Hey, Athletic Supporters! 

Meet the new Oakland A's

SAT 2/7

So our Oakland A's will hang a few new jockstraps in the locker room this season. Big whoop. We've been there, done that so many times, we shall now name the annual migration from Oakland to the East Coast "The Flight of the Greedy Bird." He nests only when he hits pay dirt. This year the Green Machine and its fevered fans will look to a beanpole of a rookie to fill the gap at shortstop. Thing is, the gap inside the Coliseum now looks more like a crater, considering the previous resident once owned the heart of the franchise. Welcome to the bigs, Bobby Crosby; don't mind the pothole. So in search of the all-important vital organ in this post-Miggy world, we now turn our attention to Messrs. Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder -- yet again. Not only must they lead with their arms, but this time around, we'll need to see their hearts. We'll need to see their blood, their sweat, their tears. And if they could hit, a few walk-off homers would help the cause, too. Most of all, we'll need to see someone -- anyone -- jump out of that dugout all dirtied in his home whites, when the game is tied in the bottom of the ninth, and ever-so-passionately windmill that slow-footed Scott Hatteberg all the way from second base to home plate -- he's under the tag! -- for the win.

The Oakland A's FanFest 2004, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Network Associates Coliseum. $5. Info: Oakland.Athletics.MLB.com -- Justin Berton

SUN 2/8


Get out of the house

Okay, Chinese New Year has come; it's turning warm again in the Bay Area. Time to turn our thoughts to romping through the swamp and hitting the hinterlands. The Berkeley Hiking Club is way ahead of us -- they've planned two hikes this Sunday, one urban and one not. The Downtown Oakland mini-hike through Oaksterdam and other points of interest meets in front of City Center at 13th and Broadway at 9:30 a.m. (phone 510-663-0263 for details). The eight-mile tour of windy Stinson Beach -- bring a warm jacket -- convenes at 9:30 a.m. at the beach parking lot (415-479-2709). -- Kelly Vance

SAT 2/7

Brentwood Biker Boyz

Forget about SUVs. They roll over, guzzle gas, and do absolutely nothing for your calf muscles. You can go off-road on your own power -- bike power -- at Saturday's Dual Slalom at Sandhill Ranch II Bicycle Terrain Park in Brentwood (50 Camino Diablo Rd.), another in the Spring Gravity Series sponsored by Brentwood's P&R Sports. The race, sanctioned by the National Off-Road Bicycle Association, covers a 1,078-foot course (carved berms, sixteen jumps including table tops and double-doubles, ten turns). Sign-up is 8 to 10 a.m., qualifying at 10:15, permitting. Entry fee is $30 race day, $25 pre-reg, $5 parking. And you can camp in the parking lot the night before for $10 per car. Info: 925-240-6247 or SandhillRacing.com -- Kelly Vance


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