October 26th, 2015
Does Andrew Friedman think we’re all idiots? He really expects us to believe that there was a “mutual parting” between Don Mattingly and the Dodgers? The fans and the media may be that gullible in small markets like Tampa, but not in LA. It’s pretty hard to hold Mattingly accountable for the lineups he put on the field when it’s Friedman who was telling him what to do. Someone needs to hold Friedman accountable for all the horrendous moves he made this year. The bottom line is that this nerd is driven by analytics, while Mattingly isn’t. Mattingly saw the writing on the wall that Friedman is ultimately going to lead this team into failure, despite having more resources than anybody else in the game. That led to Don Mattingly and the Dodgers “mutually parting ways”, especially since teams like Florida and Washington are lining up for him. Too bad Friedman’s analytics are going to tell him that the Dodgers are better off without Zack Greinke, and a bunch of stiffs pitching behind Clayton Kershaw. Small market GM’s don’t belong in big markets. By the time Guggenheim realizes this mistake in hiring Friedman, it will be too late, and the Dodgers will be even further away from a World Championship than when we were in the Frank McCourt era.
The NBA season starts tomorrow night! The Lakers open up on Wednesday at home against the T-Wolves, but they are going through their final round of roster cuts. I’m still extremely disappointed that the Lakers chose that stiff, Robert Sacre, over Robert Upshaw, who will be joining the Lakers D-League affiliate. Upshaw blocked 80 shots in 20 games in college and has potential. Sacre has about as much potential as I have of dating Jessica Alba. The Lakers are rebuilding and can afford to take a chance on Upshaw, despite his personal problems. He sure would be a nice building block to put next to Julius Randle. As for the team, they better be at least .500 or better in their first 10 games, because only one of those opponents is expected to make the playoffs. I think the Lakers win about 33 games, assuming Kobe stays reasonably healthy and effective, while Clarkson, Randle, and Russell make progress. That should put the around 12th in the West, but the development of those young players is far more important.
As for the Clippers, they have become that obnoxious team that everybody now wants to kill. They’ve given the Warriors all kinds of extra incentive to dominate them since Doc Rivers implied that Golden State’s title was “lucky”. They’ve also pissed off Matt Barnes, who claims that Doc Rivers couldn’t wait to get rid of him. The Clipps are as talented and deep as any team in the league, but at this point, it’s hard to trust them in the big moment. I see another great regular season, #3 in the West, taking down Memphis in the 1st round, then getting punked by the Warriors in round 2. The biggest test for the Clippers throughout the season will be how they fare mentally, especially against the elite teams.
The Clippers aren’t the only talented team I don’t trust in the big moment. The same can be said for the Rockets as well. The top 8 in the West should go Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, Grizzlies, Pelicans, and the Jazz. In the East, the top 8 should be the Cavs, Wizards, Bucks, Bulls, Hawks, Raptors, Heat, and Pacers. Cleveland has another cake walk to the NBA Finals, but then Lebron wants to hang himself when he has to play the Spurs again, who should win the title in 6 games.
To College Football where the Trojans showed their fans why they are one of the most frustrating teams to watch after Saturday’s win against #3 Utah. USC hammered Utah 42-17, in a game that truly made the Trojans look like they were the #3 team in the country. If anything, USC fans should be lined up outside of Pat Haden’s office with pitch forks and tiki torches, demanding an elite head coach, since that is what they needed to live up to their top 10 preseason ranking. USC has 3 losses, and they still actually have a chance to win the Pac-12 South, despite everything that’s happened. However, after this win, there’s two different types of Trojan fans that just blow my mind. The first is the Trojan fan that wants to hire Clay Helton as the permanent head coach. These are probably the same people that wanted to hire Ed Orgeron two years ago when Lane Kiffin was fired. These aren’t the leaders you need to get your program where it needs to be. Don’t be prisoner of the moment after a couple of nice wins. Then there’s the dude that is somehow hoping that Pete Carroll will come back and coach the program. Why would Pete Carroll leave a powerhouse NFL team that has become a Super Bowl contender to come back to college football? Besides, he was so good last time, I can’t imagine that he could recreate something that good with the energy he brought. The sooner the Trojans break away from this ridiculous Pete Carroll coaching tree, the better off they will be.
Meanwhile, the Bruins got back on track with a win over Cal on Thursday. Good to see Jim Mora not making any excuses about midterms or homework in this one. Josh Rosen made me once again think that he can be an elite college quarterback down the line, and the Bruins aren’t quite dead yet. Considering that they still have to play at Utah and at USC, UCLA still has a good shot at playing in the Pac-12 Championship game. The Bruins are back in the Top 25, but it’s nothing to get too excited about yet.
Notre Dame had a bye week, and it couldn’t have gone better for them. Georgia Tech upset Florida State, Clemson dominated Miami, and since Utah tumbled, the quality of the Irish strength of schedule just went up.
On to Week 7 of the NFL where the Chargers played so badly against the Raiders yesterday, the city of LA is banning them from moving there next year. What a disgrace that was, and in typical Charger fashion, they racked up a bunch of meaningless touchdowns late when it didn’t matter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 7 weeks, it’s that this league sucks. It’s Green Bay, maybe Arizona, New England, and everybody else. Everyone calm down and wait for Chip Kelly to get his system in place though. I’m sure once that happens the Eagles will just crush everybody. Greg Hardy is turning into the disaster I thought he would be in Dallas. You know how I know the Texans are terrible? They got destroyed by the Dolphins. After yesterday’s win, Kirk Cousins has a question for RGIII and the rest of us….
If There’s one thing Rick Pitino has to be really upset about, is the fact that he’s getting in trouble for throwing all these parties involving hookers, yet he wasn’t even invited to them. The fact that he is still employed tells you everything you need to know about college basketball. The recruiting environment is one of the dirtiest out there. This is all the fault of AAU Basketball!
It’s incredibly early in the hockey season but let me give you a few quick thoughts. The Ducks are in last place in the division and collapsing faster than Lamar Odom at a brothel. They definitely should not be this bad. It’s one thing to go through scoring droughts, but this team is just going through the motions, not even hitting people or winning the battles for loose pucks on the ice. Kings forward Tyler Toffoli has scored more goals than the entire Ducks team this season! I guess coach Bruce Boudreau figured he should start slowly, then peak in the playoffs, instead of crashing and burning in the playoffs like in past seasons. The problem is he might be fired before this road trip is over. Meanwhile, the Kings have turned things around, winners of 5 straight games after Jonathan Quick’s brilliant save in the final seconds last night. More importantly, their Hall of Fame play by play announcer Bob Miller told a story with quite a sexual innuendo in it after the end of the 1st period last night in Edmonton. He explained that years ago, Kings goaltender Mario Lessard broke his stick in a game against the Oilers. Goaltenders can play with a broken stick, the Oilers were bringing the puck up the ice, and in the midst of Bob’s excitement he said the following……
Finally, let’s talk about a shocking episode of the Walking Dead last night. Before I go any further, major spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. Read no further if that is the case. Let me say this, in all of our favorite television shows, we grow to love a number of different characters. In our minds, we tell ourselves that certain characters are “untouchable” and could never be killed off. You told yourself that in The Walking Dead, but I told you it was gonna happen. I told you months ago that we were gonna lose either Maggie, or Glenn, or Daryl, or Carol. Sure enough, we lost Glen last night, who was my personal favorite character. You have to give the writers of the show credit, they have guts. The’ve given us 3 explosive episodes to start the season, and even for a second I thought they were going to kill off Rick too. At this point, I think I hate Nicholas more than I hated The Governor, or the people of Terminus, or Shane. Glenn should have killed him, or let him die, when he had numerous chances to do so. And for those of you who think that he’s still alive, I find that hard to believe. Even if that was Nicholas’ body on top of his, how the hell is he going to get out of that situation alive? I don’t know that we’ve seen the last of him. I’m thinking he might end up being shown as a Walker. I’m curious to see where it goes from here, but before you people go burn down the houses of the writers and producers of the show, remember, this had to happen. Props to the writers for having the balls to do this. It sucks for us, but it’s inevitable, otherwise the show gets stale. Another interesting storyline to keep an eye on is whether or not Rick is infected. He got cut by a machette that was sticking out of a Walker, and maybe he got some of it’s blood in his wound? He looks concerned, and it makes me wonder. I’m upset, but I’m riveted. Don’t get angry people. It’s good television.