HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW SHOW October 30th-Almond Bowl 45 Recap

Our High School Football Preview Show for Week 10. We look at some of the big games on tap for this Friday night including a huge showdown in Orland as the Trojans host Sutter. We also look at Chico and Foothill and Paradise and Pleasant Valley.


We recap three tremendous games last week. Shasta over-coming 5 turnovers in a big win over Foothill. We also re-visit another Enterprise and Paradise thriller and we also look at Almond Bowl 45 between Chico and Pleasant Valley



Lee Carrell- Action News 12 & 24 @CarrellLee on twitter

Joseph Shufelberger- ChicoER @JShufelberger on twitter

TJ Holmes- Redding Record Searchlight @tjholmes_RS on twitter

Jeff Larson- Paradise Post @jtlarson on twitter

Mike Baca- KpaySports @BitOBaca @KpayBacaSports on twitter


*Don’t forget to sign up and play in the Redding Record Searchlight’s Prep Football PIck Em’ weekly contest. Compete against our local panel of experts and win bragging rights and free coffee from Dutch Brothers !!!!  Go to Redding.com/football (link below)



On today’s BitOBaca show we dissect the Kansas City Royals and how they are on the door-step of their first World Series title in 30 years. Here is today’s BitOBaca SNIPPET

Follow me on twitter @BitOBaca


Our panel of experts breaks down the Chico High and Pleasant Valley High Almond Bowl match-up.  And, we also chime in on Shasta High school’s huge River Bowl win over Enterprise.



Lee Carrell- Action News 12 & 24 @CarrellLee on twitter

Joseph Shufelberger- ChicoER @JShufelberger on twitter

TJ Holmes- Redding Record Searchlight @tjholmes_RS on twitter

Rick Silva- Paradise Post @POST_RickSilva on twitter

Mike Baca- KpaySports @BitOBaca @KpayBacaSports on twitter


*Don’t forget to sign up and play in the Redding Record Searchlight’s Prep Football PIck Em’ weekly contest. Compete against our local panel of experts and win bragging rights and free coffee from Dutch Brothers !!!!  Go to Redding.com/football (link below)



Bit O Baca Oct 21st SNIPPET: The Cubs can come back from 0-3…..


In today’s Bit O Baca SNIPPET we highlight how the Chicago Cubs can come back and win the NLCS and why the energy and flow of this game may be ready to give Cubs fans one of the greatest stories in the history of baseball…..

Dodgers Epilogue Updated: A perfect collapse for an imperfect team


The 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers season ended just as it should have ended……..FLAWED. A perfect ending for an imperfect team.  For an  organization that spent more than 300 million dollars to try to bring that elusive title to Dodger fans, they once again came excruciatingly short again.  But, unlike the 2013 and 2014 seasons the faithful were warned of this teams’ impending downfall. Whether the faithful were paying attention to the warning signs, is  another matter.

The pain of watching this team go 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-their-last-11 was a big reason why this merry band of millionaires was 8th in the National League in offense. Sure, the Dodgers led the Senior Circuit in on-base percentage, but that doesn’t matter if you can’t score. How fitting that this imperfect team saw their season crumble by falling asleep on a walk. When Daniel Murphy went full sprint from near second base all the way to third with nary a Dodger nearby, the ominous clouds were moving in.  A pre-cursor to said disaster was the shouting match between Andre Ethier and Don Mattingly in the 4th inning. This CAN’T happen in a winner-take-all game. It just CAN’T. I don’t care if Mattingly was trying to protect Ethier. Positive energy, positive vibes and everyone pulling in same direction can’t be usurped by dugout squabbles in a must-win game. All of this asymptomatic of a dysfunction that has been chronicled yet rarely seen on display on such a stage.

Many will say replacing Don Mattingly is all this team needs to turn the corner. While Donnie Baseball’s time maybe should come to an end, pinning this team’s October failings on Mattingly alone shows a complete lack of understanding of how winning baseball teams are built and how they should play. While some of this Mattingly should own, the Dodgers inability to play a multi-faceted game continues to be their achilles heel. There was no other team in the National League that was worse at generating runs without home runs than the Dodgers. This is not conjecture. This is a real statistic. The Dodgers were the 5th worst in baseball at generating runs without hitting a home run. In October, you don’t get to play the Padres and Rockies 19 times. You play the best of the best and you face superior pitching. Championship teams manufacture runs against power arms. If Friedman and company had visions of this team  manufacturing runs they were sadly mistaken.

Get em’ on. Move em over. Bring them in.

I harped on the Dodgers bullpen all year. While they were better late in the season and in the Mets series (aside from Game 3) the Dodgers need better “pitchers’ down in that pen. Too many guys with high velocity and no secondary pitches. This is  an Andrew Friedman issue. For a big money team to go on the cheap in their bullpen is incomprehensible. It’s as if he hadn’t seen what ailed the Dodgers coming into the 2015 campaign and thought his cheaper options would suffice….they didn’t.

Chris Hatcher showed great improvement, but his off-speed pitches need refining. Pedro Baez has one pitch. I know it’s a 98 mile per hour fastball, but in the last two October’s it has been Baez giving up critical hits on that fastball that have provided the winning margins in playoff games. His slider and change-up are not very good and so hitters can sit on his fastball. Kenley Jansen has one pitch, but he is the one guy that can live with it. His cutter acts like a breaking ball and he misses a lot of barrels. JP Howell was good, but he is a left-handed specialist and can’t be relied on for a ton of innings. This bullpen needs a lot of work and I believe it was President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman’s biggest failing in his first year at the helm.

This team was FLAWED. Two great starters in Kershaw and Greinke. An outstanding closer in Jansen but less than championship quality  elsewhere on the hill. Offensively they did what they were supposed to do, hit home runs. But, when you get to October you need to be more like the 2015 Kansas City Royals and not the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers. Run generation is at a premium in October and when you don’t do it, you don’t win.

Either the Dodgers are too pompous, too proud, too egotistical or too stupid to realize that the team that has given them the blue-print for October success plays in San Francisco. The Dodgers just seem to be too stubborn to copy it.

The news on the horizon isn’t all bad. Joc Pederson will be the Dodgers every day center fielder and Corey Seager will be the every day shortstop. The drafting and developing has been in full effect since 2012 and these kids are getting ready come help. But the approach needs to change.

Don Mattingly may have managed his last game as a Dodger. The foolish will believe this will change the results in October. If the Dodgers don’t change their approach, the game will pass them by. 650 million dollars in payroll over the last three years have made the Dodgers competitive, it can’t make you win. Until the Dodgers, get back to the Dodger Way. Pitching, defense, speed, stolen bases, hitting and running; they will continue the great tease of the last three decades.

Losing in October is always painful. It’s great getting to October and we should feel fortunate as Dodger fans the club got their again. But, the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over-and-over again and expecting a different result. The Dodgers are flawed. It is Friedman’s responsibility to pull his head away from number crunching and spread sheets and figure that out. In Tampa he had a manager who believed in small ball. Joe Maddon now has taken his vast knowledge and has the Cubs on the brink of a pennant. If Friedman does make a change, he needs to find someone who is a disciple of the Maddon principles, the “OLD” Dodger way.

It might be time to eat some salary to the mega-rich Guggenheim Group. Carl Crawford is not serving any purpose any more. He is taking a roster spot. He is awful defensively, can’t stay healthy and it might be time to admit that the only reason they brought him from Boston was to get Adrian Gonzalez in a Dodger uniform. Decisions will need to be made on Andre Ethier as well. The platoon system in place at the end of year just was not tenable. The Dodgers may have to admit eating tens of millions dollars on these bad contracts may be in the best interest of the team.

The Dodger season comes to an end on the 27th anniversary of one of the franchises greatest moments, Kirk Gibson’s hobbled home run. Nothing will ever ruin October 15th for me. Always Gibby Day ! While tonight’s loss stung, it wasn’t completely unexpected. And, lets be honest, the Dodgers weren’t going to beat the Cubs.

2013 and 2014 hurt a lot more than this. Like our Brooklyn brethren we are programmed for haunted October’s. We always live to fight another day.

Until the winter meetings everyone…..




Our panel of experts breaks down the River Bowl XXIII between Shasta and Enterprise this Friday night. We also recap some of the great games played last week including Enterprise’s amazing comeback against Foothill and Durham rallying from 13 points down to beat Colusa


TJ Holmes- Redding Record Searchlight @tjholmes_RS on twitter

Lee Carrell- Action News 12 & 24 @CarrellLee on twitter

Joseph Shufelberger- Chico ER @JShufelberger on twitter

Jeff Larson- Paradise Post @jtlarson on twitter

Mike Baca- KpaySports @KpayBacaSports @BitOBaca on twitter




BitOBaca Oct 14th SNIPPET: The Genius of Theo Epstein……

Theo Epstein rebuilt and reshaped the Chicago Cubs and now his young, talented team is primed for long run of success…..

Listen to what Theo Epstein said on October 25th, 2011 the day he was hired. “When we do achieve sustained success and win a World Series, it won’t be because of any one person.”



BitOBaca October 13th SNIPPET

Four teams left in this post-season have the “IT” factor. The Dodgers aren’t one of them. The Dodgers could win Game 4 behind Clayton Kershaw and Game 5 behind Zack Greinke, but does anyone in their right mind EXPECT them to ?

Today’s BitOBaca SNIPPET

Follow us @BitOBaca and @KpayBacaSports on twitter

PODCAST of our BitOBaca “Chase Utley Slide” FULL Episode…..

Listen to today’s PODCAST of our “Chase Utley slide” episode.

We look at the slide, its legality, MLB’s response, the response of former big leaguers and put the slide in the “context” of the moment for the Dodgers……


Utley slide


Utley suspended for Games 3 & 4; We dissect the slide and what it meant for the Dodgers

UPDATE: MLB has suspended Chase Utley for Games 3 & 4 of the NLDS. Utley is appealing the suspension. His appeal will be heard on Monday morning

By any means necessary.

The Dodgers had the tying run at third and Utley, who had just singled was at first base with Howie Kendrick was at the plate. With the Dodgers season teetering in the balance, Chase Utley had a decision to make.  He saw the soft liner just elude Bartolo Colon’s glove and skip up the middle. Utley, in full sprint was bearing down toward second base as he saw Daniel Murphy field the ball. Utley saw Ruben Tejada venture toward the second base bag and as any base-runner knows in this spot your job is to break up the double-play. Utley put Tejada in his sights, the thought running through any good base-runners mind is, “do not let him get that throw off to first base.” Utley had no idea if Kendrick had stumbled out of the box or tripped up the line. And, with the tying run at third, breaking up the double play would get the Dodgers even for the first time in this series.

Murphy’s toss to Tejada was off-line and Tejada had to contort his body with his back to first base just to grab the ball. He then would have to touch the bag, wheel and turn toward first base. Unfortunately for Tejada, Murphy’s toss hung him out to dry and Utley was like a missile who had locked onto his target. At this point as we see everyday it is contingent upon the middle infielder to get the hell out of dodge.

Tejada couldn’t.

Utley’s slide viciously clipped Tejada’s plant leg and flipped him high into the air. Mission accomplished for the long time veteran infielder. As the din at Dodger Stadium reached defining decibels the Dodgers had tied the game. Utley trotted off the field a little weary after taking a knee to the head. Tejada was prone on the ground not able to move his leg. He had broken it.

Current players, former players, die-hard fans, casual fans and pontificators have all weighed in on the legality of the Utley slide. With all of that said, let’s not view the slide in a narrow prism. This wasn’t a slide on Wednesday night in May. This slide was on a Saturday night in October where a franchise had their season hanging in the balance. This point is made because it matters. The sense of urgency in which Utley had to act definitely plays here.

Chase Utley has been known to take liberties with his slides breaking up double plays
Chase Utley has been known to take liberties with his slides breaking up double plays

My first thought as I stared at the TV and saw the play was, “uh-oh that looks like interference….oh please God, do not call interference.”  Yes, I thought at first glance it was interference. As a Dodger fan I would have been mad, but would have understood if the that call was made. If the umpires ruled Utley interfered with Tejada then Utley is out, Kendrick is out and the run doesn’t score.

Inning over.

There was no such motion from the umpires. It would have been a stunning call. As someone who watches baseball more than anyone I know; I see slides like this all the time and umpiring crews never make that call. They give base-runners tremendous lee-way as it pertains to base-runners breaking up double-plays. What would ensue would be a surreal turn of events that would not only result in the Dodgers tying the game, but Utley being ruled safe at second since Tejada didn’t touch the base. Umpires determined the “neighborhood” play was not in effect since Murphy’s toss to Tejada was off-line there-by not allowing for the short-stop to just be “near” the bag. It was this toss by Murphy that put Tejada in an exposed spot and helped lead to collision.

Was Utley’s slide late ? Yes. Was it high ? Yes. Was it borderline illegal ? Yes. But, it was a hard slide with the Dodgers season hanging in the balance. His one goal was to break up the double play. If you are a base-runner in that spot you don’t hold back. You are taught, at least I was taught do whatever you need to do to break up the double-play and if that means rolling the middle infielder than so be it. It is the middle-infielders job to get out-of-the-way. The problem is Tejada could not, with the bad throw and his back turned. Really unfortunate.

If the slide was illegal the umpires could have ruled so on the field. But they didn’t. Neither did the four replay umpires back in New York. So, I am not really sure what we are debating here.

Should the rule be changed ? Probably. Would the umpires have been wrong if they ruled Utley interfered and ruled him out ? No. But, as someone who loves pushing the envelope in terms of hard-nosed baseball I loved the play. I love watching replays of Hal McRae rolling Willie Randolph into left field in the 1977 ALCS in a similar situation that tied the game. I loved when Will Clark trucked Jose Oquendo in 1988 and I liked the guts and guile of Chase Utley last night.

The rule will be changed a la the Buster Posey catcher’s rule from 2011. Last night’s events on the biggest of stages with two teams from the two biggest media markets ensures that. But, as for last night, there were ten umpires who do this for a living that ruled the slide legal.