LEFTOVERS: Pence’s prized scooter back in safe hands

Michael Douglas and Karl Malden haven’t patrolled “The Streets of San Francisco” since the 1970s, and Clint Eastwood hasn’t reprised his role as inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan since 1988’s “The Dead Pool.”

Crime apparently has run rampant in The City by the Bay since then.

Just ask Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, who had his beloved scooter stolen Sunday night outside a restaurant on San Francisco’s waterfront.

Pence, who has become known for riding his customized electric scooter to and from every home game at AT&T Park, said he was willing to forgive the culprit and offered a signed bobblehead — of himself riding his scooter — as a reward for its return, no questions asked.

After posting a picture of his prized possession on Twitter, Pence said he was overwhelmed by the support he received. His faith in humanity was fully restored Wednesday, when an unidentified person returned his scooter to police at AT&T Park during the Giants’ 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

“This was like a together-we-are-Giant type story,” Pence said, citing one of the team’s past marketing slogans. “Everyone had my back.”

Pence also sent out a tweet singling out Miles Scott, a 5-year-old who has undergone treatment for leukemia and in November “saved” the city as his favorite superhero through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Together again!!!,” Pence wrote. “Want to thank the #Batkid for keeping the streets of SF clean!!”

Cable cars are synonymous with San Francisco, but scooters have become increasingly popular among Giants fans since Pence — who last year signed a $90 million, five-year deal — arrived in a trade from the Phillies in 2012.

Speaking for all of us, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy cracked, “We can all sleep tonight because he got his scooter back.”

■ POPPING OFF — Besides being one of the greatest basketball coaches ever, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is a master at giving reporters a hard time. One interviewer learned that the hard way Thursday after San Antonio’s 117-89 rout of Oklahoma City when he asked “Pop” to explain why all five games in the series had been blowouts.

“You’re serious? You really think I can explain that?” Popovich replied, grinning. “Good Lord. And they pay you, don’t they?”

When the unidentified reporter responded “Very little,” Popovich laughed, then said, “Thus the question. It’s not worth much.”

Popovich also gives grief to well-paid reporters such as TNT’s David Aldridge and the colorfully dressed Craig Sager.

“I’m blinded. I can’t see the court. How can we coach now?” Popovich once told Sager.

Another time, Popovich pulled a handkerchief from Sager’s suit pocket during an interview and wiped his nose with it.

However, Popovich isn’t always cranky. After Sager announced in April that he has leukemia, Popovich sent a heartfelt message to the veteran sideline reporter during an interview with Sager’s son.

“Craig, we miss ya. You’ve been an important part of all this for a long time, doing a great job,” he said directly into the camera. “We want your fanny back on the court, and I promise I’ll be nice.”

Popovich better be careful or he’ll ruin his reputation.


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