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.