset of the defending champion Bucks, making the United Center into a madhouse again.

If they repeat their Game 3 performance, it’s likely to be the final home game until next season. DeRozan promised a more aggressive effort in Game 4.

“We’ve got an opportunity to tie this thing up Sunday on our home court,” he said. “And that’s what we’re going to do.”


Has inconsistency from Heat’s Duncan Robinson grown problematic? – The Mercury News


Q: Ira, I was on my feet with every shot Duncan Robinson took in the first game. It was old times. I was wishing he turned the corner. But he’s still stuck. — Carl.

A: It’s as if Duncan Robinson’s greatest consistency this season has been his inconsistency. As he showed in Game 1, with his 8 of 9, there still are moments of 3-point brilliance, when his shooting his dramatically impacts the outcome. And then there is a scoreless Game 2, and only one basket in Game 3. The Duncan Coaster has been a wild ride this season, far more uneven than the play of Max Strus, who has supplanted him in the starting lineup. At some point, with additional defense potentially needed against the Hawks, it might not be surprising to next see some of his minutes go to Caleb Martin. At the moment, among the greatest uncertainties is what the Heat will be getting (or not getting) from Duncan. It’s a tough way to create stability.

Q: The Heat have a deep bench for a reason. That bench helped achieve the top seed in the East. Player decisions will be made in some part, maybe for the most part, on playoff results. Now that Kyle Lowry is injured, it is absolutely time to see what Victor Oladipo can do in the playoffs. Whether he starts or comes off the bench to spell Gabe Vincent, this is why the Heat invested in Oladipo. C’mon Erik Spoelstra, now is the time to see if a healthy Oladipo fits in to the future of this team. — Michael, North Miami Beach.

A: Actually, the investment was a minimum salary, so it’s not as if there is much riding on the investment. The style of play changes when Victor Oladipo enters. It just does. So for as much that can be said about exploring depth, there also is the matter of changing the playing style this deep into the process.

Q: Someone’s got to stop moving Gabe Vincent’s furniture around after every game, so he stops snubbing his toe. — Scott.

A: Actually, the Heat have been erring on the side of caution with their injury report almost the entire season, even when there is little chance of players missing time. For example, all five of the players listed on the Heat’s injury report ahead of Friday’s game against the Hawks participated in Thursday’s practice. So it’s not as if teammates are accidentally stepping on Gabe Vincent feet in order to get his playing time. Just the aches and pains of making it through the first six months of this process.


When John Means returns, the Orioles rotation around him will be different — and better — than the one he leaves


Across four paragraphs, white text on a black background posted to Twitter, the gut-wrenching reality settled in regarding what began as forearm tightness and ended as season-ending Tommy John surgery. That’s what Orioles ace John Means posted Saturday afternoonconfirming the worst-case scenario with a succinct update on his impending elbow reconstruction surgery.

Means finds his season derailed before it had barely begun. He had thrown just eight innings, departing his second start of the season after four innings and 51 pitches as a precaution. Over the next few days, what Means initially described as forearm tightness upgraded to a 10-day and then 60-day injured list designation. It went from tightness to an elbow strain to an elbow sprain.

The elbow reconstruction surgery leaves the left-hander staring down at least a year-long recovery.

At the end of that four-paragraph update, however, was a glimpse toward the future. “I’ll be back,” Means wrote. And he will be, because Tommy John surgery — while involving an arduous comeback — isn’t the career-threatening operation it once was.

When Means returns at some point in 2023, the rotation and team he left this season will most likely look much different. He’ll come back as the leading man in an up-and-coming rotation, one boasting three top prospects due to make their major league debuts and another left-hander — Bruce Zimmermann — who has been lights out to begin this season.

So while the injury is a major setback for a pitcher who aimed to reach 200 innings this season, the long-term outlook isn’t as bleak. The 2022 Orioles aren’t in win-now mode. But as the prospects begin to arrive and Means returns to health, perhaps 2023 will feature a different mentality, with a once-again healthy Means at the forefront.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” Means wrote, “but more motivated than ever.”

When Means first sustained the injury, manager Brandon Hyde said the loss of the team’s ace wouldn’t accelerate the promotions of any prospects. But three pitchers should soon find their way to the big leagues — and if all goes according to plan, they should stick in the rotation going forward.

right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, baseball’s top pitching prospect, could arrive by midsummer. He’s blown his way through Triple-A lineups, allowing two runs with a 0.49 WHIP in 14 1/3 innings. Following him is left-hander DL Hall, the No. 3 prospect in Baltimore’s farm system, according to Baseball America, and right-hander Kyle Bradish (No. 9).

The Orioles have placed much of their future on those three arms. Hall remains on the development list as the organization slows his recovery from a stress reaction in his left elbow last season. Bradish has largely matched Rodriguez’s production at Triple-A Norfolk, conceding two earned runs in 15 innings.

“We’re not going to rush prospects,” Hyde told reporters in Los Angeles. “We’re going to do what’s right for them. We’re throwing the ball right now extremely well as a staff. Since John has been out, different guys have stepped up and we have to continue to do that.”

Zimmermann figures to be a fixture in the rotation moving forward, taking a step forward this season. The southpaw, with a changeup-heavy arsenal akin to Means’, became the first Orioles starter since Jim Palmer in 1978 to begin the season with at least 14 scoreless innings.

Adding Means to that group of four would set up a rotation that seems — at least on paper — capable of competing in the American League East. Means remains under team control through the 2024 season, when he becomes free-agent eligible.

There are few certainties in baseball. Recoveries from Tommy John surgery are smoother than they once were but aren’t without hiccups. And the development of prospects has unexpected twists involved, too.

There’s plenty to take away from that four-paragraph statement Means posted to Twitter. The multiple MRIs confirming the need for Tommy John surgery. The disappointment of a season lost so early. But focusing on that last line — “I’ll be back” — is a salve of sorts to the burn Means’ prognosis leaves on the 2022 campaign.

It’ll take a year, but the rotation Means will rejoin could be much better than the one left in his wake. And that’s a glimmer of hope on which to cling tightly.


Sunday, 4:07 pm


Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM


I feel I would be betraying my ex if I remarry


DEAR ABBY: I am a 41-year-old gay man who is living with my boyfriend and parents.

Five years ago, I was divorced from someone I was in a relationship with for 10 years and married to for five. Our split was amicable and civil. We still speak occasionally.

I recently bought a ring for my boyfriend. We have been dating almost five years (we met soon after my divorce) and I want to get married again. Last time, I was the one asked. This time, I ‘m doing the proposal, and even asked his parents his out of respect.

Timo Meier, Sharks eager to hurt Golden Knights’ playoff chances


SAN JOSE – The Sharks, with their own playoff hopes already erased, have had a few opportunities to play spoiler in recent weeks, only to come up short.

They’ll never get a better opportunity to put a crimp in another team’s playoff aspirations than Sunday night when they face the rival Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.

Sharks winger Timo Meier, for one, can’t wait for that chance.

Asked Saturday night about being named the Sharks’ Player of the Year for this season, Meier said, “the season’s still not finished, so I still want to do well in those last couple of games, especially tomorrow, you know, the biggest game of the year against Vegas.

“We can maybe knock them out of the playoffs. We obviously have a rivalry against them, so we’ve got to play hard tomorrow and focus on those last couple of games.”

The Golden Knights enter Sunday with 89 points, four back of the Dallas Stars for the second and final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vegas (42-31-5) has one game in hand on the Stars (44-30-5), which they’ll use up against the Sharks.

A Golden Knights loss in regulation time Sunday would leave them with a near-impossible path to make the postseason.

With just three games left at that point, Vegas would likely have to win out, as it closes the regular season with road games against Dallas, Chicago, and St. Louis on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, respectively.

The Golden Knights would also have to hope that the Stars lose their final two games, as they host Arizona and Anaheim — two of the four worst teams in the Western Conference — on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

Whatever happens Sunday, a Golden Knights loss to the Stars on Tuesday would likely end their playoff hopes altogether.

But if Vegas beats San Jose in any fashion, and Dallas in regulation time, then it would control its own destiny at that point. Both the Golden Knights and Stars would have 93 points, and Vegas would own the first tiebreaker of regulation wins. Right now, the Golden Knights have 33 regulation wins and the Stars have 30.

The Sharks’ rivalry with the Golden Knights was at an apex in 2018 and 2019. The two teams met in the second round in 2018, with Vegas winning in six games, and the Sharks won a memorable first-round meeting the next year, capturing the series with a dramatic 5-4 overtime victory in Game 7.

However, the Sharks have not beaten the Golden Knights since Nov. 21, 2019, when San Jose had Aaron Dell as its starting goalie and Pete DeBoer as its coach. From that point, the Sharks own a dismal 0-9-2 against the Golden Knights.

“Every game we want to win, but tomorrow is definitely a special one against these guys, who we have some history against,” Meier said. “So yeah, we’re definitely excited to play against them tomorrow, and we’re going bring our best.”

The Sharks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Saturday at home to improve to 31-35-12 on the season. In recent weeks, the Sharks lost twice to Dallas and once to teams like Minnesota, Vancouver, Nashville, and Edmonton, who were all either chasing a playoff spot or jockeying for postseason seeding.

After Sunday, the Sharks close the season with a home game against Anaheim on Tuesday and road games against Seattle and Edmonton on Thursday and Friday, respectively.