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MSR’s Random Sports Thoughts, Vol. 24

I have to imagine that, for Tim Hudson, it’s been one topsy-turvy career, but one helluva ride.

A ride that finally included one of these babies.

A ride that finally included one of these babies.

And, apparently, that 16-year ride ends for the 39-year-old at the end of the 2015 season. His current contract with the San Francisco Giants expires at that time, and he plans to honor that contract, and hang up his cleats when it’s over. He said as much at his alma mater, Auburn University, at a recent speaking engagement:

I have one more year left on my contract, so I’m pretty sure that’s going to be it after this season […] I’m going to work my tail off this offseason to get ready to go on to spring training in as good a shape as I can be and hopefully finish [next] season strong. It’s been an unbelievable career for me.

It still amazes me that Hudson had yet to reach a League Championship Series in his career – let alone a World Series – before he joined San Francisco this past season. But, no matter if you are an A’s fan (when he was a part of the “Big 3” with Barry Zito and Mark Mulder), or a Braves fan (113 wins in 9 seasons), you have to be at least a little happy that he got his ring – albeit with another team.

I can’t give a career retrospective for the guy, but I can say this: I loved what Hudson brought to the Giants in 2014, especially with his blazing 6-2 start to start the season. I only hope he can continue that kind of production throughout all of the 2015 season, and help the Giants repeat as World Series champs.

Tip of the hat to you, Mr. Hudson. Good luck on your final MLB season.

From one athlete ready to retire to a potential future Hall of Fame coach not ready to hang it up just yet …

San Diego State Aztecs head coach Steve Fisher reached a three-year extension with the university on Wednesday. The 69-year-old best known for taking the University of Michigan to a national title in 1989, and the university’s celebrated “Fab Five” to consecutive Final Four appearances, has had recent success with the Aztec Men’s basketball team.

Previously mired in mediocrity, SDSU has reached the NCAA Tournament seven times since 1999, including five straight tourney appearances and counting starting in 2010. The run has included two 30 win seasons and two Sweet 16 appearances. He also helped shape the likes of San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard to be the NBA stars they are today.

Fisher coached the 2014 NBA Finals MVP for two seasons.

Fisher coached the 2014 NBA Finals MVP for two seasons.

And it appears that Fisher isn’t slowing down in terms of his enthusiasm for the game, even after a quarter-century in the head coaching reins – his Aztecs are coming off an impressive tournament run from last season, and the current iteration is undefeated (3-0) as of Friday, adding to a career record of 314-176 in San Diego.

It’s amazing that Fisher doesn’t get more national recognition for the job he has done with the Aztecs over the last decade (20 or more wins in each of the last ten seasons). But at the end of the day, he is still going strong with a program primed to reach basketball promise with its growing history of outstanding players.

At this rate, he could coach into his 80s. So, here’s to Coach Fisher and San Diego State – may the victories overflow and the conference titles be plentiful.

A funny thing happened on the way to the Oakland Raiders’ first victory of the 2014 season against division rival Kansas City on Thursday.

What the--

What the–

Actually, it wasn’t funny to one Raiders veteran.

After LB Sio Moore did some excessive celebrating after a sack late in the game, he cost his team a timeout (which was burned to avoid a blatant offsides penalty). Luckily, it didn’t cost the team the win at home. It did, however, cost the locker room some much-needed chemistry – CB Charles Woodson reportedly almost came to blows with the second-year linebacker after the game.

He expressed his unhappiness with the media afterwards:

I couldn’t believe it. That was the first time I had ever seen somebody celebrate for a whole 40-second clock. That was ridiculous, and they know it. I told Sio he’s lucky we got the win because we really probably would’ve had to fight, and I would’ve seen exactly what kind of fighter he is.

You could easily chalk this up to a young player who got caught up in the heat of the moment and couldn’t compose himself. Plus this was a guy who had gone through, literally, a full season’s worth of games without experiencing a victory. It was obviously a dumb mistake that could have cost the Raiders the game, and Woodson’s comments will hopefully be enough to ensure he never does it again.

You don’t wanna mess with a cranky Charles Woodson who hasn’t experienced team success of late. It’s just not a good idea.

Did Billy Butler like his stay so much in the Bay Area during the World Series that he decided to play there?

Probably not. I mean, c’mon.

That is NOT the face of someone who was "convinced" to come to the Bay.

That is NOT the face of someone who was “convinced” to come to the Bay.

But, in any case, the former AL Champion Kansas City Royals DH is heading west. He inked a 3-year, $30 million deal with the Giants’ cross-town American League rival, the Oakland Athletics, on Wednesday.

Butler had spent his entire 8-year career in Missouri, and was beloved by the Kansas City community. I even remember how celebrated he was when the All-Star game was held at Kauffman Stadium in 2012, and he was the lone Royal to represent the team.

But all of that is in the past. And as much as team and player wanted to stay together, it came down to a business decision – one that landed the 28-year-old in the city the Royals ironically vanquished in this past year’s AL Wild Card game.

Meanwhile, the A’s hope to be getting a major upgrade at the DH position from a 2014 that featured 13 designated hitters – all of whom combined for the second-worst weighted on-base average in the league. I’m sure A’s fans want to see Butler bring an extra bat to a lineup that was clearly missing Yoenis Cespedes for the bulk of the 2014 season.

You know, as long as he doesn’t face Bumgarner and the Giants again anytime soon. (Sorry, Billy.)

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