Ray Ratto Dec. 10 chat transcript


Ray Ratto Dec. 10 chat transcript

Dec. 10, 2010RATTO ARCHIVE
Editor's Note:CSNBayArea.com Senior Insider Ray Ratto chats regularly! Be sure to join him forfree-flowing discussions on just about anything!
Ray RattoCSNBayArea.com
Ray Ratto
Today on Le Chat -- Alex Smith, Cruel Victim of Career Hoax, or Savior du Jour? You decide. Starting . . . NOW From John Izumi
What up Ray, why does everyone think steph curry will be better then tyreke evans in the long run? If Evans ever learns to shoot OK, he'll be unstopable! Plus what are your thoughts on Demarcus Cousins so far, looks like he could be very good to. Thanks Ray, have a good day!Ray Ratto
What up is a very open and philosophical question. That said, Curry may have a better career once he's put at the off-guard where he belongs, and if his ankles hold up.Plus, I don't everyone thinks that Curry will have a better career than Evans; it's just that Evans is playing in secret right now. I think they'll be fairly equivalent players when it all shakes out From rachie
hi rey Ray Ratto
Other than the spelling, which gives me credit for being a Spanish king when I am clearly neither, hi back. From John Izumi
By the way Ray, Telll Matt Steinmetz to stop being a Kings Hater they will be much better then Dubs in 2 years. Ray Ratto
Yeah, Matt. You stink. We are embarrassed by your perpetual hatred of all things Sactonic. Now stop it, and that's an order.Ray Ratto
That work for you, John? From rachie
do you think the niners will be aggressive in the draft and go after the qb that they want or will they just sit back and take who ever falls to them. Ray Ratto
I don't even know who's going to be doing the drafting for them, buit it's cl;ear that quarterback will be a fairly gaping need for them. If I were them, I'd seriously think about trading up. Then again, if I were them, I wouldn't be 4-8. From Dae-Ho
Hey Ray, what available NFL head coach out there do you think is most qualified to turn this franchise around in San Francisco? Who would you like to see in charge? Ray Ratto
Bill Belichick, but he's kind of busy. In truth, though, I think the coach that wiould be best is the one that would be hired by a fully independent general manager who won't be hired, because I believe that's where the central problem lies. From John Izumi
Thanks Ray for that, but really what are your thoughts on Demarcus Cousins so far 11 and 7 per game in only 24 minutes a game Ray Ratto
I want him to play 35 minutes a game before I decide. He should be a dominant figure, but that's going to take time From Finaddict
Better nickname: "LoCo" or "Juice Couture"? Ray Ratto
How about, "Shave that cheesy mustache until he can grow one that doesn't look like a smudge?" Or, "The Newest Member Of The Next Guy To Break Out Club" LoCo sounds like a kid's drink made of methamphetamine, and Juice Couture reminds me a master running back and beheader From Dae-Ho
Any ideas then for a good general manager that should be hired (but won't)? Ray Ratto
Mike Holmgren. As long as he doesn't coach. I want him applying the big picture without having to worry about whether Michael Crabtree or David Baas is happy. From Guest
Ray, do we really have to talk about the 49ers? The Sharks are more intriguing. Ray Ratto
No, we don't have to talk about the 49ers, but if a guy asks me about the 49ers and I talk about the trade deficit, I look like an idiot. I await the day when the Sharks play 60 against a good team so we can decide where they fit in the big picture From John Izumi
Yeah, if Cousins can play 35 minutes a game as i was thinking to in 2 years he will be a top 5 center or better even with all his issues Ray Ratto
Calm dowbn. A lot can happen between now and then From Dae-Ho
Thanks for answering my questions, Ray! I feel almost famous now. Ray Ratto
That's a little creepy. But we're glad to help From John Izumi
Ray, you seem like a guy who doesn't likw to make predictions but tell me who makes the playoffs first dubs or kings? i say kings of course Ray Ratto
The Kings. The Warriors have too much to atone for From Thor
Who is the next Bay Area team to win a championship? Ray Ratto
The SabreCats From Brian Fitch
Which Northern California franchise has the most appeal for you? Ray Ratto
Depends on the day. Today, it's FC Gold Pride, in memoriam. I'm in a blue mood From John Izumi
Thanks Ray for everything, see ya next week, Kings will make playoffs next year, i know i sound crazy but with a top pick this year, Evans and Cousins it sounds good to me. Peace out man! Ray Ratto
Peace out back out you. From Thor
What have you seen from the SaberCats to make you like them so much? Is it the ad campaign or the jerseys? Ray Ratto
The fact that they were ther last ones to win, and they're well-rested From King
If these were Willie Mays' prime years, what would he make as a free agent? Ray Ratto
57 trillion over nine years. No, he'd make A-Rod money. No, I'm wrong. 57 trillion sounds right -- especially with the Red Sox From King
Do you agree with the Giants strategy of basically going with the same team as last year? Ray Ratto
They tried to go outside, but they still have a hard time selling the park to big hitters. They won't be able to truly play the market ubnless (a) it gets better and (b) they free up Zito and Rowand's salaries. It would also help if they paid off the ballpark From Brian Fitch
Especially if the schools are excellent: a la Mike Hampton. Ray Ratto
In that case, we'll never get anyone again From Hugh
Is there any sport that you don't cover? Do you follow college basketball as well? Ray Ratto
Not deep on golf, auto racingor tennis. But football, baseball, basketball, hockley, soccer -- team sports, mostly. Oh, and curling. And the occasional big boxing match From King
Do you think the Giants will be able to free themselves from some of either the Zito or Rowand contracts? At least enough to once again be a player for mid-range free agents? Wouldn't mind Beltre at 3B. Ray Ratto
No to either. From King
What's your take on the Werth contract? Ray Ratto
Good now. Bad later. You can't worry about the 2017 pennant race, thouugh. You have to win the one in front of you. From Hugh
Who is the best curler in the world? Ray Ratto
Jamie King of Canada, and German Andrea Schopp From King
But even with Werth, are the Nationals really in a position to contend? With Strasburg out, do they have the pitching? Ray Ratto
No, but how many years must they sit and do nothing? At some point, you have to act like you want to run with the big boys From Jon
Do you see the Yorks selling the 49ers if the next GMcoaching hire fails? Ray Ratto
I don't see the Yorks selling if a meteor hits Youngstown From Joey
Are the reports of Pablo Sandoval's weight loss bogus, or is there hope? Ray Ratto
I haven't weighed him, so I don't know. I think you'll know what he weighs when the Giants decide if he belongs in the major league camp in spring training. Also, his weight isn't the only issue. His willingness to become a more selective hitter, which has nothing to do with his weight, also matters greatly From King
Why does Pablo need to become more selective? He was fine two years ago swinging at everything. Then he got bigger and couldn't catch up to pitches. Ray Ratto
No, the pitchers started throwing more balls in the dirt and farther away from the plate, and he didn't spot the difference From Thor
Are you excited for the beginning of the Udoh era tonight? Are you predicting a triple double or a quadruple double? Ray Ratto
I'm predicting a quintuple single. Udoh fills their traidtional need for a really tall, impossibly thin lefthander who gets shoved around a lot From Kenny
I went on an A's blog and a good majority of the people on their belived Cust was a better option at DH than any other FA DH out there, even Matsui and Guerrero. How can anyone think that? Ray Ratto
Heroin From Brian Fitch
Will the Warriors win 30 or more games? Ray Ratto
Neither 30 nor more. Too many holes, not enough solutions. They really do have to tear this thing down to the studds and start all over again From Thor
Good call, with Udoh back to fill the Randolph and Wright role of tall thin player, can we expect the Warriors to finally return to the high level of play they showed last season? Ray Ratto
Absolutely From Thor
Can Curry and Monta co-exist long term in the backcourt? Ray Ratto
No. They both play the same position From Thor
When you say tear it down to the studs, who do you keep? Curry and Lee? Everyone else is fair game? Ray Ratto
I'm not even sure you should keep Lee, but the timing of the sale meant that the real work of starting over again had to be put off for yet another year From Brian Fitch
Any thoughts on the BCS championship game? Ray Ratto
Oregon wins late in a very good game From Kenny
DO you think Campbell be the Raiders starting QB next year? Ray Ratto
Unl;ess they have some secret alternative, yeah From Brian Fitch
Thanks, Ray I'll bet the farm now. Ray Ratto
You have a farm? Why aren't you out slopping something right now? From Thor
I think Brian Fitch meant he's betting stanfurd now. But I can't imagine that's worth much Ray Ratto
No, I think he has a farm he's been hiding from the feds to avoid land use taxes From Thor
Have you watched any Cal Basketball games this year? Do they have ANY shot against Kansas in two weeks? Ray Ratto
Not enough to be an expert, but I have seen Kansas and I think Cal is in trouble. Too much depth From Kenny
Do you think there is a chance Raiders will be playing for the division against the Chiefs in the last week of the season? Ray Ratto
No. I never have seen the Raiders and I don't see them now. From Brian Fitch
It's a Christmas tree farm in the Pacific Northwest--it's a work free operation. Ray Ratto
The Pacific Northwest? Mendocino County? "Christmas trees"? Sure. Whatever you say From Scott
Opinion on the A's stadium situation....I know you're a bit sour on the Athletics, but do you think there is a viable option, or do you think they will ultimately leave the bay area, or be sold? Ray Ratto
I'm not sour on the Athletics. I want two strong viable franchises I can watch all year. I am sour on San Jose, but I don't think they'll be moved. Sold is far more likely From Hugh
What's your favorite holiday and are you planning on writing one of those "I would give the Sharks ____ for Christmas. I would give the Giants ____ for Christmas" columns that become oh so popular (to write) this time of year? Ray Ratto
The running of the bulls in Pamplona. Everyone gets a day off for that one, especially the ones who aren't quick enough. And no, I don't write holiday columns. I do have a soft spot for "What I would do with --------- if there weren't legal, moral and ethical laws against the indiscriminate use of firearms" columns From Kirk
Can Vernon Davis be the second best option behind Frank Gore on a super bowl type team? Ray Ratto
I certainly don't think so. From Hugh
Have you seen a crazier ending than that Sharks-Flyers 0.0 seconds-left disallowed goal in overtime? Ray Ratto
The Big Game in '82 is still the best. That was pretty good, though From Andrew
Ray is the a player available around the trade deadline that you could see the warriors have chance of aquiring through trade? Ray Ratto
No, because the only players the Warriors have that anyone would want are Lee, Curry and Ekllis, and Curry is essentially untouchable. They're simply too far away Ray Ratto
Oh, and that Ekllis kid? Sheer poetry From Kenny
What is your opinion of Andre Ward? Ray Ratto
I'd whip his ass From Scott
Sorry...Should have re-phrased that one....Maybe sour on the Athletics current situation would have been a better way to put it. I know all too well as an A's fan, I'm having trouble stomaching it and just trying to keep loyal. I'm with you - two viable and well-run franchises would be great for baseball here. Besides the A's current starting pitching, and at times, having Billy Beane as our GM, what is the silver lining to look at for the A's? Anything to be excited about? Ray Ratto
Maybe they'll be sold to people who don't want it as a real estate dodge From Kirk
Can Dorell Wright be a starting 3 on a playoff caliber team if he continues to grow? Ray Ratto
I see him as an eighth- or ninth player on a good team. Sorry, but I think that's the Warriors in a nutshell. No starters on good teams. From Hugh
If Monta and Curry can't co-exist on a winning team (which I agree with), which one do you get rid of? Is it the one who gets you the most or is there one you would try and keep? Ray Ratto
Coin flip. Ellis is a scorer, Curry is a shooter. From Kirk
You've said that the 49ers wont get their stadium in Santa Clara. Are you saying they cant raise the rest of the money privately? Ray Ratto
I'm saying they don't want to, and that a stadium is in general a bad investment in this economic climate From Tom
Who should the 49ers look for at the Quarterback position once the season is over? Someone like Andrew Luck in the draft or a Quarterback already established within the league? Ray Ratto
They'd have to trade uop to get Luck, which I doubt they have the pieces to surrender. So I'm guessing they'll have to troll the league for a bargain From Kirk
Don't you think Curry and Ellis become exponentially better on defense if they actually had a defensive presence down low? Then that combo would be sustainable I think. Ray Ratto
Without a good point guard, I think their skills are duplicative on a functioning playoff team From Kenny
Scott mentioned having Billy Beane as a GM as a sometimes good thing. Beane has only gotten the A's to the Championship series once. When wiill people start to call for his head? Ray Ratto
Wednesday.Ray Ratto
No, I think the general apathy toward the franchise has undercut the discontent, because the real ire is directed at the owners, who only seem to peg their future to a stadium. The A's are just a tough sell right now From Thor
In defense of Billy Beane, before this year, the Giants only reached the Championship Series once during Sabean's tenure. That worked out pretty well. Ray Ratto
You don't have to defend Beane to me. I just wish we'd see him with a full wallet one time, both for free agents and player development Ray Ratto
And with that, your lunch hour has been blown all to hell. Hardly worth it, was it? Well, look at the bright side -- Happy Hour starts in 20 minutes if you grease the bartender enough. If I didn't get to your question, it's because I am human filth

Marshall's admission a reminder culture of health doesn't exist in sports


Marshall's admission a reminder culture of health doesn't exist in sports

Brandon Marshall of the New York Jets had one of his greatest games ever against the San Francisco 49ers two years ago and remembers almost none of it, because, as he told reporters Wednesday, he was cloudy-minded on painkillers.

This admission is one more reminder that sports are not necessarily good for one’s health, in large part because the culture of health in sports really doesn’t exist.

There is, rather, a culture of ordinance, and the players are the weaponry.

Marshall’s acknowledgement that he was masking pain from a high ankle sprain that should have kept him out of action for “four to six weeks,” by his own estimation but had him returning to action 10 days after the original injury.

“I’ll say it: I took a couple pain pills, so . . . I took a couple of pain pills to mask the pain,” he said on a conference call with CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. “I really wasn’t supposed to play. So I don’t remember much from that game. I just remember catching those balls. That was pretty much it.”

We now re-enter the culture of playing when it isn’t prudent, either out of a misplaced sense of bravado or employer-based pressure to perform (there is no direct statement from Marshall saying that the painkillers were given to him by the team). The sense of bravado, which most athletes have, probably can never be legislated, and the culture of downward pressure to perform no matter what the infirmity has proven immensely difficult to conquer.

But there is another factor here, and that is the general lack of efficacy of painkillers. Warriors coach Steve Kerr took to using a form of medicinal marijuana because the painkillers he was taking for long-lingering symptoms from his back surgery were doing more harm than good. He said he found the marijuana was equally lacking, but he had enough concerns about the deleterious effects of Vicodin, OxyContin and other standard medications assigned to athletes in pain.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr told CSN Bay Area’s Monte Poole on the Warriors Insider Podcast. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

He later expanded on that after the initial “Kerr Is A Sparker” headlines hit the Internet.

“Having gone through a tough spell over the last year with my own recovery from back surgery, a lot of pain, a lot of chronic pain, I had to do a lot of research,” he said. “You get handed prescriptions for Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet . . . NFL players, that’s what they’re given. That stuff is awful. That stuff is dangerous, the addiction possibility, what it can lead to, the long-term health risks. The issue that’s really important is how do we do what’s best for the players.

“But I understand that it’s a perception issue around the country. The NFL, the NBA, it’s a business. So you don’t want your customers thinking, ‘These guys are a bunch of potheads.’ That’s what it is. To me, it’s only a matter of time before medicinal marijuana is allowed in sports leagues because the education will overwhelm the perception. If you do any research at all, the stuff they’re prescribing is really bad for you and the stuff that they’re banning is fine.”

It is instructive, then, that when Marshall was asked for his position on the NFL’s stance not to include marijuana as a permissible substance for pain management, substance, a Jets public-relations employee who could be heard in the background of the call saying that Marshall “knows better than that.”

But Marshall did answer the question, saying in essence that he fully intends to know better, period.

“That is something that I actually want to research more this offseason when I have time,” he said. “I’m not a guy that knows about the benefits of what it can do for pain and other things. But I’d like to hear others’ opinions and really research the effects it can have on us – positives and negatives.”

In the meantime, sports soldiers on, using increasingly debunked methods for dealing with the pain their businesses inflict upon their employees and issuing warnings about breaching the silence of the workplace. But tales like Marshall’s will continue to surface until the businesses that require him and his like come to grips with the toll of their shortsightedness and, in some cases, neglect.

A's stripped of little-engine-that-could classification at a bad time


A's stripped of little-engine-that-could classification at a bad time

As rumored over the past two months, Major League Baseball just lowered the Oakland Athletics’ revenue by $34 million, and now all the other developments of the past few weeks have finally become a call to arms by an organization that has always been strident pacifists when it comes to money.

In other words, The Little Engine That Occasionally Could has now been stripped of its little-engine classification, and the conditions that allowed them to play the cute little underdog are gone. No more waiting for more clement economic circumstances, or a more favorable political climate, or for the ever-nebulous “future” which the A’s always dangled before its dwindling fan base.

That was the news of Wednesday. Thursday, reports from ESPN’s Jim Trotter indicated that San Diego Chargers owner Dean Spanos is going to swallow his pride to exercise his option to join Stan Kroenke in Los Angeles, thus reducing Mark Davis’ viable options to Las Vegas and the tender mercies of the NFL, or Oakland and the tender mercies of whoever decides to tackle the problem of a new football-atorium.

In other words, push and shove are now jockeying for position in what is expected to be a crash.

First, the A’s.

With the news that Major League Baseball is going to hack the team’s revenue sharing check by 25, 50, 75 and then 100 percent over the next four years, the margin of error for new front man Dave Kaval to get a stadium built has been reduced to those four years. He is following the dictates of his boss, the persistently hologrammatic John Fisher, who essentially shoved Lew Wolff out the door for preaching San Jose and then caution.

The A’s don’t want to share anything with the Raiders, which rules out a Coliseum site. They have investigated Howard Terminal, which is not without its issues. And there is a new darkhorse site, the land around Laney College which, in a tart bit of irony, is the site of the Raiders’ first Oakland home, Frank Youell Field.

The city and county are in the early stages of a deal to sell the Coliseum land to a group faced by Ronnie Lott and the money-moving Fortress group, and get out of the landlord business entirely. It has pledged somewhere between $190 and $200 million in infrastructure improvements, though in the case of two stadia, the question of whether that amount is split remains to be politicized.

But the real point here is that the Gordian knot that is Oakland’s weird hold on its franchises remains tightly raveled. The Fortress announcement was supposed to be a point of clarity, but the revenue sharing news and now the Chargers-to-L.A. rumors have returned chaos to its usual position at the tip of the food chain.

And chaos makes for hasty decisions, and hasty decisions are often regretted. But hey, what’s life without rich people awash in regrets?

The new developments ratchet up the pressure on the City of Oakland and Alameda County to decide what support – if any – to provide a new A’s stadium, and coincidentally what support – if any – can be provided to the Raiders if they are forced to stay in Oakland by the NFL.

It even ratchets up the pressure on the NFL owners to decide among themselves whether their actual end-game goal – to have the Raiders controlled by someone other than Mark Davis – is better served by allowing him to move his team to Las Vegas or denying him his escape route.

But now for the first time there are time constraints – a few months for Mark Davis, a few years for John Fisher and Dave Kaval. The principles of subsidized Moneyball are now conjoined with the principles of Darwinism, and as the A’s have had innovate-or-die thrust upon them, the Raiders have approached the day of reckoning they’ve been desperately kicking down the road since Al Davis’ death. Plus, the political structures of Oakland and Alameda County will catch the holiest of hells either way, and probably across the board.

But as Paul Weller once wrote, “That’s entertainment.” Find shelter, children. The acrid smell of roasting money is in the wind.