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The Chico Heat Return; Nettleton and Gillick make all the difference

 

Baseball enthusiasts have reason to be joyous this holiday season. The Chico Heat baseball team is returning to the North State to entertain baseball fans and provide great family entertainment.

The Tuesday announcement made at the Chico Elks Lodge in conjunction with a Chico Rotary meeting is welcome news for baseball fans who have missed the game during the hot Chico summers. There is great reason for optimism regarding this new baseball venture. Steve Nettleton was one of the primary architects of the highly successful Chico Heat baseball franchise in the late 90’s. Nettleton built the baseball park on the Chico State campus, endowed it to the University and saw fans show up in droves to support the Heat from 1997-2002. As successful as the Heat were, the Western Baseball League couldn’t capture the Nettleton magic in other cities. The league folded after the 2002 season but not because of the Heat, which were still drawing big crowds at Nettleton Stadium.

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This baseball venture garners instant credibility with Pat Gillick’s involvement. The Hall-of-Fame baseball executive and Butte County native is one of the smartest baseball men in the game. The son of long-time Butte County Sheriff Larry Gillick has been one of baseball’s best general managers over the past 30 years. Gillick built back-to-back World Series championship teams in Toronto in 1992 and 1993. He also built the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Gillick also had successful runs as General Manager of the Seattle Marines and Baltimore Orioles. Gillick has long been a proponent of baseball in the North State and knows from a personal perspective that the greater-Chico area loves their baseball.

Gillick said during the Tuesday press conference that he likes the model of college players developing their skills (in a league like this) to try to become a professional baseball player.

I have heard some subtle comments that maybe this Chico Heat venture will not work, just like the Chico Outlaws attempt at baseball in Chico. Let me state this and I can’t state it loud enough. This Chico Heat baseball club is NOTHING like the Chico Outlaws. First, the Outlaws had more of an adversarial approach with Chico State University. The Pleasanton-based ownership did not fully embrace the Chico community and they never understood or WANTED to understand how baseball would work in Chico. The Nettleton-Gillick led Chico Heat are in a partnership with the university. That will go a long way in creating an amicable partnership that the community will feel night in and night out.

Second, Steve Nettleton and Pat Gillick understand Chico. They live here, have done business here, have friends and business associates here. They are committed to the area and have shown that they won’t abandon their friends.

This model is one that I have long supported. If Chico can’t get an affiliated team to call Chico home then the college baseball summer league model works the best. Every summer, college ball players from around the country will come to Chico and play baseball in a community that loves the game. With smart leadership, the league will flourish with quality baseball in a family friendly environment. These will not be professional baseball players. These will be college kids playing the game in a minor league environment and they will relish the chance to be part of this tremendous fan base. As a baseball fan and supporter of collegiate baseball, I couldn’t be more thrilled.

I can picture it now, 3000 fans in the stands, Heater joyously entertaining the kids, the smell of garlic fries wafting over the Stadium, the cold Sierra Nevada flowing, all with the sun setting beyond the right field wall…..June of 2016 can’t come soon enough !

Lets Play Ball !!!

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SECTION TITLE EDITION: High School Football Preview Show 11-26

North State Section Titles on the line as Divisions II-thru V battle it out for football supremacy. Our panel of experts break down all the match-ups in the most anticipated week of high school football.

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DIVISION II

Pleasant Valley vs Enterprise SAT NIGHT

DIVISION III

Lassen vs Sutter SAT NIGHT

DIVISION IV

East Nic vs Winters WEDS NIGHT

DIVISION V

Etna vs Maxwell WEDS NIGHT

TJ Holmes- Redding Record Searchlight @TJHolmes_RS

Joseph Shufelberger- ChicoER @JShufelberger

Lee Carrell- @CarrellLee

Mike Baca- KPAY Sports Director @BitOBaca and @KpayBacaSports

Chico Almond Bowl

High School Football PLAYOFF Preview 11-19

CHICO AND PLEASANT VALLEY RE-VISIT ALMOND BOWL 2014 IN A HUGE SEMI-FINAL PLAYOFF MATCH-UP 

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We break down the North State High School Football match-ups in Divisions II, III and IV. Rivalries and grudge matches are a theme in some intriguing games that will determine the North Section Championship games.

TJ HOLMES- REDDING RECORD SEARCHLIGHT @tjholmes_RS

LEE CARRELL- ACTION NEWS 12 & 24 @CarrellLee

JOSEPH SHUFELBERGER- CHICOER @JShufelberger

JEFF LARSON- PARADISE POST @tjlarson

MIKE BACA- KPAY SPORTS  @BitOBaca and @KpayBacaSports

Courtesy to Jason Halley for the photos….

 

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Vegas: The Grind is the Joy

 

Fun and frivolity in Las Vegas for most means letting loose, downing copious amounts of alcohol and leaving ones’ worries at home. I am not most.

Las Vegas to me is a workplace. Warfare on the felt at the Bellagio, Aria or any other poker room that will have me. After the birth of my son in June I reasoned that these trips would be few and far-between, but lo and behold my play-by-play duties take me to Sin City for a junket just a few weeks after the World Series Of Poker.

I know I have annoyed friends and loved-ones with my never-ceasing desire to be alone in Vegas. You see I am never really alone. Spending 12-14 hours at a poker table, reading people, concentrating, studying, playing, shoving, bluffing. That is my nadir. I venture most people wouldn’t find this “fun.” Well, the game is my fun, the grind is my fun. No cocktail, no circus show, no event can match the psychological showdowns on the felt. It’s a work trip. Filled with lots of rest and then the beautiful grind.

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When the flop hits the board and you see a 2 and 4 on the board, beware if I’m in the hand. I might have it, then again, I might not.

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Chico State Men’s Basketball is here !

 

The defending West Region Champion Chico State Wildcats open their 100th year of college hoops this afternoon at the Ron Logsdon Tournament on the campus of Sonoma State.

The 2014-15 campaign figures to be a year of transition, but also a year of exciting promise with several highly touted recruits and red-shirts elevated to the big club. Seniors Jordan Semple, Jordan Barton and Mike Rosaroso will be asked to assume the leadership roles handed over by the triumvirate of Amir Carraway, Sean Park and Rashad Parker.

The 2013-2014 season ended on the highest of notes, a regional championship that saw the Wildcats go to their first ever Elite Eight. They open tonight again NAIA opponent Pacific Union. You can hear the game on ChicoWildcats.com at 2:45pm with our pre-game show and the tip at 3pm.

To get you ready here is a little taste from last year’s amazing comeback to beat Stanislaus in the Regional Final. This game punched the Wildcats Cats’ ticket to Evansville, and the Elite Eight.

“Never Stop Playing. Never Give in.”

PHOTO Courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Chico Almond Bowl

High School Football Preview Show PLAYOFF EDITION

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PREVIEW SHOW

TJ HOLMES- REDDING RECORD SEARCHLIGHT @tjholmes_RS

RICK SILVA- PARADISE POST @Post_RickSilva

JOSEPH SHUFELBERGER- CHICOER @JShufelberger

LEE CARRELL- ACTION NEWS 12 & 24 @CarrellLee

MIKE BACA- KPAY SPORTS @BitOBaca and @KPAYBacaSports

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NOVEMBER NINE 2014 !!! World Series of Poker Running Blog….

 

MONDAY NIGHT

8:41pm

We have our first elimination in the November Nine as poker pro Mark Newhouse has been eliminated in 9th place for the second straight year. An amazing feat. He declared before the tournament that he would not finish in 9th again, but he bluffed on the river with pocket 10’s against the pocket Q’s of Will Tonking from New York. The board was ugly with 2, 4, J, 4, J…….Tonking check/called and Newhouse bet into him. On the river Newhouse shoved and Tonking waited a good 20 seconds before calling.

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Tonking now sits at 48 million chips, Joort Van Hoof is at 46 million. Sindelar at is 25 million, Larrabe at 21 million, Stephensen at 19 million, Billy Pappas at 16 million, Politano for 12 million and Jacobson at 10 million.

Mark Newhouse is eliminated in 9th place and earns $730,725 dollars.

The November Eight now are nearing their 4th hour of action.

8:52pm

Van Hoof had the amazing ALL-IN bluff on Larrabe right before the dinner break. Now he pushes around the Brazilian Politano. And, now his trying to push around Stephensen who is sitting on Ace/King diamonds. Van Hoof has Queen/5 diamonds.

Van Hoof folds…..It was the first FOUR-BET of the night.

9:04pm

Jacobson goes ALL-IN as bottom stack with pocket 9’s. Politano folds and Sindelar folds. Jacobson now sitting at 11 million and Politano goes to 10 million. Politano is bleeding chips. His range is quite small, if he doesn’t have a pair he doesn’t play, and now the blinds are catching up to him. I expect him to be the next guy to be eliminated

9:19pm

Could see action here as 3rd place Sindelar raises chip leader Will Tonking. Sindelar has Ace/4 and Tonking has pocket Jacks. Flop comes K, 8, 8. Sindelar bets 1.8 mil. Tonking calls. The turn comes 4 of hearts. Tonking checks, Sindelar checks. 10 of diamonds on river. Tonking checks, Sindelar checks. Tonking picks up the 9.3 million dollar pot. He now sits at 54.6 million chips.

9:24pm

Tonking wakes up with pocket 6’s. Jacobson goes ALL-IN with Ace/King 9.97 million. Tonking FOLDS. Hmmmmm. Tonking didn’t want to leak chips even though he has chip lead and had the lead.

9:37pm

Van Hoof with Q/9 spades bets 1.1 million and Larrabe calls with Ace/Jack off. Board comes 8d/Kh/3h. Van Hoof checks, Larrabe bets 1.1 million. Van Hoof folds. Time for a break we are still 8-handed

TUESDAY NIGHT

WSOP Main Event and we are down to our final three. Jorryt Van Hoof is the chip leader and is very good playing with the lead. Felix Stephensen is a true grinder and has ability to come up and bite if you don’t get a good read on him. Martin Jacobson was short stack and now is in the final three. I like Jacobson…..

Van Hoof is at 89 million

Jacobson is at 64 million

Stephensen is at 46 million

Here we go !

6:23pm

Stephensen takes down a pot with Ace/5 after Van Hoof bets 4 million on the river with a 3/5 off. Stephensen had checked to the river. Van Hoof bets into him and Stephensen calls with 4-over cards on the board. Nice call by Stephensen nets him the pot. Players have come out firing. Van Hoof is at 81 million, Jacobson at 69 million and Stephensen at 48 million.

6:48pm

Stephensen goes ALL-IN with pocket Queens after the flop of 7, 8, 9. Jacobson had K/J off and mis-reads Stephensen and bets 6.2 which results in an immediate ALL-IN from Stephensen as he takes it down. Van Hoof at 81 million, Stephensen at 63 million and Jacobson at 50 million.

7:06pm

Jacobson gets pocket ACES. Stephensen gets K/J off. Stephensen gets air on flop. Jacobson bets 4 million on flop and Stephensen calls. A KING comes on the turn and Jacobson bets 10 million, Stephensen calls. A Queen comes on the river, which puts the possibility of a straight and a high two-pair on the board. Jacobson shoves 15 million in pot and Stephensen snap calls. Jacobson’s ACES hold up. Huge hit to Stephensen’s chip stack. Van Hoof is at 88 million, Jacobson at 86 million and Stephensen at 25 million.

LATE TUESDAY NIGHT

Amazing play by Martin Jacobson as he captures the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship. Jacobson was sitting on 7 big blinds and was the short stack at the table some, two hours into final table play, yet emerges with the championship with some stellar play. His calm, consistent approach served him well. Jacobson went ALL-IN 19 times in 144 hands and was rarely called allowing him to claim some much needed pots to help build his chip stack.

A deserving champion

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High School Football Preview 10-31

Chico Almond Bowl

Many thanks to Jason Halley for use of his photos !!!

In today’s edition of the High School Football Preview Show we break down one of the great Almond Bowl’s of all time. Chico’s 27-21 win over Pleasant Valley was filled with numerous turning points and our experts break it down.

We analyze the Paradise/Enterprise match-up from last week. Also we break down the Sutter and Orland game this week with the Appeal-Democrats Jimmy Graben.

JOSEPH SHUFELBERGER- CHICO ER @JShufelberger

JEFF LARSON- PARADISE POST @jtlarson

JIMMY GRABEN- APPEAL DEMOCRAT @ADSportsEditor

LEE CARRELL- ACTION NEWS 12 & 24 @CarrellLee

MIKE BACA- Kpay Sports Director @BitOBaca @KPAYBacaSports

 

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What are the Dodgers waiting for ? Maddon NOW !

UPDATED: 10-24-14 11:03am

If the Dodgers don’t make a hard play for Joe Maddon then I believe the Guggenheim organization, Stan Kasten and the front office are not serious about winning.

There is no other way to put it. New General Manager Andrew Friedman and Kasten said last week that the only thing that matters is winning. Friedman said there is nothing else. If that is the truth then the Dodgers will thank Don Mattingly for his years of service, give him a nice severance package and then hand a contract to Joe Maddon and let him put the dollar figure in the heading, a la Andre Dawson in 1987 with the Cubs.

This is a no-brainer for the Dodgers. It shouldn’t even be deliberated, coalesced, analyzed or disputed. Joe Maddon should be the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers manager. Maddon has done more with less in the last nine years than most managers do in a lifetime. His baseball smarts and abilities as a game manager are Bochy-esque. What are the Dodgers waiting for ? Maddon only resigned a 90 minutes ago. I want to hear about the Maddon hiring in the next few hours. Chop chop, get on it.

Maddon resigned this morning as manager of the Tampa Rays after nine years at the helm. Reports indicate the Tampa brass and Maddon had a significant gulf in financial terms being discussed. With one year left on his deal, Maddon decided not to be a lame duck. He decided to explore his options.

Several baseball writers are reporting  that un-named Dodgers front office officials are saying that the Dodgers WILL NOT bring in Maddon. They are reporting that the Dodgers are committed to Don Mattingly. Why ? Who are these officials ? I want names ?

In the spirit of openness, I have not been a Don Mattingly antagonist. In fact I have been the guy in my large circle of Dodger friends that seems to always come to the defense of Donnie. Trust me, this is a tough task. This has nothing to do with his service to the Dodgers and his efforts. This is simply a business decision. When you find someone more capable of doing a job, in whatever business you are in, one has to at least consider making a change. When that “someone” is possibly one of the best at his craft then you have to take it under “deep advisement.”

Last week during Friedman’s introductory press conference he said Don Mattingly would “definitely” be back as Dodgers manager in 2015.  Andrew, no one will hold it against you if you suddenly have a change of heart. Trust me on this one. Dodger fans will give you a pass in the “your word is bond” department. This is Joe “freaking” Maddon.

The Dodgers may not want to do this considering last Friday’s full-throated support of Mattingly, but this is something they HAVE to do. Nationally the Dodgers will be seen as cut-throat and mean-spirited, but, next year, with Maddon they may be seen as World Series Champions.

Pull the trigger Guggenheim. Pull the trigger Mark Walter. Pull the trigger Andrew Friedman. Hey Earvin “Magic” Johnson, remember that time you unceremoniously un-seated Paul Westhead from behind, you gutted him like a fish, and orchestrated Pat Riley taking over the Lakers ? Make that happen Magic !!

Hey Donnie, thanks for your service. And, remember, “it’s business, not personal.”

UPDATE: We now have a name. President of Baseball Ops Andrew Friedman says Don Mattingly will be back as Dodgers manager in 2015. So, Friedman fails his first baseball exam.