Monthly Archives: April 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Blake Griffin Game 4

April 27th, 2015

The Clippers aren’t dead…..yet.  In fact, for the first time in the Chris Paul era (which might as well be the whole history of the franchise), they showed some mental toughness by beating the Spurs in game 4.  So now it’s a 3 game series, with the Clippers having the home court advantage.  After everything you’ve seen, do you really believe the Clipp Show is going to win this series?  That’s about as likely as a successful Kardashian marriage.  For one game, Austin Rivers played out of his mind, and the Clippers bench didn’t stink.  That’s unlikely to happen again.  The Clipps have the talent and the athleticism, but at this point, it’s hard not to like the Spurs depth, experience, and mental toughness.  I’m also not convinced the Clippers can actually win a close game when it realy matters.  I thought the Spurs would win in 6 games, and I see no reason to think otherwise at this point.

Elsewhere in the playoffs, the NBA should revoke Mike Budenholdzer’s coach of the year award since the Hawks didn’t sweep the Nets.  Remember when Deron Williams was the best point guard in the league along with CP3?  D-Will is the richest bum in New York now.  I’m amazed at what the Wizards did to the Raptors.  Paul Pierce was in full fledged trash talking mode, and backed it up.  The Cavs may have swept the Celtics, but they’ll probably be without Kevin Love for much of the next round, and maybe even JR Smith for a game if he’s suspended.  There were some dumb non-basketball plays made by the Cavs in that game, and they should get some major discipline for it.  I guess Derek Rose forgot he returned on that last play against Milwaukee on Saturday.  The Bulls should finish the job tonight.  Meanwhile, Steph Curry caused more suffering in New Orleans than the Saints defense.  Memphis is fortunate that they are playing a Portland team more injured than them, and Houston should finish Dallas next week.

On to Major League Baseball where we are about to get some closure to this Josh Hamilton situation any moment now.  The Angels are about to pay Josh Hamilton $68 million to go play for their division rivals, the Texas Rangers, over the next three years.  Not only that, the Angels get absolutely nothing in return.  Arte Moreno is getting exactly what he deserves for his emotional outburst, when he found out that Hamilton had fallen off the wagon.  It’s going to be hilarious when Hamilton kills the Angels every time they face them, especially knowing the Angels are going to be paying his salary.  At least on the field, the Halos can put this behind them, as they took 3 of 4 from the Rangers over the weekend.  The pitching is coming around but only the Rangers have a lower team batting average in the American League.  The Angels better start swinging those bats or its going to be another frustrating season.

As for the Dodgers, they took two of three against the Padres, but they suffered some injuries along the way.  Yasiel Puig injured his hamstring on Friday night, so he’s on the disabled list, as is Joel Peralta who has “dead arm”.  Then there’s Brandon McCarthy, whose been throwing “dead ducks” and giving up home runs like the steroid era is in still in full effect.  McCarthy is now dealing with elbow soreness as well.  Who could have seen this coming? Oh that’s right, I could when those morons in the Dodger front office signed him to a $48 million contract.  One thing Don Mattingly needs to do is find a place for Alex Guerrero to play everyday.  He’s hitting .500 and only two players in the NL have more home runs than him.  Things look good in the standings right now for the Boys in Blue, but there’s this “imminent doom” feel to this team later in the season.  Is this what it’s like to be a Cubs fan?

Speaking of the Dodgers, there is still no progress toward getting SportsNet LA distributed.  That means that still, only 30% of Southern California can watch the Dodgers.  Time Warner Cable and the Dodgers badly overestimated the demand for their baseball channel.  When the Lakers started their own cable channel, it took a matter of weeks to get it distributed to other cable networks.  That’s because all the local cable providers knew that viewers could not live without the Lakers.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers just don’t command the same viewership, and neither does baseball.  The Dodgers are doing great selling tickets, but baseball is nothing more than a regional sport, that is slowly becoming less relevant with younger generations.  The Dodgers don’t seem to care because they are still getting boat loads of money out of this cable deal, even though people aren’t watching their games.  Over time however, they are pushing Major League Baseball into further obscurity.

Let’s go to the ice where the Ducks swept away the Winnipeg Jets, and are getting ready for round 2 against the Flames.  Anaheim could have been on the ropes several times against Winnipeg, but the Jets had no idea how to hold a lead in a playoff game.  Now things get really interesting, as goaltender Jonas Hiller faces his former team, which cut him loose last summer.  Think Hiller won’t have just a little chip on his shoulder facing the Ducks?  The Flames feel like the luckiest team in the NHL this year, and have been playing way over their heads.  On paper the Ducks have way more talent, and should win the series.  Then again, everything Calgary has done has defied logic, so why should that stop now?  Should be a great series.

The Blues, Sharks, and Canucks have all been eliminated from the NHL playoffs.  So it’s kind of like the LA Kings are in the playoffs isn’t it?

In the NFL, Tony Romo declared that the Dallas Cowboys will be next seasons Super Bowl Champions.  In a related story, the NFL has suspended Romo for drug use.

I think the Bruce Jenner interview can only be described with one word: confusing.  Everyone you talk to that watched it came away wondering whether the guy is considered a lesbian, transgender, gay, or what.  Nobody really knows.  Frankly, at this point in his life nobody should care.  People can be who they want to be and nobody should care.  The unfortunate part of this however, is that many younger people don’t know who Jenner is, other than the interview that he just completed, which means they’ll remember him more for that than being a great athlete.

Ok people, let’s talk Game of Thrones.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see last night’s episode.  For the first time ever, I actually felt bad for Cersei.  No really.  We always want to scream about how much of an evil bitch she is, however, Margaery puts everything in her face including the fact she’s already having exhausting sex with her son.  It was like Cersei was completely defanged.  I haven’t seen this side of her since season 1, when she had a heart to heart with Robert before he died.  I’m sure we’ll return to hating her in the next episode.  Amazing how Sansa is now going to have been married to the two biggest psychopaths in the show, after she marries Ramsay Snow.  Only Sansa is stupid enough to fall for Littlefingers argument that by getting back into power, she can then kill Roose Bolton.  I don’t think she’s tough enough to kill anybody.  Jon Snow finally manned up and killed Slynt, however, Stannis points out what is obvious by now: his nobility will eventually get him killed.  The Arya storyline is becoming less and less interesting.  She’s got a long list of people to kill, but they’d probably all be willing to kill themselves by the time she’s ready to kill them.  I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see our favorite Mother of Dragons in this episode.  However, I’m curious to see whether or not Ser Jorah is taking Tyrion to Cersei or to Dany.  My guess is that he’s going to take him to Cersei, so she can get the revenge that she always wanted on him.  Something tells me the next episode could be bigger than we think.

Game of Thrones










Monday Morning Coffee

April 20th, 2015

The Clippers got what appeared to be the worst possible first round matchup in the San Antonio Spurs.  However, last night, the Clipps made the Spurs look old geezers.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen father time and Tim Duncan on the floor at the same time.  Last night i saw it.  Meanwhile, Blake Griffin looked like a beast with real post moves.  If there’s one thing that’s always made me doubt the Clippers, other than the fact that they are “The Clippers”, it’s the fact that Blake was not a go to guy.  He was every bit of that last night, and if he continues to play like that, the Clipps could be for real.  That’s a very big if though.  The Spurs have never won back to back titles in the Tim Duncan era, but they’ve also never had this much rest.  That might not seem to matter though because Tony Parker looked pretty banged up going up against Chris Paul.  I thought the Spurs were gonna win in 6, but I’m not feeling so great about my prediction at the moment.  Isn’t this how kids look when their mother’s tell them to go to sleep hours ago, but they didn’t, and the mom comes back in the room?

Tony Parker flat

As for the Lakers, mercifully their season is over.  Unfortunately, the nightmare may not be though.  Everyone seems to be assuming that the Lakers are going to have a pick in the top 5.  Once the NBA rigs the draft lottery like they usually do, and allows a team like Oklahoma City to jump up into one of the top 3 picks, there’s a good chance the Lakers could actually fall out of the top 5 and lose their pick to Philadelphia.  That means all LA would be left with would be a late first round pick.  They may also strike out in free agency too, with all the big names like Gasol, Aldridge, and Love staying with their respective teams.  That of course means another year of pulling your hair out while hoping the Lakers lose games to get another high draft pick.  It’s a very fine line between getting excited, and pissing and moaning for another year.  We’ll have to wait until May 19th to figure out which side of the line Laker fans end up on.

I had no idea that the Winnipeg Jets were such a charitable organization.  The Jets completely gave away the first two games of their 1st round series vs the Ducks.  Anaheim scored three times in the third period of game 1, and two more times in the third period of game 2 to take a 2-0 series lead.  This series is all about experience, and the Jets lack thereof has been evident.  More importantly for the Ducks, Freddy Anderson has looked pretty solid in goal, but if he comes up with a bad game, will Bruce Boudreau panic and start John Gibson instead?  The Ducks have responded to the 3rd period challenges they’ve faced so far, but there will likely be much more adversity to come.  We’ll see how they respond, but if they keep getting clutch play like this they’ll be ok…..

As for the LA Kings, who are sitting on their couches watching the playoffs, the offseason has begun in tumultuous fashion.  Jarrett Stoll got arrested for suspicion of cocaine in Vegas on Friday.  It’s time for the Kings to cut ties with the guys who are creating problems.  Stoll isn’t productive anymore and is creating trouble, so shouldn’t be re-signed.  Voynov is a wife beater, who was becoming more and more unproductive prior to his legal troubles.  Mike Richards can’t play anymore either and should be bought out.  The Kings need to move on from these clowns, and give some of their young prospects a chance.  LA still has one of the best cores in the league with Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Quick.  Dean Lombardi has some warm and fuzzy feelings about these guys because they’ve helped them win two Stanley Cups, but it’s time to re-load with guys that are more reliable on and off the ice.  They say an addict can’t begin recovery until he hits rock bottom.  That mean’s Stoll should sign with the Oilers this offseason, and then he’ll be well on his way.

Stoll cocaine

Ok, I get it.  You all think the Dodgers look like the 1927 New york Yankees and will never lose again.  Stay in your shoes people.  We’re only two weeks in.  I realize that they’ve already beaten some good teams, and that they lead the league in home runs.  However, Adrian Gonzales, Howie Kendrick, and Joc Pederson aren’t going to look like “Murderers Row” all season.  When they come back to earth, I’m still curious to see how this team is going to manufacture runs, and if the bullpen is going to hold up.  Those pesky Padres aren’t going to go away anytime soon either, although it’s good to see those hated San Francisco Giants in dead last.  Speaking of the hated ones, the Boys in Blue will be traveling up north for a 3 game set with San Francisco starting Tuesday night.

As for the Angels, they are off to a very mediocre start, especially offensively.  They’ve got 5 position players that are hitting under .215 thus far.  One of those is Albert Pujols, who is hitting just .186, despite going deep yesterday.  However, it was very good to see Garrett Richards back on the mound after suffering a knee injury last year.  Richards wasn’t terrible in his first start, and things figure to get better for him as he gets more starts.  It was only two seasons ago that the Angels had a very good roster on paper, like they do this year, yet lost a lot of games early in the season and couldn’t recover.  The Angels need to be careful that they don’t let these early games slip away from them and get too far behind to make up ground.  No need to panic yet, but  I sure hope the Halos resolve the Josh Hamilton situation quickly to get rid of that distraction.  Things are getting pretty awkward between the players and the front office.  It’s about as comfortable as watching a sex scene with your parents.

On to the NFL where trade rumors are swirling around the Chargers.  The Bolts and Tennessee Titans are rumored to be considering a blockbuster deal, with Philip Rivers going to the Titans for the #2 pick.  The Chargers would then draft Marcus Mariotta as their quarterback of the future.  The real issue here is what this rumor says about the Chargers potentially moving to LA.  Rivers contract is up at the end of next season, and his preference is finish his career in San Diego, and not uproot his family to LA.  The Chargers are well aware of this, and are considering the swap because they are seriously considering moving to LA.  If the Chargers really know that they are going to be in LA and that they are going to lose Rivers for nothing after next year, this makes sense, but it’s still a gamble.  Mariotta could be a good player, but it will take a while, and is by no means a can’t miss prospect.  If the Chargers are smart, they’ll hang on to Rivers, renegotiate with him at the end of next season, and in the meantime, fix their problems on the offensive line and at running back.  You’re never really that far away from competing in the NFL, but if the Bolts make this trade, they will be.

Game of Thrones went down again last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert in case you haven’t seen episode 2 of the 5th season.  This felt like the reunion episode, with so many characters coming back into the picture and re-uniting with so many others.  Funny how Brienne found both Sansa and Arya at different points in the show, and is turned away by both of them.  The irony of it is, both of these girls could easily use her help, but turn her away.  It’s just a reminder of how idiotic these girls have become (especially Sansa).  Brienne is a total badass and we saw that again when she took down that Vale Guard by herself.  Now that Arya has found Jaqen, he’s probably going to train her into some sword fighting machine.  Too bad all the people she wants to kill will probably all be dead by the time she’s actually ready to fight them.  Jon Snow is becoming a character I feel less of an emotional attachment to.  He gets offered the chance to become a legitimate Stark and turns it down, which symbolizes his lack of ambition.  That will eventually get you killed in the Game of Thrones.  Cersei’s power play against the small council feels like a desperate effort to regain power. That can’t last long.  As for our favorite Mother of Dragons, killing Mossador was a bad idea, but that’s just another example of her striving for justice in a world that is unjust.  However, everything feels better when we see one of the Dragons show up at the end of the episode.  Looking forward to episode 3 next week!


Monday Morning Coffee

Kings eliminated

April 13th, 2015

The Kings were exhausted.  Nobody wanted to believe it, but like I had been saying for months, they were out of gas.  That’s why they were eliminated from the playoff race last week.  It isn’t just the amount of hockey they’ve played while winning two of the last three cups.  It’s their bruising style of play to go along with it.  The Kings finished the season with 95 points, the exact same amount as they had in 2012 when they won the cup.   However, this time it wasn’t good enough.  The Kings best players just didn’t produce like in years past.  They had a 3-15 record in shootouts, which cost them the playoffs.  Anze Kopitar had only 16 goals, and Dustin Brown had 11.  That’s about half of what they should be producing.  Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll were not the same players.  This is definitely not the end for the Kings.  They’ve got the pieces in place to contend for Stanley Cup for the next few years.  However, you can count on some significant changes taking place this summer.  In any case, I think Kings fans are at peace with what they’ve accomplished the past three years.  Plus the fact the Sharks aren’t in the playoffs either makes it even more bearable.

Meanwhile, the Ducks clinched the number 1 seed in the Western Conference over the weekend, and will get ready for a 1st round showdown with the Winnipeg Jets.  This has the makings of another Bruce Boudreau disaster.  Anaheim hasn’t played meaningful hockey in weeks, and they don’t even know who their starting goaltender is.  That’s a recipe for playoff disappointment, especially facing a Jets team that is physical and been on a roll for months.  I like how Boudreau is even trying to lower the bar and prepare everyone for more playoff failure by saying “it would not surprise me if everyone picked them and we’re the underdog”.  So what you’re really saying Bruce is you won’t be surprised if your team gets bounced again in the playoffs.

For the first time since 2005, there will be no playoffs for both the LA Kings and the LA Lakers.  On the bright side, for those of you logical Laker fans, you can return to rooting for them to win games since they are locked into having the 4th worst record in the NBA this season.  Gotta love the timing of the Lakers asking their fans to renew their season tickets.  This year, the Lakers are asking their fans to renew their season tickets by May 18th, which is the day before the draft lottery.  Convenient isn’t it?  There are definitely fans that would have decided to renew based on whether or not the Lakers were keeping their pick.  In any case, as frustrating and torturous as the season has been, it’s probably smart to renew.  If the Lakers get to keep their 1st round pick this year, and suddenly sign a player like Lamarcus Aldridge in July, who is reportedly now in play, you might be kicking yourself.  Ok, all that may be wishful thinking, but at the very least, I’m thinking next years team will be a young team that people will actually enjoy watching again.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are fooling people again.  Some might look at the standings and think the Clipps are the hottest team in the NBA, after winning 12 of their last 13 games.  However, a closer look at that streak reveals that 8 of those wins came against teams below .500, and two others came against Portland and Memphis, who have been ravaged by injuries.  We’ve reached the point where Matt Barnes is begging for fans to show up to the games and cheer.  I’m beginning to wonder when Doc Rivers will be hanging 7 different posters of his son Austin in the rafters at Staples Center, in order to cover up those Lakers championship banners.  The best thing that the Clipps can hope for is to get the #2 seed and play Dallas, while hoping they won’t run into Golden State or San Antonio until the conference finals.  Houston or Memphis won’t be easy, but the Clipps stand a better chance of advancing with those matchups.

After all these years, has anybody figured out what the NBA MVP award it?  Is it the best player on the best team?  Is it the best player?  Or is it the best player on the team that has lifted his team to the greatest heights?  It’s amazing we have an award that doesn’t have a clear cut criteria for how to select it.  That’s why I think the NBA needs to have a player of the year award, and an MVP award, because they really should be two different awards.  This year, Steph Curry should be named the MVP.  He’s been the best player on the best team, which is how most of the writers have voted in recent history.  James Harden, on the other hand, has probably been the best player in the league throughout this entire season, which would make him the player of the year, if the award existed.  It’s a screwy system, but one which the NBA probably enjoys because it gives us something to talk about.


To baseball, where the Dodgers got off to a so-so week 1 of the baseball season.  They took two of three from the Padres, but lost two of three against Arizona.  So far, Clayton Kershaw hasn’t found his game.  The bullpen has been up and down, and Don Mattingly has been using pitchers as though he’s been slamming tic tacs.  No wonder the bullpen is always worn out by October.  Adrian Gonzales has looked like the second coming of Babe Ruth, but as I predicted, he has little to no protection in the lineup, especially when Yasiel Puig forgets how to hit a baseball.  I also don’t think there’s any question that Matt Kemp is going to kick the crap out of the Dodgers every time he sees them this year.  Good thing that’s only about 15 more times or so.

Meanwhile, the Angels are off to a rough start, and they look like a distracted bunch.  They took two of three from the Mariners, but then got swept away by Kansas City, who still seems to think they are playing October baseball.  CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver just didn’t have it over the weekend.  Wilson also made no secret about how he felt about how the front office is handling the Josh Hamilton situation.  Wilson said if Hamilton we’re actually playing good baseball, the Halos would want him back.  The more this story unfolds, the bigger scumbag Arte Moreno looks like.  Hamilton has made tremendous mistakes, but at this point, he is ill.  Moreno is treating him like a criminal, and his lack of support can only lead Hamilton down a path to do further damage to himself.  The Angels have a pretty good team, but the longer this situation lingers, the quicker this season can get away from them.

Jordan Spieth was spectacular at the Masters yesterday, winning by shooting a record -21.  Spieth treated that Augusta course like Augusta treats women.  All I heard about yesterday was the “new generation” of golf that we are about to see, that should be dominated by Spieth and Rory McIlroy.  However, to me the story was still Tiger Woods, and the fact he managed to put together a respectable performance after dealing with so many injuries.  To the casual golf fan, Tiger is by far the most intriguing storyline, and golf will need him if it hopes to drive ratings.  As for Spieth, he seems to have everything going for him at 21 years old, except for the fact he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan.  He’s also a very mediocre at putting on green jackets…..

Spieth Jacket

Last night Game of Thrones returned on HBO, for the first episode of the fifth season.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  The show is off to a solid, but slow start, which is expected for the HBO series.  It feels like there are now fewer and fewer characters that we are really emotionally invested in.  We’re down to Tyrion and Daenerys, and they appear to be on a collision course in the near future.  Jon Snow possibly?  But that’s about it.  I don’t think anyone was really that upset when Mance Rayder was burned at the stake, however, it was just a reminder how Stannis and his band of weirdos are just terrible people.  At least Jon Snow had a little bit of mercy on Mance Rayder by shooting him with an arrow to put him out of his misery, but it can’t put him in good standing with the new regime.  Since Tyrion doesn’t really give a shit about anything anymore, it’s hard to see how much value he can really bring to Daenerys’ quest for the Iron Throne, although she seems desperately in need of a trusted advisor.   I think the reason why we love her so much is the fact that she has a humble side to her as well, admitting that she no longer has control of the dragons.  Cersei seems broken right now, but i suspect she will soon form an alliance with Lancel (remember the cousin she was sleeping with in season 1 and 2?), and find a way to regain some power.  However, Margery is obviously devising a plan to get rid of Cersei, and I’m dying to find out what that plan is.  Finally, I’m still trying to figure out what Littlefinger’s plan for Sansa is.  My bold prediction for the season: either he will try to rape her, or she will kill him.  Possibly both, with one leading to the other.  



Monday Morning Coffee


April 6th, 2015

Well last night was fun wasn’t it Laker fans? That beat down by the Clippers at Staples was about as expected as the drop in President Obama’s approval rating.  Any logical Laker fan probably didn’t mind though, since the Lakers need to make sure they go no lower in the lottery standings.  The lone bright spot has been rookie guard Jordan Clarkson though, even though he stunk last night.  Had Clarkson been starting since the beginning of the season, he might actually be Rookie of the Year over Andrew Wiggins.  Nevertheless, he should be an NBA First Team All-Rookie selection.  The four other spots are pretty much guaranteed: Wiggins, Nerlens Noel, Elfrid Payton, and Nikola Mirotic, but Clarkson has proven a worthy selection.  Clarkson will also create a financial dilemma for the Lakers in about a year.  He’s a bargain next year for only $845 K, but will be eligible for a contact as large as 4 years and $95 million.  It sounds insane for a guy this young, but it’s the NBA, where everyone is overpaid.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are now directing their complaints at their fans.  After last week’s loss against Golden State, Blake Griffin said, “home-court advantage is just not there for us.  If that’s how it feels in the playoffs, it’s not looking good.”  Blake went on to say “It’s kind of like when we play the Lakers.”  Since the Clippers are actually a halfway decent team now, they’ve had to increase their ticket prices, but that fact of the matter is that the fans (all 10 of them), are just not used to paying expensive ticket prices to see quality basketball.  Clipps President Gillian Zucker released a statement saying that if Clipper fans are going to sell their tickets, they should be sold to other Clipper fans.  How are they supposed to prove that they are Clipper fans?  By providing some type of evidence that they hate the Lakers?  There are all kinds of conspiracy theories here on what Steve Ballmer is doing, or planning to do for this franchise.  For now, it puts into perspective how bad things are for the Clippers, even when things are supposed to be good.  Hopefully CP3 will be able to walk again after Steph Curry took him….
On To baseball, where opening day has arrived for the Dodgers.  This is one baseball season I can’t say I’m really looking toward, and I’m anticipating a lot of aggravation watching the Dodgers.  Yes, this team is much better defensively than they were last year.  However, that’s about the only thing I see that’s improved.  The Dodgers have one legitimate power hitter in their lineup, in Adrian Gonzales.  Jimmy Rollins is a very high injury risk, and even though Howie Kendrick is a solid player, he shouldn’t be a cleanup hitter on any team.  The real wild card is Joc Pederson, who will need to ascend to stardom very quickly if the Boys in Blue are going to be an elite team.  The real problem though is the pitching depth and the bullpen.  LA is going to have issues relying on Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy as their #4 and #5 starters, and things could get even worse if Hyun-Jin Ryu is out for a while.  That’s more pressure put on Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.  The bullpen is a complete unknown, and will be tested early without Kenley Jansen.  The Dodgers may be a more harmonious and cohesive group this season, but that doesn’t mean they will be better.  This team will be lucky just to make the playoffs.

As for the Angels, we had some doubts at this time last year, but much fewer now.  On paper, the Halos look like contender.  The pitching looks solid with Jered Weaver, Matt Shoemaker, Hector Santiago, and eventually Garrett Richards.  Everybody hates CJ Wilson, but he could easily rebound and be serviceable like #3 starter for this team.  The bullpen looks pretty set with Mike Morin and Joe Smith setting things up for Huston Street in the 9th inning.  The lineup should provide plenty of production as well, anchored by the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols, who is still a productive player.  Even with some questionable production at 2nd and 3rd base, and the uncomfortable Josh Hamilton drama, the Angels should have plenty of fire power throughout their lineup. Speaking of Josh Hamilton, the Halos should be downright embarrassed by their reaction to the current situation.  It looks as though Hamilton will not be suspended by the league for his behavior.  Team President John Carpino said “It defies logic that Josh’s reported behavior is not a violation of his current program.”  What defies logic is that the Angels actually signed this guy, and are taking no accountability.  No matter how you feel about Josh Hamilton, the fans should be horrified by Carpino’s statement.   All the Angels care about is saving money, and trying to get out of some of the 3 years and $83 million that they owe Hamilton.  If the organization wanted to show some real class, they would have made a statement saying how much they cared about his well being.  You can bet the Players Association isn’t going to be too happy about this either, and many players are going to remember this when it comes time for their free agency.

It’s prediction time.  My division winners in the MLB this year in the AL: Orioles, Indians, Angels, and the wild cards will be Seattle and Detroit.  In the NL: Nationals, Pirates, Padres, and the wild cards will be St. Louis and Miami.  I’ve got the Orioles over the Nationals in the World Series.

What an upset that was on Saturday night in the Final Four.  That was the worst thing to happen to Kentucky since you weren’t allowed to marry your cousin.  A bunch of white guys haven’t caused that much suffering in Lexington since the Civil War.  Wisconsin was finally that matchup nightmare Kentucky was hoping to avoid, and the Badgers pulled it off.  Meanwhile, there wasn’t much drama in the Duke v Michigan State game.  The Spartans overachieved to this point in the season, but finally ran into a team that had superior talent.  Someone should tell John Calipari that he shouldn’t feel so bad because the NCAA is going to make him vacate all 38 wins he collected this season.  Just think how upset the Kentucky fans were after most of them probably lost all the receipts for all the gear they just bought the other day and now can’t return it.  Has this guy even left yet?

Speaking of the NCAA, USC should do everything in its power to take down the NCAA for how they handled the Todd McNair situation.  McNair’s professional career has basically been ruined after the NCAA linked him to the Reggie Bush situation, and in turn, he filed a lawsuit against the NCAA for defamation.  Everybody knows the NCAA’s rules are archaic, and many of their disciplinary actions over the years have been done just to make an example out of different institutions.  This couldn’t be more evident after documents were recently released that showed the unbelievable bias against USC that took place during this incident.  The NCAA eventually needs to go.  Everything that these guys do is simply not right.  The Trojan athletic department can take a huge step in taking these bastards down, so hopefully they do the right thing here.

So Shaka Smart decided to leave VCU for Texas?  What a joke!  It was only two years ago that Smart was offered the job at UCLA and turned it down.  He took Texas over UCLA?  i realize these aren’t exactly your grandfather’s Bruins, but does Smart realize that Texas is a football school?  This is just another reminder of how bad things have gotten for the Bruin basketball program.

This final week of the NHL season is going to be wild.  The Kings are currently sitting in the final playoff spot with four games to go, but they’ll have to battle it out with Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and San Jose to secure that spot.  LA looks so dominant at times, but Stanley Cup fatigue is an issue.  Amazingly enough, the Kings might even be able to get home ice advantage in the 1st round if they play well enough.  I’m thinking 3-1 with wins over Calgary and Vancouver will get the Kings in.  Whether or not they have anything left in the tank for the post season will be a problem for another day.  As for the Ducks, they are locked in a battle with the Rangers for the Presidents Trophy, but does it really matter? If I’m Bruce Boudreau, I don’t think i even want to win that thing, because having the best record in the league puts that much more pressure on the team during the playoffs.  That pressure has resulted in disappointment after disappointment in the last few years under Boudreau.

And finally, the final season of Mad Men got underway last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Here’s a quick recap of the first of the final seven episodes.  Don and the boys are entertaining models in the office, while Joan and Peggy are having a hard time being taken seriously by their male co-workers as they try to launch a high-end pantyhose product.  One of their meetings is nearly derailed by some sexists comments sent Joan’s way.  An elevator ride is even more tense when Peggy criticizes Joan for how she dresses.  Later, Peggy goes on a blind date with John Mathis’ brother-in-law, Stevie.  Peggy eventually ends up hungover and admits to desperately wanting a fairly tale romance.  Ken Cosgrove is urged by his wife to quit his job, but he refused, only to be fired later on.  When Ken is named the head of Dow Chemical, he tells Roger that he will be the client from hell.  Don is haunted by two women in this episode.  The first is Rachel Katz, who he had a relationship with many seasons ago.  He dreams about her in an audition, but then later on is shocked to learn she died of leukemia when he tries to set up a business meeting.  The other woman is a diner waitress, who Don thinks he recognizes, but for some reason can’t.  After several trips to the diner, these two get it on in an alleyway, before she tells Don to get lost the third time.

This was a pretty interesting start to the last season, and the theme was seemed to be choices that haunted different characters.  Betty, Megan, and Sally aren’t present in the episode, but seem to be connected to Don symbolically, and Don still has a long list of women waiting for his call.  However, when he wants more, he can never get it.  Just like from the waitress in the alleyway.  When Don discovers that Rachel passed away, and when her sister tells him that “she had everything”, it’s a slap in the face to Don, because he’s reminded that he doesn’t have “everything”, which is mostly family.  It looks like Peggy has a shot at happiness on her blind date, but we’re reminded of her bad choices in the past, and her difficult work schedule, which makes us think it will never materialize.  Joan is “filthy rich”, but that doesn’t appear to make her any happier, especially with the sexism she is experiencing at work.  Wealth also ruined Ken’s life, and he intends to make SCP pay for it.  Everything thus far suggests that the more things change, the more things stay the same with these characters.  They’ve experienced too much to change who they are in the next 6 episodes.  Looking forward to seeing whether or not that is really true.

Mad Men