Ray Ratto Oct. 8 Chat Transcript

Ray Ratto Oct. 8 Chat Transcript

Oct. 8,2010
Editor's Note:CSNBayArea.com Senior Insider Ray Ratto chats regularly! Be sure to join him forfree-flowing discussions on just about anything!Ray Ratto
Welcome to the B. William Zito Lounge for today's chat. Don't be bashful, and don;'t be stupid, unless that's your A-gameFrom Dan
Does it drive you nuts that all of the outside media and other bandwagoners descend on your turf and step on your toes? It does me, get the heck out TBS, I want my regular Comcast guys who blow our doors off. Although, Brenly would fit in nicely with the crewRay Ratto
After 29 some-odd yearsI'm used to it. When Comcast becomes a mega-rightsholder, we'll be the outside media and bandwagoners, and we will not be merciful
Who do you think I am, the King of Television? Picture in picture! Mute! Radio! There are options. I don't mean to be snotty, but TBS owns the rights and there is nothing you can do but seek alternate forms of informationFrom Sox
What will it take for Selig to agree to adopt instant replay?Ray Ratto
Massive amounts of cash from the TiVO peopleFrom Dan
When you watch brodcasts from other teams, you realize how spoled we in Giantsland are spoiled with everyone in the brodcast media that are involved with the Giants. 90 of the other brodcasts are sleepers. I will probably regret posting this because now, once again, Comcast will raise rates.Ray Ratto
In fact, we're raising rates right now. Send me 20 or you have to listen to Ted Leitner in SpanishFrom NaturalHobbs
Ray - should Bud Selig listen to screaming commentators on ESPN who think that increasing instant replay should be top on our nation's to-do list, or people who've actually played, like Bobby Cox, who had the perfect response last night - he knew that if you put yourself in a position to 'lose' a game on a bad call, then you've lost already - striking out 14 times, making 2 (3 really) errors, and pitching around Sandoval was more than enough to cost them the game.From Leitner Loves Hockey
When should I start paying attention to the Sharks this year? Corollary: Is the NHL season too long?Ray Ratto
I think they're on now. As to your corollary, think of this as game 244 of the 2007 season and you'll feel much better about the current setupFrom NaturalHobbs
Have you seen Lincecum throw that many fastballs, without half being deposited in the stands, since 08 or even 07? Is the book on the Braves that they susceptible to fastballs, or was his early offspeed stuff that good? Or is the Braves offense that much worse than the Giants?Ray Ratto
His early offspeed stuff established the fastball, which topped out at 94 but actually moved more than it has in the past. It wasn't Halladay wicked, but it was Cliff Lee-level nasty. And by the way, the Braves' offense isn't that much worse than the Giants. One run is still normally a crummy day's work, even for the MarinersFrom NaturalHobbs
Is there ANY reason (short of injuries to 2 starters) why Zito would be back on the roster for the NLCS or WS?Ray Ratto
A cholera epidemic? No, I'm being a wise ass. I'd be surprised if he saw any postseason unless Bumgarner has a soul-crushing panic attack or turns lousy, and I'm not expecting suchFrom Sox
Any idea what the Giants' upper limit on off-season spending is? Do the Rowand and Zito deals preclude them from trying to sign Beltre or Crawford?Ray Ratto
Why, no, I don't. I did see Neukom running laps around the field with his shirt off, if that helps. As for money, I think they have it. But convincing hitters to come here when they have other options (as Crawford and Beltre surely do) is a whole different fondue pot entirely. They'll get paid wherever they go, but numbers are easier to compile in friendlier confines than theseFrom Edgar, Sacramento
What will happen first, the Kings get a spiffy downtown arena, the 49ers get a Santa Clara stadium or the A's migrate to San Jose? Maybe I should include hell freezing over as option No. 4?Ray Ratto
Or option 5: I wear a 34-waist again. If I had to rank them, 49ers, A's, Hell, Kings, me.From Brian from Lake Tahoe
I see this Giants team as being capable of winning a 5-game series against anyone in both leagues. But a 7-game series makes me nervous. Can the pitching carry them against a powerhouse like Philly, should the lads get to the NLCS?Ray Ratto
I am on record as saying no, so unless I want to look like Dick Vitale picking 47 college team to reach the Final Four, I am honor-bound to stay as I have been. Sounds like from the tone of your question that you're a little squeamish about Sanchez in a Game 7From Ellen -- As fan
Would Eric Chavez have been a borderline Hall of Fame candidate if he'd stayed healthy? (I realize that's like asking if I'd be rich if I had a different father). But just for the sake of debate, what say you?Ray Ratto
No. Even a borderline HOF candidate had to track at a better rate than he did in his heyday. No shame in that; it's just that the HOF is a bitch to get into, and even harder once the Veterans Committee gets around to telling you to take a hikeFrom Malcom, Carmel 49ers Fan
I really like Jed York, the way he speaks, the vision he has laid out, the way he has aggressively pursued a stadium ... is he a guy to lead this team for decades? Or is he just a better alternative than is father and I'm delusional.Ray Ratto
I believe you'll want to go with option (b), until you see something more from the boy than the fact that he isn't Dad. I mean, if you get liquored up enough, Sarah Palin sounds clever, too. It isn't how they sound, it's what the product looks likeFrom Rand
Why wouldn't the 49ers and Raiders share a stadium like the Jets and Giants. Geography? Or is it just mutual hatred, distrust, lame egos, etc. It absolutely makes no sense, and in this economy, it's insulting.Ray Ratto
No, here's why it can't happen. 1. Someone would have to be made whole for moving further from his fan base, and neither side wants to do that. 2. They don't trust each other. 3. There is no guarantee when control of the Raiders passes to Mark that it won't be sold and move back to L.A. 4. Roger Goodell hasn't come out to twist the arms he would cheerfully twist if this weren't the West CoastFrom Barton Jones
Odds that Stanford makes the Rose Bowl? I'd like to assume that No. 2 Ohio State will lose a game (not likely for No. 1 Alabama, down year for the SEC) and that allows No. 3 Oregon to leapfrog its way into the BCS title game. Work with me here, Mr. Ratto, I know this is half wish, half logic.Ray Ratto
No, it's half wish, half heroin. I believe to my vacated soul that a team that gives up 49 points in three quarters to anyone has defensive issues that mean more than one loss, and probably more than 2. I don't see a 9-3 team in the Rose Bowl. Plus, Ohio State isn't losing to anyone in the Big 10 this year.From Ban TBS
So, let me get this straight: Ernie Johnson is a basketball guy, and a studio host to boot. How is it that TBS thinks he's a play-by-play guy for the postseason? Why don't they just bring Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith in and make it a complete crock? Is Tony Kubek available?Ray Ratto
There's nothing wrong with Ernie Johnson for a national audience. You just want Kuiper and Krukow, and you don't want to mute your TV and turn on the radio because you're afraid your spouse is going to sell the couch in the 15 seconds it takes you to do so. Watch and listen both. This is America! This is why I fought in the Spanish-American War, damn it! For your freedom!From Humm Baby
So, you have one game for all the marbles and you have to choose one announcer to take the hill, so to speak: Hodges, Simmons, Greenwald, Kuiper ... (not going to nominate Phil Stone or Steve Physioc, sorry). Diplomacy prevent your from answering? It's a tough call but I love Hank's dry sense of humor.Ray Ratto
Any of the latter three, but if you make me choose -- Simmons, Greenwald, KuiperFrom Black Hole
Will Jason Campbell see another start in Oakland, assuming Grandkowski stays healthy (big if). Why isn't this an outrage, that they bring this guy in and he can't make it out of September. Did Cable bet his job on Grandkowski?Ray Ratto
Cable isn't bold enough to defy The Al, but if the team loses no matter who the quarterback is, he's gone anyway. And yes, Campbell will start againFrom Giants Fan
For your money, best Giants postseason team: 1987, 1989, 2002, 2010 ... sorry, wasn't around in 1962.Ray Ratto
'62 had five Hall of Famers, but since you declined the opportunity to expand your knowledge, 2002From Blue Liner
Fighting in hockey? Time for it to go? Necessary part of the game? Enjoyable and legit part of the game? BTW -- Did you see the HBO doc on the "Broad Street Bullies" earlier this year? Terrifying and inspiring all at the same time.Ray Ratto
They tried to cut back of fighting, found out they do better box office with it. This is an old argument that always comes back to whether more people like watching Canadians beating Slovaks or Russians beating Swedes. Me, I find it a nuisance, but I know how the NHL rolls. And the Broad Street Bullies special was a little superficial for meFrom muddypuddle
best beer food combo at AT&T?Ray Ratto
Beer and roofing insulation is good, so your question may actually be mootFrom Ramond
Can the A's challenge Texas next year? Was this season a success (finishing above .50, second place in the division)?Ray Ratto
Maybe, but they need a bat, maybe even two. And no, success is not measured by being the eighth-best team. It takes more to win in the AL, and they're not there yet. They have the pitching down, but the offense was miserableFrom Tom
Do people ever recognize you on the street? We used to have season tix to the 49ers and every time Ira Miller of the Chronicle came down from the press box people used to yell at him. Do fans yell at you, run away in fear, offer to buy you a drink?Ray Ratto
Yes, but they don't tend to enjoy the experience. Most fans yell at me, but as long as none of them are holding a bill or a baby, I'm okay with it. And nobody has ever offered me a drink, unless its a Windex with an anthrax chaserFrom Brandt
Best sports town in America, in your opinion? New York is too easy a pick. For history, championships, fan passion, variety of teams, I tend to think Chicago.Ray Ratto
Philly, then ChicagoFrom Guest
Ray, is it wrong of me to be hoping that the Niners finish below 500 and miss the playoffs? My biggest fear at this point is that they'll win just enough games to decide to keep Singletary and Smith one more year.Ray Ratto
"Wrong of you" is burning down a hospital, bilking old people or devouring puppies. You're entitled to dream what you want to dream. Be bold! Be decisive! Root for 0-16 if you want. You'll get punched out a lot at the stadium, but you're man enough to take itFrom Teal Tim
What is your take on Todd McLellan? Standard analysis is he was hired to be a Red Wings-killer. What's your Cliffs Notes version on his coaching acumen, how he handles players, etc.?Ray Ratto
Bad hair. Good coach. Players work hard for him, which is the only real issue there. Standard analysis re: Detroit was wrong, but the Sharks wanted to play more like the Wings, so they went the flattery-is-the-highest-compl;iment routeFrom Mike Murphy
What do you do to keep the moths out of your sweaters?Ray Ratto
DDT cologneFrom Jim
Does Ken Rosenthal hold a conversation in the same choppy tonedialect that he uses on TV?Ray Ratto
No. He sings his conversations in a high, lilting Irish tenor, which is why he's up to eyelids in women.Ray Ratto
And with that, today's shameful exercise in alcohol-free slander is done. Next week; disappearing rabbits, flame throwers and pudding sculptures for the kids. Until then, tip 20 percent or don't pay the bill at all

Frank Deford's longform storytelling made him worthy of our attention


Frank Deford's longform storytelling made him worthy of our attention

Frank Deford’s death over the weekend did not mark the end of longform sportswriting as we knew it; he had long ago become part of the electronic commentariat that has reduced longform’s place in the public’s attention span.

But there is still longform writing and storytelling to be found in many places, and it is still worthwhile. It has more production value, as the TV folks like to blather, and the words have to fight for their place between the cracks left by the pictures and the mutated graphics, but longform lives, and it should, lest we all agree as one people to further desiccate that attention span like a grapefruit left in the sun.

Deford’s death, though, reminds of when longform was the zenith of the storytelling art. It could, and still can, give you access and depth and breadth that a TV crew simply could not, and cannot. Even extended TV features are by their very nature so contrived by all the equipment that nothing is natural, nothing is a surprise, and the act of writing is almost an afterthought.

Deford knew this. He more than merely dabbled in TV himself, playing the wizened old raconteur who was as much character in his pieces as storyteller. He was also a star and a starmaker with The National, a daily sports network in newspaper form that was long on talent and ideas but short on delivery and distribution. It lasted 17 months, until mid-1991, but it led to grander attempts decades later, and could if you squint your eyes hard enough be the natural parent of Grantland and The Ringer and Vice and SB Nation and dozens of others – all bigger ideas, positioned in the post-typing world. Some lasted, more didn’t, but capitalism is like that – making fuel to keep the fires burning and the engines churning.

Deford could have thrived in such a world, to be sure. He was not, in the hideous phrase, “a man of his time.” Indeed, he was a crossover figure years ago in ways that other longform writers attempt to resist even now. They want to be Deford at the height of his powers at a time when the instruments for their gift are either dying or veering away from anything that hits the 600-word mark.

But his passing did not kill the art of clever writing and incisive storytelling. There are far too many people who can do that still, even if the market for their gifts is neither as pronounced nor as eager for the product as it once was. It did remind us not only that he was a giant, but that there are still giants among us should we deign to take the time to seek them.

Thus, Deford’s death marked his passing but not the thing that made him worthy of our attention. Storytelling, longform and otherwise, remains the heart of why this is still worthwhile to a culture, and when the generation his work spawned starts to die off, I suspect we’ll still be saying the same thing then. Notebooks are smartphones, photographs are streams, but the human eye and ear and hand still remain pre-eminent.

That is, until the robots take over, at which point reading won’t be worth it.

Does St. Louis' suit against NFL mean hope for the City of Oakland?

Does St. Louis' suit against NFL mean hope for the City of Oakland?

You thought you were done worrying about the Raiders. You thought the votes were in, the moving vans booked for three years down the road, and all gnashing and sharpening of teeth was over. You thought you were free.

Then those buttinsky-come-latelies from St. Louis decided to rear their litigious heads, and now you find yourselves slipping back into that desperate-hope world from which no one escapes.

It seems the city and its regional sports authority has decided to sue the National Football League and its 32 semi-independent duchies over the relocation of the Rams 15 months ago because, and you’ll like this one, the league allegedly did not follow its own relocation rules when it moved the team.

As you know, there is no such thing as a rule if everyone governed by the rule decided unanimously to ignore the rule. This doctrine falls under the general heading of, “We’re billionaires, try and stop us.”

But all lawsuits have a common denominator, and that is that there is money at the end of the rainbow. St. Louis is claiming it is going to miss out on approximately $100 million in net proceeds (read: cash) and has decided that the NFL and especially their good pal Stan Kroenke is going to have to pay for permission to do what they have already done -- specifically, leave.

Because the suit was filed in St. Louis, the benefits of home field advantage apply, and the league is likely to have to reinflate their lawyers for some exciting new billable hours.

As to whether it turns into a windfall for the jilted Missourians, well, as someone who has known lawyers, I would list them as prohibitive underdogs. But there is nuisance value here, which brings us to Oakland.

The city and county, as we know, did not put its best shoe forward in trying to lure the Raiders into staying or the other 31 owners into rejecting the team’s pleas for geographical relief. By that, we mean that the city and county did not fall all over itself to meet the league’s typically extortionate demands.

But they did play angry enough to start snipping about the 2019 part of the Raiders’ 3-More-Coliseum-Years plan, and they are threatening to sue over about $80K in unpaid parking fees, so filing their own breach-of-rules lawsuit might be a possibility.

Because, hey, what’s the point of sounding like a nuisance if you can’t actually become one?

By now, it is clear that everyone in SuitWorld got what it needed out of the Raiders’ move. The city and county could concentrate on guiding the A’s into activity on their own new stadium. The team could go where Mark Davis has been agitating for it to go for at least three years – somewhere else. The state of Nevada could find a place for that $750 million that was burning a hole in its casino vault. And the league went to a market that it, at first reluctantly and then enthusiastically, decided should be its own.

The fans? Oh, please. Who cares about them? To the NFL, and to all corporations in all walks of business, folks are just walking wallets.

But for some cash? Well, climb on board, suckers. The gravy train is pulling out on Track 3.

Nobody is fool enough to think the Raiders would be forced to return. Hell, even St. Louis isn’t asking for the Rams back. They just want to get paid for the money they probably banked on in the good old days before Stan Kroenke decided to head west.

And that would doubtless be Oakland’s stance as well if. Now the circumstances are slightly different, in that St. Louis worked harder to keep the Rams than Oakland did to keep the Raiders. St. Louis scared up $350 million toward new digs for the Rams, well short of what Kroenke would have accepted, while Oakland said it could get its hands on some infrastructure money and no more.

But Mayor Libby Schaaf complained in her relocation post mortem that the league didn’t follow its own guidelines (yay correlation as causation!), maybe with an eye toward throwing a few lawyers into the fire to see how long it would burn.

There is not yet any indication that the city and county are going that route (and the silence may simply mean that they are sick of the Raiders’ saga as everyone else seems to be), but if they do, well, don’t freak out that the team might be forced to return.

Except, of course, in that place where migraines start. Dragging this back up is a bit like the phantom pain amputees feel -- but hey, people will do a lot for a bit of court-ordered cash. Anyone who has ever watched Judge Judy will understand.