Monday Morning Coffee

May 20, 2019

Relax I’ll get to Thrones. But first, the Lakers received what I like to call “Idiot Welfare” from the NBA last week. You can’t get any luckier than they did, although I guess it’s not luck when the lottery is rigged. However, just when you find out they get the 4th pick and have another great asset, we learned that Gayle Benson will not allow Anthony Davis to be traded to the Lakers “over her dead body”, and that the Lakers doubled down on dumb by leaking that they will not be hiring a new President of Basketball Operations. Magic Johnson went on First Take this morning putting the Lakers on blast, further validating this dysfunction. In other words, you still get the feeling that there is “imminent doom” on the horizon, despite the fact so many great players are available this summer. Sure the Lakers have the assets and the roster flexibility to put together a trio of stars like Lebron-Anthony Davis-Kawhi Leonard. However, it would take smart leadership to actually get that done, which the Lakers clearly don’t have anymore.

It’s hilarious how rigged the NBA lottery has become. It’s no wonder they don’t allow anybody to actually see the ping pong balls drawn. It’s because they don’t actually mean anything. I’m sure it was completely lottery luck that when the Cavaliers lost Lebron James, then ended up with the #1 pick in 2011. Or when the Hornets lost Chris Paul and ended up with the #1 pick in 2012. Or when the Timberwolves lost Kevin Love and ended up with the #1 pick in 2015. Or now that the Pelicans are about to lose AD, they get the #1 pick. At this point if you think it isn’t rigged, then you probably bought a ticket to Fyre Fest and believe every word that comes out of Skip Bayless’ mouth.

The Dodgers took care of business against the Reds over the weekend, getting to see their old friend Yasiel Puig again. I’m not sure why Puig is surprised he was traded for cash considerations. Ownership shipped 70% of its fan base off for cash considerations when they made their current TV deal with Spectrum. Tough situation for the Dodgers when it comes to Julio Urias. Andrew Friedman is probably trying to figure out why his computer can’t come up with an answer on what to do with Urias, who is currently on leave after being arrested last week on suspicion of domestic battery. I’m reserving judgement here until the TMZ video comes out, but these situations are usually pretty damning. If Urias is guilty, he should be punished accordingly, regardless of his talent and what he means to the Dodgers. There is never any excuse for this, but especially in the era we are living in, there is absolutely no excuse for this.

Man the Angels starting pitching is garbage. Trevor Cahill stinks, and Matt Harvey looks is a disaster. I’m beginning to realize they call Harvey “two face” because one day he looks halfway decent and the next start he looks a bigger waste of money than that pile of cash the Joker burned. The real pitchers the Angels need to carry them are Shohei Ohtani, who won’t pitch this year, and Griffin Canning, who is solid but still very young. At this point I think it’s safe to kiss the division goodbye already, but the Halos need to do what they can to stay in the Wild Card race. After the draft, they should be all over Dallas Keuchel on a one year deal, so they don’t give up compensation. I’m sure Keuchel is waiting for his food stamps to come in the mail since he won’t accept a one-year $17 million salary.

Not exactly a riveting first episode of The Bachelorette last week with Hannah starting to send guys home. I know there’s already outrage when she just sent home Matt McDonald, the farmer with two deaf parents. Most of the dudes this season sound like frat guys who are on their 8th beer. Apparently Hannah is into that. Then again John Paul Jones looks like a dude who got a lacrosse scholarship to Yale because his dad was a Sigma Chi legacy that donated $5 million dollars to build a library. If you’re an airline pilot and you’re going on The Bachlorette you need to wear your uniform. Rookie move. Same goes for Luke who didn’t give up his jacket when Hannah was cold. The only thing the world knew about Alabama before last week was “Roll Tide”. Skeptical on this season but we’ll see where it goes.

Finally, let’s get to the series final of Game of Thrones last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. You complainers are so dramatic, pretending like you just wasted 8 years of your life because the ending didn’t go your way. This was one of the best television series of all-time people. I found it devastatingly sad that Daeny was killed, let alone killed by Jon after losing her mind like that. I suppose it had to be done. We cheered for her for 8 years to end up on the throne, and then in a matter of 1.5 episodes it all turned. However, if you thought you were going to get a happy ending with Jon on the throne then you simply don’t get the show. For most of the show it was the bad guys winning, and a lot of you hated it when all the Starks died at the Red Wedding. The Starks came out on top, for the most part, and many of you are still complaining. Jon’s decision was a sacrifice that led to the greater good.I admit that seeing Bran on the throne was like seeing the kid who got an A even though he didn’t do anything during the group project. I’m sad the show is over, I’m sad Daeny ended up turning evil and dying, but the show was amazing. That’s what amazing shows do. They pull you in, make you think they can’t kill certain people or do certain things, then they do to provide you with shock value. If you don’t like it, then go back to watching trash reality TV.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 13, 2019

If you’re a Laker fan you should be livid. Jeanie Buss seems determined to not only embarrass the franchise a little more everyday, but also set women back in sports another 20 years. Her latest debacle is relying on the “front office expertise” of Phil Jackson and Kurt Rambis, and deciding to hire Frank Vogel as coach. If Jeanie is taking basketball operations advice from those two, she’s probably also using Bernie Madoff as her financial advisor. I like how Jason Kidd’s history of domestic violence does not make him a worthy head coaching hire, but a perfectly acceptable lead assistant. Nice logic Jeanie. This is only going to get worse and when the Lakers fail in free agency, Lebron is going to demand a trade. In the meantime, Lebron is probably having Nike design him some special sneakers to walk all over Vogel, who is just an average coach for what is turning into a below average franchise.

Some of you have the memory of a five year old. The Golden State Warriors lost Kevin Durant for a couple of games and you suddenly thought that made them a lottery team. Yes, Charles Barkley, I’m talking to you. Nobody seems to remember that the core of this team won 73 games three years ago, and also won an NBA Championship. Meanwhile, the Rockets are looking for a receipt on that Chris Paul purchase. Kyrie Irving is already playing like he’s on the Knicks. The Blazers celebrated yesterday’s game 7 win until they realized they have to play the Warriors. Kawhi Leonard is a beast, and I think his buzzer-beater yesterday keeps him in Toronto next season.

To baseball where the Dodgers have the best record in the National League, but not even the dudes that bought tickets to Fyre Fest wouldn’t believe they are good enough to win the World Series. Matt Kemp is available and before you shut the idea down, he’d actually be a great asset. The Dodgers still stink against left-handed pitching and Kemp can help that, especially with AJ Pollock out with an elbow injury. Kemp was not only an All-Star last year, but even when people wrote him off for his decline in the 2nd half, he was still very productive when he wasn’t playing everyday. That’s because he loves being a Dodger, and that additional productivity won’t come from him playing anywhere else. Meanwhile, Hyun-Jin Ryu is doing his best Sandy Koufax impersonation. For all the talk about Clayton Kershaw and Walker Beuhler, Ryu is easily the Dodgers’ best pitcher at the moment. If only Kenley Jansen would start impersonating himself again things would be even better.

Then there’s the Angels. Things have gotten a little better on the field for the Halos, getting healthier, swinging the bats, and winning 4 of their last 6. However, they really need the Astros to move to the Japanese league, because the Halos are 6.5 games back in the AL West. To make matters worse, the top two starters, Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill, are both sporting ERA’s over 6. I’ve seen better pitching from Lavar Ball in business meetings. If the Angels ever want to get serious about winning again they’ll need to actually develop this part of their farm system, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

It’s May. We’re past the NFL draft. We’re past the majority of free agency, but Ndamukong Suh is still unsigned. The Rams need to re-visit getting him back on the roster. It’s clear nobody is going to pay him the $14 million he made last year, and you can never have enough good defensive lineman. Suh finally got away from the dirty play we’ve seen throughout his career last season, and played very well in the playoffs. If not, sooner than later they could end up lining up against him in the NFC Championship game vs the Saints. After all, nobody can say no to those beignets.

I don’t know if I can do it guys. This may be the season of The Bachelorette I can’t stomach. Hannah Brown? I’ve stared at a pile of paint chips that were more interesting than her. Something tells me it won’t matter though. People will watch, listen to podcasts on it, complain bitterly from the start of the season to the end, then watch it again next season.

I know I’m really late to the party on this, but I finally got around to watching the “Leaving Neverland” documentary on HBO over the weekend. This was four brutal hours of television. I found myself interested, yet very queasy listening to the horrific detail of what Michael Jackson did to these men when they were young boys. I’d like to think that could not happen as easily today, with parents far more aware of child abductions, molestation, and even sex trafficking. However, even with a celebrity such as Michael Jackson, or any adult, when in the hell would it actually be appropriate for a parent to allow their child to sleep in the same bed as them? One thing is for sure. You’ll never think of Michael Jackson the same way after watching it.

Finally, a huge episode of Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you plan on watching it later. Imagine what Daeny would have done if she still had 3 dragons? This is what happens when you can’t bang your nephew. Innocent people die. At least Varys died doing what he loved: snitching. Had you known this episode was coming a couple of seasons ago, you probably would have screamed for joy. However, Daeny’s ruthless destroying of Kings Landing left me unsatisfied, and even feeling sympathy for a lot of people. I even felt sympathy for Cersei and Jamie, and even though they died together, the death was unsatisfying since it was just a ceiling that collapsed on them. It was great we got to see the Mountain vs The Hound, but Arya’s story wasn’t very well put together. It was coming together once she killed the Night King, but after she decided to call off her revenge tour, stumbling around Kings Landing was a senseless look. It was a good episode, but I can’t help but feel they are rushing the ending. At least we didn’t see any Starbucks cups or airplanes. I’m looking forward to the ending, and think we’re in for another curve ball next week.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 6, 2019

It’s cute that the Lakers are dragging their feet on this whole coaching search when they are just going to give the job to Tyronn Lue in the next couple of days. I like how they are pretending like they are going through some real process when they really aren’t. There’s no process when you don’t hire a President of Basketball Operations after yours quits on TV before he actually tells you. Even dumber is this rumor that the Lakers are operating with some sort of “shadow boss” advising them, who will be taking over the team soon. This has to be a leak from the Lakers to make it seem like Jeanie Buss knows what she’s doing. However, even if this rumor were true, the so called “shadow boss” must be advising Jeanie to look like an idiot and not even interview for President of Basketball Operations.

I admit there’s been some amazing 2nd round games to watch in the NBA Playoffs, but let’s be honest, you’re just fooling yourself if you think Golden State isn’t going to win another title this year. It took overtime, two blown layups from Steph, and James Harden going crazy just for the Rockets to win a game. Harden apparently thinks he’s fouled on every play. Meanwhile, the Nuggets and Blazers took so long to finish game 3, the winner should have been rewarded with taking game 4 off. The most riveting thing about the 76ers and Raptors is that whoever loses is likely to lose their star free agents. Despite yesterday’s win, it’s also a good bet these days for Canada to end up losing at anything, so look for that to happen in the next few days. Marcus Smart was upgraded to questionable for the Celtics, but their playoff chances have been downgraded to “doubtful” vs the Bucks.

I’m sure the Padres wish Manny Machado would play against the Dodgers every game. Machado was hitting a mere .240 going into the series against his former team over the weekend, before going off against them with a couple of homers. I guess $300 million doesn’t buy what it used to. I’d pay $300 million just to get somebody other than Andrew Friedman to run the Dodgers. In typical Dodger fashion, they are in 1st place with their “prized” free agent acquisition, AJ Pollock out indefinitely, and Joe Kelly’s velocity disappearing like Lebron James’ hairline. The Dodgers are once again benefiting from a weak division, and a bunch of dudes that Friedman had no part in actually acquiring for the most part. It doesn’t matter how much money you give Friedman to spend, he’ll find a way to spend it in the most inefficient ways.

Then there’s the Angels, who went all the way to Mexico to get bombed by the Astros over the weekend. At least if Trump builds that wall, it will prevent Trevor Cahill, Peter Bourjos, Kole Calhoun, and all these other scrubs from coming back to Anaheim. Halos Skipper Brad Ausmus says “environmental factors played into it”, when consdering that Cahill has given up 12 home runs. Actually, I’m pretty sure whatever environment you play in, half the team still plays like scrubs. I’ve been hearing a lot about an improving Angels’ farm system, but I have yet to see anything promising yet. There’s not much to be excited for this season, other than the fact you know Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere.

What a shocker at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday! Maximum Security crossed the finished line 1st, but was disqualified for impeding other horses. Country House, a 64-1 long shot, was declared the winner. On the bright side for Maximum Security, he won’t have to go to the White House and eat crappy fast food. I’m surprised he wasn’t disqualified for fouling James Harden on a 3-point shot, since you can even do that by breathing on him.

In College Football, an interesting comment was made by Reggie Bush last week regarding Urban Meyer that caught the attention of Trojan fans. Bush said that he and Matt Leinart are going to be actively recruiting Meyer to be the Trojans next coach when they all work together on Fox Television’s College Football broadcast in the fall. That comment just goes to show you what alums and former USC players think of Clay Helton. It’s like being married and openly pursuing other women. Even funnier was Urban Meyer’s response, which was that he thinks he’s done, and he’s enjoying what he’s doing now. That’s hilarious because he hasn’t even started doing whatever he’s doing because he just retired. Urban Meyer is a bigger liar than any politician out there. I guess that makes him a perfect culture fit for USC one day. However, the Trojans certainly won’t suck anymore with him as their coach.

Finally, another intense episode of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO and it had a shocking ending. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you plan on watching it later. Ugh how could you be so stupid Daeny? This episode just had the feel of many other episodes throughout the entire series of feeling like imminent doom was coming to our favorite characters. Sansa only said to wait on battling Cersei, but Daeny lost a dragon, a whole bunch of her fleet, while Missandei was captured and killed. Also, how did she and her two Dragons miss Euron Greyjoy’s fleet from that high above? Get your head in the game! Euron Greyjoy is like the 99 cent store version of Jack Sparrow. I wanted Cersei and Daeny to throw hands. Instead, they had their Hands talk it out. Not exactly what I had in mind. I like how how Ned Stark kept a secret about Jon Snow for 20 years, and 20 seconds after finding out, Sansa is announcing it like breaking Fox News. Jamie flip flips allegiances more than Drake. This is going to end with a decision from Jamie on what to do with Cersei. You know she’s not going to go down easy. She never does. It’s going to be a spectacular and edge of your seat final two episodes.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 29, 2019

You didn’t really think we’d go another week without another embarrassing story coming from the Lakers did you? The latest is requesting that Ty Lue or Monty Williams add Kurt Rambis to their staff as an Associate Coach if they are hired. If that’s their attitude, imagine how limited they will be trying to find a President of Basketball Operations when they insist that Rob Pelinka will remain in the front office. I’m not sure how long Jeanie will continue this ridiculous friends and family approach, but it’s getting annoying. Plus, the real irony in all this is that her most qualified friends and family, Ryan West and Jesse Buss, are actually not involved enough in front office decisions. It doesn’t matter whether the coach is Lue or Williams, the problems are much bigger than that. However, if Lue is hired, with Lebron stepping all over him, it won’t be the first time he’s been stepped all over at Staples Center.

The Clippers impressive season came to an end on Friday after losing to the Warriors. Look, I will give the Clips their due. They play hard, they have likable players you can get behind, two good young players, and they have finally stabilized the organization. However, let’s pump the brakes on a couple of things. The idea that the Clippers are a great free agent destination is a false narrative. Why is Kawhi Leonard the only free agent we’ve linked to them? Besides, if Kawhi stays in Toronto, is there actually a plan B? Plan B might not even put this team back in the playoffs. Also, for those of you who suggest the Clippers are going to take the town from the Lakers, the Clips have been better than the Lakers for six years, yet they aren’t even close to making it a “Clipper Town”.

To baseball, where I’m not sure what’s gotten into the NL West, but everybody is suddenly winning, including the 1st place Dodgers. I think it’s fair to say that the best pitcher on the Dodgers is still Clayton Kershaw, despite peoples hopes and dreams that Walker Buehler and Julio Urias were ready for prime time. Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are still great, but not what they once were. That being the case, since the Dodgers are so reliant on their bullpen, I have no idea why they won’t add more reinforcements to their pen like Craig Kimbrel. He’s only a 7 time all-star, and at this point would probably accept an inflated one year deal. Andrew Friedman has shown about as much interest as I have in dating Rosie O’Donnell. The pitching is good, but probably not good enough to win a World Series. That’s not good enough.

At some point, the Angels are going to get some reinforcements back in their lineup like Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, and Jo Adell. However, at that point they will be trying to climb out of a hole that is bigger than the Grand Canyon, since they are already in last place and 6 games out of 1st place. That also won’t fix their pitching. The Angels have decided to play copy cat and using the “opener strategy” several teams around the league have been adopting. However, by letting a reliever open the game, then letting your “starter” pitch a few innings, that seems like nothing more than patchwork for a team with a crummy rotation. It also seems like a sure way to exhaust your bullpen over the course of 162 games. The strategy worked for the Rays last season, but they also had a great bullpen. The Halos don’t. Billy Eppler was clearly that kid in school that just looked at everyone else’s paper to pass his exams.

The NFL Draft was highlighted by some great laughs provided by the Cardinals, Raiders, and Giants. The Cardinals gave up on the 10th pick in the draft after one season, traded him for a 5’10 receiver, and replaced him with a 5’10 quarterback who might be playing professional baseball in a few years. Josh Rosen will get good laughs watching Ryan Fitzpatrick throw interceptions in South Beach next year. The Raiders used the #4 pick on a guy who was rated #32 by Mel Kiper, and drafted two other players who weren’t even projected to be 1st rounders. Gruden probably picked Colin Ferrell because he thought he was related to Will Ferrell. Then the Giants, drafted a QB at #6 who they could have gotten at least 10 picks later. They had as many 1st round picks as they will have wins next year.

Meanwhile, the Rams had a pretty good draft by all accounts, trading down to acquire more assets several times. It was also hard not to notice the three separate trades they made with the Patriots, who just defeated them in the Super Bowl. Note to all you super insecure and incompetent NFL executives: not everybody is afraid to trade with Bill Belichick. Some executives like Les Snead actually have confidence in what they are doing. More than anything though, the Rams actually picking a running back as early as they did makes me question the health of Todd Gurley even more.

Finally, an amazing episode of Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. That was a highly intense and stressful 90 minutes of television. All things considered though, we didn’t really lose any characters that devastated you, but seeing the Night King die was absolutely shocking, and even more shocking at the hands of Arya. That kill was like a Damian Lillard walk-off 37-foot game winner. Jon Snow and Daeny were fairly useless in this episode. Not sure what Daeny was doing the whole time not spitting fire on the the entire Army of The Dead when they broke into the castle. Jon might “know nothing”, but he also did nothing in this episode as far as killing the Night King. It was all Arya. Not sure what the Army of The Dead was doing while Arya snuck up and “Bruce Lee’d” the Night King. I still think before it’s over we’ll lose a Stark or two, and maybe even Daeny. Nevertheless, the last three episodes are going to be epic! Tremendous writing.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 22, 2019

The Lakers have definitely hit rock bottom. Rob Pelinka is now taking potential coaching candidates like Ty Lue to the Cheesecake Factory during coaching interviews. I might feel slightly better about Pelinka’s judgement if he had ordered the avocado egg rolls, but even so, there’s about 1,000 better restaurants in Newport Beach to take a coaching candidate to. In all seriousness though, this is just a small sample size of the stupidity going on with the Lakers. The idea of hiring a coach before hiring a President makes no sense. Then again, the idea of taking basketball advice from Linda Rambis is equally puzzling. I always criticized Jim Buss for not maximizing the resources available to him, but now it’s fair to say that Jeanie is just as guilty of that.

Look guys, it was a cute story for a little but the Clippers will be done playing basketball this season on Wednesday. I do find it pretty comical that some of you folks thought that that one bad quarter from the Warriors suddenly meant the Clippers might actually beat them in a seven game series. The Warriors are like a Lion that is playing with its food before devouring it. That couldn’t have been any more evident from Kevin Durant’s attitude toward Patrick Beverley before dropping 38 points on him in game 3, and pulling away at the end of yesterday’s game. Give the Clips credit for playing hard, I’m sure it was a fun ride for them, I’m just not sure it was worth it considering they lost their 1st round pick. I guess this summer will determine that. Here’s a look at Danilo Gallinari’s shooting in yesterday’s game.

I sure wish everyday was Joc Pederson’s birthday. In typical “all or nothing” Joc fashion, he blasted a pair of home runs, helping the Dodgers take 3 of 4 from the Brewers. The real story is Cody Bellinger though who is doing it all. He made a game saving catch and hit the go-ahead home run in yesterday’s win. I’m not sure why everybody keeps making a big deal out of Clayton Kershaw’s drop in velocity. Greg Maddux was one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, and he never overpowered hitters. Kershaw has looked great in his first two starts, and as long as he continues to change speeds effectively, there’s no reason he can’t still be an elite starting pitcher. On the other hand, what isn’t elite is the Dodgers’ slogan “LA Bleeds Blue”. I think there’s been enough bleeding from the Dodgers and their fans the last few postseasons at Chavez Ravine. No more bleeding you marketing geniuses! Here’s a look at Bellinger making an early case for MVP.

Speaking of bleeding, the Angels are just hemorrhaging losses in the early going, despite yesterday’s win. Even Magic Johnson’s Twitter account would be able to tell you that it’s hard to win baseball games when half your lineup is hitting under .230, and 3 of your 5 starting pitchers are hurt. Brad Ausmus is also looking more and more like Billy Eppler’s puppet, just reading off in-game instructions from the spreadsheet he’s handed. This couldn’t be more obvious with the continuous pulling of his starting pitchers before 5 complete innings. Hey nerd boys….I love analytics, but if you overuse your bullpen, it no longer becomes a strength.

UCLA may have lucked out with the hiring of Mick Cronin, but the embarrassment for the athletic department isn’t stopping. The latest debacle is Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes claiming that had UCLA paid for his buyout, he would be their head coach by now. If nothing else, this entire exercise has done nothing to end the public perception that the Bruin basketball program is still cheap, and not willing to pay for top coaching talent. Plus, how disappointed is the UCLA fan base going to be if Billy Donovan gets fired by the OKC Thunder in the next week or two? I know I’ll be a little disappointed.

Since the Super Bowl ended, it’s felt like the Rams have put Todd Gurley in a witness protection program, preventing him from talking about his knee injury. However, he finally spoke about it, but didn’t reassure anybody that he’ll be ok long-term. Gurley indicated that he’s feeling great “right now” but doesn’t know how he’ll feel six months from now. That’s not exactly making me feel great about the fact the Rams just signed him to a long-term contract. It’s also not making me feel great about the Rams’ chances of winning a Super Bowl since he’s such a focal point of their success. While all this is going on, Sean McVay is being more evasive about Gurley’s status than someone trying to ghost you on a dating site. That’s not good at all, but the one nice piece of news for the Rams is they just learned they’ll have one of the easiest schedules in the league next year.

The concept of 4/20 is very symbolic for the LA Kings. Their General Manager, Rob Blake wore #4, and their President of Hockey ops, Luc Robitaille wore #20. Considering the moves they have been made in the last two years, it seems fair to say both these two have smoking a lot of weed. The latest is the unimaginative and uninspiring coaching hire of Todd McClellan. This is the same coach that blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings in 2014. When I watch the NHL playoffs it’s also become very clear that the Kings demise have nothing to do with their style, considering all the upsets in the postseason that have occurred. Their demise has everything to do with an aging roster and a farm system devoid of elite talent. Robitaille and Blake have been in complete denial about this fact.

Finally, episode 2 of the final season of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. I think it’s safe to say that Arya just added to her “body count”. Everyone is preparing to fight while Arya and Gendry were preparing to get freaky with each other. That was one sex scene I did not need to see before the show ended. I guess Winter was not the only thing that came last night. Frankly, that whole thing distracted you from the fact that Tormund sucked on giant boobs for three months to become as strong as he is. That was basically all we accomplished in one more hour, as well as Jon trying to explain to Daeny that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. It felt like this episode was used as nothing more than to make us feel good before our favorite characters get slaughtered next week. There’s no way we make it through next week without losing at least a couple of people we really like. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that part of it. However, at least the last four episodes will be nearly 90 minutes each.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 15, 2019

Remember when I said the optics on the Lakers were worse than they are? Nope, things are actually worse than the optics. Magic Johnson is a complete embarrassment. Now we know that they call him Magic because he disappeared on the job like Houdini. He quit like he was working at Walmart for a couple of weeks. This man beat HIV, but when things got a little rough he quit, and it came at the 11th hour of a plan that was 2 years in the making, which included sacrificing promising young talent. Meanwhile, Rob Pelinka is the exact equivalent of Littlefinger on Game of Thrones. You can’t trust him and he’s doing everything to gain more power. However, this is all on Jeanie Buss, who has nobody left to blame but herself. Now she’s looking even worse by not doing the sensible thing and hiring a President to clean house and build the organization the right way. This whole thing could be turned around in five minutes, but instead we’re in for more years of dysfunction.

Meanwhile, that was a cute little effort by the Clippers in game 1 against the Warriors. This team can start booking their flights to Cancun because they’ll be done playing basketball this season in just a couple of days. On the bright side for the players, Steve Ballmer probably rewarded them with Microsoft Office Suite upgrades. Congrats to Ralph Lawler though on a fantastic career. The man who has spent the last 40 years as the Clippers’ play-by-play man is easily the best thing to ever happen to the franchise.

To College Hoops where UCLA finally ended weeks of embarrassment and hired Mick Cronin as their new basketball coach. To his credit, Cronin already seems very likeable, and you can be sure his team’s are going to play very hard nosed defense. However, the spotlight should be on just how bad of a job Dan Guerrero has done with both the Football and Basketball program, and the embarrassment continued during last week’s press conference introducing Cronin. Guerrero said there was never going to be a consensus among fans about anything. That’s just silly because every UCLA fan knows he’s doing a terrible job. Too bad the Chancellor can’t see this because he’s already working on an extension with him. If only Guerrero would be one to pay the price for some of the “cash-for-admission” scandal. The University would only be so lucky.

Looks like things are going exactly according to plan for the Dodgers. Beat up on all the crummy teams in the NL West, and then pretend like you can hang against the rest of the NL. That’s exactly how it has looked after getting dismantled by the Cardinals and Brewers in the past week. I’m sure if you ask Andrew “Small Market” Friedman, or Stan “I won 14 Division Titles but only 1 World Series” Kasten, they won’t be worried at all. With Clayton Kershaw coming back tonight, the Dodgers better hope he looks like an ace, because their entire pitching staff has been beaten like a drum lately.

Meanwhile, Mike Trout needs to get back in the lineup fast to keep the Angels from being eliminated from the postseason just a few weeks into the season. Imagine how much easier this would be if half the Halos’ lineup weren’t hitting like they were swinging blindfolded at a Pinata. Most of these guys aren’t even hitting above the Mendoza Line. This feels like it’s going to be a very long season.

We’ve been waiting about a decade, but now we can finally say it. Tiger is back! He finally won another major. It was wonderful to see. Golf needed it badly. As talented as many of the PGA’s up and comers are, none of them are must watch like Tiger. It was greatness on display yesterday, and that’s why we watch sports. Also, for the guy that wants to dislike Tiger because he cheated on his wife, you probably need to stop watching sports if you can’t separate the performance from the person. I have come to grips with this concept. For example, Kevin Durant the basketball player is a bitch. However, Kevin Durant the person is also a bitch.

Finally, the final season of Game of Thrones premiered last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. That dragon waking up reminded me of what I look like trying to wake up for work on Monday morning. Not sure who would win a staring contest between Bran and that dragon since neither blink. You may not have put it together, but Bran said he was “waiting for an old friend” and knew that it was Jamie. I think that dragon also recognized who the true King was the moment Jon rode him. Jon was doing some serious incest math when he found out that he was the true King. It’s great to have the show back, but I’m shocked that it was only 1 hour, and that not that much happened. I expected some rapid plot development, and I sure hope it will pick up next week, as it did last season.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 8, 2019

It turns out the South Bay Lakers are a lot more interested in winning games than the Los Angeles Lakers. Alex Caruso, who looks like a high school math teacher, is on fire. It will be great when Lebron gets healthy because Caruso can finally get the help he needs to win a title. In all seriousness though, I’m getting really sick of the fake and manufactured stories the media is coming up with on this team. They didn’t make the playoffs because of injuries, and to a lesser extent roster construction. Not because the front office was “misaligned”, not because “they don’t develop players well”, or because of some “instability”. This is exactly what the “reporting” of Adrian Wojnarowki, Chris Mannix, and others have become. It’s probably also because other insecure GM’s around the league with an inferiority complex are perpetuating this fake narrative.

Speaking of ESPN and their fake news, I feel bad for Paul Pierce, who was torn apart by the internet over the weekend. Pierce said he’s had a better career than Dwyane Wade when asked about it during ESPN’s NBA coverage. The idea that Pierce had a better career, or even that he’s a better player is preposterous. Wade is an 8-time All-NBA player and two time All-Defense Player, compared to Pierce’s 4-time All-NBA appearances. Wade also has three championships compared to Pierce’s one. However, he was asked a question by his colleagues and he gave them the answer the network wanted. He shouldn’t really be roasted the way he was, and on top of that, this tweet by Gabrielle Union, Wade’s wife, was totally unnecessary and misinformed. The internet is simply feeding the trolls.

This @paulpierce34 thing is wrong on many obvious levels but what I find most troublesome is this idea of a man trying to diminish another man that looks like him, was raised like him, in order to shine a tad brighter. Shit isnt entertaining, it’s sad. ❤ & 💡good people.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) April 6, 2019

To College Basketball where the UCLA Basketball search is reaching new levels of embarrassment. The Bruins are like that guy walking around the bar writing his phone number on a napkin and giving it to every girl in hopes that one will call him. The Bruins went from talking to John Calipari and offering him $8 million a year, to suddenly chasing Jamie Dixon and Rick Barnes? It feels like there are a lot of candidates in between a Calipari, and Dixon or Barnes that would be much better than the latter two. Why am I not surprised this is going badly with Dan Guerrero leading the search? Maybe next time he talks to a good candidate like Calipari, he’ll be smart enough to offer him more than he’s actually making in his current gig. I thought the Bruins luckily dodged a bullet by not agreeing with Dixon, but the program and their fans probably won’t be as lucky when it comes to Barnes.

When Duke got eliminated from the Final Four, all you haters loved it but look what we were left with. A bunch of garbage we had no interest in. Had it not been for that Auburn fan that poured a beer on his head and got kicked out, or the woman in the bar that acted like Auburn won before fouling on the three-point shot, there wouldn’t have been many highlights from the two games to watch. This is exactly the problem with one-and-done. It can’t go away soon enough and is ruining the NBA and College Basketball.

The Dodgers are on fire! Right now it feels like the only thing that can stop them are Andrew Friedman and his analytics. Friedman is probably the Dodgers biggest rival considering how bad the rest of the NL West is. Cody Bellinger looks amazing and is playing like an MVP in the early going. I just hope he can play this well in October. I sure hope Joe Kelly can too, because he’s been awful so far. I guess it doesn’t matter who he plays for. Kelly’s best work always seems to come against the Dodgers.

I sure hope that Mike Trout is planning on being the entire Angels offense. He’s hit homers in four straight games, while the rest of the lineup couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. The pitching hasn’t exactly been all that sharp either. I now see why they call Matt Harvey “the Dark Knight”, since he got beat up like Batman when Bane broke his back. Feels like this team is going to be eliminated from the postseason before the month is over.

Finally, for months all I heard from people is that the American Football Alliance was going to take off and be very viable during the NFL offseason. Here we are just a few months later and the league is announcing it’s folding. I’ve seen Kardashian relationships last longer than this league did. I’m really not sure why anybody thought this league would be viable. The NFL is already suffering from over-saturation by force feeding us Thursday Night Football, along with Sunday and Monday Night Football. Not to mention the fact that even people that live in crummy cities with crummy weather have lives too, outside of watching football. It’s only a matter of time before the XFL runs into a cash problem too.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 1, 2019

Oh so now the Lakers decided to start winning again? Of course it happens right after they get eliminated from the playoffs. Clearly Magic, Rob, and Luke don’t understand this whole tanking thing. Lebron should have been shut down weeks ago. Meanwhile, I love how Jason Kidd is publicly campaigning for the Laker job through the media. Kidd was a great player, but would not represent any kind of upgrade over Luke Walton. Then there’s Lonzo Ball, who is finally taking control of his life while Big Baller Brand is collapsing. BBB lasted about as long as the rap career of Vanilla Ice. For those of you that actually bought shoes from them, did you actually receive them?

Only the Clippers would pop champagne after clinching a playoff spot. What’s next….building a statue for Doc Rivers if they win a playoff game? This is simply embarrassing. We get it. You did better than all of us predicted. But I thought athletes and executives never paid attention to what we say anyway? I guess Doc does deserve a lot of credit for getting the team this far, and should get consideration for Coach Of The Year. I mean it’s pretty hard to coach with the broadcast team swinging from your nuts all season.

To baseball where the Dodgers are off to a nice start to the season, taking 3 out of 4 against the D’Backs. However, I can’t help but poke fun of the analytical stupidity that they are continuing to use. Look, I love analytics and I’m an analytics guy. However, when a starter like Ross Stripling is throwing a shutout in the 6th inning and thrown only 76 pitches, you let him keep going! You know why the Dodger bullpen sucks in the playoffs? Because they overuse it. Analytics will tell you that. The Dodgers should have swept that series against a crummy Arizona team were it not for that.

Then there’s the Angels, who struggled against the A’s over the weekend. After the Halos won their only game of the series, Brad Ausmus said “I didn’t think we’d go scoreless the whole year.” Well Brad, after scoring one run off a starter in 24 innings, I’ m surprised you aren’t going scoreless for the year. Four of their everyday players are hitting like little leaguers. The Halos pitching is sketchy enough, but if they aren’t going to score runs, they might as well pack it in and spend their summer at Disneyland. Better find the win column fast or else it will be another season that ends before Memorial Day.

United Airlines decided to pull out of a negotiation with USC for naming rights to the Coliseum. They made this move after being criticized by veterans who believed the sponsorship disrespected those who fought in World War I. This is actually very surprising because it seemed like a modern day match made in heaven. The airline that hands over paid seats to their employees, then drags their customers off their planes partnering with one of the most corrupt universities in the country. There wouldn’t be a more iconic duo in history. Too bad isn’t not happening now. Looks like top UAL executives will have to find another way to get their kids into USC.

On to College Basketball where you bracket is busted and the Final Four is set. Texas Tech, Auburn, Virginia, and Michigan State. If you had all that just buy a lottery ticket. Yesterday was a sad day for Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish. They’re now officially college dropouts so keep your thoughts and prayers with them. Stay positive Kentucky Fans! You still have chewing tobacco and RV’s. With the way Bruce Pearl sweats I think he’s going to need a few extra shirts for the Final Four. At least Magic Johnson finally got to see some postseason basketball yesterday. I’m sure he’ll tell you he was there just for scouting.

Finally, the Season Finale of The Walking Dead went down last on AMC. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. The finale was actually a rather lame episode, but I can’t say it wasn’t unexpected. They walked for an hour in the snow for nothing but radio static. But the show couldn’t kill anybody after the carnage of the week before. Negan’s got jokes and I loved seeing Eugene try not to laugh when he was ripping Father Gabriel. This episode was nothing but a weak attempt to make you feel like you were watching Game of Thrones. Nice try AMC! I get the real thing in two weeks! However, overall Season 9 of TWD was better than I thought it would be.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 25, 2019

The Lakers were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Friday.  It’s very fitting that they were eliminated while wearing the ugliest uniforms in team history.  It’s disappointing but don’t write this team off from being really good next year, even though the optics look bad right now.  They have the tools to improve drastically.  I love how the Lakers probably leaked nothing, Doc Rivers rumors started, he squashed them, and some people think that alone damages the Laker brand.  Rivers is barely an upgrade over Luke Walton.  He’s like a car salesman that makes you feel good before the sale, but terrible right after you drive off the lot.  Rivers also said “I’m going nowhere”.  You coach the Clippers Doc.  Everybody already knows that!

The NCAA Tournament has been great even though I’m about ready to burn my bracket.  Admit it…you were dying to see UVA upset again by a #16 seed, even if it meant your bracket was going to be destroyed.  UCI may have lost to Oregon, but they haven’t  been this excited since In-N-Out opened across the street from campus. Louisville lost in round 1, and Rick Pitino’s semen is still haunting the basketball team.  Auburn dude passed up an open layup to tie it on Thursday, despite their win.  Auburn and New Mexico State should write a book on how not to finish a game.  Ja Morant looked so good in the tourney, ESPN decided to show 5 whole seconds of him between Zion highlights.  Eric Musselman must have thought by losing early in the tourney he’d be a great fit for UCLA.  Glad Duke is still alive because Zion is just too entertaining not to watch for two more weeks.

Carol Folt is now the president of USC.  Let’s hope her performance is better than the reviews she’s getting.   According to the LA Times, sources at the UNC campus  described her as not a strong leader, aligning herself with censorship of a history course, and refusing to acknowledge the culture of white supremacy on  campus. This is setting up well isn’t it?  Her final act was recommending the removal of a confederate statue on campus.  Her first USC act should be the removal of Lynn Swann and Clay Helton from their current positions.  This is a University that’s a disaster right now, and is bringing in a President that has just faced a disaster and did ok, not great.  Only time will tell.  No NCAA or NIT for USC Hoops.  Instead it’s the FBI!

To baseball where the Angels shocked the world and extended Mike Trout for 12 years and $430 million.  Another 10+ year contract? I guess That’s because baseball games take two years to finish. Trout’s first move should be to use some of that money to buy out the remainder of Pujols contract.  Trout’s new contract could also pay for 860 of Lori Loughlin’s kids to get into USC.  These contracts are never good deals for the owners, but congrats to Arte Moreno and the Angels for biting the bullet to win the PR battle with their fans.  It’s going to take a couple of years for the Angels to get back to the playoffs though.  They’ll need a lot better pitching and the Astros to get a lot worse.  On the bright side, they have the benefit of time now that Trout is locked up.  I don’t want to hear another baseball player whining about their compensation.  $430 million? Put your kids in travel ball folks.

I know we adjusted the clocks an hour forward recently, but Rams GM Les Snead must have turned the clock back to 2010.  That’s because he signed Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews instead of retaining LaMarcus Joyner and Ndamukong Su.  The Rams strength was on defense last year, and that defense played very well in the Super Bowl.  However, they may have just gotten slightly worse in a very competitive NFC.  While both Weddle and Matthews may be great in the locker room, they were let go from two teams who are desperate for defensive help.  Even if the 49ers got a little better, I don’t see the Rams having trouble in the NFC West.   However, getting back to the Super Bowl will be tough with these senior citizens now anchoring the defense.

The LA Kings brought in Will Ferrell to play Ron Burgundy and join the broadcast team the other night.  Seriously? Did they think that the teams play wasn’t laughable enough? The Kings pretended like they were Stanley Cup contenders up until the beginning of this season.  That was 5 years ago!!!! Now the highlight of their season was putting Snoop Dog and Ron Burgundy on their broadcasts.  This is pathetic.  Just air all the games on Comedy Central while you’re at it.  Time to blow it up and rebuild the right way.  Just like they did before they won their first Cup in 2012.

Finally, a shocking episode of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC. Major spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan to watch it later. This was by far the most shocking and devastating episode we’ve seen since the death of Glenn and Abraham. This time we lost 10 people. But in reality you only care about 3: Enid, Tara, and Henry. Frankly, you probably only care about two since most of you wanted Henry to die because he was an annoying little bitch. The scene was very well done, dramatic, and frankly, the show just couldn’t afford to lose the characters that were taken in the comic in this scene. That’s why Ezekiel and Rosita were probably spared by the producer. Somebody get Negan a bat and let him go to work on Alpha. Gotta feel bad for those Highway Men though. They lost their lives protecting people they didn’t even know, and they didn’t even get to see that movie! It feels like I just watched “The Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones again.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 18, 2019

Are you guys gonna act like this every time the Lakers lose over the last 12 games? It’s time to tank, and the Lakers are doing an excellent job of that. The team has been so bad I’m not even sure the NIT would invite them to play in their tournament. You can’t judge Lebron on what he’s doing right now because he’s completely checked out. Mind you, he’s still putting up triple doubles and 30-point games while being checked out. That’s why the idea of trading him makes no sense, which I know some of you have thought about. The only thing that would make me consider is if they won the lottery and drafted Zion Williamson #1. Even then it’s still is a stretch.

Then there’s the story that leaked out this week about the Lakers previously investigating a move to Inglewood once their lease at Staples Center was up in 2024. This story is really not as crazy as it sounds. Staples is twenty years old, despite the fact it’s in great shape. Inglewood could also be revitalized the way downtown was, once the Rams stadium is finished. However, it would never happen as long as Philip Anchutz owns 27% of the Lakers, since he owns Staples and would never let them leave. However, the fact the Lakers are keeping an eye on the future is impressive. If only their basketball operations team would do the same.

Thankfully, the UCLA basketball season has ended. Not only do I want to see a completely new coach, but I want to see a completely new team on the floor next season. Hardly anybody even noticed the Bruins aren’t even in the tournament because people just lost interest. Moses Brown, Jaylen Hands, and Kris Wilkes can all go to the NBA for all I care. Everybody wants Tony Bennett to be the next coach until they realize his team never wins in the NCAA Tournament. I still think if UCLA wants to win and gain relevance again very quickly, they should hire Rick Pitino. That will pale in comparison to any of the controversies going on at USC.

Elsewhere around college ball, you haven’t even filled out your bracket yet and it’s already busted. Virginia is pumped up they get a #1 seed until they realize that they have to play another #16 seed this year. I guess nobody is too surprised that Duke not only got a #1 seed, but got an easy path to the Final Four. Only Bill Walton would leave a broadcast to pee like he did during Oregon vs Arizona State. Lori Laughlin is going to fill out her bracket according to how much she paid each school to admit her kids. Meanwhile your mom is going to fill out her bracket according to who has the cutest mascot and will probably win the whole thing.

Imagine paying $500K to get USC to admit your kid. These days I wouldn’t send my kid to USC if they offered me $500K! USC has a lot bigger problems right now than Clay Helton and their football program. The entire school is a walking embarrassment. There may have been 8 schools implicated in the college admissions scandal, but only one had it’s Senior Associate Athletic Director implicated in taking bribes and had another employee guilty of taking bribes 18 months ago. You can’t do much without a school President, so they’ll need to handle that first, but once that is done they need to clean house. The Trojans should change their mascot to “The Ostriches” since Lynn Swann and the whole Athletic Department have their heads in the sand. Their statements regarding the incident are even more embarrassing. Of course Swann was “blindsided”. He’s been doing nothing but playing golf during his tenure.

How do you know it’s baseball season? Angel pitchers are already getting injured. Spring Training isn’t even over yet and Andrew Heaney is headed to the DL. Then there’s Matt Harvey who looked great for five minutes, and then a disaster after that. Funny how Billy Eppler said the Angels are “comfortable” with their staff. Really? I guess he means the Halos are ok with their crummy pitching. Not even a short-term deal with Dallas Keuchel or Craig Kimbrel would help eh? I guess it’s a requirement that in order to pitch for the Angels you need to have problems with your arm, so they clearly aren’t a fit.

Another episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night and it was a good one. I like how Daryl searched for Rick all the way to the Ocean, but Lori couldn’t even swing by the hospital to leave a note in case he woke up. Meanwhile, Michonne is out here killing kids and all along we thought Carol was the killer. The idea of Michonne killing the “Children of The Corn” would have been more shocking several seasons ago, but I think we are de-sensitized to this now after all of the difficult decions characters have had to make over 9 seasons. It needed to be done. Only two episodes left and I have a feeling if it resembles anything like the comic, we could be in for something similar to “The Red Wedding” episode of Game of Thrones.

Finally, the Bachelor came to an end last week, and as we expected, Colton bailed on the show to be with Cassie. If there’s one thing you ladies should learn from this season it’s that you don’t have a guy that wants you until he jumps an 8-foot fence for you. This is on the producers though, who must not have completely explained to Colton that he can’t prematurely end the show like he did. Still, it’s amusing that Cassie said she wasn’t ready for marriage. Her dad said she’s not ready. Every single girl on the show this season told Colton she’s not ready. Chris Harrison told Colton she’s not that into you. All that and Colton said he doesn’t care and went for it. Whoever decided that Hannah B should be the next Bachelorette and that the last show should have Air Supply singing should be fired. Hannah B can’t even complete a sentence without saying “ummm” and doesn’t blink. The next season has the makings of something very underwhelming. You know you’re going to watch it anyway.