Reporting Grant Napear
Grant began the show by giving his opinions of San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Alex Smith and Oakland Raiders’ quarterback Carson Palmer, and asked listeners to call in and give their opinion on which one they would prefer to have on their team.
Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee was Grant’s first guest today and he spoke on the end of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Plan B for a new arena in Sacramento, Calif.
Grant and Lillis compared and contrasted the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. with the current arena situation in Sacramento. Lillis said Johnson and the Think Big Sacramento initiative will broaden their focus to raising money from the private sector to fund public projects, starting with the downtown railyard. Lillis said they will start talking with the firm that owns the railyard land and discuss the possibility of adding facilities such as corporate headquarters and/or entertainment complexes.
Lillis said the possibility of downtown parking monetization has not completely gone away and could still be potential revenue for city projects. Grant mentioned that the downtown parking garages are vacant most nights and Lillis said the potential parking monetization would have to go towards a downtown project in order to generate the high amount of revenue they expected. The revenue wouldn’t have to go towards the railyard, as other options could include building along the riverfront or renovating the Downtown Plaza.
Lillis also said Johnson made it clear that the city of Sacramento is not going to help toward a renovation at Power Balance Pavilion. Lillis said it wasn’t just AEG recently backing out that killed Plan B, but that it has been dead for awhile. Lillis said Johnson is refocusing his efforts and has moved on from getting a new arena built. But Lillis also said Johnson would have baseball as a big part of his conversations going forward as well as the possibility of an NHL team.
Scott Miller of CBS Sports joined Grant to talk about the upcoming MLB All-Star game today. Grant asked Miller if retired manager Tony La Russa should be allowed to manage the National League in the All-Star Game. Miller said the question was should baseball be tying home-field advantage for the World Series to the All-Star Game? Miller said if so, it has to be treated like a championship and you have to have a current manager managing each team. Miller said players shouldn’t be allowed to update their social media pages during the game either.
Grant said that if the game is going to have meaning then fans shouldn’t be allowed to vote. He gave kudos to the loyalty of San Francisco Giants fans, but used them as an example of voting for players to make the All-Star Game who didn’t deserve it–such as Brandon Crawford getting the second most votes of National League shortstops and Freddy Sanchez missing all season but still receiving the fourth most votes of National League second baseman. Miller said he believes the fans did a great job of voting last year and believed they got it right on 14 of the 17 selections. However, he thought only 6 of the 17 fan selections were right this year.
Grant said the All-Star Game needs to be overhauled. Miller said he has supported baseball’s decision to have the World Series home-field advantage be decided upon by the All-Star Game winner, and used the tie in the ’02 game as an example of when he knew it needed to get more serious. Miller said the All-Star game should be more than what is has become with the fan voting and social media usage though, and that baseball needs to make a decision on whether it wants to get more competitive or be more for pleasure.
Miller spoke on the emergence of rookies Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper and Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout. Miller said they are both phenomenal players and that 2012 could be the year when people look back and recognize that that was the year these potential hall-of-famers broke into the league. Miller said that 12 years ago, at the height of the steroid era, baseball was focused mainly on home runs. But Harper and Trout represent great all-around play and the direction baseball has gone in, especially in the area of pitching.
Miller said the Nationals have been a great story this year and said they are a legit team. He said it’s halfway through the season and credited their focus on pitching as the reason they have remained in first place despite injuries. Miller said there is a great chance the Nationals are going to be in the playoffs, and at that point he can’t see Stephen Strasburg being shut down based on innings concerns.
Miller finished by speaking on steroid use and the affect it will have on potential hall-of-famers. He said he doesn’t think that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be in the Hall of Fame 15 years from now. Miller said Bonds might have a chance because there is a sense among Hall of Fame voters that his numbers were good enough, for long enough, before he started using steroids to be considered. But Miller still doesn’t think Bonds will make it in and he said he would not vote for steroid users.
Grant ended the show by reflecting on the great times he’s had at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in Tahoe, Calif. as he prepares to head there for this year’s tournament beginning on July 17.