Sports Update: Aztec, Chargers, Padres Trade
Are the SDSU Aztecs bowl-bound despite their loss to the TCU Horned Frogs? What are the chances the 4-5 Chargers will win the AFC West? We speak to Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton about our local football teams, and the outlook for SDSU's men's and women's basketball teams.
Lee "Hacksaw" Hamilton, sports talk show host on XX1090. Lee 'Hacksaw' Hamilton hosts "Sportswatch" weekdays from 10-2 p.m.
This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. You're listening to These Days on KPBS. The Chargers got a weekend off for some badly needed recuperation, but the SDSU Aztec football team came close to a big upset in Texas. Plus Margarito gets pounded in Dallas and the Padres make an interesting trade. Joining me with a sports update is Lee Hacksaw Hamilton sports talkshow host on double X 1090. Lee, good morning.
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: Good morning, Maureen. How are you doing?
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: I'm doing great. Thank you for being here. And now the Aztecs came up short in what was a wild game against TCU again, eventually losing 40 to 45. How do you think SDSU looked?
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: I said on last week on double-X, on the talk show as we talked to Aztecs fans that if they were involved in a shootout and they lost do you think you could view it as a positive step forward. If they'd gotten blown up 46, 60 to 70 I'd view that as devastating. I guess it would be, this is somewhere in between because as Brady Hoke said this morning is they play 60 minutes and the Aztecs played only about 20 minutes. They played a great eight minutes to start the game, then they got killed. They did not rally back till the fourth quarter and TCU kind of took the foot off the pedal and the Aztecs got competitive and made a game of it. The fact that it was 45 to 40 is really misleading because it was really one-sided for about 45 minutes of the football game. That having said TCU is beating everybody this year. They are third ranked in the country. I think the real proof of the pudding is going to be this Saturday if San Diego State can draw a big crowd and can pummel formerly unbeaten Utah, who finished the season nine and three, go to double (inaudible) as they are projected they would and I said on Labor Day weekend as they would be nine and three, then I said the program would be back.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Why is it important to draw a big crowd?
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: This community has been just emotionally removed from the football program for a long period of time. The Marshall Falk era was back in the early 1990s. That was really the last really credible quality team at San Diego State has had. And when you are drawing crowds of 15 or 18,000 for Division I program in a market of this size that's not very good. They could get the 40 to 45,000 this weekend and this is a big game in terms of taking the next step forward, if they could draw here, that they will wipe up the floor with Nevada, Las Vegas in the final end of the season they finished nine and three and probably get to play the Poinsettia Bowl. I think that's huge in terms of the growth of the program and getting the community emotionally involved because it has not been that way.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Getting excited about the Aztecs. A good idea. Now the Chargers were on a buy last week but they are riding a two-game winning streak going into their game next Monday night against the Denver Broncos. Do the Chargers still have a chance to win AFC West?
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: I think so, because what's happened above them, Kansas City has given ground. Kansas City has really played three shaky games in a row, two of them which they've lost. They got beat in Oakland and then they got blown out yesterday very badly by the Denver Broncos. So I think the reality is that Kansas City has got a case of the shakes, started to feel the heat, people have figured them out much like last year people figured out Denver when the Broncos got off to this six and oh start and they collapsed and the Chargers put a streak together and won the AFC West. Yes, I think this is possible for San Diego to string together another winning streak here and wind up in first place. The problem is they've done so much damage themselves by how poorly they played in the first half of the season I don't know that they are going to go very deep in the playoffs at all and they are probably going to have to play a whole bunch of games on the road. The buy week comes at a great time for them. They've got a lot of people seeing, getting 10 days off is huge. You will see them come back next Monday night with fresh legs, probably with fire in their eyes and probably have most of the injured players back healthy and they've got seven games left. I think it's conceivable they could win six of the final seven but that's still a big hole they dug for themselves the first half of the year.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Right. Moving on to the Aztecs men's and women's basketball teams, how are they looking right now?
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: They are exciting The men's team under Steve Fisher for the first time is ranked in the preseason poll. They were 25th to start the season, posted a win Saturday night at Long Beach State, go to Gonzaga to play a pretty good basketball program up there tomorrow night. So I think plain and simple the Aztec basketball program has arrived. All five starters are back, nine veteran players (INAUDIBLE) to me there's no reason why they can't win 22, 24 games if they stay free of injury and I think maybe go deep into the tournament. Lady Aztecs opened with a tough loss against UCLA. They return quality veteran players after from last year's team that went to the Sweet 16 of the tournament but they are going to have to do some work defensively. They're going to have to get better in rebuilding in the backcourt. But the one key is the Lady Aztecs are very big and very physical and rebound and they play good half-court game and I think the NCAA tournament is very much of the focus for the Lady Aztecs.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: One of the biggest stories of the weekend is the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito.
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: I did. It was one unbelievably one-sided, lopsided. Pacquiao put Margarito in the hospital. Margarito's going to have surgery tomorrow for a fractured cheek bone. I mean, he got walloped. It's an amazing story. Pacquiao's from the Philippines, he has boxed in seven different weight classes, started out as 112 pounder, came into this fight at 148 and beat it by entering the ring at 160. And I mean, he whacked him. It was not close. All three judges scorecards were tremendously lopsided. I'm surprised the fight was not stopped. Pacquiao right now is pound for pound the best fighter in the country and I guess you give Margarito a badge for courage because he took an unbelievable pounding in the ring, but he has lost a little bit of his fan support. The Mexican boxing fans are well aware of the fact he was suspended for a year for using loaded gloves. You know in the last two fights that he's had he's gotten beaten, so the question is how many of those other fights did he use loaded hand wraps, and how much credibility does he have because he got smoked by Pacquiao.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Maybe that's why he's not going down.
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: Not going down that's also why he's lost three of his last six fights and I think in all honesty Pacquiao has knocked him into retirement.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Before you go to the Padres made a big trade with the Florida Marlins over the weekend. What can you tell us about this?
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: This kind of came out of the clear blue sky. The Padres are trying to solve the problem in center field. They really need a productive leadoff hitter and a centerfielder and they got two-for-one. They traded two of their relief pitchers to get a young prospect off from Florida Marlins by the name of Cameron Maybin played center field last year for Florida did not hit very well, he'll be in the 230s but kind of rushed to the major leagues but he's lightning quick, great glove, runs the bases very well, has hit everywhere he's had in the major leagues, he's just not yet at the major league level but it sure looks like he will be the starting center fielder on opening day for the Padres and they will let him play and learn on the job. Padres gave up two of their relief pitchers, the young relief pitcher Brian Webb and the veteran Edward Mujica. Their relief pitching is probably where they had all their depth. I think the big question going forward after the quest acquisition of Cameron Maybin is what the Padres are going to do with the budget because owner Jeff Moretti continues to insist he will hold to a $40 million payroll which is not much more than they finished the season at. The ongoing burning question; do they keep Adrian Gonzalez do they trade their relief, which of the players can't afford to keep if the budget is going to stay at 40 million. So a lot of unanswered questions and the general manager is en route at the start to Orlando Florida for the GM meetings that start tomorrow where they may lay the groundwork for more potential trades. So the next four weeks of the season will be very interesting because this is when free agent sign on, this is when deals are made.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: A lot of questions for next time. We want to thank you and I know you have to prepare for your show because it's earlier than it used to be.
LEE “HACKSAW” HAMILTON: We are talking to the sports fans from Southern California. So now I do midday from 10 AM to 2 PM it's a little earlier...
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: Lee Hamilton of sports one on weekdays from 10 AM to 2 PM and if you'd like to comment please go to KPBS.org/These Days. Coming up we will hear about the shutdown of a makeshift farm in City Heights. That's as These Days continues here on KPBS.