October 30, 2017
The World Series has been exciting, but never have I been more frustrated as a Dodger fan. They shouldn’t be down 3-2 to a team with no bullpen. Andrew Friedman is data dumping all over this series. Dave Roberts has managed the lineup so poorly, even Doc Rivers could do a better job as Dodger Skipper right now. I didn’t realize there was a rule you had to use every play on your roster or you lose. They Dodgers must think this is a rule, otherwise you can’t explain the nonsense that has gone on. Charlie Culberson has been phenomenal in the postseason, but didn’t start until game 5. Andre Ethier is one of the best hitters on the roster, but he’s probably wondering why he’s even on the roster. Why would you pull Rich Hill in game 2 after he was cruising through the 5th after 60 pitches? Why would you pull Alex Wood after giving up 1 hit on 84 pitches? Of course the bullpen is going to get tired. Anybody that knows analytics knows they aren’t used to make decisions, but to help provide more info in making them. Except if you’re Andrew Friedman. This series was lost in game 2 after Friedman’s software upgrade. Hard to imagine the Dodgers winning two straight, even if it’s at home, from such an evenly matched team. It was a nice run while it lasted.
Is it going to be like this every night Lonzo Ball takes the court? The opposition motivated as ever to embarrass him, just because his dad said something stupid. Lavar has done a lot of good things, but this is where he’s making life 10x more difficult for Lonzo, who has put together one good game out of six. I didn’t realize that the holidays had come so early this year, because the Lakers were in such a giving mood, they gave away a 17-point lead in Friday night’s loss to Toronto. Their defense may be getting a little better, but the 3-point shooting has been abysmal. This is supposed to be the easy part of the Lakers’ schedule, so excuse me for not jumping for joy like some of you who are satisfied with the moral victories of close games and playing hard. The Lakers need to win games now, and if they don’t it’s going to crush their big plans next summer.
Meanwhile, the Clippers suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday at Staples. The Pistons locked up the Clippers, holding them to just 15 points in the 4th quarter. Doc Rivers said the team just didn’t have the right spirit. I think they just didn’t have the right coach. With a 4-1 record, this team is off to a much better start than I thought, but I have serious doubts about Doc’s ability to re-invent this team without Chris Paul. Danilo Gallinari is shooting under 30% from the floor, and Doc sure isn’t giving anybody any confidence that he can create a game plan that can effectively utilize Gallinari, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan.
You didn’t really think the Chargers were going to go into New England and beat the Patriots did you? I was surprised they didn’t take an even greater beating than they did. The Bolts made more bad decisions in this game than I made on a Saturday night while in college. Meanwhile, the demise of the Patriot defense was far exaggerated, as they have suddenly figured out how to shut down their opponent’s the last several weeks. The Chargers are loaded with weapons on offense, but you would never be able to tell with how they execute. Life isn’t going to get any easier with their next three games against the Jaguars, Bills, and Cowboys. This has to be the worst punt return of all-time…..
Elsewhere around the NFL, cheer up Browns fans! You actually had the lead at halftime before losing to the Vikings in London. It didn’t take very long, but the Raiders have returned to being the Raiders after losing to the Bills. That wasn’t rain in New York. It was the tears of Jets fans after losing to the Falcons. Deshaun Watson has more touchdowns through seven games than Mitch Trubisky had completions against the Saints. The 49ers lost to the Eagles, and they have now won just 3 of their last 27 games. Those 3 games were against the Rams. It feelsl ike the Browns and 49ers are in a “hold my beer” battle for who can be worse.
To college football where the Trojans got back in the win column on Saturday at Arizona State. The Trojans blew the Sun Devils off the field, which has to be even more frustrating for the USC faithful. How could the team look so dominant against ASU, yet look so awful against Notre Dame? Actually, you might argue that was only the 2nd complete game they played all season long, with the other one against Stanford. The whole does not equal the sum of the parts. It’s becoming more obvious, especially as USC will probably win the South, then get obliterated in the Pac 12 Title game by Washington.
Then there’s the Bruins, who were crushed like a grape against Washington. I haven’t seen a beat down that bad since…..the last time UCLA played on the road. The Bruins have lost 8 in a row on the road, and they’ve lost 4 of the past 5 road games by at least 17 points or more. Josh Rosen is banged up, but he couldn’t do much anyway against an elite team. He also isn’t helped by the fact the Bruins have the worst run defense in the country. There’s no way this team is going to even get to a bowl game. Saturday was the epitome of the way the Bruins play football: dropped passes, foolish penalties, and missed tackles. I think UCLA is ready to not only move on from the Jim Mora era, but also the Josh Rosen era as well.
The Notre Dame effect is taking over the college football. The Irish jumped up to #5 in the AP poll after defeating NC State on Saturday. This is also setting the stage for the Irish to be placed in the top 4 for the first release of the College Football Playoff Poll on Tuesday night. Notre Dame is way better than I thought they would be, and despite Brian Kelly’s shenanigans, are looking like a good bet to make the playoff. Much of that effect is the fan fare the Irish are going to get, and how well their fans travel. Even the fools that run the NCAA are smart enough to figure this out.
I like that Drew Doughty of the LA Kings was attributing the Kings hot start to the coaching change. Doughty told the media that the team simply enjoys coming to work everyday, and that hockey is fun again under John Stevens. Apparently Darryl Sutter leading the Kings to two Stanley Cups didn’t really mean a whole lot to Drew. I just hope that when the Kings start regressing to the mean and they go through some tough times later this season, there’s accountability in the locker room, which they always had with Sutter. Only time will tell.
Finally, a wild episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. Morales is back? Wait, who the hell is Morales? Yea, I had to Google him too in order to remind myself that the guy was all the way back in season 1. The forests of Georgia suddenly feel like Jurassic Park with Shiva attacking Saviors. How come nobody ever needs to reload when they are shooting? I like how Morgan went from being determined to not kill anybody to killing more people than the Terminator. I’m still not really sure how he survived getting shot though. I appreciate the action, but the episode was a full hour of gun fighting. Had I watched an old John Wayne western, I would have been about as entertained. Hopefully next week brings something with a little more of a storyline.