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

A sports-related pie-fixing scandal? Hell never felt so fun


A sports-related pie-fixing scandal? Hell never felt so fun

I’m liking this 2017 so far. Then again, after 2016, nearly any year would be an improvement.

Just this last weekend we got a flat-earth scandal that turned into a mock-up about media self-importance and fake news (yay Kyrie Irving and his impish sense of satire!).

We got the overblown Russell-Hates-Kevin narrative, and the faux Russell-Secretly-Loves-Kevin counternarrative, all because we are stunningly attracted to meaningless and utterly contrived drama (yay our ability to B.S. ourselves!).

We got the NBA All-Star Game ripped for having no defense even though last year’s game was, if anything, worse (yay short attention span!).

We got the Boogie Cousins trade and the national revulsion of all the thought processes the Sacramento Kings put into this perpetually rolling disaster (yay making Boogie and Vivek Ranadive household names!).

And now we got the Great Sutton United Pie-Fixing Scandal. Yeah, pie-fixing. Hell never felt so fun.

So here’s the deal. Sutton United, a very small fry in English soccer, got to the fifth round of the FA Cup, a competition in which all the clubs in England are commingled and play each other until one team remains. The big clubs almost always win, so any time a small club goes deep, it’s a big deal.

Anyway, Sutton went deeper in the competition than nearly anyone in the last century, a charming development given that it is such a small club that it had a stadium caretaker, goalie coach and backup goalie all in one massive fellow, a 46-year-old guy named Wayne Shaw. Shaw became the globular embodiment of the entire Sutton Experience, a jolly lark for everyone involved and especially when he ate a pie on the bench in the final minutes of Sutton’s Cup-exiting loss to Arsenal.

And now he’s been eased into resigning his jobs with the club, because – and this is so very British – there were betting shops taking action on whether he would in fact eat a pie on the bench, and he either did or did not tip off his pals that he was going to chow down on television.

He did eat the pie. His pals collected on their bets. The sport’s governing body opened an investigation into market manipulation by gambling – which is hilarious given that no fewer than 10 gambling establishments have advertising deals with English soccer clubs. Shaw was invited to quit to kill the story, and he took the hint.

Hey, dreams die all the time. But it’s still pie-fixing. Let that rattle around your head for a minute. Pie-fixing. Not match-fixing. Not point-shaving. Pie-fixing.

Now how can you not love this year?

Sure, it sucks for Shaw, but it serves as a series of cautionary tales for athletes around the world.

* Gambling is everywhere, and every time you inch toward it, you dance on the third rail.

* If you want to help your friends, give them cash.

* This is a horribly delicious way to lose your gig.

* And finally, fun in the 21st century isn’t ever truly fun because someone in a suit and a snugly-placed stick is going to make sure you pay full retail for that fun.

But it is nice to know that something that has never happened before is now part of our year. Pie-fixing is a thing now, as silly in its way as Irving’s flat-earth narrative was. And as we steer away from normal games as being too run-of-the-mill-fuddy-duddy entertainment, we have replaced them with sideshows.

Or do you forget how many people complained Saturday and Sunday that the dunk contest wasn’t interesting enough? How stupid is that?

Lots. Lots of stupid. But against pie-tin-shaped planets and pies turned into betting coups, how can it possibly compare?

We chase a lot of idiotic narratives in our sporting lives. The great What Will The Patriots Do To Roger Goodell story died like the old dog it was. We still try to flog Warriors-Thunder as a rivalry in search of better TV ratings when all the obvious evidence is that it is no such thing unless you think a couple that broke up nine months ago is still a solid story. We have Bachelor fantasy leagues, for God’s sake.

This would leave most normal folks in despair, thus matching their everyday experiences, but yin meets yang, and every time it looks like we are all barrel-rolling into the sun, we get Irving, and then we get Wayne Shaw.

In short, 2017 is going to be fun of grand surprises for us all. I look forward to the day President Trump tries to fete the Patriots and only gets to Skype with Bob Kraft and the equipment guys who midwifed DeflateGate, and Mark Davis in Las Vegas, just to see if he can get a P.F. Chang’s into the Bellagio.

Why not? This is sport’s year-long tribute to sketch comedy, and evidently everyone is signing on enthusiastically to replace lessons of morality and honor and equality and dignity and sportsmanship with slackened jaws and belly laughs.

So yay sports! Or as it is clearly becoming, A Night At The Improv.

Patriots win one for the ages, but where does it rank?

Patriots win one for the ages, but where does it rank?

The price of watching Roger Goodell being booed back to the Bronze Age is a subtle but real one, and one that people will feel very dearly soon enough.

The last great cathartic Super Bowl is now done, with the New England Patriots winning the brilliant and decisive battle to be sports’ new evil empire. In doing so, it rendered Goodell a permanent and risible punch line in National Football League history, the mall cop who wanted the death penalty for littering, and in the words of the song “got what he wanted but he lost what he had.”

True, $40 million a year can make the dissolution of your public persona a reasonably decent tradeoff, but we lost the argument about who won his windmill tilt with the Patriots. It’s done, and he is now permanently and irrevocably a figure of ridicule.

But that’s not the only debating point America lost Sunday night, and while you wouldn’t think it given how much time we are willing to shouting at each other, quality arguments are not easily replaced.

We have almost surely lost the mindless debate about the best quarterback ever, because there is nothing anyone can bring up that the words “Tom Brady” cannot rebut except calling his own plays, and since that is no longer allowed in football, it is a silly asterisk to apply.

We have almost surely lost the equally silly shouter about the best coach ever. Bill Belichick is defiantly not fun, but he has built, improved and bronzed an organizational model that is slowly swallowing the rest of the sport. That and five trophies makes him the equal if not better of the short list of Paul Brown, George Halas, Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh and Tom Landry.

Plus, Belichick locked up the most absurd response to a question in coaching history Monday when he said, “As great as today feels . . . we're five weeks behind the other teams for the 2017 season.” Even allowing for Gregg Popovich in-game interviews, the so-grim-he-could-make-a-robot-cry worship-the-process response has now become a cliché. If 2017 prep was so important, he should have skipped yesterday’s game, and he definitely should have chosen not to waste so much time on the trophy stand after the game when training camp drills needed to be scheduled.

Oh, and DeflateGate died. Dead. No zombie possibilities here.

We do have a meatheaded argument ahead of us about which championship in the last year is the best, which can be settled here.

1. Leicester City, because 5,000-1 is 5,000-1, and the whole world understands that. Plus, there was invaluable three-month buildup that engaged non-soccer fans.

2. Chicago Cubs, because 108 years is 108 years.

3. New England Patriots, because . . . well, I don’t have to explain it unless you have no useful memory span. “Down 25 In The Third Quarter” is the new “Down 3-1.”

4. Cleveland Cavaliers, because they slayed the first unbeatable Warrior team by coming from 3-1 down, and even as a silver medalist, it will always be an internet meme, which is what passes for memorable in our decrepit culture.

5. (tie) Villanova basketball and Clemson football in a tie, because they were essentially the same great game.

7. The Pittsburgh Penguins, because the Stanley Cup Final was devoid of drama or high moments, and only 14:53 of overtime. Feh.

But everything else is settled, and this Super Bowl will not be topped for a long time. Our current cycle of absurd championships is almost surely going to end soon, because “Down 3-1” has happened twice in eight months (three times, if you count Warriors over Thunder), and the bar has now been placed well beyond reasonable clearing.

Indeed, the only thing left is for a championship team to spontaneously combust on the award stand. But if they do so and ignite Roger Goodell along the way, that would be an ending America would cheerfully endorse.

But that also isn’t an argument any more, and yes, that includes Gary Bettman.