Monday Morning Coffee

June 18, 2018

Lebron James is about to hijack your summer.  People are losing their minds over tweets by Jeanie Buss that probably have nothing to do with basketball.  Now Kawhi Leonard apparently wants out, further causing people to think the next super team is forming in Lakerland.  Don’t hold your breath people.  Greg Popovich would probably cut off his arm and trade his star player to a WNBA team before sending him to the Lakers.  Kawhi would have to tell the Spurs he isn’t resigning with anybody else he’s traded to, which isn’t likely because nobody has ever heard Kawhi actually speak.  I’m not even sure he knows how to, further damaging the chances of a trade.

Has anybody noticed that nobody is putting a microphone in front of Lavar Ball anymore? That’s because there’s fewer and fewer people that care what he thinks.  He’s already played his 15 minutes of fame card, and now he just seems like a buffoon with no idea how to run a shoe company.  He should be getting nervous though because Lonzo and his idiotic teammate Kyle Kuzma are dissing each other with stupid rap songs.  That’s just another reason to trade all of them for a veteran star.  These guys have clearly watched the movie “8 Mile” a few too many times, and should be spending more time working on their game.  Magic scolded both, telling them to knock it off.  As if Lonzo and Kuzma’s behavior wasn’t dumb enough, Josh Hart felt the need to troll his boss, Magic, by sending out the tweet below.  These guys need their Twitter accounts suspended immediately!

To baseball where the Dodgers are breathing down the necks of the D’Backs in NL West.  LA has finally turned it around, despite having an entire pitching staff that is injured.  What’s gotten into Joc Pederson and Max Muncy? These guys suddenly look like Joe DiMaggio and Micky Mantle.  They probably would have swept the Giants too if they didn’t rest Matt Kemp and Chris Taylor.  With those two in the lineup, the Dodgers even got the best of Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, a motorcycle riding hillbilly, who will likely end up back on the DL next week after trying to tie his shoes.  I usually have my doubts about the Dodgers, but the division has been so crummy of late, I’m not even sure Andrew Friedman can screw it up.

Meanwhile, the Angels are getting hit with tons of injuries, and it looks like their season is about to collapse.  However, even without the injuries they had issues.  Their starters can’t get to the fifth inning, their bullpen is a liability, and portions of their lineup are wildly inconsistent.  GM Billy Eppler said that the trade market is flooded with relievers but not real ace starting pitchers.  Well if that’s the case Billy Boy, why don’t you go get one of these relievers so your pen doesn’t keep giving away games? The Angels might be slowly rebuilding their farm system, but some of their talent needs to hurry up and develop.  Mike Trout can walk out there door in two more years, an he’s not exactly replaceable.

College Football is right around the corner, and that means the LA Times  is forcing tons of Trojan coverage down your throat.  In their latest piece, they highlight the fact JT Daniels is basically an incoming freshman that might end up starting.  I will never understand parents like his, holding their kid back a grade purely for athletic reasons, or even the idea of graduating high school a year early to play college football, something Daniels helicopter dad made him do as well.  If your kid can play, he will get his opportunity.  Sometimes you still have to let your kids be kids, and that includes letting them finish high school to socially mature as well.  I’m sure you’ll be hearing plenty about Daniels and his dad in the coming months.

The World Cup has been exciting so far!  Lionel Messi also appears to be suffering from “The Curse of Yu Darvish” since he can’t make a penalty kick if his life depended on it.  Egypt waited twenty years to get back in the World Cup, yet decided it was a good idea to rest their best player in a 1-0 loss.  Hopefully Mohamed Salah will be rested enough for the next World Cup in 4 years.  After Saudi Arabia’s first game, their national team has been eliminated.  No seriously, the country has scheduled the players’ execution.  Big upset by Mexico over Germany yesterday.  Not only was that the game of the tournament so far, but Mexico can probably afford to pay for that wall now.  Also, congratulations to the US, Canada, and Mexico for being awarded the 2026 World Cup.  This means that we can still field an awful team and still make the tournament, unlike this year.  It also gives Americans 8 more years to start caring about soccer.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight with another episode.  I’ve decided the show needs to relax the alcohol policy again.  They need more sloppiness early on for our entertainment, otherwise we are left with guys arguing over Tinder matches.  This is all Corrine’s fault! The show is also feeling more and more fake because girls from previous seasons show up and they are all friends, which would never happen in reality when girls compete for guys.  They would be lighting each other’s houses on fire instead.  I fear that I might not be watching the show anymore for “the right reasons” as Becca says.  Which reminds me, Becca clearly isn’t the smartest Bachelorette.  She asked if Colton went on the show hoping the Bachelorette would be Tia.  Hello? They were dating! Why would he break up with her to go on the show, only to compete over her with 25 other guys? You can’t fool me ABC…I knew that ambulance didn’t show up because there was actually a fight.  After Jordan called himself a golden retriever, dogs all over the world are like….

Monday Morning Coffee

June 11, 2018

Congratulations to the Warriors on winning their 3rd title in 4 years.  I’ve never been more unsurprised in my life.  We now live in a world where Nick Young and JR Smith have NBA titles.  Anything is possible in America kids.  As long as ownership is willing to foot the bill, the Warriors tyrannical dynasty isn’t going away for the next few years.  As for Lebron, I have no idea what he’s going to do.  However, I think he’s more than willing to have a sex change and join the WNBA than stay in Cleveland.  I also think there’s no way that Lebron hasn’t already decided what he’s going to do.  Do you really think he hasn’t been thinking about this at all for the last two years, and is suddenly going to make this huge decision in the next three weeks? No chance.  That may or may not bode well for the Lakers.

Jordan Clarkson had an absolutely awful NBA Playoffs and Finals.  However, I hate to take the microwave minute thinking of everyone who is saying the Lakers won the trade that sent him to Cleveland.  Clarkson was a productive player for the Lakers, even though he was awful with the Cavs.  Who’s to say that he wouldn’t have continued to be a productive player with the Lakers had he stayed with them?  He had a role he was more comfortable in where he would have had less pressure during his development.  As far as I’m concerned, the success of that trade for the Lakers will be defined by whether or not they can sign two max free agents this summer.

I still haven’t figured out yet how the Clippers are going to screw up this year’s NBA draft.  However, I think I might have an idea now.  There’s talk of the Clips trading their #12 and #13 picks to move up in the draft and select Slovenian Guard Luka Doncic.  This would be a dumb move that you would only expect from the Clippers.  Drafting NBA players these days is the equivalent of buying a Powerball ticket.  Your odds of hitting the jackpot are better with two tickets than one, so the Clips are better off trying their luck with #12 and #13 than trading up for a single pick.  Until the NBA raises the age limit, we’re going to be left with nothing but speculation on underdeveloped talent trying to go pro.

To baseball where the Dodgers are getting closer to hunting down first place in the NL West, creeping within 2.5 games of the 1st place D’Backs.  This should alleviate some of my complaining for this week, but not all of it.  Nearly every single one of their usual 5 starters is injured, which is only  going to overwork the bullpen even more than they are.  It’s also going to convince Andrew Friedman that his ridiculous theory that starting pitching is over valued is accurate.  The Boys In Blue might get out of the NL West.  However, if they don’t have healthy arms come October, their chances of winning anything are about as good as NBA players going to visit the White House.

Then there’s the Angels, who have run into typical Angels luck.  Shohei Ohtani is now on the disabled list with an inflamed elbow, and it looks like he might even be headed for Tommy John Surgery in short order.  However, I can’t understand why Billy Eppler is so determined to use him as a pitcher if he’s got this elbow issues.  His bat is just as valuable, and they don’t even need to put him in the outfield since they can use him as a DH.  I can’t say it’s terribly surprising that another Angel pitcher could potentially need his arm replaced.  Especially when you consider the fact everyone knew Ohtani could have elbow issues during his physical.

Congratulations to the Washington Capitals on their Stanley Cup Championship.  I’m assuming the entire Capitals team will be invited to the White House since the whole team is made up of Russians.     It must be really nice to win the Stanley Cup in Vegas and then actually party there.  Warrior fans must feel like they are the real Triple Crown Winner though since they’ve been a fan of the Warriors, Capitals, and Justify for a whole week and they all won titles on 3 consecutive days.

It’s that time again folks! The World Cup where you know, you actually pretend like you care about soccer for a couple of weeks every four years.  However, how much do you really care without the U.S. even playing this year? If it weren’t for the intrigue of seeing the phenomenon that is Mohamed Salah playing for Egypt, I could care less.  Since Egypt will probably be eliminated within a couple of games, my interest in the World Cup should last about as long as it does when the U.S. gets eliminated early most of the time.  Even if the U.S. ever did win the World Cup though, I don’t really think it would ever change the future growth of soccer in this country.  We are simply far too invested in other sports.

The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight for those of you craving drama.  Who doesn’t wanna see a grown ass man throw a framed picture of a fake wedding frisbee style while screaming “send it”??!!  This TV show is the only world where it’s appropriate to hoe around with 20 guys at one time.  Gotta love the chicken guy accusing the model of “fowl play”.  If I had to take a drink every time i heard Arie’s name on the show I’d be dead within the first episode.  Jordan is clearly the new Corrine because he got naked in the first two episodes.  Wait until Krystal and Jordan end up on The Bachelor In Paradise.  That’s going to be a train wreck I can’t wait to watch.  I don’t want to see Rachel for another year.  She shows up more often on episodes than Drake shows up on NBA telecasts.

Finally, very sad news about the death of Anthony Bourdain last week.  Bourdain could make anybody that didn’t like to travel want to travel.  He could make any kind of food look very interesting and intriguing.  He found a way to inspire people, and in a world where people are not always so accepting of other cultures, he brought cultures closer together.  Nobody could tell stories around cultures like Bourdain, and his legacy can be defined by inspiring individuals in that way.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

June 4, 2018

The Cavs are now trailing the Warriors 2-0.  Has anybody told JR Smith that they aren’t leading the series?  Lebron James is playing like his house is on fire, and it doesn’t even matter.  This series is going to be a wrap this week.  JR Smith is now the Bill Buckner of basketball.  Lebron is playing against 4 all-stars, 2 MVP’s, 3 referees, JR Smith, Jordan Clarkson, and George Hill.  The man just can’t overcome all that, and after listening to his latest interview with Rachel Nichols, it doesn’t sound like he’s sticking around in Cleveland win or lose.

The fact the Lakers are even giving LiAngelo Ball an opportunity to workout for them is nothing more than a favor to Lavar Ball.  That’s also like doing a favor for a guy that smacks you upside the head every week.  LiAngelo can shoot, but he’s not an NBA prospect, and even Snoopy is six inches taller than him.  I suppose it might be a favor to Lonzo too, but if LiAngelo were to end up on the Lakers G-League team, or even their summer league team, it would be nothing more than a publicity stunt, and maybe a way to sell tickets.  I would like to think that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka are way above a publicity stunt like that.

If there’s one thing that might actually work in the Lakers’ favor when it comes to free agency, it’s that Philadelphia is much less of a destination for Lebron James after the Bryan Colangelo burner account incident.  In case you aren’t familiar with the story, the 76ers President had five different burner accounts on Twitter that are allegedly his, where he criticized his own players and other executives.  No way any big free agent signs with Philly if Colangelo sticks around since nobody would trust him.  Even Lebron’s got jokes about it…..

The good news for the Dodgers is that they are only 2.5 games out of 1st place because the NL West is sorry as hell, and Matt Kemp is having an MVP caliber season.  The bad news is that their entire regular starting rotation is injured.  Yes, I’m even including Alex Wood by giving him the courtesy of saying he’s injured, rather than total garbage.  The bigger problem though is Clayton Kershaw, and it feels like it’s the beginning of the end for him.  It was a really good ride while it lasted, but the man can no longer be counted on as a reliable ace that can stay healthy, and be your work horse all year long.  A few weeks ago the question was whether or not Kershaw would re-sign with the Dodgers when he opts out of his contract.  Now the question is if Kershaw will even opt out of that contract and at the moment, that answer has to be no.  This is another reminder to the Dodger front office that your window to win isn’t forever, and the Dodgers appear to have missed their window to win with Clayton Kershaw, who will go down as one of the greatest Dodger pitchers ever.

Meanwhile, Mike Scioscia picked up his 1600th win as the Angels’ skipper, putting him in 20th place all-time.  There’s no doubt that Scioscia should have been given the opportunity to manage the Dodgers after Tommy Lasorda, but people have lost some perspective.  In 18 years he has won one World Series, and lost three LCS appearances.  During that stretch the Dodgers have had five LCS appearances and one World Series appearance in which they lost in game 7.  The Dodgers have had five different managers over that stretch, so no way Scioscia’s track record would have kept him around as the Dodgers’ skipper to this day.  That also goes to show you where the level expectations are at for both franchises, whether that should or shouldn’t be the case. 

The Bachelorette is back on ABC, and episode 1 of the season just went down last Monday.  Does Becca get to keep that Ferrari she was driving? It certainly can’t be her’s and what a tragedy that she was driving it in automatic transmission.  I definitely feel like I need name tags for the first episode with all these guys.  Sorry Joe, I guess owning a grocery store doesn’t get you very far on this show.  The good news though is you’ve got plenty of women after you on social media who will be showing up at your grocery store in the next few weeks.  Joe does kind of look like a human Shrek though.  Too bad he wasn’t the villain or he’d be “Traitor Joe.”  This show is entertaining, but it’s getting harder and harder to convince the average person it’s not the dumbest show on television.  Still, we all watch, talk, write, and podcast about it.  If Colton is a virgin, then I’m Justin Timberlake.  Jordan is clearly the male version of Krystal.  Dude thinks this is Project Runway rather than The Bachelorette.  The more you listen to that guy talk, you just want to gargle with razor blades.  Looking forward to the next episode. Finally, The Walking Dead may be off the air right now, but some horribly disappointing news just leaked out relating to the show.  This is a major spoiler alert for those of you that don’t want to know, so read no further if that is the case.  Andrew Lincoln, the lead character who plays Rick, will be leaving the show after the first six episodes of the next season.  It’s also likely that Lauren Cohen, who plays Maggie, will be leaving the show as well.  Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, is being offered $20 million to take the lead role.  This show is sinking faster than the Titanic.  No way Reedus can hold the show down by himself.  They already deviated from the comic tremendously with the death of Carl, and by eliminating 2 more major characters, I highly doubt this show survives beyond another two seasons, if that.  AMC needs to go back to the drawing board.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 28, 2018

Remember when Andrew Friedman and the rest of you naive haters thought Matt Kemp was acquired to be a salary dump? Well let’s review the timeline of Kemp’s revenge tour.  In December you thought it was just a salary dump when he was acquired.  In January you said he probably won’t even be at Spring Training.  In February, you said he was here, but probably won’t even make the team.  In March you thought he might make the team.  In April he was suddenly your opening day left fielder.  Now in May, he’s 3rd in the NL in hitting, and tops with runners in scoring position.  Most of you that don’t like him are probably just upset it wasn’t you that got the chance to get an STD from Rihanna.  The bottom line is that Kemp has always been able to hit, he is still one of the best offensive players on the team, and loves being a Dodgers.  Thanks to him, the Dodgers are still in the NL West hunt.

Meanwhile, it’s been a very rough month of May for the Angels.  The Halos should ask the league if they can just play all their games on the road because they are 10 games above .500 away from Anaheim, but just 5 games under at home.  Of course it would probably help if Kole Calhoun, Ian Kinsler, and Zack Cozart, weren’t hitting like little leaguers.  Not even Mike Trout can make up for the fact that 1/3rd of the lineup isn’t pulling their weight, especially when Shohei Ohtani can’t be an everyday player.  I don’t know if anybody has noticed but the Angels no longer have the worst farm system in baseball.  In fact, far from it.  Maybe it’s time Mike Scioscia play some of these kids like Jose Briceno, who hit a home run in his debut on Saturday.  How did Scioscia reward him? By chaining him to the bench on Sunday.

That should be the Celtics new logo after last night.  Nothing Lebron does amazes me anymore because I think he’s just that great.  His team is going to get waxed in the finals though when the Warriors play them.  Somehow the Rockets turned a 17-point lead into a 29-point loss in game 6. I’m not even sure the Clippers could have done that.  When the Warriors go into NBA 2K mode like that, Jesus Christ can’t beat them.  Now that CP3 is probably out tonight for game 7, the Rockets will definitely need Jesus to have a shot, and I have my doubts he’s available.  It’s no wonder James Harden never has enough energy to finish a game in this series.  He takes 10,000 dribbles and does 5,000 head fakes on nearly every isolation possession.  It was a nice ride for the Rockets, but the Warriors have got this.

What exactly is Paul George’s agent, Aaron Mintz trying to pull here? Mintz is the agent for Julius Randle as well, and felt the need to tell the media he doesn’t know where Randle is as a priority for the Lakers come July.  I don’t really think Mintz is this dumb.  Anyone with half a brain knows the Lakers priority is Lebron James, Paul George, and then Julius Randle.  According to Dean Blevins, a sports anchor in Oklahoma City, Mintz has been telling people George is going to re-sign.  Blevins also reported that Kevin Durant was going to re-sign with the Thunder two years ago, and we know how that went.   However, my conspiracy theory is that Mintz is telling people that George might really re-sign in OKC to get the Lakers to focus more attention on Randle, and possibly come to a satisfactory agreement with him as soon as the free agency period begins.

The Clippers finally made it official last week, signing Doc Rivers to a contract extension.  We live in a world where the Coach of the Year, Dwayne Casey, gets fired, and Doc Rivers misses the playoffs and gets extended.  I guess Steve Ballmer thought the saying goes “if it’s broke, don’t fix it.”  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I heard Ballmer say “Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA.”  Has anybody told Steve this isn’t 2008 anymore?  Ballmer has probably advised his new front office to pursue Tim Duncan in free agency as well.  Like players, coaches’ performance can decline over time, and that’s exactly what has happened with Doc.  He built a culture that fell short of expectations, and wasn’t even compatible.  He’s a players coach and deserves another shot somewhere, but both sides need to move on from each other if the Clippers are truly serious about rebuilding.

Don’t let this NFL National Anthem story distract you from the fact that Tom Brady lost to a backup quarterback in the Super Bowl.  Seriously though, I’ve heard so much about this kneeling nonsense that I’d rather not even hear the National Anthem anymore before football games if it’s going to just divide people.  The NFL policy on the National Anthem has divided America. However America is united in agreeing that Joe Flacco is NOT an elite quarterback.  If the league were smart, this is the new policy they would implement……

The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight.  Before we get too caught up in it, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect that the Vegas Golden Knights or the Washington Capitals will win the Stanley Cup before the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues or Vancouver Canucks.  I like how both Vegas and Washington totally defied tradition and touched the conference championship trophy.  I’ve never really understood the idea that road teams would be more distracted in Vegas than any other city.  Are there no distractions in New York, LA, Chicago, or Miami?  They travel to those cities all the time to play games and it’s never an issue.  The media made it a topic of conversation when speaking with Alex Ovechkin on media day.  Nevertheless, Vegas looks like a team of destiny, poised to take this series in no more than six games.

It’s the year 2018, which means you’re probably only watching network television shows if The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is on.  Well that means tonight you’re watching The Bachelorette, which has it’s season premier on ABC.  They say that Becca Kufrin, the new Bachelorette, has now forgiven Arie Luyendyk for dumping her on national TV.  Forgiven him? At this point she should be sending him as many thank you cards as you’ve received private policy emails in the last week.  Kufrin is entering this season as America’s sweetheart, who can probably do no wrong after the entire country is sympathizing with her.  Luyendyk has basically given her a lottery ticket that she is going to cash in.  Nevertheless, the real winners in all of this is America, which gets to be entertained by trash TV for the next couple of months.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 21, 2018

The only thing saving the Dodgers right now is that the NL West is trash, and that they have the Washington Nationals number.  Max Muncy sounds like the biggest scrub name of all-time, and the Dodgers have been counting on guys like that to keep their season afloat.  Pedro Baez has to be the worst Dodger of all-time, yet somehow he’s still on this team.  Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have been doing damage control all week long in the media.  I wonder why nobody asked them who picks out the lineup everyday: Siri or Alexa? Is it possible to demote these two clowns to Oklahoma City and bring up a new front office from the minors?  These analytics geeks in the front office keep focusing on stats like “launch angle”, but all I’ve seen this year from the team is a failure to launch.  When do pitchers and catchers report for 2019?

The Dodgers aren’t the only baseball team in SoCal having issues with their bullpen.  The other is the Angels, who’s biggest problem seems to be Mike Scioscia.  He completely blew it against the Astros last week letting a lefty face Jose Altuve with the bases loaded, while having a righty ready in the pen.  He refuses to let his starters go deeper into games, and instead chooses to rely on a mediocre pen.  As if that’s not bad enough, suddenly the Halos can’t hit pitchers who shouldn’t even be in the big leagues, which was the case against Tampa over the weekend.  Scioscia says he won’t stop Shohei Ohtani from participating in the Home Run Derby.  Will anybody stop Mike Scioscia from managing?  Probably not since Arte Moreno is more in love with him than everyone is with The Royal Wedding.

Now that the NBA lottery is behind us, the Lakers have officially paid their debt for the Steve Nash trade.  It only took six years.  However, it could have been a lot worse.  The trade cost the Lakers four draft picks, the most valuable being only the 10th pick this year.  How come nobody is talking about the free agency of Chris Paul? If things end badly in this playoff series for the Rockets, I wouldn’t count out the Lakers from pursuing him this summer, especially since he’s always wanted to play with Lebron.  It would also be sweet justice to finally have CP3 in purple and gold.  Now there’s even rumors that Karl-Anthony Towns is unhappy in Minnesota.  Perhaps Tom Thibodeau might be interested in a trade for his old pal Luol Deng? Even for Thibs, it would take a few shots of tequila to consider taking on Deng’s contract.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome back the LA Clippers to their rightful place: the NBA lottery.  The Clips will have the 12th and 13th pick in the NBA draft next month, but it would have been extremely “Clipper-esque” had one of their picks landed in the top 3, and going back to the Pistons.  i also love how the Clippers were not invited to the California Classic Summer League Tournament in Sacramento in early July.  Apparently nobody knows the Clippers play in LA, let alone in California, so they invited the Miami Heat instead.

The NBA Conference Finals has been more disappointing than surprising so far.  Just about every game has been a blowout.  Even the Washington Capitals and Chris Paul each have more conference finals wins than Lebron James this year.  After game 2, I was beginning to think Kevin Durant would try to find a way to sign with the Rockets before the series was over.  Brad Stevens has become such a good coach, some people would actually consider starting a franchise with him rather than a superstar player? More reasons why the NBA is a league where the fans and media become prisoner of the moment.  Here’s the difference between the Celtics at home and on the road…. Three years ago the internet melted down over a dress.  This past week it had a meltdown over some recording where you either hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”.  The way I see it, you either die a Yanny, or live long-enough to hear Laurel.  It’s Laurel all-day.  People who think it’s Yanny eat pizza with a fork and knife, don’t use turn signals, ask for SnapChat streaks, and film fights vertically on their phone.  More than anything though, people have way too much time on their hands.  I think it’s very clear what the recording is saying…..

Finally, why do we have such an obsession with The Royal Wedding? Didn’t we win a war hundreds of years ago so we didn’t have to care about it?  Besides, I’ve seen more pictures of David Beckham from the wedding than the royal couple themselves.  I’m sure that Trump is about to demand the DOJ to look into if Obama conspired to keep him from getting an invite to the wedding.  I didn’t realize that Meghan Markle was really marrying Carson Wentz…..

Monday Morning Coffee

May 14, 2018

Is it still too early for the Dodgers to panic? It’s their worst start since 1958, so it’s definitely time to jump off the Santa Monica pier.  They just got swept in four games at home by a team that isn’t even trying to win.  Joc Pederson is not only a useless Major League hitter, but he should be traded just for having a lame walk up song.  Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor have regressed, doing nothing but swinging for the parking lot.  Even the front office nerds are getting nervous.  They have been trying to live off the young talent they didn’t even bring in years ago, and not supplement it with the pieces needed to make this team a World Champion by now.  Useless veterans like Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, and Logan Forsythe were never the answer.  Justin Verlander, Johnny Cueto, and Brian Dozier were.  It’s finally catching up to a team that just doesn’t look motivated, and whose window to win may actually be closing with Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen on the decline.  Time to start trading pieces, but too bad one of them can’t be Andrew Friedman.

Meanwhile in Anaheim, the Angels are playing fantasy baseball.  Shohei Ohtani is dominating on the mound and at the plate.  He has more wins than Clayton Kershaw, a higher batting average than any Dodger, and more home runs than almost every player on that team.  Mike Trout is also having another MVP season as well, but apparently nobody has noticed.  If it weren’t for Cam Bedrosian giving away leads like he’s some type of charity, the Halos might actually be one of the best teams in the American League.  Oh, and most of you can actually watch their games too.  The Dodgers should try that sometime.

To the NBA, where the Cavs got blown out by the Celtics in game 1 of the East Finals.  With Cleveland losing by 20 at the end of the 1st quarter on a Sunday, it felt like football season never ended.  It was so bad that Lebron was trying to figure out how to sign with the Rockets by halftime. I still like the Cavs to win this series, but this is a gigantic coaching mismatch.  Brad Stevens vs Tyron Lue is like a high school senior vs a preschooler.  It’s adorable that some people actually think the Rockets can beat the Warriors in a 7-game series.  It’s also going to be funny when the series ends much faster than everyone anticipates.

You know it’s the NBA offseason in LA when people are making a big deal of Kawhi Leonard at a Dodger game, and Paul George at Disneyland.  The only amusing part of that story is the fact that Kawhi didn’t actually attend any Spurs playoff games, yet attended a Dodger game.  I’m still not convinced Kawhi is getting traded, let alone to the Lakers, but the odds of Paul George signing with the Lakers are excellent according to Vegas.  Heck, if Paul George doesn’t sign with the Lakers, it would be like Magic Johnson blowing a layup.

Do you realize that Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is still injured? His hand has apparently yet to heal.  This guy is softer than cotton, and the $64 million they are paying him is looking worse by the minute.  The Clips might as well have invested in The Big Baller Brand.  The real investment question were waiting on is if DeAndre Jordan is going to opt out of the final year of his contract.  In other words, is there somebody dumb enough out there to pay him $20 million a year or more?  It’s the NBA, there’s always a sucker.

The Vegas Golden Knights may have lost game 1 of the conference finals, but they are changing the way you’re going to look at expansion teams from now on.  The Knights didn’t have to compete with another expansion team for players, and they had the benefit of teams only being able to protect 11 players rather than 15 in previous drafts.  It’s no wonder this team is contending for the cup! They were picking 1st and 2nd line players off of quality teams.  They weren’t going to pay a $500 million expansion fee unless the rules were favorable, and they were more than that.  Now you can expect any other expansion team coming in, like Seattle, to pillage other teams of their quality players when they come into the league.

Finally, do you guys realize that Ahmad Rashad has been married five times? His most recent was in 2016, to a woman who is 30 years younger than him.  You would think you’d probably throw in the towel on marriage after your third try.  Then again, when you see who he picked as his groomsmen for one of his weddings, you can see why he probably doesn’t have the best judgement.  

 

Monday Morning Coffee

May 7, 2018

The Dodgers are a burning disaster right now.  Corey Seager is done for the year, Clayton Kershaw is now on the DL, and the injuries are piling up.  The fans are probably more worried about it than management though, because they’ve still got a fat TV contract and attendance is still tops in the league.  Don’t let the injuries distract you from the fact this team is built to rely on a bullpen that’s a pile of garbage.  Cody Bellinger got benched last week.  When is Andrew Friedman going to be benched for creating this crappy pen?  I’m pretty sure Manny Muchado can’t fix that.  No way would I trade for him anyway if he’s not going to sign an extension as part of the deal.  I would definitely take a flyer on Matt Harvey though.  Who’s idea was it to put the Dodgers on Facebook Live last week? Lavar Ball?  We’re only a month in and it’s nearly time to waive the white flag on the Dodgers’ season.

Meanwhile, the Angels took two of three games from the Mariners.  Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are dominating, and Albert Pujols is achieving those gimmick milestones that only Arte Moreno cares about when he gave him $240 million.  The Halos have the third best winning percentage in the AL, but the problem is they are 0-6 against the Yankees and Red Sox, the two AL teams with better win percentages than them.  That’s because you just don’t know about their starting pitching every night. This is what happens when you blow all your money on hitters instead of pitching.  The Angels are like that guy that maxes out his credit card at Saks Fith Avenue to buy lots of shoes he doesn’t need, yet is struggling to put food on the table.  It happened again with Justin Upton last winter, and is probably likely to happen against next winter.  This is bound to be the downfall of the Halos this year.

On to the NBA Playoffs where the Raptors are that kid that does well on all their homework but fails the final exam miserably.  There’s good news for Drake though.  He only has to wait for the Raptors to lose tonight, and then he can start cheering for the Cavs and wearing his Lebron jersey.  It’s a good thing that Canada has free healthcare because everyone up there is going to need to be treated for depression after the Cavs eliminate Toronto tonight.  Then there’s the 76ers who have totally botched the 2nd round against the undermanned Celtics.  In game 2, if you crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it in the trash can on Thursday, you made more shots than Ben Simmons did that night.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, in game 3, they started throwing the ball around like Mark Sanchez does on Sunday, which of course meant they lost again.  Last night after game 4, James Harden ran over a fan with his car in the parking lot.  A shooting foul was called on the fan.  If you haven’t seen this SNL skit on Lebron’s teammates, it’s a must…..

Say what you will about the Lakers striking out in free agency during the last four summers, but looking back now, most of those signings would have been terrible.  Dwight Howard? He’s a bum.  DeMar Derozan? Playoff underachiever who couldn’t cut it in the West.  Carmelo Anthony? I guess we’re still waiting for “Olympic Melo” to show up.  Pau Gasol? Nice guy, but a bad fit.  DeAndre Jordan? Can’t make a free throw to save his life.  Greg Monroe? He might be out of the league next year.  I guess Mitch Kupchak really knew what he was doing until he signed Deng and Mozgov.

Steve Ballmer says he’s still learning about the business of the NBA as an owner.  Apparently he hasn’t learned that Doc Rivers is an extremely overrated coach, because he’s reportedly close to signing him to an extension.  It’s true that Doc did a decent job this year, but that doesn’t make up for the lousy job he did the previous 3 seasons.  The man has been no better than Vinny Del Negro was, and he’s far more expensive.  More than anything, the Clippers need a change in culture, and parting ways with Doc would help that culture change.  It also amazes me that more teams like the Clippers aren’t hunting for the next Brad Stevens, who is single handedly winning round 2 for the Celtics.  You would think there would be more of an effort to hire “out-of-the-box” candidates like this than NBA retreads.  I guess it would be ridiculous to think the Clippers could get out of their own way and do this.

What a terrible idea it was to have the Kentucky Derby on Cinco De Mayo this year.  I mean Mint Julep and Margaritas just don’t go together at all.  Apparently one woman won $1.2 million on a five race parlay at the Derby.  Her win was still more likely than the odds of the Cleveland Browns actually making the playoffs.  “Justify”? They really couldn’t think of a better name for their horse?  Instead of spraying champagne do they just spray horse crap on each other to celebrate the victory?  You have to love this sport.  For one afternoon, people are pretending like horrible things aren’t going to happen to those horses when their racing careers are over.  Thank god that horses are actually good at sports in this country, otherwise some people might actually be eating them.  Sadly, it doesn’t stop people from torturing them.  At least they call it the “Kentucky Derby” rather than “Hats and Horses”, because that would just sound like a Southern sorority theme.

Finally, last night the Vegas Golden Knights eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  This glorious moment was made especially glorious when the Twitter trolls came out to give it to the Sharks.  I guess we learned that the Sharks can’t win the Cup with or without Joe Thornton after all these years.  The real story though was the epic Twitter battled that ensued between the Kings and Sharks official accounts.  Get a load of it for yourself.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 30, 2018

I’d like to express my sincere condolences to Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, who’s careers are officially over before they even started, since they were drafted by the Browns last week.  Then again, the decision to take those two players makes me think they are trying to go 0-16.  The real winners of the draft were Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, who are in the best possible positions they could be to succeed.  Even though Rosen is by far the most NFL ready quarterback, I like how 9 GM’s decided not to draft him because he’s smart, comes from money, and will hold their terrible teams accountable when said GM can’t put him in position to succeed.  As for the Rams, most of the guys they drafted probably won’t even make the team since they are so deep.  Meanwhile, the Chargers think Philip Rivers is going to play til he drops dead, because for the 2nd year in a row they didn’t pick a quarterback to groom as his successor.  By the way, Baker Mayfield is already missing throws and he hasn’t even played a game yet for the Browns……

To the NBA where the question is whether or not Paul George is more of a Trulia or Zillow guy?  After the Thunder got sent packing by the Jazz, it’s hard to imagine George staying in OKC for another year, especially when he looked uncomfortable all year long.  His comments afterward make him sound like the dude that’s trying not to make everybody mad when he leaves in July.  Magic Johnson is going to be walking into that free agency meeting with all kinds of swagger knowing the Lakers are the favorites to land him.  Things would have been looking even rosier for the Lakers had Lebron and the Cavs lost yesterday.  Then again, none of this really matters since it still looks like the Warriors are going to be dominating the league for the next five years.

It’s not only the Lakers that have been keeping an eye on what’s going on in OKC, but you can bet the UCLA basketball program is as well.  If Billy Donovan gets fired as the head coach of the Thunder, you can be sure UCLA is going to pounce on him like a cheetah on a rabbit.  Donovan was a great college coach, but is in way over his head trying to coach Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.  The Bruins fired Jim Mora in a hurry to have a shot with Chip Kelly.  You can be sure that if Donovan became available, UCLA would do the same with Steve Alford.  Speaking of Alford, I like how he fired his recruiting coordinator David Grace.  The Bruins just pulled in a top 5 recruiting class, so recruiting is about the only good thing Alford had going for him.  Not anymore.

The NBA Playoffs have been slightly more entertaining and competitive than I envisioned so far.  Eric Bledsoe made Terry Rozier look like Michael Jordan.  If the Bucks can’t beat the Celtics without their two best players, I don’t think their future is nearly as bright as everyone claims it is.  I’m shocked at what the Pelicans did to the Blazers, but it’s cute that they actually think they can  beat them in a 7-game series.  The Jazz are going to get bombed by the Rockets, but it’s remarkable they have been this good.  I guess what I really mean is it’s remarkable Donovan Mitchell has been this good as a rookie.  The real highlight of the NBA playoffs though is watching Inside The NBA on TNT.  It’s much better than most of the games.  Shaq is about as good at math as he is at free throw shooting……

In case you didn’t notice, Lavar Ball was in the news again last week.  This time he pulled both of his kids out of the Lithuanian league before their season was over.  Sorry Lavar, time to pack of the circus again and take it somewhere else.  This time Lavar claims that LiAngelo is injured and needs to get ready for the NBA draft combine, and since LaMelo wasn’t playing he decided he should go home.  In what league, at any level, is it ok to just quit the team in the most crucial part of the season just because you aren’t getting playing time?  Lavar’s act is wearing very thin with most people around him.  He better hope Lonzo continues to get better in the NBA, because it doesn’t look like any of his other boys have a shot at making the league, especially with him trying to guide them.

We’re one month into the season, and the Dodgers have been so charitable that they’ve given the Diamondbacks a 7 game lead in the division.  Right now the Boys in Blue have more problems than Bill Cosby.  Clayton Kershaw is clearly in decline and Kenley Jansen couldn’t save a game right now if his life depended on it.  Those are only two of their most important players.  As if that’s not bad enough, now the injuries are piling up, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Chris Taylor are off to horribly slow starts, and the bullpen is about as reliable as a broken down Chevy.  This team looks beat up, disinterested, and nursing a major hangover from October.  Unfortunately, I don’t see a young stud in the minors that can energize them the way Bellinger did last year.  Andrew Toles might have been that guy, but he’s been injured.  Also, I have no idea why Pedro Baez is still on this team.  The guy has found a way to blow more games in the last five years than I can count, not to mention the fact that he works so slowly, he’s a human rain delay.  Check out his latest issue on Friday.  This pretty much sums up the career of Baez and the first month of the season all in one play…..

Finally, the Angels are harder to figure out than Khloe Khardashian’s relationship status.  They go into Houston and take two of three from one of the best teams in baseball, then they get handled by an up and down Yankees team.  They can score, but their starting pitching has been pretty mediocre.  Other than Tyler Skaggs, not a single starter has an ERA under 4.00, which puts their team ERA in the bottom third of the majors for starters.  We’re only a month into the season, and it feels like the Angels are already going to have to settle for the wild card at best with the ups and downs of the staff.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 23, 2018

The Kawhi Leonard rumors are about to break Twitter.  It’s weird that any player would not want to be a part of the Spurs’ winning culture, but Kawhi is clearly a weird dude.  Not only is he weird, he’s an injury risk, and he’s going to cost the Lakers half their young core to get him.   You know what that means right? Obviously, I want him on the Lakers.  I know it sounds crazy, but I want him under two conditions: both Lebron James and Paul George are on the team as well next season.  If I can put those three dudes on the Lakers, the talent outweighs the risks.  As for the idea that Pop would never deal Kawhi to a Western Conference team, give me a break folks.  If the Lakers put the best deal on the table with the most promising young talent, the Spurs aren’t going to say no and cut their nose off to spite their face.

Elsewhere around the NBA Playoffs, the Pacers had their chance to put Lebron away last night, but they are toast now.  The Wizards may have tied the series, but I still think their only hope of beating the Raptors in the 1st round is if Drake starts the next 3 games for them at point guard.  The Pelicans did some spring cleaning, sweeping away the Blazers.  Portland won’t be participating in the second round, and will more than likely be participating in a group therapy session over the summer.  AMBER ALERT: Hassan Whiteside. Last seen actually scoring points and getting rebounds for the Miami Heat during the regular season. If you have any information, please contact Erik Spoelstra immediately.  Can we just get to Rockets vs Warriors already?

To baseball, where I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate JoK Pederson (and the “K” in his first name seems far more appropriate than a “c”) on getting his batting average over the always challenging Mendoza line after Saturday night’s game.  Hopefully the Dodgers don’t have to wait until his next birthday to see him hit another home run, because it sure feels like that might happen.  I still have no idea why Andrew Friedman and the front office is obsessed with this guy.  His defense isn’t even as good as they want us to believe it is.  After watching Kenley Jansen get his act together this weekend, I can’t decide if he isn’t that good anymore, or if he was just on the “Shaquille O’Neal Offseason Workout Plan”.  I sure hope it’s the latter because the Dodgers would have literally no bullpen without one elite arm anchoring it.  Speaking of arms, Hyun-Jin Ryu is easily the Dodgers’ best pitcher right now.  This team is a serious work in progress.  They only wish they could play the Padres every game.

Just when I thought the Angels might be a decent team they go ahead and lose a series to the Giants.  Brandon Belt wore them down with the longest at-bat in MLB history, and by the time you finish reading this he might still be at the plate.  I can understand getting bombed by the Red Sox, who have been hotter than the sun, but the Giants are terrible.  At least Garrett Richards looked good, but Andrew Heaney got rocked on Friday, and the rest of the starting pitching looks shakier than the earthquake we had in LA last week.  Shohei Ohtani is reportedly having blister issues.  He should call Rich Hill to urinate on it for him to make it all better.  As if things couldn’t get any worse, the Halos have to go to Houston to play the Astros for the next three days.  I guess there’s still time for the Angels to complete their usual underwhelming first month of the season.

On the ice, the Kings are Ducks were eliminated last week, both getting swept out the playoffs.  Both teams were probably commiserating with each other at Coachella over the weekend.  The Kings best forwards disappeared like Hodini, and there should be an investigation by the FBI on where Corey Perry’s offensive game has gone.  It’s true the Kings did get screwed by the league when Drew Doughty got suspended for a game for what was a clean hit, while Anze Kopitar was victimized by a stick to the face with no repercussions for Vegas.  It’s like David Stern is running the NHL.  Still, both teams need to give themselves long looks in the mirror this offseason, and consider making significant changes to their core.  The game is all about speed and skill now, and both teams are built to be physical and wear opponents down.  The league has adjusted, and now it’s time for both teams to adjust or else they’ll become extinct faster than the Dinosaurs did.

Just how bad have things gotten at ESPN? They are using Adam Schefter to do sideline reporting for NBA playoff games.  I think it’s safe to say the network is spread a little bit thin after all those layoffs. However, one thing they’ve always been terrible at is covering the NHL, and that was evident this weekend when they tried to write an article about the Jets advancing to the second round of the playoffs.  Too bad they put up a picture of the Vegas Knights.  That led to the LA Kings Twitter handle trolling ESPN pretty hard.

Finally, I will never understand what goes through the mind of some of these network television producers.  Scandal was a great show that had decent ratings.  It might not be what it was in its heyday, but it’s far better than some of the ridiculous network shows ABC and Fox have tried to force down our throats, only to pull the plug on them after one season.  Yes, the show had a satisfactory ending to it for most of its fans, but it easily could have gone on for a few more seasons.  CBS kills it during primetime with the Big Bang Theory, so trying to come up with another unproven catastrophe to compete with them doesn’t exactly seem like the smartest decision.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

April 16, 2018

The LA Kings left Las Vegas like most of us usually do: as big losers.  That trend unfortunately continued last night Staples, and the Kings are on the verge of elimination.  I’m glad the Kings still have their defensive identity, but you can’t win unless you score.  I mean you can tie, but you can’t win.  Has anybody informed the Kings of this? They have 3 goal in 11 periods.  You also can’t win without your top 2 defenseman, and the Kings played much of this series without them.  The Kings just can’t regain the Stanley Cup magic of a few years ago, and faster teams like Vegas have eclipsed their rugged style.   The Ducks are having the same problems as well against the Sharks.  You can’t win without your best defenseman in the lineup come playoff time.  At least this year the Ducks don’t have to worry about getting embarrassed at home in game 7.  It will come much earlier than that on the road.

The Lakers finished the season with 35 wins.  If you had told me that back in October, I would have said they should throw a parade down Figueroa if that happens.  It’s nice progress, however, I got a good laugh hearing Magic say that they really don’t have sign anybody this coming offseason to feel good about the direction of the franchise.  Listen Magic man…..you and I both know that you and your boy Pelinka didn’t put your multi-million dollar businesses on the back burner and dump our young talent to sign anybody other than King James.  Don’t try to sell me on how great Andre Ingram is going to fit in next year after 10 years in the G-League.  It’s Lebron and Paul George or bust.  Yes the young talent we have is developing, but it was doing that before you got here anyway.  Get it done Magic!  Unfortunately though, the only playoffs the Lakers will be experiencing this season will be while playing PlayStation.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have some major decisions to make regarding both Doc Rivers and DeAndre Jordan.  I cannot understand why either of these two want to stay with the Clippers, or why the Clippers would want either one of them.  Not only do the Clippers need to rebuild, but they need a complete culture cleansing.  Rivers and DJ are big parts of a previous culture that needs to be overturned.  Rivers has brought more drama than a high school girl to this franchise, and DJ is a nice player in a league where centers are becoming extinct.  David Aldridge reported that Rivers is “probably” coming back, but that report is vague and unconvincing, especially considering that Doc sounded far from sure he even wanted to return.

Elsewhere around the Association, it’s playoff time and the Cavs look like a bigger disaster than Tristan Thompson’s love life.  If Lebron ends up leaving Cleveland, that city will instantly eclipse Detroit as the worst city in America.  Good strategy by the Blazers in game 1.  Down by 3 at the end of the game, rather than going to Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, the Blazers went to…..Pat Connaughton.  The Spurs got spanked by the Warriors, and Greg Popovich says we should ask Kawhi’s group if he’s coming back.  That sounds like a really healthy relationship.  Then there’s Nick Young who showed up to game 1 like he was headed to the Playboy Mansion.

To baseball where the Dodgers can’t seem to do much right so far.  Despite the win yesterday, they are in last place in the NL West.  Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Yasiel Puig are all hitting .230 or less.  Half their infield is injured, and so is their most promising prospect, Andrew Toles.  Even when the offense does have its act together, the pitching falls apart.  Rich Hill and Alex Wood got knocked around like bowling pins last week, and the bullpen is made up of a bunch of dudes throwing batting practice.  If Fraudy Friedman thought that this bullpen would be better than last year, he must be doing more drugs than the kids at Coachella did this weekend.  I realize that it’s early, but this team looks a lot more vulnerable this season.

Then there’s the Angels, who are off to their best start since 1979.  They are so hot, the only thing that can stop them right now is a snow storm, which cancelled yesterday’s game.  The story is Shohei Ohtani, who has caught fire at the plate and on the mound.  For those of you who say that there will definitely be regression to the mean, that may be partially true but ask yourself this: who was the last hyped Japanese player that came over and was a total bust? Ichiro, Masahiro Tanaka, Hideo Nomo, Hideki Matsui.  Hiroki Kuroda, Yu Darvish? Ok never mind but you get the point.  There really haven’t been any total disappointments when they’ve had hype.  No reason to think Ohtani won’t be a superstar.  The Halos are playing great and Ohtani is making them exciting to watch.

On to the Season Finale of The Walking Dead, so spoiler alert if you have yet to see it and plan on watching it later.  I think we’re all thinking the same thing: Did Lucille survive the war? Well we know that Negan did which was just messed up.  Rick thinks Negan should live to honor Carl, but I guess what happened to Glenn and Abraham doesn’t matter anymore?  It’s bad enough that they let all the Savior people live after all the screwed up things they did.  They all live and Dwight gets exiled after helping them? This show has a bizarre idea of justice and righteousness. I like how 5 minutes earlier Jesus told Morgan not to kill, then suddenly he’s Council of “Pissed Off At Grimes”.   I was thinking Maggie can go back to being 72 months pregnant now that the war is over.  She’s going to have a longer pregnancy than Bonnie Swanson from Family Guy.  Except now she and Daryl want to start a Civil War.  If these two become the primary villains nest season, it’s just ridiculous.  Most guys have to pay the extra $20 to get choked in bed, but not Negan.  Eugene is back in our good graces, but he’s still a coward and an idiot.  Finally, sticking Morgan in Fear The Walking Dead isn’t making me any more excited about it.  I do love though how he survived for 8 seasons with hardly a scratch and 15 minutes into episode 1 of Fear, he manages to get shot in the leg.  I’m ready for a fresh storyline in The Walking Dead come the fall.