49ers and Raiders commentary

49ers and Raiders Commentary: Kaepernick will need his A game this Sunday against Hawks; Chiefs refuse to be humiliated by Raiders again

by David Zizmor

SANTA CLARA–This game in Seattle this Sunday is the big one of for the San Francisco 49ers because if they lose this one will end their season bid to make it in the playoffs. They could actually be eliminated if they lose and Detroit wins. Either way even if they win their in a tight spot they’re assured of missing the post season for the first time in four seasons.

It’s a tough gig because the 49ers just faced the Seattle Seahawks just a couple of weeks ago on Thanksgiving Day and lost to them at Levis Stadium. The Hawks really dominated the Niners in that game 19-3 where the Niners also looked awful on offense. Despite the 19 points the defense played reasonably well the lack of scoring did them in as well as a couple of bad turnovers by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the offense.

The Niners had the loss of the Seahawks two weeks ago and the loss of the Raiders last week. The offense has just been sputtering all season long. There’s only been two games where the offense has been confident, it’s not known what is going on with the offense. Kaepernick is not playing particularly well and thats partly due to the fact the offensive line isn’t protecting him very well.

Kaepernick is getting pressured, he’s been sacked more times than any other quarterback in the league this season, they have had injuries up and down the line. The wide receivers haven’t played well, the Niners have more or less abandoned the running game they don’t really focus on it that much by trying to force the ball in the passing game and the running game their making things that much more difficult.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City this Sunday: Can the Raiders play up to the challenge against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday? It’s tough to gauge this Raiders team, they had that big win against the Chiefs three weeks ago, the week after that they lost 52-0 in St.Louis and they come back last week and defeat the 49ers at home pretty easily 23-13.

The Raiders are not a very talented bunch, there’s been some bright spots, their not a talented group and one of the things they’ve had trouble with is winning on the road. They haven’t won on the road on well over a year. They have a consecutive losing streak that spans out to 18 games in a row which is ridiculous at this stage. Their playing at Arrowhead Stadium that’s incredibly difficult to win in.

Arrowhead is probably the loudest outdoor stadium in the NFL and their fans are crazy and we know they hate the Raiders. The Chiefs are playing at this stage of the season, the Chiefs were embarrassed on November 20th by the same Raiders. The Raiders caught the Chiefs in the same trap they caught the Niners in, the Niners were looking ahead to the Seahawks and the Chiefs were looking ahead to the Broncos.

You can’t do that in the NFL, you can’t overlook anybody and the Raiders took advantage of it last time, it was a close game the Raiders pulled it off and got the win on a Thursday nighter at the Coliseum. The Raiders won’t be quite so lucky this week it will be a game against the Chiefs where the Chiefs are not going to be overlooking anyone this week.

David Zizmor covers the NFL for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

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Oakland A's and SF Giants

Michael Duca on A’s and Giants: Posey not opposed to replay rule but still play at plate was close;Chavez’ tough first loss of season

by Michael Duca

OAKLAND–One thing about instant replay and I’ve talked to serveral team coordinators and they’ve already began to realize you don’t challege your plays that are close but you challenge your plays that are obvious. In the case of Giants catcher Buster Posey’s tag on the Pirates runner Starling Marte there was nothing to lose on Tuesday night’s game in Pittsburgh by challenging that play.

The other thing they have to figure you have umpires making these calls back in New York off TV and the interesting thing is at the other three bases they determine whether or not somebody is on the base or not with his hand or his foot or whether or not the base deflects. You can’t do that with home plate, home plate doesn’t deflect.

No matter how many times I watch that play on Tuesday night it looks to me like his hand went over home plate but not necessarily touching home plate when the tag at the plate was made. Had he got to the plate there was no dirt under his hand which means Marte’s hand was not touching the ground before he reached home plate. That means if his hand wasn’t over the plate it still had to be over the plate.

But I’m probably being too analytical, whether or not Posey regrets it regarding the replay rule? I don’t think so, it’s just a rule that people have to adjust to it, in fact truthfully it’s not a change. The only thing that’s a change in here is adding the language in the rule that the catcher has to leave a lane to or around home plate for the runner. The bigger change is to the runner and not the catcher himself, the runner is not allowed to contact or push through.

A’s starter Jessie Chavez drops his first contest: Chavez ran into the proverbal buzz saw after surrendering three runs in the top of the first inning of Tuesday night’s game agianst the Seattle Mariners in the 8-3 loss. Chaves drops his record to 2-1 (ERA 2.47) With the exception of certain pitchers in Japan nobody’s perfect.

Your going to occasionally run into a little bit of a stinker of a game and his offense didn’t help him a whole lot. The A’s came back with two runs in the bottom of the second inning, the offense didn’t help Chavez out a whole lot they were down a run but the offense didn’t even make a further come back and Chavez who pitched five plus innings really didn’t get enough time to see if he could go out and hold the Mariners the rest of the game.

Your going to lose a games and what’s interesting MLB.com came out with it’s power rankings, ranking the Giants at number one and the A’s at number two in all of baseball and the two teams went out and lost on Tuesday night.

Michael Duca does commentary on the A’s and Giants each week for Sportstalk radio

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Kings arena update: Mayor feels clear path to groundbreaking

by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–The moment that the Voters Registar of Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino said the wording on the over 22,000 signed petitions would be in question about the question if the public should pay for a new Kings downtown arena Thursday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley ruled the petitions invalid.

Frawley who in the preliminary said that he had problems with the legal wording and said he agreed with the County registar that the petitions had multiple wording issues on it.

Voters for a Fair Arena Deal an anti arena group said that they will not appeal the ruling due to the expenses to fight the case in appeals court, “we concluded that if the final ruling went against us, we would not appeal, we disagree with the lower courts decision, but appeals are expensive and typically it is a difficult matter overturning a factual ruling by a lower court.” said Craig Powell spokesman for Fair Arena Deal.

Over 22,000 signatures were ruled not valid, another anti arena group Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork or STOP said they might appeal but the odds of doing that are small at this point, “the final, final decision by our group hasn’t been made” said STOP spokesman Julian Camacho regarding appealing the ruling.

Also a non-union group of contractors who were on board with STOP and Fair Arena said they will withdraw from any further lawsuits, “It’s unfortunate that the will of the people had to be thwarted because the T’s weren’t crossed and the I’s weren’t dotted” said Eric Christen representing the non union contractors. STOP issued a statement to the voting public of Sacramento “we call on Sacramento’s disenfranchised voters to express their outrage to their City Council and we call on our elected representatives to begin listening to their constituents”

Camacho did admit that the window is closing fast he would have to get an appellate decision by Monday in order to make the June ballot deadline. Camacho like Powell agreed financing the lawsuit would be costly as well, “I think the issue is the timing and financing, it’s pretty tight. The window isn’t wide enough for us to take it much further” said Camacho.

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson who said at the outset that the ballots had the smell of stench on them was satisfied with the result and that groundbreaking for the new arena could be real soon, “time and time again, outsiders tried to undermine the right of Sacramento to control the destiny of our Kings, our downtown and our future, time and time and time again, we have stepped up to the challenge and stood tall.Today is no exception.” said Johnson

Ken Gimblin is covering the arena developments of the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors for Sportstalk radio

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Commentary Michelle Richardson on the NCAA: Why Duke lost to Clemson in shocker

by Michelle Richardson

 

Clemson 72 Duke 59: This is the new age for basketball and Duke head coach Mike Krzyewski and there used to be a time that coach K had kids that could mature into the system and it was wonderful in North Carolina but now he’s getting guys who are one and done and some people are leaving before their time and every year he’s had to reteach the Duke system.

Unfortunately the new recruits aren’t necessarily getting it, you got Jabari Parker he’s getting his points but they needed an Austin Rivers and a Seth Curry. They needed more time and Seth might have had more time because he transferred from Liberty. The bottom line is Rivers should have stayed at Duke another year and it would have done Duke good and it would done Rivers good as a player.
That’s the problem with the college game it is losing some of it’s luster and so is the pro game they’re letting kids come in too soon. It’s not about thier age it’s about their level of maturity as athletes and not necessarily as being young men as being professionals. Nobody is taking the time to learn the game any more everybody is trying to run to the NBA.
So Duke and coach K has to realize like any other sport baseball, football, or hockey it doesn’t matter the game changes as you ascend to a better level. Duke losing to Clemson 72-59 to unranked Clemson. Duke is number one at 12-4, 7th in the Atlantic and that’s a lot from an ACC team. That’s really going to hurt them come time for the ACC Playoffs. Duke has Virgina on Monday night at home we’ll see how that game works out.
Arizona still perfecto: The Arizona Wildcats (16-0) are truly finding themselves in the post Lute Olson era and the Wildcats aren’t afraid. You got to like this group of young men that are just not afraid and they have deomonstrated that with a razor shave close game in UCLA for a four point 79-75 win on Thursday night. You have to realize with the Bruins new coach Steve Alford you have kids trying to learn their system.
It’s kind of difficult to get things started when you don’t know what’s expected of you and it doesn’t matter if your half way through the season it’s still a new system. Arizona is trying to make things happen their not holding off. The Wildcats are number one in the country their not taking any prisoners. Wildcats guard Aaron Gordon is in it to win it and it’s really great to see Arizona head coach Sean Miller getting these young men to know their role who are playing solid basketball on both ends of the court.
Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week for Sportstalk radio
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Kings downtown arena: U.S.Bank attorney not on borard with eminent domain plan

by Ken Gimblin 

 

SACRAMENTO–George Speir an attorney from Chicago representing U.S.Bank partner of the Macy’s building ownership at the west end of Westfield Mall downtown plaza has objected that reasons given for eminent domain by the Sacramento city council is not enough to force U.S. Bank to sell it’s share of the former department store building.

 

The city council enforced emient domain through a 7-2 vote on Tuesday that will see U.S.Bank and CalPERS sell their shares of the property to allow the Sacramento Kings to build their training facilities near the coming new arena at the mall.

 

Speir argues that U.S.Bank has niether received an offer from the city for the property and Speir wrote that the “public interest and necessity do not require the project.” The city council said eminent domain could be enforced if it benefits the region economically and brings jobs to Sacramento. The current Macy’s building stands empty and the Kings are ready to build on the property.

 

Does this mean that U.S.Bank will hold out for more than the $4.3 million in escrow? The Kings who are on deadline to get the new arena under construction and get the Macy’s building owners to sell the property have until October 2017 to get the arena completed or the NBA will move Kings out of Sacramento for the lack of a new building.

 

Construction must break this spring to get the project on schedule, the Kings recently wired $4.3 million to the city to hold in escrow to be paid to U.S.Bank and CalPERS after eminent domain. Speir is saying not so fast after the last offer that was accepted by the bank and CalPERS last year, the offersheet was withdrawn during the last bidding after it appeared the Kings were headed to Seattle. Speir could ask to see what the current market rate for the property is today.

 

Then the NBA ruled in favor of keeping the Kings in Sacramento which set the clock again for what Spier and the bank may declare a new offersheet because the property market rate has changed since the last offer. Although Speir stated the lack of an offersheet after the city voted on emient domain might cause a problem.

 

U.S.Bank could also make the arguement that the city in detail will need to demonstrate what they mean by economical impact to the region and how jobs would benenfit the market by selling the proper to the city through eminent domain. Sacramento City Attorney James Sanchez said that the city made an offer to U.S.Bank back in September. No doubt Speir and U.S.Bank will want to see certified proof that the city delivered the offer in September.

 

CalPERS for the most part has stated through spokesman Brad Pacheco that they are on board with the city council’s eminent domain vote from Tuesday, “CalPERS has no objection to the city’s right to acquire the property through eminent domain. We recongnize the significance of the city’s downtown redevelopment efforts and are eager to find a solution that is in the best interests of everyone involved including our members, the city of Sacramento and the tenant of the property.”

 

Ken Gimblin is covering the NBA and the arena builds for the Kings and the Warriors for Sportstalk radio

 

 

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Michael Duca on Cal basketball

by Michael Duca

BERKELEY–It’s nice that Cal is 6-3 but it would nice to see the Golden Bears start winning basketball games away from Haas they’ve got one victory from their home floor so far this year and that’s not going to work in the Pac 12. The Pac 12 is absolutely loaded this year and for Cal they have shot at a reasonable seeding at a conference tournament.

The Bears could have a 20 game winning season they have a shot at making the big dance, they’re going to have to win some road games.It’s never easy because your traveling which takes a lot of time away from the court and takes a lot of energy. You know how much fun it is to wait for your seat on the plane now imagine these guys doing it all the time.

Your away from home and your in a hostile crowd and your in a building that’s not yours, your depth perception and sight line comes to path through everything. You have to adjust to the building a little bit and for two or three minutes its just enough for the other team to get the crowd moving and make it hard on you.

The time change in Maui didn’t hurt them, or the altitude in Santa Barbara didn’t effect them, they just got outplayed by Santa Barbara and it was bound to happen sooner or later. Santa Barbara has never beaten a Pac 12 team finally all things come to an end, all things change, it just looks on the stat sheet that Cal didn’t shoot very well on the road and if that happens their probably not going to win.

Cal guard Jabari Bird he is Cal’s premier recruit this off season and he played in my hometown of Richmond, Bird is an extraordinary talent there and as you know Cal head coach Mike Montgomery has a little difficult time trusting freshmen and a little difficulty giving them a lot of responsibility on the offense. It gives you an idea how special a talent that Bird is.

Bird is on the floor every game he’s a starter for every game and he’s basically stepped into Cal player Alan Crabbe’s shoes. Bird is not a Crabbe quality outside shooter and anybody in basketball hardly is. Bird has great competitiveness and the rest of his game he’s actually got a more complete game than Crabbe does.

Bird is not necessarily more skilled but he’s played as hard 100 percent of the time, Crabbe was proned to gaging a few plays if his shot wasn’t falling for him. So on those merits Bird is giving Cal everything they could be that they hope to get out of a freshman. Montgomery is getting as much experience out of him that he can before the conference games start because there’s nothing but good teams in that conference.

Michael Duca does commentary on Cal basketball each week for Sportstalk Radio

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