Fans of professional teams in Northern California have, for the most part, been very good boys and girls this year, so here’s a list of gifts fans deserve this holiday season:
49ers – A coach as good as Jim Harbaugh who can get along with general manager Trent Baalke and owner Jed York, put quarterback Colin Kaepernick back on track and make better use of the receivers and tight end Vernon Davis. He also has to win more than 43 of his first 62 regular-season games. And, oh yeah, win a Super Bowl.
Raiders – A coach who works well with quarterbacks (Harbaugh?), a commitment for a new stadium (somewhere, anywhere) and the top pick in the draft.
Kings – An oxygen tank for center DeMarcus Cousins, so he can keep up with the desire to run a faster-pace offense, and a coach who understands how to run a 4-on-5 defense without giving up, say, 120 points a game. And, let’s not forget, a spot in the playoffs this season.
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Giants – The elimination of odd-numbered years, so the team won’t miss the playoffs next season; another bat to protect Buster Posey, Hunter Pence and newly acquired third baseman Casey McGehee in the lineup; and a free-agent starting pitcher other than James Shields, who never will be confused with “Big Game James” Worthy.
A’s – A reason to believe Billy Beane knows what he is doing after the trades of All-Stars Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija and Derek Norris, and much-needed upgrades to O.co Coliseum before Opening Day.
River Cats – As much success as a Giants affiliate as they had during their 15-season run with the A’s.
Republic FC – Selection as an Major League Soccer expansion franchise and approval of a proposed stadium in the downtown railyard.
– Tom Couzens
What to do, watch
NBA, Kings at Golden State, Oracle Arena,
7:30 p.m., CSNCA: The Kings want to emulate the Warriors’ offensive style.