Monday, May 30, 2011
I'd like to think if a story broke about say Jeter using PED's or an Oregon coach committing a serious violation I'd be objective and not start pointing fingers in every direction but the right one.
In an odd way, the Duck baseball team sweeping Oregon State to wrap the regular season is frustrating in a way. They end with a nice final record at 33-26-1 and pull off the first program sweep since the sport returned in 2009. The hitting and bullpen work was inconsistent but showed flashes. Tyler Anderson will hear his name called pretty early in the amateur draft next week. Just seems like the foundation for success has been put down well by Coach Horton and his staff. I'm thinking another 3 Pac 10 wins could have pushed them back to the post season. 36 & 23 overall and a game above .500 in league. Maybe.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Seems like we update the car wreck in Columbus on a daily basis. The owner of the tatoo parlor, Ed Rife, who doled out improper bennies to players has now been charged with drug trafficking and money laundering. Rather than go into the details, I'll just stick to my original thought. I can't imagine Jim Tressel ever coaches the Buckeyes again.
In the 5 o'clock hour today I'll replay my chat with Oregon coach Chip Kelly from yesterday. Talked some football, but more importantly the focus was the big bowling benefit coming up to help out the widow and daughters of Officer Chris Kilcullen. Get the details at www.goducks.com or contact me here at the station via email or text 653 3098.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Lot to cover on today's programs. More trouble in Columbus for soon to be ex-Buckeye coach Jim Tressel, a damaging injury to deal with for the reigning World Series champs, and at 4:30 a talk with Chip Kelley. He's heading up a big time benefit for the widow and daughters of Officer Chris Kilcullen. We'll have the details and talk some Duck football. Visit www.goducks.com for details on the football page. The Bowling Event is set for Emerald Lanes on Saturday, June 4th at 11am.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I'm hearing the typical whining about officials after Game 4 of the East Finals. Derrick Rose is not getting proper MVP treatment when taking the ball to the rack. Some have cited all the trips to the free throw stripe Dirk Novitzki is enjoying. Duh! When an unstoppable 7 footer with his repertoire makes a move, sometimes the only defense is to hack. Rose is terrific but he's 6'3. When defended properly by say Lebron James, you can just stay on him and deny easy buckets. I'm just sick and tired of folks using the refs as an excuse when things fail to go their way. Wah, Wah, Wah!
Seems like a lifetime ago the Red Sox were 0 & 7 and fans were poised to leap off the top of the Green Monster. They've won 67% of their games since and as I'm writing this have a 13 run lead on Cleveland in a matinee. I'm thinking that looks safe. Said it in March and I'll say it again now. I should also point out the bitter pain it brings me to admit they have the best 25 man roster in the bigs. If they miss the post season it's a freaking shocker. Here's hoping.
Lot to cover today including the chat Colin Cowherd had with Pac 10 commish Larry Scott. The potential for college football on Sunday if the NFL morons can't cut a deal. Catch ya later.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Really bad loss last night for the Thunder. It also revealed what can happen when you lean on inexperience at critical junctures in the post season. No question Kevin Durant, James Hardin and Russell Westbrook are terrific talents, but they're 22, 21 and 22 years old. Obviously it was a killer when Hardin fouled out but the youth played a factor. Let's face it, history says a price must be paid and as a rule, guys don't come to the pros and take over. Even when a rookie named Magic led LA to the title he had guys like Kareem in his prime, Jamaal Wilkes and Spencer Haywood to lean on. And that's Magic Johnson. Harsh lessons, but they'll likely bode well in the coming years as this team continues to make deep playoff runs.
No shows today as we have Oregon at Portland in baseball with a first pitch of 3pm. Enjoy!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Defense with authority has Miami 2 wins from the NBA Final. I've enjoyed Derrick Rose from his 1 year in college and 3 in the NBA. Not sure I've seen him post such ineffective numbers. At 1st sight those 20 points, 5 boards and 5 assists look okay. They were rendered meaningless. He was on the bench for the 1st couple minutes of the 4th , then after about 2 1/2 minutes hit a nice layup on the drive. That was his positive contribution in the last quarter. The Heat just refused to allow him any room. It was a super sweet game plan executed to perfection.
I follow baseball pretty closely. The team with the best record as we speak remains a bit of a mystery. I view their depth chart and have to do lot's of clicking because I'm not all that familiar with Jack Hannahan, Carlos Santana(not that one) or Chris Perez. That would be their 3b, catcher and closer. They have a 7 game lead over a very mediocre AL Central. They're also the only MLB team I've seen on the ESPN site that doesn't even list a 5th starter. Interesting story.
Friday, May 20, 2011
On yesterday's(Thur) show I talked about the difference between the stud young point guards, Derrick Rose of the Bulls and the Thunder's Russell Westbrook. I felt Rose had that calm and maturity about him while Westbrook seems to have a lot of growing up to do. He seemed to be adamant about remaining in attack mode despite the potential damage. Call it an element of cement headedness. It exploded last night and coach Scotty Brooks sat him for the entire 4th quarter. His jawing at Brooks is completely unaccpetable and immature. Right now, though the same age(22), Rose seems miles ahead as far as leadership, poise and demeanor.
We're off early due to Oregon Baseball. Have a nice weekend.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
This will get some play, but I wanted to acknowledge the retirement of Dick Ebersol. His work in the field of sports is legendary, but from my chair it's what he and Lorne Michaels did in the late summer/early autumn of 1975 that made it's impact. Three words. Saturday Night Live. In 1995 and 96 NBC was the home of World Series, NBA Finals, Super Bowl and the Summer Olympics. That was and is unparalleled in network broadcast history. After getting SNL off the ground, he returned to the program as executive producer and stayed from 1981 thru 1985 and bridged the era from Eddie Murphy to Billy Crystal. A couple of years ago he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from NATAS, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. On hand were the 6 most important commissioners in the biz, David Stern, Bud Selig, Roger Goodell, Gary Bettman(NHL), Tim Finchem(PGA) and NASCAR'S Brian France. The award was handed to him by Muhammad Ali. Quite an accomplished guy!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
A few topics we must address in the coming days depending on how long today's Oregon Baseball game goes. The NCAA response to the request by the Department of Justice on the legitimacy of the B.C.S. President Mark Emmert said the BCS was the organization to provide answers as his group merely provides licensing and plays no role in the BCS system. Real helpful.
Another knee slapper came with the Athletic Director at Ohio State claiming he still backs Jim Tressell. This guy would have to upgrade to have even one, rather than the usual pair of stones. Gotta love those nutbars who blatantly disregard facts. Tressell is a liar. End of story. Still be shocked if he ever coaches that team again.
You can't see me but I'm applauding. The slimeball Alabama fan who poisoned those trees at Auburn has formally been indicted. 62 year old Harvey Updike Jr. 4 felony charges and 2 misdemeanors. 62 years old and nothing better to do with his time. What a loser!
Was interested to see that latest Forbes poll about celebrities heaven help me. Despite the missteps and lack of his typical on course success, Tiger Woods remains the top athlete. Overall he's 6th on that list of the most powerful folks in the field of entertainment. The top 5 are Lady Gaga, Oprah, Justin Bieber(really!), U2 and Sir Elton John. I'll crank out the rest of the sports people later.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
In the early 90’s Magic and Bird tossed the keys to NBA dominance to Michael Jordan. About ten years later, Jordan tossed them to Kobe and Duncan. Today, in the 2011 post season, we are again seeing the keys be handed down. The 2000’s were dominated by the Lakers and Spurs, with the Celtics having a nice run toward the end, but if this post season has taught us anything, it’s that we are on the verge of change.
With the loss of the Lakers and Spurs, Denver, and Utah, the West is wide open for the next ten years. Many thought that OKC would quickly step into the contender roll, but they have some glaring alpha dog issues and have yet to prove their playoff pedigree. As much as Westbrook helped them in the regular season, he is doing his best to bring them down in the post season with his refusal to pass the ball. Even worse, Scott Brooks and Durant seemed too sheepish to step in, and have let their post season turn into a Russell Westbrook brickfest. He finally had an efficient triple double in game seven (weird how you can rack up the assists when you pass to Durant), but I have a feeling that we will again see robin masquerading as Batman in the Western Conference Finals.
Aside from the Thunder, there aren’t any teams that even come close to looking like future contenders in the west. Dallas is playing fantastic ball, but they are very old and nearing a rebuilding process. Portland has some great pieces, but seriously lacks future depth at the center and point guard positions. A healthy Oden could be a huge factor, but the chances of that seem pretty slim. Memphis looks composed and tough, but most of that is due to Randolph, who decided to get serious toward the tail end of his career. I know there is a lot of speculation of the Lakers netting Dwight Howard next year, but I don’t see that happening. Signing him as a free agent in 2012 is impossible due to their lack of cap flexibility, and a trade seems unlikely. They have far less to offer Orlando than other teams on Howard’s short list and most likely any possible trade would involve the Lakers taking on Gilbert Arenas’ contract. I don’t see how that is feasible for a team with a 92 million dollar salary next year. Even if Kobe could get used to playing second fiddle (a stretch), Arenas would be an enormous chemistry killer.
One team that could be on the verge is the Clippers. I know that sounds like ridiculous and Blake Griffin will probably blow out his knee and they will become lottery bound for the next ten years, but if he can stay healthy and doesn’t bolt to a more sane team they have a good shot at contending in the coming years. They have a fantastic young scoring guard in Eric Gordon and some good role players. They are a big free agent away from being a top team in the west, and are already the sexiest team in LA. If they could get Howard, Chris Paul, or Deron Williams through trade or free agency, their future will be extremely bright.
The East seems a bit more set in stone. Boston is too old and Orlando was a failed experiment. That leaves two realistic contenders in Chicago and Miami, who both have several years of dominance ahead of them. I know Atlanta has been surprising in these playoffs, but they are going to get rid of Josh Smith and I can’t see a move that will keep them in the top 3 Eastern Conference teams. I think Philly will move up to that 3rd spot within the next two years once their young players get more experience.
Chicago right now can do the things defensibly that made Boston the champs. They stop transition defense, they get offensive boards, and they will foul hard. Offensively, Rose will prevent you from ever getting off your heels. If he doesn’t have to take 30+ shots that team is unbeatable, all this was obvious in game one.
What wasn’t as apparent is that Miami is also a great defensive team and is 3rd in rebounding. They will make adjustments, most likely running James at point for long stretches. This is great for fans because we get to watch as an undoubtedly strong future rivalry forms. These teams will be trying to figure out how to beat each other for the next 8 years, most likely with each winning multiple titles.
These playoffs are very special. We are now in the conference finals without LA, San Antonio, or Boston. Dallas is the most experienced, but they are also the most experienced at playoff chokes. The title is up for grabs, and whoever wants it most can take it and stake their claim as the team that the NBA championship will go through for the next decade.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Thursday, May 12, 2011
How about Tiger having to withdraw from The Players Championship with an injury? Shot a 42 but is suffering from a serious knee injury as well as an achillies ailment. What happens if this requires surgery? That would put a wrap on 2011, meaning he resumes his pursuit of Jack's 18 majors when he will be 36. For the record, the Golden Bear won 4 majors after the age of 36, ironically one each, the 78 British Open, both the US Open and PGA in 1980 at age 40 and of course the legendary performance at Augusta in 1986. In that other chase, Nicklaus has 73 career PGA Tour wins which is 2nd all time while Tiger is just 2 behind in 3rd. The leader is Sam Snead up ahead at 82.
Lot to talk about as we return to a full slate of programs beginning with Crunch Time at 3pm.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I read that boxer Bernard Hopkins, a Philly area guy, tore into Donavan McNabb. Said some really nasty things and actually implied he wasn't "black" enough. Said McNabb wasn't that tough. Sounds like Hopkins is desperate to remain relevant. He's 45 years old and still fighting for a paycheck. He's fighting a week from Sunday for the WBC Light Heavyweight Title against Jean Pascal. The whole rant came off pretty pathetic. He also insinuated Michael Vick was tougher than McNab. Right, need to be a real macho guy to drown or shoot or strangle an innocent dog. Hopkins has now risen a tad higher on my official "douche" list!
Not sure when we'll join you today because we have Oregon baseball starting at 12:30. Enjoy!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Pirates are over .500 this late in the season for the 1st time in 7 years. The fact remains that's embarassing! This is one of the most historic NL Franchises in the history of our national pasttime. Now it's a big deal because they're 18 & 17 the 2nd week of May. Still have not had a winning season since Barry the Baloonhead left for Frisco after the 1992 season. With that rotation, it's not gonna last, even in the weak NL Central.
I'm hearing a ton of negativity about the "dynamic" between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant of the Thunder. Okay?? They just won a huge game to re-take home court edge in their West Semi set against Memphis. These guys are both incredibly young and are still finding their way but doing it while moving on in the playoffs. Get a grip people because as Herm Edwards once emphasized, "the goal is to win the game"!
I don't even care about the details as long as the Celtics lose playoff games in Boston. The end of regulation was a car wreck with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen losing their mind and failing to set a screen to give Paul Pierce a better look or room to roam.
I read that Tiger Woods dropped to 8th in the World Rankings. I think there was a time, let's say after winning the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines when we were 100% sure he'd surpass the magical 18 that Jack Nicklaus posted for Grand Slam victories. After the personal implosion I'm thinking the number dipped a bit to maybe 75% sure? Then seeing him look like just another really good golfer another drop in the percentage of certainty. He's 35 and don't forget, he still has to WIN FIVE MORE! To put that into pure numbers, in the past 50 years, only 9 players have won that many. Just that accomplishment alone would put him past Phil Mickelson, Ray Floyd and even with Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson. It would only leave him one shy of hall of famers like nick Faldo and Lee Trevino. I no longer think it's a done deal. Until proven otherwise, Jack remains king!
Monday, May 9, 2011
Gotta send a shout out to my guy, Derek Jeter. 1st two homers of the year as part of a 4 hit day in the romp against the Rangers. Raised the batting average 26 points in the series to a semi respectable .276 though well below his career number of .313. He's 40 hits shy of becoming the first pinstriper to reach 3K.
Awful weekend for the Oregon Baseball team. They mustered just 2 runs off a very good UCLA pitching staff. The bottom line is they can forget the post season. It's also critical to remember they're 3 and playing in one of the most cut throat conferences in America. The foundation is strong under George Horton but they've clearly been given a jolt of reality this year, especially at the bat. Tough week with games at Seattle tomorrow and Wednesday before hosting Stanford this weekend.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
In the East I was really impressed with the game plan designed by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau who made his bones as the defensive master under Doc Rivers with the Celtics. In a game they had to have, the opponent(Hawks), managed just 73 points. Atlanta did not make a bucket the final 4:15 of the game, managing just 2 Jamal Crawford free throws as Chicago locked them up air tight. They rendered the perimeter impenetrable. Needing points, Atlanta managed the following down the stretch. Misses from 17, 28, 20, and 19 feet while the Bull offense put the game on ice. Well done and that thing is all square heading for Dixie.
Major question of the day for Crunchtime and Sportstalk gets us back to Artest. Who are some of the athletes we view as "troubled" who just never changed and a few who actually matured and put their pain in the butt past behind them. Curious as to who you come up with.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
So what happens if the Miami Heat win the NBA title. In the best shape of anyone right now up 2 games to zip against the Celtics. Does goofball Cleveland Cav owner Dan Gilbert take out a retraction ad in the Plain Dealer? Remember he pretty much guaranteed they'd win a title before Miami after Lebron's infamous "Decision". How about all the pickle headed media and fans who hammered this guy for a one hour indiscretion after carrying a franchise on his back and busting his butt 24/7 over his 7 seasons with that miserable, loser franchise? It's far from etched in stone, but even making the league finals would be quite the accomplishment considering it's only happened once before with the Heat.
More than 24 hours after his idiotic tweet about the Bin Laden killing, I'm still astouned at what a complete and total moron Rashard Mendenhall is. As we discussed yesterday and a sentiment that has been echoed by those with a clue, his freedom of speech is locked and loaded. But his bosses can also exercise their rights by telling him to find employment elsewhere. We in the public can also tear him a new one and mock him publicly. Not as emphatic, but a hell of a lot of fun!
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Steelers Rashard Mendenhall went on a tweeting binge. Interesting take. We should not be hating on Osama Bin Laden because we've never heard him speak and only heard one side. So if we took the time to hear him give a speech, we'd be okay with the murdering of innocent kids, women and people for the past 2 decades? He also backed Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to modern day slavery.
The NCAA has cited Boise State for a major violation. Lack of institutional control. In women's tennis. They also hit the Broncos with some secondary issues in four other sports that included football. We all know that at a school like BSU, beyond football, women's tennis really drives the athletic department wagon. Odd.
Stupid me. I'm all geeked out pouring over the NFL draft when it turns out I missed the pro poker league choosing 200 people to compete in it's 1st tournaments. If this is one of those deals where it's only hold 'em, I vote no. Who started this trend? It's not even real poker. You have 8 year olds playing on line. Give me some old school hi/low, stud or other games where you actually have to read cards and players. Hold em sucks!
Monday, May 2, 2011
I don't want to hear the apologists regarding Kiko Alonso. Remember the Reggie Bush mess at USC? Their excuse was you can't keep an eye on all 100 players 100 percent of the time. They complained about a short staffed compliance department. Bull-hooey! When it's the best player in the program, the level of focus and crossing those T's and dotting those I's must be unyielding. Coming off a season long suspension like Alonso, he had to be a choir boy. At the first sign of trouble, and that includes who he hangs around with, he's gotta get out of Dodge. It's a simple formula at this point. Smoke = Fire. He's been indefinitely suspended. With Casey Matthews NFL bound and the departures of Spence Paysinger & Bryson Littlejohn, the linebacking spot had already taken a substantial hit. Now this. Brutal!
I know some are uneasy over the level of celebration regarding the death of the face of evil when it comes to international terrorism. Here's my read. It's wrong to take joy in the death of a fellow human being. Cats like Bin Laden ain't human in my book. Hip Hip Hoo-FREAKING ray!
Did you hear the NBA is mandating metal detectors for the rest of the playoffs in the wake of our Special Ops people taking out the garbage in Pakistan? Smart. Never let your temporary joy allow you to take your eyes off reality. Look forward to your thoughts this afternoon. Enjoy it!