The Hall of Famer's opinions are not limited to basketball.
Dan Patrick: How'sautumn treating you?
Charles Barkley:You know, to me this is the best time of the year. You have the baseballplayoffs, NBA training camps opening up, and I like football now because youcan actually go to the games and not freeze your ass off.
DP: If you couldhave chosen teams for the World Series....
CB: I would loveto have seen Chicago versus Chicago. I loved it when the Yankees played theMets. I thought that was cool.
DP: How would younot want to see the Red Sox and the Dodgers, and have Manny Ramirez and JoeTorre go back to Boston?
CB: I think thatwould be awesome. Also, I would like to see my boy Torii Hunter get a ring withthe Angels.
DP: Could he havebeen a good basketball player?
CB: Ah, he's toolittle.
DP: He canjump.
CB: So can adeer.
DP: What did youthink of Mark Cuban saying five players had asked to be traded if Avery Johnsoncame back to coach the Mavericks?
CB: Mark is myfriend, but I wish he hadn't said that. It was unnecessary. That situation'sover. That's like Curt Schilling coming out now and blasting on Manny Ramirez.Hey, bro, that's a done deal.
DP: Yeah, butManny's been blasting the Red Sox. Do you think Manny's Princess Leia haircutis too tight on his head and squeezes the brain a bit?
CB: I think when aguy can hit like that, you let him do what he wants to do. In college I playedwith a guy, he smoked pot all the time. He was a really good player. They triedto get him to stop smoking pot one time, and he couldn't make a shot. We wentto the coaches and said, "Please get this boy his pot. He can't make a shotwithout it."
DP: Have you eversmelled pot on someone you played against?
CB: With andagainst.
DP: Have you beenapproached by Dancing with the Stars?
DP: Are youthinking of doing it?
CB: Hell, no. Theypractice 12 hours a day on that show. Other than gambling, there's nothing Iwant to do 12 hours a day.
The Quick and theDead
AFTER JUST oneloss to the Dodgers, it was amazing how quickly a sense of doom descended onWrigley. Same with the Angels. They had the best record in baseball, but afterthey dropped their home opener to Boston, everyone said, "Oh, no." Onmy show last week Tim McCarver argued that this is why the first round needs toextend to best of seven: A short series doesn't show enough respect for the162-game season. My radio audience, though, disagreed. In a poll 62% said theylike the current format just fine. I see their point: the best-of-five seriesgives the playoffs a fast start. You get desperation on the second day. It'sone reason why, unlike with the NBA, no one complains that these playoffs go ontoo long.
The Osmond FamilyIs Stoked
HERE'S A collegegame I didn't expect to have circled on my calendar: BYU versus Utah on Nov.22, which could well be a play-in game to the BCS. Of course, for that game tomean that much to the voters and the computers, both schools need to enter thegame undefeated. So these Mormon-heavy rivals will have to root for each otheruntil then. That should be a test, considering their history:
• The schools are45 miles apart.
• Their game'sname: the Holy War.
• A former Utahcoach, Wayne Howard, once said, "The hatred between Utah and BYU is goingto continue.... I'm going to make a crusade of it."
A Seat That'sAlways Hot
I ASKED BRIANBILLICK last week if he would want the Raiders' coaching job. Straining to bepolite, he answered, "I don't know if Mr. Davis and I would be a goodfit." After Al Davis's messy firing of Lane Kiffin last week, you can seewhy. Billick, who won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and is now a broadcaster,said that Davis needs a coach he can have a partnership with. Good luck. TomCable was named the Raiders' interim head coach. That's laughable: With Davis,every coach is an interim head coach.
THE FINE PRINT:Vanderbilt is 5--0. It's the first time the Commodores have been in the Top 15since Lionel Richie left.
Go toDANPATRICK.COM for more MLB playoff coverage, and hear live audio of Dan'sradio show, 9 a.m. to noon ET, Mon.--Fri.
JAMIE SQUIRE/GETTY IMAGES (CUBS)
DOUGLAS C. PIZAC/AP (BYU-UTAH)
DENISE TRUSCELLO/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (BARKLEY)
ILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMER