Monthly Archives: June 2019

Monday Morning Coffee

June 24, 2019

One of the best rivalries in sports is becoming Laker fans on Twitter vs ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowki. You cannot deny how amazing of a reporter Woj is. However, ESPN wants him to provide his opinion, which can often be misconstrued for his sourced reporting. When it comes to his opinion, make no mistake about it, this man has Celtic ties. Woj is an east coast guy, with serious east coast ties, and it’s always been hard not to associate him with the Celtics, especially given that he worked with notorious Celtic homer Chris Mannix while at Yahoo. Sometimes you can almost hear Danny Ainge leaking him information with his “sourced material” sure to irritate Laker fans. The last thing Woj wants to see is a Laker super team. For that reason, Laker fans are dying to see this man be wrong, and are practically bullying him on the internet. I’m beginning to think Laker fans just want Woj to be wrong more than they actually want the Lebron-Kawhi-AD super team. This rivalry is only sure to get better in the next two weeks.

Who are these UCLA kids getting draft advice from, Lavar Ball? Moses Brown and Kris Wilkes were not drafted, and Jaylen Brown was barely selected before it was over. Even if these kids can develop in the G-League, they are leaving school early to make $35,000 a year. That would be a paycut from what some of the boosters are paying these kids at USC and Kentucky. Imagine how much better UCLA and College Basketball would be if kids like that stayed in school for another year or two? Imagine how much better the NBA would be if the kids they picked were ready to contribute and make an impact right away. Unfortunately, we’re not only going to continue to see this, but it will only be worse because drafting kids right out of high school again is going to become a thing.

Speaking of Lavar, are we finally done with him? Now that Lonzo is off to New Orleans maybe ESPN won’t care about him. They might not also let him back on their network after he was hitting on First Take host Molly Qerim last week. Qerim is married to ESPN’s Jalen Rose, who was probably in the room next door when the incident took place. Rose hasn’t been this disrespected since Kobe dropped 81 points on him at Staples Center in 2006. Lavar claims that he wasn’t actually hitting on her, and he tried to tell TMZ that by “changing gears” he meant “changing topics.” That’s hard to believe, because at the time, nobody watching or on the set interpreted the comment that way. Nevertheless, something tells me that people won’t stop putting a mic in this guy’s face, and he’ll keep giving people nonsense to talk about.

The Dodgers are losing bodies, but they keep winning games. Rich Hill, David Freese, and AJ Pollock are all out with injuries, but the Boys in Blue keep plugging in guys you’ve never heard of and they keep winning. I know you want me to credit Andrew Friedman for that, but riddle me this. If he believed in Alex Verdugo so much, then why did you have to go out and sign Pollock to a massive contract? Verdugo is killing it as an everyday player, while Pollock is killing the Dodger payroll on the injured list.

The Angels got handled by the Cardinals this weekend in St. Louis, and Albert Pujols finally made his return to the place he spent the majority of his career. Pujols actually hit a home run in this series, and it’s nice to see that he can do that every now and again since he’s only making $25 million. Albert should also put his foot in his mouth after telling the media before the series that he can’t wait for Mike Trout to play in front of “real fans”. Albert, there are “real fans” that actually come out to see your unproductive butt every night in Anaheim, and they can’t wait to see you retire.

Congratulations to Sean McVay who got engaged to his girlfriend Veronika Khomyn. That’s bad news for all the dudes drooling over Khomyn, and bad news for all the women who were hoping to lock down McVay. The good news for McVay is that he finally got a ring! Oh, and this is what he looked like in high school.

I’m not one to get very excited about the NHL Draft. Even if you’re a huge hockey fan, you’re watching your team pick teenagers that you won’t even see play pro for 2-3 years at best. However, the real sad part of this is the LA Kings, who had a top 5 pick this year because they stunk, and seemed determine to stink next year with another top 5 pick. Imagine having a team with Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, Jeff Carter, and Dustin Brown, and planning on tanking before the season even starts. That’s as wasteful as it gets.

Finally, The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight. Hannah actually threw out the first pitch the other night at the Dodger game which makes perfect sense. The Dodgers are run by Andrew Friedman, who has questionable judgement, and they selected someone with very questionable judgement in men to throw out the first pitch. That entire episode is an example of a meeting that could have been an email. How is this Luke P dude still around? Since when do people get to stay on the show when they don’t get a Rose? Is Chris Harris going to regulate this or is he just going to drink Pina Coladas on the beach like he usually does all season? Hannah looks like she’s reached her breaking point and is ready to quit. Honestly though, would you be that upset if she did and they cancelled the rest of the season? I sure wouldn’t. I’m ready for this season to be over. You are too, but sure enough, you’ll probably be back next season to watch the train wreck again.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 17, 2019

Congratulations to Rob Pelinka and the Lakers. No matter what happens from here, he managed to keep Anthony Davis from the Celtics, get rid of Lavar Ball, and save his job in one trade. That’s a serious accomplishment as far as Jock Talk LA is concerned. In all seriousness though, the Lakers gave up a truck load in this trade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad thing. That will be determined by whether or not the Lakers can sign a max free agent in the next couple of weeks. Nobody even knows if the Lakers have that amount of money left, but I have a hard time believing Pelinka would make this trade without having that opportunity. He can’t be that foolish can he? This is a results-driven business, and Pelinka and even Jeanie Buss delivered this weekend. However, it doesn’t excuse the embarrassment they’ve put on display publicly the last 6 months. Still, depending on how Pelinka can construct the roster from here, it’s possible nobody will even remember that.

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA Championship. Has anybody actually informed Kawhi Leonard that they won the title? In typical Kawhi fashion, you couldn’t tell if he just finished a Monday morning practice or if he won a championship. The Raptors played much better than I thought, but as I said, the only thing that could derail the Warriors is injury, and that’s exactly what happened. However, history will not remember the fact the Warriors suffered catastrophic injuries. History doesn’t remember that the ’89 Lakers suffered injuries to end their bid for a three-peat, or that the ’91 Lakers had injuries when they lost to the Bulls, or that the ’16 Cavs had injuries against the Warriors. Klay is the toughest dude in the NBA. He shoots two free throws with a torn ACL, while Paul Pierce needed a wheel chair to go to the bathroom. I feel terrible for KD, who’s career may never be the same after this. His injury simply sucks for the entire NBA. Meanwhile, Kawhi’s phone was blowing up after the Finals. Here’s a look:

Then there’s the Clippers. In the span of 6 days, the Clippers went from being poised to get a big-time free agent or two, to looking more likely to strikeout in free agency. Kevin Durant tore his Achilles, Kawhi Leonard won an NBA title, and the Lakers traded for Anthony Davis. That torpedoes the Clips chances of landing a big star or two. So what’s plan B? Is there a plan B? You need 2-3 stars to win in this league. Right now the Clippers still need 1, and hopefully someone’s told Steve Ballmer that Billy Crystal doesn’t count. Things can change very quickly in this league as we just learned, but suddenly, it’s looking much bleaker for the Clippers.

To baseball, where the Dodgers did alright against the Cubs this weekend. However, we had to be reminded that Kenley Jansen isn’t quite as dominant as he once was, after blowing a save on Saturday night. They also could really use Corey Seager’s bat, which won’t be in the lineup for quite some time after he strained his hamstring earlier in the week. Seager had just started to get it going too after a slow start. I like how there was debate early in the season of whether the Dodgers should play Kike Hernandez or Chris Taylor everyday at second base. It turns out the answer was neither since neither could hit water if they fell out of a boat right now. That’s turning into an additional problem to fix along with the dumpster fire that is their middle relief.

The Angels managed to get a couple of wins against the Dodgers, but couldn’t get back to .500 after their weekend series against the Rays. I’m amazed the Angels cut ties with Cody Allen, but still have yet to cut ties with Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill. Not that Cody Allen didn’t need to be DFA’d, but his performance hasn’t been nearly as awful as Harvey and Cahill. I also like how the only thing people could talk about during the Dodgers v Angels series last week was how disingenuous the “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” name is. One thing is for sure. They will always be known as the Angels, and will never have enough pitching!

In the NHL, the LA Kings made another bonehead move. They bought out aging defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Instead of paying Phaneuf an inflated salary for two more years, they stretched that out for another four years, which includes a $4 million cap hit in two years. One would hope that on a team with Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, you would be trying to compete for Stanley Cups, and would need that salary cap space. It would have been be far more sensible to keep Phaneuf on the bench, or sitting in the stands in street clothes for two years instead of four because of this. In addition to that, everyone would get the benefit of seeing Phaneuf’s attractive actress wife, Elisha Cuthbert in the stands all the time. This tells me that Rob Blake understands nothing about the salary cap, or attractive women.

OJ Simpson joined Twitter last week, which was pretty epic. Amazing that this man managed to start the account on the 25th anniversary of his wife’s murder. I’ve been on Twitter for 8 years and I have over 100 followers. Meanwhile, OJ has been on for 10 minutes, and he has 10,000 followers. That’s a killer ratio.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and is back again tonight. ABC is not very good at this whole spoiler thing. Luke P doesn’t get a rose at the end of the show, yet he’s shown in the previews for the next episode. I guess this is how the network decided they were going to top last season’s fence jump. Does the P in Luke P stand for “psychopath”? How did we manage to get an entire 2 hour episode dedicated to this dude? Meanwhile, Hannah asking the really hard-hitting questions like whether the guy likes mac-n-cheese or spaghetti. I like how Luke P’s date overshadowed how drunk Hannah was on her one-on-one with Mike in Scotland. She probably needed to be drunk for the date with Luke P though to make it more tolerable. Here’s to another week of hoping this show gets better.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 10, 2019

I know what you’re thinking. The Lakers can assemble the best trade package for Anthony Davis, and should be able to trade for him. It’s not going to happen folks. Even though the Celtics are out and the Lakers have better assets than the Knicks and Clippers, the Pelicans are going to make the Lakers pay a “Laker tax” in order to complete a trade. Even if Rob Pelinka is willing to put every single young player into a trade, which he probably would do to save his job, Jeanie Buss but won’t let him. She’s been sticking her nose into every basketball decision these days, along with the inept friends she’s been relying on. This situation won’t be any different, and it’s going to cost the Lakers another star they could have traded for, for the 3rd straight summer. In the meantime, the Lakers are building an excellent staff of replacements for Frank Vogel. The latest hiring is Lionel Hollins. Something tells me we’re going to see a lot of finger pointing this season.

Warriors fans haven’t been this upset since Mitch Richmond left the team. Just kidding. No Warriors fans even know who Mitch Richmond is. Like I said, the only thing that can derail the Warriors are injuries, and that’s exactly what is going to derail them. Kawhi is a beast. He and Kevin Durant are total weirdos though. Kawhi could win the title and decide to leave. Durant could lose the title and also leave, because some 13-year-old on Twitter thinks he sucks. However, the way things are going, free agency is probably going to be a bust. KD, Kawhi, Klay, and Butler all end up staying, Kyrie goes to Brooklyn, and we got excited for nothing. As for Golden State, stay positive Warrior fans. You still have the Raiders for another year.

Mark Stevens was not just an idiot fan who got drunk and pushed Kyle Lowry when he fell into the stands last week. He’s a part owner of the Warriors, which makes him all those things, plus an entitled moron. Then it all made sense: he’s on the Board of Directors at USC.

All these sports writers are wondering if it’s too early to celebrate the Dodgers’ success. I’m wondering if it’s too early to blame the front office for failing in the 2019 postseason. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, just like they did around this time two years ago. In 2017, it didn’t matter because they lost in 7 games in the World Series. In 2018, their slow start didn’t matter because they made the postseason, then lost in the World Series. All I know is, this movie has the same cast of characters in it for the 3rd year in a row, so why should I expect the ending to be any different? A good regular season team, strong pitching, solid offense, and a bullpen that’s more volatile than the Dow Jones. If you can’t fix the pen, you can’t change the ending to the movie. Until that happens, we should be skeptical.

Matt Harvey began a AAA rehab assignment for the Angels over the weekend. He gave up 8 runs, so it looks to me like he’s healthy enough to keep getting destroyed in the Majors. Harvey probably lowered his ERA too after giving up 8 runs. Seriously though, how long are the Halos going to keep trotting out Harvey and Trevor Cahill to the mound? The less we see from those two guys, the more we’ll see from promising young pitchers like Canning and Suarez. Those pitchers can’t fare any worse than the two bums the Angels think are their #1 and #2 starters. Dallas Keuchel on a one year deal sounded a lot better than either one of those two guys, but too late for that now.

Now that OTA’s have started, Todd Gurley sounds like the oldest 24-year-old in history. At this rate, he’s going to be retired by the time the season starts in September. With Gurley not participating in OTA’s, it’s time to officially be concerned about the arthritis in his knee. Without question, the Todd Gurley we saw sporadically in the playoffs is the Todd Gurley were going to see in this upcoming season. The Rams have to preserve him. Too bad they didn’t realize that before paying him $45 mill guaranteed. Suddenly, Darrell Henderson seems like a critical piece to develop at the running back position, or else the Rams offense might not be so dynamic anymore. This is where we find out if Sean McVay is really a “McGenius”, or just a football coach with a hot foreign girlfriend.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and it’s back again tonight. Not only is Luke P a liar, manipulative, and a poor sport … but he’s 5’6. Can we all take a minute to be concerned about Rhode Island’s health care? I mean did Kevin go to a civil war hospital when he got his arm wrapped up? They should just change the name of this season to the “The Battle Of The Luke’s”. This whole Jaylen Brown and Hannah discussion was beyond awkward, because in reality you know they just wanted to go to the Fantasy Suite to get it on. Honestly, this season is so bad, if they turned the Bachelorette into a show where she went out on 30 dog dates, handing out dog bones at the end of each date, and eventually picking the dog of her dreams, people would be way more interested. This coming from someone who isn’t really a dog person either.

Monday Morning Coffee

June 3, 2019

Imagine playing a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time the Lakers organization humiliated themselves over the last 6 months. You would definitely be dead by now. I wouldn’t blame Lebron James if he felt like playing that game at this point. The man has been recruiting like crazy, but there’s no chance the Lakers will end up with KD, Kawhi, Klay, or even Kyrie or Jimmy Butler. At this point Rob Lowe has a better chance of getting his phone call returned by another NBA GM than Rob Pelinka. Plus unlike Pelinka, Lowe wouldn’t need to be “fact-checked” more than Donald Trump. Maybe when this summers train wreck is finally over, the franchise will come to their senses and make some real change for the better. Or Maybe that’s just wishful thinking as well.

The NBA’s tampering rules are ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been totally hypocritical for the league to not fine Doc Rivers for his comments about Kawhi Leonard on ESPN earlier this week after Magic Johnson got fined for saying things even less eye opening about players under contract. However, what’s the real harm behind talking about players under contract? Everybody and their mother already knows the Clippers are recruiting Kawhi Leonard. Why do Doc Rivers comments have any bearing on this? It’s silly, and just another rule to protect these cry baby small market owners. As for Doc’s comments themselves, only he would say something as ridiculous as comparing Leonard to Michael Jordan. He sounds like another idiot fan boy on Twitter that’s been watching the NBA for five minutes but why would you expect any less? I guess that’s what recruiting means these days.

The Raptors blew a massive opportunity yesterday against the Warriors and are doomed after losing home court advantage. If you can’t beat the Warriors without KD, without Klay, and with Steph suffering from the flu, it’s not going to happen. I’m pretty sure Marc Gasol and Pascal Siakam aren’t going to combine for 52 points in a game again in this series. If the Lakers earned as many free throws as were shot last night they would have lost by 20. If it wasn’t for State Farm, the Rockets would never be seen in the Finals. Ramona Shelburne is probably going to think she’s god’s gift to sports journalism after President Obama told her she does a great job last night. I’m surprised Drake wasn’t rubbing Obama’s shoulders before the night was over. If the Raptors win more games, Donald Trump will probably impose additional tariff tax on Canada.

To baseball, where I’ve gotta give Andrew Friedman credit for this. He knows his free agent signings are garbage, which might explain why he operates like a cheapskate every winter. This season is another perfect example with Joe Kelly and AJ Pollock getting paid over $20 million combined this year, yet they’ve both done about as much as you and I have to contribute to the Dodgers’ success. They should replace Joe Kelly Bobblehead night with Joe Kelly Voodoo Doll night. It’s great that the Dodgers are at the top of the MLB standings, but this team as always, will be judged by how they fare come October. They’ll need to fix their bullpen if they plan on succeeding then. Isn’t that what Friedman is supposed to be good at? We’re still waiting for him to figure it out 5 years later.

The Angels wish they could play the Mariners every weekend, after treating them like a pinata for the last three days. I haven’t seen Albert Pujols look that good since he was in St. Louis. Still, the sad part about the Angels is that not only are they not winning much in general, but they aren’t even creating buzz in town. I mean if they aren’t going to win, at least have somebody go to Mastros or Javier’s in Newport and start a bar fight over some gold digger. People will show up if you win. But the only thing that’s worse than losing is being boring. The Halos are both right now, and not even Mike Trout can solve that problem by himself.

The silliest thing I’ve heard in the last week was from NFL Insider Mike Florio, who suggested that Jared Goff might not get a 2nd contract from the Rams. Really? Goff is still on his rookie deal and helped the Rams get to the Super Bowl last year. Are we talking about the same guy? You people do realize that it is possible that Goff can and will improve as a quarterback right? As long as the Rams continue to protect him with a good o-line, there’s no reason Goff can’t continue to grow as a Quarterback and make big throws, which he’s already shown he can do. Goff is actually the least of concerns for the Rams, and instead it’s Todd Gurley and his knee. His knee makes me more nervous than Antonio Cromartie would be on Mothers Day.

Finally, another episode of The Bachelorette went down last week on ABC and it’s back again tonight. I’m thinking John Paul Jones has never watched The Bachelorette before, has no idea what’s going on and is just here for the free food and drinks. Just a hunch but I’m thinking Cam’s previous relationships weren’t ruined by amputation, giving a dog away, or his grandma being sick. More likely that he’s a stage 5 clinger, creepy, maybe even a serial killer. I feel like ABC needs to throw me a pity rose and pay for my cable for the next month to make up for how awful this season has been so far. As if this season hasn’t been bad enough, now I have to endure watching a couple of Boston Celtics on the show as well, and seeing Hannah wear a Celtics jersey. I always knew this girl was no good .