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4:05 p.m. Saturday: Best Place to Watch the A's 

King's X

Many sports bars these days come outfitted with banks of hi-fi televisions, blaring speakers, and cocktail waitresses decked out in those black-and-white referee's shirts. How cute. But where they may score points in the technology department, many overlook the most crucial element to a good sports bar: a bartender who actually gives a flip about our local nine. The dimly lit tavern King's X is a well-documented haven for Oakland Raiders fans, and rightly so. There's plenty of high-octane rock 'n' roll on the jukebox, and the drinks are served stiff for the fans of the Silver 'n' Black. But when pigskin season makes way for the national pastime, King's X is all Green 'n' Gold. Consider Curtis, the A's-loving bartender who keeps five of the bar's six televisions tuned into the A's, even when a pack of Giants fans is crying out for more Barry Bonds. Curtis can shush Giants lovers, mix booze, yank pitchers of beer, and philosophize wisely on right fielder Jermaine Dye's recent batting woes, all at once -- and all with the ease of a Cirque du Soleil juggler. And when A's third baseman Eric Chavez comes to the plate, take a seat, drunkard. The bartender is busy admiring his favorite player's efforts, right along with the rest of us.

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