July 29th, 2013
The Dodgers are hotter than two super models fighting over a cheeseburger at In-N-Out. After Yasiel Puig’s walk-off home run to beat the Reds yesterday, the boys in blue are 9-1 since the all-star break, and in 1st place by 2.5 in the NL West. LA has won 26 of 32, and since Yasiel Puig was called up on June 3rd, they’ve had the best record in baseball. Things have been so good, it’s almost concerning. The Dodgers can’t possibly play .800 baseball for the rest of the season. Is the team peaking too early? Only time will tell, but they certainly have the pitching to be a factor. Heck, even reliever Brandon League doesn’t suck anymore!
Meanwhile, Don Mattingly still can’t get any job security. General Manager Ned Colletti was asked about extending Mattingly’s contract in a radio interview on 710 ESPN earlier in the week, and hardly gave Mattingly a vote of confidence. Colletti said “We still hold an option on Don and I think everybody is focused on the last two months of the regular season. We’re not looking at staff or player personnel situations, pending free agency, or stuff like that.” Really? You can’t give this guy any job security after what he’s overcome? This situation is becoming more obvious than Shaquille O’Neal at a midget convention. The Dodgers are hoping to hire Mike Scioscia. Why else would you not commit to a guy that has proven so much?
Speaking of Scioscia, the Angels continued to sink faster than the Titanic in Oakland over the weekend. This team is amazing. Just when you think they are getting a decent starting pitching performance from Garrett Richards and on their way to a win, Scott Downs comes out of the bullpen to blow the game! Then yesterday, the offense explodes and the Halos jump out to a 5-0 lead, only to have starter Tommy Hanson screw it up by giving up 5 runs in less than 5 innings.
If that isn’t enough, Albert Pujols was placed on the DL over the weekend with a torn ligament in his foot, and will likely miss the rest of the season. That’s definitely the extra kick in the balls the Halos needed to give up on their season. Pujols has been playing through pain all season, but he’s managed to be somewhat productive, hitting .258 with 17 home runs. According to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal, the Angels are definite sellers with the trade deadline approaching. They will be listening to offers for Howie Kendrick, Erik Aybar, and Scott Downs. Their goal is to upgrade their starting pitching, but without big time prospects, that like trying to swap a Honda for an Italian Sports Car.
I’ve been very impressed with the number of players who have spoken out against Ryan Braun after we learned this week he’s at the center of the Biogenesis scandal. Braun was nearly caught two years ago using performance enhancing drugs, and when he escaped on a technicality, he screamed from the mountain top that he was clean. Now that we know he was lying, he’ll forever be known as “Lyin Braun”
Major League Baseball simply isn’t doing enough to stop players from cheating. The potential reward for using performance enhancing drugs is a mult-year contract worth over $100 million, and the risk is only a brief suspension. If the MLB is serious about ending this problem, they will start throwing people out of the league or terminate their contracts after getting caught once. Wait until we start hearing names of NBA players who are on HGH. I’m sure that’s coming next, and I’m scared to find out who’s on the list.
On Pac-12 media day, USC AD Pat Haden declared that head football coach Lane Kiffin “is not on the hot seat”. Haden claimed that SC is still being negatively impacted by the reduction in scholarships they are still facing from NCAA penalties. Funny how this never seemed to be an issue in the first year of the penalties when the Trojans went 10-2 with a much less experienced squad. Make not mistake about it, if SC has another 7-6 season, those rich alums who’s daddy’s own Hotel Figueroa will be withholding their donations until Kiffin is replaced. Here’s what Haden had to say in case you missed it….
Lakers point guard Steve Nash will be given an honorary tryout with storied European soccer franchise Inter Milan this week. For a guy that’s 40 years old, and coming off hip, hamstring, and back issues, this feels like a bad idea. Nash even claimed that he isn’t 100% healthy yet, which makes this decision seem dumber than Johnny Manziel’s decision to attend a UT frat party.
Speaking of dumb, former Lakers center Andrew Bynum claims that he “hasn’t had the opportunity to play for a city that is really just gonna stand up and really support the team.” Bynum recently signed a 2 year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I guess Andrew doesn’t remember all the support the fans gave the Lakers during their recent back to back championships, especially since he wasn’t even healthy enough to be on the court for most of it. Andrew’s going to be pretty disappointed to learn that the fans in Cleveland don’t actually “stand up” because there isn’t much to cheer about. Especially since they live in Cleveland.
Over the weekend my long time friend Pam Chiu told me a classic LA Clipper story. Recently, Pam and her friends were at a restaurant in LA, when Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan walked up next to them. Since NBA players look like aliens from outer space when seen in a public place, it was pretty hard for her not to notice these two dudes that were two feet taller than her. Pam looked up at Blake and said “Wow, you guys are really tall. Um….are you guys race car drivers?” There you have it folks. When a Laker player walks into a restaurant, everybody knows who they are. When a Clipper player walks into a restaurant (even the most popular player in franchise history), people ask who the hell they are. I bet you Pam got her table before Blake and Deandre did too.
In a recent poll by Travel and Leisure Magazine, San Francisco was named the snobbiest city in America. As someone who actually lived in San Francisco, this makes perfect sense. That city is so snobby because it is made up of a number of different types. There is the “leftist snob”, who wouldn’t vote for anyone other than a 3rd party candidate. There is the “gay snob” who only supports establishments owned by individuals from the LGBT community. There’s also the “organic snob”, who is known for interrogating the vendors at Farmers markets about the exact origins of their seeds. Keep in mind, for all the crap Los Angeles and Orange County receive for being snobby places to live, LA didn’t even end up being in the top 15, and no city in Orange County made the list. So to all my friends living in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and DC, your cities are much snobbier than mine!