How appropriate would it be if the Giants (or maybe the A’s), 49ers and Warriors all win championships, back-to-back-to-back? The Super Bowl and NBA Finals will be in 2022, but for our purposes here, 2021 would get credit for the achievement.
Why would such a sweep be appropriate? The Warriors, Giants, A’s and 49ers all represent game-changing innovation, here in the world capital of creativity and forward thinking, so a three-ring year would be no fluke.
It won’t be easy. Each of the Bay teams has a window of opportunity, and in the modern sports world, windows open and shut like the hatches in Whac-A-Mole. So our teams will have to be quick on their feet, reactive and hyper-aware of the opportunity. Like hungry leopards stalking their prey.
The Sharks, by the way, are welcome to join the party. Oddsmakers believe the Sharks will be bottom feeders, down in the bottom third of the league. But those are the same oddsmakers who are about to make a lot of faithful Giants fans very wealthy.
Breaking it down:
Giants: This is the poster team for the current world climate, when nothing (including the climate) makes any sense. The Giants are the Winchester Mystery Team (they do hold territorial rights to San Jose).
The Giants also are legitimately good. They’ve had plenty of injury problems, yet they refuse to go away. Farhan Zaidi was a disappointment to fans who wanted the Giants to hire a microwave chef. Zaidi is a slow-cook guy, maddeningly patient, taking days to bring that rack of ribs to perfection.
Zaidi and his bosses and aides might not have anticipated the Giants would lead MLB at the midway point, but they’re smart enough to know that this has become an opportunity season, not a building year.
Approaching the trading deadline, the Giants are looking for a starting pitcher and a hitter who can play left field (aka: a hitter). They won’t give away all their prospects, but they will be aggressive.
If the Giants pull it off, the world will have to recognize that Zaidi has created a master blend of new-school analytics and old-school hardball instinct. And that in Gabe Kapler, the Giants have found a guy who can translate that exotic blend to the dugout.
A bonus: At a time when billionaire owners are shaking down cities for massive subsidies for ballparks, the Giants would be beating everyone in a park they built with their own damn money.
A’s: We can’t sleep on the A’s. For one thing, we’re praising innovation here, and the A’s did pioneer what is now mainstream, analytics-driven baseball. And they’re still pretty good at that game, though not good enough to excuse their skinflint payroll.
How Billy Beane and David Forst use their “Moneyball” skills in the next couple of weeks will be telling. The A’s need bullpen help, which they tend to be really good at getting.
Then it’s just a matter of fate. With Elvis Andrus and Matt Chapman now hitting, and Mark Canha returning to his leadoff role, this is a dangerous team.
Added reason for optimism: Team ownership is trying to swing a massive real-estate deal. They need all the public support/sympathy they can get, and nothing captures the hearts of fans and politicians like winning a championship, or at least getting close. The 49ers built Levi’s Stadium by riding the momentum of the Jim Harbaugh kick-ass era. The Warriors don’t build Chase Center without the crazy success of Steph and the fellas.
If the A’s do decide to move, a run to the World Series would do wonders for John Fisher’s bargaining position with the rubes — I mean, the aggressive business leaders and politicians — in Las Vegas.
So Fisher, the Super Cheap, might pry open his wallet a little more than usual this trading deadline, be a little more go-for-broke-ish.
49ers: They are right there. The bookmakers don’t lie. In one compilation of three betting venues (by bonus.com), the 49ers sit No. 5 among favorites to reach the Super Bowl, behind the Chiefs, Buccaneers, Bills and Rams.
The biggest ifs are whether Nick Bosa is able to play an entire season, and how the quarterback situation shakes out. Let’s not assume that Bosa, coming off a serious injury, will be healthy for 20 games. If he is, he’s the most watchable — and impactful — defensive player in the league.
If Bosa is locked in, then it’s all about the QB spot, about how Kyle Shanahan manages what will be either a hot mess or a golden opportunity for him to fully realize his creative genius.
No pressure, Trey Lance. But if the new deer in the herd can put on Maui Jims when the headlights shine on him, the 49ers could feature a truly innovative one-two punch. Opposing coaches just do not want to see Lance show maturity and poise early on.
Warriors: When they pick up Damien Lillard and Kevin Love for a song, it’s all over. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Adding a game-changing piece is possible, but not likely.
So the Warriors will have to do it the hard way: leaning hard on Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, getting a strong comeback from Klay Thompson, and quickly hammering James Wiseman into a legit NBA, defensive-presence center.
In this corner, we love the idea of getting Lillard, but we love even more the idea of the Warriors getting ’er done organically, without an earthquake move, mixing in an instantly usable draft pick. Won’t be easy, but Curry/Green/Steve Kerr keep prying that window open.
In summary: I’m not a betting guy, but if some house is offering a Bay Area Bonanza parlay, I’m laying down a fiver.
Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @scottostler