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  • The 2020 Toyko Olympics Some home cooking The Oakland Roots play six of their next seven games at home, with 4 in a row - Sept 11, 15, 18 and 22nd. Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • NCAA Cal, Stanford had mixed weekends. The Cardinal opened their PAC 12 season with a 42-28 win at USC while Cal went on the road and lost at TCU. Jason Reed/1st String Magazine
  • The Masters Sept 13-19 The Fortinet Championship takes over where the Safeway Open left off keeping pro golf in the Napa Valley. Steve Stricker is one of the many PGA Tour winning golfers set to play this week. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • NCAA Tourney The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey brings Indy Cars to Weathertech Laguna Seca Rsceway Sept 17-19. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • NFL Football The NFL kicks off this week with teams like the San Francisco 49ers thinking they have what it takes to win a Super Bowl. Photo by Oliver Tapia

 
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Pay for play - high school kids can look to endorsements deals to get paid

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

You no longer have to make a professional team to get paid anymore if you are a talented high school basketball player.

Now you don't even have to go to college anymore to make the pro's in basketball.

High schoolers such as Oakland's Jaylen Lewis (#24) can fatten their pockets with contracts while still in high school.

Lewis (16) became the youngest basketball player to sign a professional contract in the US when he inked a multi year deal to play for the Overtime Elite, an Atlanta based team due to start play in 2021.

That's just two years older then Freddie Adu was when he signed to play soccer in the MLS.

College players are getting into the act as well.

No longer can universities control what an athlete can make while they command the billions generated by the sports industry.

Now kids can get paid above the table, not by the schools, but by any company looking to profit of the popularity of the athlete.

Will professionalism work with high school kids and college athletes. Time will tell. Paying kids at an early age has not broken soccer or tennis.

We are seeing the effect of why Europeans come over to the NBA and play so well and much of that is due to players signing pro deals at a young age and playing in the European leagues.

Something had to change. College sports were making too much money while sweating kids over tattoos and clothes.

 

SF is one of the NL's best early on in 2021

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

The San Francisco Giants are having a great start to the covid stricken year by starting out with the best record in the bigs at the All Star break.

They have done it with pitching, some decent hitting and great defense.

The Giants have committed the fewest errors in the Majors in 2021. That is championship style D.

Yes it is a long way from SF talking titles, but not giving up extra outs leads to not giving up extra runs. It saves your pitchers arms.

Speaking of pitchers, Kevin Gausman (3-1, 1.84), Alex Wood (5-0, 1.75) and Johnny Cueto (2-1, 3.86) have combined for 116 k's to just 26 walks for San Francisco.

At the plate Buster Posey looks healthy again and he is tearing the cover off the ball batting .362 with 8 long balls and 21 runs scored.

The Giants need someone to hit behind Buster. While SF is 2nd in the league with 56 homers they are just 24th in batting (.225).

San Francisco has won 7 out of their last 10 games but they are just a half game ahead of a San Diego Padres squad that has begun 2021 25-17.

Baseball's 2021 season taking flight

Both the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants have been playing winning baseball in this crazy season. Both are near the top out west. The Giants have the pleasant task of keeping pace and catching

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

the world champion LA Dodgers who have picked up where they left off last season.

Oakland has bounced back from a poor 1-6 start to this season by going 9-1 over their last 10.

That includes a current 8-game win streak. The A's are still just in 3rd in the AL West behind the Angels and Seattle early on.

The Giants have been playing better of late as well. A 5-1 record at home has San Francisco at 10-6 so far, just off the pace the Dodgers (13-4) who have not lost at home yet this year (6-0) are setting.

After giving up at least 8-runs in their first four starts (all losses) Oakland's pitching staff has only given up more than 5-runs in a game once, a 6-2 loss to Houston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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