The mystery of the Google barge continues.

Docked in the middle of the bay at Treasure Island, the huge vessel sits massively inert and seemingly unproductive.

You know, sort of like an aquatic Pablo Sandoval.

What's inside the barge? Google isn't saying. The Coast Guard is mum. Not even the NSA knows.

However, I have several theories about what's really up, at least from the sports perspective. Let me list them, in no particular order:

  • The four-story-tall barge will become the Warriors' new arena, the GoogleBarn, then floated over to the San Francisco waterfront. It's a clever way for the team to save money. I mean, did you see the latest? The cost for simply renovating Piers 30-32, the proposed arena site, is now up to $170 million. And that's before a dime is spent on the arena itself. Environmental foes are also lining up. I stick with my original prediction: The Warriors may get a new San Francisco arena by 2017, but it won't be at Piers 30-32 -- or they may get a new arena at Piers 30-32, but it won't be by 2017.

  • The barge is a storage device to contain the enormous hot-air hype being pumped into the local atmosphere regarding this Warriors season, which began Wednesday night. Look, this should be a fun winter. The starting lineup is solid. But given the thin bench -- plus the injury histories of Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry -- there's no guarantee the team will finish better than last season. Remember, this is still a franchise that's won exactly two playoff series in the past 22 years.
    The Warriors remain two or three player upgrades away from serious NBA title contention. I'm figuring that could happen in 2015-16, not this season.

  • The barge will become a dormitory, housing all members of Billy Beane's extended family tree for a summer 2014 reunion. As we learned this week, Beane is distantly related to Madonna, Angelina Jolie and Hillary Clinton. What a boat party that could be! And as a bonus, compared to O.co Coliseum, the toilets might even work.

  • The barge is being constructed as a toxic container for Joe Buck and Tim McCarver's smugness, following their performance in this year's World Series. I never enjoy listening to someone who acts as if they invented fire. These two guys acted as if they invented the matches used to light the first fire.

  • The barge is a secret training facility for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree as he rehabilitates from Achilles surgery last May. It usually takes a minimum of eight months to recover. But supposedly, out of public sight, Crabtree has been pushing the process. Perhaps he's doing it inside the barge -- which on Dec. 8 will motor up to Candlestick Park, with Crabtree dramatically sprinting down a ramp onto the field for the Seattle game.

  • The barge is where Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver keeps his birds between games.

  • The barge is serving as a floating medical unit for all the injured Sharks. It's astounding how the team keeps winning hockey games, with so many key, high-salaried players out of the lineup. Marty Havlat ($5 million) was back Wednesday, but Dan Boyle ($6.7 million), Brent Burns ($5.8 million) and Adam Burish ($1.9 million) remain out. Under current NHL salary cap restrictions, that's supposed to be crushing. But the Sharks keep racking up the victories. (And by the way, over the past 22 years, they've won 14 playoff series.)

  • The barge is a shame shelter for all of the Cal football program's non-graduates over the past decade. Inside, athletic director Sandy Barbour is proctoring makeup exams.

  • The barge is where the approximately 50 dozen different varieties of Oregon football uniforms are being stored for possible usage in the Nov. 7 game at Stanford. Who'll win that pivotal matchup? Same forecast as ever: If the game is mostly played within the hash marks, Stanford wins. If the game is mostly played outside the hash marks, it'll be Oregon.

  • The barge is going to contain an isolation chamber where Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will stay after he is kidnapped jointly by Oakland and San Jose officials and forced to live onboard surrounded by wild grizzly bears and raccoons until he finally decides the A's ballpark issue. We can dream, can't we?

    Contact Mark Purdy at mpurdy@mercurynews.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MercPurdy.