Short-attention-span reading, and writing ...

For weeks and months, Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen have been busy with the shovels and the virtual fiscal fire hoses.

Out with all of the Raiders' bad contracts, bad players and bad attitudes, and man oh man they had to wash away a world-record assortment of every variety.

Now the key questions dawn: They've done the thorough clean-up and have carved out the cap space for 2014, but are McKenzie and Allen the right men to take advantage of it?

Or, put in the most basic NFL terms: Since everything starts with the right long-term quarterback to fit a franchise, do you want these guys picking him?

Presuming Matt Flynn is more of a place-holder than a long-term answer at QB, Mark Davis needs to find out if McKenzie and Allen have a plan to pick and develop a QB.

That might lead the Raiders to Terrelle Pryor. It might mean using the No. 3 overall pick on West Virginia's Geno Smith.

Or maybe a fourth-round pick on Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, Florida State's E.J. Manuel, Arizona's Matt Scott or Oklahoma's Landry Jones.

It might mean the Raiders can get in play next offseason for young veterans Ryan Mallett, Nick Foles, or Brandon Weeden.

But whatever happens in 2013, if McKenzie and Allen come out if it without a fixed idea for a QB in 2014 and beyond, then maybe their clean-up job should be saluted ... and they should exit, too.

  • The A's just swept a three-game series in Houston and they play their new A.L. West buddies 16 more times this season.

    The A's won 94 games last season without playing Houston a single time; this year 16-3 vs. Houston is a live possibility, and that makes 95 or more A's victories this season a live possibility, too.

    Even if the A's are worse than in 2012, they can easily win more games, thanks to Houston's move to the A.L. West.

  • If Bruce Bochy snookers us all and switches up by having Buster Posey catch Tim Lincecum on Tuesday, I'll tip my hat to the sly Giants skipper.

    But signs point to Hector Sanchez catching Lincecum, as he did in Lincecum's first start of the season, and -- hate to be a conspiracy theorist here -- every sign of the past few years has indicated that Bochy mostly will keep Posey away from catching No. 55.

    It's a chemistry thing. It's a real thing, backed not by what Bochy says but what he does with the lineup when Lincecum pitches.

  • Local highlights from the newest 12-person Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class: Former Warrior Bernard King and Oakland's own Gary Payton.

    And I think Mitch Richmond will make it in the coming years.

  • Who's the most deserving NBA figure still awaiting a call to the Hall, not including San Antonio's Gregg Popovich, who surely will be in very soon? My pick: Denver coach George Karl.

    According to my research, Karl is about to break an NBA record by taking a team to the playoffs for the 22nd time in his career. (Karl had been tied with Pat Riley at 21.)

    For reference, Don Nelson made the playoffs 18 times, Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach 19, Jerry Sloan and Lenny Wilkens 20, and Larry Brown made it 18 times in the NBA and four in the ABA. All of those guys are in the Hall already.

    So yes, Karl absolutely deserves a Hall nod. He's the classic combination of old school and modern-era coach, a cagey strategist and true survivor.

    Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.