Category Archives: Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee

October 16, 2017

The Dodgers did what they absolutely had to do.  They won their first two home games of the NLCS.  With the next three in Chicago, the Dodgers will be fortunate just to win one, and that would be perfectly fine.  However, with Corey Seager out of the lineup for the series, the Dodgers are suddenly hitting like little leaguers.  Losing Seager means we’re going to see more of Curtis Granderson and Joc Pederson, both of whom are just terrible.  The Dodgers left so many runners in scoring position last night, it would make any fan want to throw furniture across their living room.  The pitching has held up for LA, but this series is far from over.  The Cubs have been the best team in baseball during the 2nd half of the season.   The Cubs also have some big game pitchers that may not have performed well during the regular season, but that have the ability to come up big in October.  However, with Yasiel Puig doing his best Hank Aaron impression, and Justin Turner providing the heroics, it’s hard not to like the Dodgers’ chances of getting to the World Series.  Beating Houston without Corey Seager though is another story.

The Rams not only won on the road yesterday, but their defense even made a “special celebrity guest appearance.”  This team isn’t going away.  The Rams are making us look foolish for doubting them, and suddenly, the NFC West is in more trouble than Harvey Weinstein.  Jared Goff didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he didn’t turn the ball over, and Todd Gurley continued to be productive on the ground.  I’m still baffled at why the Rams acquired Sammy Watkins.  If the team had no plans to use him, then why give up the draft pick they did for him? I think they should consider moving him at the trade deadline to get a draft pick back, since Watkins is serving as nothing more than a human pylon right now.  The Rams next game against Arizona, in London, is going to be another tough one, but there’s no reason to think they can’t find the win column again if they play solid football like they have been.

Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders engaged in a riveting battle for the 9th and 10th pick in this year’s NFL draft in Oakland.  I like how the league decided they would rather both teams suffer lung damage than face the embarrassment of playing a game in San Diego.  The Chargers two wins have come against one of the worst teams in the NFL, and a Raider team that is sinking like the Titanic.  I think the Chargers are also starting to wish they could play on the road every week, because they probably have just about as many fans in that stadium as they do during their usual home games.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Packers can kiss their Super Bowl hopes goodbye after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.  They would probably sign Bart Starr before signing Colin Kaepernick.  The Saints and Lions game was the equivalent of a Charlie Sheen cocaine bender.  Adrian Peterson rose from the dead for Arizona and pretended like it was 2009, leading the Cardinals to a win.  The Browns only choice is contraction after losing again.  Even though the Patriots beat the Jets, Bill Belichick is debating how many players he’s going to trade to the Browns for 2084 7th round picks after nearly losing.  The Dolphins not only defeated the Falcons, but Kiko Alonso found love……

The Trojan football team “won” on Saturday against Utah, but it may actually hurt them in the polls.  That first half was sloppier than a Thursday night on fraternity row.   Another totally undisciplined performance filled with three  turnovers was salvaged by the heroics of Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones III.  If you played a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time it was 3rd and 10 for the Trojans, you would be dead by the 3rd quarter.  Darnold needs to go to the NFL and take Tee Martin with him.  The Trojans should win the Pac 12 South, but it’s hard to have much confidence in them winning anything meaningful beyond that at this point.

I’ve gotta hand it to UCLA football.  Just when you think they can’t embarrass themselves anymore, they find a way to take it to a new level.  This time getting dominated by Arizona, giving up 457 yards on the ground.  I guess now that classes have started since UCLA is on the quarter system, not only does the performance of the student athlete suffer, but apparently so does that of the defensive coordinator. The Bruins can’t even block and tackle anymore, two of the basics that Jim Mora assured us would be elite when building the program.  Mora has had every opportunity to keep his job in a Pac 12 South that is far more average than we thought, but can’t turn the season around.  I’m not even convinced that Dan Guerrero cares, but he should get an ear full from angry alums.

Speaking of embarrassments, the US failed to qualify for the World Cup last week after their loss to Trinidad & Tobago.  There’s about 4 million Americans who are going to pretend like they are outraged and then forget about it for the next 4 years.  Those 4 million people are also probably confused at how we lost to “both” Trinidad and Tabago at the same time.  So much for building on the success of the last World Cup.  We just don’t care to invest what other countries do in soccer, and we should be ok with it.  Taylor Twellman on the other hand is going to have an aneurysm over the whole thing….

We’re just a couple of days away from the NBA season.  Spoiler alert! The Warriors are going to win the title again.  There is some hope for the Lakers though.  That’s because “Kuzmania” is taking over.  I do think Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball will help the Lakers get a lot closer to the playoffs this year, but not actually in the postseason.  If the Lakers can win 35-40 games this year with a strong showing from those three players, they will be a viable destination for next summer’s top free agents.   That’s truly the best they can hope for because the Lakers have no 1st round pick this season, and they are putting all their eggs in that free agent basket.  Luke Walton did say he was undecided on the starting lineup.  Hopefully he’s not undecided on his team playing defense because judging from the preseason, there isn’t much of it being played.

Then there’s the Clippers, who seem to be convinced they have a playoff team.  The only playoffs this team will be seeing will be in their living rooms come April.  Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, and DeAndre Jordan sound like an intriguing front court duo.  They’ll only be intriguing if they can all stay healthy, and that’s doubtful for Danilo and Blake.  There’s a lot of whispers about how good of a coach Doc Rivers really is, and whether the Clippers have constructed any kind of real organizational success.  Now that CP3 is gone, we’ll find out real soon if that is the case, or if the Clippers are still gonna clip.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 9, 2017

You didn’t actually think that I wouldn’t complain about the Dodgers, despite taking a 2-0 lead against the D’Backs did you? Ok fine, I can’t overlook the positive.  The Dodgers are hitting like we haven’t seen them do before in the postseason.  Cody Bellinger hasn’t even done much, and the offense is still scoring more than high schoolers do on prom night.  Then there’s Yasiel Puig, who has suddenly matured and harnessed his talent into a game-changing player.  His teammates actually like him now too.  However, I still don’t trust the bullpen.  I also don’t trust Dave Roberts to use his head and actually take Clayton Kershaw out of the game after six innings.  Apparently nobody told him Kershaw has an ERA of over 25.00 in the 7th and beyond.  Imagine how much different the playoff narrative of Kershaw would be if Kershaw was actually removed after six innings? I expect the Dodgers to close out the D’Backs early next week, but the questionable decision making and untrustworthy middle relief leave me skeptical.

Yesterday it felt like Jeff Fisher was coaching the Rams again.  The offense was a turnover machine, Todd Gurley was bottled up, and the defense was on the field way too long.  What happened to Sammy Watkins? He has disappeared like the fans at the Coliseum.  Wasn’t he supposed to stretch the field? There goes another draft pick.  How did Cooper Kupp drop that pass?  That’s one he’s gotta catch, and it totally changes the narrative.  The Rams now have to go back east to play the Jags next week, which suddenly looks like a very tough game.  The Seahawks are still the class of the NFC West, and the Rams may suddenly be facing a losing skid, reminiscent of last season.  Buckle up for the bumpy ride.

Meanwhile, you know what Chick-Fil-A and the Giants have in common? They both don’t show up on Sunday.  The Chargers took advantage of that and finally got their first victory as the LA Chargers.  I feel terrible for OBJ, who was making some huge plays for the G-Men before he went down.  This is apparently what it’s going to take for the Bolts to actually find the win column.  Broken ankles from the opponents best players.  The solution for the Chargers may just be playing every game on the road because playing at home seems to be an even more hostile environment with 27,000 of the opponents’ fans.  The road game might even help next week against a struggling Raiders team, which has massively underperformed.

As for the rest of week 5 in the NFL, the Cowboys shouldn’t be kneeling for the national anthem, but instead should be kneeling when Aaron Rodgers walks by them, after his Packers beat Dallas in the final minute.  The Steeler fans are going to use their terrible towels to wipe away their tears after losing to the Jaguars.  I think VP Mike Pence realized he would have been far more offended watching the 49ers and Colts rather than the players actually kneeling, which is why he really left the game early.  I guess Cam Newton’s kryptonite is not angry female journalists because he led the Panthers over the Lions.  The CIA plans on using the Browns and Jets game film as a method of torturing terrorists.  The Eagles hammered the Cardinals, and it looks like they’ll have to start walking Torrey Smith intentionally…..

To college football where the tune of Trojan fans has changed overnight.  Prior to the Washington State loss, USC fans were purchasing tickets to the College Football Playoff game.  Now they are probably listing those tickets on StubHub, especially after an underwhelming victory over Oregon State.  The Trojans had three turnovers against the Beavers, yet they won by 28 points.  If they have three turnovers against Utah, Notre Dame, or UCLA, they will get crushed.  #3 Oklahoma lost, which seems like a golden opportunity, but USC just isn’t that good, and is likely to get exposed in the coming weeks.  Even the great Sam Darnold can only be so great when his offensive line can’t protect him, but there could be a bigger problem than than.  The question arising is whether or not coach Clay Helton is actually building anything meaningful.  We might find out in the next few weeks.

Elsewhere around the college game, Oklahoma has developed a bold new strategy.  This year they figure they can’t actually blow it in a playoff game if they don’t actually make the playoffs.  I guess that’s why they lost to Iowa State.  Notre Dame is up to 5-1 after beating UNC, but the Irish faithful are probably disappointed because Brian Kelly is getting closer to a contract extension than being fired.  As for the latest AP rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. A  4. Bunch 5. Of 6. Teams 7. With 8. No 9. Chance.

I’m not big on preseason games for any sport.  However, if I knew nothing about basketball (like many NBA GM’s), and began watching the Lakers first two preseason games, I’d say that Kyle Kuzma is easily the Lakers’ best player.  It’s only a matter of time before Kuzma is inserted into the starting lineup, likely in place of Julius Randle.  Luke Walton is trying to emulate Golden State’s system, which is pretty difficult to do if you don’t have shooting.  Kuzma gives the team shooting and versatility.  However, the real concern right now is the durability of Lonzo Ball, who’s ankles are about  as stable as the Knicks front office.  The Lakers need to hope Kuzma, Ball, and Brandon Ingram make major strides this year, or their plan to attract big free agents next summer will be obliterated.

Speaking of Lonzo Ball, his father Lavar was back in the news last week.  Lavar said he is going to pull LaMelo Ball out of school, and home school him for his final two years of high school.  Lavar said this is simply because he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the new head coach at Chino Hills.  I’ve been a big believer in what Lavar is doing to create a brand, but home schooling your kids in the last two years of high school is one of the most short-sighted things I’ve ever heard of.  What most people fail to realize is that going to school (and college as well) is about learning about yourself and building social skills, not just education.  I can’t say I would expect Lavar to understand this though.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero rewarded basketball head coach Steve Alford with a one-year extension last week.  This one isn’t going to sit well with the Bruins fans.  It was only 18 months ago that people were questioning whether or not Alford was the guy to lead the program back to the Final Four.  However, the extension for Alford and the continued support for football coach Jim Mora are more a reflection of the financial limitations at UCLA.  The Bruin athletic program simply isn’t going to pony up the big dollars for big-time coaches, even for basketball, their profile sport.  As long as Dan Guerrero is in charge, which will probably be for at least a couple of more years, I wouldn’t expect any bold “shoot for the moon” changes in the athletic program.

Finally, the NHL got their season underway last week which is always exciting.  After Saturday’s nights’ Kings win over San Jose, I can’t decide if this is a new and improved Kings team, or the same old San Jose Sharks.  In any case, it’s nice to see Anze Kopitar actually scoring some goals.  The last time that happened, we actually had a President who wasn’t crazy.  Meanwhile, the Ducks allegedly started their season on Thursday night too.  You wouldn’t be able to tell though, because it looks like Anaheim doesn’t plan on showing up until the 2nd half of the season like last year.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 2, 2017

Wow, USC is involved in another corruption scandal.  Who could have seen this coming? This is about as surprising as Donald Trump insulting somebody.  Assistant basketball coach Tony Bland is the culprit this time.  On the bright side, this makes him an excellent candidate to be the Dean of the medical school, which is facing a scandal of its own.  The corruption at USC is still at comedic levels a decade after the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo violations, even after installing new leadership.   However, the NCAA either needs to abolish their archaic rules and start paying student-athletes, or make these violations punishable by criminal law.  I’m in favor of the former.

Speaking of the Trojans, on the field their sloppy play finally caught up with them.  You would have thought that USC had Jesus Christ playing quarterback, the way everyone was talking about Sam Darnold.  The Trojans could not convert a 3rd down to save their lives, and their offense is highly dependent on one or two explosive plays.  That’s not good enough against a quality Top 15 opponent like the Cougars.   I’m sure the story will be how much the injuries have hurt the team with no bye weeks, but this team looked questionable prior to being banged up.  I can easily see a couple of more losses with this erratic group.

Meanwhile, the Bruins earned an underwhelming victory at Colorado.  UCLA football success has been reduced to victories over mediocre programs in which they avoid embarrassment.  This game was more of the same, characterized by hero ball from Josh Rosen, and a running game that has disappeared like Hilary Clinton.  What’s very telling is that UCLA recruits three and four star players, while San Diego State takes the leftovers.  That San Diego State team held Stanford to 17 points, while UCLA gave up 58 to them.  This is all about coaching and it’s becoming more and more obvious that Jim Mora is the problem.

Elsewhere around college football, Notre Dame beat fake Miami (Ohio) over the weekend, which isn’t much to get excited about.  The Irish still can’t figure things out when they face anybody ranked in the top 10.  Meawhile, here’s an updated look at the rest of the college footballs rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Alabama’s backups 3. Alabama’s cheerleaders 4. Alabama’s practice squad 5. Clemson.

To the NFL, where I completely expected the Rams to get crushed like a grape against the Cowboys yesterday, but they proved me wrong.  I thought the Rams could only win when they played the 49ers on Thursday night with those pajamas they wore last week.  Instead, Todd Gurley looks like one of the best running backs in the NFL, and Jared Goff is finally commanding respect from defenses.  In fact, Gurley faced 6 or fewer defenders in the box on 16 of his 23 rushing attempts.  Goff isn’t Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers, but he’s not turning the ball over and making sound decisions.  The Cowboys are a great team and the Rams deserve credit, but they did start 3-1 last season.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if they took down Seattle next week, but I’m not exactly ready to call them the class of the NFC yet.

If the Chargers lose at home, but no Charger fans were actually there to see it, did it actually happen? The Bolts are 0-4, and their five fans are obviously very disappointed with their start.  As usual, Stubhub Center was filled with Eagles fans, and many of the best seats in the house were completely empty.  The Bolts look like a team loaded with talent, but they consistently come up short on offense, and are terrible at finishing games.  That was once again the case yesterday.  It’s not all bad news for the Chargers though.  First of all they get to play Eli Manning and the Giants next week, who are just as terrible.  They can look forward to seeing Eli have that “somebody shot my dog” look on his face with a victory.  There’s also the idea that if they keep losing, this is an excellent year to get a high draft pick and draft a successor to Philip Rivers.

As for the rest of week 4 in the NFL, the Saints and Dolphins game in London was so atrocious, England is considering declaring war on the United States after such an act of terror.  The Jets won a game and since they are supposed to be tanking, Todd Bowles will likely be fired after collecting two wins.  Only the Browns could make the Bengals look like a Super Bowl team.  If you threw something in the trash yesterday, you probably racked up more passing yards than Joe Flacco.  The Raiders suck again.  The Bills are 3-1 and the Lions look like one of the best teams in the NFL, so hell must have frozen over.  Matt Ryan should never ever play receiver again……

The Dodgers begin the playoffs on Friday, and Dave Roberts claims he’s not intending to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest.  That’s like going to a strip club and claiming your intention isn’t to get a lap dance.   The Dodgers claim they have pitching depth but we know they will use Kershaw on short rest, which hasn’t worked in the past.  October also means we can expect guys like Pedro Baez to blow games in the 7th and 8th, and for Kenley Jansen to be forced into ridiculous six-out save situations because the Dodgers don’t have any competent middle relievers.  These are the nightmares of recent postseasons that have haunted LA, and are sure to haunt them again.

Then there’s the Angels, who missed the playoffs again.  This is a good time to look back at Albert Pujols saying that he’s not concerned with the standings in April, but rather in September.   Maybe if Albert decided to show up in April and start earning his $240 million, the Halos might have enough wins to actually be in the postseason.   Everyone knows a win in April is one less you need in September.  Everyone except Albert and Mike Scioscia.

The Lakers started the preseason on Saturday against the Wolves, but they got some severely disappointing news on Friday.  Russell Westbrook signed a 5-year extension with the Thunder.  Westbrook will likely go on a massive shopping spree at Hot Topic with his $205 million but there’s greater repercussions than that.  That not only eliminates him as a potential free agent acquisition, but also hurts the Lakers’ chances of signing Lebron James and Paul George.   This is just another example of why free agency by itself is a horrible way to build a team.  It’s also an example of why it isn’t the best idea to give away young productive players like D’Angelo Russell for half a can of Diet Coke.

Finally, Hugh Hefner passed away at 91 last week.  Has there ever been anybody who has had more fun in life than Hef? Every man in America could only dream of living a life like that.   It was so fun, when he gets to heaven, he will wonder why it’s such a downgrade.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 25, 2017

The Rams and 49ers were shockingly able to provide us with one of the best Thursday Night Football games we’ve ever seen.  The Rams also put up 41 points, and coincidentally, 41 is the number of people that actually attended the last Rams home game.  In all seriousness though, Sean McVay deserves credit for turning the Rams offense around and making Jared Goff a competent NFL quarterback.  However, I still have no idea if Goff is Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan.  It’s hard to tell when both of your wins are against the Colts and 49ers.  It’s not hard to tell that the Rams defense is garbage.  They can’t stop the run, and their secondary is average at best.  Todd Gurley seems to think the 49ers still have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice because he thinks so highly of beating San Francisco, he says the Rams are going to go “whoop up on Dallas.”  If that happens, they’ve got my attention.  Until then, this team has simply improved from terrible to mediocre.

While most of the NFL players were taking a knee during the national anthem, the Chargers looked like they were taking knee the entire game in their humiliating loss to the Chiefs.  Even more humiliating is the fact the entire stadium was filled with fans off the opposition for the 2nd week in a row.  I don’t know why the league or Dean Spanos is surprised nobody cares about the Bolts in Los Angeles.  People in LA have been screaming for years that they don’t want the Chargers to come to LA, and now the league and Spanos have egg on their face.  Spanos is more hated than Donald Trump in Amerca’s Finest City, so there’s no way the team could move back without him selling the franchise.  If the league were smart, and don’t worry they aren’t, they would let Spanos sell the team for a fair price, then move the team back to San Diego and build a stadium themselves.  That would put the Chargers back where people give a damn about them.  In the meantime, nobody even cares they stink.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Kirk Cousins just forgot to preheat the oven, but he finally tore it up last night against the Raiders.  You like that? The Jaguars probably will never leave London after dominating the Ravens.  The Jets, Jaguars, and Bills all won by a combined score of 90-29, and the Bears upset the Steelers in OT.  The odds of getting hit by Hurricane Maria and a 7.0 earthquake at the same time are greater than that happening.  The Falcons reminded us that god just hates the Lions, while Tom Brady reminded us that he might be the GOAT.  To protest injustice, the New York Giants have decided not to show up in the win column this season.  The Bears Marcus Cooper thought he had a touchdown, and then blew it by celebrating too early….

To College Football, where USC continues to be underwhelming, yet continues to find the win column.  The latest uninspiring performance came against Cal, and required some big plays from the defense to remain undefeated.  The Trojans decided to show up for exactly three minutes of this game, which was just enough to avoid being upset by an unranked team.  Most Trojan fans are going to spin this as “we’re still undefeated which is what matters.”  However, the way they are playing is going to matter when they have to play at Washington State, vs Utah, and at Notre Dame in a few weeks.  Sam Darnold and the Trojan offense are finishing about as well as a 70-year-old dude without his little blue pill.  Things are about to get much tougher for Southern Cal, which means we’re about to find out if they can live up to the hype.

There’s absolutely no hype to the Bruins, who got dismantled again by Stanford.  For the last five years we’ve been waiting for Jim Mora to show us a team that would be tough enough and physical enough to beat Stanford.  Mind you, not all of those Stanford teams were national powerhouse teams either.  On Saturday, we saw a UCLA team that has no defense, no effective threat at wide receiver, and a frustratingly inconsistent running game.  The fact UCLA had a 100-yard rushing running back for the first time in two years was almost more aggravating.  I’ll give Mora credit for his recruiting, and ability to make the team more disciplined.  However, after a solid first two years, and three disappointing years after that, it’s clear he can’t develop his talent.  With every loss Mora gives us more false promises than a Presidential candidate.  I think we’ve seen enough of the status quo in Westwood.

The Dodgers may have clinched the division on Friday, but their bullpen has officially turned into a pumpkin and stinks again, with an ERA of 7 this month.  The pen is also giving up home runs like it’s the steroid era as well.  I guess this is what happens when you have the naive belief that starting pitching is overvalued, and you are forced to use exhaust your pen over the course of 162 games.  Nice work Andrew Friedman.  The Dodgers are also about to give up their lead on the Indians for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Then again, I’m not so sure why I’m worried about it because I have diminishing confidence in the Dodgers’ ability to get to the World Series.  I still have no idea why Curtis Granderson is playing everyday when he gives you a hit about once every 40 at bats.  Granderson must have some serious dirt on Dave Roberts because there is no explanation for this.  October is just around the corner and that means my biggest Dodger nightmares are about to arrive like the Grim Reaper standing outside my door.

Then there’s the Angels, whose odds of making the playoffs appear about as good as winning the Powerball.  Mike Scioscia’s new strategy is to pray his starting pitchers arm’s don’t fall off after five innings, and then hope one of his relievers don’t blow the game.  The Halos schedule down the stretch may be brutal, but that’s why they should have shown up for games in May, June, and July.  Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips were nice contributors for a few weeks, but don’t be fooled, the Halos are deeply flawed.  They need to reconstruct their entire roster, and could use an upgrade at literally every position other than centerfield and shortstop.  If the Angels hope to make the playoffs before Mike Trout’s contract expires, they should seriously consider this.

I’ve gotta hand it to Thunder GM Sam Presti for trading for Carmelo Anthony.  Presti basically gave up half a can of Diet Coke, and two pretzels for one of the best scorers in the NBA.  When you’re in a small market like OKC you have to know your window to win.  Presti realizes that with Russell Westbrook’s looming free agency, and working under a cheap skate owner.  Still, the Thunder are like everybody else and have no chance of beating the Warriors.  They very likely will be starting from scratch next year with Westbrook, Paul George, and Anthony departing via free agency.  I wouldn’t be shocked if two of those three players ended up on the Lakers.  Speaking of the Lakers, I’m still not really sure why they decided to sign Andrew Bogut.  There’s probably no center that is going to play more than 20 minutes in Luke Walton’s system, and those minutes should go to developing Ivica Zubac.

Finally, sports is supposed to unify society and help everyone rise above political differences.  I find it deeply disappointing that Donald Trump has escalated things with the entire sports world, tweeting that NFL players should be fired for kneeling during the National Anthem, and for uninviting Steph Curry to the White House.  At the same time though, I don’t think NBA players should refuse an invite to the White House, even if they don’t like Trump.  If players want to use their fame to make a difference and let their voice be heard, then why not take the opportunity to go to the White House and let your voice be heard in front of the most powerful person in the world? This would be more productive than having Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Donald Trump sling insults at each other via Twitter like high schoolers.

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

 

September 18, 2017

I thought the Rams actually had a good defense? The Rams were handing out rushing yards like they had a Groupon for them against the Redskins.  So much for the Rams getting Aaron Donald back and taking advantage of a soft early schedule.  That was a very winnable game they failed to take advantage of.  At least Todd Gurley looked as good as he was during his rookie year, and I guess we’re supposed to be excited that Jared Goff isn’t as crappy as we all thought he might be.  This team is still lacking a lot of talent, and it’s going to really show in the coming weeks against better teams.  They are also lacking some serious fan support too, with a reported 56,612 in attendance yesterday.  It feels like 25,000 of those people showed up disguised as seats.

Things were just as embarrassing in Carson, where the Chargers found a way to blow another game in dramatic fashion.  This time it was against the Dolphins.  You can take the Chargers out of San Diego, but you can’t take bad losses away from the Chargers.  After the team spent all week talking trash about Jay Cutler and how useless he is, they found a way to lose to his team.  For the 2nd straight game the Bolts lost on the leg of Younghoe Koo.  He should change his name to Younghoe Boo because the fans should boo him when he steps on to the field.  Oh and by “the fans” I mean the mere 25,000 that showed up to watch the team play.  The combined attendance of the Rams and Chargers was 81,000 this weekend, which is less than the 84,000 that showed up on Saturday to watch USC play Texas.  I can’t wait to see what the StubHub Center looks like when the Raiders come to town and the entire stadium is silver and black.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 2, Tom Brady went full on Katrina against the Saints and their bad defense.  The Patriots keep losing players to injuries but keep winning.  I walked to the fridge and picked up more yards than ‘Zeke Elliott did in the Cowboys’ loss to the Broncos.  Marshawn Lynch is the perfect Raider, and they dominated the Jets.  The Seahawks won but they score about as often as Steve Urkel.  The Packer defense was already in postseason form in their loss to the Falcons.  Andy Reid is going to celebrate the Chiefs victory over his former team by giving his cholesterol a shot of KC BBQ.  The Vikings should have just forfeited against the Steelers when they found out they had to start Case Keenum in place of the injured Sam Bradford.  The Ravens beat the Browns, but so does everybody.  The Colts found a better quarterback but couldn’t find a win against Arizona.  Starting Blake Bortles at QB is like having your football team destroyed by a hurricane every week, which the Jags learned in their loss to the Tennessee.  The Bears got destroyed by the Bucs, and are playing like Jay Cutler is still their quarterback.  Greg Olsen’s foot is broken and so is Carolina’s offense, despite their win against the Bills. The last time the Bengals scored a touchdown, Obama was still President.

To College Football where USC escaped with a win Saturday night against Texas, in a game that was nearly disasterous for their season.  Perhaps the Trojan players were star struck by seeing Matthew McConaughey on the sidelines, or just thinking about him selling them a Lincoln.  Just when you think USC has turned the corner, they come out flat against a team they should have blown off the field.  To make matters worse, Stanford lost to San Diego State, meaning that the Trojans haven’t  even beaten a ranked team yet, while struggling in two of their three wins.  Clay Helton was out-coached by Tom Herman, and were it not for some late game heroics, Sam Darnold was outplayed by a true freshman quarterback for Texas.  This is sure to hit them in the rankings, and has to make you skeptical.  I like how ten years later, this game was hyped up for “revenge” for what happened in 2006.  I’m pretty sure none of the current players on either side gives a damn about that, and are more focused on what party they are going to go to next Thursday night on fraternity row.

As for the Bruins, they suffered an embarrassment of their own by losing to Memphis.  I don’t care if the game was too early.  UCLA should never lose to a team like Memphis.  Do you really expect Josh Rosen to throw the ball 56 times, or any quarterback, and not throw two interceptions? Rosen’s ego can be irritating, but you can’t blame these losses on him when Jim Mora is asking him to play hero ball.  UCLA has no system and they have no running game.  It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Bruins get beaten like they stole something next weekend against Stanford.  As long as Mora is coaching this team, Bruin fans should buy a Vegas timeshare for their annual trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Elsewhere around College Football, Notre Dame did the UNTHINKABLE and knocked off an unranked Boston College team.  I’m waiting for the day Brandon Wimbush gets his head knocked off as Brian Kelly gets another one of his quarterbacks killed by letting him run around like he’s Forest Gump.  That’s what happens when the rest of your offense is inept.  The Clemson defense is the kryptonite to Lamar Jackson.  The SEC has announced they are demoting Tennessee to Pee Wee Football and will no longer be affiliated with the program.  Well at least they should announce that after Tennessee lost to Florida on a last second Hail Mary.  Rick Pitino made an appearance on ESPN’s College Gameday, but I didn’t realize that he buys his clothes at Baby Gap….

The Dodgers are really making a habit of this whole winning thing.  It was one thing to merely end that 11-game losing skid, but now they are hot again.  Cody Bellinger claimed that what helped the team get through such a rough stretch was having veterans who had been there before.  I didn’t realize that the Dodgers have players on their roster that have been on the team since 1958, because that’s the last time they had a streak that bad.  The Dodgers’ potential for playoff failure still scares me to death.  Somehow they found a center fielder that is worse than Joc Pederson.  Not only should Curtis Granderson be chained to the bench, but so should Yasmani Grandal.  Austin Barnes is statistically the most valuable hitter against right-handed pitching in the National League this year, so I have no idea why he isn’t in the lineup everyday.  Only two more weeks before the postseason, and the Dodgers have to worry about their pitchers being done after five innings, and their hitters being done after September.

The Angels sure are determined to make this AL Wild Card race interesting.  It sure would help their chances though if they didn’t keep losing pitchers to elbow tears.  The latest is JC Ramirez, who is done for the year, and possible next year too.  It’s almost like the team’s training staff is always finding new ways to get their pitchers injured.  Then there’s Luis Valbuena, who is perfecting his bat flip, even during those moments where he’s barely hitting the ball out of the infield.  Valbuena can’t even hit .200, meaning that never has an athlete that is so bad acted so cocky.  Valbuena’s antics actually angered Astros pitcher Mike Fiers so much, after giving up a home run to the Angels’ infielder, he threw at his head.  That got Fiers suspended for five games.  Fiers said he felt “disrespected”.  If you give up a home run to a guy who is hitting .200, you deserve to be disrespected and suspended.

In case you haven’t heard, the Lakers are retiring Kobe’s jersey on December 18th, when they host the Warriors.  They will also be retiring both his #8 and #24 jersey’s.  I think the #24 Kobe was much better than the #8 Kobe, and the Mamba reached the pinnacle of his career wearing #24.  That one should really be the only one to be retired, however, there’s probably no player in their right mind who would want to wear #8, so the Lakers might as well retire both jerseys.  By the way, the cheapest ticket to get in that game right now is $600.

The NHL preseason is underway, and it couldn’t have gotten off to a cloudier start for the Kings.  Defenseman Drew Doughty told The Sporting News that if the team didn’t start contending for Stanley Cups again, he would consider signing elsewhere when his contract expires in two seasons. When an LA Times reporter questioned him about this, he said he would love to finish his career as a King.  Drew, if you back peddle any faster, you will start moon walking like Michael Jackson.  The Kings are a lot closer to rebuilding than contending, and Doughty could easily leave the team in two years.  On the bright side though, the Kings Twitter account is run far better than that of the Ducks.  Here’s a look at their early season social media fail….

Finally, has ESPN’s Jamele Hill been living under a rock for the last year? She just witnessed complete carnage at her company, as a number of her colleagues were laid off due to declining ratings and more cord cutting.  We can attribute some of that to the fact that ESPN’s content has become more and more political, which has displeased viewers.  So what does Jamele do? She decides to go on some Twitter rant, ripping Donald Trump for being a racist, and called him a white supremacist.  Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, if Jamele wants her political voice to be heard, she should just go join CNN with the 12 other people sitting at a desk screaming their biased opinions at each other.  I also like how hypocritical ESPN is after suspending Linda Cohen last spring for saying the network was getting too political, yet they did nothing to Hill for her unnecessary rant.  It’s also apparent to me that Colin Kaepernick has no desire to play in the NFL, because he came out and supported her rant on Twitter.  I guess the man just couldn’t get enough controversy in his life.

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

September 11, 2017

The Dodgers are collapsing faster than the state of Florida.  Oh wait, this must all be a part of Andrew Friedman’s plan right? The Dodgers must be sending a message to all the other teams in the NL, trying to make them overconfident come playoff time.  Those other NL teams must be real overconfident now because the Dodgers’ entire pitching staff looks like a bunch of stiffs.  This has to be the case since Dave Roberts assured us all a few days ago that the Dodgers will win the NL West.  Not even Clayton Kershaw can help the team find the win column, and suddenly the entire team can’t hit.  I’m beginning to think this is the law of averages catching up with the team at the worst time, because they are on the verge of one of the biggest choke jobs in baseball history.  Since Sports Illustrated came out with an issue asking if this is the best team ever on the cover page,  Perhaps the Dodgers would have better luck if Sports Illustrated’s next cover page said “Biggest Choke Job Ever?.  It’s officially time to panic.

Meanwhile, the Angels are still hanging in the AL Wild Card race, but are limping their way toward the finish line.  After avoiding a sweep yesterday against the Mariners, they Halos are just one game out of the final Wild Card spot.  However, Andrew Heaney looks more broken than those couples that win reality dating shows.  Garrett Richards looks like his arm could fall off any moment.  Parker Bridwell has remembered that he’s just Parker Bridwell.  This team has impressed me given how they’ve handled adversity, but since they have nine more games against Houston and Cleveland, I doubt they can make it through that field of land mines to make the postseason.

To the NFL, where the Colts made the Rams look like the 1972 Miami Dolphins yesterday at the Coliseum.  I’ll be far more impressed when the Rams manage to do this against a team that isn’t playing at a college level, which probably won’t be for a few more weeks.  Actually, I’m not even sure that Scott Tolzien played at a college level yesterday.  Of course Jared Goff is going to look like Joe Montana against a crappy defense like that.  The Colts lost by so many points, Chuck Pagano actually forgot who they played, referring to the Rams as the 49ers.  Don’t think the Rams managed to entirely avoid embarrassment for the week though.  The amount of empty seats at the Coliseum made the game look like a University of San Diego football game.  I guess this NFL in LA thing is really working out so far.

Elsewhere around week 1, apparently that judge had Ezekiel Elliott on his fantasy football team.  Elliott and the Cowboys got an easy win against the Giants.  First Hurricane Harvey, then losing to the Jags.  As if Houston hasn’t suffered enough.  Andy Dalton is already in playoff form, throwing four  interceptions in yesterday’s loss to Baltimore.   The NFL should spot the Browns 14 points in every game to make it more fair.  They could have used that yesterday in their loss to the Steelers.  Russell Wilson and his Seahawks got manhandled by the Packers yesterday.  He must have stopped having sex with Ciara again.  The 49ers barely scored more points than the San Francisco Giants yesterday.  Alex Smith is probably going to sit out of next week’s game with arm fatigue after throwing the ball more than 30 yards in the Chiefs win over the Patriots.  The Bills beat the Jets in a game that should have been called “the toilet bowl”.  Great special teams tackle by the Jets on themselves here…..

To college football, where the Trojans finally found what they were missing against Stanford: an elite quarterback.  The Cardinal had won 7 of the last 10 games against the Trojans, but Sam Darnold returned to the elite QB we saw for most of last season, leading USC to a big win.  The Trojan defense is nothing to brag about, but if Ronald Jones is going to run like Reggie Bush, and Sam Darnold is going to play like Matt Leinart, that won’t matter.  Nobody even heard of Deontay Burnett until the Rose Bowl last January, and now he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Darnold’s four TD passes vaulted him back in the Heisman discussion.  The Trojans beat Stanford at their own game, running the ball, and playing a much more physical, ball-control game.  The only thing Stanford did better was drink more chardonnay during the tailgate.  USC should roll in their next two games against Texas and Cal, before facing a tough Washington State team on the road.

It would have been very “UCLA” of the Bruins had they lost Saturday’s game against Hawaii after defeating Texas A&M in dramatic fashion.  Instead, Josh Rosen picked up where he left off by throwing five TD passes, piling up 329 yards like he was playing a video game, and UCLA hammered Hawaii at home.  The Bruins did what they were supposed to do, crushing a team with inferior talent, but they still have plenty of issues.  The defense is banged up, the offensive line provides about as much protection as a broken condom, and they have no running game.  If Rosen can overcome all that and lead the Bruins to an upset road victory or two over the likes of Stanford, Washington, or USC, he definitely deserves to win the Heisman.

As for the rest of college football, nice job by the NCAA to schedule all of last weekend’s great games at the exact same time.  Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly says that the Irish are really close to being able to compete with any football team in the country.  After losing to Georgia at home, the Irish are 2-11 in their last 13 games against top 15 teams.  They are only a head coach away.  Looks like “The” Ohio State University has “The” worst pass defense in the country, and won’t be in this year’s college football playoff after losing to Oklahoma.  Baker Mayfield was savage putting that flag into the center of the Buckeyes logo after the win.  Here’s the Buckeyes new logo…..

Finally, I feel terrible for Florida, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families that were impacted by the Hurricane.  However, why don’t these people evacuate sooner? The real problem is the name of the Hurricane.  Nobody is afraid of Hurricane “Irma”.  However, if you gave it an Arab name like Hurricane “Abdullah” or Hurricane “Muhammad”, people would run for the hills.  I also love the fact that these news reporters are practically in a contest with each other for an Emmy award while reporting on the Hurricane.  In fact, it’s getting so competitive we’re practically seeing field reporters blown away on live television, and they seem to be ok with it.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 4, 2017

Every blogger and writer has done it at least once before. You write your story or column before the game is over because you think the game has been decided. I was guilty of that last night when I thought UCLA would never rally from a 34-point deficit against Texas A&M. I was ready to trash Josh Rosen, and instead he shut me up for a week by throwing for 491 yards and 4 TD’s. I was also about ready to have Jim Mora fired and replaced with Chip Kelly, but I guess that will have to wait at least another few weeks. The Bruins showed they are entertaining and may win some games, but they are still deeply flawed. There is no running game, their offensive line is downright offensive, and they can’t tackle anybody. It’s probably only a matter of time before all this catches up with them. In the meantime though, they deserve credit for yesterday’s win, while Josh Rosen can go keep his grades up in those really hard classes he hates taking.

So this is the USC football team everybody waited eight months to see? I guess everybody was excited to see a team that tackles about as well as my high school varsity team did, and one that is made up of wide receivers that can’t even catch a cold? Despite beating Western Michigan, this looks a lot more like the disastrous team we saw at the beginning of last season, rather than the juggernaut we saw after the Rose Bowl. The Trojans don’t have much time to get their act together either, with Stanford coming to town next week. You can be assured that the Cardinal will be running the ball early and often, against the tackling dummies that appeared to be the USC defense on Saturday. Sam Darnold had what was easily his worst game as a starter. Even though it wasn’t entirely his fault, you’ve gotta wonder if the kid can live up to all the ridiculous hype he’s been getting since the end of last season. The Trojan faithful had better hope that this was simply a case of the boys doing a little too much early semester partying on fraternity row. Don’t be surprised if they drop slightly from their #4 ranking.

Elsewhere around college football, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame actually looked halfway decent against Temple. The Irish have talent, but they are being far more courteous to their fans this year by waiting until at least after the first week of the season to disappoint them. #1 Alabama looked strong in their win over #3 Florida State, in the cousins vs convicts battle. After the win, ‘Bama should be entitled to replace the Jets this season in the NFL. Tom Herman made his coaching debut for the Longhorns, and he learned that everything is bigger in Texas. That includes their losses, as they got beat by Maryland. This  Wyoming punter really put the “special” in special teams…..

The Dodgers have problems.  They aren’t new problems.  They are the same ones I was concerned about back in April.  When things really matter in October, they still don’t have any pitcher you can trust outside of Clayton Kershaw.  You thought it was Yu Darvish? Somebody needs to tell him “Yu Suck.”  Some of you are panicking because you are just noticing this now, but the last week has only reinforced what I’ve thought all year.  At the same time, Cody Bellinger should not only be rookie of the year, but also NL MVP because the Dodger offense has gone to hell when he’s been out of the lineup.  Curtis Granderon has been such a failure at the plate since he was acquired, all Alex Verdugo needs to do is hit .240 to make the playoff roster.  When it comes to pitching, this team is nothing but Clayton Kershaw and four guys carrying baseball gloves.


Meanwhile, the Angels better hope they make the playoffs because what they are doing is pure recklessness.  They just acquired Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips, who are both nice players, but are nothing more than two-month rentals.  The are depleting a farm system that is already devoid of talent.  As if that wasn’t reckless enough, they are sending Garrett Richards to the mound on Tuesday against Oakland, when he hasn’t even built the arm strength to throw 60 pitches.  60 pitches???!!! Why not just get some AAA scrub to give you three innings since it will be a bullpen game anyway? If Richards is supposed to be the Halos franchise pitcher, they certainly aren’t treating him that way.  If the Halos were going to acquire anything in August, it should have been pitching.  Instead, adding Upton and Phillips is like making a run to the store for some vodka and tequila in the middle of a party, when you really just need some ice.

To the NBA, where the Lakers avoided a disaster last week, after only getting fined $500 K by the league for tampering with Paul George.  This could have completely derailed the Lakers’ plan to sign two max level free agents, or even just George next summer, had the penalty been anything more severe.  Word is that Jeanie Buss was not pleased that her front office did this.  However, how can you blame Rob Pelinka.  This happens all the time.  How do you think that Chris Paul got traded to the franchise of his choice, the Rockets, three days before he was due to become an unrestricted free agent?  Since the Lakers still have the largest TV deal in the NBA, they will be paying $500 K fine like….

I don’t blame Aaron Donald at all for holding out.  If Donald were to simply play out his rookie contract and then go on to hit the open market, he would likely be in decline.  This is the only leverage he has, and since the Rams are a talentless team, there is no reason for them not to pay him.  Perhaps it would have been smarter not give Tayvon Austin an extension worth $28 million last summer.  The bad news for Aaron Donald is that the Rams might actually get off to a decent start since they aren’t really playing anybody in the first three weeks of the season.  However, when it’s all said and done, this is probably going to be no better than a 6-10 team.

Then there’s the Chargers.  With each passing day, the Bolts’ ownership must be considering jumping off the tallest building in Los Angeles, as they continue to walk down the path of irrelevancy.  The San Diego State Aztec football team had 40,000 people at their first football game on Saturday.  The Chargers drew half of that in their first preseason game.  You think that’s bad? The combined ratings for the Chargers and Rams final preseason game wasn’t even as great as the Raiders final preseason game that was shown on KTLA.  It’s still a Raider town, and the Raiders aren’t even coming back.

Brock Osweiler is the real winner after he got cut by the Browns.  He’s getting paid $16 million to not play for the Cleveland Browns.  Since he never got to actually play a game, it isn’t an unreasonable question to ask: is he the greatest quarterback in franchise history?

Finally, NHL training camps open in a little over a week from now, but the trash talking has already begun between the team Twitter accounts.  You have to love that Vegas is already well-versed at making fun of the Sharks.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 28, 2017

Obviously I have to start with Game of Thrones after an awesome season finale.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  The Stark clan survived an entire season! I’m not sure who got more inches of Snow in this episode: Kings Landing, or Dany? Jon Snow looks like he just knocked up the Mother of Dragons, so I look forward to two pregnant queens battling it out on Real Housewives of Incest City next season.  Admit it: incest went down and you thought that it was ok.  Meanwhile Ser Jorah was probably crying in the next room, and I’m still not sure what Tyrion was doing awkwardly standing outside Dany’s room.   Love how Brienne and the Hound were acting like such proud parents of their little murder child, Arya.  I’m telling you, Cersei is crazy enough to kill Jamie if he betrays her, and she nearly did.  I wouldn’t trust her to tell me what she wanted on her pizza.  I don’t understand the Dragon’s blue fire.  Is it spitting fire? Ice? or a blue laser? This is going to trouble me until season 8.  Congratulations to the show producers for finally killing off a character we wanted to see die in Littlefinger.  This is me when I heard that we might have to wait until 2019 for the final season to start…..

So you think that Mayweather vs McGregor was a big fight? Wait until your wife finds out that you paid $100 for it.  They stopped that fight way too early.  For that price I expect to see somebody actually hitting the ground on a knockout.  It was a far better fight than most of us expected.  However, just as it started getting good, the referees pulled the plug.  Props to McGregor for making it interesting, but there were no losers in this one.  I guess that explains why Floyd wore a ski mask when entering T-Mobile Arena.  He was robbing the public of its money.  McGregor is taking home $75 million, while Mayweather is getting $100 million.  Coincidentally, 100 is the highest number that Floyd can count to.

Well Jared Goff is consistent.  He’s consistently inconsistent.  In Saturday’s loss to the Chargers, he turned the ball over twice, and couldn’t complete a pass for more than seven yards.  Wasn’t getting Sammy Watkins supposed to help stretch the field? The offensive line also continues to be a train wreck for the Rams.  Even more disappointing is the sparse crowd showing up for these games.  The Coliseum was less than half full on Saturday.  The Chargers couldn’t even fill a 27,000 seat stadium, and the Rams’ crowds have been getting smaller by the day.  While you may think this is just preseason and it’s no big deal, that shouldn’t be the case when you have two new NFL teams in the #2 media market in the country.  Watching these two teams makes me wish I had stared at the solar eclipse for longer so I wouldn’t ever have to watch them play football again.

The real rivalry that went down at the Coliseum on Saturday was the race between Keyshawn Johnson and Marcellus Wiley.  This should have been a giant mismatch, but Keyshawn didn’t seem to take it too seriously, so it ended up being far more competitive than expected.  Marcellus false started three times, and Keyshawn just barely beat him after that.  There seemed to be some controversy over the start of that race, so when they raced again, Marcellus beat him the 2nd time.  Say what you will about Keyshawn being the true winner here and the faster man.  However, Marcellus more than held his own and should not have even been in the final frame.  Keyshawn is a former #1 overall pick in the NFL people.  The man only narrowly avoided being embarrassed by a defensive end! He should still never hear the end of it from his colleagues at ESPN.

I’m not sure you people really understand the gravity of these Laker tampering allegations if they turn out to be true.  If the Lakers are forced to forfeit any future 1st round picks, they wouldn’t be able to move the Luol Deng contract.  If they can’t move the Deng contract, they can’t sign two max level free agents, which means you can forget about Lebron James coming here next summer.  The league might not even let them sign Paul George with their one max slot, and then they’d be totally screwed.  I was actually convinced Lebron James was going to sign with the Lakers until a few days ago when Ric Bucher reported that he’s headed to the Lakers.  If Bucher reported that the sun was going to rise tomorrow I’d be concerned the world was going to end.

Speaking of Lebron and the Cavs, there’s no way they are going to have this trade with Boston vetoed because of Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury.  They just can’t bring Kyrie back to Cleveland given everything that’s transpired between him and the organization.  As for the Celtics, Danny Ainge had a chance to flip that valuable Brooklyn 1st round pick for Jimmy Butler, Paul George, or DeMarcus Cousins.  Instead, he flipped it for a player who doesn’t play any defense, and is incapable of being the best player on a championship team.  How are the Celtics planning on defending people anyway now that they lost their three best defenders this offseason?  It doesn’t really matter though because Lebron could have Bone Thugs-N-Harmony as his teammates and still make it to the NBA Finals in the East.

It figures that the night the Dodgers get shutout at home, it’s the night they honored the LA Kings.  This past weekend was a perfect reason why I’d be worried about the Dodgers’ postseason hopes.  They play a team with some real pitching like the Brewers, and they can’t hit.  Sure they miss Cody Bellinger, but it feels like the law of averages could be catching up with Chris Taylor and Justin Turner.  They can’t be on fire forever, but LA better hope that fire doesn’t go out come October.  As for their pitching, Yu Darvish might not even be the Dodgers’ 4th best pitcher right now.  Rich Hil, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda are all throwing the ball better.  I guess that might be the reason the Rangers gave him up at the 11th hour for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Finally, Albert Pujols is statistically one of the least valuable players in the American League, yet somehow, the Angels are still in the AL Wild Card hunt with five weeks left in the season.  Pujols blew two opportunities with the bases loaded yesterday.  He’ll probably still be batting 3rd tomorrow as well.  I guess $240 million just doesn’t buy what it used to.  The Halos sure could use some better starting pitching, but they can’t be optimistic they are going to get it anytime soon.  Andrew Heaney hasn’t looked great since he returned from injury, while Garrett Richards is still two weeks away from returning, and might be held to a 60-pitch limit once he’s back in the rotation.  Is it even worth it to push two valuable young arms back in your rotation when they aren’t healthy or effective? The answer is no, but Arte Moreno would tell you otherwise, since all he cares about is selling tickets and entertaining rather than winning.  This is what Pujols looks like running to first base…….

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 21, 2017

Everything was going great for the Lakers until this weekend, when they found out they are under investigation by the NBA for tampering with Paul George.  This is like your ex-girlfriend trying to prevent you from ending up with the girl you know you’re going to end up with by trashing you on social media.  Every team tampers.  It’s simply the name of the game when trying to lure NBA free agents these days.  If the league cracks the whip on the Lakers and forbids them from signing Paul George, it would be shameful.  Meanwhile, Chris Sheridan has sources saying Lebron is leaving Cleveland at the end of the year.  Could he make it any more obvious that he’s planning on joining the Lakers?

To the NFL, where Jared Goff shocked most of us haters over the weekend with his performance against the Raiders.  The guy suddenly looked like he can play.  However, prior to that Sean McVay gave us reason to doubt him.  Every time McVay talks about Goff’s progress, the best thing he can say about him is that he has command of the huddles and is gaining respect.  That’s it?  What about his accuracy as a passer? Can he actually avoid turnovers? He did on Saturday, but even McVay sounds skeptical that he can be consistent.  Meanwhile, since the Chargers are giving out free tattoos to their fans, maybe they can pay for the Rams front office to get one across their forehead that says “sign Aaron Donald.”

Watching the Chargers and Saints do battle in practice, and in preseason last night can only make you look back on the Philip Rivers vs Drew Brees debate.  Brees got screwed in 2006 when Chargers GM AJ Smith told him he would be re-signed, even after his shoulder injury.  However, Smith went back on his word, ultimately letting Brees sign with the Saints, while giving the starting job to Rivers.  I’ve always felt bad for Brees because his heart was in San Diego, and he never wanted to leave.  However, had he remained in San Diego he would not have become one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.  The Bolts would not have built the team around Brees the way the Saints did, allowing him to become the player he did.  That’s no disrespect to Rivers, who is a fine quarterback as well.

To baseball, where the Dodgers are still rolling despite yesterday’s loss to the Tigers.  However, Andrew Friedman finally stopped listening to his computer, and sent Joc Pederson down to the minors.  He found a way to replace him with Curtis Granderson, who is already contributing quite nicely.  Since only 30% of the fans in LA can see the Dodger games, I guess if the Dodgers win the World Series only 30% of the fans will get to see the parade.  Nobody should worry about comparing those great regular season Dodger teams of the past that failed in the playoffs to this one though.  That would be like saying the Presidential approval rating of the 1962 President is better than today……oh wait never mind! The Dodgers really are screwed.

Big win by the Angels yesterday that kept them tied for the last AL Wild Card spot.  That series should have been a sweep though because Friday’s loss was brutal.  I guess there’s only 40 more times or so where the Angels can disappoint their fans like that because something tells me the Halos will make it interesting, yet somehow, the pitching will let them down when they need it most.  I also can’t figure out why the LA Times can’t send an actual beat writer to cover the team, as opposed to just giving readers an AP article on their road games.  Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and Albert Pujols just hit his 600th home run, yet the Halos can’t even get any local coverage.

The LA Kings held a “State of The Franchise” meeting last week, and it was nothing but selling false hope.  They might as well have told their fans that they are going to be the same team that will try to be physical, but probably won’t be able to score.  Apparently Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar are going to score twice as many goals as last season, just because they are in better shape.  LA’s best hope is for their recent draft picks to turn into something, but that’s probably a couple of seasons away.

I tried to watch The Bachelor in Paradise, but it was terrible.  Somehow, the show managed to take all of the uninteresting characters from previous seasons, and combine them into one uninteresting hour of television.  Corrine and DeMario gave us some entertainment for exactly one episode, but the collateral damage left us with a discussion on sexual consent and race.  The show’s budget is going to hell too.  Chris Harrison has to be the lifeguard, and wardrobe won’t even buy him a bathing suit.

Finally, what an episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Face it, we’ve reached the point where when one of your favorite characters dies you can probably deal with it.  However, when we lose a dragon, you’re heartbroken and want to call PETA.  That’s exactly what happened last night.  If you think that’s not strange enough, how many of us are rooting for incest to take place and see Jon Snow and Daeny actually hook up? It nearly happened last night, and I was shocked it didn’t.  The Night King would be both an excellent Olympic Javelin thrower, as well as a far better quarterback than anybody on the Jets roster right now.  Imagine what Donald Trump was probably thinking if he saw this episode.  “The White Walkers were peacefully protesting before a stone was thrown.  There is blame on both sides.”  Where does the army of the dead get chains to pull the dragon? Is there a Walmart north of the wall?  After episodes like that, I’m beginning to think HBO needs to include therapy in your subscription.  I think we need to face the fact that there’s a strong likelihood this season, and the series could very well have an unhappy ending.  One of Sansa, Arya, or Daeny seem most likely not to make it out of this season.  The show could tear your heart out next week, then disappear for a year.  Hard to tell if this is a TV series, or your ex.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 14, 2017

Roger Goodell has committed quite a few acts of cruelty during his time as NFL Commissioner.  The Bills topped all of those acts of cruelty last week by trading Sammy Watkins to the Rams.  This is called building a franchise reactively instead of proactively.  The Rams need talent and playmakers that can stretch the field, but they can’t be in the business of giving up high draft picks in the process. Watkins will probably suffer another injury boarding the plane that will keep out for 6-8 weeks.  If the Bills believed that Watkins was healthy, they wouldn’t have given up on him.  He’s a problem for the Rams now, but the bigger problem is their offensive line, which still pretty terrible.  Saturday’s preseason game against the Cowboys showed that problem on full display.

Speaking of the Cowboys, they learned that Ezekiel Elliott would be suspended for six games for alleged domestic abuse.  Jerry Jones is so upset over this, he’ll probably sign Lucky Whitehead and cut him again. I also like how every Cowboys fan on Twitter turned into an attorney once they heard this news.  Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un will probably play in the NFL before Colin Kaepernick does.  The Falcons had a double digit lead on the Dolphins going into the 4th quarter of a preseason game, blew it, and lost. They’re already in playoff form.  Mike Glennon’s 2nd pass as a Chicago Bear was a pick six. He’s replacing Jay Cutler perfectly.  The NFL regular season is just a few weeks away!

There were 21,000 people at the Chargers game last night.  There were 25,000 people at the last LA Galaxy game.  After last night, LA officials are probably on the phone with the city of San Diego trying to figure out if there is a way the Bolts can move back there.

To baseball, where the Dodgers may have won two of three against the D’Backs earlier in the week, but they gave us a glimpse of where they should still be concerned come playoff time.  The bullpen.  In two of the three games against the D’Backs, the pen imploded in the 7th or 8th inning.  As great as the Dodgers have been this year, this is the same problem they’ve had in the postseason the last four years.  Even scarier is the fact the St. Louis Cardinals are knocking on the door of the playoffs.  As if I didn’t have enough nightmares from the recent Dodger playoff appearances.  Houston Mitchell of the LA Times says that we should stop worrying about what happens to the Dodgers if they come up short in the playoffs, because it’s like worrying about the traffic on the way home from Disneyland.    Houston forgot that we worry about the crowds at Disneyland and the traffic on the way home, but it doesn’t stop us from going.  It’s just part of being a sports fan.  We don’t stop being Dodger fans because they kick their fans in the balls every October, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less when it happens, or stop us from being worried about it.

Meanwhile, the Angels are now sitting in the 2nd Wild Card spot in the American League.  I don’t know if that says more about the Halos, or the fact that the rest of the American League isn’t very good.  This team is Mike Trout and a bunch of pitchers held together by duct tape and chicken wire.  However, that pitching staff might actually be getting some serious help in the next couple of weeks.  Andrew Heaney looks like he could be coming off the DL soon, and Garrett Richards could be coming shortly after that.  When you add those two guys to rookie Parker Bridwell, who is now 7-1 after yesterday, the Halos roster may be getting better when they need it most.

Lonzo Ball picked Lebron Over Kobe when asked who is better.  I realize that some Kobe fans probably want to burn Lonzo’s house down, impound his car, and eject him from the universe.  However, this was a shrewd move by Lonzo, who is angling to play with Lebron in 2018, when he will be a free agent.  Lonzo doesn’t always say a lot, but when he does, he gets it.

I like the Clippers new uniforms and all, but how often are they going to keep changing them? Steve Ballmer has been trying to establish a new brand and much different identity since taking over the team.  However, how can you establish that identity when you change uniforms more frequently than Zach Randolph smokes weed?

If Josh Rosen thinks the demands of being a student athlete at UCLA are unreasonable, then he can try being a regular student.  Like all the other students at UCLA, he can struggle to actually find a spot in the classes he needs for his major to graduate.  He can also get a job and pay for his education the way many others are, as opposed to the free education he is receiving.  Nobody said being a student athlete is easy, but Rosen shouldn’t act like he doesn’t have the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him.

Let’s talk TV, starting with The Bachelorette season finale last week.  How did Rachel ever leave Kevin Durant? They had so much in common, like the fact they were totally desperate and would do anything for a ring.  They each got one in 2017.  Everyone put her on pedestal when the show started, but she ended up disappointing many by choosing Bryan over Peter.  There’s nothing like wanting to be married more than wanting to be with the right person.  You thought Nick and Vanessa were the most superficial looking couple you’ve ever seen? Rachel just said “hold my beer”, and gave us an even more fake relationship with her and Bryan.  How does Bryan feel about the fact that his fiancé wanted to be with another man 24 hours before he actually proposed to her? That’s like winning by forfeit.  Bryan is to true love what chiropractors are to medicine: fake.  Unfortunately, Rachel was too busy flying around in helicopters, and having dates in Spain with too many guys to realize that is the case.  The season started off so promising, but had an unsatisfying ending.

Finally, Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night with another episode.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if that is the case.  This episode wasn’t edge of your seat like last week but still pretty solid.  Nobody really thought that Jamie was dead after last week right?  You have to appreciate the alliances that are taking place here.  A coupe of bastards, two dudes who have been resurrected, a disgraced knight, a Wildling, a sorcerer, and the Hound, all team up to form a coalition with Cersei, who really wants them dead.  The Lannisters now look like they are screwed, but their fate will just have to wait until the battle with the White Walkers is over.  Something tells me Littlefinger is going to outsmart Arya, and will successfully drive a wedge between the two Stark girls with his latest move.  The biggest bomb of the show was Gilly mentioning Rhaegar being secretly remarried to Ned’s sister. That makes Jon Snow a true Targaryen, and gives him an even more rightful claim to the iron throne than Dany.  Jon touching the dragon might as well have been a DNA test to prove he’s a Targaryen.  Only two episodes left in 2017!