Monthly Archives: April 2018

Monday Morning Coffee

April 16, 2018

The LA Kings left Las Vegas like most of us usually do: as big losers.  That trend unfortunately continued last night Staples, and the Kings are on the verge of elimination.  I’m glad the Kings still have their defensive identity, but you can’t win unless you score.  I mean you can tie, but you can’t win.  Has anybody informed the Kings of this? They have 3 goal in 11 periods.  You also can’t win without your top 2 defenseman, and the Kings played much of this series without them.  The Kings just can’t regain the Stanley Cup magic of a few years ago, and faster teams like Vegas have eclipsed their rugged style.   The Ducks are having the same problems as well against the Sharks.  You can’t win without your best defenseman in the lineup come playoff time.  At least this year the Ducks don’t have to worry about getting embarrassed at home in game 7.  It will come much earlier than that on the road.

The Lakers finished the season with 35 wins.  If you had told me that back in October, I would have said they should throw a parade down Figueroa if that happens.  It’s nice progress, however, I got a good laugh hearing Magic say that they really don’t have sign anybody this coming offseason to feel good about the direction of the franchise.  Listen Magic man…..you and I both know that you and your boy Pelinka didn’t put your multi-million dollar businesses on the back burner and dump our young talent to sign anybody other than King James.  Don’t try to sell me on how great Andre Ingram is going to fit in next year after 10 years in the G-League.  It’s Lebron and Paul George or bust.  Yes the young talent we have is developing, but it was doing that before you got here anyway.  Get it done Magic!  Unfortunately though, the only playoffs the Lakers will be experiencing this season will be while playing PlayStation.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have some major decisions to make regarding both Doc Rivers and DeAndre Jordan.  I cannot understand why either of these two want to stay with the Clippers, or why the Clippers would want either one of them.  Not only do the Clippers need to rebuild, but they need a complete culture cleansing.  Rivers and DJ are big parts of a previous culture that needs to be overturned.  Rivers has brought more drama than a high school girl to this franchise, and DJ is a nice player in a league where centers are becoming extinct.  David Aldridge reported that Rivers is “probably” coming back, but that report is vague and unconvincing, especially considering that Doc sounded far from sure he even wanted to return.

Elsewhere around the Association, it’s playoff time and the Cavs look like a bigger disaster than Tristan Thompson’s love life.  If Lebron ends up leaving Cleveland, that city will instantly eclipse Detroit as the worst city in America.  Good strategy by the Blazers in game 1.  Down by 3 at the end of the game, rather than going to Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, the Blazers went to…..Pat Connaughton.  The Spurs got spanked by the Warriors, and Greg Popovich says we should ask Kawhi’s group if he’s coming back.  That sounds like a really healthy relationship.  Then there’s Nick Young who showed up to game 1 like he was headed to the Playboy Mansion.

To baseball where the Dodgers can’t seem to do much right so far.  Despite the win yesterday, they are in last place in the NL West.  Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, and Yasiel Puig are all hitting .230 or less.  Half their infield is injured, and so is their most promising prospect, Andrew Toles.  Even when the offense does have its act together, the pitching falls apart.  Rich Hill and Alex Wood got knocked around like bowling pins last week, and the bullpen is made up of a bunch of dudes throwing batting practice.  If Fraudy Friedman thought that this bullpen would be better than last year, he must be doing more drugs than the kids at Coachella did this weekend.  I realize that it’s early, but this team looks a lot more vulnerable this season.

Then there’s the Angels, who are off to their best start since 1979.  They are so hot, the only thing that can stop them right now is a snow storm, which cancelled yesterday’s game.  The story is Shohei Ohtani, who has caught fire at the plate and on the mound.  For those of you who say that there will definitely be regression to the mean, that may be partially true but ask yourself this: who was the last hyped Japanese player that came over and was a total bust? Ichiro, Masahiro Tanaka, Hideo Nomo, Hideki Matsui.  Hiroki Kuroda, Yu Darvish? Ok never mind but you get the point.  There really haven’t been any total disappointments when they’ve had hype.  No reason to think Ohtani won’t be a superstar.  The Halos are playing great and Ohtani is making them exciting to watch.

On to the Season Finale of The Walking Dead, so spoiler alert if you have yet to see it and plan on watching it later.  I think we’re all thinking the same thing: Did Lucille survive the war? Well we know that Negan did which was just messed up.  Rick thinks Negan should live to honor Carl, but I guess what happened to Glenn and Abraham doesn’t matter anymore?  It’s bad enough that they let all the Savior people live after all the screwed up things they did.  They all live and Dwight gets exiled after helping them? This show has a bizarre idea of justice and righteousness. I like how 5 minutes earlier Jesus told Morgan not to kill, then suddenly he’s Council of “Pissed Off At Grimes”.   I was thinking Maggie can go back to being 72 months pregnant now that the war is over.  She’s going to have a longer pregnancy than Bonnie Swanson from Family Guy.  Except now she and Daryl want to start a Civil War.  If these two become the primary villains nest season, it’s just ridiculous.  Most guys have to pay the extra $20 to get choked in bed, but not Negan.  Eugene is back in our good graces, but he’s still a coward and an idiot.  Finally, sticking Morgan in Fear The Walking Dead isn’t making me any more excited about it.  I do love though how he survived for 8 seasons with hardly a scratch and 15 minutes into episode 1 of Fear, he manages to get shot in the leg.  I’m ready for a fresh storyline in The Walking Dead come the fall.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

April 9, 2018

The Dodgers may have won yesterday, but they are off to a horrendous start and there’s much blame to go around.  A good portion of that blame pie should be allotted to Kenley Jansen, who’s been terrible.  I’m also really glad to hear that he doesn’t care, when he was asked about his pathetic performance last week.  Kenley said “who cares?”.  I’m sure the fans that pay his $80 million contract will care, especially the ones that are shelling out $200 to see him blow games for the boys in blue.  Jansen looks like a shell of his former shelf, and much of that can be attributed to lack of preparation.  Maybe next year he won’t spend spring training slamming fried chicken, throwing footballs, and playing video games in the clubhouse.  As if that’s not bad enough, the offense looks like a bunch of little leaguers at the plate.  It’s been all black and blue for the blue crew thus far.

Meanwhile, it’s “Sho Time” in Anaheim.  Shohei Ohtani is hotter than a chunk of wasabi on your rainbow roll right now.  He was brilliant on the mound yesterday, he’s hit homers in three straight games, and he’s making the Halos must-see TV.  He’s been so exciting I nearly forgot that Mike Trout, who’s been one of the best players of all-time, is on the team.  The Angels have some issues to work through with their pitching and bullpen, but Ohtani and Trout might be able to cover up much of that.  In other words, the Angels have modern day Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle playing for them.  If there’s one guy that has to be just giddy about all of this though, it’s Arte Moreno, who only seems to care about selling tickets rather than winning games.  Ohtani might just be the phenom to get him what he wants.

I guess the Lakers are simulating out the rest of the season like they would if they were playing NBA 2K on Playstation.  Since they’ve been bombed with injuries, the effort and engagement the last couple of weeks hasn’t exactly been there.  Nevertheless, even if they don’t win another game, this season represents very nice progress and development from where the franchise was.  They also have to be thrilled at the struggles Oklahoma City is going through. They will barely get into the playoffs, and Paul George claims that the team’s finish to the season won’t impact his free agency decision.  That’s funny because he said it would matter when he first joined the team last summer.  What he really means is that it won’t matter because he already knows he’s going to sign with the Lakers in July.  The only question is if somebody else is going to sign in LA with him.

Hopefully Brandin Cooks has woken up from his coma so someone can let him know he’s been traded to the Rams.  In just a matter of months, the Rams have gone from the cute girl next door to to a chick with lots of plastic surgery done.  Having Odell Beckham Jr. on the team would have been exciting, but Cooks is a much better fit.  OBJ would have demanded about 40-50% of the offense going through him.  Cooks won’t demand nearly as much, and he will provide them with the deep threat that will continue to lift coverage in the middle of the field.  He’ll also be a lot less expensive.  At this point, anything less than an NFC Championship Game appearance will be a colossal disappointment.

The UCLA basketball team has a recruiting class coming in next year that is top 5 in the nation.  ESPN came out with an early look at the Top 25 teams.  The Bruins weren’t even on that list.  How is that possible? It’s possible because of coaching, and it tells you just how terrible of a coach ESPN thinks Steve Alford is.  Vegas has the Bruins listed at 12-1 odds to win the tournament next year.  That feels like a courtesy number because the odds of winning the Powerball are better than UCLA winning anything when you are coached by Steve Alford.  I’d really like to know the odds of Alford continuing to be the Bruins’ coach after next season, because they can’t be good.

The Masters wasn’t exactly what we all hoped for.  I think we should probably put the brakes on this Tiger Woods comeback train and keep it in perspective.  Tiger Woods played more like Nathalie Wood over the weekend, struggling just to make the cut at one point.  However, the fact that Tiger is even healthy enough to compete almost every week is something we should be happy about because we can enjoy watching him play.  He may not get back to the dominance he once had, but playing a couple of rounds at par at Augusta can actually be seen as progress.  If he stays healthy and continues to progress, he can still grab a major or two, and even win some tournaments.  In the meantime, just enjoy the fact he’s out there because you don’t get to watch the great ones forever.

It’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff time and the Kings and Ducks are both in the postseason.  Had the Kings won on Saturday night they would have actually played the Ducks.  Instead they’ll play the surprising Vegas Golden Knights.  On Saturday night, the Kings played so poorly, it felt like they had comps at the Bellagio that expired at the end of this week.  Either that or they really want to play Vegas, and it’s felt that way for a month.  I’m not really sure why because they are fast, young, and relentless.  The Kings are also banged up on defense.  It’s probably a long series, but the edge goes to the Knights.  Meanwhile, the Ducks and Sharks are probably in for a long series.  However, the Sharks got the better of the Ducks during the season, and they are slightly healthier going into the postseason than Anaheim.  I like San Jose in seven games.

Finally, a new episode of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  Just when you thought you couldn’t hate Eugene anymore, he pukes all over Rosita.  Carl must be rolling over in his grave  wondering why Rick and Negan won’t listen to him.  There were so many double crossings, this episode was giving me heart palpitations.  Aaron clearly needed  Eugene’s mac and cheese.  The Negan vs Simon showdown wasn’t much of a showdown.  It was about as competitive as the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs will be.  Simon makes a great walker though.  Dwight is definitely screwed now.  I’m looking forward to seeing the season finale next week, and this two season war finally coming to an end!

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

April 2, 2018

The Dodgers managed to salvage a split from the Giants over the weekend, but their offense was pathetic for half the series.  It was like I was watching games 8-11 of the World Series.  I could swear I saw Dave Roberts ask the ump for the ball after the Dodgers finally got on the scoreboard yesterday.  Good thing the Giants offense is total garbage.  When is Andrew Friedman’s computer going to notify him that Andrew Toles needs to be brought up and Joc Pederson needs to be sent to the minors?  That computer must have some kind of a virus.  Toles might end up being the next Chris Taylor, but I’m sure it’s going to take the Dodgers forever to realize that.

Meanwhile, Angel fans are so excited about Shohei Ohtani’s debut, they are all planning on going to Nobu sushi and spending $500 on an 8-piece tuna roll.  Ohtani looked far more polished than he did during his spring training debacle.  He’s yet to tap into his potential as a hitter, but that may only be a matter of time.  The rest of the offense looked great too, but Cam Bedrosian is a complete train wreck out of the bullpen.  Mike Scioscia must be planning on blowing a lot of games by trotting Bedrosian out to the mound every couple of nights.

To college basketball where the magic is over for Loyola, which lost to Michigan.  It got so bad at the end, Sister Jean left early to go do some drugs with Bill Walton.  If I took a shot for every time Sister Jean was mentioned in the broadcast, I’d be dead in five minutes.  She became the the Lavar Ball of the NCAA Tournament when it was over.  Meanwhile, Villanova hit so many threes on Saturday night, it was like they became the Golden State Warriors.  If this continues tonight in the Finals, Kevin Durant might ask to be traded there.  The Cats are the easy pick tonight.

The New York Giants have asked for two 1st round picks in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr.  What the hell are the Rams waiting for? Odell is the superstar to put the Rams over the top and the clear-cut favorites to win the NFC.  I am completely aware that Odell would make the Rams locker room more explosive than a stick of dynamite.  However, the Rams rebuilt their team in 18 months.  Unless you are the Cleveland Browns, if you have the right front office in place, you can rebuild an NFL team in no time at all.  The Rams have a two year window to contend with Goff, Gurley, and Donald on cheap deals.    Take advantage of it now, and even if this team is an explosive disaster, it will be spectacularly entertaining to watch.

It’s too bad the Lakers were bombed with injuries at the end of the season.  Had that not happened, they might have had a real chance to finish with a .500 record.  I don’t believe for a second the Lakers have any chance at signing anybody in the free agent class of 2019.  If they are going to have a big summer, it has to happen this July, but they might have tough decisions to make.  The question is how much to pay Julius Randle.  He’s playing like Shaq right now, but once he gets paid, will he start hanging out at Fat Burger like Shaq did later in his career?  I’m also not sure what the Lakers do if Kawhi Leonard becomes available for a trade this summer.  It would probably take Ingram, Lonzo, Kuzma, the Laker Girls, and the Playboy magazine with Jeanie Buss to acquire Kawhi.  That’s a high price to pay whether or not the Lakers can get Lebron.  In any case, if the Lakers don’t make the playoffs next year, we should be supremely disappointed.

I think it’s safe to say the Clippers playoff chances are toast after yesterday’s loss to the Pacers.  The  irony of it is, I don’t think Steve Ballmer and Jerry West actually wanted the team to make the postseason, because now they are going to end up with two lottery picks.  I’m sure they’d happily trade Doc Rivers to whoever would be willing to give them another 1st rounder as well.  They also wish they could send Danilo Gallinari to another planet.  Signing him to a $71 million contract was like lighting a pile of cash on fire.  It will be interesting to see which Clipper team shows up this summer: that one that was dumb enough to sign Gallo and give up draft picks in the process? Or the one that made a shrewd trade for Blake and decided to collect assets.  Chances are though that “The Clippers Gonna Clip”.

So let me get this straight.  The LA Kings had their biggest game of the season on Friday.  It was a showdown with their cross-town rivals, the Ducks.  The Kings lost 2-1 in OT, but Anze Kopitar said they could have played a lot better.  Coach John Stevens said several players could have given more.  What in god’s name are they waiting for? There’s 3 games left in the season! I guess nobody told them they might be playing golf if they don’t get their act together over the next week.  Now it makes sense to me why the Kings are promoting Bark Madness this month.  They have been playing like dogs all season.

Finally, another 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 you plan to watch it later.  How does garbage lady manage to keep her sheets so clean? She was trying to flag down that helicopter like I do when I miss my Uber.  Of course Rick lied about trying to team up with the Saviors to kill that entire herd of Walkers.  He was wearing his brown coat.  When he wears that brown coat you know he’s going to murder people.  He completely April fooled them.  Negan looks like he has more human compassion than Rick at this point.  It took nearly 8 full seasons for Carol to have a happy resolution with a child.  That probably means she’s about to die.  Speaking of death, I think just about everyone cracked the champagne after Jared’s death.  I’m really looking forward to Negan’s next encounter with Simon.  It’s inevitable in these last two episodes of the season that we’re going to lose another significant character.  Nevertheless, looking forward to it.