Monthly Archives: October 2013

Monday Morning Coffee


October 28th, 2013

Ok, how many of you Laker fans are really excited for the NBA to start?  If you are, your excitement should go away once they tip off on Tuesday night at Staples Center.  This team is going to be bad.  Far worse than you think.  8th place in the West is the goal, 7th place is a dream, but 10th place is far more realistic.  The way I see it, if the Lakers end up with a lottery pick, and Kobe comes back to show he can still play at a high level, that’s a successful season.

There’s recently been some talk about the Lakers trying to bring back guard Shannon Brown, who will likely be waived by the Washington Wizards in the next couple of days.  Although Shannon would be a very nice addition to the squad, many people are forgetting why this may not happen.  Back in 2011, the Lakers had some serious locker room issues, when it was rumored that Brown had slept with Pau Gasol’s fiance at the time.  It’s still hard to know whether or not that story is true, however, the mere possibility that it could have happened might be enough for Mitch Kupchak  to avoid signing Brown.  The Lakers had plenty of locker room drama with Dwight Howard last season, and I suspect they wouldn’t be willing to take on more just for the sake of adding another role player.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have to be feeling good about themselves heading into the season.  They’ve added some quality shooters with JJ Redick and Jared Dudley, and definitely upgraded their coach, with Doc Rivers in the mix.  Seeing him on the sidelines is just going to be weird.  I’m still shocked that Sterling ponied up the money, and think someone needs to launch an investigation as to how Donald was convinced to pay him.  The only unsettling feeling for the Clippers right now has to be Chris Paul’s recent comments to HBO Real Sports, in which he mentioned that he could see himself retiring a little early to spend more time with his family.  Paul just signed a new 5 year deal with the Clippers, so a lot can happen between now and then, but this isn’t really something I want to hear from the best player in the history of the franchise, when he’s in the prime of his career.

On to college football, where the Bruins got punked by Oregon on Saturday night, by a score of 42-14.  The Bruins were hanging with the Ducks for 3 quarters, until they got blown away in the 4th.  Playing against Oregon is like playing Madden against someone that never punts.  UCLA tried to control the tempo of the game by running the football, but when it was time to throw the ball, the Ducks were ready for it.  The Bruins fell to #17 in the AP poll, and just 2-2 in the conference, but they still control their own destiny.  Their margin for error is slim, but if they win their final five games, which they should, they’ll get another shot at Oregon or Stanford for the right to go to the Rose Bowl.  Still, the Ducks appear to be too fast, and the Cardinal appear to be too strong up front.  It’s gonna be a tough road ahead for UCLA, but they aren’t out of it yet.

UCLA v Oregon


Meanwhile, at the Coliseum, the Trojans beat up on Utah by a score of 19-3.  Watching these two offenses at work was like watching two uncoordinated morons trying to juggle chainsaws.  The Trojans managed to score just one TD on the day, but their defense was simply dominant.  They forced four turnovers, and yielded just 201 yards of total offense.  Amazingly, the Trojans are 5-3 overall, and they also control their own destiny in the Pac-12 South.  Unfortunately, they’ll still have to deal with Stanford and UCLA.

The baseball offseason is here for the Dodgers, and they have put themselves in an awkward situation with Don Mattingly.  I’ve been screaming from the mountain tops for months that the Dodgers were waiting to see what happened with Mike Scioscia before deciding whether to retain Mattingly.  Of course, in the process, they completely alienated him, and now that Mattingly has a little bit of leverage after making it to the NLCS, he’s demanding an extension.  The Dodgers need to realize what the Lakers and UCLA basketball failed to realize:  you don’t fire your coach unless you know you have an even better replacement for him.  There are simply no available managers out there that are better than Mattingly.  The players like him, and he still he can still improve with more experience.  Sure his in game strategy needs work, but unless Scioscia or Tony La Russa are replacing him, which they aren’t, then LA is better off sticking with Donny Baseball.

Week 8 of the NFL left no question in my mind that the two best receivers in the NFL are Calvin Johnson, followed by Dez Bryant.  Great finish in that Lions and Cowboys game.   Watch out for those Carolina Panthers.  Their defense is looking good, and Cam Newton looks like he has his act together.  Does anybody realize that if the playoffs started today, the Chargers would in? I guess I didn’t realize how much Houston and Pittsburgh stink up until this very moment.

Speaking of the NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell informed the media a few days ago that getting a team in London and Los Angeles are top priorities for the league, “in no particular order”.  Sounds like the league has more interest in bringing a team to LA than anybody else in Southern California.  I’m still not sure why the league is so determined to put a team in London.  This will simply be a logistical nightmare.  What free agents will want to join a team living in London?  How much will it suck for west coast teams to travel over there?  Why does Goodell think this will succeed when NFL Europe failed?  The idea is simply mind boggling.

Finally, another fantastic episode of the The Walking Dead aired last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen it yet.  A disease is spreading in the prison camp, and two of the casualties were Karen and David.  These two were kept in isolation because of their symptoms, and their bodies were found burned.  It was strongly suggested that they were burned by someone within the camp to prevent the disease from spreading.  Tyreese becomes angry that his girlfriend and friend were killed, and even more frustrated when his sister, Sasha, becomes ill too.  He wants justice for their deaths.  However, by the end of the show, we find out it was Carol who was responsible for their deaths.  The rest of the show consisted of Tyreese taking his anger out on Walkers, and discovering that Glenn is ill too.

The irony of the episode is that Carol had been the glue that held the group together.  Now, in order to protect the ones she loves, she has taken an action that could cause a major divide within the group.  It was a very shocking end to the episode to learn what Carol did.  At the same time, I’ve gotta think that The Governor is just waiting to attack the group again.  He’s a threat that is just waiting to rise up once more.  It may not happen until later in the season, but it’s gotta happen at some point.  I have a hard time believing that Glenn is going to die from some “glorified cold” as he described it, but I’ve got a feeling it could end up killing Hershel, who is obviously willing to risk his life so save as many as he can.  And what’s up with Bob?  That guy has to be evil.  I’m waiting for him to betray the group in some way, maybe to help The Governor?  Looking forward to more episodes!

Carol Prison



NBA Season Preview

Kobe Jersey Suck 2


October 27th, 2013

At this very moment last year, Laker fans were sure their team was going beat the crap out of the entire league.  Instead, their team ended up being a total bust, and the season was a nightmare.  Now, just the thought of the NBA season starting up has me rolling my eyes.  The Lakers are still coached by the same dumb schmuck that ruined their season last year, Mike D’Antoni, and their lineup is a mess.  I’m sure many of you are thrilled that Dwight Howard is gone, but in the short-term,  things are going to much much worse.

Let’s start with the biggest problem: health.  Kobe Bryant still has no idea when he will be returning.  Earlier this week, Kobe said he had to scale back his conditioning activity to give his surgically repaired achilles tendon more time to recover.  There’s no doubt that Kobe will be back on the floor at some point this season, but the question is what type of player he will be.  If he’s anything less than the Kobe we saw last season, that won’t be good enough for the Lakers, or for Kobe.

Then there’s Steve Nash, who’s teammates are very concerned about his health.  Nash was plagued by injuries last season.  He’s now 40 years old, and he’s been suffering from ankle and neck soreness in the preseason.  D’Antoni said that Nash will be starting the season opener against the Clippers on Tuesday, but may sit out the following night against Golden State, to preserve his aging star.  Nash’s injuries are making him look more and more ineffective by the day, and with another two seasons and $18 million left on his contract, he’s quickly becoming a horrible deal.

Even if the Lakers can overcome their health issues, they’ll have to rely on some very questionable role players to say the least.  Shawne Williams will likely be the starting power forward, Nick Young will be the starting small forward, and Wesley Johnson will playing major minutes as well.  All of them are NBA journeyman, who cannot be relied upon to play 30 minutes a night in the NBA.  Chris Kaman has shown some decent chemistry with Pau Gasol during the pre-season, but you can guarantee he’s going to get hurt like he usually does.  Jordan Farmar has shown some promise as well, but he’ll likely be the same up and down player he was in his last stint with the team.

Ok, I’ll try to be positive here.  Pau Gasol will finally get moved back to center, where he’ll be in his natural position, and should see more post up opportunities.  That’s about the only good thing going on the floor for the Lakers.  Off the floor, the team will have plenty of salary cap space heading into next summer, as nearly every player comes off the books.  The Lakers will be chasing Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and other big name free agents.  Whether or not they will land them is another story,

The irony of it all is that the Lakers put together a nice 28-12 run at the end of last season to make the playoffs.  This was done by slowing the pace of the game down, pounding it into the post, which ultimately led to playing better defense.  For some reason, Mike D’Antoni decided it would be a good idea to go back to his run-and-gun, who-gives-a-crap about defense style of play, which will doom the Lakers this season.  Yes, the team is finally younger and more athletic with the likes of Farmar, Young, and Williams.  However, they are also far less talented, and even worse defensively.

Don’t expect a fast start either folks.  The Lakers first 10 games are against the Clippers, Warriors, Spurs, Hawks, Mavericks, Rockets, Minnesota, New Orleans twice, and Denver.  Without Kobe, they’ll be lucky to win 5 of those 10.

It’s going to be bad.  Far worse than most of us think.  Unless Kobe comes back soon, and starts tearing it up, this team is lottery bound.  That may not be such a bad thing, with an amazing draft class coming out next year.  Here are my predictions:


1. San Antonio Spurs – They are old, but they’ll still be in the mix for the top spot.  Coach Greg Popovich knows how to get his aging stars enough rest, while pushing them hard enough at the right moments.

2. LA Clippers – The Clipps will be better coached this year, and have some better role players around CP3.  They’ll also benefit from a few teams in the West who have taken a step back.  The big question: how much has Blake Griffin improved?  The Clipps will go as far as he takes them.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder – These guys still have two of the most dynamic players in the game in Durant and Westbrook.  However, they lost Kevin Martin, and their cheapskate owner, Clay Bennett, is preventing them from retaining key pieces that could put them over the top.

4. Houston Rockets – Led by the dynamic duo of Dwight Howard and James Harden, the Rockets have vaulted themselves into the upper half of the Western Conference.  The question is, will Dwight fit in with the Rockets pick and roll heavy offense?  Will he make free throws?  Will be cry like a little girl if things don’t go his way?

5. Golden State Warriors – Adding Andre Iguodola will help the Warriors perimeter defense, and also help their already great outside shooting.  If Steph Curry and Andrew Bogut can stay healthy, they’ll be right back in the thick of the West playoff race.

6. Memphis Grizzlies – The loss of Lionel Hollins is big.  The Grizz also got exposed by the Spurs last year.

7. Denver Nuggets – New coach.  Loss of Iguodola.  Temporary set back.

8.  Dallas Mavericks – They settled for a lot of 2nd tier free agents, but Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki might be enough fire power to get back to the playoffs.

9. Minnesota Timberwolves – Lots of talent, but they’ve never been able to stay healthy long enough to make the playoffs.

10. LA Lakers – No Kobe for an extended period, and this team is lottery bound.

11. New Orleans Pelicans – Good young talent, but how will the mesh?

12. Portland Trailblazers- Still can’t win on the road

13. Sacramento Kings – Will all these lottery picks eventually pay off?

14. Utah Jazz – Too many off-season losses

15. Phoenix Suns – They are ready for the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes

Eastern Conference:

1. Miami Heat – Lebron and the Heat still own the world until somebody knocks them off.  But 4 straight trips to the NBA finals is tough for any team.

2. Indiana Pacers- They are knocking on the door.

3. Chicago Bulls – Rose is back and looking great, but do they have enough talent around him to come out of the East?

4. Brooklyn Nets – Could be a playoff sleeper.  How much do Garnett and Pierce have left in the tank?

5. New York Knicks – Big year for Carmelo, especially if he plans on staying in NY after this year.

6. Detroit Pistons – Much improved with Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings.

7. Washington Wizards – Playoff team if they stay healthy.

8. Boston Celtics – They aren’t quite as bad as they think.

9. Cleveland Cavaliers – If Kyrie Irving could stay healthy, along with Andrew Bynum, maybe they finally live up to the hype.

10. Toronto Raptors – Strong finish to last season, but can they build on it?

11. Atlanta Hawks – They lost their best player in Josh Smith, and didn’t add much else.

12. Milwaukee Bucks – They lose Ellis and Jennings. Does this team even know what direction they are going in?

13.  Charlotte Bobcats – I suppose the addition of Al Jefferson will move them up a few spots from the basement

14. Orlando Magic – These guys are aiming for another high lottery pick

15. Philadelphia 76ers – Strong favorites to win the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes.


NBA Finals Prediction :    Indiana Pacers over the San Antonio Spurs in 6 games.



Monday Morning Coffee

Kershaw crushed

October 21st, 2013

It couldn’t have come at a worse time.  It was the biggest game of the season, and the biggest game of Clayton Kershaw’s career, and he had one of the worst outings of his career.   Kershaw was rocked for 7 runs and 10 hits in 4 innings of work, during game 6 of the NCLS, and the Dodgers were obliterated by the Cardinals 9-0.  The way the Dodgers lost was incredibly disheartening.  Kershaw looked human, and Yasiel Puig came crashing back to earth, as he made a fielding and throwing error, while going hitless in three at bats.  The Dodgers lineup felt like it was being held together by chicken wire, but they finally collapsed.  Hanley Ramirez’ broken ribs made him ineffective, Andre Ethier’s ankle caused him all kinds of problems, and with Puig struggling, nobody was left to protect Adrian Gonzales.  Michael Wacha owns the Dodgers, and is going to be a stud.  And with that, the Dodgers season is over.

On the bright side, I won’t have to spend $1,000 on a World Series ticket, since the Dodgers won’t be playing in it.  Should we feel good about the Dodgers season because the future is bright and the franchise is revived? Or should we feel like they blew an opportunity to win a championship?  I say the latter.  Just ask the Washington Nationals or the Texas Rangers, who had great opportunities the last few years to win the World Series, and now they are struggling to get back there.   This series was blown in game 1, when Mattingly mismanaged the lineup, and put Michael Young in for Adrian Gonzales.  In any case, the Dodgers do have the resources to put themselves back in the same position next year, but hopefully a healthier team, a more experienced Puig, and some smarter managerial decisions by Mattingly will put them over the top.  They’ve already improved their team this morning by signing Cuban 2nd baseman Alex Guerrero to a 4 year $32 million deal.

On to college football, where the Bruins just couldn’t hang with the big boys this weekend, losing to Stanford 24-10.  UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was under pressure all day, and the Bruins just couldn’t get much offense going.  Meanwhile, Stanford racked up 419 yards of total offense, while UCLA had just 266.  The bad news, the Bruins still have to deal with Oregon next week, and they’ve been unable to solve the Cardinal, who have now beaten them 6 straight times.  The good news however, is that UCLA only dropped to #12 in the BCS standings, and as long as they take care of the games their supposed to win, they should get another crack at Stanford or Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.  In other words, the Bruins have figured out a way to consistently beat the crappy teams, but still can’t get to the next level…..yet.

As for the Trojans, they were outlasted by my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame by a score of 14-10, this weekend in South Bend.  This game was sloppier than a Friday night at the Linebacker Lounge, as both teams couldn’t put the ball in the end zone to save their lives in the second half.  When I showed up in South Bend on Saturday night, I thought I would have the displeasure of seeing just two crappy quarterbacks, and instead I managed to see three! After Notre Dame’s Tommy Rees left the game with an injury, Notre Dame was left with Andrew Hendrix, who couldn’t even complete a pass.  At least the Irish had the excuse of having one horrendous quarterback being replaced by an even more horrendous quarterback.  What was USC’s excuse?  I suppose it’s the reality setting in that they don’t actually have a real football coach yet.  It was cute to see the Trojan fans pretending like their season was revived after the win against Arizona, but the season was thrown out when Kiffin was fired.  On the other hand, it may not be long until SC is good again, if they hire the right coach.

I also had the privilege of attending the Colts and Broncos showdown last night in Indianapolis.  The Colts fans are unbelievably classy, with the standing ovation they gave Peyton Manning before the game.  This franchise has to be the luckiest team in sports.  The get one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation, then immediately, get another quarterback who might be the next greatest of his generation.  Andrew Luck definitely showed that could be the case with his performance last night.  I also don’t understand why Jim Irsay keeps saying moronic things to the media.  Maybe he should appreciate the fact that Peyton put his franchise on the map, instead of talking shit on him.  This is probably what Peyton Manning’s text inbox looked like after the game…..

Peyton Inbox

The Colts have a beautiful stadium, but I don’t understand all these ridiculous banners they have hanging in Lucas Oil.  Seven of their banners say “AFC Wild Card” on them.  Are you kidding?  That’s like putting up a banner just for making the playoffs!  The Colts are a great franchise, but that makes them look pathetic.

Speaking of banners, I can’t believe that it actually took this long for the Clippers to decide to cover up the Laker championship banners during their games.  I don’t find this offensive at all to Laker fans.  If you were playing in your home building, you would probably feel pretty awkward about having another teams championship banners and retired jersey’s above your floor.  It’s not like those banners and jersey’s are coming off the wall folks, they are just being covered up until the Laker games.  Besides, it’s not like the Clippers have any championship banners of their own to cover them up with.

Clipper Banners

Finally, some strong starts in the NHL for both of our local squads.  The Kings have won 6 of their first 9 games, which is impressive for a few reasons.  First, many of their early games were on the road.  Second, their top two centers, Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards, have yet to score a goal.  It’s always been about defense and goaltending for these guys, but the dudes that need to score have got to put the puck in the net.  At least the Kings can say they are getting a “balanced attack” from their top two center.

Then there’s the Ducks, who have won 7 in a row, and are off to another great start.  This is so typical of a Bruce Boudreau coached team.  Only the Sharks and Penguins have scored more goals than Anaheim so far.  Even Victor Fasth looks as brilliant in goal as he did at the beginning of last season.  Let’s see what these guys look like in a few months before we start planning that Stanley Cup parade at Disneyland.







Monday Morning Coffee

Puig struggles

October 13th, 2013

It was just less than a week ago that things were looking great for the Dodgers, and they looked like the favorites to make it to the World Series.  Now, after going down 0-2 against the Cardinals in the NLCS, things look pretty bleak for the boys in blue.  Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier are black and blue, and aren’t even healthy enough to play.   There’s no way to sugar coat this.  The Dodgers got brilliant pitching performances from Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, yet ended up losing both games in St. Louis because they haven’t scored a run in their last 18 innings.  Now the Dodgers have to come home to play the Cards with Hyun-Jin Ryu going up against ace Adam Wainwright.  So to review, the Dodgers have had both of their aces beaten, they can’t hit anymore, they’re banged up, and they still have to go up against the Cards best pitcher.  I think it’s safe to say that LA is toast.

This can’t all be blamed on injuries folks.  Don Mattingly has single handedly blown two post-season games in one week.  By pinch running Dee Gordon for Adrian Gonzales in the 8th inning of game 1, and then using Michael Young in his spot for the remainder of the game, the Dodgers lineup was completely neutralized.  Somebody on the Dodgers should have had the balls to hit Carlos Beltran too, after Hanley Ramirez was nailed by a pitch in the ribs, whether it was intentional or not.  Then there’s Yasiel Puig, who has disappeared like David Copperfield.  Puig is hitless in the NLCS, with 6 strikeouts.  The Cards are just daring Puig to beat them, but his inexperience is now showing.  Mattingly thinks everything is ok though, saying “The series doesn’t start until you lose at home, like in the NBA.”  Too bad in the NBA, your best players play every game.  The Dodgers have already used Kershaw and Greinke, which means this series will be over in 5.

Sticking with baseball, I think the Angels made a poor decision this week to bring back both Mike Scioscia and Jerry Dipoto.  No matter what these guys say, it’s obvious they haven’t worked well together, and a change of some kind was needed.  More importantly, the players need to be re-energized, but this just looks like we will see more of the same next year, both on and off the field.  After hearing about this news, I was expecting the Angels to announce that Joe Blanton would be their opening day starter, and that they were planning on giving Robinson Canoe a 10 year deal.  One bad decision deserves another right?

On to college football, where the UCLA Bruins football team has vaulted themselves into the top 10 in both the AP and the coaches.  The Bruins defeated Cal easily on Saturday night 37-10 at the Rose Bowl, and Brett Hundley looked like the second coming of Dan Marino.  Hundley threw for a career high 410 yards and three touchdown passes, and looked like the Heisman trophy candidate the UCLA faithful envisioned.  However, shit’s about to get real.  UCLA will travel to Stanford next week to take on those damn tree loving, chardonay drinking, corporately financed Cardinal.  This is now looking like a much more winnable game for the Bruins, after Stanford dropped one to Utah over the weekend.


As for the Trojans, their offense looked a little better under Ed Orgeron, in their 38-31 win over Arizona.  It’s still gonna be tough for Trojan fans to get excited for much else this season.  Next week, USC will visit Notre Dame, whose fans are equally as frustrated with what they’ve seen from their teams quarterback play.  I’m headed to the game next week, and I sure didn’t think when I got my tickets a few months ago, that the game would be about as meaningless as the girl I dated for about 30 minutes in the 8th grade.

The beginning of the NHL season has left me very confused. I realize the Kings have won 3 straight games, but why can’t Anze Kopitar score some freaking goals already??  Why has everybody in the Kings division managed to score at least 6 goals against the Rangers and win, while the Kings can only get 1 and lose? And why the hell haven’t the Kings brought up Tyler Toffoli to play on their 2nd line?  LA has already used three different players at left wing on that line, and none of them have anywhere near Toffoli’s skill or upside.

As for the Ducks, it’s early, but it doesn’t look like they’ve missed Bobby Ryan’s offense so far.  Only 6 teams in the entire league have averaged more goals per game than the Ducks heading into Sunday’s game.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are over in China for a few exhibition games.  I can’t believe Chris Kaman actually hurt his finger while tobogganing down the Great Wall.  Do you realize how dumb that is?  Kaman was going to get bumped from behind by teammate Shawne Williams, and he put his hand between the two sleds.  I’ve went down the Great Wall on these toboggan sleds two years ago, and I was bumped from behind several times, but the last thing I ever thought about was trying to put my hand behind the sled.  These types of dumb injuries can only be a bad sign of what’s to come this year for the Lake Show.

A few quick thoughts on week 6 of the NFL.  It’s hard to understand how the Patriots are 5-1.  It feels like they’e struggled through just about every game.  Great shootout yesterday against the Saints, in what could actually be a Super Bowl preview.  The Texans fans got what they deserved yesterday.  Matt Schaub left the game with an injury, and the fans start cheering in a classless manor, then TJ Yates comes in the game and throws a pick 6.  It’s unbelievable that up until Saturday, there were 9,000 tickets available for the Chargers and Colts Monday night game.  Fortunately for Charger fans, there will be no blackout, because some of Dean Spanos’ friends and a few corporate sponsors bought the remaining tickets.  Still, this is just embarrassing.  It’s obvious that the city just can’t support this crummy football team, and that they won’t be getting a new stadium.  Just move the team to LA already Dean!  Otherwise, somebody might beat you to it.

There were some very tough TV watching decisions that had to be made last night.  Homeland or the season premier of The Walking Dead?  Thank god they invented DVR because it was definitely needed.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen last night’s episode of either show.  What the hell did they do to Homeland?  The show had a phenomenal first season, got a little off-track with some love story in the 2nd season, and now the show doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in  the first 3 episodes of season 3.  The threat of terrorism and stoping it usually provides the most entertainment value on that show, and thus far, the show has slowed to a crawls pace.

As for the Walking Dead, the season premier was exciting.  I like how they have added a ton of new characters to the show, and they immediately show us completely different dynamics between them from when the show last season ended.  Rick is no longer the leader of the group, and instead, we see more of a leadership by committee.  It seems like half of the characters are now in some sort of relationship.  I guess people do need love if zombies are about to bring the world to an end.  There’s also quite a bit of action in this first episode.  The group fights off some walkers when a department store roof collapses, but in the process, they lose Beth’s new boyfriend (he wasn’t alive long enough for me to learn his name).  The action gets even more intense when Carl’s friend Patrick dies of a fever, suggesting that the group is even more vulnerable to a virus.  An exciting beginning to the new season, and looking forward to more episodes!








Monday Morning Coffee



October 7th, 2013

What a slug fest that took place at Chavez Ravine last night.  The Dodgers overcame a rough start from Hyun-Jin Ryu, and then hammered the Braves 13-6 to grab a 2-1 series lead.  Let’s be honest, this series should really be over by now.  I’ve been a big supporter of Don Mattingly, however, he made some very questionable decisions with his relievers late in game 2, which cost LA a win.  I’m really not sure why he thought one of his most inexperienced relievers would be better off facing Jason Heyward instead of Reed Johnson.  Fortunately, the Dodgers won last night, to take the pressure off Mattingly.  I’m sure many of you think LA should give the ball to Clayton Kershaw for game 4, but Ricky Nolasco should get the chance to close it out.  Nolasco has pitched very well since being acquired by the Dodgers, and even though his last two starts were crummy, they were meaningless.  Kershaw should be saved if there is a deciding game 5, or for game 1 of the NLCS.  Ryu’s start was not as rough as that of Braves starter Julio Teheran.  If the Dodgers hadn’t bombed Teheran, I’m sure the Republicans would have.

Meanwhile, there’s already rumors from ESPN’s Buster Olney, that the Dodgers could make an off-season trade for Rays ace David Price.  A deal like this would likely cost the Dodgers their top 2 or 3 prospects in their system, but they would then have a lethal rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, and Price.  If the Dodgers have learned anything from this year, it’s that the saying is really true: you can never have enough pitching.  Price seems like a much better investment than an aging Robinson Cano, and one that the Dodgers can afford.  It’s just money, and the Dodgers have plenty of it.

On to college football, where the Bruins remained undefeated after hanging on to beat Utah 34-27 last week.  That was definitely a game that last year’s Bruins would have lost.  Actually, if it was not for the 6 turnovers forced by the defense, UCLA would have lost.  Next week’s game should scare the hell out of Bruins fans.  UCLA will be hosting Cal at home, in a classic trap game.  The Bruins know that they’ll be tested in the following weeks against Stanford and Oregon, so they could easily be overlooking Cal, as they did last year.

The Trojans had the week off, but here’s a few quick thoughts on week 5 of the NFL.  Remember when Matt Schaub used to be a good quarterback?  The Texans have to be kicking themselves for not trying harder to sign Peyton Manning last year.  Last night’s loss to the Raiders is another example of why the Chargers make their fans want to abuse prescription medication.  It’s definitely time to stick a fork in the NY Giants.  The Broncos are so good that on a bad day, they still rack up 51 points agains the Cowboys and remain undefeated.

I’m excited that the NHL season has started, but after watching the first two Kings games, I’ve got one major question.  How long will they keep their young stud, Tyler Toffoli in the minor leagues?  Are the Kings just going to pretend that Matt Frattin can be a top 6 forward for the entire season?  This reminds me of the Dodgers situation with Yasiel Puig.  If the kid can help you, then bring him up, and let him play.  The Kings need more scoring, more youth, and Toffoli can give them all that.

The Lakers already have two preseason games under their belt after this weekend, but the focus remains on Kobe.  Did it feel like a big deal when he decided to go to Germany again for more treatment on his knee?  It sure seemed so to me.  Why did the Lakers feel the need to conceal the nature of his visit?  In any case, it sure seems like he isn’t going to be in the lineup anytime soon.

Finally, I love how the harsh realities of Obama Care are now setting in.  Last week, I was listening to KFI in LA, and 10 different people were interviewed regarding their thoughts on the new healthcare legislation.  More than half of them said they were fooled into thinking they were actually receiving free healthcare, and now some of them are forced to buy disgustingly expensive health insurance plans.  Keep in mind, many of these people are the same morons that voted for the first time in their life when Obama ran for his first team.  They are also the same morons who bought houses like they were groceries, sending our economy straight to hell.  Let’s hope these guys stay home during the next election.

Dodgers vs Braves: How They Matchup


October 3rd, 2013

The Dodgers finally make a return to the post-season on Thursday, for the first time since 2009.  The Boys in Blue will be going up against the NL East Champion Atlanta Braves.  The Braves finished 96-66, while LA was 92-70.  Atlanta also won the season series with the Dodgers 5-2, but all of those games took place before LA’s historic winning streak.  The Dodgers cooled off quite a bit in September, going just 13-14, but they may have caught a break.  Atlanta cooled off just as much, going 12-15.  Even though the Braves have home field advantage and the best home record in baseball, the Dodgers posted baseball’s best road record.


This Dodgers have a major advantage here.  In games 1 through 3, they’ll be sending Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound.  The Braves will counter with Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran.  Medlen is nice, but he’s going up against the best pitcher in baseball, and Greinke is the best #2 starter in the game.  Any questions?

Advantage: LA


The Braves have an explosive offense.  They have a notable advantage at catcher with all-star Brian McCann, who has great power, more consistency at 3rd base with Chris Johnson, and in the outfield with Justin Upton and Jayson Heyward.  Atlanta lead the National League in home runs, and they have two of the league’s top 3 hitters with Johnson and Freddie Freeman.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers are missing some power in their lineup with Matt Kemp out, and Andre Ethier limited to pinch hitting duties.  Even with Kemp, their offense has struggled to score runs in the last month.  They’ll need Hanley Ramirez, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzales to come through.

Advantage: Atlanta


The Dodgers have quite a bit of depth here.  Andre Ethier can supply some solid hitting off the bench, and Michael Young can come in to play either corner infield spot.  Nick Punto is also a very solid utility player, who is capable of coming up with clutch hits.  The Braves don’t have much here.  Just BJ Upton, who has played more like Kate Upton this year.

Advantage: Dodgers


The Braves have had the best bullpen in baseball all season.  They posted the lowest ERA in the majors, and suffered just 15 losses all year.  Their bullpen is also anchored by Craig Kimbrel, who led all NL closers in saves and ERA.  If he gets the ball, the game is over.  The Dodgers bullpen isn’t exactly chopped liver though.  Kenley Jansen, Brian Wilson, and JP Howell were lights out in September.  The Dodgers are counting on their starters working deep into the game.

Advantage: Braves


The Braves are capable of hitting the ball out of the park, but they also struck out more than any other NL team.  This means they sit back and wait for the long ball, instead of manufacturing runs. This could be big problem against the best starting pitching staff in the game.  Remember, pitching has always been the great equalizer in the post season.  The Dodgers will also have to start Skip Schumaker in center field, with Andre Ethier injured.  However, Schumaker has championship post season experience with the Cardinals, and has even hit well against Medlen.  If the Dodgers can return to the timely hitting we saw in July and August, they should be able to win this series easily.  Dodgers in 4.

The Spectacular Finish of Breaking Bad

Final Walt

September 30th, 2013

As promised, here is a recap, and my thoughts on the series finale of Breaking Bad.  As usual, spoiler alert for those of you who have not seen the episode yet.  I knew there was never going to be a happy ending for this show.  Walter White had caused so much collateral damage to his relationships with his family and the ones he cared about with his transformation into a criminal mastermind, you knew an unhappy ending to the show was going to take place.  Still, I think most viewers were left very satisfied with what they saw, all things considered.

In the final episode, Walt leaves the cabin to take revenge on Jack and his entire crew, but not before handling a few personal matters.  First, he sneaks into the house of his old business partners, Elliot and Gretchen Schwartz, and tricks them into getting his remaining money to his son when he turns 18 years of age.  This was sweet revenge, since the Schwartz family took credit for Walt’s work early in his career, and made a fortunate off of it.  Walt also demonstrates his criminal genius alter ego here, as he gets Badger and Skinny Pete to flash red laser pen lights at Elliot and Gretchen, to make them think they are being stalked by hit men.

Then, Walt goes to visit Skyler in her new home.  Walt says he is there to give her a proper goodbye, but he also gives her a gift.  He supplies her with a paper with GPS coordinates on it, which has the location of his remaining buried money, as well as the site where Hank and his partner were buried.   Skyler can now exchange this information for her freedom.  Several very interesting things happen around this scene.  Just prior to Walt entering the room, Skyler is on the phone with her sister, Marie, who tells her that Walt is in town, but she believes he will be caught by the authorities.  She naively says, “He thinks he is some criminal mastermind.”  Skyler knows better than this by now.  Moments later, her amazing, criminal mastermind husband appears in front of her.

Also during Walt’s encounter with Skyler, he admits why he did everything that he did.  “I did it for myself.  I liked it.  I was good at it.  It made me feel alive.”  This makes perfect sense.  Walt has spent the last few months dying of cancer, and he knew that if he was going to die, he wanted the last portion of his life to be exciting and meaningful.  Something he never seemed to feel up until that point of his life.

In the finale scene, Walt confronts Jack and his entire crew, and kills them all by setting up a machine gun in the trunk of his car, which popped up at the press of a button on his remote control.  Interestingly enough, Walt, Jesse, Todd, and Jack are still alive after all the machine gun fire.  However, Walt shoots Jack, and Jesse strangles Todd.  With Walt and Jesse left standing, Walt slides a gun along the floor to Jesse, and asks him to shoot him.  After hesitating, Jesse tells him “If you want it, do it yourself.”  At that point, we also find out that Walt poisoned Lydia with the ricin, by slipping it into her drink at the coffee shop.    Jesse then drives off, and even cracks a smile, relieved that he survived, and that it’s finally over.  Meanwhile, Walt takes a walk through Todd and Jack’s meth lab, and reminisces about his glorious drug empire, just before collapsing and dying from his gun shot wound, which he suffered in the shootout.  The police arrive on the scene, but it’s clear that Walt is dead.

Ultimately, Walt is unable to fix things with his family.  His son hates him, and his wife will probably never forgive him either.  Despite that, Walt triumphantly gets revenge on those who crossed him, which symbolizes the greatness of his criminal empire.  In some ways, the scales of justice tipped toward the two men, Walt and Jesse, who weren’t quite as evil as Jack and his crew.  Jack and his crew were men who killed people for sadistic pleasure, or even convenience.  Walt and Jesse can be considered agents of justice here.

Still, every character in the show is forced to live with some degree of guilt for their sins.  Walt’s only consolation with his family is that he was able to keep them alive, but consistently put them in danger, and can be blamed for Hank’s death.  Skyler will have to live with going along with Walt’s plan as well.  Interestingly enough, Jesse was the only character from the shootout who survived, and it can be argued that he lived because he only killed people that needed to be killed for him to survive.

As for Walt, his fate was inevitable.  He had cancer, it went away and came back.  He was going to die, but in his mind, he went out the way he wanted to.  One of the most powerful scenes of the episode was when Walt was watching his son come home from school from a hiding spot near the house.  It was clear at that point he had major regrets about his actions, and how they destroyed his relationship with Walt Jr.  Then again, in the final scene, we see how much Walt valued the legacy he built and left behind.  A great show, and a pretty good ending.  It’s been fun Breaking Bad….you will be missed!