I don’t know whether you’ve heard, but baseball is back on Friday.
Nothing in the exhibition opener between the Giants and Diamondbacks will matter, unless somebody gets hurt. What matters is that baseball is back. We get to hear the voices of Miller, Kuiper, Krukow and Fleming again. Very comforting.
The honeymoon for the World Series champions will probably last all season long, maybe longer for some fans. The Giants will make a boatload of cash this year, and with the combination of a core of young talent and jewel of a ballpark, the future looks so bright you gotta wear shades.
( Thank you, Timbuk 3. )
The biggest issues for the Giants this season: can the pitching staff repeat last year’s stellar performance, and will the offense be better now that Juan Uribe is a Dodger ? Other issues: can they find a decent backup for Miguel Tejada at shortstop, will Pablo return to form, will DeRosa have a healthy season, can Andres Torres remain a viable leadoff man, and will Brandon Belt emerge ?
The Giants cannot re-create the special atmosphere from last season. The thong has been retired. The beards are no longer a novelty.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance to make a deep run into the playoffs. The Phillies, Red Sox and Braves made big moves, but the Giants have shown they have the arms to compete with anyone in the postseason.
Gimme some more Torture.
I have thoroughly enjoyed hosting Sportsphone 680 on the interim. We’ve had a chance to try a few ideas and some of them have worked, some have not. It’s live radio, so you take your chances.
Reciting the Presidents on President’s Day subbing for Gary ? I’d probably take that one back. But hey, it was just one minute out of the day.
Our show about most hated figures in sports ? I would not take back. Nor the Giants Hot Stove shows ( another one coming tonight ), or the show all about love and the Giants honeymoon.
I’m not a former jock. I don’t yell or beat my little bird-chest like some other hosts in the sports talk universe. I don’t talk down to listeners. I try to engage in debate and conversation. As long as I’m doing a show, I’m gonna be who I am and hope people like it.
Because I don’t yell, and don’t confuse arrogance with competence, some people tend to think I’m “soft.” First of all, to think that anyone in our business is “tough” is a joke. Second, if I see something wrong with a team I’ll say so without using over-the-top language. If you wanna call that “soft,” go ahead.
Just trying to be the Voice of Reason. I know — bad career move. It is what it is.
What were you doing when you were 20 ? I was trying to figure out if I could charge at 7-11 for Doritos and Slim Jims after an all-nighter. ( Studying, of course. )
Trevor Bayne ? He won the dad-gum Daytona 500. He sounded as surprised as anyone. I don’t think anyone had him in their Daytona Pool.
Bayne was on KNBR Tuesday as he visited San Francisco, two days after winning the biggest NASCAR race, and three days after he turned 20. It was funny when he said he and his friends have been dreaming about winning that race since he was 5 — way back, 15 years ago.
More accomplished racers have never won the Daytona. What if this is his career highlight, and nothing bigger comes down the line ? You know what ? I’d make that trade.
We had a Bitch Session on Sportsphone 680 last night. Most of the bitching was about the Warriors. Understood — it’s been 36 years.
I do think fans have to give new ownership a pass for a year or so. The Warriors have made some strides, but long-term mediocrity won’t cut it. Let’s see what they do in the offseason, with the complication of an expiring Collective Bargaining Agreement.
My take is: if we’re having the same conversation about this team in a year, then we have a serious problem. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber seem to have the will to win, but that’s not going to be enough. Lacob learned a lot as a minority stakeholder with the Celtics but will he have the right people in place to execute a plan ?
To me, Keith Smart has earned a chance to coach the team. Larry Riley ? A very charming guy, but the jury’s still out on his ability as a General Manager. He’s had his ups and downs, but I sense he’ll get one more offseason to justify his job.
It’s hard to say to a long-suffering and loyal fan base, but don’t expect instant gratification. Give this a year or two to see how it pans out. You wanted a change in ownership, you got it.
By the way, a big guffaw from me today when Baron Davis was traded. Goodbye Hollywood ! Let’s see how many games he plays in a Cavaliers uniform. And he wanted WHAT from the Warriors ?
Troy Murphy is coming, but he isn’t. The Warriors dealt for him and his contract, which they will probably buy out unless they can turn around and deal him. He won’t play a minute for the Warriors this time around.
The Warriors also got a second-round draft pick from the Nets for the expiring contracts of Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric. Wright may still end up being a factor in the NBA but he needs to rebound better and play defense more consistently, as well as stay healthy.
Given the uncertainty with the CBA, expiring contracts just aren’t worth as much this year, so the Warriors figured it was better to get a little something back. Fans are moaning because the deal hardly knocks your socks off, but hopefully the Warriors are clearing the deck for a bigger off-season move. There are other possibilities, though:
According to NBA Trade Rumors, they could send Murphy’s contract to the Cavaliers for another ex-Warrior, Antawn Jamison. Jamison is due 15 million next season and the Warriors would be over the Salary Cap, so Murphy would have to be the trade piece, although the Celtics are also reportedly interested in him.
I would be fine with Jamison returning to provide some scoring punch, even though he doesn’t help much defensively.
As far as the offseason ? I’ve got a bad case of Nene on the brain.
After talking to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports about the possible NFL lockout and the Draft Combine, I took the Wonderlic Test last night. But I won’t publicize the score. I will tell you my answer to one question, as I played the part of a high draft pick:
“Arnold is about to go on a 500-mile car trip. His mechanic recommends he buy a special highway engine oil that’ll save him 50 cents in gas for every 25 miles of the trip. This new oil, however, will cost 20 dollars. Is it worthwhile for Arnold to buy the oil if he has a coupon for four-dollars off the price ? “
No, but who gives a damn ? I’m about to sign a 30-million-dollar contract. You think I’m gonna be seen in this cheap-ass ride much longer ?