Monthly Archives: September 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Kershaw division title

September 29th, 2014

At this point in the year, when most of you hear about baseball, you think “those guys are still playing?  It felt like the season started ages ago!”.  Not this year though for SoCal baseball fans. The Dodgers rolled through the final week of the regular season by clinching the NL West behind more mastery from Clayton Kershaw, and finished strong by winning 5 straight.  The offense has been on a tear the last two weeks, and the next five days will give Hyun-Jin Ryu a chance to get very healthy and be a contributor in the next two weeks.  Hopefully it also gives the veterans in the bullpen time to think about how they can avoid sucking like they have been of late.  With a $220 million payroll, it’s World Series or bust for the Boys in Blue.

As for LA’s matchup against the Cardinals, this is going to be another classic playoff showdown between two of the NL’s best.  This year, with home field advantage, along with a healthy and productive Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez, the Dodgers should win this series in 4 games.  The real question for St. Louis will be whether or not Michael Wacha can start a game in this series, and how effective he will be.  Wacha had the Dodgers number last year, but he’s been glued to the disabled list all season.  However, in a short series, Kershaw is likely to start twice, which is trouble for the Cards.  If the Dodgers face the Nats next, it’s a very different story.

Meanwhile, the Angels post season hopes are practically a mirror image of the Dodgers.  The Halos are also concerned about the health and effectiveness of their own #3 starter, Matt Shoemaker.  Just as the Dodgers could have trouble with the Nats, the Halos could have trouble if they run into Baltimore.  They should have no problem with Oakland or Kansas City, who are both just happy to make the playoffs at this point.  Ultimately, the Angels have to continue to score runs, and hope their bullpen can continue to be dependable.  If that happens, there’s a good chance the Halos will be in the World Series.

Switching over to college football, where i’m still trying to figure out what the hell got into the UCLA Bruins on Thursday night.  That looked like the Bruin team most people thought they would see at the beginning of the year.  I don’t care if the defense gave up 600 yards either.  Three weeks ago, everyone was complaining UCLA’s offense was trash, and they hadn’t played anybody yet.  ASU can play, and the Bruins’ offense is now looking great.  Think of it this way:  The Bruins are 4-0, and they haven’t even put together a complete game.  That’s the sign of a good team: one that can win when they aren’t at their best.  Besides….you didn’t really think that Brett Hundley was going to this one out with a wimpy little elbow injury right?

As for the Trojans, I’m not sure who was more nervous in the game vs Oregon State: Sark or the fans?  If the Trojans had lost this game, their fans would have demanded Sark’s head on top of that flag pole the fans kick on their walk to the Coliseum.  Luckily for both parties, that wasn’t necessary.  I was also really concerned that much of the talk for this game would revolve around lame “Trojan” and “Beaver” jokes, and how the game will be won with “penetration” at the line of scrimmage.  Fortunately, the talk was really more about the improved USC running game and Cody Kessler’s steady play.  Now here comes the always dangerous Arizona State next week, which will go a long way in determining whether or not USC is a player in the Pac-12 south.

Nelson Agh

A few other close calls for some top teams around college football over the weekend.  That included my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, who had to overcome 4 turnovers to take down Syracuse.  The Irish have put up at least 30 points in all 4 games they’ve played this year, which is a far cry from what we saw in 2012 when it was all about the Irish defense.

In the NFL , it was a very unusual week 4 that was filled with surprises.  I now realize why  native Americans get offended by being called “Redskins” after watching Washington get destroyed by The Giants.  The Packers and Texans got their acts together at least temporarily, the Colts and Ravens are starting to look really good.  Shouldn’t the Jets be starting Michael Vick by now?  The Steelers mediocrity came crashing back to reality after losing to the Bucs.  The Chargers continue to look solid.  Miami and Oakland should fold both of their franchises, and it’s amazing the NFL sent those two teams to London. the 49ers are still a threat to come out of the NFC, while the entire NFC South should just move to the Big 10 after the Saints were beaten down the by the Cowboys.

Finally, NBA training camps open up starting today, and that means Laker fans get hit with the reality that their team just isn’t that good.  However, speaking of LA, I’ve heard a lot of comparisons of Kobe Bryant and Derek Jeter this week since Jeter is retiring.  While there are certain aspects of each of these guys careers that are very similar, I have to point out some of the stark differences that people failed to mention.  Jeter is a great player, a great leader, and known for his clutch play.  Kobe has similar qualities, but differs in that he is arguably the greatest player to ever play for the greatest franchise in NBA history.  Jeter on the other hand is arguably the 6th or 7th greatest player to ever play for the greatest franchise in MLB history.  Let’s keep all that in mind before we get too crazy on our comparisons.


Monday Morning Coffee

Freese Sprays

September 22nd, 2014

This week’s Monday Morning Coffee is actually coming to you from Cairo, Egypt, where I’m attending my cousin’s wedding.  Since I’m on Egyptian time, it’s more like mid morning coffee over here.  Being over here has made me realize that the United States is really the only country in the world where it is very uncommon for people to take a month off of work.  Even though many of us have three weeks of vacation or more per year, it is frowned upon to leave your job for that long.  In just about every other country in the world, taking a full month off is very normal.  Then again, the fact your employer works you to the bone is probably a big reason why the US economy is where it is relative the the rest of the world.

Speaking of vacation time, the Angels can take a vacation for the next week until the playoffs start after clinching the AL West title last week.  It’s strange that it was just 9 months ago that we were talking about how terrible the Angels pitching staff was, how Mike Scioscia’s act was wearing thin, how Jerry Dipoto was the worst general manager in Southern California, and how Albert Pujols was declining faster than the Middle East.  Suddenly, none of that matters.  The Halos found pitching, fixed their bullpen, and actually have one of the most explosive offenses in baseball.  Now they are poised for a big run in the playoffs, and have a great chance to make it back to the World Series for the first time since the magic of 2002.

The Oakland A’s do realize that they are still in a playoff race right?  It seems like all these veteran rentals the A’s picked is for nothing since their collapse is continuing.  Good thing for the A’s the Mariners couldn’t take advantage of playing the lowly Astros this weekend.

As for the Dodgers, they are now on the verge of clinching the NL West with the Giants coming to town tonight.  I’m sure most of you guys wanna freak out since LA blew a huge lead on Saturday, but reality is, the pen has been overworked in the past week, so that was bound to happen.  On this road trip, the offense finally appears to be clicking on all cylinders.  Matt Kemp is in beat mode, Yasiel Puig is snapping out of his funk, while Agon and Hanley are coming through as well.  Ironically, it’s the pitching of late that could be concerning for LA.  Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw were inefficient in their last starts, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s health is in question, and the middle relief appears to be a roller coaster ride at times.  The Dodgers likely won’t have home field advantage in the NL playoffs either, but they do have the best road record in the NL, so they shouldn’t feel too bad about themselves

Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig

I’m still convinced somebody in the Dodger organization hates Matt Kemp.  Kemp and Puig got in “an argument” earlier in the week because Puig wasn’t running hard on the bases, and somebody in the Dodger organization called the environment “dysfunctional”.  Wow, two teammates having a disagreement and the clubhouse is going to hell?  Sounds really likely for a team in first place in their division and battling it out for home field in the NL.   Even if that were remotely true, you don’t have to like your teammates, you simply have to be professional enough to play with them and do your job on the field.

It was a quiet weekend of college football as far as I’m concerned: UCLA, USC, and my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame all had a bye week.  Are the Bruins really ready to go on the road to play ASU on Thursday?  My feeling is no, but Jim Mora is capable of pulling off some magic with some extra time to prepare.  USC should bounce back against Oregon State, and Notre Dame should handle business against Syracuse next weekend.  As for the weekend in college football, how annoying is Jameis Winston?  I was so excited to know that he was suspended for his game on Saturday so we wouldn’t have to hear about him for a whole weekend, but instead, he pretty much stole the show from his teammates with his antics on the sideline.  Meanwhile, Michigan has updated their logo…..

Michigan Logo


On to the NFL, where the Chargers are actually impressing me.  Definitely a game I expected the Bolts to have a let down in, but they came up big against the Bills and overcame the injuries.  As for the Seahawks and Broncos, I’m sure Denver fans are really upset over that loss, but most of them were too busy smoking weed in their parents basements since it’s legal in Colorado.  Kirk Cousins is killin it, and he’s going to win the Redskins some games despite yesterday’s loss.  The Rams are still the Rams.  The Raiders are still the Raiders.  The Jags are still the Jags, and Ryan Fitzpatrick suddenly remembered that he is Ryan Fitzpatrick.  The Saints finally found the win column, the Vikings may be moving on from AP, which is terrible news for my fantasy team, and possibly great news for Jerry Jones.  The Packers have protection problems, the Bengals have been impressive,  the Ravens kicker is their best player, and the 49ers are crumbling.  I’m still not sure who the Steelers are after three weeks, but I still know the Dolphins and Chiefs are two teams that won’t make the playoffs.

Finally, on to some puck, where training camp opens up this week for the Ducks and Kings.  The Ducks training camp is headlined by Teemu Selanne’s book that was just released, where he rips Bruce Boudreau for reducing his role at the end of last season.  Teemu was a great player, but this is just another example of a great player who hung around a little bit too long.  Of course Boudreau isn’t going to play a 43 year old when he’s got younger studs to develop.  The book just looks like sour grapes from the future hall of famer, which is sad.

As for the Kings, reports are they are all coming to camp in great shape.  I’m not really sure how this is possible since they probably all partied their asses off all summer.  The Kings were also nice enough to send me some game used water from game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  Can we define “game used”?  Did Dustin Brown swish it around in his mouth?  Nice gesture for Kings season seat holders I suppose, but an interesting one.  What was a really nice gesture was allowing season ticket holders to take a picture with the Stanley Cup last week.  It was a very well organized event that took about 15 minutes to get done.  Nice job LA Kings!

Monday Morning Coffee


September 15th, 2014

You thought they were toast.  I thought they were toast.  Instead, the unthinkable happened.  Neuheisal saved the day.  No, not Rick Neuheisal… was his son Jerry.  I think most of us were thinking the same thing: He’s still on the team?  UCLA may have played a terrible Texas team, but they managed to remain undefeated without their best player, and on the shoulders of a miracle performance from their backup quarterback.  Now, their bye week couldn’t have come at a better time.  They’ll need plenty of time to hopefully get Brett Hundley healthy, and prepare for a showdown with Arizona State.  There’s no doubt this team looked like crap in the first three games, and they seem extremely overrated, despite their 3-0 record.  The Bruins will need to be much better in conference play, or else they are going to be toast.  However, assuming Hundley will be ok, they have time to regroup.  That may be the best thing they have going for them.

Meanwhile, USC fans haven’t been this upset since they last tried to watch their basketball team play.  The Trojans got upset by Boston College on Saturday, in a game that horrifically resembled the team we saw last year.  The Eagles completely dominated the line of scrimmage on Saturday night, piling up 452 yards rushing, while also managing to sack Cody Kessler 5 times.  This was a serious let down after the big win at Stanford last week.  Clearly the Trojans needed an off the field distraction to focus, since it worked the last two weeks.  Maybe in the next two weeks one of the football players will get drunk and fight with one of the Sigma Chi fraternity members at Del Taco because he wasn’t served first.  Sark can only hope.  I had concerns about the offense coming into this week.  Now they should have concerns about the defense too.

USC v Boston College

Elsewhere around college football, it feels like Purdue plays well once a year, and it only comes against Notre Dame.  The Irish managed to win and crack the top 10 in the polls, but the Boilermakers gave the Irish all they could handle again.  Still, considering all the academic issues and injuries that are testing their depth, Notre Dame is in good shape.  How overrated is the SEC? 7 teams are ranked in the top 15.  Do these guys every play anybody in their non-conference schedule?  I find it hysterical that Ole Miss is #10 after beating Louisiana-Lafayette.  I’m also sick of all these southern rednecks pretending like their conference is some alternate form of the NFL, when most teams in the middle of the conference would get exposed if they didn’t play cupcake teams.

On to baseball, where the Dodgers came up with some big wins this weekend in San Francisco, against the Giants.  The Boys in Blue have a 3 game lead in the NL West with 13 games to play.  For those of you that think Clayton Kershaw shouldn’t win the MVP because he is a pitcher, think again.  Kershaw has faced 693 batters this year, while no other NL hitter has had more than 666 plate appearances.  There goes the theory that pitchers don’t do enough work pitching every 5 days.  He also has an MLB leading 19 wins, and that’s after sitting out the first 5 weeks of the season with a back injury.  More importantly, the offense came around at the right time, exploding for 17 runs on Saturday, and some more power hitting from Matt Kemp yesterday.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

The major concern for the Dodgers is Hyun-Jin Ryu, who re-injured his shoulder on Friday night.  Ryu sounds like he’s going to be missing the rest of the regular season.  Even if he’s ready to go for the playoffs, should LA risk throwing him out there without knowing if he’s on his game?  It’s either that or Dan Haren, who has pitched well of late, but probably not somebody you want to give the ball to starting a playoff game.  It’s true what they say: you can never have enough pitching.  The other concern the Dodgers should have is Yasiel Puig.  Is this guy just an ordinary player now?  He made a few big plays this weekend, but the power is gone.  The magic is gone.  I think it’s time for Don Mattingly to give Andre Ethier some more time in the outfield to see if he can get some more productivity.  It’s becoming obvious though that Mattingly won’t do it, because the Dodgers have too much invested in Puig both on and off the field.

Then there’s the Angels, who actually lost yesterday.  No really….they had not lost in 10 games, and they had dominated their opponents by outscoring them 86-34 in that stretch.  Their magic number is down to 4, but as far as I’m concerned, they might as well start celebrating.  The Halos can actually win 100 games by simply going 7-7 in their final 14 games.  Funny, how it was just a few months ago that everyone was calling for the firing of both Mike Scioscia & Jerry Dipoto.  Dipoto has successfully rebuilt the bullpen, and Scioscia has successfully managed a team that has been hit with key injuries and crappy play from Josh Hamilton and David Freese.  With Baltimore losing Chris Davis, Oakland sinking like the Titanic, and Detroit floundering, the Angels are a serious threat to make it to the World Series.

What a really nice week it was for the NFL.  I’m sure Roger Goodell is reserving judgement on this whole Adrian Peterson incident until he sees the TMZ tape of him beating his kid with a stick.  Oh sorry….a “switch”.  How many of you just learned what that was last week?  I’m all for disciplining your kids and spanking them when needed, but beating them with a tree branch feels like taking it to another level.  As for Ray Rice, I can’t believe how badly Goodell mishandled the whole thing.  Did he not suspend him at first because he didn’t lead with his helmet when he hit his fiance in the elevator?  Goodell won’t be fired by the owners because he’s making them boat loads of money, and that is all they care about it.

NFL Meme

Last week really put the sporting world into perspective, especially with all the race related discussion happening in the NBA to go along with the NFL criminal activity.  We are supposed to be watching sports because it’s an escape from reality.  Instead, all of this ridiculous activity, much of it cause by social media, brings all of these social issues to the forefront of the discussion at times, defeating our entire purpose of watching sports.  So to sum it up, the NFL has a bunch of criminals and the NBA has a bunch of racists.  Your move MLB.

As for the actual NFL action in week 2, in a completely not surprising game, the Chargers defeated the Seahawks.  This is what they do folks.  They beat the teams they aren’t supposed to, and lose to the teams they aren’t supposed to.  Richard Sherman got schooled yesterday, and he knows it, which is why he panzied out and didn’t wanna face the media.  Instead he sent some wussy little tweet.  I feel bad for RGIII, but I think Kirk Cousins is going to win the Redskins some games while he’s gone, although he’s probably not the long term solution.  RGIII may not be either anymore.  The good news for the NY Giants is……actually nevermind, there is no good news.  Nobody beats the New Orleans Saints like the New Orleans Saints.  Those Panthers are looking good.  The Rams vs Bucs should have been televised on Comedy Central.  Only the Jets could lose a touchdown by calling an illegal timeout.  Those Broncos love to let teams back in the game, and a gutsy effort by the Bears last night.

There’s a good chance your fantasy football season blew up this weekend, if you had RGIII, Knowshon Moreno, Adrian Peterson, AJ Green, or DeSean Jackson.  I’d also like to give a special thank you to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who proclaimed that Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was “very likely to be sidelined” for yesterday’s game.  Turns out Marshall played and had 3 touchdowns, so of course he was sitting on my bench.

Finally, I’m amazed by the fact that the IPhone 6 Plus is already sold out, rather than the IPhone 6. The IPhone 6 Plus and it’s 5.5 inch screen won’t even fit in your pocket, especially if you are wearing skinny jeans.  However, the fact that people are buying it tells me that consumers are interested in the novelty of what Apple is selling, and not the practicality of their products.  It’s also ironic because Steve Jobs used to be so critical of those very large screens produced by Apple’s competitors.  Good luck to those of you trying to get your hands on one anytime soon.




Monday Morning Coffee


September 8th, 2014

It was an ugly game in Palo Alto on Saturday afternoon.  It was uglier than a USC freshman getting initiated into a fraternity.  It also took an ejection, and Pat Haden coming onto the field, but the Trojans got it done, beating Stanford in the Bay Area for the first time since 2008.  Heading to one of the commercial breaks in the first half, ABC played the song “Turn Down For What”, which was quite fitting since neither team could get much offense going.  The Trojan defense was resilient though.  It felt like the Cardinal spent half the game in USC territory, but just when you thought Kevin Hogan was going to put the Trojans away, he began to look more like Brooke Hogan.  Stanford was inside SC’s 30 yard line 9 times, yet they only scored twice.  USC didn’t exactly set the world on fire either with their offensive production, but they did show enough character and toughness to make you believe they will be a serious contender in the Pac-12 South.

Ok Trojan fans, I get it, you’re pumped and you should be.  But some USC fans are acting like we all thought their team was going to be some pile of crap this year.  USC won 10 games last year, despite all the turmoil.  They hammered Fresno State, and got by Stanford on the road, two teams that they happened to beat last season.  In fact, up until the last two games of the season against UCLA and Notre Dame, the Trojans should be favored on paper.  They haven’t done anything yet to shock us.  If anything, I’d be concerned with the hot and cold offense we saw in the first two weeks of the season.  As the Trojans continue their conference schedule, that could be an issue.

Speaking of issues, UCLA has a ton of them.  They survived another scare against a crummy team, beating Memphis 42-35 at the Rose Bowl Saturday night.  It looked like UCLA solved most of their problems on offense, only to start a whole set of new ones on the defensive side of the ball.  Brett Hundley threw for 396 yards and 3 scores, Paul Perkins rushed for 98 yards and 2 scores, and the Bruins offensive line was much more effective.  However, the defense looked like a bunch of high schoolers putting on the pads for the first time.  The Bruins had to have missed more tackles over the weekend then total tackles they actually made.  Memphis piled up 469 yards.  The Bruins should have blown them off the field in the first quarter.  The only good news is that UCLA is going to face a terrible Texas team that just took a beating from the Mormons.  After that it’s going to get a lot tougher, and potentially much uglier.   Here are the highlights and low lights from Saturday night……

I’d like to thank the Big 10 for participating in this years College Football Season, which is over for their conference after this weekend.  What a failure.  Notre Dame demolished Michigan 31-0, Oregon ripped Michigan State, and Ohio State got punked by Virginia Tech.  This was the worst weekend in the state of Michigan since General Motors was bailed out by the government.  Notre Dame looks great thus far, but their remaining schedule is brutal: half of their remaining games are against teams currently ranked in the top 25.

To baseball, where I think it’s safe to say the Angels have clinched the AL West, and shocked the baseball world after this weekend.  The Halos completed a four game sweep of the Twins while the A’s continued to sink like the Titanic, by losing two of three to the Houston Astros.  Even CJ Wilson deserves some credit, although most of you Halo fans would rather have him ejected from the universe right now.  Wilson gave the Angels more than 6 strong innings, and despite a shaky stretch, still retired 13 out of 14.  If the Halos offense is going to be even half as good as it was this weekend, the starting pitching can be as good as Wilson was yesterday.  I know what some of you are thinking: “The Angels are peaking too early.”  I disagree.  By securing the division now, the Angels can ready their playoff rotation the way they want it, which will be critical for them since they no longer have the depth they once did with Garrett Richards.

As for the Dodgers, they continue to hold off the Giants in the NL West, after completing a 3 game sweep against the D’Backs.  It feels like every time the Dodgers go into some losing streak or badly need a win, Arizona shows up on their schedule to save the day.  LA finished the season series winning 15 of the 19 games between the two clubs.  Adrian Gonzales and Matt Kemp are carrying the club offensively at this point, but these guys are going to need more support.  Offensively the Dodgers have yet to click on all cylinders all season.  Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez have yet to be hot when Kemp and Agon have it going, but that’s going to be critical down the stretch and into October.  Not only do the Dodgers need to keep winning to hold off San Francisco and win the NL West, but they are in a race for home field advance in the NL Playoffs.  Not having that last season was one of the deciding factors in losing the NLCS.

Andre Ethier must be losing his mind.  At the beginning of the season, he was the Dodgers starting center fielder.  Eventually, he lost his starting spot to Kemp, Puig, and Carl Crawford.  Then, he lost his job as the Dodgers 4th outfielder to Scott Van Slyke.  Over the weekend, Puig gets a stomach ailement, and rookie Joc Pederson, who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat right now, gets the start in center field over Ethier.  I realize that Ethier has had a disappointing season, but at some point the Dodgers are going to need this guy before the season is over.  I’m not sure if Ethier slept with Don Mattingly’s wife, or insulted him in some other way, but it would be wise for Mattingly to find him some playing time and some at bats, so he doesn’t completely crush his confidence.

Finally, Week 1 of the NFL was a good one.  Great shootout between the Falcons and Saints yesterday.  Atlanta looks like they are back to a playoff team.  I realize it’s a shock the Patriots lost in week 1, and that they are in last place in the AFC East, but the last time they lost in week 1 they won the Super Bowl.  The Bills won, but I’ve been hearing “they’re back” for the last 10 years.  I’m not sold after 1 road win in Chicago, or Minnesota after beating the Rams.  The Chiefs look exactly how I thought they would.   Brian Hoyer didn’t look that bad against the Steelers, which is unfortunate, because I was really hoping to see Johnny Football get his ass kicked in the next few weeks.  At least we got to see Antonio Brown go Bruce Lee on the Browns…..

The Raiders still suck.  Why do people think Tampa is going to bounce back this year? Josh McCown is awful.  The Redskins don’t look too much improved from last year.  The Texans did for a moment, until Jadeveon Clowney got hurt.  I thought Chip Kelly was going to get fired at halftime of the Eagles vs Jaguars game, but good thing his boys rebounded in the 2nd half.  And how could I forget the Cowboys and the 49ers.  I thought Tony Romo was going to break Twitter from all the reactions after his awful play.  This is where we all find out that Romo is really color blind right?  The Cowboys look as bad as I thought they would be.  Here’s Dez Bryant paying for Romo’s mistakes…..

Dez slammed




Monday Morning Coffee

UCLA v Virginia

September 1st, 2014

It was ugly, but UCLA got it done.  The Bruins escaped their matchup with Virginia on Saturday, to open the season 1-0, and avoid a complete disaster.  I know what most of you are thinking: the Bruins are overrated, they shouldn’t be ranked the #7 team in the country, the offensive line stinks, and Brett Hundley isn’t a Heisman Trophy candidate.  While it’s probably easy to be concerned after week 1, don’t become prisoner of the moment.  UCLA was missing two starters on the offensive line, and without them, not even a condom could provide these lineman with adequate protection.  The Bruins still have two weeks to go before facing Texas, and more than three weeks to prepare for their first Pac-12 game against ASU.  Keep in mind, two years ago, Notre Dame went undefeated before the BCS Championship game, and played every game close.  Sometimes, the sign of a good team is one that can win when they aren’t at their best, and UCLA showed us that on Saturday.

Meanwhile, at the Coliseum, the Trojans hammered Fresno State 52-13.  This game had a nice warm and fuzzy feeling for USC fans, who had to feel like they were watching the Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart team pile up points.  I’m not sure if that was really Cody Kessler at quarterback for the Trojans, or Joe Montana.  Kessler threw for 394 yards and 4 touchdowns, while rushing for another.  10 different Trojans caught passes in Sark’s new offense, including freshman JuJu Smith, who had 4 receptions for 123 yards.  Javorius Allen also had 133 yards rushing and a TD.  Watching Sark’s uptempo offense was like playing Playstation against my 5 year old nephew.  It’s only a few days from now when we’ll find out if this win actually means anything, because the Trojans will be visiting those corporately sponsored, Chardonnay drinking, Stanford Cardinal.  USC is only going to go as far as their freshman take them.


As for all the off the field shenanigans that took place this week, this is the world of college football today.  It’s so easy to forget that we are watching 19 and 20 year old kids learning to grow up.  I’ve always said that college isn’t completely about getting an education (I’m sure the NCAA would agree with that statement), but also about learning about yourself.  Nobody really knows what Josh Shaw was doing jumping off a balcony, and spraining both ankles in the process.  However, it’s safe to say whatever he was doing, was idiotic because he needed to lie about it.  Even more idiotic were the accusations made by senior running back Anthony Brown, who called coach Steve Sarkisian a racist before quitting the team.  It seems highly improbable that a well respected man who has coached college football for the last 15 years could be a racist.  Tough way for Sark to begin the job at USC, but being able to handle this nonsense is a huge part of the job, and he obviously handled it well this week.  So did the person that made this sign…..

USC sign

Elsewhere in week 1 on the college gridiron, Notre Dame looked very sharp in their win over Rice.  Getting Everett Golson back as their starting quarterback already looks like it’s making a world of a difference.  I expect another wild finish next week against Michigan.  Kenny Hill looks like he’s going to be even better than Johnny “Middle Finger”, and Texas A&M should be a top 10 team.  Alabama is going to lose some games this year, Florida State doesn’t look as good as last year, but their schedule is pretty easy.

On to baseball, where the Angels have caught fire.  Did you Halo fans really think that on September 1st, you would have a 5 game lead in the AL West?  After the Garrett Richards injury, it felt like the Angels were going to have a funeral for the rest of their season, but it’s been quite the opposite since.  The Halos have won 5 in a row after a 4 game sweep over Oakland, in a series where they held the A’s to just 1 run in their last 31 innings.  Matt Shoemaker came out of nowhere to win 14 games as a starter, and the Angels pitching has held up.  All you need to know about the A’s and Angels right now is that prior to yesterday’s game, the Angels were preparing for their fantasy football draft, while the A’s were having a team meeting.  I like how the A’s traded for Adam Dunn yesterday, because they are so desperate for offense.  Apparently nobody listened to me weeks ago when I called them foolish for trading their cleanup hitter for Jon Lester, who would be a three month rental.  Last I checked you can’t win if you don’t score.  I believe you can tie though.

Speaking of inability to score, the Dodgers’ bats were nowhere to be found for much of the weekend in San Diego.  Once again, the pitching and the bullpen were solid, but LA couldn’t get any offense going against the lowly Padres.  Even more concerning is the fact the Dodgers lead in the NL West has been cut to 2.5 games with 25 left to play.  I think the Dodgers are going to win the west, but come October, it’s going to come down to whether or not Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzales, and Yasiel Puig can produce.  Speaking of Puig, does anybody know what happened to his power?  He looked like a superstar for the first half of the season, but in the 2nd half he’s looked like nothing more than “just a guy” in the lineup.  Puig and all his overpaid teammates need to get it together and start producing some offense.

Doc Rivers just pulled a fast one on Steve Ballmer.  Somehow, he managed to get his new owner to pay him $10 million a year for the next 5 years.  Look, I like Doc Rivers, and I think he’s a great coach, but he isn’t worth $4 million more than Greg Popovich.  He also isn’t worth $6 million more than Rick Carlisle, Tom Thibodeau, and $7 million more than Erik Spoelstra.  When you really think about it, the Clippers currently have the best team in the history of their franchise, the two best players currently playing in the history of the franchise, and the best coach in the history of the franchise, yet they haven’t been able to make it out of the 2nd round of the playoffs yet.  Do you really expect them to be any better next year?  That concept should be pretty scary for Clipper fans.

Are you ready…..for some football?  We’re just three days away from the start of the NFL season, and that means it’s time for some predictions.  In the AFC, my division winners are the Denver, New England, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati, while my wild card teams are San Diego and Pittsburgh.  In the NFC, my division winners are Seattle, New Orleans, Green Bay, and Philadelphia, with my wild card teams being Chicago, and San Francisco.  I will also take Seattle over Denver again in the Super Bowl.  As long as the Seahawks have home field, they will not be beaten.  If the Saints get home field, then it’s a different story.  The Broncos are the first team in history to have clinched their division without actually playing a game.  The Patriots will probably get back to the AFC title game, but Andrew Luck and the Colts will be tugging on Tom Brady’s cape.  The Cowboys, Raiders, and Texans will all stink, and you can count on a handful of players in the AFC north getting arrested before December.

For those of you considering taking Adrian Peterson in your fantasy draft be careful!  Clearly, Peterson is suffering from concussion like symptoms, since he said to Jerry Jones that he would be interested in playing for the Cowboys.  Gotta love Roger Goodell changing the NFL’s disciplinary policy on domestic abuse after the public outrage over the Ray Rice situation.  Even after increasing the suspension for domestic abuse incidents, it’s still nothing in comparison to the penalty for smoking pot.  In other words, the NFL wants to remind you to hit your girlfriend, and not the bong.  And poor Michael Sam.  Where is he supposed to shower now?

And finally, I had the misfortune of being selected as a juror last week for a criminal trial here in Newport Beach.  Like most people, I tried to make up ridiculous excuses to avoid being selected, but the judge just wasn’t buying it.  However, after going through the miserable jury selection process, the case itself was somewhat interesting, and it’s good to see how our legal process works.  What I really mean by that is, it’s good to see how your tax paying dollars are going to waste.  I actually had to sit on a criminal case for three days because a few 16 year old kids decided to go play “ding-dong ditch” and urinate on a guys house in South Orange County.  Oh, and it wasn’t the kids who were the defendants in the case either.  It was the home owner, who chased the kids down with a gun(allegedly), and smacked a kid over the head.  The district attorney actually thought this was a good case to waste our tax paying dollars on.  A case in which the testimony of three 16 year old kids (whose idiotic stories weren’t even the same) was their primary argument.  More importantly, did anybody actually play “ding-dong ditch” at 16 years old?  I thought most of us guys were out hitting on girls then.  Those kids must be the biggest losers in the history of high school.