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Nats Pitcher Aspires to SportsTalk Career

I suppose I should have known this, but I didn't. Nats starter Mike Bacsik spent his offseason in 2005 as an intern with Dallas sports talk radio station 1310 The Ticket in Dallas. He would like this to be his career one day. He considers himself especially expert in, you guessed it, the NBA. He spent his time as an intern working on "The Homer Call," slogging through football tapes until he got to highlights and then marking the most outlandish calls for use on the radio.

You're going to have to read a long ways to get to the part about Dwyane Wade. (By Marc Serota - Reuters)

"I just called them up late August, I said 'I'm not getting a Sepetember call up, I'd love to learn the business,' and they said 'Sure, great, come on up and we'll get something for you'," Bacsik told me. "So I learned how to work the computers and stuff, learned a lot of the background stuff of sports talk, which made me realize that if I do anything I'd want to be a sports analyst, a talk show host. Everything else, the background work, sucks. It's just a lot of busy work. Even the producer has a lot of busy work, and I'd much rather talk than have to do all that."

Of course, the obvious question was this: could he do a top-to-bottom critique of SportsTalk 980 for me? (And yes, Tod Castleberry, next I'll ask him to critique Triple X ESPN Radio, don't worry.) His response should be alarming to Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban and the rest of the crew.

"I don't even know what the stations are," he said. "I haven't had a chance. I just rented a car, my family just got into town, so I've been busy."

Instead, he's been going to the Web site of 1310 The Ticket and listening to Dallas sports talk, and also reading up on the NBA draft at,, RealGM and HoopsHype. But I told him about 980 (you're next, Tod Castleberry), and he promised to work on a critique for me.

[You can read a little about his internship from Todd Jacobson in Fredberg, or on the Sturminator blog from 1310 The Ticket, or on the Shea Faithful blog.]

In the meantime, here's Mike Bacsik as sports-talk radio host, discussing the NBA Finals, after the jump.

On the Mavericks' flameout: Pathetic. Pathetic is the way to describe it. Disappointing is too weak of a word. When you win 67 games and you don't even get out of the first round? I mean, think about it: Golden state, not a good team. Utah, first year in the playoffs, really not that good of a team. San Antonio, great team, that would have been tough. Cleveland, not a good team. And that would have been it.

On the Cavs: I still think Cleveland's a bad team. I just think the East is so bad....I'll tell you this, I think if the Lakers were in the NBA Finals, I think the Lakers would beat the Cavs. I'm not a Kobe fan at all, but Kobe vs. LeBron today, I think Kobe's team, even though he's complaining about it and says how bad it is, I think Lamar Odom's better than anybody the Cavs have as a second option.

I think Kwame Brown is just as good or better than Drew Gooden. If you put Drew Gooden on a team [like] the Dallas Mavericks, very good team, no distributor like LeBron James, nobody that breaks down the defense like LeBron. That's why Drew Gooden's been traded all these times. Memphis didn't have it, they were like let's get rid of [Gooden]. Orlando had Tracy McGrady but he was hurt most of the time, they were like let's get rid of [Gooden]. He can't do anything individually. You have to have a superstar player with Drew Gooden.

Same with Daniel Gibson, Daniel Gibson is the next coming of Jason Terry, as long as he stays in Cleveland with LeBron James....He's a 6-foot-2 shooting guard that has LeBron James. Let's just say he went to Milwaukee or Indiana or something, he'd be pathetic, because he wouldn't have LeBron James breaking down the defense, being like a point-forward for him. He has to have somebody like that.

On the Finals: You've got to give credit to Cleveland, because obviously, six games in a row, Cleveland beat [Detroit], so Cleveland was doing something to get them out of rhythm. But for the finals, right now I'm picking the Spurs in five. And I don't even know why I'm giving Cleveland a game, but I'm going to give 'em a game at some point. Maybe Game 3 or Game 4, when they're down 2-0 or 3-0....

I think Tim Duncan will control the series, I think Bowen and Ginobili will calm down LeBron James. And the Spurs, now that Detroit doesn't have Ben Wallace, there's no team better at team defense. So LeBron going to the hole and getting layups or breaking down the defense, it just doesn't happen with the Spurs. I mean, they play Kobe and it doesn't happen, they play Tracy McGrady and it doesn't happen. The West is loaded, and it doesn't happen against those teams with way better role players. LeBron doesn't have Yao Ming. They don't have a complete team like Dallas. Phoenix has Amare, Marion and Nash, and they couldn't break down that defense.

So I don't see how Cleveland, now that the Spurs are at the peak of their game, are going to break them down at all defensively. So I expect tonight to be about a 12-to -15 point win, the next night about a 10-, 12-point win and then I expect Cleveland to win one of the games at home, but I don't think it'll go back to San Antonio for Game 6.

On my contention that David Stern will not permit a sweep: That's a whole 'nother story. Ninety-seven free throws for Dwyane Wade [last year] just ripped my heart out. He had like a halo around him. It was like Jesus Christ going to the lane, if you touched the balloon around him. It was horrible. For two weeks, man, I just came to the park head down.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 7, 2007; 3:22 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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