Category Archives: Morning Coffee

Monday Morning Coffee

August 5, 2019

We’ve become so bored in August that sports journalism has decided to analyze Lebron James parenting skills. Cue the eye roll emojis. Last week Lebron was seen doing throwing down dunks in the layup lines with his son’s AAU team, and doing chest bumps with Bronny after he threw down a lob pass. Apparently this doesn’t sit well with some of you folks attending your kids basketball games with your legs crossed and politely clapping. I’ve got news for you: you aren’t Lebron James. If you were, you could do that, and it would be perfectly fine. This is also a big part of the AAU culture, which is symbolized by showmanship. Having Lebron James throw down dunks and celebrate with his son is part of that, and only makes it more entertaining. Not to mention the fact he’s just being a great father, and that’s it’s pretty damn cool he gets to share this experience with his son.

Then there’s David Griffin. Griffin is a very good NBA executive, but in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, he comes off as an ungrateful jerk. Griffin said he was miserable building around Lebron James, saying the culture they built was completely “inorganic” and “not fun”. Of course he tried to issue some damage control on this later on, since he has to so in order to maintain a good relationship with Klutch Sports. Sorry David, but in case you haven’t learned already, you don’t win in the NBA without stars. You had one of the best ones to ever play, and you didn’t seem to enjoy it. Now you can find out what life is like without that star. Let us know how it goes.

I realize most of you think Carmelo Anthony is nothing but a one-dimensional ball hog, who is past his prime. However, let’s stop pretending like ‘Melo is a bad guy, or that his skill level has deteriorated to the point of not being an NBA player. Sure he’s not a great defender, but there’s plenty of other dudes in the league that don’t defend either, and they are employed by an NBA team. My point is that this man deserves a chance. A simple opportunity to accept a smaller role off the bench. If so, he might actually be pretty good at it. I can’t imagine that nobody in the league could use this kind of scoring off the bench. You could also do a lot worse than Carmelo Anthony for a minimum salary. He certainly said the right things in an interview with Stephen A Smith last week. I’d love to see him get that chance. He looked pretty good scrimmaging against some pros last week. What’s the risk?

To baseball where the Dodgers did absolutely nothing at the trade deadline to fix their bullpen problems. Apparently Andrew Friedman must not have seen his bullpen pitch this season, because at this point they would struggle just to close a hot dog stand, let alone a baseball game. I get that the Dodgers didn’t want to give up a prospect like Gavin Lux, who could be one of their infielders for the next 10 years, or Dustin May, who could be a solid starter as soon as next season. However, they have two very good catching prospects, and other solid talent in their farm system. Friedman really couldn’t use one of them to get a trustworthy bullpen arm? Something tells me that even Mark Walter is rolling his eyes on this one, wanting the Dodgers to actually do everything they can to win a title. That’s going to be really tough now that the Astros beefed up at the trade deadline acquiring Zack Greinke.

Meanwhile, the Angels season is over and they were smart not to pretend like they were buyers at the deadline. This team gets an injury every 5 minutes, and will likely have even more by the time you’re done reading this. The latest group to head to the IL is Andrelton Simmons, Garrett Canning, and Felix Pena. Their problems go well beyond pitching too. Suddenly, Justin Upton looks like another waste of money, and he’s stuck on the books for another two years. They also have no 3rd baseman, and no catching after letting go of Jonathan Lucroy. I’m not even sure the $34 million they could have to spend this off-season will be enough to fix all their problems. The Angels should make Albert Pujols pitch every game from here on out this season just to avoid any injuries. He’s done anyway, and would at least provide some entertainment seeing his lard butt try to pitch.

The Chargers are already off to a difficult start in training camp. Left Tackle Russell Okung looks like he will miss time with a pulmonary embolism issue, and then there’s the continued contract standoff between Melvin Gordon and the front office. Gordon wants more than the $10 million annually that is being offered to him, and at this point, wants to be traded. Sure teams like Tampa Bay, Seattle, and Houston could really use Gordon, but they certainly aren’t giving the Bolts a 1st round pick for him. Running backs are like iTunes music. Everybody wants it, but nobody is willing to pay for it. I don’t blame Gordon for trying, but as usual, NFL players have no leverage in these contract negotiations. He’s lucky to get the $10 million he’s being offered, and should just take it and get back to work. In the meantime though, the Chargers better hope Gordon doesn’t miss games so it doesn’t compromise their season.

Mercifully this season of The Bachelorette finally came to an end last week. Hannah Brown was such a disaster, and her selection of Jed over Tyler and Peter just symbolized her stupidity. Apparently Jed thought he was going on “The Voice” instead of “The Bachelorette”. Even Luke P. received a standing ovation from the studio audience the week before when he was introduced, but Jed just got radio silence. That’s how hated that man was. Hannah doesn’t deserve Tyler, even if it appears she has an opportunity with him now. The level of scripting on the show is just too much though. For a while it was believable that all these people are crazy fools willing to look like idiots on TV. Now it’s apparent that these are all crazy fools willing to do what the ABC producers tell them to do in order to embarrass themselves on National TV. Somehow, it doesn’t seem to stop us from watching over and over again. Also, who the hell was camped out in the bushes all night waiting for Tyler and Hannah to walk outside in the morning? I’m thinking it was Chris Harrison.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 29, 2019

The Clippers finally introduced Kawhi Leonard and Paul George last week at a press conference. Obviously this was very exciting for all 6 real Clipper fans in Southern California. I especially enjoyed Paul George referring to the fan base as “Clipper Nation”. Sorry Paul, but it’s not a nation. It’s not even a city, a town, or a street. It’s more like “Clipper Cul-de-sac”. Even funnier is the fact Paul George claimed he was a Clipper fan growing up. He must think LA basketball fans are as dumb as the people that are planning on storming Area 51. The internet has receipts showing that he was a Laker fan growing up. Look, congratulations to the Clippers for pulling this off and becoming NBA Championship contenders, but don’t try to bamboozle the fans by claiming this is something it isn’t.

As for the Lakers, they may have put together a very good roster, but the foolishness of their front office and ownership was on full display last week again. Kawhi Leonard specifically mentioned the greatness of the Clippers owner, Steve Ballmer, their coach, Doc Rivers, and their front office, led by Lawrence Frank. That was a direct shot fired at Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, and Magic Johnson for their dysfunction, incompetence, and arrogance the last 6 months, which prevented them from becoming a tyrannical dynasty this off-season. Just because “we are the Lakers” doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. That foolishness was also on display when they parted ways with Ryan West, who is one of the better talent evaluators in the game, and easily has enough experience to be a GM in this league, instead of some of the other clowns in the league in that role. If you can’t find a place for that guy, then one should ask if you know what you’re doing. Meanwhile, the Lakers are still hoping Andre Iguodola gets released so they can pounce on him, and that signing Giannis’ little brother will be the ticket to them getting Giannis in 2021. Let the tampering begin!

To baseball where the Dodgers took 2 of 3 from the Nationals over the weekend, but their odds of improving the team at the trade deadline are looking very unlikely. The Boys in Blue need bullpen help like Donald Trump needs to stay off Twitter, but it doesn’t look like much is coming. Andrew Friedman is a prospect hoarder. This year, it’s hard to blame him considering he’s got a quartet of great prospects that are about to break into the majors, and this is coming from someone who’s as critical of Friedman as anyone. Major league relievers are more volatile than the stock market, so even someone like Felipe Vasquez should be looked at the way you would look at a pending free agent, since his performance has only been elite this year. The best bet for the Dodgers to improve the club is to take one of their young pitchers like Julio Urias or Dustin May, and slot them into a bullpen role in the postseason. It would also help the Dodgers immensely if they weren’t matchup/analytics focused come October, and allow Dave Roberts to actually manage instead of having Siri and Alexa tell him what to do.

Meanwhile, you thought for just a second that the Angels should be buyers at the trade deadline. Then they reminded you that they are still the Angels, struggling against one of the worst teams in baseball, the Orioles. Going into Sunday the Halos were 5 games out of the 2nd Wild Card spot in the AL, but they have to battle 5 other teams to get there. This season has been bumpier than going for a ride on the Matterhorn. Giving up some solid prospects just for a chance at a one game playoff is silly. The Halos don’t just need one pitcher to get back to the postseason. They need 3 or 4. Their best bet is to take the $35 million or so they have to spend this off-season, and spend it on the likes of a Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, Cole Hamels, or Zack Wheeler. That should give them enough time to develop pitching from within, while vaulting them into contention in the AL.

The Rams opened training camp over the weekend, as well as announced extensions for Sean McVay and Les Snead. Funny how it wasn’t that long ago that people wondered whether Les Snead would still have a job with the Rams. Now he’s viewed as one of the better GM’s in the league, all because McVay came down from heaven as what appears to be the next great NFL coach. The Rams have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL this year, so they should return to the playoffs and contend for another Super Bowl appearance. They have good young stars in Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald. However, even if Gurley’s knee isn’t 100%, and Goff regresses, something tells me that with McVay secured as their leader, they’ll figure out a way to be successful. Coaching in the NFL means that much. Just ask the New England Patriots.

Shark Week 2019 is here! It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year on The Discovery Channel. I won’t be moving from my TV set for the next week, but probably also not going in the ocean either. I find sharks one of the most terrifying yet one of the most fascinating creatures in the world. It’s nice to see Discovery focus a little more on the science of sharks the last few years and not the sensationalized shark attacks, which they’ve done in previous years.

Finally, The Bachelorette’s “Men Tell All” went down last week on ABC. There might not be a bigger villain in Bachelor History than Luke P. Imagine playing a drinking game where you had to take a shot every time Luke P said “let me be clear” last week. You would be dead in 5 minutes. Hey Luke: “no means no” and “go means go”. Leave it to ABC to somehow bring in the religious angle by having Luke P play the role of the controversial Christian. By the way, is no one going to acknowledge the hickey that was on his neck? The reality of it is, Hannah was so uninteresting as The Bachelorette, they needed Luke to bring the drama this season to keep everyone’s attention. As if this season wasn’t disappointing enough, you’ll be even more disappointed to know that Mike won’t be the next Bachelor since he was seen on a preview of Bachelor in Paradise. Considering we’re done with Luke P, how interesting can the finale be? Even ABC doesn’t really think so.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 22, 2019

The Lakers reportedly feel like they “got played” by Kawhi Leonard when he decided to join the Clippers. It’s this type of ridiculous logic that qualifies you to be the owner of the Lakers these days. Kawhi was clearly not going to go play for the Clippers unless they acquired another star, which they did at the 11th hour. Had they not, he likely would have joined the Lakers. The idea that Kawhi dragged out this process so that the Lakers would miss out on other free agents makes no sense. Kawhi would be hurting any team he joined by dragging out the process. This type of flawed logic also qualifies people to be NBA journalists these days as well. Nevertheless, Rob Pelinka deserves credit for recovering the way he did after he was spurned by Leonard. It sure would be nice though if Andre Iguodala got bought out and joined the Lakers. That would further vault them into title contention.

The Clippers are finally going to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this week. For a team that is trying to grow it’s fan base, what the hell took so long? I was beginning to think that the press conference was going to happen right around the all-star break at this rate. Kawhi probably asked if he could just Face Time for the press conference given how much he seems to enjoy the media. Meanwhile, Jerry West claimed that the Clippers are the best organization he’s ever worked for. This was clearly meant as a shot at not only the Warriors and Grizzlies, but most definitely the Lakers. Come on Jerry, nobody really believes that you believe that. We know you’re angry and making a prisoner of the moment statement. Still, it’s sad to see arguably the greatest executive in league history get away from the most storied franchise.

To baseball where the Dodgers keep winning but their bullpen is looking more and more disastrous by the day. You know it’s bad when Kenley Jansen admits things will be great when he and Joe Kelly start pitching better. You also know it’s bad when Clayton Kershaw expressed disappointment in their performance on Saturday, costing him a win. The question isn’t whether or not Andrew Freidman will try to fix the problem, it’s whether or not he’s going to shop at the 99 Cent Store to fix it. Friedman always goes dumpster diving for garbage relievers that never actually fix the problem LA has had for the past 5 years. That’s why it’s hard for me to imagine him actually paying the price to get a Felipe Vazquez, Brad Hand, or Will Smith. In reality, the Dodgers probably need two of those guys in the pen to give themselves a real postseason chance.

As for the Angels, they finally parted ways with Matt Harvey, after he pitched another disastrous outing. It turns out the Halos didn’t really sign the Dark Knight. Instead they signed the Joker, who burned about $28.5 million on useless pitching. Harvey and his $11 million salary was DFA’d, so was $8.5 million Closer Cody Allen, while $9 million Trevor Cahill was moved to the bullpen. Angel starters have gone an MLB worst 4.2 innings per game. The passing of Tyler Skaggs and the continuous trips to the IL by Andrew Heaney have made it even worse. There’s just no starting pitching for this team, and they won’t be a threat to do anything until they get some.

Arash Markazi is solid reporter, and as good of a guy as they come in the industry. However, his article in the LA Times yesterday about LA entering a “Golden Age” for sports rivalries is way off. Arash claims that the Galaxy and LAFC is currently a great rivalry, and cited Angels-Dodgers, Clippers-Lakers, and Rams-Chargers, as other solid inter-city rivalries. I couldn’t disagree more. While the Galaxy and LAFC is looking more promising, the Lakers and the Clippers haven’t even played a game yet with their new look rosters, so let’s slam the brakes on that one. Last time the Clippers put together “Lob City” it was “Flop City”. The Angels and Dodgers is more of a marketing manufactured rivalry, but no on-field rivalry. The Angels aren’t close to competing for anything, and nobody believes Cody Bellinger is better than Mike Trout. Rams and Chargers isn’t a rivalry either because the Chargers have no fans, and the teams are pretty friendly with each other. The Kings and Ducks had a very nice rivalry going a few years ago, but now they both stink, and the same goes for UCLA and USC. I’m not seeing much of a “golden age” here.

The Chargers might be toast in their negotiations with Melvin Gordon. If Gordon requests that the Bolts play in front of at least 200 fans at every home game, they are out of luck. No way 200 Charger fans exist in SoCal anymore, let alone getting 200 to go to a game. The Chargers are about 10th on the list of teams to support in Los Angeles, coming in right after the Sparks and an Intramural Sand Flag Football team in Marina Del Rey.

Watching Tiger Woods limp up and down the fairway at The Open Championship this weekend was just sad. It was only 3 months ago that he gave us a nice flashback by winning The Masters. However, his inability to physically recover between tournaments, while also not being healthy enough to consistently play between majors is preventing sustained success. The man has become less effective in the cold than Jared Goff. When I hear phrases like “Father Time” and “trying to prolong my career” out of his mouth, I’m fearing that we may have seen the last major title of his career this year. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

Finally, The Bachelorette went down on ABC last week and it’s back tonight. ABC just trolled everyone so hard when Hannah appeared to send Luke home, only to show him in the previews for the next show. Then again, if Tyler ends up punching Luke when this is all over, it will be totally worth the wait. I’m not sure we’ll ever look at windmills the same way again after Hannah told us about her adventures in one. Tyler’s pants are definitely tighter than Luke P’s grip on reality. Looks like Luke’s sex shaming strategy didn’t work out so great. Windmills and Luke are now the biggest rivalry in Bachelor/Bachelorette history. Jed was really struggling to get through that date without his guitar. This is getting more entertaining as we’re getting down to the end, despite the fact Hannah B herself is underwhelming as a Bachelorette.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 15, 2019

I’ve been beating up the Lakers’ front office and ownership for months and rightfully so. However, I’ve gotta give Rob Pelinka credit for the roster he assembled after losing out on Kawhi Leonard. The LakerS should contend for a title. The team has guys that can shoot this year, and what appears to be a lot of depth. Lots of people hate the guy, he has flaws, but the man seems to know what he’s doing. Of course when Pelinka actually thanked Magic Johnson for his contributions at the beginning of Saturday’s press conference, that was “peak Littlefinger”. Nevertheless, hats off to him while everyone was criticizing him, including myself. There’s still the questions around coaching though. Frank Vogel said there is a great deal of mutual respect between himself, Lebron, and AD. What this really means is that he’s optimistic by training camp Lebron will stop calling him “Fred” and that AD will stop referring to him as “dude”.

Meanwhile, congrats to the Clippers for finding a superstar that was weird enough to actually sign with the them in Kawhi Leonard. The same goes for Paul George, who was weird enough to demand a trade just one year after re-signing with OKC. I love how these two guys have already been banned from Alfred Coffee in LA. Wait until these guys try to throw out the first pitch at a Dodger game and they get booed like they were Santa Clause in Philadelphia. Maybe that’s why Kawhi made sure he only committed to two full years in LA when he signed his contract.

I love how Chris Paul getting traded for Russell Westbrook isn’t even one of the top 3 story lines of the NBA off-season. That just goes to show you how much these guys have aged. That trade might have actually made both teams worse. A Westbrook and James Harden combination seems great if Russell could shoot and if the Rockets were allowed to play with two basketballs. Meanwhile, CP3 wishes David Stern was around to veto this trade. At least his State Farm insurance rates will go down now that he is moving from Houston to OKC. He is probably wrestling with the idea of giving up some of that $124 million that’s owed to him just to get out of playing in OKC. The problem is, he’s a pain in the ass to play with these days, and as talented as he still is, that talent might not outweigh the baggage. That baggage is something the Lakers will seriously have to consider if he does end up becoming a free agent. It’s just too risky.

To the NFL where training camp is about to open up, and the Chargers have a contract situation to deal with in Melvin Gordon. Gordon said that he needs a new contract, and will hold out until he gets one, or even demand a trade if necessary. The Bolts would be reasonable to oblige, but only up to a certain point. Gordon and his agent may not have been paying attention to the fact that Le’Veon Bell didn’t exactly do all that great by sitting out a year, losing out on a lot of money. Gordon’s argument is that you can’t just replace a great running back. Apparently he’s never heard of James Conner. I don’t expect this to be a Khalil Mack situation, because the Chargers aren’t as dumb as the Raiders, but there should be a reasonable compromise made by both sides here.

The Dodgers may have taken 2 of 3 from the Red Sox over the weekend, but not without giving their fans something to be concerned about. In typical, Dodger fashion, Pedro Baez came out of the pen yesterday, and blew a two run lead in the 8th inning by giving up back-to-back homers. Do any of the Dodgers’ middle relievers actually get paid? I’m not so sure they should. I wouldn’t trust these guys to open the bullpen door correctly. Combine that with the beating the Dodgers took on Friday, and I’m already scared of what this team might look like again come October. The point is, as the trade deadline approaches, Andrew Friedman better not take the conservative approach, especially when it comes to improving the starting pitching and especially the bullpen. If he does, he should be on the next season of “Hoarders” on A&E, for all the prospects he hoards and foolishly refuses to trade to put this team over the top.

Given how rough of a season it’s been for the Angels, I feel like it’s only fair that the league allow them to play the Mariners every game. That way they might at least have a chance to be competitive in the AL West. It was really nice to see the Angels have some success on the field with a no-hitter on Friday on the night they honored Tyler Skaggs, which continued with another impressive performance after that. The Halos were so hot this weekend, even Albert Pujols was hitting the ball out of the yard. There’s not much to be excited about with this club, but at least this weekend was nice to see, and also makes you think there might even be Baseball Gods out there.

What a great Wimbledon Final yesterday between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Thank God for that new tie breaker, otherwise these two all-time greats would have been playing through the next several Kardashian marriages. It felt like we were saying Federer has been getting old for about 5 years now, yet somehow, he’s still arguably the best in the world. Djokovic isn’t exactly on the younger side of his career either, and it amazes me that we have yet to see a young tennis star emerge on the men’s circuit in ages. I’m not sure whether this says more about the greatness of Federer, Djokovic, and even Rafael Nadal, or more about the lack of quality tennis players that haven’t emerged. It’s especially disappointing that an American hasn’t emerged in ages as well.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and it’s back again tonight. So that’s how it’s going to be Chris Harrison? You’re just going to let Hannah do whatever she wants and keep a bunch of guys around when she’s supposed to keep eliminating dudes? Since when does The Bachelorette get to make up her own rules like that? Harrison has become totally useless on this show, and does nothing but sit by the pool and drink Margaritas until we see him for 5 minutes an episode. Hannah probably told Chris she needs 4 fantasy suites, and Chris likely responded by letting her know it’s not in the budget unless they stick a couple of guys in a windmill tower. I know half of you celebrated when Tyler and Peter got their roses, but I would have loved to see your reaction when Luke P and the rest of the crew stuck around. Can’t wait to see where this disaster ends up tonight.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 8, 2019

Congratulations to the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard for completely bamboozling the entire NBA. For all the jokes I’ve dropped on here about the Clips being a punching bag over the years, they really are front runners for an NBA Championship next year. Frankly, the only thing surprising is that Kawhi didn’t make his announcement on PBS or just by updating his LinkedIn profile. The combination of Kawhi and Paul George gives the Clippers 2 of the top 10 players in the NBA, and one of the best perimeter defenses in the league. This really shouldn’t be surprising though because the Clips did things the right way by hiring Jerry West to consult for them, and built out an experienced front office that had stability. Ultimately, making the sensible moves paid off for them. With that being said, I sure hope Kawhi Leonard and Paul George like getting booed in LA, because they are going to see a lot of that playing for the Clippers. It’s going to take more than one championship to make this a Clipper town. However, it potentially sets up a nice rivalry with the Lakers.

Speaking of the Lakers, I give credit to Rob Pelinka for recovering from the Kawhi decision with the signings he made. The Lakers are definitely championship contenders, albeit with some questions about durability and perimeter defense. I also have some questions about Jared Dudley, who looks like he should be selling Falafel on the corner of Olympic and Fig instead of playing for the Lakers. They are contenders. However, Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, and Magic Johnson are fools for their behavior the last 6 months, and completely responsible for the monster competitor that was built down the hall at Staples. Jeanie could have brought back Jerry West as a consultant, but she said no. She could have brought more front office experience around Pelinka after Magic quit, but no. She continues to drink her own Laker Kool-Aid. Then there’s Magic who probably cost the Lakers getting Kawhi by blabbing about his meeting with Uncle Dennis to the media. Meanwhile, Pelinka had to perpetuate the backstabbing image by talking badly about Magic in front of the team. The Lakers almost had Kawhi and could have crushed the league for years. Instead their own arrogance and foolishness cost them, and now life is going to be a lot tougher.

If there’s one thing we learned from this whole Kawhi drama, it’s that Chris Broussard, Jalen Rose, and this Ayre Abraham kid don’t know crap about what’s going on in the NBA. If you believe anything they say, you should probably go buy a ticket to next years Fyre Fest. If Broussard told me he had pepperoni on his pizza last night, I wouldn’t believe him. Dude claimed that not only was there a 94% chance he signs with the Lakers, but that the Clippers were out. If Fox Sports is keeping this guy employed for his “sources”, they are even dumber than I thought. Next time I hear something his sources say, I’m calling the Feds myself. Any pro insider with half a brain like Woj, Ramona, David Aldridge, or even Brian Windhorst would never speak in absolutes. Free agency was absolutely wild, and these four minutes sums it up quite nicely for NBA fans.

To baseball, where the Dodgers have reached the All-Star break with the best record in baseball. Cody Bellinger has been absolutely amazing. He’s easily the MVP of the National League, and other than Mike Trout, he’s the best player in baseball. Hopefully Andrew Friedman’s computer reminds him to lock him up to a contract extension soon. The Dodgers should also be getting reinforcements back soon with Corey Seager and AJ Pollock coming off the DL shortly after the break. They’ll need it because Joc Pederson has decided he’s going to suck in the 2nd half of the season since he’ll be participating in the Home Run Derby. The last time Joc did this, he disappeared like Hodini for the rest of the season. Scary moment the other night seeing Russell Martin get hit in the head with a fast ball. He got hit so hard, you had to wonder if he would remember that he was once an all-star player in this league. Meanwhile, this was a friendly and playful competitive exchange between Manny Machado and a fan last week.

I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who tragically died last week. By all accounts, everyone that knew Skaggs had nothing but amazing things to say about him as not just a competitor on the field, but also as a wonderful human being. It feels like these types of tragedy’s have historically hit the Angels organization. From Nick Adenhart, to Lyman Bostock, and Donnie Moore, this is a sad and unexplained trend surrounding the organization. At this point baseball can’t be at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the organization, yet it’s probably one of the few things that can be somewhat therapeutic during a difficult time.

Seeing Paul George and Jerry West stab the Lakers in the back this weekend wasn’t the only dagger thrown in SoCal the last few days. In hockey, the Ducks hired former Kings Coach Darryl Sutter as an advisor. That’s right the greatest coach in Kings history who won two Stanley Cups is now advising their cross town rival. Meanwhile, the Kings are going through coaches like Kardashians go through boyfriends. Wait until the Ducks hire Dean Lombardi next and stick it to the Kings even more to accelerate their rebuild.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight, and we’re getting closer to the end. I think the producers of the show are testing the viewers inner strength. They know that every time Hanna selects Luke P you want to hurl yourself off the roof of a building. This has to be an inside job. Hanna must be getting paid to keep him around, or it’s gotta be in her contract. Garrett must have never seen an episode of The Bachelorette. In every season the dude that confronts the dude nobody likes and talks badly about him is the dude that ends up packing his bags and going home. You can’t win an argument with an idiot. Best-case scenario, you prove yourself as smarter than the idiot—an assumption everybody had when you walked into the room. Worst-case scenario, you lose the argument. That’s how Garrett spent his last moments on The Bachelorette, slinging baloney with a doofus. Luke, Tyler, Jed, and Pete are the final four. All white guys, trying to be with a girl from the south. Who could have predicted this one?

Monday Morning Coffee

July 1, 2019

The madness has begun! NBA free agency is in full effect, and the Lakers are right at the center of it. At this point though, it’s looking like Kawhi Leonard or bust for the Lake Show. This is one dude that nobody knows anything about. I might actually be convinced he’s leaving Toronto, but Chris Broussard said he’s probably leaving Toronto which really means he’s re-signing there. The Lakers have to hope that if Kawhi decides to go elsewhere, there are still enough solid role players out there to be had. These free agent meetings are such a waste of time though. These dudes all know where they are going. Then again, if I were an NBA free agent I’d probably meet with all 30 teams to get 30 different free dinners.

Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka deserve credit for getting the Lakers to this point in the last few weeks. However, Buss finally spoke to the media last week, and her statement couldn’t have been any more disingenuous. She said the team is “in a really good place”, is “on the right path” and that “the goal has always been to get back to the playoffs.” Weird, because I always thought the goal was to win championships. The Lakers may be on the right path, but we won’t really know until free agency plays out. However, don’t give me some statement ignoring Magic pulling out the rug from under us, or without mentioning the disastrous coaching search. She could have at least told us “We know we have work to do, we know it’s been a difficult last few months, but I’m confident I can get the Lakers back to where we belong.” There has to be an element of self-awareness and there still seems to be none.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson had to announce to the world that Kawhi wanted to meet with him to take another shot at Pelinka. The man’s ego knows no bounds. It also feels like Magic is putting in more effort now with the Lakers than he did as President of Basketball Operations. Speaking of Pelinka, he really pulled a magic act by clearing additional cap space to create a max slot. He must have promised the Wizards a dinner with Michael Jackson.

Kevin Durant is a great player, and he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, but this dude is crazy. He’s the best player, already an all-time great, and playing on one of the best teams in the history of the NBA. Instead, he’s decided to leave them to play in New York, with a guy who’s fairly moody in Kyrie Irving. He’s doing this all because some teenager on Twitter thinks he’s a front runner. It shocks me that anybody could be that thin skinned. At a certain point you just have to tune out the noise and not care what people think. I admire the Nets aggressiveness in turning around their franchise, but I’m not so sure about the wisdom of replacing one all-star point guard who hasn’t reached his peak with another that has more mileage, and investing most of their cap in a guy who is coming off a torn achilles. Then there’s the Knicks. Only the New York Knicks would trade one of the best young players in basketball into cap space, and sign no star free agents. Hilarious.

To baseball where the Dodgers are still enjoying the best record in baseball, even after a tough weekend in Colorado. However, these ballparks really need to do something about security. Fans have been running onto the field nonstop just to give Cody Bellinger a hug. Imagine what would happen if Andrew Friedman were on the field. Fans would be running onto the field to kick him in the balls since he can’t put a good bullpen together. I love the fact the Dodger starters are going deeper into games, which lightens the load on the bullpen, but I sure hope Friedman’s computer allows Dave Roberts do that in the playoffs. Only a month left to find a quality arm or two for the pen.

Mike Trout is depriving us during the All-Star break. The man refuses to participate in the Home Run Derby. Look, he can do what he wants, but it’s reasons like this that people claim he isn’t marketable, or as easily identifiable to baseball fans, as great as he is. I’m sure participating in the derby once won’t kill him, especially now that his financial future is secure for nearly the next two decades. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani has already hit 10 home runs in just 44 games this season. That’s nice but they really need him to get back on a mound a pitch. Too bad that won’t happen until next year, which means another year of the Angels and their fans saying “maybe next year we’ll have good pitching.”

Finally, the Bachelorette is back tonight on ABC. You’ve gotta love the look on everyone’s face when Hannah gave Luke P a rose. That guy has to be a producer pick at this point right? Luke claimed he was “staying in his lane”. If that’s what he calls “staying in his lane” then he must be driving drunk. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was the first male Bachelorette. Someone should throw that dude’s passport in the river so he can’t go on to the next country. Tyler C seems like a pretty good bet to be the next Bachelor right now. There are some pretty good dudes on the show, but we’d never know since we get about two hours of Luke drama every week. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 24, 2019

One of the best rivalries in sports is becoming Laker fans on Twitter vs ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowki. You cannot deny how amazing of a reporter Woj is. However, ESPN wants him to provide his opinion, which can often be misconstrued for his sourced reporting. When it comes to his opinion, make no mistake about it, this man has Celtic ties. Woj is an east coast guy, with serious east coast ties, and it’s always been hard not to associate him with the Celtics, especially given that he worked with notorious Celtic homer Chris Mannix while at Yahoo. Sometimes you can almost hear Danny Ainge leaking him information with his “sourced material” sure to irritate Laker fans. The last thing Woj wants to see is a Laker super team. For that reason, Laker fans are dying to see this man be wrong, and are practically bullying him on the internet. I’m beginning to think Laker fans just want Woj to be wrong more than they actually want the Lebron-Kawhi-AD super team. This rivalry is only sure to get better in the next two weeks.

Who are these UCLA kids getting draft advice from, Lavar Ball? Moses Brown and Kris Wilkes were not drafted, and Jaylen Brown was barely selected before it was over. Even if these kids can develop in the G-League, they are leaving school early to make $35,000 a year. That would be a paycut from what some of the boosters are paying these kids at USC and Kentucky. Imagine how much better UCLA and College Basketball would be if kids like that stayed in school for another year or two? Imagine how much better the NBA would be if the kids they picked were ready to contribute and make an impact right away. Unfortunately, we’re not only going to continue to see this, but it will only be worse because drafting kids right out of high school again is going to become a thing.

Speaking of Lavar, are we finally done with him? Now that Lonzo is off to New Orleans maybe ESPN won’t care about him. They might not also let him back on their network after he was hitting on First Take host Molly Qerim last week. Qerim is married to ESPN’s Jalen Rose, who was probably in the room next door when the incident took place. Rose hasn’t been this disrespected since Kobe dropped 81 points on him at Staples Center in 2006. Lavar claims that he wasn’t actually hitting on her, and he tried to tell TMZ that by “changing gears” he meant “changing topics.” That’s hard to believe, because at the time, nobody watching or on the set interpreted the comment that way. Nevertheless, something tells me that people won’t stop putting a mic in this guy’s face, and he’ll keep giving people nonsense to talk about.

The Dodgers are losing bodies, but they keep winning games. Rich Hill, David Freese, and AJ Pollock are all out with injuries, but the Boys in Blue keep plugging in guys you’ve never heard of and they keep winning. I know you want me to credit Andrew Friedman for that, but riddle me this. If he believed in Alex Verdugo so much, then why did you have to go out and sign Pollock to a massive contract? Verdugo is killing it as an everyday player, while Pollock is killing the Dodger payroll on the injured list.

The Angels got handled by the Cardinals this weekend in St. Louis, and Albert Pujols finally made his return to the place he spent the majority of his career. Pujols actually hit a home run in this series, and it’s nice to see that he can do that every now and again since he’s only making $25 million. Albert should also put his foot in his mouth after telling the media before the series that he can’t wait for Mike Trout to play in front of “real fans”. Albert, there are “real fans” that actually come out to see your unproductive butt every night in Anaheim, and they can’t wait to see you retire.

Congratulations to Sean McVay who got engaged to his girlfriend Veronika Khomyn. That’s bad news for all the dudes drooling over Khomyn, and bad news for all the women who were hoping to lock down McVay. The good news for McVay is that he finally got a ring! Oh, and this is what he looked like in high school.

I’m not one to get very excited about the NHL Draft. Even if you’re a huge hockey fan, you’re watching your team pick teenagers that you won’t even see play pro for 2-3 years at best. However, the real sad part of this is the LA Kings, who had a top 5 pick this year because they stunk, and seemed determine to stink next year with another top 5 pick. Imagine having a team with Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown, and planning on tanking before the season even starts. That’s as wasteful as it gets.

Finally, The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight. Hannah actually threw out the first pitch the other night at the Dodger game which makes perfect sense. The Dodgers are run by Andrew Friedman, who has questionable judgement, and they selected someone with very questionable judgement in men to throw out the first pitch. That entire episode is an example of a meeting that could have been an email. How is this Luke P dude still around? Since when do people get to stay on the show when they don’t get a Rose? Is Chris Harris going to regulate this or is he just going to drink Pina Coladas on the beach like he usually does all season? Hannah looks like she’s reached her breaking point and is ready to quit. Honestly though, would you be that upset if she did and they cancelled the rest of the season? I sure wouldn’t. I’m ready for this season to be over. You are too, but sure enough, you’ll probably be back next season to watch the train wreck again.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 17, 2019

Congratulations to Rob Pelinka and the Lakers. No matter what happens from here, he managed to keep Anthony Davis from the Celtics, get rid of Lavar Ball, and save his job in one trade. That’s a serious accomplishment as far as Jock Talk LA is concerned. In all seriousness though, the Lakers gave up a truck load in this trade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad thing. That will be determined by whether or not the Lakers can sign a max free agent in the next couple of weeks. Nobody even knows if the Lakers have that amount of money left, but I have a hard time believing Pelinka would make this trade without having that opportunity. He can’t be that foolish can he? This is a results-driven business, and Pelinka and even Jeanie Buss delivered this weekend. However, it doesn’t excuse the embarrassment they’ve put on display publicly the last 6 months. Still, depending on how Pelinka can construct the roster from here, it’s possible nobody will even remember that.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA Championship. Has anybody actually informed Kawhi Leonard that they won the title? In typical Kawhi fashion, you couldn’t tell if he just finished a Monday morning practice or if he won a championship. The Raptors played much better than I thought, but as I said, the only thing that could derail the Warriors is injury, and that’s exactly what happened. However, history will not remember the fact the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries. History doesn’t remember that the ’89 Lakers suffered injuries to end their bid for a three-peat, or that the ’91 Lakers had injuries when they lost to the Bulls, or that the ’16 Cavs had injuries against the Warriors. Klay is the toughest dude in the NBA. He shoots two free throws with a torn ACL, while Paul Pierce needed a wheel chair to go to the bathroom. I feel terrible for KD, who’s career may never be the same after this. His injury simply sucks for the entire NBA. Meanwhile, Kawhi’s phone was blowing up after the Finals. Here’s a look:

Then there’s the Clippers. In the span of 6 days, the Clippers went from being poised to get a big-time free agent or two, to looking more likely to strikeout in free agency. Kevin Durant tore his Achilles, Kawhi Leonard won an NBA title, and the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis. That torpedoes the Clips chances of landing a big star or two. So what’s plan B? Is there a plan B? You need 2-3 stars to win in this league. Right now the Clippers still need 1, and hopefully someone’s told Steve Ballmer that Billy Crystal doesn’t count. Things can change very quickly in this league as we just learned, but suddenly, it’s looking much bleaker for the Clippers.

To baseball, where the Dodgers did alright against the Cubs this weekend. However, we had to be reminded that Kenley Jansen isn’t quite as dominant as he once was, after blowing a save on Saturday night. They also could really use Corey Seager’s bat, which won’t be in the lineup for quite some time after he strained his hamstring earlier in the week. Seager had just started to get it going too after a slow start. I like how there was debate early in the season of whether the Dodgers should play Kike Hernandez or Chris Taylor everyday at second base. It turns out the answer was neither since neither could hit water if they fell out of a boat right now. That’s turning into an additional problem to fix along with the dumpster fire that is their middle relief.

The Angels managed to get a couple of wins against the Dodgers, but couldn’t get back to .500 after their weekend series against the Rays. I’m amazed the Angels cut ties with Cody Allen, but still have yet to cut ties with Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. Not that Cody Allen didn’t need to be DFA’d, but his performance hasn’t been nearly as awful as Harvey and Cahill. I also like how the only thing people could talk about during the Dodgers v Angels series last week was how disingenuous the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” name is. One thing is for sure. They will always be known as the Angels, and will never have enough pitching!

In the NHL, the LA Kings made another bonehead move. They bought out aging defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Instead of paying Phaneuf an inflated salary for two more years, they stretched that out for another four years, which includes a $4 million cap hit in two years. One would hope that on a team with Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, you would be trying to compete for Stanley Cups, and would need that salary cap space. It would have been be far more sensible to keep Phaneuf on the bench, or sitting in the stands in street clothes for two years instead of four because of this. In addition to that, everyone would get the benefit of seeing Phaneuf’s attractive actress wife, Elisha Cuthbert in the stands all the time. This tells me that Rob Blake understands nothing about the salary cap, or attractive women.

OJ Simpson joined Twitter last week, which was pretty epic. Amazing that this man managed to start the account on the 25th anniversary of his wife’s murder. I’ve been on Twitter for 8 years and I have over 100 followers. Meanwhile, OJ has been on for 10 minutes, and he has 10,000 followers. That’s a killer ratio.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and is back again tonight. ABC is not very good at this whole spoiler thing. Luke P doesn’t get a rose at the end of the show, yet he’s shown in the previews for the next episode. I guess this is how the network decided they were going to top last season’s fence jump. Does the P in Luke P stand for “psychopath”? How did we manage to get an entire 2 hour episode dedicated to this dude? Meanwhile, Hannah asking the really hard-hitting questions like whether the guy likes mac-n-cheese or spaghetti. I like how Luke P’s date overshadowed how drunk Hannah was on her one-on-one with Mike in Scotland. She probably needed to be drunk for the date with Luke P though to make it more tolerable. Here’s to another week of hoping this show gets better.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 10, 2019

I know what you’re thinking. The Lakers can assemble the best trade package for Anthony Davis, and should be able to trade for him. It’s not going to happen folks. Even though the Celtics are out and the Lakers have better assets than the Knicks and Clippers, the Pelicans are going to make the Lakers pay a “Laker tax” in order to complete a trade. Even if Rob Pelinka is willing to put every single young player into a trade, which he probably would do to save his job, Jeanie Buss but won’t let him. She’s been sticking her nose into every basketball decision these days, along with the inept friends she’s been relying on. This situation won’t be any different, and it’s going to cost the Lakers another star they could have traded for, for the 3rd straight summer. In the meantime, the Lakers are building an excellent staff of replacements for Frank Vogel. The latest hiring is Lionel Hollins. Something tells me we’re going to see a lot of finger pointing this season.

Warriors fans haven’t been this upset since Mitch Richmond left the team. Just kidding. No Warriors fans even know who Mitch Richmond is. Like I said, the only thing that can derail the Warriors are injuries, and that’s exactly what is going to derail them. Kawhi is a beast. He and Kevin Durant are total weirdos though. Kawhi could win the title and decide to leave. Durant could lose the title and also leave, because some 13-year-old on Twitter thinks he sucks. However, the way things are going, free agency is probably going to be a bust. KD, Kawhi, Klay, and Butler all end up staying, Kyrie goes to Brooklyn, and we got excited for nothing. As for Golden State, stay positive Warrior fans. You still have the Raiders for another year.

Mark Stevens was not just an idiot fan who got drunk and pushed Kyle Lowry when he fell into the stands last week. He’s a part owner of the Warriors, which makes him all those things, plus an entitled moron. Then it all made sense: he’s on the Board of Directors at USC.

All these sports writers are wondering if it’s too early to celebrate the Dodgers’ success. I’m wondering if it’s too early to blame the front office for failing in the 2019 postseason. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, just like they did around this time two years ago. In 2017, it didn’t matter because they lost in 7 games in the World Series. In 2018, their slow start didn’t matter because they made the postseason, then lost in the World Series. All I know is, this movie has the same cast of characters in it for the 3rd year in a row, so why should I expect the ending to be any different? A good regular season team, strong pitching, solid offense, and a bullpen that’s more volatile than the Dow Jones. If you can’t fix the pen, you can’t change the ending to the movie. Until that happens, we should be skeptical.

Matt Harvey began a AAA rehab assignment for the Angels over the weekend. He gave up 8 runs, so it looks to me like he’s healthy enough to keep getting destroyed in the Majors. Harvey probably lowered his ERA too after giving up 8 runs. Seriously though, how long are the Halos going to keep trotting out Harvey and Trevor Cahill to the mound? The less we see from those two guys, the more we’ll see from promising young pitchers like Canning and Suarez. Those pitchers can’t fare any worse than the two bums the Angels think are their #1 and #2 starters. Dallas Keuchel on a one year deal sounded a lot better than either one of those two guys, but too late for that now.

Now that OTA’s have started, Todd Gurley sounds like the oldest 24-year-old in history. At this rate, he’s going to be retired by the time the season starts in September. With Gurley not participating in OTA’s, it’s time to officially be concerned about the arthritis in his knee. Without question, the Todd Gurley we saw sporadically in the playoffs is the Todd Gurley were going to see in this upcoming season. The Rams have to preserve him. Too bad they didn’t realize that before paying him $45 mill guaranteed. Suddenly, Darrell Henderson seems like a critical piece to develop at the running back position, or else the Rams offense might not be so dynamic anymore. This is where we find out if Sean McVay is really a “McGenius”, or just a football coach with a hot foreign girlfriend.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and it’s back again tonight. Not only is Luke P a liar, manipulative, and a poor sport … but he’s 5’6. Can we all take a minute to be concerned about Rhode Island’s health care? I mean did Kevin go to a civil war hospital when he got his arm wrapped up? They should just change the name of this season to the “The Battle Of The Luke’s”. This whole Jaylen Brown and Hannah discussion was beyond awkward, because in reality you know they just wanted to go to the Fantasy Suite to get it on. Honestly, this season is so bad, if they turned the Bachelorette into a show where she went out on 30 dog dates, handing out dog bones at the end of each date, and eventually picking the dog of her dreams, people would be way more interested. This coming from someone who isn’t really a dog person either.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 3, 2019

Imagine playing a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time the Lakers organization humiliated themselves over the last 6 months. You would definitely be dead by now. I wouldn’t blame Lebron James if he felt like playing that game at this point. The man has been recruiting like crazy, but there’s no chance the Lakers will end up with KD, Kawhi, Klay, or even Kyrie or Jimmy Butler. At this point Rob Lowe has a better chance of getting his phone call returned by another NBA GM than Rob Pelinka. Plus unlike Pelinka, Lowe wouldn’t need to be “fact-checked” more than Donald Trump. Maybe when this summers train wreck is finally over, the franchise will come to their senses and make some real change for the better. Or Maybe that’s just wishful thinking as well.

The NBA’s tampering rules are ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been totally hypocritical for the league to not fine Doc Rivers for his comments about Kawhi Leonard on ESPN earlier this week after Magic Johnson got fined for saying things even less eye opening about players under contract. However, what’s the real harm behind talking about players under contract? Everybody and their mother already knows the Clippers are recruiting Kawhi Leonard. Why do Doc Rivers comments have any bearing on this? It’s silly, and just another rule to protect these cry baby small market owners. As for Doc’s comments themselves, only he would say something as ridiculous as comparing Leonard to Michael Jordan. He sounds like another idiot fan boy on Twitter that’s been watching the NBA for five minutes but why would you expect any less? I guess that’s what recruiting means these days.

The Raptors blew a massive opportunity yesterday against the Warriors and are doomed after losing home court advantage. If you can’t beat the Warriors without KD, without Klay, and with Steph suffering from the flu, it’s not going to happen. I’m pretty sure Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam aren’t going to combine for 52 points in a game again in this series. If the Lakers earned as many free throws as were shot last night they would have lost by 20. If it wasn’t for State Farm, the Rockets would never be seen in the Finals. Ramona Shelburne is probably going to think she’s god’s gift to sports journalism after President Obama told her she does a great job last night. I’m surprised Drake wasn’t rubbing Obama’s shoulders before the night was over. If the Raptors win more games, Donald Trump will probably impose additional tariff tax on Canada.

To baseball, where I’ve gotta give Andrew Friedman credit for this. He knows his free agent signings are garbage, which might explain why he operates like a cheapskate every winter. This season is another perfect example with Joe Kelly and AJ Pollock getting paid over $20 million combined this year, yet they’ve both done about as much as you and I have to contribute to the Dodgers’ success. They should replace Joe Kelly Bobblehead night with Joe Kelly Voodoo Doll night. It’s great that the Dodgers are at the top of the MLB standings, but this team as always, will be judged by how they fare come October. They’ll need to fix their bullpen if they plan on succeeding then. Isn’t that what Friedman is supposed to be good at? We’re still waiting for him to figure it out 5 years later.

The Angels wish they could play the Mariners every weekend, after treating them like a pinata for the last three days. I haven’t seen Albert Pujols look that good since he was in St. Louis. Still, the sad part about the Angels is that not only are they not winning much in general, but they aren’t even creating buzz in town. I mean if they aren’t going to win, at least have somebody go to Mastros or Javier’s in Newport and start a bar fight over some gold digger. People will show up if you win. But the only thing that’s worse than losing is being boring. The Halos are both right now, and not even Mike Trout can solve that problem by himself.

The silliest thing I’ve heard in the last week was from NFL Insider Mike Florio, who suggested that Jared Goff might not get a 2nd contract from the Rams. Really? Goff is still on his rookie deal and helped the Rams get to the Super Bowl last year. Are we talking about the same guy? You people do realize that it is possible that Goff can and will improve as a quarterback right? As long as the Rams continue to protect him with a good o-line, there’s no reason Goff can’t continue to grow as a Quarterback and make big throws, which he’s already shown he can do. Goff is actually the least of concerns for the Rams, and instead it’s Todd Gurley and his knee. His knee makes me more nervous than Antonio Cromartie would be on Mothers Day.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC and it’s back again tonight. I’m thinking John Paul Jones has never watched The Bachelorette before, has no idea what’s going on and is just here for the free food and drinks. Just a hunch but I’m thinking Cam’s previous relationships weren’t ruined by amputation, giving a dog away, or his grandma being sick. More likely that he’s a stage 5 clinger, creepy, maybe even a serial killer. I feel like ABC needs to throw me a pity rose and pay for my cable for the next month to make up for how awful this season has been so far. As if this season hasn’t been bad enough, now I have to endure watching a couple of Boston Celtics on the show as well, and seeing Hannah wear a Celtics jersey. I always knew this girl was no good .