Monthly Archives: August 2017

Monday Morning Coffee

August 21, 2017

Everything was going great for the Lakers until this weekend, when they found out they are under investigation by the NBA for tampering with Paul George.  This is like your ex-girlfriend trying to prevent you from ending up with the girl you know you’re going to end up with by trashing you on social media.  Every team tampers.  It’s simply the name of the game when trying to lure NBA free agents these days.  If the league cracks the whip on the Lakers and forbids them from signing Paul George, it would be shameful.  Meanwhile, Chris Sheridan has sources saying Lebron is leaving Cleveland at the end of the year.  Could he make it any more obvious that he’s planning on joining the Lakers?

To the NFL, where Jared Goff shocked most of us haters over the weekend with his performance against the Raiders.  The guy suddenly looked like he can play.  However, prior to that Sean McVay gave us reason to doubt him.  Every time McVay talks about Goff’s progress, the best thing he can say about him is that he has command of the huddles and is gaining respect.  That’s it?  What about his accuracy as a passer? Can he actually avoid turnovers? He did on Saturday, but even McVay sounds skeptical that he can be consistent.  Meanwhile, since the Chargers are giving out free tattoos to their fans, maybe they can pay for the Rams front office to get one across their forehead that says “sign Aaron Donald.”

Watching the Chargers and Saints do battle in practice, and in preseason last night can only make you look back on the Philip Rivers vs Drew Brees debate.  Brees got screwed in 2006 when Chargers GM AJ Smith told him he would be re-signed, even after his shoulder injury.  However, Smith went back on his word, ultimately letting Brees sign with the Saints, while giving the starting job to Rivers.  I’ve always felt bad for Brees because his heart was in San Diego, and he never wanted to leave.  However, had he remained in San Diego he would not have become one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.  The Bolts would not have built the team around Brees the way the Saints did, allowing him to become the player he did.  That’s no disrespect to Rivers, who is a fine quarterback as well.

To baseball, where the Dodgers are still rolling despite yesterday’s loss to the Tigers.  However, Andrew Friedman finally stopped listening to his computer, and sent Joc Pederson down to the minors.  He found a way to replace him with Curtis Granderson, who is already contributing quite nicely.  Since only 30% of the fans in LA can see the Dodger games, I guess if the Dodgers win the World Series only 30% of the fans will get to see the parade.  Nobody should worry about comparing those great regular season Dodger teams of the past that failed in the playoffs to this one though.  That would be like saying the Presidential approval rating of the 1962 President is better than today……oh wait never mind! The Dodgers really are screwed.

Big win by the Angels yesterday that kept them tied for the last AL Wild Card spot.  That series should have been a sweep though because Friday’s loss was brutal.  I guess there’s only 40 more times or so where the Angels can disappoint their fans like that because something tells me the Halos will make it interesting, yet somehow, the pitching will let them down when they need it most.  I also can’t figure out why the LA Times can’t send an actual beat writer to cover the team, as opposed to just giving readers an AP article on their road games.  Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and Albert Pujols just hit his 600th home run, yet the Halos can’t even get any local coverage.

The LA Kings held a “State of The Franchise” meeting last week, and it was nothing but selling false hope.  They might as well have told their fans that they are going to be the same team that will try to be physical, but probably won’t be able to score.  Apparently Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar are going to score twice as many goals as last season, just because they are in better shape.  LA’s best hope is for their recent draft picks to turn into something, but that’s probably a couple of seasons away.

I tried to watch The Bachelor in Paradise, but it was terrible.  Somehow, the show managed to take all of the uninteresting characters from previous seasons, and combine them into one uninteresting hour of television.  Corrine and DeMario gave us some entertainment for exactly one episode, but the collateral damage left us with a discussion on sexual consent and race.  The show’s budget is going to hell too.  Chris Harrison has to be the lifeguard, and wardrobe won’t even buy him a bathing suit.

Finally, what an episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Face it, we’ve reached the point where when one of your favorite characters dies you can probably deal with it.  However, when we lose a dragon, you’re heartbroken and want to call PETA.  That’s exactly what happened last night.  If you think that’s not strange enough, how many of us are rooting for incest to take place and see Jon Snow and Daeny actually hook up? It nearly happened last night, and I was shocked it didn’t.  The Night King would be both an excellent Olympic Javelin thrower, as well as a far better quarterback than anybody on the Jets roster right now.  Imagine what Donald Trump was probably thinking if he saw this episode.  “The White Walkers were peacefully protesting before a stone was thrown.  There is blame on both sides.”  Where does the army of the dead get chains to pull the dragon? Is there a Walmart north of the wall?  After episodes like that, I’m beginning to think HBO needs to include therapy in your subscription.  I think we need to face the fact that there’s a strong likelihood this season, and the series could very well have an unhappy ending.  One of Sansa, Arya, or Daeny seem most likely not to make it out of this season.  The show could tear your heart out next week, then disappear for a year.  Hard to tell if this is a TV series, or your ex.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 14, 2017

Roger Goodell has committed quite a few acts of cruelty during his time as NFL Commissioner.  The Bills topped all of those acts of cruelty last week by trading Sammy Watkins to the Rams.  This is called building a franchise reactively instead of proactively.  The Rams need talent and playmakers that can stretch the field, but they can’t be in the business of giving up high draft picks in the process. Watkins will probably suffer another injury boarding the plane that will keep out for 6-8 weeks.  If the Bills believed that Watkins was healthy, they wouldn’t have given up on him.  He’s a problem for the Rams now, but the bigger problem is their offensive line, which still pretty terrible.  Saturday’s preseason game against the Cowboys showed that problem on full display.

Speaking of the Cowboys, they learned that Ezekiel Elliott would be suspended for six games for alleged domestic abuse.  Jerry Jones is so upset over this, he’ll probably sign Lucky Whitehead and cut him again. I also like how every Cowboys fan on Twitter turned into an attorney once they heard this news.  Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un will probably play in the NFL before Colin Kaepernick does.  The Falcons had a double digit lead on the Dolphins going into the 4th quarter of a preseason game, blew it, and lost. They’re already in playoff form.  Mike Glennon’s 2nd pass as a Chicago Bear was a pick six. He’s replacing Jay Cutler perfectly.  The NFL regular season is just a few weeks away!

There were 21,000 people at the Chargers game last night.  There were 25,000 people at the last LA Galaxy game.  After last night, LA officials are probably on the phone with the city of San Diego trying to figure out if there is a way the Bolts can move back there.

To baseball, where the Dodgers may have won two of three against the D’Backs earlier in the week, but they gave us a glimpse of where they should still be concerned come playoff time.  The bullpen.  In two of the three games against the D’Backs, the pen imploded in the 7th or 8th inning.  As great as the Dodgers have been this year, this is the same problem they’ve had in the postseason the last four years.  Even scarier is the fact the St. Louis Cardinals are knocking on the door of the playoffs.  As if I didn’t have enough nightmares from the recent Dodger playoff appearances.  Houston Mitchell of the LA Times says that we should stop worrying about what happens to the Dodgers if they come up short in the playoffs, because it’s like worrying about the traffic on the way home from Disneyland.    Houston forgot that we worry about the crowds at Disneyland and the traffic on the way home, but it doesn’t stop us from going.  It’s just part of being a sports fan.  We don’t stop being Dodger fans because they kick their fans in the balls every October, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less when it happens, or stop us from being worried about it.

Meanwhile, the Angels are now sitting in the 2nd Wild Card spot in the American League.  I don’t know if that says more about the Halos, or the fact that the rest of the American League isn’t very good.  This team is Mike Trout and a bunch of pitchers held together by duct tape and chicken wire.  However, that pitching staff might actually be getting some serious help in the next couple of weeks.  Andrew Heaney looks like he could be coming off the DL soon, and Garrett Richards could be coming shortly after that.  When you add those two guys to rookie Parker Bridwell, who is now 7-1 after yesterday, the Halos roster may be getting better when they need it most.

Lonzo Ball picked Lebron Over Kobe when asked who is better.  I realize that some Kobe fans probably want to burn Lonzo’s house down, impound his car, and eject him from the universe.  However, this was a shrewd move by Lonzo, who is angling to play with Lebron in 2018, when he will be a free agent.  Lonzo doesn’t always say a lot, but when he does, he gets it.

I like the Clippers new uniforms and all, but how often are they going to keep changing them? Steve Ballmer has been trying to establish a new brand and much different identity since taking over the team.  However, how can you establish that identity when you change uniforms more frequently than Zach Randolph smokes weed?

If Josh Rosen thinks the demands of being a student athlete at UCLA are unreasonable, then he can try being a regular student.  Like all the other students at UCLA, he can struggle to actually find a spot in the classes he needs for his major to graduate.  He can also get a job and pay for his education the way many others are, as opposed to the free education he is receiving.  Nobody said being a student athlete is easy, but Rosen shouldn’t act like he doesn’t have the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him.

Let’s talk TV, starting with The Bachelorette season finale last week.  How did Rachel ever leave Kevin Durant? They had so much in common, like the fact they were totally desperate and would do anything for a ring.  They each got one in 2017.  Everyone put her on pedestal when the show started, but she ended up disappointing many by choosing Bryan over Peter.  There’s nothing like wanting to be married more than wanting to be with the right person.  You thought Nick and Vanessa were the most superficial looking couple you’ve ever seen? Rachel just said “hold my beer”, and gave us an even more fake relationship with her and Bryan.  How does Bryan feel about the fact that his fiancé wanted to be with another man 24 hours before he actually proposed to her? That’s like winning by forfeit.  Bryan is to true love what chiropractors are to medicine: fake.  Unfortunately, Rachel was too busy flying around in helicopters, and having dates in Spain with too many guys to realize that is the case.  The season started off so promising, but had an unsatisfying ending.

Finally, Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night with another episode.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if that is the case.  This episode wasn’t edge of your seat like last week but still pretty solid.  Nobody really thought that Jamie was dead after last week right?  You have to appreciate the alliances that are taking place here.  A coupe of bastards, two dudes who have been resurrected, a disgraced knight, a Wildling, a sorcerer, and the Hound, all team up to form a coalition with Cersei, who really wants them dead.  The Lannisters now look like they are screwed, but their fate will just have to wait until the battle with the White Walkers is over.  Something tells me Littlefinger is going to outsmart Arya, and will successfully drive a wedge between the two Stark girls with his latest move.  The biggest bomb of the show was Gilly mentioning Rhaegar being secretly remarried to Ned’s sister. That makes Jon Snow a true Targaryen, and gives him an even more rightful claim to the iron throne than Dany.  Jon touching the dragon might as well have been a DNA test to prove he’s a Targaryen.  Only two episodes left in 2017!

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 7, 2017

I’m that guy.  That’s right.  I’m the grumpy Dodger fan that finds a way to remain skeptical of their World Series chances, even after putting together the best 50-game stretch in the last 100 years of baseball.  How can you blame me though? The team hasn’t won the World Series since 1988, while their middle relief and lack of starting pitching depth has let them down in the last four years of postseason play.  I’m not so sure that Tony Watson or Tony Cingrani can fix that relief problem, given their struggles against lefties this year.  Cingrani sounds better suited to be Italian seasoning on chicken, rather than a Major League pitcher.  As for Yu Darvish, he looked great in his debut, but knowing the Dodgers’ luck, he’ll probably pick up a blister shaking hands with Rich Hill and Brandon McCarthy.  Maybe Andrew Friedman should have acquired Steve Bartman at the deadline as a scapegoat if the Dodgers come up short in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the trade deadline came and went in disappointing fashion for the Angels.  The Halos are like a drunk ugly guy at the party who can’t get a ride home, but isn’t good looking enough to find a girl to hook up with.  They tried to get prospects for some of their relievers, but their assets weren’t good enough to help replenish their disastrous farm system.  They also aren’t nearly talented enough to compete for an AL Wild Card spot, let alone the AL West title.  It’s no wonder the Angels have no choice but to keep sticking Albert Pujols in the middle of their batting order, and Ricky Nolasco on the mound.  They have no better alternatives.  It would also be nice if Kole Calhoun didn’t step out of the batters box after every pitch.  The man has become the human rain delay.

Doc Rivers is out as head of basketball operations for the Clippers, but will remain coach.  That should insure that the Clippers will miss the playoffs next season.  Austin Rivers is probably wondering whether or not he’ll be traded anytime soon.  In all seriousness though, Doc Rivers trusts Lawrence Frank quite a bit, so I’m not sure how much they will disagree on issues anyway.  Doc also isn’t going to be interested in sticking around long if the Clippers miss the playoffs and are closer to a rebuild.  In any case, I think it’s safe to say that Danilo Gallinari plays and punches like a Clipper.  He couldn’t have begun his Clipper career in more typical fashion by breaking his hand on another player’s face.  He and Blake Griffin should call themselves the orthopedic front court duo.

Just one week into NFL training camp, the Chargers have lost rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp to a torn ACL.  You can take the Chargers out of San Diego, but you can’t take the injuries out of the Chargers.  Good thing GM Tom Telesco claimed his focus was on drafting players that he thought would remain healthy.  1st round pick Mike Williams is going to be hampered by a back injury this year as well, so the Bolts are clearly in mid-season form.  The Chargers not only can’t seem to get their draft picks right, but they also can’t seem to get their birthday’s right either.  They wished Williams a happy birthday when it was really two months away.

It’s great to hear that the 2028 Olympics are going to be back in Los Angeles.  Let’s be honest though, LA and Paris are really two of the few remaining cities that are capable of profitably hosting the summer games.  Part of the agreement includes several hundred million dollars up front that the city of LA plans to use for youth sports.  However, as a concession for deferring the games until 2028, LA could have extracted even more from the IOC, who really could have been put over a barrel.  Instead of utilizing existing spaces at UCLA and USC for an athlete Olympic village, LA could have had the IOC dump money into a new Olympic village, which could have been converted into low income housing.  That would help solve a few of SoCal’s current issues like homelessness.

Let’s talk TV.  The season finale of The Bachelorette goes down tonight on ABC.  However, the story of last week was the Men Tell All, which was extremely uncomfortable.  That episode was as dramatic as when Scaramucci got canned in the Oval Office, but with more attractive people.  Lee got absolutely crushed on national television, and spent two hours trying to avoid saying “I’m a racist.”  What happened to his thick southern boy accent?  Chris Harrison didn’t exactly help Lee’s cause either by putting him on blast by showing some of his previously racially insensitive tweets to the audience.  I’m still not sure if ABC should send a memo out to the public apologizing for casting a racist, or if they meant to do this to give us what they thought would be great entertainment.  Meanwhile, DeMario clearly missed the memo that he was supposed to wear a suit to the show.  He looked like he was getting ready to pick up a shift at the Olive Garden when it was over.  There should be a Men Tell All show for all the people Donald Trump has fired in the last six months.

Then there was Sharknado 5, which went down on SyFy last night.  Once again, this thing nearly broke the internet, dominating Twitter.  I know what you’re thinking: a tornado with sharks could never happen.  However, a Sharknado is ten times more likely than the Rams or Chargers making the playoffs, and far more realistic than CNN’s reporting.  I’ve gotta hand it to the producers.  They found a way to offend nearly every country in a two hour period.  I feel like Tara Reid’s entire script was her yelling “aaaaaahhhhhh” for the whole movie.  Where can I get one of those Gil helmets for Halloween? So many people died in Sharknado 5, I was beginning to think i was watching Game of Thrones.  More on that in a moment.  Of course they are coming out with Sharknado 6 next summer.    If Ms. Piggy and Michael Jackson had a baby, it would grow up looking like this.

Finally, what an unbelievable episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  I love how most people watching the episode probably weren’t even phased by the fact thousands of men were burned alive, yet the dragon took one spear and everybody was horrified.  I was most concerned that we could lose Dany because no significant character had died recently.  However, I did not want to see Jamie die either, which is ironic, because most of us probably have a soft spot for the guy that pushed a ten year old boy out the window when this whole thing started.  Speaking of that 10 year old boy, Bran is starting to get on my nerves.  He’s like your weird emo friend who you just can’t talk to anymore after he’s taken one philosophy class in college.  Arya is getting way too cocky with her sword skills.  I have a feeling it might actually get her killed.  Poor Sansa, all of her siblings have super powers yet what is hers? Attracting terrible men?  Robert Baratheon once said only a fool would meet the Dothraki in the open field battle.  I think we all know what he meant after that episode.  Do you realize that there has been a battle in every episode this season? Do you realize how wild the next three episodes are going to be? I don’t know how I’m going to wait another week for this.  Writing in a television series might have never been this good.