Category Archives: Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee

April 19, 2021

The Lakers are surviving without their stars. It’s been weeks without Lebron James and Anthony Davis. Yet the Lakers haven’t had a free fall to the play-in tournament like many predicted. They’ve also been fortunate that teams like the Jazz, Hornets, Nets, and Raptors were missing their own star players. Heck, these Laker games have been missing so many stars that they should just be decided by which team has more style: Kyle Kuzma, or the oppositions most fashion forward player. I’ve also been impressed with Markief Morris, who Dennis Schroeder also says is “tough and needs to get paid.” I know Dennis is worried a lot about money these days, including everyone else’s, but this time he doesn’t have to worry about Markieff. He’s getting paid millions by Steve Ballmer. That’s the benefit of having a joint bank account with your brother.

Speaking of the Lakers, after 13 months they let some fans back in the building last week vs the Boston Celtics. My special thanks to Fox 11’s Liz Habib for interviewing me as part of her coverage on the first game with fans on Thursday night. Her story aired on Thursday’s Night Fox 11 News at 10. However, you can find her story and the interview below.

Meanwhile, the Clippers seem to be content with whatever seed they get, but are doing everything they can to build momentum and chemistry. They beat up on the T-Wolves yesterday, and they had won 7 in a row going in Friday’s game with Philadelphia. Win or lose though, you can always guarantee that Paul George is going to have an excuse prepared. On Friday, he was complaining of a sore throat. A sore throat? Has this guy never heard of a cough drop? I’m sure he has plenty of excuses lined up if thing go south in the postseason. I’m also a little surprised that DeMarcus Cousins can’t get any consistent minutes with this team. The Clippers need size and more offense at the rim. DeMarcus is still trying to find his game with all the injuries he’s suffered, but to me, he’s worth giving minutes to in order to find out if he can re-discover that form. Given that Patrick Patterson is seeing more minutes than Boogie, it doesn’t look like he’s going to get that chance.

To baseball, where the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the Padres over the weekend. It was a much hyped series that lived up to the excitement. Even though the Padres won yesterday, for all the talk that the Padres are ready to challenge the Dodgers for the division, they are just 5-11 against LA since the start of last season. Zack McKinstry has become Joc Pederson + Kike Hernandez, except with pants that aren’t quite as tight. The starting pitching has been sensational, and for all the talk about Kenley Jansen, he and the bullpen have been good enough. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, but right now I have no reason to believe the Dodgers are not the team to beat in the MLB, especially with Mookie making plays like this.

Tough weekend for the Angels. The Twins screwed it up for them by not following COVID protocols, so two of their games got cancelled. At least that gives Shohei Ohtani more time to get right before his next start. The 6-man rotation seems to be working out ok so far. What doesn’t seem to be working out though is Albert Pujols. The Halos would be wise to start “social distancing” themselves from Pujols, and start using Jared Walsh as much as possible. Walsh is clearly a more capable all-around player right now, not to mention the first baseman of the future. Knowing Arte Moreno though, he’s probably yelling at Joe Maddon to play Pujols more because he believes he can sell more merchandise with Pujols like it’s 2010.

The LA Kings are returning to becoming a sad and disappointing franchise again. Remember when the Kings won a pair of Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014? Now there’s only four players remaining from that run, after Jeff Carter was traded last week. Rebuilding for any franchise is ok, but there is no end in sight to this rebuild. The Kings have by far the best farm system in hockey, with so much depth, they don’t even have space in the organization for more draft picks. However, they refuse to put those high end young players in their lineup to develop them, and they also refuse to trade any of them to get their remaining veterans help. I don’t know if anybody has told the Kings, but they play in Los Angeles, where this kind of extensive rebuilding crap isn’t tolerated by fans. We’ll miss you Jeff Carter, and I’m sure all the ladies in LA will miss you too.

Finally, I can’t believe some of you actually paid for that UFC Fight over the weekend. After losing to Jake Paul in less than a minute, Ben Askren should announce his retirement, then move somewhere nobody will ever recognize him again. If Nate Robinson saw that, he had to smile and get a good laugh knowing that he lasted longer vs Paul than Askren. I wonder what Uber Driver Paul is going to fight next? Here’s a look at the money all you UFC fans spent on that fight….

Monday Morning Coffee

April 12, 2021

I’m not going to be that guy. I’m not going to be the guy that sits here and tells you that the Lakers are that much better than the Nets because they blew them out without AD and Lebron. I’m not going to tell you that because the Nets were missing their own top 10 player, and had their best player on a minutes restriction. However, it’s encouraging to see the Lakers treading water without their stars. They’ve slipped to 5th in the West, but if they beat the Knicks tonight, they’ll improved to 6-6 without their two stars, which is way more than anybody could have asked for. I’m still super nervous about the two of them getting fully healthy again, but if they do, you have to like their chances in the playoffs against anybody. On a different note though, I have no idea what NBA referees are thinking. They’ve been ejecting players left and right for the past week like it’s Major League Baseball. We’ve reached the point where star players are getting ejected for some minor trash talking, and during nationally televised games? Apparently nobody has told these clowns that the ratings are down.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are winning but they have their own set of injuries they have to deal with. Serge Ibaka is still out of the lineup, and now Patrick Beverley is missing with a broken hand. Beverley and Rajon Rondo need to be in bubble wrap for the rest of the regular season to preserve them for the playoffs. These guys just can’t keep themselves healthy for an extended period of time. However, their effectiveness will solely be judged by how they perform in the playoffs. The same can be said for Paul George, who is tearing it up again for the time being. This team will only go as far as Paul George and Kawhi Leonard take them. Charles Barkley is apparently not a believer in them though. Barkley is wildly entertaining, but he could probably only say this kind of stuff on TNT, or else he would get fired at a place like ESPN.

To baseball, where the Dodgers swept the Nationals over the weekend. They are off to another great start, but their closer role remains a puzzling issue. Yesterday, Jansen looked as dominant as three years, shutting down the Nationals on 8 pitches in the 9th, and throwing up to 95 MPH to get the save. Coming into Sunday though, Kenley Jansen had appeared in only 3 games, and given up one run, with one blown save. After that one blown save, it felt like Dave Roberts was doing everything he could to tactfully divorce himself from having Jansen as his closer. Every word that came out of Roberts mouth sounds like a guy who is trying to break up with his long-time girlfriend. Pretty soon he’s going to be saying “it’s not you…’s me.” Yesterday showed us that the Dodgers shouldn’t write off Kenley yet, but I also think they need other options in their back pocket. I don’t buy that those options are Corey Knebel, Blake Treinen, or Victor Gonzales. Those guys are nice back end bullpen arms, but not closers. If they aren’t going to make one of their young arms a closer, by the trade deadline, the Dodgers might need to go get themselves a proven one.

As for the Angels, it’s only been a week, but I’ve been impressed with their pitching. Although Jose Quintana got bombed on Saturday night, nearly every game they’ve played in this season has featured a quality start. Tough news for Dexter Fowler that he’s out for the season with a torn ACL. He’s older, but glad to hear he sounds determined to come back strong and resume his MLB career. Also, a savvy move by Joe Maddon getting ejected on Saturday. He probably just wanted to see the 3rd round of the Masters in the clubhouse while his team was getting blown out. It’s that kind of work life balance we should all strive to achieve.

It’s been a week since UCLA basketball was eliminated in the Final Four, but the city is still buzzing over the Bruins. Gonzaga ended up losing to Baylor in the Finals, but let’s be real. It was really UCLA that defeated The Zags, because they had nothing left against the Bears. Meanwhile, Mick Cronin is worried the team is going to lose some toughness because some guys are posting photos on IG of their puppies. Don’t worry Mick, I think your guys won’t ever lose that with you coaching the team. Cronin got a well-deserved extension last week. Now his challenge is going to be finding enough minutes next season for a team that could potentially return everybody, plus add two more five-star freshman. That’s an embarrassment of riches, but also makes me think a few of these guys won’t come back because they know there aren’t enough minutes to go around. In any case, the Bruins should be really good next year, and they reminded us that they can still captivate Southern California. Now if only Martin Jarmond can fix the football program.

On the other side of town, the USC Football team had an imposter attending it’s spring football practices up until recently. A homeless man snuck into USC practice, then posed as a football player for several days before being arrested. The imposter even shared a jacuzzi with players, and a team meal, before he was caught trying to field punts. How did this guy make it past security? This was truly a “Catch Me If You Can” moment. As I’ve tried to tell you guys for years, anybody can get into USC! If the homeless guy was really sharp though, he would have tried to impersonate Clay Helton. Nobody can tell the difference between him and a guy who knows nothing about football.

Finally, congratulations to Hideki Matsuyama on winning the Masters yesterday. He’s the first Japanese player to win a major tournament. The man was so dominant, he made the entire weekend boring, with the exception of the last couple of holes. The drama ended though when Xander Schauffle collapsed on the 16th hole. Makes sense…..these kinds of implosions only happen to San Diego, which is where he’s from.
Will Zalatoris looks like the caddy in Happy Gilmore. He even got some well wishes from Adam Sandler on Twitter because of the striking resemblance. No matter how hard you try to sell it, the tournament just isn’t the same without Tiger Woods. Golf can try to sell us Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, or Dustin Johnson all the want, but it’s just not the same. Here’s to hoping we’ll see Tiger back on the course at some point captivating us.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 5, 2021

Saturday night was a reminder of what sports is sometimes: 99% kicks to the balls and 1% glory. If you’re a sports fan in SoCal, sometimes it feels like there’s a lot more glory than most, but not on Saturday night when UCLA lost at the buzzer to Gonzaga in the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. The real pain is that reality finally hit everyone that the Bruins actually could have won this game and won a National Championship. They would have done it losing their two best players. Instead, it turned out to be the most painful and heroic loss in school history. I had my Adam Morrison crying tweets ready. Instead, I was crying. I blame this on Chip Kelly. He showed up to watch the game, which explains why nobody could play defense. The biggest underdog ever in The Final Four just delivered one of the greatest college games of all-time. It’s just a shame they came up on the wrong end of it. The referees didn’t do them any favors throughout the game either. Nevertheless, although the circumstances are a bit different, UCLA feels like it did at the end of the Final Four under Ben Howland. They have a program who has someone in charge who can sustain excellence, which had been missing previously. When you combine that along with the respect they earned from the nation, that’s something to feel really good about.

Elsewhere around March Madness, Baylor should be arrested for assault and battery after what they did to Houston in the semi-finals. It’s like the Houston Cougars turned into the Houston Texans once the game tipped-off. It’s no wonder Miley Cyrus was singing “Wrecking Ball” after the game. Speaking of Miley, there were probably a bunch of young people explaining to their parents who she is, and a bunch of parents explaining to their kids what songs she was singing. Not sure how the NCAA landed on her. I mean, they could have paid an actual cover band to perform these songs for a lot less. Then again, asking the NCAA to manage a budget, is like asking Enron to do your taxes.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are still trying to tread water with Lebron James and Anthony Davis nursing injuries, and now Andre Drummond. They got crushed like a grape by the Clippers yesterday. Meanwhile, Marc Gasol is complaining that he’s about to be demoted since the Lakers signed Drummond, and even suggested he might want out. However, I think Gasol is being short-sighted here. There’s still a role for him. Anthony Davis doesn’t like playing center. Gasol is also a better fit with the 2nd unit with ‘Trez occupying the post, so he can create space, as well as cover up defensively for what ‘Trez might lack. Of course this all could have been avoided if Lebron had just promised Gasol a role in Space Jam 2. I can just imagine him getting asked by every one of his teammates if they can be in that movie over the last couple of years. As for the team, I still think the Lakers have a ways to go before they slide all the way to the play-in tournament, as most people seem to think will happen. In fact, if the Lakers can get Lebron and AD back by the middle of April, I think they have a decent chance to make a run at one of the top 2 seeds, which is a more likely scenario than sliding all the way to the 7th seed.

The Clippers blowout win against the Lakers yesterday keeps them clinging to 3rd in the West. The Morris Brothers went up against each other again, or I guess I should say “The Morii” faced each other, which feels like an episode of an 80’s sitcom about two twin basketball players. The Clips are also expected to add Demarcus Cousins on a 10-Day contract, which is an interesting addition. It blows my mind that less than 4 years ago this guy was the best center in the league, and now he can barely get a 10-day contract from a team. He can definitely still give teams a big game from time-to-time. However, the real question the Clips have to be asking themselves is about Paul George. Coming into Sunday, in his last 8 games he’s shooting under 40% from the field and 34% from 3. Those numbers are far from what he was putting up when he claimed he was “back with vengeance” earlier in the season. George claims he still needs to figure out how to play through foot pain, from the bone edema he suffered earlier in the season. The only problem is, nobody knows how much of this is George really nursing an injury, vs an early showing from “Playoff P”. Especially when you see plays like this….

To baseball, where the Dodgers took 3 out of 4 from the Rockies to open the season. The offense looked sharp and they didn’t even rely on the the home run. That’s amazing because in Colorado, teams usually rely on the home run like Charlie Sheen relies on Tequila to get him through the weekend. The starting pitching also cleaned itself up after an ugly spring training. I’m not even worried about Clayton Kershaw, who may have given up runs on Thursday, but was just a victim of some fluky hits that weren’t hit very hard. However, I don’t understand why the Dodgers are putting Kenley Jansen in a 5-out save situation like it’s the 2015 playoffs. Not only is it 2021 where the Dodgers have a real bullpen, but this is also just the 3rd game of the season when this took place. I’m beginning to wonder if Dave Roberts wants Jansen to fail so he can find an excuse to move on from him. Jansen did fine, but I suppose only time will tell.

Apparently Joe Maddon must have been taking managing advice from Dave Roberts, because he also tried to get his new closer to record a 5-out save just a couple of days into the season. This time it didn’t work out so well, but the Angels still won and took 3 of 4 from the White Sox. Not only was Shohei Ohtani very good yesterday, but the Angels starting pitching was pretty good for three of the first four games. It’s pretty obvious the Halos are going to score runs. If they get that kind of pitching, making the postseason becomes a much bigger reality. That’s as long as they don’t throw the ball around the yard like little leaguers like they did last night. Thank goodness Ohtani was ok after that collision at home plate. Also, I can’t believe Tony La Russa is still managing. This guy is so old, I’m beginning to wonder if he was wearing a diaper underneath his pants last night when he was walking to the mound. It sure looked like it. He must be extremely bored and had to come back to work. Here’s a look at Jared Walsh’s walk-off homer to win-it last night.

Finally, there’s noise around the Chargers potentially selling the team. Dea Spanos, one of the four Spanos siblings, has filed a suit to try and compel the rest of the family to sell. It’s really amazing to me that the Spanos has managed to rack up $353 million in debt (even though it’s real estate related), since the NFL basically hands each team a check at the beginning of the year that covers all their expenses. This story has to be like porno for any Charger fan that is praying for new ownership. To me the lawsuit sounds like Dea trying to woo a big investor like Jeff Bezos to come up with a monster offer like $10 billion to buy out her and the entire trust. There’s no way the rest of the Spano family could come up with that kind of money. The same thing happened in Miami with the ownership of the Dolphins a few years ago. Still, there is a lot of noise that even if a sale of the team doesn’t happen now, it could very well happen in the next couple of years according to those that know Dean Spanos well. If nothing else, this should be the feel good part of the story for anybody that is still a Charger fan.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 29th, 2021

What a ride it is for UCLA Basketball! If I told you two weeks ago that this team was going to be in the Elite 8 you would have thought I was smoking crack. That game is going to be referred to as “The Shorts Game”. I think it’s safe to say John Petty’s shorts were an L for the Tide. Alabama shot free throws like DeAndre Jordan all game, which gave a big break to UCLA. However, the mental and physical toughness that Mick Cronin has instilled in his squad is amazing. ‘Bama was quicker and more athletic, but UCLA has guys like Jamie Jaquez that seem like football players playing basketball. I thought the Bruins couldn’t recover when the Tide hit that 3-pointer to send it to OT. Turns out it was just me that couldn’t recover. They did all this with no Chris Smith, and no Jalen Hill. They also did this without Daishen Nix, their top recruit, who was stolen by the NBA G-League after committing. Mick Cronin has every right to complain about that like he did last week, because Nix had already committed to the Bruins when he reneged. Cronin was on a roll last week too, and might as well have sounded like Rodney Dangerfield, describing the disrespect UCLA and the entire Pac-12 have gotten all season. That’s absolutely true but no matter what happens against Michigan tomorrow, UCLA should feel pretty good about the group they have and the identity that Cronin is bringing to the program.

Elsewhere around the NCAA Tournament, USC took down Oregon, and I think they actually have a shot to beat Gonzaga. The only question is whether or not Trojan alums will realize they have a team in the tournament before it’s over. After that huge run can you believe Oral Roberts lost on that last second rim job? That blows. Syracuse needed Carmelo Anthony to re-enroll in school to beat Houston. The Pac-12 should be sending Oregon State a thank you note after beating Loyola Chicago. That’s $6.72 million in NCAA units that will be distributed to everyone in the conference. With that half million dollars, ASU can build the new porn department they’ve always wanted, while USC and UCLA can finally afford to fire their football coaches.

To the NBA, where the Lakers are trying to stay afloat with Lebron James and Anthony Davis out for extended time. If the Lakers keep losing, Frank Vogel might lose his mind and dye his hair blonde like Kyle Kuzma. Even though they won the last two games, they have been so sloppy that the fake crowd at Staples Center should have had a refund. Ultimately, this team needs Lebron and AD back or else they are toast, but you can say the same thing about any team that loses their two best players. That’s why I think the Lake Show was smart to not do anything crazy at the trade deadline. I like Kyle Lowry, but he’s 35 years old, and I wouldn’t give up THT in a package for him, even if the Raptors threw in Drake. Rob Pelinka knows what he’s doing, and he showed it by signing Andre Drummond, which fills a big defensive need. Not sure what took Drummond so long though to decide. I think he was just trying to squeeze free dinners and lunches out of the Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, and Hornets. He’s also a decent offensive option with Lebron and AD out, but clearly none of the teams chasing him saw him do this…..

As for the Clippers, they made a bit a splash at the deadline by acquiring Rajon Rondo from the Hawks for Lou Williams. Let’s start with Rondo, who currently may seem old, injury prone, and unmotivated, but we said the same thing about him last year before the playoffs started. If “Playoff Rondo” shows up, it gives the Clippers exactly what they’ve been missing: a guard who can create, a good leader, and a high IQ player. As for Lou Williams, trading him impacts both basketball clubs, as well as The Gold Club. This dude was probably going to retire until he found out that he was going back home for some Lemon Pepper Wings, and high quality strip clubs. In all seriousness though, as good as Lou was for the Clippers prior to this season, both sides seemed like they were ready for a change of scenery. Lou was being phased out of the rotation, and after last season’s chicken wing fiasco, he seemed like a questionable locker room fit from that point on. The Clippers are a much less deep team than they were last year, but they’ve gotta hope their chemistry is better come playoff time.

The NBA trade deadline proved to be more entertaining than I thought. I love how NBA Twitter is acting like it’s 2011, and that Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, and DeAndre Jordan are still All-Stars. I’m not sure if any of those fans have seen those three play basketball of late, but it’s not pretty. The Rockets were prepared to trade Victor Oladipo for a stimulus check and one of Jimmy Butler’s old socks. Meanwhile, the Magic were busy trading so many players, their fans are about to demand a trade in the off-season.

I’m not sure if anybody noticed but the Dodger pitchers have been taking a beating for the last couple of weeks of Spring Training. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Trevor Bauer have all been thrashed like rag dolls. Hopefully these guys, especially Trevor Bauer, start pitching with their eyes open. I’m a little concerned, but I’m also going to chalk this up to a little arm fatigue and lack of focus in in these tune up starts. Since the season is starting next week, my expectation is that the pitching will be as elite as we expect it to be.

Those LA Times columnists really need to stop drinking when they write their articles. Mike Digiovanna picked the Angels to win the AL West this season. He is citing the fact that Shohei Ohtani will be an X-Factor, while the Astros and A’s have lost too much. Apparently Mike hasn’t seen the Angels pitching, because it’s far worse than anything the A’s and Astros are going to throw out there this season. The Halos have an outside shot of making a Wild Card spot because they have Mike Trout, but unless Ohtani turns into a combination of Nolan Ryan and Barry Bonds, they are probably going to miss the playoffs again. I also love the story about the Angel fan that saved another fan from getting hit by a foul ball during a spring training game by using a beer as a shield. The Angels rewarded the fan by sending more beer to that section, but I’m sure Arte demanded that his staff send only Coors Light to save on costs, like he always tries to do.

Finally, last week Pepsi announced that they are partnering with the marshmallow brand, Peeps, on a limited edition soda. First of all, Peeps are absolutely sticky and disgusting, and there are far superior Easter candies: Cadbury Eggs, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs, among others. Second of all, a Peeps flavored Pepsi is nothing more than diabetes in a can. This has to be the worst idea ever, and there can’t possibly be any demand for this drink. More importantly though, for you marketers out there in various industries, this should serve as a reminder that no matter what your ideas are, they can’t be worse than this.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 22, 2021

Suddenly, things are looking up for the UCLA Bruins basketball team. UCLA stumbled into the NCAA tournament like Joe Biden trying to board Air Force One. Now they are suddenly dripping with self-confidence after a clutch win against Michigan State, and a solid win over BYU. There isn’t a single future NBA player on this team, but that doesn’t matter. Mick Cronin has them believing that if they can play hard defensively, share the ball, and attack their opponents constantly on offense, they will have a chance to win every game. He’s making the Bruin fans believe that too. I actually hate the fact they are favored today against Abilene Christian, because it gives Cronin ammunition to fire up his team as a disrespected underdog. Nevertheless, if the Bruins can pull off the victory today, an appearance in the Sweet 16 is something to feel really good about in this super weird, injury and Covid plagued season.

Elsewhere around the NCAA Tournament, it turns out the Pac-12 is actually really good at basketball, and that nobody really stays up to watch their games. PAC-12 teams are undefeated since the First Four began on Thursday. USC is suddenly a dark horse to get to the Final Four with Evan Mobley on their squad, and they should beat Kansas today as well, who is as overrated as KC BBQ . Then there’s Ohio State, who got Oral and still lost, as in Oral Roberts. I’m old enough to remember when everyone thought the Big 10 had the best college ball in the country. Looks like Texas gave up basketball for Lent. Too bad nobody told them you are supposed to give up things that are bad for you, rather than things you are bad at. I think my favorite part of the tournament so far was watching Wichita State take a 30 footer at the buzzer when they need a 2-pointer and a timeout. This tournament is Gonzaga’s to win until further notice. At this point we are all probably using our bracket’s as toilet paper.

I think it’s probably time to be concerned about the Lakers. Lebron is now out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain, and after seeing that on Saturday, Laker fans are probably blackout drunk. This was already getting dicey with Anthony Davis out, along with other rotation guys in and out of the lineup. Now the Lakers will be lucky to tread water until Lebron and AD come back, and that’s assuming they are able to come back. There’s still 28 games left in the regular season, so nearly two months, but the Lakers need to make sure they don’t free fall to lower than the 7th seed. Then they’ll be forced to play in a play-in tournament. That will cause fans more anxiety than trying to find a parking spot in downtown LA. I’m sure the Lakers are hoping they can sign Andre Drummond. Sure that would be nice, but for the time being, they need the likes of Kyle Kuzma, KCP, and Talen Horton- Tucker to step and and help them win games. That’s going to be a big change for KCP who has mastered the art of getting some good cardio in these games of late, and nothing more.

As for the Clippers, now there’s rumors around Lonzo Ball possibly being traded to LA. This sounds like a rumor that came directly from Lavar Ball, who is probably feverishly trying to end his American Airlines Frequent Flyer program, and get all his kids back to playing ball in LA. Sure Lonzo would be nice, but I don’t see why the Pelicans would trade him, let alone to a Clipper team that doesn’t have the draft capital they would want in return. I still think the Clips have a shot at Kyle Lowry though. The Raptors claim they are aren’t going to move him, but Wells Fargo also told you your stimulus check was already in your account. If the Raptors continue to sink like the Titanic, they could change their mind before this week’s trade deadline. However, if the Clippers can’t come up with another playmaking guard before playoff time, they should be feeling uneasy about the chances.

The Rams needed a deep threat and they got it. Ok, it wasn’t Kenny Golladay. It was a much older but cheaper deep threat in DeSean Jackson. The good news is that Jackson is always one play away from taking it to the house. The bad news is he’s always one play away from pulling a hamstring and being out for the season. The Rams were never going to end up with Randy Moss as their deep threat, and free agents always have their warts in the NFL, so this isn’t a bad option. They just need to keep him in bubble wrap to keep him healthy, and make sure he doesn’t get tackled.

Another week to go before the MLB season is upon us. The Dodgers are looking good in Spring Training, and so is Kenley Jansen. Funny because everybody is looking for every excuse to write this guy off, pretending like he’s incapable of closing a hot dog stand at this point in his career. However, Kenley still deserves every shot to be the Dodger closer this year. If he falters, the Dodgers will come up with other options as they successfully did last year. Nevertheless, he might still have more in the tank than you think.

As for the Angels, it blows my mind that people are ready to pay hundreds of dollars to go see the Halos play baseball in a reduced capacity Anaheim Stadium. Are we this desperate for baseball that we want to see a team with no pitching that will be out of contention in one week? I guess people are that tired of the pandemic. Dylan Bundy is still the best pitcher in their rotation, but something tells me he might revert to being Al Bundy once the season starts. What he did last year feels like somewhat of a flash in the pan. Mike Trout is going to be brilliant as always, but the Halos have given us nothing to believe that we’re going to see some breakout from a young hidden prospect their scouting department uncovered. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong, but don’t count on it.

Finally, the season finale of The Bachelor went down last week. It turns out that Matt really just needed therapy all along instead of going on The Bachelor. Michelle was savage in that episode and rightfully so. However, she and Katie got the golden ticket from Matt by becoming the next Bachelorettes. I’m surprised in all her honesty she didn’t give her true opinion about his beard. RIP to all the turtle necks that we saw Matt wearing this season. The fact he didn’t even try to get engaged was just a waste of time, as was talking to the guy who shows him the rings. Matt’s mom couldn’t even fake it for him. She said “feelings fade.” Matt’s brother also looks like Colin Kaepernick. Props to Emmanuel Acho, who did an amazing job and asked great questions we all wanted to know. He made it an educational experience. I just wish he asked Matt why he couldn’t find a suit that fits him. The Bachelor franchise really stepped in it though. They tried to create a more inclusive experience for the audience, which is admirable, but in the process they pissed off all those people, as well as other people that were fans of the show previously. I’m not sure where they go from here, but it’s going to be an uphill climb.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 15, 2021

The Lakers began the second half of the season on Friday, and despite the win, it looked much like the way they played in the first half. A slow start, and questionable engagement and energy at times. I still think the Lakers will be fine as long as they can get Anthony Davis healthy by the playoffs. That would make the Lakers the favorites to win a title, and get Lebron the ring he needs to get closer to Jordan, and tie J-Lo after she gets a ring from A-Rod. There’s also been too much talk around buyout additions for the Lakers and other teams. A buyout addition might help you win a playoff game or two, but everyone is pretending like the addition of one of these players will be like adding an All-Star. I will admit, LaMarcus Aldridge is interesting, but he’s not going to be a 30-minute per game player. I’m sure Magic wants to re-join the Laker front office for a week just to sign Aldridge, then leave again as a middle finger to Jim Buss. Ultimately, even if the Lakers can get Aldridge or Andre Drummond, we’re talking about somebody that’s going to play 15 minutes a game. If Anthony Davis is healthy, he’s going to absorb more of those minutes anyway. Also, prayers up for Jared Dudley, who tore his MCL over the weekend. He’s an important leader and locker room presence for the team, so hopefully nothing changes in that regard.

As for the Clippers, they really took a beating last night against the Pelicans. Kawhi is probably looking into how he can renew his Canadian work visa after that one. Actually, one of the most under reported stories around the Clips is Kawhi Leonard’s upcoming free agency this summer. Almost nobody is talking about it. Maybe it’s because Kawhi seemed so determined to play at home in Southern California, so some might ask why he would leave. Or maybe it’s because Kawhi doesn’t actually talk, so nobody knows how he really feels about being with the Clippers long-term. Nobody really knows how he feels about Paul George bricking shots against the backboard in big games, Ty Lue, or the fact the Clippers don’t have a point guard. All we know is he said he’s “concerned”, after last night. All of this is relevant because it could dictate what the Clippers do at the trade deadline. If they feel confident Kawhi isn’t going anywhere, we probably won’t see anything from them at the deadline. If not, the Clippers could try to make a move for the likes of Kyle Lowry or even Victor Oladipo. Also, this was a classic Kawhi interview last week.

To Spring Training where the Dodgers are looking good. Do you realize that last week, Clayton Kershaw gave up his first run in Spring Training in four years? I’m sure some Twitter trolls are thinking this is a sign of his deterioration, but it isn’t. It’s actually a reminder of his greatness. He also didn’t allow another run in the three innings after that, so it’s still been a solid couple of outings for him. So much talk about which Dodger pitchers are starting vs coming out of the bullpen, but I don’t really think it matters much. This is going to be a full 162-game season, so there’s plenty of starts available for every one of these guys. That’s much needed for a team that pitched into late October last year.

The Angels just made their best off-season move of the last five years. Unfortunately, it’s not a pitcher. It’s actually not even somebody that’s going to help them on the field. It’s somebody that will help them in the broadcast booth. Matt Vasgersian will be joining the Angels 3-man broadcast team. He’s a great guy, and a star broadcaster. I’m actually surprised he was in the Angels price range, given how good of a broadcaster he is, and how much of a cheap skate Arte Moreno is. He he counted against the luxury tax this would have never happened. Nevertheless, this will significantly improve the broadcast quality of the Halo games. Now if only they could improve the quality of the product on the field.

The good news is that UCLA Basketball is beating COVID. The bad news is that they aren’t beating anything else. The Bruins have lost four in a row, and are stumbling into the NCAA Tournament. They’ll be playing in the first four against Michigan State. I wouldn’t be surprised if they take a beating in that game. The frustrating part of this is that in the last four critical games, they blew leads, failed to execute down the stretch, and their offense disappeared like the stimulus check when it hits your bank account. I get that this team has injuries and is missing it’s heavy hitters, but all of these games have been winnable. I have zero confidence it’s going to get fixed in the tournament this week, because the team probably has zero confidence in their ability to make plays down the stretch. Still, I refuse to believe that Mick Cronin is a poor-man’s Ben Howland. We haven’t seen Cronin with elite talent yet, and I believe it’s coming. Ben Howland had elite talent, and in his final few years as UCLA coach, his squads looked about as competitive as this team does.

Are you ready to fill out your NCAA Bracket this week now that March Madness is upon us? Don’t bother spending 45 minutes on the bracket like you usually do though. Your mom will probably finish higher than you by picking winners based on who has the cutest mascot. Plus the guy who makes 14 different brackets will probably finish ahead of you, as will the girl who picked her entire bracket in 9 seconds. Do we even really know who the elite teams are in College Basketball anymore? Do we even know who the elite players are anymore? Are there any elite players? Sadly, this season USC might actually have a shot to get to the Final Four, and they have one of the best players in the country in Evan Mobley. Too bad the only thing on USC alums mind right now is how they can get Clay Helton fired. I’m not even sure they realize they have a basketball team.

The Grammy’s went down last night on CBS. It’s my favorite award show of the year because we get to enjoy the musical performances in addition to the awards. Dua Lipa killed it with her performance. She had Bad Bunny grooving to it. Beyoncé is going to end up with the most Grammy’s of all-time before her career is over. Post Malone pulled up to the Grammys like he used to be undefeated at WrestleMania. I’m not some huge Taylor Swift fan, but I respect her music, her star power, as well as the loyalty she has for her fans. Her not winning a Grammy at this point feels like it just violates the laws of nature. She’ll probably win Album of The Year next year too.

Finally, the season finale of The Bachelor airs tonight on ABC. Last week was really disappointing for most viewers. Rachel got a date with fireworks and her own house? That was favoritism at it’s finest. Plus, she got all that after spending the entire episode whining about Matt spending time with other girls. Overall though, that episode was boring, and Rachel’s dates were even more boring. Way to send Bri home on International Women’s Day, while keeping the racist around Matt! Bri is probably driving back to her office to ask for her job back right about now. Low key, the Bachelor producers are pretty savage for making Matt and his dad have that awkward conversation on TV. They absolutely did not need to turn the volume levels up for that oatmeal mushing scene. I’m horrified about Matt and Michelle’s skin after taking a butter bath. Even people from Pennsylvania are totally ok with never having a butter massage and milk bath at their spa day. The butter Matt used for Bri’s breakfast was probably the leftover ones from Michelle’s date. Matt has an identity crisis. He’s three different people with three different women. We’ll find out how it all ends tonight, even though we really already know. As for Chris Harrison, ABC really hasn’t made it clear if him not hosting The Bachelorette next season is just a temporary hiatus or not. As I’ve mentioned before, I hope it is temporary, because that actually will go further in improving the way people view diversity, and how they can understand it better.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 8, 2021

Team Lebron took down Team Durant in the NBA All-Star Game last night. I’m surprised Kevin Durant didn’t demand a trade to Lebron’s team at halftime. Lebron’s team was ridiculous, while KD drafted a team that might take the Lakers to 7 games. Lebron should have just changed into street clothes and sat the second half on the bench. He was pretty much done with the game after giving us a reverse dunk early on. Dame and Steph are aliens from outer space. It amazes me that any player could be that confident shooting from near half court on a consistent basis. Rudy Gobert just laying it up in an All-Star game is why people hate the Utah Jazz. Kyrie Irving going 100 mph while Kawhi just wanting to get the game over with is a hilarious contrast to watch on the same team. Kawhi also hates any game in which Doc Rivers is coaching him. Not sure who has a worse defense: Team Durant, Team Lebron, or Team Cuomo? Steph Curry was a delight in the three-point contest, but the dunk contest just didn’t have the names in it despite some nice finishes. I wasn’t into the whole weekend coming in, but they put on a good show.

There’s been tons of noise around Blake Griffin getting bought out and if he would be a fit for the Lakers. Griffin is like one of those old vintage Nintendo games you think is going to be great, but then you can’t even get to work properly because it’s so old. Aside from that, Griffin does not fill a need for the Lake Show. They could use a rim protecting rebounder, a wing defender, and some shooting. Griffin provides none of those things. More than anything, the Lakers need health and some rest. I wouldn’t expect any additions through the buyout market to make any significant contributions. Besides, the Brooklyn Nets have more money to spend on players who are bought out, and more holes on their bench than the Lakers do.

As for the Clippers, they stumbled into the All-Star break in similar fashion to the Lakers. I found it hilarious that the Clippers also leaked that they had interest in Blake Griffin. He also has no obvious fit for the Clips, and leaking their interest felt more like Steve Ballmer extending an olive branch to Blake after he had him traded to Detroit a few years ago. Then there’s Paul George who never ceases to amaze us. He missed Thursday night’s game with dizziness from too much caffeine. Are you kidding? This dude is going from “Pandemic P” to “Percolated P”. Don’t forget him enjoying himself too much a week after Christmas like he was 10-years-old. I only thought these excuses from PG-13 came in the playoffs, but apparently they come in the regular season now too.

To baseball where Trevor Bauer looked great in his Spring Training debut for the Dodgers in Arizona. Bauer was pitching with one eye shut, and striking out opponents in the process. What’s his next trick? Pitching with one-hand tied behind his back? As long as the guy is helping the Dodgers in games and not harassing people online, I’m ok with these antics. It’s actually making the game a little more entertaining for us, which is what baseball needs. Baseball also needs fans, and the Dodgers are going to get them on April 1st with limited capacity. Since the tickets are going for about $8K each, you should be able to take your average family of four if you take out a small line of credit.

The Angels are also getting some encouraging signs from Shohei Ohtani. It’s only Spring Training, but Ohtani is showing signs of being both the superstar pitcher and hitter they thought they were getting. It’s the pitching they really need, and Ohtani is throwing hard, and effectively thus far. Whether or not he can maintain that effectiveness while staying healthy remains to be seen. The Angels also look like they will admit 20% capacity on opening day, but Arte Moreno might want to ask himself if he’d rather keep the cardboard cutouts in the seats for now. Other than Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, I’m not sure how worth it people will find it to watch this team play in person in the middle of pandemic. Moreno is probably trying to find out how he can get a stimulus check from the government for “increasing his payroll”.

What a disastrous week for UCLA Basketball. They needed to win games against Oregon and USC to win the conference. Instead, they collapsed like a college kid after partying on a Thursday night. The Bruins couldn’t make a free throw to save their lives against USC, their offense got stagnant down the stretch, and their defense let them down when it mattered most. The worst part about it was the exact same issues troubled them days earlier against Oregon. UCLA is good, but just not good enough. They’ll make the tournament, possibly win a game, and that’s about as good as they can feel. As for the Trojans, most USC alums aren’t even aware they have a basketball team, except when they beat the Bruins. If anything, UCLA probably cares more about getting another shot against them in the conference tourney than going far in the NCAA tournament.

Finally, The Bachelor’s “Women Tell All” went down last week, and another big episode is coming up tonight. I like how Abigail and Katie were put on the hot seat during the last episode, when it was the other girls that were causing problems. Never thought i would ask myself if I like the women in Peter’s season more than the women in Matt’s season. I still can’t believe these girls are mad at Katie for calling them out for bullying. My favorite part of the last episode was when Anna said Chicago was a “small town”. That’s a real “Miss Teen South Carolina Moment”. Matt’s beard is amazing. It’s like he lost track of of time and still thinks it’s Movember. I have no idea why he was being apologetic toward Victoria than Abigail. Victoria’s acting in the episode should put her in line for an Emmy. She is like the person at the wedding who everyone gets nervous about when they are handed the microphone. They really did Heather dirty by practically giving her a seat in the studio audience section. I wish there was a live audience there so we could hear some boos for these terrible women. Brittany got more screen time on the Women Tell All than she did throughout the actual season. I like how Chris acted like we all cared about Pieter and were shocked by her exit. I’m beginning to wonder if Matt and Michelle participated in the Capitol insurrection for their final date?

Monday Morning Coffee

March 1st, 2021

The Lakers have looked good the last two games. Even though they dropped the hammer on the Warriors last night, this time of year is a coming out party for Laker haters. There’s bad news for those folks. The Lakers snapped a four game losing streak on Friday by winning against the Blazers. They were missing 2 of their 3 best players over that losing streak. We are two months into the season, and the defending champions had the shortest off-season in NBA history. You may recall two months into last season, they lost four in a row as well. These are the dog days of the season for a defending champion. For weeks the Lakers have looked like they would rather be home drinking wine, slamming pizza, and watching Netflix, rather than playing in these games. They’ve also been shooting like crap. After all that, they still have the second best record in the league, and the best defense in the league. If there’s one thing to be concerned about, it’s Lebron’s minutes. I’m glad he got to rest in the 4th quarter last night. I realize he wants to win MVP, but he knows that winning titles matters more than anything. Chain this guy to the bench at times to prevent him from being his own worst enemy. Other than that, the Lakers will be fine. As for last night’s broadcast on ESPN, Richard Jefferson’s commentary is gold. I could listen to this guy give his thoughts on street traffic. ESPN is lucky to have a funny talent like him, because they are running out of them.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are still hovering around 3rd place in the West after losing to the Bucks, but the trade rumors are still buzzing. ESPN’s Marc Spears is reporting that they are looking to acquire a veteran point guard by the March 25th trade deadline. Eric Bledsoe, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Lowry seem to be the names that are coming up in these rumors. Ball is probably out of their price range, and while Bledsoe can be had, it would be like just ordering a chicken salad when you’re at a steakhouse. Lowry is the prize. He’d be a great fit, the Raptors need to get something for him before he hits free agency, and the Clippers have just enough pieces to get him. They would have to give up Terrance Mann since they have no picks, but have the salary to match with Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, and maybe even Ivica Zubac. The Clips are still a contender, but without a move, there’s a lot riding on the shoulders of both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Spring Training is underway! That means the defending World Series Champion LA Dodgers have begun Spring Training Games. One thing I’m keeping an eye on is the closer situation. As of now Kenley Jansen is the Dodger closer, and rightfully so. However, Jansen is in the last year of his deal, and I can’t see him coming back after this season. That means the Dodgers need to go get themselves a closer in free agency, or groom one. Since investing in a free agent closer is usually about as bad of an investment as investing in GameStop stock, developing one is more ideal. I think the man for the job is Dustin May. His stuff is so good, if he told the hitters what he was about to throw, most of them wouldn’t be able to hit it anyway. He also throws heat. Even by putting May in the closer role, the Dodgers still have plenty of starting pitching options: Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Julio Urias, David Price, and younger arms behind them as well. It’s an embarrassment of riches that every other team envies, but this is one way to take full advantage of it.

As for the Angels, Albert Pujols and his wife have been making headlines with questions about his retirement. It felt like his contract would never end, but mercifully, this is the final season of his 10-year $240 million contract. However, Pujols told reporters that he has not decided if he wants to continue playing or not after this season. I don’t think the Angels care if he continues playing after this season, but it can’t be for them. Aside from the fact the Angels could use the money freed up from Pujols to spend on pitching, they also need to give every opportunity to some younger players to develop at first base. With Pujols around, he takes away from that, and at this point in his career, should be nothing more than a DH anyway. Knowing Arte Moreno though, we shouldn’t be shocked if he re-signs him.

To College Basketball, where March Madness is nearly upon us. The UCLA Bruins basketball program is in the mix for a tournament spot and has a big week ahead of them. Despite losing to Colorado on Saturday, the Bruins are hanging on to 1st place in the PAC-12. They’ve got big showdowns at home with Oregon and USC this week. They’ll probably need to win both games to finish in 1st. UCLA had more turnovers than Betty Crocker on Saturday, but they’ve gotta feel good about the fact they are shooting it better, and playing better defense than we’ve seen in recent weeks. They may not have stars, but they can still grind out some wins in all these big games they have this month.

I was both saddened and relieved when I heard about Tiger Woods car accident last week. I was relieved because we easily could have lost another sports icon one year after losing Kobe. However, I was saddened to know how far he’s fallen personally and professionally from being on top of the golf world. This man just came off of back surgery, and was struggling to get healthy to compete regularly on the PGA Tour. Now he has to deal with recovery from a broken leg. This is also a reminder that no matter how hard golf has tried to feed us “the next star”, none of them captivate us like Tiger Woods. Golf needs Tiger Woods again, and so do we as sports fans. Everybody should be cheering for that.

Anybody watch the Golden Globes last night? I needed to see it to humanize myself from COVID fatigue. Except it didn’t help all the Zoom fatigue I’m experiencing, since everybody was remote. I loved the SNL reunion they had with Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Tracy Morgan. The Crown really cleaned house last night on the awards. I was happy to see The Queen’s Gambit take home a few awards as well, which is a series I really enjoyed. Ben Stiller is clearly having a a strong pandemic. He died his hair gray, and made Banana bread into the shape of a Golden Globe Award. Angel Basset is 62? It should be illegal to look that good at 62. Al Pacino sleeping at the Golden Globes is the most I’ve ever related to a celebrity. On the other hand, if only everybody could look as energized and enthusiastic as Jane Fonda did last night at 83. Jeff Daniels clearly understands that it’s not about how many awards you win, but how many doors you have in your guest room.

Since I have covered The Walking Dead so extensively on Jock Talk LA over the years, I feel the need to address it. The season premiere went down last night, as we march toward the conclusion of the series this year. This show has taken a lot of body blows the last couple of years, with many key characters that have departed. However, I’m too loyal and invested to not finish up these last 20 episodes or so. And no, I’m not into these stupid spin-off series AMC keeps trying to force down our throats. There’s probably only a handful of characters whose fate I’m interested in. One of them is Maggie (a.k.a. – Lauren Cohen), who finally returned to the show last night after a long hiatus. She also has an excellent taste in apocalyptic hats.

Finally, The Bachelor is back on ABC tonight, and there is much to discuss from last week’s episode. That episode did nothing for me other than prove Serena is an idiot. I think she was more appealing to Matt because she wasn’t completely sold on him. That was also the dumbest rose ceremony I’ve ever seen. 3 roses for 3 women? It couldn’t have been any more anti-climactic. At that point Matt was giving out roses like he was Oprah. Is this season a record number of people who have taken themselves out of the race? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody walk the Bachelor out like Serena did. He was getting sent home like he was Victoria. However, seeing that must have been sweet justice for Abigail fans, since Matt received the breakup talk he gave her last week. After Serena dropped that “you’re not my person” line, Matt is probably going to go on a series of Peloton rides to get that out of his head. I’m still not sure how Rachel didn’t break any bones on that skydive. It felt like my legs were gonna break just watching it. Just think, if we had not spent so much time watching these idiots argue, we might have actually received a back story on all these remaining women. The Women Tell all is going to feel more like a Game of Thrones battle at Kings Landing than an episode of The Bachelor. After seeing previews of Matt’s beard in future episodes, he looks more like he was spending time climbing the Himalayas looking for the Buddha, and asking “why?” That doesn’t look like somebody who found love. Then again, it’s also hard to imagine Matt not choosing Rachel in this process before it eventually doesn’t work out.

Monday Morning Coffee

February 22, 2021

Sometimes I really wonder if some of you are really under the impression the Lakers are going to win every single game. I also have come to the conclusion that if they don’t, you think the team needs major changes. Relax folks. The Lakers have been missing two of their three best players, and they have looked tired and disinterested in playing over the last few weeks. That’s understandable for a defending champion with the shortest off-season in league history. I know they are now losing to teams who wear Rainbow Bright pajamas, but they are still tied for the 2nd best record in the league. The Lakers didn’t just lose the ability to shoot all of a sudden. They are tired, and they’ll get their shooting legs back in time. However, they do need help at center. Andre Drummond would be ideal, but probably is not realistic. DeMarcus Cousins is however, and can still be effective. In any case, there’s no need to jump off the Santa Monica pier because the Lakers lost two in a row.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are getting healthy, but some questions are coming up after last night’s loss to the Nets. If you know that Paul George is on a minutes restriction, how do you not save some of his minutes for the last two critical minutes of the game? Did Ty Lue just do the math wrong on his minutes count and forget to carry the one? Also, great challenge by Ty Lue when Beverley practically stabbed Jeff Green in the back, instead of saving it for that bad offensive foul call on Kawhi in the final seconds. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are playing at a higher level together this season, but their depth isn’t as good as it was last year. Lou Williams has become unplayable in crunch time, Patrick Beverley might get hurt trying to get his uniform on, and Luke Kennard can’t even crack the rotation on a $64 million contract. The Clips are doing fine, but they need more help in the backcourt. I’m just not sure how they are going to get it between now and playoff time.

To baseball where pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training last week. That means that by the time the season starts, David Price will be pitching for the first time in 19 months. When you come back from a two-week vacation, it takes you a few days to get back to being sharp at your job. Imagine coming back from 19 months off? Does this dude even remember how to pitch? He was one of the best pitchers in baseball for nearly a decade, and injuries took a toll on his performance the last few years we saw him. That means the 19 months off will either be the best thing for his career and extend it, or it will be the death of his career. Speaking of pitchers, Trevor Bauer is at it again on Twitter, this time having a Twitter beef with Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. I’m fine with the back and forth with other players, as it makes the game more entertaining. However, hopefully Bauer’s antics are limited to what you see below. Otherwise, somebody take this man’s phone away.

As for the Angels, here we are again. We’re starting spring training and asking the same questions we usually do. Will this team have enough pitching to make the playoffs? Can Shohei Ohtani stay healthy and emerge as an elite starting pitcher? Will Mike Trout have enough help around him? We’ve seen this movie multiple times before and we know how it ends, so I don’t know why we expect the results to be different. It’s like watching the opening scene in all the Jaws movies. You know someone is going to get eaten, just like you know the answers to all the questions above are no. I look forward to us pretending like the results will be different for at least the first month of the season.

UCLA basketball was sloppier than Tom Brady during a championship parade on Saturday night. It didn’t matter though. They played 35 bad minutes, 4 good minutes, and 1 perfect minute to defeat Arizona State. That put them back into a 1st place tie in the Pac-12 with USC. I can’t believe the Bruins were awarded free throws with one second left in the game on a late foul. That’s a surprising call, even for Pac-12 officials. However, perhaps the best news of the week is that UCLA got a commitment from the #1 shooting guard recruit in the country, Amari Bailey. I say perhaps because Bailey de-committed and then re-committed to UCLA. Unfortunately, there’s still time for him to change his mind two or three more times.

Finally, the Bachelor is back on ABC tonight after another eventful episode last week. I’m sorry you didn’t get to leave sooner Serena C. Heather’s time on the show lasted about as long as Ted Cruz’s visit to Cancun. Kit thought she and Matt could definitely get married, but she probably still needs to take her finals and get a permission slip signed by her parents. Props to her though because she could probably teach a class on how to be contestant just long enough to be an influencer. I’m glad we won’t have to see a “socialite” hometown date though. Way to go Matt…..Bri gives up her job for you and all you have to say is “thanks for sharing”. On the other hand, you gave Rachel a rose for God knows what reason. He is really meeting Rachel’s family next week? Is this going to be the sequel to the movie “Get Out”? I’ll never understand why people keep picking up the Rose just to send people home. After Matt sent Abigail home, I’m thinking he probably deserved Victoria. Feels like anybody getting sent home at this point is the real winner compared to all the duds that are left. You should play a drinking game where you take a shot every time Matt says “thank you for sharing that.” You would be drunk really fast. Let’s just have Katie come back to replace Chris Harrison for the final two episodes of the season. Either that or make her the next Bachelorette.

Monday Morning Coffee

February 15, 2021

I think every Laker fan is going to be holding their breath today, as they wait for the MRI results on Anthony Davis’ Achilles tendon. I’m optimistic that it’s not torn, and assuming it’s not, AD needs to be handled with extreme care. Memo to AD and training staff: no more hero crap! He doesn’t play until he’s 100% healthy. The Lakers have been going to overtime so often lately, I’m beginning to wonder if the players think they are paid hourly. Despite last night’s loss, they have been winning games, but it’s not comfortable knowing how difficult they are making their lives. They are getting themselves into big deficits early, playing down to the competition, and playing Lebron major minutes. I’m sure Lebron doesn’t care, because he wants to win MVP, and stick it to all the amateurs that didn’t vote for him last year, but that doesn’t feel like the best way to manage a 36-year old superstar in his 18th season. Thank god for the energy from Montrezl Harrell and the continued development of THT, because the Lakers need to lean more on them to get them through what are already the dog days of the season. Hopefully the Lakers don’t plan on sleep walking through the next few weeks because they’ll have to face the Nets and Jazz, and most likely without AD.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have still been winning games without Paul George. However, there’s more and more noise that they are trying to divorce themselves of both Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley. I’m sure in their dream scenario, they would somehow be able to move those two, and perhaps Ivica Zubac for Kyle Lowry. However, that’s like trying to trade a Honda Civic for a Ferrari. As much as the Clips want create “Raptors West”, they don’t have the draft capital or the young players to get a trade like that done. More than anything though, shopping Williams and Beverley feel like a desire to change the team’s locker room culture that is still somewhat awkward from last years chicken wing fiasco. The more they do that, the more likely they are to re-sign Kawhi Leonard when the season is over.

To baseball where the Dodgers put a nice little bow on their off-season by re-signing Justin Turner. That’s great for JT, and great for the Dodgers. I love the fact that they are not only going for it, but doing so with complete disregard for the luxury tax. Meanwhile, all the other cheapskate franchises in baseball won’t pay for anything. As much as I have complained about Andrew Friedman’s specific moves over the years, he gets all the credit now. However, I can’t understand those of you Dodger fans complaining like Betty Draper that the team is spending too much money, and that you can’t see them on TV. You guys must be used to abusive relationships and are comfortable with it. You can’t win if you don’t spend money. Freidman did a great job of bringing in Trevor Bauer on a contract that isn’t nearly as crazy as what we’ve seen for a Cy Young winner. Bauer’s press conference could have been a little more polished given baseball’s current climate. However, only time will tell if he’s a model citizen. The only bit of sadness you should have is hearing that Clayton Kershaw might be considering retirement when this coming season ends. I’ve always thought he could pitch into his late 30’s effectively, but he sounds like he doesn’t want to take it that far, after reading his recent quotes to the LA Times. Enjoy the greatness for however much longer we get to see it.

As for the Angels, they are missing out on a huge opportunity right now. They are desperate for pitching, and they should be calling either the Dodgers or Red Sox for some of their surplus. The Angels could easily trade for David Price and get some prospects out of it from the Dodgers for taking on that salary. The could also hit up the Red Sox, who are giving away players for day old donuts and a player to be named later at this point. Any of the pitchers they would get back would be no worse than their #3 starter. Of course, Arte Moreno is too foolish to make a deal with the Dodgers, after he admittedly made the team pull out of the Joc Peterson and Ross Stripling trade last year. The Angels might have a whole bunch of money coming off the books after this season, but there’s no good free agents to spend that money on, and definitely not any good pitchers. Their best bet is to trade for one now. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to comprehend just how badly they need pitching, and refuse to pay one cent over the luxury tax.

I don’t know what was more painful: watching the impeachment trial or watching UCLA basketball this past week. The Bruins escaped against Washington, but they are losing momentum fast in the PAC-12, and now looking like a long shot to win the conference. They are also among the blue blood programs that are not in the Top 25 this year like Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas. That hasn’t happened in 60 years. This year we should call those programs “blue balls” instead, since they are giving their fans that kind of pain. Even though star power is really lacking at all these programs, if the Bruins stand any chance of making the tournament and having a respectable showing, they are going to need Codey Riley and Jalen Hill back on the floor, and producing for them. They are also going to have to play much better defense than they have been. They only have about a month left to get their act together, so let’s hope Mick Cronin can rally the troops.

Finally, the Bachelor is back on ABC tonight, and it’s been an eventful last week for the show. Before we get to Chris Harrison, let’s talk about the last episode. Katie, we thank you for your service. We needed you. We at least deserved to see her bounce Serena C. before she went home. Her “date” with Matt was really just an excuse for him to hang out with Tyler, and get away from the drama. Matt said he saw the process work for Tyler. Apparently he didn’t watch his season at all because the process didn’t work. Comparing a vibrator to a cactus is truly the worst thing you could compare a vibrator to. Katie may not have been romantically vibing with Matt, but she was nailing the run and jump. She is also Bachelorette material. She may not have gotten Matt, but at least she sent Victoria, Anna, and MJ home, which should earn her Bachelorette in my book. Too bad Abigail and Katie were the only decent human beings among this group. For the love of God, can you please end one episode with a Rose ceremony? I love the producers trolling all these terrible girls by sending in Heather when they thought the drama was over. Tayshia should really teach her how to show up late for a season. Did the rental place really not have any other vehicles besides a mini van? Gotta love Matt giving Pieper a carnival toy after giving Rachel Louboutins. Every time Matt sits down next to one of these women, he’s grabbing legs like he’s reaching into a bucket of KFC. As for Chris Harrison, he made a mistake, and spoke insensitively by using the phrase “woke police”, when discussing the previously mentioned “Racist Rachel” from this season. However, if we’re just going to punish and fire people without letting them learn from their mistakes you won’t see any progress in society, and we’ll never really improve how people view race. Chris now has the opportunity to do that, and come back to host the show with a deeper understanding of race and people.