Crunch at the Col 

Do or Dye for A's

9/19-9/24

Eric Chavez, the Oakland A's third baseman, keeps telling reporters this year's American League West pennant race will get decided this weekend, when the Seattle Mariners visit the Coliseum for three games. Well, Mr. Chavez, if you ask the Baseball Gods for a too-close-for-comfort pennant race, ye shall receive. We just hope you remembered to ask for a clean sweep. If not, the A's could find themselves in the unwanted position of fighting for the Wild Card spot in the following series, when the home-run-prolific Texas Rangers come to town for the final home stand of the season. With nothing to lose, the free-swinging Rangers could long-ball our team right out of the playoffs -- especially if the final games are left to the A's trio of pitchers known as the Inconsistent Three: Rich Harden, Ted Lilly, and John Halama. Yes, A's fans, it's time to pray. For more information, log on to OaklandAthletics.com -- Justin Berton

9/19-9/21

High Hopes

Young blood

We spend so much time playing in the Bay Area's great outdoors -- now it's time to clean up the playground. The California Coastal Commission is holding its nineteenth annual Coastal Cleanup Day this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. All over the state, a network of agencies, cities and counties, and individual volunteers -- led by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, DC as part of an international effort -- will participate in cleanup activities in more than four hundred shorelines and inland waterways. The object is to protect wildlife, and ourselves, from the trash that washes from our communities into the world's oceans. Last year, California volunteers picked up 712,333 pounds of garbage and some 148,756 pounds of recyclable material. To join up, call 800-262-7848 (COAST-4U) or log onto CoastforYou.org -- Kelly Vanc3

SAT 9/20

Beach Pickup Spots

As a growing national power with five straight NCAA Tournament appearances and a 12-8-1 record in 2002, the Cal women's soccer team hopes to move the program a step further this so-far unbeaten season with a youth movement. The keys to Cal's potential are two sophomore forwards, Moraga's Tracy Hamm (sorry, no relation to Mia) and Dania Cabello of Piedmont, and sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Sulprizio is off to a strong start. Two nonconference home matches this week: Friday (4 p.m.) vs. Dayton, and Sunday (1 p.m.) vs. Princeton. Info: CalBears.ocsn.com/sports/w-soccer -- Kelly Vance

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