Berry Tramel: Power Lunch Chat transcript, August 9, 2012

Berry Tramel answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch Chat. Participate in our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports.
Berry Tramel, Staff Writer, btramel@opubco.com Modified: August 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm •  Published: August 9, 2012
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Is it time for the Astros/Redhawks to part with Tony DeFrancesco? Some of his decisions during the current losing streak have been pretty bizarre.

You're asking me if the Astros should fire their AAA manager? How about cleaning house in Houston first? How did they go from the 2005 World Series to a franchise that is among the worst in baseball?

Any chance that Holder can ask Boone Pickens for some money to buy out Travis Ford's contract?

I don't know that he would ask Boone, but he might ask someone else. Truth is, OSU basketball is becoming something of an embarrassment. Not winning is one thing. Staying on the police blotter is another.

Why does Bob Stoops restrict media access and move his presser to Monday head to head with Mike Gundy? We as consumers suffer as do the media, who can't make both.

Oh, Stoops' restrictions aren't any worse than anyone else. That's just the way it goes. Stoops is moving to Mondays because he doesn't want his players talking on Tuesday about the previous week's games. I can see his point. It's unfortunate, but it's not cataclysmic. The truth is, it's no big deal if Stoops and his coaches would still be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after practice. That, to me, is the key. Things happen during the week. It would hurt coverage -- and hurt the fans -- if no one involved with OU football was available to the media after Mondays.

Favorite Olympic moment?

Well, I guess Usain Bolt winning the 100. I love the 100 meters, and Bolt is from another world. But I tell you, that Dutch guy on the high bar the other night (Tuesday, I think). He was fantastic. Never seen anything like it. The gymnastics are largely a farce. Way too much pomp and ceremony, not enough athletic displays. They ought to cut the floor exercise by 30 seconds. Make those athletes get their stuff done without the primping and pruning. But that Dutch guy got on the high bar and went to work. It was fantastic.

Do you think that Matt Holliday will somehow get more with involved with OSU baseball now (possibly as a big booster) now that his brother is the head coach?

Oh, probably. I don't think he's going to give OSU $10 million to build a stadium. After all, this is the school that fired his dad. But he'll probably be more visible. And might give some money.

When will Big12 football times/TV details be released?

We might see a few announcements about September in the next few weeks. But we won't see much until the week before the games -- and the networks a few times a year can wait until six days before kickoff.

What do you think of TCU not disciplining Casey Pachall like they did the others?

I thought it was strange. A guy fails a drug test, then admits to doing cocaine and whatever else, and he's not sitting out even one game? Very strange. Hard to take seriously TCU's response to the drug scandal. I was disappointed in Gary Patterson, who I like very much after getting to know him this summer.

Berry, with your love for track you would know the answer to this. I thought when you ran hurdles and knocked over one you were penalized. I saw tons of hurdles knocked over in the 110 last night by the winner but no penalty. What's the deal, why no penalty?

Hitting the hurdle slows you down, which is enough of a penalty. That's the beauty of track. There are no intricate rules or deductions, like in gymnastics. Here's the start line. There's the finish line. First one there wins. The only rule is stay in your lane.

Football road trip you are most looking forward to this fall?

West Virginia. I've never even been to the state. So I'm really looking forward to that. I think I've been to 40 states, so that's one I can cross off. Plus there's a heck of a football game on Saturday night. OU-WVU. But it's really a good season for road trips. El Paso and Tucson, two desert outposts. A trip to Lubbock, which I always enjoy. Dallas for the Cotton Bowl spectacle. Ames, which I like, too. Then Fort Worth, which will be new to most of us.

Who will have a bigger impact on his team this season: Brandon Weeden or Justin Blackmon?

Brandon Weeden by about 20 times as much. It's a quarterback sport.

Is Joe Wickline most underrated position coach in the country?

I don't know. Who rates assistant coaches? Where's the list? I know this. He's not the most underpaid. It's sort of like when my radio partners say Joe C. is the best athletic director in the nation. I love Castiglione, but how do we know? Wickline is excellent, no doubt about it. On the other hand, like I've been writing this week, it's a lot harder to coach defense in 2012 than it is offensive line.

Watching Demus last night in the women's 400m hurdles, she looked like she was absolutely worn out. I know I couldn't run 400 meters without passing out after 50 meter, but these are the best athletes in the world. Bolt runs the 100 and 200, coasts the last 20 meters and still wins easily. Why do the women seem to struggle so much in a fairly short race?

The 400 hurdles is the most grueling race out there, with the possible exception of the marathon. The 400 meters is a total beast. It's an all-out sprint, twice as long as the 200. Then you throw in some hurdles? A total gut-check. Strategy emerges in the 800. But you've got to run all out in the 400.