Monthly Archives: May 2018

Monday Morning Coffee

May 28, 2018

Remember when Andrew Friedman and the rest of you naive haters thought Matt Kemp was acquired to be a salary dump? Well let’s review the timeline of Kemp’s revenge tour.  In December you thought it was just a salary dump when he was acquired.  In January you said he probably won’t even be at Spring Training.  In February, you said he was here, but probably won’t even make the team.  In March you thought he might make the team.  In April he was suddenly your opening day left fielder.  Now in May, he’s 3rd in the NL in hitting, and tops with runners in scoring position.  Most of you that don’t like him are probably just upset it wasn’t you that got the chance to get an STD from Rihanna.  The bottom line is that Kemp has always been able to hit, he is still one of the best offensive players on the team, and loves being a Dodgers.  Thanks to him, the Dodgers are still in the NL West hunt.

Meanwhile, it’s been a very rough month of May for the Angels.  The Halos should ask the league if they can just play all their games on the road because they are 10 games above .500 away from Anaheim, but just 5 games under at home.  Of course it would probably help if Kole Calhoun, Ian Kinsler, and Zack Cozart, weren’t hitting like little leaguers.  Not even Mike Trout can make up for the fact that 1/3rd of the lineup isn’t pulling their weight, especially when Shohei Ohtani can’t be an everyday player.  I don’t know if anybody has noticed but the Angels no longer have the worst farm system in baseball.  In fact, far from it.  Maybe it’s time Mike Scioscia play some of these kids like Jose Briceno, who hit a home run in his debut on Saturday.  How did Scioscia reward him? By chaining him to the bench on Sunday.

That should be the Celtics new logo after last night.  Nothing Lebron does amazes me anymore because I think he’s just that great.  His team is going to get waxed in the finals though when the Warriors play them.  Somehow the Rockets turned a 17-point lead into a 29-point loss in game 6. I’m not even sure the Clippers could have done that.  When the Warriors go into NBA 2K mode like that, Jesus Christ can’t beat them.  Now that CP3 is probably out tonight for game 7, the Rockets will definitely need Jesus to have a shot, and I have my doubts he’s available.  It’s no wonder James Harden never has enough energy to finish a game in this series.  He takes 10,000 dribbles and does 5,000 head fakes on nearly every isolation possession.  It was a nice ride for the Rockets, but the Warriors have got this.

What exactly is Paul George’s agent, Aaron Mintz trying to pull here? Mintz is the agent for Julius Randle as well, and felt the need to tell the media he doesn’t know where Randle is as a priority for the Lakers come July.  I don’t really think Mintz is this dumb.  Anyone with half a brain knows the Lakers priority is Lebron James, Paul George, and then Julius Randle.  According to Dean Blevins, a sports anchor in Oklahoma City, Mintz has been telling people George is going to re-sign.  Blevins also reported that Kevin Durant was going to re-sign with the Thunder two years ago, and we know how that went.   However, my conspiracy theory is that Mintz is telling people that George might really re-sign in OKC to get the Lakers to focus more attention on Randle, and possibly come to a satisfactory agreement with him as soon as the free agency period begins.

The Clippers finally made it official last week, signing Doc Rivers to a contract extension.  We live in a world where the Coach of the Year, Dwayne Casey, gets fired, and Doc Rivers misses the playoffs and gets extended.  I guess Steve Ballmer thought the saying goes “if it’s broke, don’t fix it.”  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I heard Ballmer say “Doc is one of the top coaches in the NBA.”  Has anybody told Steve this isn’t 2008 anymore?  Ballmer has probably advised his new front office to pursue Tim Duncan in free agency as well.  Like players, coaches’ performance can decline over time, and that’s exactly what has happened with Doc.  He built a culture that fell short of expectations, and wasn’t even compatible.  He’s a players coach and deserves another shot somewhere, but both sides need to move on from each other if the Clippers are truly serious about rebuilding.

Don’t let this NFL National Anthem story distract you from the fact that Tom Brady lost to a backup quarterback in the Super Bowl.  Seriously though, I’ve heard so much about this kneeling nonsense that I’d rather not even hear the National Anthem anymore before football games if it’s going to just divide people.  The NFL policy on the National Anthem has divided America. However America is united in agreeing that Joe Flacco is NOT an elite quarterback.  If the league were smart, this is the new policy they would implement……

The Stanley Cup Finals start tonight.  Before we get too caught up in it, let’s take a moment to pause and reflect that the Vegas Golden Knights or the Washington Capitals will win the Stanley Cup before the San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues or Vancouver Canucks.  I like how both Vegas and Washington totally defied tradition and touched the conference championship trophy.  I’ve never really understood the idea that road teams would be more distracted in Vegas than any other city.  Are there no distractions in New York, LA, Chicago, or Miami?  They travel to those cities all the time to play games and it’s never an issue.  The media made it a topic of conversation when speaking with Alex Ovechkin on media day.  Nevertheless, Vegas looks like a team of destiny, poised to take this series in no more than six games.

It’s the year 2018, which means you’re probably only watching network television shows if The Bachelor or The Bachelorette is on.  Well that means tonight you’re watching The Bachelorette, which has it’s season premier on ABC.  They say that Becca Kufrin, the new Bachelorette, has now forgiven Arie Luyendyk for dumping her on national TV.  Forgiven him? At this point she should be sending him as many thank you cards as you’ve received private policy emails in the last week.  Kufrin is entering this season as America’s sweetheart, who can probably do no wrong after the entire country is sympathizing with her.  Luyendyk has basically given her a lottery ticket that she is going to cash in.  Nevertheless, the real winners in all of this is America, which gets to be entertained by trash TV for the next couple of months.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 21, 2018

The only thing saving the Dodgers right now is that the NL West is trash, and that they have the Washington Nationals number.  Max Muncy sounds like the biggest scrub name of all-time, and the Dodgers have been counting on guys like that to keep their season afloat.  Pedro Baez has to be the worst Dodger of all-time, yet somehow he’s still on this team.  Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have been doing damage control all week long in the media.  I wonder why nobody asked them who picks out the lineup everyday: Siri or Alexa? Is it possible to demote these two clowns to Oklahoma City and bring up a new front office from the minors?  These analytics geeks in the front office keep focusing on stats like “launch angle”, but all I’ve seen this year from the team is a failure to launch.  When do pitchers and catchers report for 2019?

The Dodgers aren’t the only baseball team in SoCal having issues with their bullpen.  The other is the Angels, who’s biggest problem seems to be Mike Scioscia.  He completely blew it against the Astros last week letting a lefty face Jose Altuve with the bases loaded, while having a righty ready in the pen.  He refuses to let his starters go deeper into games, and instead chooses to rely on a mediocre pen.  As if that’s not bad enough, suddenly the Halos can’t hit pitchers who shouldn’t even be in the big leagues, which was the case against Tampa over the weekend.  Scioscia says he won’t stop Shohei Ohtani from participating in the Home Run Derby.  Will anybody stop Mike Scioscia from managing?  Probably not since Arte Moreno is more in love with him than everyone is with The Royal Wedding.

Now that the NBA lottery is behind us, the Lakers have officially paid their debt for the Steve Nash trade.  It only took six years.  However, it could have been a lot worse.  The trade cost the Lakers four draft picks, the most valuable being only the 10th pick this year.  How come nobody is talking about the free agency of Chris Paul? If things end badly in this playoff series for the Rockets, I wouldn’t count out the Lakers from pursuing him this summer, especially since he’s always wanted to play with Lebron.  It would also be sweet justice to finally have CP3 in purple and gold.  Now there’s even rumors that Karl-Anthony Towns is unhappy in Minnesota.  Perhaps Tom Thibodeau might be interested in a trade for his old pal Luol Deng? Even for Thibs, it would take a few shots of tequila to consider taking on Deng’s contract.

I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome back the LA Clippers to their rightful place: the NBA lottery.  The Clips will have the 12th and 13th pick in the NBA draft next month, but it would have been extremely “Clipper-esque” had one of their picks landed in the top 3, and going back to the Pistons.  i also love how the Clippers were not invited to the California Classic Summer League Tournament in Sacramento in early July.  Apparently nobody knows the Clippers play in LA, let alone in California, so they invited the Miami Heat instead.

The NBA Conference Finals has been more disappointing than surprising so far.  Just about every game has been a blowout.  Even the Washington Capitals and Chris Paul each have more conference finals wins than Lebron James this year.  After game 2, I was beginning to think Kevin Durant would try to find a way to sign with the Rockets before the series was over.  Brad Stevens has become such a good coach, some people would actually consider starting a franchise with him rather than a superstar player? More reasons why the NBA is a league where the fans and media become prisoner of the moment.  Here’s the difference between the Celtics at home and on the road…. Three years ago the internet melted down over a dress.  This past week it had a meltdown over some recording where you either hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”.  The way I see it, you either die a Yanny, or live long-enough to hear Laurel.  It’s Laurel all-day.  People who think it’s Yanny eat pizza with a fork and knife, don’t use turn signals, ask for SnapChat streaks, and film fights vertically on their phone.  More than anything though, people have way too much time on their hands.  I think it’s very clear what the recording is saying…..

Finally, why do we have such an obsession with The Royal Wedding? Didn’t we win a war hundreds of years ago so we didn’t have to care about it?  Besides, I’ve seen more pictures of David Beckham from the wedding than the royal couple themselves.  I’m sure that Trump is about to demand the DOJ to look into if Obama conspired to keep him from getting an invite to the wedding.  I didn’t realize that Meghan Markle was really marrying Carson Wentz…..

Monday Morning Coffee

May 14, 2018

Is it still too early for the Dodgers to panic? It’s their worst start since 1958, so it’s definitely time to jump off the Santa Monica pier.  They just got swept in four games at home by a team that isn’t even trying to win.  Joc Pederson is not only a useless Major League hitter, but he should be traded just for having a lame walk up song.  Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor have regressed, doing nothing but swinging for the parking lot.  Even the front office nerds are getting nervous.  They have been trying to live off the young talent they didn’t even bring in years ago, and not supplement it with the pieces needed to make this team a World Champion by now.  Useless veterans like Brett Anderson, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, and Logan Forsythe were never the answer.  Justin Verlander, Johnny Cueto, and Brian Dozier were.  It’s finally catching up to a team that just doesn’t look motivated, and whose window to win may actually be closing with Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen on the decline.  Time to start trading pieces, but too bad one of them can’t be Andrew Friedman.

Meanwhile in Anaheim, the Angels are playing fantasy baseball.  Shohei Ohtani is dominating on the mound and at the plate.  He has more wins than Clayton Kershaw, a higher batting average than any Dodger, and more home runs than almost every player on that team.  Mike Trout is also having another MVP season as well, but apparently nobody has noticed.  If it weren’t for Cam Bedrosian giving away leads like he’s some type of charity, the Halos might actually be one of the best teams in the American League.  Oh, and most of you can actually watch their games too.  The Dodgers should try that sometime.

To the NBA, where the Cavs got blown out by the Celtics in game 1 of the East Finals.  With Cleveland losing by 20 at the end of the 1st quarter on a Sunday, it felt like football season never ended.  It was so bad that Lebron was trying to figure out how to sign with the Rockets by halftime. I still like the Cavs to win this series, but this is a gigantic coaching mismatch.  Brad Stevens vs Tyron Lue is like a high school senior vs a preschooler.  It’s adorable that some people actually think the Rockets can beat the Warriors in a 7-game series.  It’s also going to be funny when the series ends much faster than everyone anticipates.

You know it’s the NBA offseason in LA when people are making a big deal of Kawhi Leonard at a Dodger game, and Paul George at Disneyland.  The only amusing part of that story is the fact that Kawhi didn’t actually attend any Spurs playoff games, yet attended a Dodger game.  I’m still not convinced Kawhi is getting traded, let alone to the Lakers, but the odds of Paul George signing with the Lakers are excellent according to Vegas.  Heck, if Paul George doesn’t sign with the Lakers, it would be like Magic Johnson blowing a layup.

Do you realize that Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari is still injured? His hand has apparently yet to heal.  This guy is softer than cotton, and the $64 million they are paying him is looking worse by the minute.  The Clips might as well have invested in The Big Baller Brand.  The real investment question were waiting on is if DeAndre Jordan is going to opt out of the final year of his contract.  In other words, is there somebody dumb enough out there to pay him $20 million a year or more?  It’s the NBA, there’s always a sucker.

The Vegas Golden Knights may have lost game 1 of the conference finals, but they are changing the way you’re going to look at expansion teams from now on.  The Knights didn’t have to compete with another expansion team for players, and they had the benefit of teams only being able to protect 11 players rather than 15 in previous drafts.  It’s no wonder this team is contending for the cup! They were picking 1st and 2nd line players off of quality teams.  They weren’t going to pay a $500 million expansion fee unless the rules were favorable, and they were more than that.  Now you can expect any other expansion team coming in, like Seattle, to pillage other teams of their quality players when they come into the league.

Finally, do you guys realize that Ahmad Rashad has been married five times? His most recent was in 2016, to a woman who is 30 years younger than him.  You would think you’d probably throw in the towel on marriage after your third try.  Then again, when you see who he picked as his groomsmen for one of his weddings, you can see why he probably doesn’t have the best judgement.  


Monday Morning Coffee

May 7, 2018

The Dodgers are a burning disaster right now.  Corey Seager is done for the year, Clayton Kershaw is now on the DL, and the injuries are piling up.  The fans are probably more worried about it than management though, because they’ve still got a fat TV contract and attendance is still tops in the league.  Don’t let the injuries distract you from the fact this team is built to rely on a bullpen that’s a pile of garbage.  Cody Bellinger got benched last week.  When is Andrew Friedman going to be benched for creating this crappy pen?  I’m pretty sure Manny Muchado can’t fix that.  No way would I trade for him anyway if he’s not going to sign an extension as part of the deal.  I would definitely take a flyer on Matt Harvey though.  Who’s idea was it to put the Dodgers on Facebook Live last week? Lavar Ball?  We’re only a month in and it’s nearly time to waive the white flag on the Dodgers’ season.

Meanwhile, the Angels took two of three games from the Mariners.  Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout are dominating, and Albert Pujols is achieving those gimmick milestones that only Arte Moreno cares about when he gave him $240 million.  The Halos have the third best winning percentage in the AL, but the problem is they are 0-6 against the Yankees and Red Sox, the two AL teams with better win percentages than them.  That’s because you just don’t know about their starting pitching every night. This is what happens when you blow all your money on hitters instead of pitching.  The Angels are like that guy that maxes out his credit card at Saks Fith Avenue to buy lots of shoes he doesn’t need, yet is struggling to put food on the table.  It happened again with Justin Upton last winter, and is probably likely to happen against next winter.  This is bound to be the downfall of the Halos this year.

On to the NBA Playoffs where the Raptors are that kid that does well on all their homework but fails the final exam miserably.  There’s good news for Drake though.  He only has to wait for the Raptors to lose tonight, and then he can start cheering for the Cavs and wearing his Lebron jersey.  It’s a good thing that Canada has free healthcare because everyone up there is going to need to be treated for depression after the Cavs eliminate Toronto tonight.  Then there’s the 76ers who have totally botched the 2nd round against the undermanned Celtics.  In game 2, if you crumpled up a piece of paper and threw it in the trash can on Thursday, you made more shots than Ben Simmons did that night.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, in game 3, they started throwing the ball around like Mark Sanchez does on Sunday, which of course meant they lost again.  Last night after game 4, James Harden ran over a fan with his car in the parking lot.  A shooting foul was called on the fan.  If you haven’t seen this SNL skit on Lebron’s teammates, it’s a must…..

Say what you will about the Lakers striking out in free agency during the last four summers, but looking back now, most of those signings would have been terrible.  Dwight Howard? He’s a bum.  DeMar Derozan? Playoff underachiever who couldn’t cut it in the West.  Carmelo Anthony? I guess we’re still waiting for “Olympic Melo” to show up.  Pau Gasol? Nice guy, but a bad fit.  DeAndre Jordan? Can’t make a free throw to save his life.  Greg Monroe? He might be out of the league next year.  I guess Mitch Kupchak really knew what he was doing until he signed Deng and Mozgov.

Steve Ballmer says he’s still learning about the business of the NBA as an owner.  Apparently he hasn’t learned that Doc Rivers is an extremely overrated coach, because he’s reportedly close to signing him to an extension.  It’s true that Doc did a decent job this year, but that doesn’t make up for the lousy job he did the previous 3 seasons.  The man has been no better than Vinny Del Negro was, and he’s far more expensive.  More than anything, the Clippers need a change in culture, and parting ways with Doc would help that culture change.  It also amazes me that more teams like the Clippers aren’t hunting for the next Brad Stevens, who is single handedly winning round 2 for the Celtics.  You would think there would be more of an effort to hire “out-of-the-box” candidates like this than NBA retreads.  I guess it would be ridiculous to think the Clippers could get out of their own way and do this.

What a terrible idea it was to have the Kentucky Derby on Cinco De Mayo this year.  I mean Mint Julep and Margaritas just don’t go together at all.  Apparently one woman won $1.2 million on a five race parlay at the Derby.  Her win was still more likely than the odds of the Cleveland Browns actually making the playoffs.  “Justify”? They really couldn’t think of a better name for their horse?  Instead of spraying champagne do they just spray horse crap on each other to celebrate the victory?  You have to love this sport.  For one afternoon, people are pretending like horrible things aren’t going to happen to those horses when their racing careers are over.  Thank god that horses are actually good at sports in this country, otherwise some people might actually be eating them.  Sadly, it doesn’t stop people from torturing them.  At least they call it the “Kentucky Derby” rather than “Hats and Horses”, because that would just sound like a Southern sorority theme.

Finally, last night the Vegas Golden Knights eliminated the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  This glorious moment was made especially glorious when the Twitter trolls came out to give it to the Sharks.  I guess we learned that the Sharks can’t win the Cup with or without Joe Thornton after all these years.  The real story though was the epic Twitter battled that ensued between the Kings and Sharks official accounts.  Get a load of it for yourself.