Sunday, May 31, 2009


Now where are all you conspiracy knuckleheads? Let's review a quote or two heard on the airwaves. "There is no way the league will allow Orlando to make the Finals". What's the point of going on, it's just pathetic to use the refs, networks and powers that be as excuses for things not going the way you want or think they should. It's typical American sports fan hysterics. Never accept shortcomings, deny facts and find someone to blame. The basis of right wing radio. The Lakers won the West because they're the best team, best coach, most playoff experience and the best player in the conference. Orlando won the East because they were able to survive Boston without Garnett and Cleveland fooled many, self completely included into thinking they could be dominant. Turns out they can't defend a quality offense, and the LeBron James supporting cast was not post season tested and played much too inconsistently. I for one am delighted despite being way, way off on my prediction. See? It's okay to admit error, might even be a sign of honesty or character. My prediction entering the East Finals was the Cavaliers would not face another game 6. If not for the James heave at the gun to win game 2, I would have been dead on, but on the wrong side. The oddmakers have LA a huge favorite. On my gambling site, you put down $50 on Orlando and get back $140, while the same half a c-note returns just $68 on the Lakers. This is the 30th time the Laker franchise has made the league finals. First happened 60 years ago when they were based in Minneapolis led by George Mikan. So they've made the Final 2 half the time since. Their longest drought between that season and 1973, a quarter century, was 4 years from 1955 until 58. Then they missed making the NBA championship round from 1974 thru 79. Along came Ervin and they were a regular until 1991. Then came the longest period where they didn't win the conference, from 92-99 until the Kobe/Shaq combo triggered a three-peat. This is their 6th appearance in the Finals this decade. History says the Boston Celtics with 17 titles are the most successful franchise the NBA has known, but they've won the East and championship exactly once since 1987. For consistency and just being a legit contender, no one can touch the LA Lakers.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


This time of year, Thursday should be devoted to major league baseball. I know we still have some issues to settle in the NBA & NHL, but it's almost June & we're American sports fans. I still say the Red Sox are the best top to bottom 25 man roster in baseball, but their so-called Big 3 in the rotation has to become the best of it's kind I thought they were heading into the season. Dice K Matzuzaka just returned from the disabled list has looked better in his 2 starts, but far from top notch. He's still struggling with his control and throws way, way too many pitches. After a disastrous first couple of outings, Jon Lester appeared to have righted the ship with back to back dominating performances, but has really slipped and been completely inconsistent with an era at 6! 3 of his last 4 starts have been complete disasters. The ace, Josh Beckett, is still packing an era just north of 5, but over his last 4 starts it's been under 3. Then you have the David Ortiz mystery. He has 1 homer over his 161 at bats on the season. The odd thing is he's only 33 and he is coming off an injury plagued year where he missed 50 games and only hit 23 bombs. He's been dropped to 6th in the order and if this mess continues, he's gotta be benched and checked out.
In the AL West, the Angels have healed up and are now just 3 behind Texas for the division lead. The Rangers have some decent bats, but a rotation with Kevin Millwood at the top with a 3-4 & 5 of Matt Harrison, Scott Feldman and Derek Holland is going to melt over the summer. #2 Brandon McCarthy was once a hot prospect with the White Sox but injuries derailed his career in Chicago. He's still a talent and at the age of 25, turning 26 in July, he can still become a legit front end of the rotation guy.
In the NL, Juan Pierre has been tremendous taking over in left for the Dodgers when Manny got caught cheating. He's hitting over .400 with an on base percentage near .500 setting the table for Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and the host of middle of the order producers they have in LA. Even when Ramirez the Juicer returns, they must find a way to keep his bat and spark in this lineup. They may win this division by 20 games.
Hope you are having a great week. SportsTalk returns on Monday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Some will make a big deal of another UO footballer leaving the program. An grid iron exodus. No question it's shining an odd light on the beginning of the Chip Kelly era. I'm on board with those who say case by case each decision was understandable from a young guy taking a religious mission to seeking a better situation. Here's my question. If this were happening in Corvallis or Seattle what do you think the focus of the conversation would be in Duck land? I'm thinking along the lines of mutiny or a coach some guys won't play for. Again, by taking time to examine the facts, you get the true story. We, however, live in a hysterical, conclusion jumping, truth be damned world so don't be surprised if you read stories from certain outlets with a highly negative spin. I understand Justin Roper wanting to play more, but he's also the one I'm most disappointed in. Who has seen the value of a backup more front and center than Roper the past 2 seasons? The #2 player on a depth chart is important, especially in a collision oriented sport like football. I think this shows a character flaw in the young fella. I think the Harper departure hits hardest as far as x's and o's because he is a weapon. If he's deluded himself into thinking he's a full time quarterback with passing included in the arsenal, good luck. Pflugrad bolting was a stunner to some, and while he was tabbed as a starter, he had 6 catches last year. I think this is a deep wideout crew with 5-6 guys more than capable of starting and making a huge contribution in this kind of offense. Hamani Stevens was also likely to start so from a purely selfish fan point of view, I'm bummed he's not on the 2-deep but he's obviously a young man of character keeping a solemn commitment which trumps even football. Bottom line, they've taken a hit, the impact yet to be determined. Final evaluation after the Civil War. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I read that Mo Williams of the Cavaliers has guaranteed a win in tonight's game 4 and in this series they trail against the Magic. Really? More than 40 years after the only guaranty that ever mattered cause it brought the phrase to our sports vernacular and these knuckleheads think it's the right approach. The amazing part is it was story #2 on the ESPN website. At this point in time any ballplayer like Williams, a 2nd or 3rd fiddle at best, makes a guarantee, it's like the chunky frat boy nobody really pays attention to until they get drunk and run through the sorority naked! Just a desperate, boring, old, pathetic attempt at grabbing some spotlight. Call me nuts, but rather than plopping down & running his yap to a reporter, wouldn't Mo be better served getting his butt out shooting until about :45 seconds before game time?
Run these numbers and let me know if you agree with my angle. During the regular season Williams hit 47% from the field and a super sweet 44% from three point land. In this, the most important series of his career, those numbers evaporate to 32 and 25 percent. He needs to just shut up and play a lot better or plan on making a tee time for this weekend.
These guarantees are up on there on the sports annoyance list with guys missing foul shots and getting slapped five by their teammates. How ridiculous is that? What do they do if he makes it, offer their wife and busty cousin up for a threesome?
We're off until Monday, but I'll be checking back in to keep connected.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

WHY, WHY, WHY? by Tannen

That word echoed through the halls of Cobo Arena in Detroit back on January 6th, 1994 when Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the knee during the Olympic Skating Trials. As a sports fan right now every time I see a supposed "sports" outlet lead with Michael Vick getting released from prison. When the story broke of his involvement in this awful crime through his conviction, it was understandable because he was a player in the NFL. This just in, the scumbag hasn't played in an NFL game since the Falcons lost their 2006 regular season finale at Philly. I don't understand why this piece of garbage is being jammed down the throat of sports fans?
Was anyone as stunned as me that LeBron James was actually out of gas late in their game 1 loss to Orlando to get the East Finals off and rolling? Either way, I gained a huge measure of respect for that Magic team. Cleveland exploded from the gate and blew out to a 16 point lead and it looked like the Cavs would again have their way as they'd done in every game of the 1st two rounds of this post season. TNT had a mike in the huddle during the 4th quarter and the words of Orlando head coach Stan Van Gundy proved prophetic. He mentioned how the Cavaliers had not been through this, meaning a crunch time situation in the playoffs, while the Magic had been down this road frequently. Well done and obviously we have a series. Yours truly figured this thing wouldn't last past 5 games.
Former Oregon State stud Jacoby Ellsbury is now etched in stone as the centerfielder for the Boston Red Sox. Last night in their romp over Toronto he tied a major league record for a 9 inning game with 12 putouts in the outfield. Ellsbury made his big league debut on June 30th, 2007 and played a key role in the Bosox ride to the World Series title. This is his 2nd full year as the starter in center. The young fella from Madras has yet to make an error over the course of his 225 games including the playoffs. Heck of a player.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


The first thought that popped into my head upon the realization the Clippers had won the lottery was "poor Blake Griffin". No way they take anyone else and poor might not be accurate but it's one of the worst sporting outfits in history. The Washington Generals lived in a more hopeful and optimistic world. On SportsTalk today we compile the list. Fill in the blank either via e-mail, post it here or call in because we will be offering 3 prizes in the form of gift certificates for local eateries.
Blake Griffin going to the Clippers is like
Taking a course in ____________ and finding out _____________ is the professor.
My example. Sign up for a course in witty public speaking and find out George W Bush is the professor. Good Luck. Send e-mails to

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

STILL ON LA by Tannen

Really like this Denver team. Like Phil Jackson said, they've grown and they're hot. For the record, counting the playoffs, the Nuggets have won 22 of their last 27 games. Chauncey Billups is the kind of guy who can guide some of the more inexperienced players through rough patches. I think we're going to see something similar to the Houston series where the Lakers look like the team to beat to win all the marbles, then leave you scratching your head and wondering how the heck they won the West by 10 games. You don't get points for aesthetics in a 7 game series, you simply need to win 4 games regardless of style. I feel their home court edge is huge. Denver was 21 & 20 on the road during the regular season. LA was an NBA best 29 & 12. I think it comes down to a grand finale at Staples Center which pushes the Lakers back into the league's championship round where they face Cleveland.
Tonight is the NBA lottery. I don't care who wins. If they don't take Blake Griffin of Oklahoma they're morons.
Why is Michael Vick's pending release from a federal prison a top story? He's a piece of garbage. If he gets reinstated and makes it back to an NFL field, he's newsworthy. Otherwise, who gives a crap.
Was real happy Comcast and the NFL Network kissed and made up. Comcast originally wanted the station to be a part of a special sports package that cost customers an extra $8 per month. Now it's included in a digital tier subscription which reaches more than 4 times more households. Nice to see & a benefit for fans. Love the NFL Network!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Sports cliches allow us a certain freedom to avoid specifics. He made the first down "and then some". Well, this was a heck of a weekend in sports "and then some". Nationally the focus was on Sunday's dueling Game 7's in the NBA with absolutely no drama but the surprise blowout in Boston as Orlando, and not the Celtics move on to face Cleveland in the East Finals. So much for those crybaby conspiracy theorists who insisted the NBA and networks would force Lebron against the defending champs. The Laker win went more to script providing limited reason to stay tuned. I didn't even change my 2pm tee time, but instead watched the 1st half and used my Comcast DVR to record the second. Obviously I just zoomed through seeing no need to hunker down as it was a route.
Saturday at Pimlico was historic as Rachel Alexandra beat the boys to the wire to become the 1st filly to win the Preakness since 1924. The late rush by Derby winner Mine That Bird showed the colt might have the edge in the much longer Belmont Stakes. If her handlers let her run, the stage is set for one of the great Triple Crown buildups that doesn't involve a potential Triple Crown winner.
On frozen pond, the Red Wings drew 1st blood in their NHL West Final opener as Blackhawk goalie Nikolai Khabibulin allowed a couple of soft goals early and was unable to survive the Detroit onslaught. I still think Chicago has a shot to upset the defending Cup champions, but they'll need a more consistent defensive effort and more heat on Wing netminder Chris Osgood.
Terrific, historic performance at Hayward Field as the Oregon men & women take home Pac 10 titles. The place was full and the legendary venue got mother nature to cooperate with magnificent weather. Congrats to Vin Lanana, Dan Steele, their staff and amazing athletes.
We'll get to lot's of baseball and decide whether Texas is real, the Yankees have a shot in the East, and all that good stuff. But from my chair, the big news about our national past time deciding to start World Series games about 40 minutes earlier than in past years. Why is this great? Stay tuned. Enjoy!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Much is being made of this terrific playoff run by the Houston Rockets and obviously around these parts, the sensational play of Aaron Brooks. It's all justified, but let's not forget the name Daryl Morey. Who? He happens to be the 2nd year General Manager of the Houston Rockets. He's the guy who in the wake of the season ending injury to top gun Tracy McGrady decided not to throw in the towel. He's the guy who convinced ownership and head coach Rick Adelman that trading incumbent starting point guard Rafer Alston to Orlando and giving the gig to Aaron Brooks was a step in the right direction. He's a 38 year old mega-intellect with a B.S in computer science from Northwestern follwed by an M.B.A from the prestigious M.I.T Sloan School of Management. I'd say he's off to a flying start as his team has pushed the assumed Conference Champs in waiting Lakers to a do or die 7th game. Brooks has been terrific with a career high 34 points to even things up in game 4, then after a so-so performance back at Staples Center on Tuesday, rock & roll last nite scoring 26, hitting some huge shots.
Heartbreaking to hear about the death of Wayman Tisdale, the 3 time All-American hooper at Oklahoma who carved out a nice NBA career. Lost his 2 year battle with cancer at the tender age of 44. Was also a member of that loaded 1984 US Olympic team with Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, coached by Bobby Knight. Had a reputation as a truly class gentleman, and was actually a heck of a musician who was a heck of a guitarist.
Lot to cover on today's show including a chat with my pal, The Other Steve, about tomorrow's Preakness Stakes in the 5 o'clock hour. Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


With Denver winning their way into the NBA's version of the Final 4 we take a trip down memory lane to the last time the Nuggets made it this far. On May 7th, 1985 they rolled the Jazz in game 5 to win that conference semi led by guys like Dan Issel, Fat Lever and Alex English. Their coach was Doug Moe. I was working in the inventory control department for Kids R Us, the Toys R Us clothing division in a place called Rochelle Park, New Jersey. I worked with two knuckleheads who grew up in that town, but somehow became Boston Celtics fans. Thank heavens for the Lakers that year or I might have had to axe murder those clowns. The irony is Denver likely will run into LA again, but in 2009 they'll have a legit shot. 24 years ago they played Efense(No D), and in falling in 5 games coughed up 153 to LA in the finale. This group led by George Karl has really come together and while we won't confuse them with the great Detroit or Chicago defensive units that owned the league from 1989 thru 1998, they're above average. I've also been impressed with Carmello Anthony. We often hear about the spectacular trifecta from the draft class of 2003, of he Lebron & Dwayne Wade, truth is Melo has yet to achieve that elite status. I think he's taken a big step forward as far as maturity and in his game which has been pretty strong since the switch went on for the playoffs. I think LA sends Houston packing tonight, and they better because they're not 100 healthy and this Nugget team will give them all they can handle. Should be fun.
Lot of build up for last night's game 7 in the NHL East between Pittsburgh & Washington. The Caps had overcome a 3 games to 1 hole to force the decider on their home ice. They got smoked. I know most aren't hockey afficionados but the Caps are on the list with the pre-04 Red Sox, Cubs, Lions, Chargers, and other great choke artists losers in sports. The opening goal was a thing of beauty for the pens by their superduperstar Sid Crosby. Set up in front of the net as a long shot from the point came in, he caught the puck with his back skate, guided it to his stick, and flipped it past a helpless Simeon Varlamov, the rookie netminder for Washington. Pitt buried them 6-2 and advance to play the winner of tonight's game 7 from Boston between the Bruins & Hurricaines. Hopefully this will provide more drama.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I mentioned how sweet it would be to be able to fill out an all star ballot for the MLB mid summer classic solely with players who either failed a test, have been implicated or named in the Mitchell report. Alas I must admit failure. If you go to they only allow you to use one write in vote per league and the list doesn't provide a juicer at every position, but here's what I came up with.
American League
1b: Jason Giambi/A's-caught red handed & kind of admitted it
2b: Brian Roberts/Orioles-Claims he only tried it once, then saw the error of his ways!
3b: Arod/Yankees-do we really need to go further?
OF: Jose Guillen/KC-Failed a drug test on 12-6-2007
OF: Jack Cust/A's-Mitchell report, when approached told a player he already had a source
OF: I wrote in Andy Pettite, you can try one of any of the pitchers who've failed tests like Juan Rincon of the Tigers who failed a test with Minny in 2005 or Paul Byrd of Cleveland

National League:
No cheaters available at 1st or 2nd base
SS: Miguel Tijada/Hou-Lucky he's not going to jail for lying to the Feds
3b: Troy Glaus/Stl-Named in the Mitchell report. Insists on his innocence, but another guy who breaks down every 45 minutes
C: Pudge Rodriguez/Hou-Talk about failing the eye test
OF: Manny Ramirez/LA- Duh!
OF: Mike Cameron/SD-Failed test on 10-31-2007....Happy Halloween
OF: Gary Sheffield/Mets-Like Bonds, deny, deny, only one who buys his story is HIM!
I wrote in Sheffield in the outfield, but you can use one of the cheating pitchers.
Ryan Franklin/Stl-Failed a test while with the Mariners in 2005
Guillermo Mote/LA-Sat 50 games after failing a test back in 2006
J.C. Romero/Philly-Sitting 50 games now for a failed test in January
Plenty of write in opportunities!
Enjoy and feel free to share your thoughts by posting here, calling the show or e-mailing me,

Friday, May 8, 2009

DUCK TALK by Tannen

Did the Friday morning Ducktalk show so I might as well share some of what we discussed. Not usually a topic, but the Lacrosse team is certainly worth some time here. Before George Horton was on board to build a baseball program, Jen Larson was hired to do the same for this up and coming sport. She joined the athletic department in 2003 to rev up the team in 2005. Their 12 wins this year is the 2nd best in the brief history. A couple weeks ago they travelled to Stanford for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament and made the semi finals, nearly moving on against Cal before coming up a bit light, 10-9. Casey Rector & Ilsa Van Den Berg were named to the all tourney team. Oregon was the 1st D-1 school in the Pacific Northwest to offer Lacrosse as an intercollegiate sport. Coach Larson packed a sensational resume as a player. She was a 2 sport standout at Virginia. As captain of the Lax team she helped the Cavaliers win a national title. She also captained the field hockey team.
Casey Martin has the men's golf team in the NCAA regionals next week in Daly City, California. Their runner-up in the Pac 10 championships was the best showing in a dozen years. Dan Miernicki was 3rd, Isiah Telles was tied for 9th with teammate Eugene Wong. Telles is a sophmore, Wong a freshman which obviously speaks to a bright future.
The women are playing in the regionals as we speak in Tempe. They went off the charts academically and were recognized nationally for their performance in the classroom.
On today's show, hoop update as Lebron & the Cavs punish Atlanta to go up 2 games to none, plus we'll preview what's on tap this weekend in the NHL, MLB, and we'll keep you updated on the Players Championship, this week's PGA stop at legendary Sawgrass.
Enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

OH THAT! by Tannen

Read today that the Oregon Men's basketball team is tops in the Pac 10 academically over the past 4 years. Bet that ticks off all the anti-Ernie crybabies. Wouldn't want an insignificant fact like the guys going to class and getting their degrees in the way of any personal agendas would we? Ha! Take that! Was nice to see the football team improve as well to avoid any punishment that would impact their on field standing. We had an awesome talk with Mike Bellotti before Saturday's spring game. It's amazing to see where he, his various staff members and players have taken this program since 1995. Remember, when he took that Rose Bowl baton from Rich Brooks, there was a sense there was no where to go but down. Instead Duck football has skyrocketed into the national picture. I insist the past 2 teams and the upcoming 09 edition have depth and talent unprecedented in program history. Health will be a dictating factor in 2009, but with a new quarterback at USC, plus lot's of questions and no apparent powerhouse conference wide, and that cycle bringing the tough teams here, contending for the Pac 10 is an achievable goal.
To the NBA, the Lakers decided they can't just show up and take out this solid Houston team. They went into attack mode from the opening bell, went hard inside and got Yao in early foul trouble. Kobe continues to be the best money player around(Lebron needs a title to dethrone) and they showed more patience on offense and took much better care of the ball.
The Celtics showed how well coached they are by Doc Rivers and again, that championship heart by running Orlando out of the gym. Their precision offensively was a thing of beauty. I'm obsessed with certain stats in sports and in hoops, it's assists versus turnovers. Boston only coughed it up 10 times and dished out 34 of those aforementioned assists. Scroll through the playoffs and see if you come up with a better ratio. I still stand by my original, borderline DUH call, Cavs over LA in the NBA Finals.
Okay, now about how to win that certificate for a couple of free rounds(greens fees) at Laurelwood Golf course in south Eugene. E-mail your response to this. And if you have won something on any of the Cumulus stations in the past 30 days, please give someone else a shot. When was the last year the NBA Finals went 7 games AND at least one of the Conference Finals series? Send your answer to:
Good luck & congrats to yesterday's winner, Tom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Read a nice piece in the paper the other day about UO Baseball coach George Horton and his frustration over the rare losing he's experienced this 1st season of Duck baseball. Not to be arrogant, but I would have been stunned beyond belief if this team had anything remotely close to a winning record. This is the Pac 10 and I don't care how brilliant the coaching, none of the everyday players had any experience beyond junior college. Of the pitcher, Drew Gagnier made 14 appearances at Fresno State 2 years ago and Geoff Nichols with Washington in 2006 and 2007 throwing a total of 36 innings. A Hall of Fame coach, sweet uniforms and beautiful facility will never, ever overcome that. Love the effort and attitude by the guys, but the reality is we're in the infancy of this thing and year one will only yield certain results.
Things got back to normal a bit last night in the NBA playoffs with Cleveland and Denver rolling to easy home court victories. The Cavs have been my pick to win the whole thing for months and with LA possibly struggling already, I'm even more emphatic about their chances now. No team in the league defends from the opening whistle until the post game handshake like Cleveland and the new MVP leads the way. The Nuggets have undergone a great transformation since the trade the brought in Chauncy Billups from Detroit. Remember, with the Pistons he's been to at least the Conference Finals 6 years in a row. The guy should be mentioned among the elite point guards in the league for sure.
Okay, if you want in on a shot for that $80 certificate that entitles you to a pair of free greens fees at Springfield Country Club, answer this baseball question. Most know Reggie Jackson forever etched in stone his "Mr October" reputation with 3 homers in game 6 of the 1977 World Series to win it for the Yankees. E-mail the answer to this question to
Who was the starting pitcher that night for New York who tossed the complete game victory?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


The Celtics & Lakers lose home playoff games on the same night for the first time in 60 years. The 2 best players in the NHL each score hat tricks in the same game. The current hottest pitcher in the major leagues turns in another shutout to drop his ERA to below a half run. Orlando looked like they'd run Boston out of their own gym before the Celts showed that heart of a champion and rallied to make it a game but came up 5 points light in game 1. In the nightcap, the Rockets really took it to LA leading for most of the game and winning with minimal drama to take a one games to zip lead in that West semi. Houston established from the opening gun they would be willing to mix it up and we saw a ton of physical confrontations and bloodied players. While Kobe had 32 points it was in a manner not usually connected to Laker success as he chucked up 31 shots. Yao Ming was just outstanding with 28 points and 10 rebounds. The big fella simply makes himself impossible to guard when he steps out and hits that 15-18 footer. Ron Artest might be borderline nuts and the haircut proved it, but he was a major tone setter with his incredible defense, unselfish play on offense and those 21 points. He was the best player on the court last night.
In hockey, Washington and Pittsburgh put on a show with the Caps winning 4-3 to take a 2-games to none edge in that East Conference semi final. The top guns for each team, Sid the Kid Crosby of the Pens and Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals each found the net 3 times in one of the more entertaining games of this post season.
In baseball, Zach Greinke of the Royals was on the most recent cover of Sports Illustrated and proceeded to shoot down the SI jinx with a dazzling complete game, 10 strikeout, zero walk shutout of the White Sox. He's now 6 & 0 keeping the below average Kaycee team in the AL Central hunt. This time of year ranks really high for sports from my chair.