Friday, December 14, 2012

Breaking the Bank, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With all of the big name free agents on the market this time of year, you see some front office brilliance but more often than not, you see a lot of mistakes. Yesterday's signing of Josh Hamilton by the Angels was not a good move in my opinion. They had all kinds of talent on that roster last season, and just barely missed out on the postseason. Why not just stick with your guys, use the 25 million dollars a year to pick up a couple of quality players, and not have a bunch of overpaid big shots in the clubhouse? And if you think they are a sure playoff team in 2013, remember they had Trout, Pujols, and the best rotation in the AL in 2012 and couldn't squeak their way into the playoffs. This move could pay off for them, but for now, I'm not buying into it.
Another team that just doesn't get it are the Los Angeles Dodgers. This Zack Greinke deal really bothers me.  Greinke is a damn good pitcher, and I think he will increase the Dodger's chances of winning the west, but in no way is he worth $147 million. This is the most money ever paid to a right hander, and there are a handful of righties I would rather have than Greinke, who aren't getting nearly as big of a paycheck. And haven't they learned from what happened to them last year? After acquiring Gonzalez, Beckett, Ramirez and Victorino, they just went down hill from there. It's not like they aren't getting good players, they are just overpaying everybody who has decent numbers but a big name.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not So Civil War, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Last week's heartbreaking loss to Stanford really put a spin on the Ducks' season. We are in a very similar spot as we were last season after the USC loss, except we had a PAC 12 Championship game to fall back on last year. Now the Ducks are in need of a UCLA win over the Cardinal for a shot at the Rose Bowl. However, there is a scenario where Oregon does not want a championship game. There's a chance that Oregon can still make it to the Natty without winning their conference.
I know that USC is without Barkley, but that doesn't mean Notre Dame is just going to steamroll over the Trojans in Los Angeles. Keep in mind, SC quarterback Max Wittek was a top five recruit in his class, and he has two tremendous receivers to throw the ball to. The Irish have been having some troubles in their secondary as of late, and the Trojans have the type of firepower to exploit those weaknesses. So if USC can upset the Irish, that makes Oregon's road to Miami a little bit easier.
They would still need Florida State to beat Florida, but I don't think that will be much of a problem. Gator QB Jeff Driskel is probable to play with his ankle injury, but he is on the road against a very talented Seminole team, and the Noles should win with no issues. If both Notre Dame and Florida drop their rivalry games, all the Ducks need to do is take care of the Beavs in Corvallis, which will be no easy task.
Oregon State is looking for an At-Large bid for the BCS, and a win over the Ducks would make them very attractive to a game like the Fiesta Bowl. The Ducks are not only playing for a Rose Bowl or a possible National Championship, but they want to lock up a spot in the BCS. If Oregon doesn't want this season to be a complete bust, they need to beat the Beavers in the Civil War.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Natty Bound, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. It took some help from Johnny Football and the Aggies, but the Ducks now control their own destiny for a trip to the Natty. Before last week, many thought that if Oregon were to win out, they would have surpassed K-State in the polls anyway. But after the A&M upset over Alabama, they don't need to worry about leaping anybody. Their task becomes simple... Just win. With Game Day in town, tomorrow is by far the biggest test of the season for the Ducks. They may have more at stake, but Stanford is in control of their own fate to get to the Grand Daddy of them All, and that is plenty of incentive to win. A slight concern for the Ducks are the health status of their two Heisman hopefuls who suffered injuries against Cal. Barner and Mariota gave fans a major scare when they both left the game last week, but were able to come back in the game and make an impact. Kenjon Barner had a bit of a struggle, but was picked up big-time by Freshman QB Marcus Mariota, who threw for a career high six touchdowns and completed nearly 80% of his passes. Mariota has really proved himself over the last two weeks as an elite quarterback, and he should be given some serious consideration for a trip to New York. In my opinion, the Ducks have three players who have the potential to win the Heisman this year, and I think it will happen. I'm just not sure which of the three it will be.
The MVP for both leagues were announced yesterday, and there were no real surprises in the writer's choices. Buster Posey was the clear choice in the NL, and he beat out Ryan Braun and Yadier Molina to add an MVP to his list of hardware. Posey now has a ROY, Comeback Player of the Year, a Silver Slugger, Hank Aaron Award, 2 rings and now an MVP to put on his mantle. That is a great career for most players, but this 25 year old just finished his first full season in the big-leagues. Over in the AL, I had no idea why it was even a discussion. I mean, Miguel Cabrera won the first Triple Crown in 45 years and that alone should be able to give him MVP. Plus, the fact that he lead his team to the Playoffs is a big boost for him in the writer's eyes. Don't get me wrong, Mike Trout had the greatest rookie season ever recorded, but this honor was rightfully rewarded to Miggy. In the very near future, Trout will get his first MVP, and it won't be his only one.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soaring, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After last week's tough road test in Southern California, the Ducks have another crucial Pac 12 contest tomorrow in Berkeley, as the Cal Bears try to spoil Oregon's dream season. Last week, the Duck's offense looked just as explosive than ever, as Mariota and the boys dropped 62 on the Trojan defense to lead them to a perfect 9-0 record. Kenjon Barner put himself in the Heisman spotlight, rushing for a career-high 321 yards and found the end zone five times. I may be a bit bias, but Barner's season stats are second to none as far as the Heisman race goes. With three regular season games left, Barner has already rushed for nearly 1300 yards and 19 touchdowns. What makes this most impressive, is the fact that he is putting up these kind of numbers while only playing in one full game so far this season. By the way, that full game was against a preseason #1 on the road. Although the speedy Oregon offense may be better than ever, their defense will have to step their game up from last week's performance. Before the USC game, the Duck D was stellar, but the secondary didn't quite show up to the party last week. True, SC does have two spectacular wide-outs in Robert Woods and Marqise Lee receiving the ball from a talented Matt Barkley, but I don't think they should be able to put a 50 spot on the scoreboard. To our credit, we did get the stops when it mattered most. Tomorrow shouldn't be to big of a task, but Cal always plays the Ducks close, so it won't be a total cakewalk. This is just another stop on Oregon's way to another Natty.
I know we're less than two weeks into the NBA season, but there have been some pretty big story lines thus far. Let's start with the struggling Lakers. Sitting at 1-4 on the season, the Lakers haven't been looking to sharp with the new addition of Dwight Howard. Although Howard himself is playing at a high level, it just doesn't seem to mesh very well. Their lone win on the season is against the Pistons, who aren't particularly the toughest competition out there. The good thing for them, is that they have plenty of time to adjust before it is too late. Another hot topic is the new back court of the Houston Rockets. Consisting of James Harden and Jeremy Lin, the Rockets have gone from cellar dwellers to contenders overnight. Harden is leading the league in scoring, averaging over 30 PPG while Lin is back at it again averaging 7 assists and 3 steals. It looks like the west is going to be loaded this year, and it's going to be a fun season to watch.

Friday, October 26, 2012

BCS, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After an all out demolition of the Sun Devils in the desert, the Ducks come back home to face the Colorado Buffaloes. For a team known for their potent offense, the most impressive aspect of Oregon's game has been their defense. The speedy Duck D has been outstanding thus far, allowing only 20 PPG in seven contests. And keep in mind, our scrubs gave up all 21 against ASU, so if it wasn't for Chip calling the dogs off so early, the Ducks' defensive stats could be even more impressive. Playing Colorado tomorrow won't help us any in the BCS polls, where the computers give no love to the city of Eugene. I mean, is it Oregon's fault that we are beating the teams on our schedule? Last season they received a lot of scrutiny for opening against LSU, and so far this year, we're being punished by the polls for not having an SEC type schedule where every game is a test. The Ducks have faced two ranked teams this year, and have outscored them 101-21. Now if that isn't taking care of business, I don't know what is.
Today is a World Series travel day, and for the first time this Postseason the Giants have a lead in the series. Tomorrow, the series will shift to Detroit tomorrow for three games, and if I'm a Tigers fan, I want to head back to the Bay only down 3-2. If they can win 2 out of 3 at home, they have a fighting chance in San Francisco. The Giants have been playing with their back against the wall all Playoffs long and I don't think they are going to blow this. This series will be closed out in Detroit, and the Gigantes will be World Champs.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Game Five, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. This is the first time in Postseason history where all four Division Series' have gone to a Game Five. Yesterday the two teams from the Bay fought their way back from an 0 - 2 deficit to force a Game Five, and the Giants ended up prevailing while the A's are headed home to watch the rest of the Playoffs on their couch. San Fran became the first NL team to win 3 straight games after being down 0-2, not to mention this new 2-3 format where the Giants dropped the first two games at AT&T. Their opponent in the NLCS will be determined today between the Nationals and the Cardinals where Jason Werth's walk off homer kept them out of elimination and alive for a Game Five. That game will be played tonight in Washington at 5:30 and the winner advances to play the Gigantes in the NLCS. Over in the American League, the Tigers were able to avoid disaster like the Reds and have advanced to play for a chance at the World Series. They now await the winner of the Orioles and Yankees today at 2:00 in Yankee Stadium. New York will be without a struggling A-Rod in the starting lineup as Joe Girardi decided to bench him after two straight games of being pinch-hit for. I personally do not agree with the decision. I think this team should live or die with Alex Rodriguez at the plate, regardless of his recent struggles. It has been a really exciting week of baseball and it continues tonight for the chance at the Fall Classic.
Speaking of New York, the Jets aren't having the kind of start to the season like they wanted to have. After getting demolished by the 49ers two weeks ago, people were already chanting TE - BOW, and I could not agree any more. On Monday, Sanchez improved but still doesn't have the kind of awareness that elite quarterbacks do in this league. Don't get me wrong, I don't think Tim Tebow is an elite QB by any means, but its time for Rex Ryan to give Tebow Time a chance. The Jets have a tough task on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colt,s and this game will either make or break Mark Sanchez of the starting quarterback role over Tebow.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Win or Go Home, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. 162 games have been played, and it all comes down to tonight for these four teams. In the NL, the Braves and Cardinals take on each other at Turner Field today at 3:00. Atlanta sends Kris Medlen to the mound as they look to win his 24th straight start. That's 23 in a row! He has been incredible this year for them, posting a 1.57 ERA and a 10-1 record , as he broke Whitey Ford's record for the most consecutive starts with a team victory. Not to mention the Bravo's have an extra incentive to win knowing this might be Chipper Jones' final game of his Hall of Fame career. He has not yet said if this in fact will or will not be his last game, but he is a class-act and probably does not want to distract from the game. For the other game over in Arlington, the Rangers take on the Orioles, as both teams had a disappointing end to the season. The O's were in position the win the East, but couldn't pull away with it, however they did not collapse like the Rangers did. Going into a final three game series with Oakland, they were up two games and all they had to do was win one and they couldn't. And that leads me to ask the question, did Oakland really have to celebrate clinching a Playoff birth, when they are two games away from a potential Division Title? Anyway, that game is also played tonight at 5:30, and the winner advances to the NLDS.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Some Competition, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After last nights game between the Huskies and Stanford, it looks like the Ducks aren't the only team in the Pac-12 North. Cardinal quarterback Josh Nunes did not impress me at all, while Keith Price's composure on the Washington side of the ball really showed me that he can play at a high level, even when he doesn't have the numbers. It doesn't look like an easy road for Oregon this year to the Championship Game.
Speaking of the Ducks, they take on Washington State in Seattle tomorrow and the Ducks look to improve to 5-0 on the season, while Wasu is looking to get above the .500 mark. Sophomore CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has been the spark plug to this Oregon defense and was named the National Defensive Back of the Week last week. With the contributions of Michael Clay and Ekpre-Olomu, this defense has had two consecutive shutouts and they believe they can get a third in Seattle tomorrow. The Cougars are definitely on the rise from where they were for the past couple of years, with Mike Leach as the new head coach and they are looking forward to the opportunity of knocking off the second ranked team in the land. Prediction -- Ducks 52  Cougars 20
Now with just over about a week left in the regular season, the race for October is just about as tight as it can be. In the AL East, the Yanks have just a one game lead on Baltimore and Tampa Bay is still holding on at four back in the division and only two back in the Wild Card. Over in the Central, the Tigers have taken a two game lead over the White Sox. In the National League it's a little more simple. Two teams have already clinched their division and two more have locked up a Playoff birth. The LA Dodgers, after spending all that money, are hanging on by a thread in the Wild Card at three games back. I look forward to what the rest of the week has in store!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Eventually this NFL ref situation will be resolved and an amazing event is going to take place at 15 stadiums around America that first week upon their return.  Fans who usually cuss out and have nothing good to say about the officials will greet them with rousing ovations.  Before the game.  Then the game will start and sometime in the 1st or 2nd quarter a long play by the home team will be negated by a holding call and the boo birds will be right back at it.  Mark my words. 
I just heard John Lynch on the radio and he had some intriguing insights.  Called the NFL owners & commissioner Goodell arrogant.  He said the growing issue of concussions, repeated blows to the head and their frightening long term impacts has already altered the landscape.  The youth league his son plays in has already been cut in half from 8 to 4 teams over parental concern.  Lynch is a Stanford guy who had a career I feel will land him in Canton as a Hall of Famer.  He has great passion for the game and like Steve Young, you've seen and heard the anguish they've expressed over what's happening with their league.  These are not dumb jocks.  These are intelligent, articulate guys who see the big picture and offer more than a hysterical, in the moment thought. 
I can not believe it's coming up on 48 hours since the Monday night debacle in Seattle and Goodell has not been seen or heard.  I'm not a fan from the get go due to his allowing Michael Vick back in the league, but this reveals a complete lack of character and credibility.  The product generates 9.1 billion in annual revenue.  We love it.  We get our own version of "The Day America Stood Still" each Super Sunday.  The most viewed programs in history list lots of Super Bowls.  How can we take the commissioners word on player safety or the Saints bounty program when he just lied to our faces in issuing the statement backing the atrocious call to steal the game from the Packers?
This has now transcended sports.  I'm going to be very curious to see the developments over the next few days.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Week Two, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After leaping to no.4 in the nation following the route of Arkansas State, the Ducks are now focusing their attention on the Bulldogs of Fresno State. In freshman QB Marcus Mariota's first start, he showed off his ridiculously accurate arm and decision making, and there have even been talks of him possibly being the greatest signal caller in UO history. That may turn out to be true, but I'm not going to jump to that assumption after one half of football against a sub-par opponent. I really liked what I saw out of him and I can't wait to see some more of him this week. But the player that I REALLY enjoyed watching was Colt Lyerla. It seemed like every time he touched the ball it took the entire defense to bring him down. Along with DAT's strong performance, this offense looks like they picked up right where they left off. Coming off of a disappointing 4-9 season for the Bulldogs, they would love to crash the party and upset an elite team like Oregon. Although it's been a rough couple of years for them, this is a program that has had some success in the past and have played the Ducks tough. They are no Arkansas State, but I really just don't see them giving Oregon any fits. Prediction -- Ducks 49  Bulldogs 20

Monday, September 3, 2012


Here's why I'm not buying into the Arkansas State game as #83 in the now very shaky sellout streak at Autzen Stadium.  Beginning with Oklahoma to open the 2006 season when the number at the turnstiles read just over 59-thousand 2-hundred, the Ducks have hosted 11 non-confererence games.  The LOWEST attended was Houston in 2007 with 57,600.  That's about 15-hundred more than showed up on Saturday.  You can twist this around, spin it, or put out 20 different press releases.  The fans have spoken.  Ticket prices are too high for a pushover opponent.  In 2009 Purdue drew a little over 57,700.  Otherwise New Mexico, Missouri State, Portland State, Utah, Utah State, Boise State, and Fresno State all saw attendance over the 58-thousand mark.  More than 59-thousand showed up for NEW MEXICO!  Not sure why anyone would value such a meaningless, vague, and now very tainted streak!  Your thoughts welcome by posting here, emailing or send me a twitter message @sportstalk953

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Gameday, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. This year's season opener for the Ducks may not be quite the task as last year's, but never the less, Oregon Football is here again! The season kicks off tonight at Autzen Stadium in the first ever meeting between the Ducks and the Arkansas St Red Wolves. Marcus Mariota takes the field for the first time as the Oregon starting quarterback, and regardless of the opponent, it will be good to see how he handles the pressure of the prime time on ESPN. He is going to be filling in some big shoes after arguably the most successful QB in Oregon history, Darron Thomas. I know that there were times last year when Thomas would make some bonehead plays, but I'll tell you what, anytime a quarterback leads his team to two straight Conference Championships and two straight BCS Bowl Games in his first two seasons starting, he gets an A in my book. Mariota will be looking to repeat that kind of success and it all starts tonight. I don't see the Red Wolves pulling off any sort of upset and the Ducks will take advantage of the cake season opener. Prediction -- Ducks 56  Wolves 10
In other sports news, today marks the first day of September baseball and the races are really heating up. After having a huge lead in July, The Yankees are now just 2 games up on the O's. Over the last 10 games the two teams have gone in complete directions. The Yanks have gone 3-7 while the Orioles have won 7 of their last 10. With just a little over a month left in the regular season, that is going to be one tight race between the two teams but also with the Tampa Bay Rays right on their heels.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Kickoff Awaits, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Ranked #5 in the Preseason USA Today Poll, the Ducks are just a couple of weeks away from kickoff against Arkansas St. at Autzen Stadium. Still with the quarterback situation uncertain between Bennett and Mariota, I think it will be hard to go wrong with either player. Bryan Bennett was 2-0 as a starter last season when Thomas went down, but Mariota had a much better performance in the Spring Game. As for the running situation without LaMichael James, it will be up to Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas to carry the load. We all know about the talent that both of them have, Kenjon being the backup to LaMichael for the last three years and DAT with his breakout freshman year averaging over 10 yards per carry. This year's non-conference games should be an easy 3-0 going into Pac-12 play.
Just when you thought everything was going fantastic for the San Francisco Giants, everything falls apart again. In Pablo Sandoval's first game back from the DL, the Giants finally had a lineup with Melky, Posey, Panda and Pence in the same lineup. That one day was the last time that would happen this season. Just when the offense clicks to compliment the great pitching staff, Melky Cabrera had to follow traditions of great San Fran left fielders. Cabrera is now suspended for 50 games for use of testosterone, when there is only 45 games remaining in the regular season. The Melk Man, a fan favorite by the bay, was hitting .346 this season, second to only Andrew McCutchen who is having a career season of his own. Cabrera who is a free agent at the end of the season, is eligible to come back to the team during the NLCS, but two things are wrong with that. The Giants now have to MAKE the playoffs without their batting leader, and do they really want him back after 50 games without play? Plus, what kind of player will he be without the PEDS.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


So Melke Cabrera is the latest cheater to get caught.  At least he admitted it.  When confronted with the positive test he didn't play the typical no way, not me, gotta be a mistake garbage.  Copped to getting caught.  How sad is it that a cheater is providing a breath of fresh air.  He is the reigning All Star Game MVP.  Nice side note.  I went through the list of regular season MVP's and compiled a list of those I'm sure juiced.  Aroid, Clemens, Bonds, Sosa, Pudge Rodriguez, Miguel Tijada, Jason Giambi, Ryan Braun, Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco.  Yet the players union seems to fight all progressive efforts to truly clean up the game.  Classy!
Speaking of charm, the agent for Julius Peppers created a website to smear a reporter who blew the lid off the academic scandal at North Carolina, JP's college.  Dan Kane of the Raleigh News and Observer  wrote Carl Carey even taught a class at the Charlotte campus and used that as leverage in pursuit of clients.
I caught the tale end of the Felix Hernandez perfecto.  Yikes.  That's high up my list of the most dominating performance I've caught on the tube.  The Rays hitters had no chance.  They weren't even taking big league hacks.  Felix owned them.  Obviously I'm not a Mariner fan but I jumped out of my seat on that last filthy change to finish the job.  All 12 of his strikeouts came something other than his fastball,which topped out at 96mph yesterday.
I've been a fan of Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott since he was the CEO of the Women's Tennis Association.  The guy is a mover and a shaker.  I loved his comment about the ridiculous nature of the Coaches Poll.  It was in response to USC coach Lane Kiffin stating he was no longer be voting in that idiotic poll.  If I'm a university administrator paying a coach 3-4 million annually to run the heart and soul program of the athletic department I don't want him wasting one second.  85 scholarship players, a dozen or so walk-ons, his assistants, his staff, all the media and glad handing obligations and more is enough.  He should not be concerned about the possibility that either Michigan State or Arkansas is the 17th best team in America. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Toys, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. To me, one of the most exciting time of the baseball season is the week before and after the trade deadline. All of the hype and rumors before the deadline has everyone worked up wondering who their team is going to get, and once 4 o clock hits everyone stops and focus' their attention back on the season and making the playoffs. Now that the teams have gotten the chance   to play with their new toys, the questions are now focused on performance. Can he make the transition from a hitters park to a pitchers park? Can he pitch in a pennant race? The two biggest acquisitions in my opinion were Zack Greinke to the Angels and Hunter Pence to the Giants. I think with Greinke, the Angels easily have the best rotation in the American League along with CJ Wilson, Dan Haren, and Jered Weaver. When you add that rotation in with their stellar offense, they are now set up for a dogfight with the Rangers in the AL West.
Staying in the West, the pick up of Hunter Pence to the Giants is bigger than the stats show. Pence, a two time all star, is having a sub-par season at the plate. A career .290 hitter, Pence is only hitting .267 with 17 homers and 60 RBI. This is a perfect time for a trade. For the Giants, pitching can only get you so far. I don't care how good you pitch, when you score no runs, you will not win a ballgame. Hunter Pence knows that it will be a task to hit the ball out of AT&T so he won't be hacking at the fences on every swing, thus more base hits are sure to come. What the Gigantes really need is for somebody to get that runner from third to home with less than two outs, and I think that somebody will be Hunter Pence. I know that the Dodgers had a great trading season, so that just makes it even a bigger move to get Pence. Be prepared for quite the fight in the NL West this year.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


The Trailblazers confuse me.  I guess that's an upgrade from recent years when they disgusted me or just failed to interest me.  I thought the hiring of Neil Olshey as GM was a wise move and pointed them in the right direction.  For those new to my act, I'm not a Blazers fan.  They're kind of my adopted Western Conference team.  The key from my chair is Paul Allen pretty much remove himself from final decisions.  He has every right to input, but he's been a failure as an owner.  The teams who made the NBA Finals in 90, West Finals in 91 and League Finals again in 92 were put together by another brain trust.  Save advancing in the 1999 & 2000 playoffs, the team has never made it out of the 1st round with Allen as owner.  He needs to trust the basketball people he hires and back the heck off.  We've seen the movie with him at the helm and it's ended in disaster each time.  This coaching search has been odd.  Now it's apparently down to interim coach Kaleb Canales and Dallas assistant Terry Stotts.  Seems like a decent enough hoops guy and has had 2 different shots at a head gig.  Nearly a decade ago he went 24 & 31 with Atlanta after taking over 27 games in for Lon Kruger but followed with a miserable full year going 28 & 54 before getting canned.  As the Bucks bench boss for the 2005-06 season, he went a respectable 40 & 42 before deteriorating to 23 & 41 the following year, getting the axe prior to the season ending.  Here's my question.  If the franchise was enamored with Stotts, wouldn't he already have the gig?  Their actions dictate otherwise.  I'm thinking why not just tell Canales he gets a full year audition to see what he can do with a non-lockout camp, some nice draft picks plus the fact they kept Nicolas Batum.  If he's not their man, you can conduct an all out national search.
It was 33 years ago today the sports world got hit with one of those tragic moments.  Obviously as a sports nut & Yankees fan living in the shadow of Manhattan it hit my house a little harder.  Catcher & Captain Thurman Munson was flying his Cessna Citation home to Ohio but came up 600 feet short of the runway, crashed and died.  We later learned he never should have operated a plane of that caliber as it was too powerful and he did not have the proper experience.  The whole thing seemed surreal. I was 18 years old, had just graduated college and was working the summer in my uncle's print shop, the 7am-3pm shift.  Was crashed out on the couch in our den when my sister, then 14 woke me up with the news she'd heard on the radio.  Oddly, in another 16 months she'd emerge from her room with the news John Lennon had been shot.  RIP Thurman, the Captain of back to back New York Yankee World Series champs, the 1st two I witnessed.

Monday, July 30, 2012


This might be titled "catch up", but let's throw in a little "keep up"!  NBC is getting hammered for their coverage of the Olympics.  The tape delay when the games are held overseas has been a common theme, but this is the first time all the social media, especially Twitter has been so prominent.  You want to show action in prime time considering the gazillion dollars you spent for the exclusive rights?  Fine!  But do you really think the results are a secret?  Why not show some of the primo events live, then again for folks in the states who would not be able to watch until they get home from work in a more traditional sense?  Hopefully things will get better as the Olympiad moves along.  I'm not holding my breath.
Spent the weekend in Portland and caught my first Timbers soccer game.  It's a terrific scene.  The facility is terrific.  I hadn't been there since it was PGE Park at a Beavers Triple A baseball game.  I almost didn't recognize the place.  The passion of the fans is more European or South American.  Constant chanting and singing all game long.  I was there with my daughter & her boyfriend who live 3 blocks from the stadium and are crazy fans.  My wife was there as well.  Her love of soccer?  Not so much!  I had a great time even though the team is struggling, particularly on offense where they fell 1-nil to Chivas USA.  It's only their 2nd season in the MLS and when they improve and become a contender, it's gonna get even nuttier!
The sports world has been rocked by the apparent suicide of a young NFL player.  Titans reserve, O.J Murdock was found in Tampa outside of the high school he attended of a gunshot wound.  The team had reported he would not be at training camp to deal with a personal issue.  Really sad.  Just 25 years old.
On today's shows, we will cover some of what went down over the weekend, the all out beginning of NFL camps, your calls, our digressions and more.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let's Make a Deal, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With the trade deadline upon us there are still many teams that need to make a big trade before it's too late. Look for the Astros to continue to get rid of people and start over, and the same goes for the struggling Phillies. Over in the West, after the hamstring injury to Pablo Sandoval and the lack of production  on the first base side, look for the Giants to pick up at least one corner infielder before the deadline. With the Dodgers right on their heel, it will be important to counter the Hanley Ramirez trade. For all the teams looking for just a little boost, the two players that would be at the top of my list is Zack Greinke and Chase Headley. Both those players come from struggling teams and they would be a huge addition to any team that is in a tight race for the postseason.
When I saw that Ichiro was a Yankee, I could not believe my eyes. Even if it weren't the Yankees I would have been surprised but I have never pictured Ichiro in a New York uniform. Another move I was very surprised to see was Hanley Ramirez to LA, but it makes a ton of sense. Even when Dee Gordon returns to the Dodgers, he is not the offensive threat that Hanley Ramirez is. Although he is only hitting .251 on the year, he is still a career .301 hitter and he is the kind of player that is capable of hitting .330 the rest of the way.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Catching a bit of Mike Riley at Pac 12 Media Day.  We always hear about how quickly things move.  Twitter, social media and other technological advances have shrunk the world and served as the foundation of this information age.  I still say it's not even close about the speed with which a college football program makes it near the top compared to falling on hard times.  The misery comes much quicker.  Take Oregon State.  In both the 2008 and 2009 Civil Wars they played the Ducks for a trip to the Rose Bowl.  In 2010 they had a potential bowl birth on the line and 8 months ago it was for pride as they won just 3 games.  That circumstance hadn't existed since 1997.  The Beavs are picked last in the North, even behind Washington State who won 4 games last year after a grand total of 5 the previous 3 seasons.  Riley is calling for 18-hundred rush yards this season despite a horrifying 2.8 yards per carry in 2011 against D1 competition.  Always liked & respected Riley, but if the Beavers pull a no show and can't improve on last year and set the stage for hope in 2013, his seat will be hot!
I don't care about your feelings for USC football.  No way can we take for granted they're back in the mix as one of the nation's elite.  I'll be interested to see what happens with Urban Meyer and Ohio State as far as the ability to bounce back from sanctions and vie for big prizes.  I think some are etching in stone that Southern Cal will have an excellent defense though last year they showed some serious vulnerabilities.  Arizona State put up 43 on em.  Arizona scored 41.  In 3 ot's Stanford racked up 56 and in defeat the Ducks rang up 35.  I think the pass defense will be key.  They suffered limited losses in the secondary and return a ton of talent.  If they can overcome the loss of their top pass rusher, Nick Perry who went in round one to the Packers, I'm buying them as legit to win the whole shooting match with that offense.
I am not sold on the Yankees picking up Ichiro.  I get it from the Seattle side as he's 38, mediocre at best and the contract is up at season's end.  Teams like New York, Boston and the better hitting clubs have that Sabremetric approach.  Make the opponent throw a ton of pitches, see the value of walks and don't be afraid to hit with the count in the pitchers favor.  Ichiro is the opposite of that.  He's kind of selfish and over the past two years which includes just over one-thousand at bats, his strikeouts are double his walks and his on base percentage is a paltry .300.  Color me skeptical!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Obviously the feedback will come from all angles on the punishment handed down this morning(Mon) by NCAA president Mark Emmert that blew up Penn State's football program.  The hammer has been dropped.  From my chair nothing is too severe.  Please never forget we're talking about aiding a child rapist.  Too much attention on football, the students, the players, or the community.  This is all about letting those innocent children, now eternally scarred young men, know we want to demolish all that made this possible.  So the Penn State football program won't win many games for a while.  Boo Hoo!  Who do you think will take longer to get over what happened?  The boys raped by Sandusky with the Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier and Tim Curley stamp of approval or folks in State College when Purdue beats them 38-17?  Finally someone is forcing proper priorities in this entire toxic situation! 
Major kudos to Desmond Howard of ESPN for understanding that it might not be completely fair to the current PSU players, but pointing out they still have choices on how to move forward, but the Sandusky victims had NO choice. 
With the understanding nothing touches Nittanyville for the story of the day, we will also hit on the Scott collapse at the British Open and in baseball, how bout them A's sweeping the Yankees in one of the best regular season series I've witnessed in a very long time!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I'm pretty easily pleased.  Just a happy go lucky kind of guy.  It's British Open week.  I love to sit at my desk in our luxurious studio, flip on the tube, work away at preparing a radio show and watch a major event.  It's my firm belief that the sports gods like me a lot!  I just saw a poll that revealed 39% would take Tiger Woods over the field to win this thing.  I consider that kooky talk.  I think he has a shot, but not 2 in 5.  Maybe 1 in 20 right now.  I'll be the first to admit choosing the winner of a major right now is as big a crap shoot as any period in the history of the game.  Beginning with Paddy Harrington at the 2008 PGA, we've witnessed 15 different winners of the majors.  As a sports fan how do you not love that.  On today's show I'll gauge the preference of fans to go for the dynasty or big name over the wild card champion.
As of this writing, the ESPN site has it's 2 lead stories focused on the Knicks deciding not to match the Houston offer for Jeremy Lin.  I think that's a bit much don't you?  He turns 24 in a month and has played 65 career games.  Isn't he more of an ex-factor than a proven commodity?  Does he warrant this much attention.  Here is a non-negotiable fact.  Over the last dozen years, the New York Knickerbockers do nothing right.  Perhaps that bodes well for Jeremy and the Rocket faithful.
Frank Schleck of Luxembourg is a cyclist.  He's taking part in the Tour De France.  He failed a test for a banned substance.  He's asked his "B" sample be tested and has threatened to file a complaint against a person he failed to identify for "poisoning".  Hearing the excuse factory for those who get nailed for doping has become a mini-pastime of mine.  It's provides as much comic relief  for me as my favorite sitcoms, stand-ups or comedy movies.  I always have to ask.  Does the culprit actually believe their complete and total Bull-hooey?
I just heard former Penn State president Graham Spanier has dropped his lawsuit against Penn State.  He does realize that if you might be going to jail for being a heartless scumbag, bringing legal action against another won't get you off the hook right?  The gall of these people is unending!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh That! by ST

So they hired a GM and from my chair did well in the draft.  Let's see.  What's missing?  Oh right, a head coach!  This is one of the great oddities I can recall in sports.  Talk about losing sight of the basics.  The guys you select in the draft have no say, but if there was an actual system in place wouldn't that aid in attracting any level of free agent?  The latest name I read in the running to coach the Trailblazers is Patrick Ewing.  Retired as a player exactly a decade ago.  Primarily has been an assistant who works with fellow big guys.  My question is if qualified, wouldn't he have already gotten a head coaching gig?  Not flat out saying it would be a bad hire, but it begs the question of "what does new GM Neil Olshey see that no one else has"?
Just when you thought the injury bug had wiped it's hands of the Red Sox, down goes big bopper Big Papi!  Having a monster season and at times carrying this offense with the dings to Ellsbury, Pedroia, the trade of Youklis and more, he tweaked his heel on the big homer last night off the bat of Adrian Gonzalez.  Seriously, running out some one elses dinger injured himself.  Talk about a curse! 
Looking forward to the British Open starting late Wednesday/early Thursday.  We've hit that "almost" period.  Nearly time for all NFL camps to break, along with the countdown to media day and the beginning of summer practice for Oregon.  Throw in the Olympics about 10 days off and the MLB trade deadline 2 weeks away, it's nice to have a big time event to follow and ignite passions among sports fans.  Tiger is the favorite.  I guess no one else is more logical, but I'd anticipate a wide open affair bringing us more than a handful of contenders come the back nine Sunday.  Royal Lytham in Lancashire is a pretty unique track as it's the lone course in the rotation where you can't see the ocean or Irish Sea.  David Duval captured his lone major when the Open last passed this way in 2001, just prior to 9-1-1.  Legends like Bobby Jones, the last Brit Tony Jacklin and Seve Ballesteros(twice) have taken home the Claret Jug from this venue.  The last 3 times it's been held here the winners have been -10, -13 and -11.  The current weather says this is more likely to harken back to Seve's first victory in 1979 at one under.  Either way, it's something I'm looking forward to.  Enjoy it all!

Friday, July 13, 2012

2nd Half Storylines, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Now that the All-Star Break is over, baseball resumes today and there are many questions surrounding the second half of the season. One team that is on every one's mind is the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Buccos begin the second half with a one game lead over the Reds, and the Pirates are looking for their first winning season in my lifetime. They have the front-runner for the NL MVP in  Andrew McCutchen.  McCutchen is not only hitting .362 with 18 homers and 60 RBI, but he just has a different sense of confidence this season. Maybe that has something to do with him hitting the cover off the ball. On the other end of the spectrum is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are now 14 games out of the division lead and 13 games below .500. If you would have told me before the season had started, that the Pirates would be 11 games over .500 and the Phillies would be 14 games behind the Nationals, I would have laughed right in your face.
Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are continuing to battle it out as rookies. I know that Trout has much better stats than Harper batting .341 compared to Harper's .284, but Harper has that Pete Rose hustle and he plays the game the right way... HARD! Don't get me wrong, I thing Trout is a great player, and he could become the first player since Ichiro to win the Rookie of the Year Award and the MVP in the same season. Two great young players will continue to liven up the sport of baseball in the second half.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tight Races, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. We are just a couple of weeks removed from the All Star break, and division races are beginning to heat up. Let's start with the AL East. Hands down the best division in baseball has all five teams above the .500 mark. After Boston's terrible start, they have managed to work their way up to 40-35 and 6.5 behind the Yankees. New York has been playing some great ball lately. Fresh off of a double-digit win streak, they are the hottest team in the league and I don't see them fading at all. One team that I do see fading is the Baltimore Orioles. The O's started out very strong but have been hanging on by a thread in the East. They sit at 5 games behind but I think their only hope for the playoffs will be that second Wild Card spot. I see potentially 3 teams from the East making the postseason this year, and you can never rule out the Rays or even the Blue Jays for that matter.
Another tight race is in the NL West between the hated rivals Giants and the Dodgers. Los Angeles got out to the best start in baseball but with the loss of Matt Kemp, they have came back down to Earth. LA started the series with the Giants 3 games up, but after being shutout 3 straight games by Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Tim Lincecum, the two teams are tied atop the division. It was nice to see Lincecum get his stride back after 6 straight losses. He now sits at 3-8 on the season with an ERA just under 6. On a side note, it is completely ridiculous that Melky Cabrera is behind Matt Kemp in the All-Star voting. The Melk Man is on pace for over 240 hits this season and Matt Kemp hasn't played since early April. If Melky doesn't make the All Star game, I will have lost all faith in fans voting for the "best players" to play in the All-Star game.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I truly believe you and I are as capable of predicting the outcome of the NBA draft as the so-called experts.  The same information is available.  Information is sacred and no GM is telling a reporter anything.  It's the NBA, not the CIA!
1-Anthony Davis = DUH!  2-Bobcats go Thomas Robinson of Kansas.  Their top rebounder was Boris Diaw.  They need this guy.  3-Wiz-I'm thinking Bradley Beal of Fla, perhaps the top scorer in this draft to pair with John Wall in the back court.  They already have a nice young big in Javale McGee.  4-Cavs:  Is LeBron still available?  Then I'm saying Michael Kidd Gilchrist of KY.  Their defense stinks and this kid is tenacious.  5-Kings:  They're more likely than even Portland to screw up the draft.  They had the worst defense in the league.  Gotta go with Andre Drummond, the big from UConn.  6-Blazers:  I'm going with the flow.  Damian Lillard of Weber State.  Big Sky is a decent hoops league.  This guy can sting it and for all his handling of the ball, is pretty good in the turnover department.  7-Golden State:  Another horrible organization who lives in the lottery.  Take Dion Waters of the Cuse.  Kid is a beast who attacks the bucket like DWade.  8-Toronto Raps:  Why are they still in the league?  The Toronto Star's lead story today was Portugal/Spain in Euro Soccer.  They don't care about hoops.  Austin Rivers of Duke.  They'll care about him.  9-Pistons:  I hate the Pistons and hope they screw this up.  After some scanning I'm buying what I read in the Free Press.  John Henson of UNC for some killer "D".  10:  Hornets-With Davis at one do they desire more size?  Not enamored with Grevis Vasquez at the point and though he's non-traditional, they take Jeremy Lamb of UConn.  11:  Blazers again.  I think they should take Meyers Leonard of Illinois who got better and better as the season moved along.  I think the new GM Olshey will be more conservative & go name/school recognition with Ty Zeller.  12:  Bucks-traded Bogut last season and will go center.  If Portland takes Zeller they take Leonard.  If it's the other way around.  It's the other way around.  13: Suns-Their primary goal is to aggravate Matt.  If I'm right and Lamb goes to NOrl at 10, I'm saying Terrence Ross of Washington.  I think this kid is one of the can miss guys in this draft.  See how we do??

Monday, June 25, 2012


I was wondering if the overwhelming verdict in the Sandusky trial made a difference.  Seems to me most decent folks with an operating cerebellum got the guy is a despicable pig.  I was disturbed by the blind followers who did not share his last name.  If you are a family member, there exists a certain mentality.  Some others in State College came off as supportive in a naive, disturbing way.  Hopefully seeing this piece of garbage hauled off in handcuffs will open some of those eyes.
Obviously I'm the opposite of a Red Sox fan.  Yet I can't help but feel bad about the trade of Kevin Youklis to the White Sox.  He, along with Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and a few others were at the core of ending the curse and bringing 2 World Series titles to those loyal Boston fans.  Yook was awful this year, the Chisox needed some kind of production at 3rd and the Bosox have a young hotcornerman in Will Middlebrooks.  I get the baseball side.  It just would have been cool of Youklis could have remained with the team who drafted him till the end.  Ironically, Middlebrooks attended the same Liberty Eylau high school as one LeMichael James. 
Got out to the Olympic Trials late yesterday afternoon(Sun) to catch the men & women's 400 and the final of the men's 100.  I might not be a big track and field fan, but was caught up in the atmosphere at Hayward Field.  Folks were absolutely riveted and as usual, wired in because of their passion and knowledge.  In 2008 Bryshon Nellum was shot in the leg during a drive by.  Now the USC stud is heading to London to represent his country in the 400 meters.  I was happy to see Sanya Richards Ross get a chance for redemption.  I recall her in tears on the track 4 years ago in Beijing, a beaten favorite, having to settle for a Bronze.  See if she can't bring home the gold this summer.  I was along the fence near the grandstand and her smile circling the track was worth a million bucks. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Best is Still to Come, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With the first day of the US Open in the books, Tiger Woods is sitting at 1-under and second place on the leader board. For the first time since 2002, Tiger shot under-par in the first round of a US Open. Trailing only Michael Thompson at 4-under, Woods has set himself up nicely for the rest of the Open.
The Game One victory for the Thunder was once again overshadowed by the Heats loss and Lebron's "inability" to play in the fourth quarter. I have news for you, although James didn't have the game he wanted, he still dropped a 30 spot for the fourth game in a row. He needed some support from somebody other than Shane Battier, and Chris Bosh needs to quit settling for 20 foot jump shots. But in Game Two, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh came back with a combined 40 points added on to Lebron's 32. After having double digit leads multiple times, Kevin Durant just continues to prove that he is a true All-Star and a MVP caliber player. The athleticism of Oklahoma City compared to everyone else in the league is just ridiculous. Just when you start to key in on KD, here comes Russell Westbrook and James Harden. The Heat big three and the Thunder big three gets the job done in completely different ways. Miami ended up squeaking their way to a Game Two victory to even up the series. The action now moves to South Beach for the next three games. That is the problem I have with the 2-3-2 format. If the first two games are split, then the other team all of a sudden has the home court advantage but that is just my opinion on it. Game Three is set for Sunday night in Miami, and I couldn't be more excited.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Did the Thunder win last night?  Did Miami lose?  Keep those facts in mind.  It's one game.  Erik Spoelstra and his braintrust have to figure a few things out.  Open, good percentage jumpers are okay, but settling like they did most of the 2nd half is fatal.  Lebron looks like he kind of gets it.  There were periods when he harkened back to last Finals and caved to pressure.  Then on occasion he seemed to understand the value of using his physical advantage and even got to the line 9 times.  Kevin Durant seems wise beyond his years.  The kid was magnificent with the money on the table.  I keep having the word "moxie" flash in my head.  There is a confidence we witness with elite athletes.  Tiger over a big 5 foot par putt.  Brady delivering a 3rd and 9 pass on the numbers in the red zone.  K.D has shown that type of high level brilliance pretty consistently this spring.  Russell Westbrook might be an entity unto himself.  Not sure we've seen a point guard quite like him with his athleticism, strength and upside.  He had 11 rebounds.  And 27 points.  Nick Collison made a tremendous contribution.  Really provided the West Champs with a jolt.  I'd be surprised if OKC lost any games where they score over 100.  That's my magic number.
"Goodfellas" is one of my all time favorite movies.  Always felt that should have captured best picture over "Dances With Wolves".  The lead character in the flick was Henry Hill played exceptionally well by Ray Liotta.  Hill died today at age 69.  Turned 69 yesterday.  Lived the life of a big time scum bag, ratted out his associates to save his own ass, went into witness protection and still lived a life of crime.  His loss makes the world a better place.  We're talking addition through subtraction.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Down to the Wire, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Four straight wins by the Oklahoma City Thunder over the Spurs have propelled them into the NBA Finals. The only question now is who their opponent will be. Looking at the first five games of the Heat-Celtic series, it was almost identical to the Western Conference Finals. Going back to Boston it looked like the series was all but lost for Lebron and the Heat, but never underestimate the power of Lebron James. With a 45 point - 15 rebound performance, James led the Heat to a 98-79 Game Six victory. Lebron was keyed in from the get go like I've never seen him before. He had a different attitude about himself that he had with Cleveland. He knew that their backs were against the wall and he just put the entire team on his shoulders. I don't care if Boston plays their best in Game 7, if Lebron James performs the way he did in Game 6, the Celtics might as well just pack up their bags right now. But  let's just say James doesn't drop another 45, a big component of this game will be Chris Bosh and his ability to make big plays. Bosh has been a non factor in his first two games back from his abdominal injury, but he will have to rise to the occasion in Game Seven in order to advance to the Finals. Although James and Wade have been the two superstars of the Heat this season, I feel that Bosh is the key to this teams success. When he is in, they just seem to have a certain type of rhythm that is very hard to stop once it gets rolling. Game Seven tips off on Saturday at 8:30 eastern time. I think that the Heat will come out with more intensity than the Celtics, and keep the foot on the pedal for 48 minutes. My prediction is Heat 101 -- Celtics 88.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


I wondered about the pulse of old Supersonics fans about this great run by the Thunder, now based in Oklahoma City.  I think it became clear last night.  After OKC roared by to eliminate the Spurs in game 6, I logged onto my Twitter account(@Sportstalk953) to chime in on the issue.  In a stunning development I offered up a few sarcastic comments to poke at the Seattle faithful.  I was told to "die in a fire"!  The bitterness & anger just exploded via social media.  I'm curious as to how this is playing in Portland as they watch a stud like Durant become arguably the league's best player while Greg Oden's career with the Blazers is over?
One fact that's key is folks saying Oklahoma City supporters haven't had to live through the rough years.  Don't forget, Portland got their franchise in 1970 and won it in 1977.  Pretty quick.  Sure, this is only the 4th season of the Thunder but in year one they did go 23 & 59 before getting progressively better each season.
Some MLB thoughts.  Anyone notice the Pirates have snuck above the .500 mark?  I didn't until this morning, and ironically they lost yesterday to the Reds.  They're doing it with the most anemic offense in baseball this side of Oakland, but the stingiest pitching & defense outside of Washington!  Breakout season to this point for big righty James McDonald.  This is just his 2nd healthy full season in the rotation.  Good stuff with about a kay an inning and his control has reached a career best.  He's allowed only 48 hits over his 71 innings of work.  See how he holds up during the fast approaching dog days.  Now in year two as the closer, Jack Hanrahan hasn't been hit by sophomore jinx with Bucs.  Well over a strikeout an inning, but some control issues with 12 walks over his 21 innings of work.  They have one legit stick in Andrew McCutchen.  Only batter hitting over .275 and an on base percentage higher than .330.  Can't imagine these shortcomings don't do them in, but good times in a great baseball city!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I know in this age of screaming opinions on twitter, radio and TV about sports or politics, it's generally seen as sign of weakness to admit error.  I'll always insist it reveals character and strength.  In 1998 I was doing a version of this show twice a week on Monday and Friday nights from 5:30-7pm on local public radio.  I was astonished at the outcry over Casey Martin's pursuit of the right to ride a golf cart to pursue his dreams.  Really?  My take then was if you let members of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders carry me around like an Egyptian Pharaoh, perform sexual favors and feed me grapes, I ain't hitting those kinds of shots.  We heard the typical hysterical whining.  What's next?  Some guy is gonna sue for the right to pitch in the major leagues or play football.  How'd that turn out?  Better yet, how many on the PGA or any other pro tour on planet earth are using a golf cart in competition?  I tried to explain this was a unique case and not a door opener.  I was even more astonished that actual golfers took stances against Martin.  I felt they belittled their own mad skills by even insinuating mere mortals could approach their talent by riding a golf cart!  Congratulations to Casey on this magnificent accomplishment.  And happy riding!
Lot of talk about folks amazed the Spurs could reel off that kind of win streak then when it matters most, lost 3 in a row.  Pretty simple answer no??  They weren't playing the Thunder, in the NBA version of the Final 4.  This is not only a terrific team, but check the roster.  Top 4 players, Durant, Westbrook, Harden & Ibaka are 23, 23, 22 and 22.  Find me another match historically?  This team made the West Finals a year ago and followed up with a tremendous regular season.  Their graph is pointing severely north.  I'll call this a very mild surprise they've reeled off 3 straight, but logic pointed to a 50/50 prop to win this series.  This is not stop the presses stuff, just a natural progression from a team well constructed to grow and win.  For the record, because of that youth & the quality of San Antonio, this series is not yet in the bag.
Quick thought on Tiger's win a the Memorial over the weekend.  Forget the "he's back" nonsense.  As long as Woods is healthy, he's got a shot.  He's facing a ton of really, really good players.  A hundred guys capable of taking him down on a given weekend.  Beyond Phil, none would have what you could accurately refer to as Hall of Fame credentials.  None that are currently in their prime anyway.  See how he fares next week at the Olympic Club in Frisco when the US Open gets rolling.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've always been annoyed by Diplomatic Immunity afforded foreign dignitaries in our country.  I've experienced it first hand with illegally parked vehicles in Manhattan when I'm looking for a spot.  Obviously it applies in more serious situations but it reminds me of officials in the sports we follow.  Coaches, managers and players must make themselves available to the media or face fines.  Referees can stick their heads straight where the sun doesn't shine and what?  Nothing!  I'm not saying they should have to face reporters after every game, but at times, gotta face the music.  After Miami's win against Boston yesterday, zebra Ed Malloy absolute had to answer for the "T" he hit C's coach Doc Rivers with.  Rivers could be seen mouthing the words "C'Mon Eddie".  You get a technical for that?  Inexcusable. 
HBO has announced it will feature the Miami Dolphins on it's "Hard Knocks" series.  I didn't watch much when it was Dallas, the Cincy Circus or the disaster known as the Jets, but from what I've read & heard, they were at least interesting.  I'm planning a nap around this one.  The Fish haven't been charismatic or worth paying attention to since Marino retired unless you find Jay Fiedler riveting.  Joe Philbin is their new head coach.  I can't imagine that's gonna have folks knocking each other over to get to the dial.  Know who their quarterback is?  Well they drafted Ryan Tannehill from Texas A & M. I'm betting most football fans are aware of him but could not pick him out of a line-up.  Perhaps this show has run it's course.
It appears a couple of anticipated MLB contenders have survived horrific starts and could very well end up in the thick of things.  The Boston Red Sox are now within 4 1/2 of the division lead now held by the suddenly sliding Orioles.  The Angels have seen Albert Pujols warm up and have reached the .500 mark and though they trail the West leading Rangers by 6 1/2, but lie just 2 1/2 behind the Chisox for the last wild card slot!  Today we'll find out the status of Ace Jered Weaver who had to leave the Yankees game yesterday(Mon) after 3 hitters with severe lower back pain.  When it happened I thought it was his knee, but it was his entire lower half just buckling in agony.  Here's hoping he's okay cause the guy has become an elite starter.  On today's show, your current 5 man rotation to save planet earth.  I have Weaver, Verlander, Kershaw, Felix Hernandez and a few others in contention like Cain, Hamels, CC or a healthy Doc.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Conference Finals, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. As Game 7 approaches in the Celtic-Sixer series, they are looking to capture the final spot in the Conference Finals. This has by far been the most competitive, and evenly matched series of the Semifinals. The first four games of the Heat-Pacers series were very fun to watch. They were physical, high energy, and very competitive. However, once Miami matched Indiana's physical style of play, the series was over. Game six could have been the Pacer's best opportunity to get back in the series, with the Heat down three big men. Both Udonis Haslem and Dexter Pittman were suspended for their flagrant fouls, and Chris Bosh is still out with that abdominal injury. Even without those three players, all the Heat really needed were two. Lebron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 69 points as the Heat closed out the series 105 - 93 in six games. The Heat are red hot going into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Oh yeah, and there is another team in the Playoffs that deserve our attention. That team is the San Antonio Spurs. They have not lost a game so far this postseason and has won 18 straight dating back to the regular season. Although he is old and out of his prime, Tim Duncan is still fully capable of giving you 15 points and 15 boards any given night. Now it is time to see what happens when an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object. This series between the Thunder and the Spurs is sure to be a great one. Both teams have plenty of confidence, but they are two very different teams. The Spurs are very experienced and have an incredibly deep bench, and the Thunder are young and have a crazy amount of talent. I would make a prediction on this series, but to be completely honest, I have no clue who has the upper hand in this. It will be a great series and I can't wait 'til it begins on Sunday.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The recent winner of the "out of left field" honor goes to Shaquille O'Neal interviewing for the vacant Orlando Magic GM spot.  Really?  Because of the long tradition of great players excelling in the front office right?  Don't give me Larry Bird as he's the exception to the Jordan, Isiah, Kevin McHale rule.  Good luck big fella.
I'm little kid pumped for Spurs/Thunder in this NBA West final.  Boston/LA or a major market team might have been the preference for the suits who care about TV ratings and the like.  From a pure basketball standpoint this is all you could ask.  The up and coming OKC team versus the established, consummate professionals from San Antonio.  It's not the contrast in style many have discussed.  One of the reasons you have to admire the Spurs is they've adjusted on the fly.  No longer do they walk it up after baskets or rebounds and run the offense through Tim Duncan.  The addition of Gary Neal,  Danny Green & Kawhi Leonard has opened things up and of course Tony Parker can still do damage in the open court. 
Nothing like a seasonal first at a most opportune moment end in heartbreak.  Be it the regular season or this Stanley Cup chase, the Rangers had yet to overcome a 3 goal hole.  Last night in game 5 at the Garden they spotted the Devils a 3-love lead and when Marian Gaborik poked one past Marty Brodeur it was all even.  It wasn't meant to be as Jersey, who has really carried play most of this series, grabbed the lead for good on a gorgeous set up to Ryan Carter in front.  Then the Devils iced it with an empty netter.  Game 6 is tomorrow.  When the Rangers won their only Cup of this generation(1994), they overcame a 3 games to 2 hole against Jersey.  Ironically the same guy was in the pipes, 21 year old Martin Brodeur. 
Love Memorial Day Weekend.  Packed with big games and a full slate of MLB.  Looking forward to Nats at Braves in the NL and Rays at Red Sox in the AL.  Giants at Marlins has intrigue with Tim Lincecum throwing versus Josh Johnson in Friday's opener.  Should be fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pourquois, Por que, or better yet, WHY??

Is it me or are an element of fans and media completely thrown by the Lakers on the brink of getting eliminated?  We do remember the Thunder being installed as a prohibitive favorite.  If you were in Vegas prior to this series starting and bet $50 on OKC you'd get back $60, for a mere $10 profit.  Had you rolled the dice on LA and they won, that same $50 would have returned $250!  I'm consistently surprised by folks who are surprised by something so NOT surprising.  Had a conversation with my dad and a few of my buds from back in Jersey.  They're very upset with how the Yankees season is moving along.  Again, WHY??  They lost their closer and set up guy.  Beyond CC Sabathia and maybe Hiroki Kuroda they don't have a reliable starter.  Alex Rodriguez might go in the books as the most overpaid, under producing pro athlete in history.  Tampa is way better and the Orioles are playing out of their minds.  I guess if that mindless bimbo pig from Jersey Shore can have a following and make a bunch of cash, everyone feels they're entitled to success. 
Thought on Oregon baseball.  You look at that lineup and don't get filled with fear on a traditional level.  It's not the kind of attack where the 3-4-5 hitters send a chill up the spines of the opposition.  Then you take a closer look.  Not an easy out from top to bottom.  They make pitchers work and keep defenses on their heels.  I get a sense it doesn't matter if they're facing a lefty or righty, power pitcher or locator, they can carve out runs.  Add that to a team who pitches and catches the ball exceptionally well and you have this.  This, being a very good thing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


You keep repeating the same act and expect a different outcome.  It's nuts.  It never works.  I'm watching the end of Pacers/Heat with a group of people.  We're thinking Lebron is taking the last shot because no way he's going down that road AGAIN.  Lo and behold, he passes to a teammate who misses from behind the arc and Miami loses.  I don't care if it's Dwayne Wade's team or if Mario Chalmers hit a money three in the NCAA final against Memphis 4 years ago.  James is robo-player.  He's gotta shoulder that burden.  It's enough.  The word defer being associated with this guy is officially old and annoying.  Shoot the freaking ball Lebron!  In this case the team needed a 3.  There is not a perimeter defender in the history of basketball who could prevent James from at least getting a decent look. 
Another story you'll hear about is Toronto's Brett Lawrie getting in trouble for slamming his helmet to the ground and hitting home plate umpire Bill Miller.  Honestly, a part of me wishes he clocked Miller in the noggin.  I can't stand umps or officials with an axe to grind or those trying to send a message.  Call the stinking game and get out of my face.  The 2nd strike in the at bat was obscene.  Lawrie is a righty hitter.  The ball was so far outside it caught the white on the inside part of the lefty batter's box.  The punchout pitch was at least 8 inches high and MAY have caught the plate.  Lawrie will and should get a suspension, but so should the punk in blue.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Nats are Back, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. When the season began, we all knew that the Nationals would be more competitive than they have in the past, but with the way they have been playing lately there is no reason to think that they can't win the division. I know that it is early in the season and they are only up by .5 games, but they have one of the best pitchers in the league in Stephan Strasburg and a great young talent in Bryce Harper. Also their 2.64 team ERA leads the big leagues, and when you're pitching like that, you're going to win some baseball games. Bryce Harper has been a blast to watch ever since he came up. Only 19 years old, he has gotten the attention of the entire sporting world, including Cole Hamels. When he plunked Harper, the worst thing that he could have done was admit that he was trying to hit him, although a five game suspension for a starting pitcher isn't anything more than a day off. I think the Nationals have the talent to be a playoff contender, but there is still a lot of baseball to be played.
When Derrick Rose went down in game one I was still sure that the Bulls would be able to get past the Sixers in the first round. Six games is all Philadelphia needed to prove me wrong. The eight seeded 76ers took it to the  one seeded Bulls for only the fifth time in NBA history. Now it looks like the Miami Heat have a clear path to the NBA Finals.

Monday, May 7, 2012


My first reaction to hearing about the former NFL Players bringing legal action against the league was "come on"!  You really didn't know this game was dangerous?  Now with more information being made available about the long term impact, I'm backing way down.  Much will come down to what the owners and league knew prior to the rest of us.  Obviously the in game risk of broken limbs and damaging injuries was common knowledge.  What about the long term impacts to the brain and quality of life?  I harken back to the era when tobacco was regularly promoted and a key advertiser in sports.  Turns out they knew it was poison but lied about it in the name of profit.  We now see the folks at R.J Reynolds or Philip Morris as evil.  The NFL owners are multi-millionaires and billionaires.  Are we really putting it past them to offer an information blockade in the name of massive profits?  Seems like an issue worth pursuing.  Very curious to hear your thoughts on this.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Playoffs Are Here, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. As the NBA regular season came to a close yesterday, it's time to take a look at some of the match-ups in the first round. Let's start with the Heat-Knicks series. This season in the East, the difference between being a seven seed or being an eight seed is almost nonexistent. Some would even argue that it would be an easier task to play the Bulls rather than the Heat in the Playoffs.The Knicks are a good seven seed, and with a healthy Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony they have a shot at upsetting the Heat it the first round. I think it will be a good series, but the power of the Heat will win it in five or six games. I think the best series in the first round will be the Hawks and the Celtics. Even though they are old, they still know how to play basketball and they have the experience to win in the playoffs. The Hawks have a couple of very good players in Joe Johnson and Josh Smith. Johnson hasn't had the season he wanted to have so far, but he can still turn it around with a good postseason. Even though Atlanta has the home-court in the series, I think the experience of the Celtics will be too much for the Hawks and Boston wins in seven games. Finally, the most interesting series of the first round will be the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks are another team that have a lot of experience, especially when you compare them to the Thunder. Oklahoma City has a big three of their own with Durant, Westbrook, and sixth man of the year James Harden. Never discount the fact of sheer determination of Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, because let's be real, did anyone expect them to even make it to the Finals last year. I think it will be a great series and it could go either way, but I think the Thunder will take it in six games.

Monday, April 23, 2012


Been hearing from some of you about members of the national media and commentators in other markets knocking the Ducks for the recent "whole lotta weed" story.  It's meaning less.  Those concerned about the hit Oregon or any other school in this place takes to reputation are wasting their time.  For openers that 17 to 22 age group is not a strong sports radio demographic.  Think about this.  A coach outside the U of O is trying to use that against them in recruiting.  But the kid loves the offense and visits Eugene on Game Day.  The place is packed and face it, for the most part Oregon rolls.  The attention is huge on ESPN.  It's big time college football.  Really concerned the young guy is worried about some dunderhead they don't know spewing idiotic numbers about pot?  Please!  Sure, the parents or guardians might ask a question or two but will they really conclude it's a serious problem here versus Tempe, Southern Cal or Columbus.  Each program has it's warts.  Unless the NCAA pulls schollies or issues sanctions, words don't damage a top flight program.
I'm almost ready to pity Ron Artest.  If he wasn't such a jack ass.  Seriously, at age 32 you have the exact same emotional control and maturity as you did in college?  At least when he helped ignite the Malice at the Palace in 2004 he was only 25.  What truly disturbs me about his flagrant elbow to the side of James Harden's head was it didn't follow his usual insanity.  Mostly his childish acting out is in retaliation or aimed at a player or fan who has drawn his wrath.  This was random.  The typical wack job who is so focused on their immediate emotional needs that everyone else is potential collateral damage.  Another level of idiocy exists in the timing.  So selfish & out of control he will cost his team the good things he brings to the table on the court during the playoffs.  Guys have busted butt all season to likely grab a 3 seed with a shot at the grand prize but because one ass hat put himself above the rest, their hard work suffers. 
Later this week as we approach the draft we'll shoot down some myths.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Out for the Season, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. With the playoffs right around the corner, Magic center Dwight Howard will miss the rest of the season due to a herniated disk in his back. Howard has been suffering from back problems since late March, but it wasn't until last week it was discovered that it was a serious issue. Just a few weeks after staying with the Magic, today Howard will undergo back surgery. Even though Orlando will be going into the postseason as a six seed, you have to think that they won't even put up a fight in the playoff let alone the first round. Howard is such a huge part of this team and without him, they are a below average team at best. This season he averaged a double double with 20 PPG and 14.5 RPG. It just shows you that even with all of the distractions that were surrounding Howard and the Magic this year, Orlando is nothing without him. Now with only one season remaining on his contract, they are going to have some of the same issues that they had earlier this year. If Howard decides not to come back after next year, I predict the Magic will turn into what the Cavs were without Lebron.
Speaking of Lebron and the Heat, yesterday's game against the Bulls had a great playoff atmosphere. It was a physical game that the Heat ended up winning by a score of 83 - 72. James had 27 points and 11 rebounds in the Heat win. This was the last meeting of the two teams this year unless they meet in the Eastern Conference Finals. Although Derrick Rose didn't play again due to a reoccurring issue of back spasms. The Heat are still fighting for the one seed in the East, but they still remain 1 1/2 games out but they are hot as winners of 5 straight. It  should be a great last couple of weeks of the season.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Gotta be honest, I caught the Pat Summitt press conference announcing her stepping down as head coach at Tennessee and had the box of kleenex at the ready. Turns out she was the pillar of strength and composure you'd expect from a true titan. Sports media, like it's bretheren tends to get caught up in the hysterics or hype story of the day. Nothing was more substantial than coach Summitt retiring. She's on that list with John Wooden, Vince Lombardi tell me.
I don't buy all of this Ducks on weed story. We know college students and athletes toke. The percentage is a tad sketchy. I can't imagine it's as high as the 60% the stoner reported or minimal. I love the fact random testing is out because of state law. If probable cause exists, grab the pee cup. Otherwise we fought and beat the Nazi's in the 1940's. We always hear about how awful math skills have become. So now all of a sudden some Stoner McGee blazing up is offering specific statistics? I bet a majority of students couldn't use the proper formula to even determine how many of their teammates equals 40 or 60%. I'd be very surprised if Oregon players were substantially different than the average D1 program.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


It's rare you'll direct someone from your website to another, but baseball fans must read the piece by Tom Verducci on the Sports Illustrated site. Just navigate to Inside Baseball. It's time to rethink an issue that's never sat right with me. The automatic 9th inning move to the closer. I used to scream at Lou Pinella from the right field bleachers during many a game at Yankee Stadium when he was the skipper. New York on the lead. Top of the 9th. In comes Dave Raghetti. I believe this mentality cost the Yanks the East title in 1985 & a shot to catch Boston in 1986. You do have exceptions. What Mariano Rivera is doing borders on insane for durability and productivity. Otherwise, it's rare you see lights out over anything more than a 3-4 year period, if that. The article I alluded to presents a great case using the massive data now available. I compared it to how we must now view football with the information available on concussions, head & neck injuries and related issues.
One of the funniest cracks I've heard in weeks came from a writer who covers the A.C.C. Says the conference hasn't had a legit Heisman contender in a decade. He blamed Midwest & West Coast media bias. I just loved that remark. Shine a light on how ridiculous it is to blame the media for your team or program's shortcomings.
I'm I the only one who responded "DUH" when word came down Saints coach Sean Payton was not permitted to have any kind of contact with any one in the NFL? Kind of the point of the suspension for this kind of action no??

Monday, April 16, 2012


Laughed pretty hard when I heard new Boston Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine tear into Kevin Youklis for his attitude. Been saying since day one that Valentine is completely ridiculous in this posistion. Certain managing & coaching gigs require more than a knowledge of x's & o's. This is clearly one of them. Operating in this kind of fish bowl is a different deal. The manager of the Bosox must form a reflective shield for his players. Success will breed a good reputation for the manager, not throwing his best players in front of a bus to the media. Bobby V has always been about Bobby V. I've mentioned it before but no one in the solar system has a higher opinion of this guy than this guy. Calling out Yook for his work ethic or approach to the game is obscene. The guy brings a fire that is reminiscent of the all time greats. He takes outs and poor at bats personally. That hasn't changed, just the knucklehead putting his name in the lineup. They had the perfect guy in Terry Francona. He was to the Bosox what Joe Torre was to the South Bronx. He stood between the media, irrational fans and his guys. Let them do their thing. I get that Boston came unglued a bit last September, but much of that went to pitching. It's not like they rolled over and played dead. They remained in the playoff hunt until the final pitch of the regular season. I'm thinking the curse is back on. Yes, that's a really big smile on my face.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 1 Story Lines, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. The MLB season is underway and there have been some big story lines. Ozzie Guillen was suspended for 5 games after his comments on a very touchy subject in Miami. For the second straight year, Boston's struggles in April continue. Last season they started out 0-6 and this year 1-5. The way I am looking at it is, if they would have started out 1-5 last year, they would have made it into the Postseason. Theo Epstein would still be the GM and Terry Francona would still be there. A lot would be different. A team having different fortunes this year is the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have started out 6-1 and they are riding a three game winning streak. Even though it is early, they are making a statement that they are going to be contenders in the NL West. Another contender in the West is the Giants. Usually known for their pitching, the Giants have the worst ERA in the National League. Two time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum looks like he forgot how to pitch. Lincecum has posted an ERA of 12.91 and suffered the shortest start of his career, after giving up 8 earned runs in 2 1/3 innings of work. The only thing keeping the Giants from a disaster is the hitting. They are averaging over 5.5 runs per game. So far, it's certainly not the Giants of the past couple of years.
The coaching situation for the Saints has been resolved, and Bill Parcells is not a part of it. For the first six games of the season, it will be offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. After Joe Vitt serves his suspension for those six games, he will be the new interim head coach.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I really liked Ozzie Guillen's apology yesterday. I bought it. For openers, no script. Too often a celeb gets caught being an idiot and they read a prepared statement obviously put together by a lawyer or an agent. Guillen threw himself on the mercy of the court. The bottom line is what he said painting Fidel Castro in any kind of a positive light was inconceivable to the Cuban population of South Florida. You're talking about people with first hand knowledge of atrocities against friends and family from this dictator. Could you imagine the blowback if say around 2009 Phil Jackson said you have to admire Osama Bin Laden for his ability to elude capture since 9-1-1? What if Yankees manager Casey Stengel in 1950 called Hitler a brilliant strategist. How do you think those who lost loved ones in World War II, or the European Jews who survived the Holocaust would have reacted? While most of us have no personal connection to the Cuban population in America who escaped Castro's regime, imagine those circumstances. Ozzie is lucky to still have his job.
Bobby Petrino? Not so much. Well done by Arkansas A.D Jeff Long, though once the mountain of evidence presented itself, there was only one true path. What disturbs me is the support for the former coach. While the circumstances differ in the specifics and certianly the vile nature, there is one constant to be observed from the messes at Ohio State, Penn State and this one in Fayetteville. An element of fans who think only in terms of winning. None of the clown coaches who engaged in those cases of misplaced priority and deception in an effort to protect their jobs & program survived which is a good thing. The mindless, follower, puppet mentality still scares the crap out of me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


You hear them in the form of proclamations. You shouldn't have to walk down the street fearing some nutbar will club you over the head for your cash. BUT YOU CAN'T! You should be able to express your opionion without some over sensitive group taking offense. BUT YOU CAN'T! Ozzie Guillen is certainly entitled to his thoughts on Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. His employers can also decide it's no longer appropriate for him to keep his job. The fans in South Florida can also stay away from the new park! That whole freedom thing can be a 2 way street, and truth be told, not so free. We have freedoms, but for the most part someone paid a price. Public figures who say moronic things then are surprised when they get hammered are pretty ignorant. I thought Ozzie was a rarity. Got caught with his foot in his mouth and actually seemed to mean his apology. More importantly he did not offer up the token apology to put it behind him. He talked about SHOWING how sorry he was. Dealing with it. It was a stupid thing to say and because he owned it, Guillen will have a chance to get off the hook. I think!
This whole Bobby Petrino issue cracks me up. The circumstances are different. Certainly not in the same league from a horrific standpoint, but the mentality is eerily similar to Penn State. Lie. Hide. Obstruct. Protect. Never put safety first, but the football program. This idiot was really banged up but was unwilling to call 9-1-1 because he would be exposed as a philandering scumbag! I love the fact they held a rally for him today & 200 people showed up. One of the organizers, Matt Couch, even admitted most would not have offered their support if the team had been less successful last season. They won 11 games and landed at #5 in the country. I was pleased to see a good chunk of Hog fans & alum NOT favoring the coach which was kind of refreshing out of the SEC. Remember, Petrino is from this neck of the woods, Montana. Began his coaching career in the Big Sky conference. I think that absolutely is an issue. Be very curious to see how this whole thing plays out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Due to injuries, a dip in dominance and other issues, I've heard the steroid accusations hurled in the direction of Tiger Woods in recent months and years. Obviously I don't trust this guy cause if he'd cheat on his wife and 2 babies, he's not worthy. I get the value of PED's or certain substances on healing, but making you a great golfer? I don't care what substance you ingest, it will not help you drop an 8 foot par putt up one shot on the 15th hole on Masters Sunday. Can't see it aiding that high cut 5 iron from 228 yards out that nestles 9 feet from the cup at the British Open on the back nine of the final round with the world watching. I'm always willing to play the skeptic card, but I'm not buying here.
About a decade ago Augusta National caught heat for not allowing women. Then chairman Hootie Johnson said someday it would be considered but the decision would be theirs and not at the end of a bayonet. He was responding to Martha Burke of the National Council of Women who had staged a protest and threatened to target tournament sponsors. Augusta then decided to put the event on themselves with no advertisers. End of problem. Then. Now the trouble is traditionally the CEO of IBM is a member. Has been since 1981. As of now, an invite has not been extended to the current CEO. Yup! It's a woman, Virginia Rometty. Here we go again!
Regardless of how this turns out, I can't wait to watch the tournament and I'm equally pumped for the official start of baseball season. Yippee!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


This whole Ryan Leaf saga is a bit unnerving. Sure the guy was a classless lowlife as a professional athlete. Treated people like garbage, played like crap and got run out of the league. Is generally viewed as one of the biggest high level draft busts in NFL or NBA history. Now he's been arrested in almost back to back fashion for breaking and entering in search of prescription painkillers. It's easy to dump on the guy. My take is as a rule when a celeb, be it Limbaugh or Lohan is exposed as an addict and needs rehab I get suspicious. I think far too often they hire big ticket lawyers to use that as an excuse to tap dance around the legal system and keep their sorry butts out of jail. In this case you get a sense Leaf is just weak & succombed to the demons. Doesn't excuse his lack of character as a member of the Chargers, but he's in trouble and might do best behind bars or in some kind of treatment facility to save his life.
All hail the Kentucky Wildcats. It's one of those cases where the best team all season, capped it off with a championship. Their fans don't deserve it. From the moronic fight at a dialysis clinic to the destruction they inflicted on the city of Lexington Saturday night after beating Louisville to last night's horror where a man was shot. I sent out a tweet earlier congratulating them. Celebrating with guns is exactly what Mid-East terrorist do. Impressive no?
MLB season gets rolling tomorrow night, then by Saturday, it's go time. This is going to be a terrific season. I love the Matt Cain signing by the Giants. Today on SportsTalk, I'll explain why it sets up the franchise for years to come.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Just read that Phil Knight was being inducted into the 2012 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Really? I can think of many halls he's worthy of including generosity, progressive and the like, but hoops? Aside from posthumously naming the new facility after his son, I was unable to even come up with a connection. I get the whole Nike/Jordan/commercials deal, but had you even considered Uncle Phil until this surfaced? I thought the selection of Don Nelson was interesting. Really good head coach. In 2007 engineered one of those rare #8 seeds taking out a #1 with his Warriors small balling their way past Dallas. Career playoff record of 75 & 91. Never even took a team to the league finals. Maybe if you incorporate his contribution as a long time player with the Celtics? Bridged the gap between the Bill Russell led dynasty and was part of 3 NBA Champs, then won a couple in the mid-70's with Dave Cowens. I'll call this decision "debatable".
Love the pick of Reggie Miller. With Ray Allen, one of the premiere snipers of all time. Did not get the brass ring but won a ton of playoff games and of course with UCLA a terrific college player. Bruins didn't do much, though they won the NIT when he was a sophmore then made the Dance his last year, the 1st of the 3 point shot and won a game before getting run by Wyoming.
Major kudos to LeMichael James for tweeting out a couple of times this weekend his stance against the Ducks closing spring practice. Nice to see a former player with a very solid reputation not follow this seemingly unecessary measure.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Final Four, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, and Kansas have all joined together to completely ruin my bracket and are playing tomorrow to see who plays for the National Championship. This marks the second year in a row in which I have had none of the Final Four teams left in my bracket, but I guess that is what I get for picking Indiana to win it all. Anyways, it kicks off tomorrow with Louisville and Kentucky at 6 followed by Ohio St. and Kansas. Kentucky has the best player in the country in Anthony Davis and they are simply dominant in the paint averaging over 43 rebounds per game in tournament. There has been a lot of hype surrounding the rivalry between Louisville and Kentucky and all the animosity between John Calipari and Rick Pitino. Both coaches have been very successful throughout their careers, but Pitino has the Championship to go along with it. Coach Cal is still looking for his first Championship in four Final Four appearances and two with the Wildcats. I think that this year will be the year he gets it but he will have to get through Louisville to get a cahnce to do it. In the midst of all the hype surrounding the "Bluegrass State Game," there is still another game to be played tomorrow night. The Ohio St - Kansas game is a very interesting game to be. Ohio State has a great player in Jared Sullinger, but aside from that, there are no real superstars. The same goes for the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas, unlike any other team in the Final Four, has no All Americans coming out of high school. Both these teams have truly fought for their chance to be in New Orleans, and it should be one heck of a game tomorrow.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


I'm officially calling out all my anti-baseball people. Those who send those arrogant emails and texts about tuning out the minute major league baseball surfaces on our shows. Got some bad news for you. Did another survey over the course of weeks that incorporated more than 100 people which is substantial in this market. You are in a big MINORITY. 110 responses. 61 indicated not only a preference for our national pasttime, but call me out when I seemingly cave to the crybabies who can't think past football. 17 really did not like baseball talk. The others were a mix of if it's interesting, they like the way I present it, take or leave, not a real adamant stance. So from this point forward, I'm responding in one way and one way only. When you whine and moan about MLB on an American sports program on an ESPN station it's simple. The terrorists have won.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


I'm running a test bracket tournament to see how it goes.
Here are the instructions.
1- visit
2-Click-Find a tournament
4-Click-College Basketball
5-Click-The Bracket Bracket
Let me know your winners this round either via text 541 653 3098, email or just post your winners at the bottom of the blog!

Monday, March 26, 2012


It was January 24th, 2008. Perhaps the most embarrassing behavior I've personally witnessed at a college game. Oregon fans, led by the Pit Crew, hurling hate at Kevin Love. Homophobia on display. Made the wonderful city of Eugene seem like Podunk. Ignorance. At this point I'm thinking KLove won. He's one of the best players in the NBA. So many hoped he'd fail because he made that ridiculous decision to attend UCLA and play basketball. No one ever succeeded doing that right? I enjoy watching him knowing the morons from that despicable evening are getting it crammed down their throats! Awesome.
This is the most historic Final 4 in history. At least since the field expanded to being bracket-friendly in 1985. Check these numbers. Kentucky-15, Kansas-14, Ohio State-11, Louisville-9. Amount of F4's each has participated in. Still can't imagine Wildcats losing this thing.
A final thought on this tournament. Do not let your feelings one way or another for John Calipari or the one and done rule impact how you evaluate this Kentucky team. They are terrific. Play hard. Live to defend. They hoist the trophy & make it way up my list of all timers.
Someone asked if Tiger should be the favorite at Augusta. Really? 7 straight years in top 6. Just won. Still the most talented player on the planet. Rory has 1. This is not a debate.

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the Move, by Casey Mitchell

This is Casey Mitchell guest blogging for ST today. After Peyton Manning signed with the Broncos, that left Tim Tebow as the odd man out in Denver. Not long after the signing, it was announced that Tebow is now a Jet. I think the best destination for Tebow would have been the Dolphins. He won a State Championship in Sun Life Stadium in high school, and not to mention the two National Championships he won as a Gator. People in Miami love Tebow, and he would have given new life to the franchise.Although it isn't the most popular trade among Jet fans, I don't think it was the worst possible move. I know that Mark Sanchez needs reps, but a little competition never hurt anyone. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm just not a fan of the wildcat. Any team that relies on it as part of their offense, usually doesn't have much success. I don't think he should be used as part of a wildcat, but the Jets are always raving about how Sanchez is their guy, so I don't see how Tebow would be a main contributor. There is always the possibility of using him as a full-back or tail-back, but that's just a crazy thought that will probably never happen. There have been a couple of delays in the trade so far, but nothing that will stop the deal from going through.
We have all heard about the Bounty Program, and now the punishments are beginning to come down. It has been announced that Sean Payton will not be coaching anywhere next season. He has been suspended for the entire 2012-2013 season without pay. That isn't the only punishment that is coming their way. The Saints will be stripped of their second round draft picks for the next two years. Also, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, has been indefinitely banned from the game. I have a feeling that there will be more sanctions to come in this case.