In This Space, 2015 Belongs to Baseball
December 28, 2015

It's really 'year in review' time? Wow, things happen so quickly. It seems like we just had the best and worst moments of 2014, and now we're wrapping up another year. If you ever read this column at all (and a big Thank You if you do), most of the time it's about sports, and most of that time it's about baseball. A few other things do pop up here and there, though...(continued)

Force Awakens In Star Wars Fans
December 21, 2015

It's been 38 years since the world was introduced to Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Wookies, Jawas, C3PO, R2D2, and the Death Star. We quickly and eagerly learned about places like Alderaan and Tatooine, and wondered how a piece of space junk like the Millennium Falcon could outrun the evil empire. For this 13 year-old in 1977, and millions of other kids and adults alike, many without really realizing it, it was mind-altering. Two generations later, it seems to be happening all over again...(continued)

Dodgers Come Home From Meetings Empty Handed
December 14, 2015

It was to be a monumental four days in Nashville, Tennessee where baseball owners, general managers, managers, agents, reporters, bloggers, job seekers, and others gathered for the annual Winter Meetings. For many teams it was extremely momentous if not monumental, but for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it was anything but...(continued)

No Fanfare In College Football's Final Four
December 7, 2015

No drama. That's what the weekend's college football provided leading up to the big announcement on Sunday of which teams would qualify for the four-team playoff. Form held, there were no upsets, and ESPN's four-hour selection show Sunday was more than a little humdrum. However, depending on how you feel about the playoff system, this isn't necessarily such a bad thing...(continued)

Bryant Announces Retirement With a Poem
November 30, 2015

There are many ways to retire as a professional athlete and superstar. Kareem had the original 'farewell tour' with the likes of Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera to follow. Some, like Joe Montana, move on from their signature team to another team, and the fanfare is less when they call it quits. Some, like Brett Favre, say they are going to retire and then don't, and then no one cares as much anymore when they finally do. Many, don't want to retire, plan to start the season., and then just can't due to various injuries. Then there's Kobe Bean Bryant. He may not be scoring a lot of points for the Lakers these days, but you have to give him points for originality. He wrote a poem and posted it on a website....(continued)

Dodgers Go With Inexperience at the Helm. Again.
November 23, 2015

Five years ago when it was mutually decided that Joe Torre didn't want to manage anymore, the Los Angeles Dodgers named bench coach Don Mattingly to run the club. Mattingly, known as “Donnie Baseball” during his playing days with the Yankees, had never managed before. Anywhere. Now, after it was mutually decided last month that Mattingly wasn't going to manage the Dodgers anymore, the Dodgers have hired Dave Roberts as their new skipper. At least Roberts played for the Dodgers, but he has never managed before. Anywhere...(continued)

Top Rookies Lead MLB Awards Week
November 16, 2015

It wasn't exactly the Heisman Trophy, where the top college football players in the country get all decked out in suits they can barely afford even though they are about to make millions, hang out in a fancy ball room, and hopefully come away with one of the prestigious awards in American sports, but Major League Baseball is trying to make it seem just about that important. With network time to fill now, the post-season awards are now one hour television programs...(continued)

Trump Underwhelms on SNL
November 9, 2015

Donald Trump has made all kinds of statements and promises during his Presidential campaign, but he delivered on one statement this week. He said ratings would soar when he hosted Saturday Night Live, and he was right. This week's show was the highest rated in four years. And why not? He's hosted the show before, he's in the entertainment business, and there's certainly a lot of material to work with. The show itself though? Ehh, not that great...(continued)

Royals In Five, Offseason Already Underway
November 2, 2015

Matt Harvey may have stayed in too long. Jeurys Familia blew three saves. Addison Reed got lit up in the twelfth inning. Lucas Duda made a horrible throw to the plate. Daniel Murphy, after a postseason record of home runs in six straight games, batted .150 and made two errors. That's probably the way New York Mets fans will remember the 2015 World Series, but it wasn't the Mets that lost it, it was the Kansas City Royals who won it...(continued)

Mattingly Is Out, But Is It a Good Call?
October 26, 2015

There are two ways to look at this. Don Mattingly did something no other Dodgers manager has ever done. He took his team to the playoffs three straight seasons. Walter Alston never did that. Tommy Lasorda never did that. Mattingly's predecessor Joe Torre never did that. On the other hand, with a 300-million dollar team payroll, Los Angeles was expected to more than just make the playoffs. They were at least supposed to make it to, if not win, the World Series. Mattingly lost his job this week...(continued)

Daniel Does In Dozing Dodgers
October 19, 2015

He hit three home runs in five games. Two of them were off of three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and the other was off of this year's ERA champ. He also stole third base when no one was looking, after what appeared to be an innocent walk to Lucas Duda. Dodger fans (and now Cubs fans, too) might be assigning the same middle name that the Red Sox gave the Yankees' Bucky Dent in 1978 (If you are old enough to remember that one-game playoff, you know what I'm talking about. If you aren't, Google it. I'll give you a hint, though. The middle name starts with F, and stuck with Dent in Boston for about 25 years)...(continued)

Baseball Super Marathon Opens Playoffs
October 12, 2015

If one were to decide to take Monday off, and let's say, watch baseball all day, one would have had quite a lot to see. If one also had to work Friday, but taped all the games, and then watched them all weekend with no media contact to avoid seeing final scores, one would probably seeing sliders in their sleep. Well someone has to do it, or at least attempt it...(continued)

Playoff Stage Set; Kershaw or Greinke in Game 1?
October 5, 2015

The final day of baseball's regular season brought a lot of drama Sunday, with almost all of it centered in the American League. Sure, the Cubs and Pirates hadn't determined the location of their upcoming wild card game, but the AL West and the positioning of the two wild card grabs were still up for grabs. There were even two possibilities of tiebreaker games, and the “other” team from LA had everything to do with it...(continued)

Dodgers Try to Clinch in San Francisco
September 28, 2015

When the Los Angeles Dodgers last visited San Francisco, it wasn't for pleasure, and they certainly didn't do any business either. In three games, they didn't score a single run. Tonight, they managed to scratch out two, but lost in 12 innings, and still haven't locked up the National League West—something they should have done at least a week ago...(continued)

With News Networks, Nothing Trumps Trump
September 21, 2015

In the KNCO Radio newsroom in Grass Valley, there is a TV in the corner. It's always on during business hours. The Sacramento news is on in the morning, the channel is left on for The Today Show and then Live with Kelly and Michael, and occasionally we'll turn on a ball game. The rest of the time, though, it's on CNN, which is supposed to be a news network after all, but lately it's nonstop Donald Trump...(continued)

Women's Final Is What's Right With Sport
September 14, 2015

The NFL opened it's season this week. That's right, the league that has brought you deflated footballs, courts overturning commissioner's decisions, wife beaters, drunk drivers, child abusers, and even a performance enhancing drug suspension of a likely future Hall-of-Famer (and that's just in the last year), is now underway with the on-field portion of its schedule. No thank you...(continued)

Freeway Series Much Bigger For Angels Than Dodgers
September 7, 2015

With last week's three-game series sweep by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the San Francisco Giants, things are looking pretty good for the Boys in Blue. For LA's other team, though, not so much. Both the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, California made the playoffs last year, but if the dream for a freeway World Series is to live on in 2015, the Orange County guys need some wins...(continued)

Dodgers No-Hit Again, Now Face Giants
August 31, 2015

If you are a baseball fan, how cool is it to watch two no-hitters on television in a span of ten days? It's pretty awesome unless your favorite team is on the losing end of both of them. Even though there are a handful of them a year, no-hitters are considered history, but going without a hit twice in a week and a half is something that hasn't happened since 1923. Talk about historical...(continued)

Gold Sox Join League, Reduce Home Schedule
August 24, 2015

For the last 13 years it has been true, and it was even a marketing slogan at one time. You could set your watch to the Gold Sox. For 11 weeks every summer, there would be a home game Thursday through Sunday. That is no longer the case. From now on, keep those pocket schedules in your wallets, and the magnetic schedules on the fridge. The Marysville Gold Sox officially announced today that they will be joining the new Great West League, and while the league won't play its first game for a little more than nine months, team owners and league executives are calling it “one of the premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues in North America.”...(continued)

All is Better With the World. Scully is Back on Radio
August 17, 2015

We all know it's going to happen eventually. That doesn't mean we are going to like it when it does, and we certainly hope it doesn't happen anytime soon. A good five years at least. Maybe more if we are lucky. We all know it's a year to year thing, but there's no sign of it happening, and no one wants it to. But, one of these days, if it dare be said out loud or put in print, there will be Dodger baseball without Vin Scully...(continued)

How's That Dodger Trade Lookin' So Far?
August 10, 2015

One of the fun things about going to a major league baseball game in person is getting there early to watch batting practice. Guys are in the box getting swing after swing, and hit after hit, all over the field. You were spared the expense of a ticket and beating the traffic to see that on Sunday. All you had to do was watch Jim Johnson pitch against the Pirates...(continued)

Changes Likely For Marysville's Team
August 3, 2015

The Marysville Gold Sox, as thousands of fans have come to know and love them over the last dozen-plus years, may never be the same again. Or maybe they will. No one seems to know, and it may be several weeks before anybody does.The Gold Sox concluded their season with a win Sunday night, and while the good-byes to the college players who come here from different parts of the country to play are difficult, this year seemed especially uneasy. You see, the team is under new ownership, and out-of-town ownership at that. No one locally knows these people, or what they plan to do with their ball club...(continued)

Dodgers Quiet as Trade Deadline Looms
July 27, 2015

The Major League Baseball trade deadline isn't until Friday, and you know the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to do something. They can spend as much money as they want, the Giants are closing in, and they need some help. The new regime has brought in a plethora of relievers that haven't helped, and they'll probably do that again, but rumors continue for a big name starter...(continued)

Spieth Unimpressive, and Neither is 'The Open'
July 20, 2015

They always tell you to write what you know. It seems like good advice. If you know enough about it, people may even read it. But does that mean you can't write what you don't know? I don't know a lot about golf but I know Jordan Spieth blew it. I don't know anything about St. Andrew's, but how can they call that a golf course? Palmdale in August is greener...(continued)

Home Town Frazier Takes New Look Derby
July 13, 2015

When Cincinnati Reds slugger Todd Frazier was down 14-9 in his final home run derby round to Joc Pederson of the Dodgers this evening, and then started to attack with about two minutes to go, ESPN's Aaron Boone yelled “We've got drama!” Excitement? Yes, Home runs? Absolutely—the most ever. Drama? When all is said and done, not really...(continued)

USA Women Rock the World, Beat Japan
July 6, 2015

If you are like most of us, and only watched the championship game of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, you were likely shocked. “A high scoring soccer game?”, you thought to yourself. You were saying “I thought Japan was good.” And you likely shouted “what a play!” several times while watching Team USA win their first title in 16 years...(continued)

Gold Sox Flounder After 19-1 Start
June 29, 2015

You can't expect a baseball team to win 95 percent of its games. High school teams do it once in awhile, but it can't be expected of anyone—even a team of collegiate All-Stars. The Marysville Gold Sox almost got halfway through the season with that mark, but you expected it to come down. Perhaps, though, more smoothly than what happened this weekend...(continued)

Former Gold Sox' Anderson Makes MLB Debut
June 22, 2015

It's fitting that it happened on Father's Day. Oh sure, Cody Anderson's dad (and mom) were in the stands in Cleveland to watch the right-hander from Quincy make his first big league pitch, but in a living room in Yuba City, another man was feeling like a pretty proud papa...(continued)

Stanley Late For Own Party; 'Hawks Win Cup
June 15, 2015

When the Stanley Cup was finally presented to the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks this evening, the intro music for it was Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. These are not common men. In this modern era of multi-million dollar salaries, unrestricted free agency, and international appeal, these men are a dynasty. For the third time in six years, they get to hoist hockey's holy grail...(continued)

American Pharoah Wins Triple Crown
June 8, 2015

It's something we've heard about every year for 37 years. About a dozen times during that stretch it gets really close. A horse wins the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and then races in the Belmont for horse racing's elusive triple crown. About a dozen times there's been disappointment, and then this year it happens! So why does it seem like such a letdown?...(continued)

Other Sports Brushed Back; Gold Sox 8-0
June 1, 2015

The NBA Finals are about to start. I don't care. Hockey's Stanley Cup Finals are about to start. I probably won't get to see them. The French Open Tennis Championships are happening. I haven't seen a serve. The Indy 500 was last weekend. I completely forgot. The Belmont is this Saturday. I do hope to watch that. But Marysville's local baseball team is undefeated. I've seen every pitch...(continued)

Late Night TV is History—Dave Says Good Bye
May 25, 2015

It's difficult to say goodbye to a legend. Especially one that is still alive, but has voluntarily decided to no longer be a part of yours. Over 33 years, two networks, and 6028 shows, he's been there. Entertaining you the way few people have, but now at 68, is riding off into the sunset. David Letterman has called it a career...(continued)

Marysville Gears Up for Gold Sox Summer
May 18, 2015

It's something that happens every year around here, and has since 2003. A bunch of college guys, mostly from northern California but a few scattered from various parts of the country, come here to play baseball. They don't stay long, but in eleven short weeks, they are written about in the newspaper, spoken about on the radio, and entertain thousands of fans on hot summer nights. In mere hours from now, less than 72 at this point, the 2015 Marysville Gold Sox will play ball...(continued)

Big Time Hits Little Town
May 11, 2015

In what NBCSN described as a little hamlet in northern California, the little historical gold mining town of Nevada City was home today to a big time sporting event. It may not have been the Super Bowl or the NBA playoffs, or even a golf tournament or bowling championship, but it brought athletes from all over the world. Again...(continued)

Mayweather-Pacquiao: The Yawn of the Century
May 4, 2015

It was over five years in the making. Even though they are only welterweights, people who just watch the marquee fights saw this as Tyson-Holyfield or even the reincarnation of Ali-Frazier. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao finally got in the ring against each other, but nothing happened...(continued)

Washington Celebrates Itself, Because Someone Has To
April 27, 2015

It's one of those events that is so big, everyone talks about it afterwards, but not big enough for people to realize when it is so they can watch. While I could be talking about any MTV awards show, in this case, I'm referring to the White House correspondents dinner. The Potus with the Mostest, a comedian from Saturday Night Live, and a lot of reporters and dignitaries not sure if they should laugh or not...(continued)

Epstein Officially a Liar; Bryant in Majors
April 20, 2015

Major League Baseball opened its season at Chicago's Wrigley Field on April 5, but Cubs fans, without ownership admitting it, knew the real season for them would start on April 17. The Bleacher Bums would have been there in force, if there were bleachers to sit in, to watch third baseman Kris Bryant make his big league debut...(continued)

Memories of Tiger? Spieth Wins Masters
April 13, 2015

With all the free baseball on TV this past week, it seems a little weird to write about golf. I don't get a say in the sports calendar, but it would be nice if the Masters was a week later. It can't be a couple of weeks earlier because of March Madness, but it could have waited until after the free cable preview of every major league game imaginable expired. It would also allow Jim Nantz some extra time off between Indianapolis and Augusta. But that's just me...(continued)

It's Not Against Kentucky, but Duke Wins Title
April 6, 2015

Going into tonight's NCAA championship basketball game, it seemed the Duke Blue Devils were in a no-win situation. Not on the basketball floor, but in the rooting interest of the casual fan, or the television network trying to draw in the casual fan. Coach Mike Krzyzewski's crew didn't get a shot at undefeated Kentucky, and now their title opponent was against the new darlings, the Wisconsin Badgers...(continued)

Cubs Save Millions. Bryant to Minors
March 30, 2015

You could see it coming down State Street. Out to Waveland Avenue, around The Loop, and then back again. It was looming as large as Lake Michigan, but the baseball world still seems surprised and shocked. There were warnings, but they went largely ignored. Today, it set in. Chicago Cubs phenom prospect Kris Bryant didn't make the team...(continued)

Undeserving? Maybe, but Bruins Still Dancing
March 23, 2015

Guys with a fancy title like 'bracketologist' say they didn't belong. Broadcasters and writers called the goaltending call at the end of the SMU game 'controversial'. The matchup against UAB was 'lucky' or 'fortunate'. All of that may be true, but the UCLA Bruins are one of just 16 basketball teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament...(continued)

Got That Perfect Bracket? Odds Are 9,223,372,036,854,775,808:1
March 16, 2015

Selection Sunday is over. You've got your bracket sheet. Games actually start tomorrow, but your office pool doesn't start until Thursday. You are pouring over the matchups. You're not sure how UCLA got in but you still think they can beat SMU. You know Wichita State is drooling over that second round matchup with Kansas, but can they beat Indiana? There may be money involved, or maybe it's just bragging rights. You want your bracket to be perfect. It won't be...(continued)

It's Duke-North Carolina, so Where's Dickie V?
March 9, 2015

If you could only watch two regular season college basketball games on TV all year, they should be Duke at North Carolina, and North Carolina at Duke. It doesn't even matter if you like one school or not, the game is always filled with high drama, despite which team is having the better year. You also know when you turn on ESPN to see the game, you are going to get analyst Dick Vitale at his Dick Vitaliest. But not this year...(continued)

Is March the Best Sports Month of the Year?
March 2, 2015

Baseball camps are open in Florida and Arizona. College basketball is gearing up for tournament time. The sports fan has to divide his or her time between worrying about who's going to be the fifth starter for his or her baseball team, and filling out bracket sheets for hoops. March has to rank right up there as one of the best sports months of the year. Thinking about that topic, I decide to rank the months of the year in sports from worst to first. One admission to make right off the bat (so to speak), is there is a baseball-centric bias here. Sorry, but I'm ready for baseball, and if this list were put together in another season, it might be different. For you're information, entertainment, and debate...(continued)

Birdman Wins on Oscar Night
February 23, 2015

The pressure was off. The streak was snapped last year. I had seen the movie that had won Best Picture five years in a row, and each time, hours before the Academy Awards. It didn't happen last year, so Sunday, just to get into the Oscar spirit, I thought I'd go see Birdman...(continued)

SNL Marathon Strikes Right but Long Note
February 16, 2015

If you are a fan of late night television, you have to be a fan of Saturday Night Live. And if you are old enough to remember the show's original cast (say, 47 or so), this was a can't miss. NBC celebrated the 40th anniversary of it's signature weekend program Sunday, not only with a three-and-a-half hour prime time special, but with a one-hour red carpet show before that—you know, to give the Today show hosts something to do...(continued)

'Music's Biggest Night' Not About the Awards
February 9, 2015

Every year I think this way. I might be a little old for the Grammy Awards. I mean I hardly ever know the musical guest on Saturday Night Live anymore, and I thought Sia was something that was said when the show is over. But then AC/DC opened the show, and rocked the Staples Center with two songs including Highway to Hell, so I figured I should stick around for the next three and a half hours...(continued)

You Have to Admit It Was a Pretty Good Game
February 2, 2015

Yes, I hate both teams. You've got the cheating New England Patriots and the classless Seattle Seahawks. Bill (whether or not you think deflate-gate was an issue or not still was caught filming other teams' practices) Bellichick against Pete (got out of USC just in time before he was fired for recruiting and other violations) Carroll. Pretty Boy (who me?) Tom Brady and selfish LeGarrette Blount vs. Loudmouth Richard Sherman and 'I'm just here so I don't get fined' Marshawn Lynch. Someone had to win...(continued)

This Bud Wasn't For Everyone
January 26, 2015

Baseball has a new commissioner. The Allan Huber “Bud” Selig era is over after over 22 years. He will likely be remembered as one of the best commissioners ever (he was the ninth), but while the sport has flourished during his tenure, there are things that happened under his administration, that aren't all good, and shouldn't be forgotten...(continued)

Seattle Eyes Super Bowl Re-Pete
January 19, 2015

I love Seattle. If you've ever been there, you'd love it too. Some have called it the poor man's San Francisco, but it is cleaner, friendlier, and the downtown, although less crowded, seems to be more vibrant. Seattlites love their sports teams, too. The Mariners, the University of Washington, and of course, their Seahawks. Yeah, Seattle is great. I could see myself living and working there if it didn't rain all the time. Seattle is wonderful, but I want their football team to lose. I think...(continued)

Buckeyes Take Title; Globes Disappoint
January 12, 2015

Any time more teams qualify for a chance at a championship, that means that more teams can win it. The San Francisco Giants were the final team in baseball's playoff picture, and won the World Series. This year, college football went to a four-team playoff format, and it was the number four team that gets to celebrate. Ohio State defeated Oregon tonight 42-20, and are the first champion of the four-team playoff era...(continued)

Alabama, SEC Not Digging New Playoff Format
January 5, 2015

Ding Dong the BCS is dead. College football fans should be singing like Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz , but even the wicked ones are mourned by some. The Southeastern Conference dominated during the Bowl Championship Series era, but maybe this is the beginning of its downfall...(continued)

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