Posted on: May 19, 2009 5:58 pm

Eric Chavez is a Gamer for life

Today I read an article stating that Athletics' third basemen, Eric Chavez, is at risk of having severe back complications for the rest of his life. With six gold gloves, more than 200 home runs and an entire spent in Oakland, it seems as though he is close to hanging up the cleats.

While spending more than 300 games these last few years on the DL with lingering problems, Chavez has dealt with pain many of us will never know to feel. He now faces the fact that spinal fusion surgery will be needed much sooner than expected - 15 years earlier - which will basically put the discs in his spine back to normal.

This has landed Chavez on the DL for 2009, and more than likely he has played his last game for the green and gold. 

Eric Chavez is a gamer. He was an intergral part of the MLB Record-Breaking 20-consecutive win season back in 2002. He got a little taste of postseason while in Oakland as well, playing with some of the games biggest stars of his era. 

The defensive wizard was a vaccum at third base. He could pick any ball hit to him and could do so without error. The six gold gloves was just the beginning of something really special. It still is, but now has been hampered by an injury that will cut his career short. 

I'm sure his fellow teammates of the past and present can appreciate what this man has brought to the game of baseball. As an A's fan, I really looked forward to seeing #3 dress up for Oakland, and do his job better than thousands of players whom have spent time in the MLB. 

The problematic back goes well beyond baseball. This will affect how he is able to walk and move when he gets older. The severity is so relevant that he has come public and explained how bad his injury really is.

Regardless of his decent hitting and more-than stellar defense, Chavez played the game how it was supposed to be played. He probably could have done what other players in the league like Alex Rodriguez or Miguel Tejada did by illegally taking steroids to enhance their play, regardless of being in pain. Chavez did it the right way. He played hard and he did so with pure will and determination. 

Many players have shortened careers due to injury. It is very unfortunate to see a person with so much talent unable to display his skills. Eric Chavez proved he has heart, passion and dedication to his teammates, the organization and the fans of Oakland.

Eric Chavez will always be known as a gamer. Hopefully he can use the leadership he provided to his colleagues to good use and possibly get into the front office of this organization. He was always an Athletic, and always a gamer.

Its a sad day for Oakland baseball. I wish Eric and his family the best of luck through his critical surgery. 

Go A's! 
Posted on: October 9, 2008 8:27 pm

Rep the bay - ALL DAY EVERY DAY!

I live in the Bay Area. I am not too stoked about all the hate some fans have about our fan base not only on the West Coast, but especially in the Bay. Although our teams haven’t produced a championship caliber team in nearly a decade now, I wanted to digress as to what people are thinking when they say we don’t represent as fans like others do.  <o:p></o:p>

From San Francisco to Napa County, people in this great area have more things to do on the weekends than anyone else in the country. We have a plethora of activities to do. California, especially in the Nor Cal, is loaded with mountains, rivers, and lakes. We have the hippies in Berkeley to the notorious city of San Francisco. We have the Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey Bay, and Muir Woods all at our doorstep. We have Yosemite and Lake Tahoe only hours away. <o:p></o:p>

The weather is always warm in the spring and fall, and we don’t get snow. 50 degrees is considering freezing, and I am not happy unless it’s 76 degree and sunny. I am a happy guy for most of the year.<o:p></o:p>

People outside of our great California borders might consider themselves “better” fans of their teams. I cry foul. In the Bay, we have two professional baseball teams in the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. We have two professional football teams in the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers. We also root for the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, San Jose Sharks of the NHL and the San Jose Earthquakes of the MLS. We boast several college football programs in the area. The California Golden Bears, Stanford Cardinal, San Jose State Spartans and St. Mary’s Gaels are all division one programs close by. We also have several California State Collegiate division two programs in the area that compete at a very high level. <o:p></o:p>

Based on the geographics, there are more fans of Bay Area teams to square feet we live on. We literally have a dozen or more teams we could back, and be completely happy about doing so.<o:p></o:p>

Those fans with one team to root for - please come forward. Just because 90,000 people can show up to a Clemson football game, it doesn’t make these Tiger fans any better than Bay Area fans of our teams. As a fan of several professional programs close to home, I think that it is unfair and unnecessary for others to view West Coast folks as a less-loving group of fans than the rest of the country.<o:p></o:p>

What point am I getting at here? Why am I posting this as my first blog as the newest All Star in the infamous CBS Sportsline world?<o:p></o:p>

I notoriously stick up for the Bay Area when it comes to haters. Oh yeah, by the way – the 49ers are the only team to win 5 Super Bowls and go undefeated. The Oakland A’s were the only team (now Tampa Bay Rays taking the spotlight) with a payroll of half the salary cap to make it to the ALCS. The Golden State Warriors two years ago were the first #8 seeded team to beat a #1 team in the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA playoffs. The San Jose Sharks have been in the playoffs the last several years, and we shall see them right in the hunt for 2009. <o:p></o:p>

Look at the current super-stars whom have come out of the Bay or have played in Bay for a championship team. First name that comes to mind is New England Patriot’s Tom Brady. How about both DJ Williams of the Denver Broncos or Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jaguars both coming for nationally known De La Salle High School? The late Pat Tillman, veteran of the War and former NFL player grew up in the Bay. Bill Walsh, the man whom invented the West Coast offense, leading the 49ers to several titles and playoffs also coached for San Jose State. Jeff Garcia of the Buccaneers also went to San Jose State. DeSean Jackson of the Eagles grew up in Southern California, but played and excelled at Cal.  The Bay also has Kerry Walsh, who won the Gold Medal in volleyball along with several other Olympic athletes bred in the Bay.<o:p></o:p>

Look. Attendance might be down, and the economy might be going south for years to come. Nothing will stop all people in the Bay Area from loving the team that they choose. At least they get the option to do so. Not many fans of some teams get a choice of what team they want to represent. If you are in South Carolina, there are two teams you have to like, the Gamecocks or the Tigers. They have the Carolina Panthers – but that’s about it. <o:p></o:p>

It puzzles me when a co-worker, whom has lived in the Bay Area their entire life, is a die-hard fan of the Celtics and Cowboys. It is their choice of course, but there are not that many fans of other state’s teams when it comes to California. I take great pride in the fact I am blessed with sports in the Bay. <o:p></o:p>

This is something I could speak, argue and discuss with anyone about for days, even hours. Even through thick and thin, good times and bad times, there will always be sports in the Bay Area. I will always represent these squads to the best of my ability. <o:p></o:p>

The first of many blogs to come. KGB all day… <o:p></o:p>

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com