Monthly Archives: July 2019

Monday Morning Coffee

July 15, 2019

I’ve been beating up the Lakers’ front office and ownership for months and rightfully so. However, I’ve gotta give Rob Pelinka credit for the roster he assembled after losing out on Kawhi Leonard. The LakerS should contend for a title. The team has guys that can shoot this year, and what appears to be a lot of depth. Lots of people hate the guy, he has flaws, but the man seems to know what he’s doing. Of course when Pelinka actually thanked Magic Johnson for his contributions at the beginning of Saturday’s press conference, that was “peak Littlefinger”. Nevertheless, hats off to him while everyone was criticizing him, including myself. There’s still the questions around coaching though. Frank Vogel said there is a great deal of mutual respect between himself, Lebron, and AD. What this really means is that he’s optimistic by training camp Lebron will stop calling him “Fred” and that AD will stop referring to him as “dude”.

Meanwhile, congrats to the Clippers for finding a superstar that was weird enough to actually sign with the them in Kawhi Leonard. The same goes for Paul George, who was weird enough to demand a trade just one year after re-signing with OKC. I love how these two guys have already been banned from Alfred Coffee in LA. Wait until these guys try to throw out the first pitch at a Dodger game and they get booed like they were Santa Clause in Philadelphia. Maybe that’s why Kawhi made sure he only committed to two full years in LA when he signed his contract.

I love how Chris Paul getting traded for Russell Westbrook isn’t even one of the top 3 story lines of the NBA off-season. That just goes to show you how much these guys have aged. That trade might have actually made both teams worse. A Westbrook and James Harden combination seems great if Russell could shoot and if the Rockets were allowed to play with two basketballs. Meanwhile, CP3 wishes David Stern was around to veto this trade. At least his State Farm insurance rates will go down now that he is moving from Houston to OKC. He is probably wrestling with the idea of giving up some of that $124 million that’s owed to him just to get out of playing in OKC. The problem is, he’s a pain in the ass to play with these days, and as talented as he still is, that talent might not outweigh the baggage. That baggage is something the Lakers will seriously have to consider if he does end up becoming a free agent. It’s just too risky.

To the NFL where training camp is about to open up, and the Chargers have a contract situation to deal with in Melvin Gordon. Gordon said that he needs a new contract, and will hold out until he gets one, or even demand a trade if necessary. The Bolts would be reasonable to oblige, but only up to a certain point. Gordon and his agent may not have been paying attention to the fact that Le’Veon Bell didn’t exactly do all that great by sitting out a year, losing out on a lot of money. Gordon’s argument is that you can’t just replace a great running back. Apparently he’s never heard of James Conner. I don’t expect this to be a Khalil Mack situation, because the Chargers aren’t as dumb as the Raiders, but there should be a reasonable compromise made by both sides here.

The Dodgers may have taken 2 of 3 from the Red Sox over the weekend, but not without giving their fans something to be concerned about. In typical, Dodger fashion, Pedro Baez came out of the pen yesterday, and blew a two run lead in the 8th inning by giving up back-to-back homers. Do any of the Dodgers’ middle relievers actually get paid? I’m not so sure they should. I wouldn’t trust these guys to open the bullpen door correctly. Combine that with the beating the Dodgers took on Friday, and I’m already scared of what this team might look like again come October. The point is, as the trade deadline approaches, Andrew Friedman better not take the conservative approach, especially when it comes to improving the starting pitching and especially the bullpen. If he does, he should be on the next season of “Hoarders” on A&E, for all the prospects he hoards and foolishly refuses to trade to put this team over the top.

Given how rough of a season it’s been for the Angels, I feel like it’s only fair that the league allow them to play the Mariners every game. That way they might at least have a chance to be competitive in the AL West. It was really nice to see the Angels have some success on the field with a no-hitter on Friday on the night they honored Tyler Skaggs, which continued with another impressive performance after that. The Halos were so hot this weekend, even Albert Pujols was hitting the ball out of the yard. There’s not much to be excited about with this club, but at least this weekend was nice to see, and also makes you think there might even be Baseball Gods out there.

What a great Wimbledon Final yesterday between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Thank God for that new tie breaker, otherwise these two all-time greats would have been playing through the next several Kardashian marriages. It felt like we were saying Federer has been getting old for about 5 years now, yet somehow, he’s still arguably the best in the world. Djokovic isn’t exactly on the younger side of his career either, and it amazes me that we have yet to see a young tennis star emerge on the men’s circuit in ages. I’m not sure whether this says more about the greatness of Federer, Djokovic, and even Rafael Nadal, or more about the lack of quality tennis players that haven’t emerged. It’s especially disappointing that an American hasn’t emerged in ages as well.

Finally, the Bachelorette went down last week on ABC, and it’s back again tonight. So that’s how it’s going to be Chris Harrison? You’re just going to let Hannah do whatever she wants and keep a bunch of guys around when she’s supposed to keep eliminating dudes? Since when does The Bachelorette get to make up her own rules like that? Harrison has become totally useless on this show, and does nothing but sit by the pool and drink Margaritas until we see him for 5 minutes an episode. Hannah probably told Chris she needs 4 fantasy suites, and Chris likely responded by letting her know it’s not in the budget unless they stick a couple of guys in a windmill tower. I know half of you celebrated when Tyler and Peter got their roses, but I would have loved to see your reaction when Luke P and the rest of the crew stuck around. Can’t wait to see where this disaster ends up tonight.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 8, 2019

Congratulations to the Clippers and Kawhi Leonard for completely bamboozling the entire NBA. For all the jokes I’ve dropped on here about the Clips being a punching bag over the years, they really are front runners for an NBA Championship next year. Frankly, the only thing surprising is that Kawhi didn’t make his announcement on PBS or just by updating his LinkedIn profile. The combination of Kawhi and Paul George gives the Clippers 2 of the top 10 players in the NBA, and one of the best perimeter defenses in the league. This really shouldn’t be surprising though because the Clips did things the right way by hiring Jerry West to consult for them, and built out an experienced front office that had stability. Ultimately, making the sensible moves paid off for them. With that being said, I sure hope Kawhi Leonard and Paul George like getting booed in LA, because they are going to see a lot of that playing for the Clippers. It’s going to take more than one championship to make this a Clipper town. However, it potentially sets up a nice rivalry with the Lakers.

Speaking of the Lakers, I give credit to Rob Pelinka for recovering from the Kawhi decision with the signings he made. The Lakers are definitely championship contenders, albeit with some questions about durability and perimeter defense. I also have some questions about Jared Dudley, who looks like he should be selling Falafel on the corner of Olympic and Fig instead of playing for the Lakers. They are contenders. However, Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, and Magic Johnson are fools for their behavior the last 6 months, and completely responsible for the monster competitor that was built down the hall at Staples. Jeanie could have brought back Jerry West as a consultant, but she said no. She could have brought more front office experience around Pelinka after Magic quit, but no. She continues to drink her own Laker Kool-Aid. Then there’s Magic who probably cost the Lakers getting Kawhi by blabbing about his meeting with Uncle Dennis to the media. Meanwhile, Pelinka had to perpetuate the backstabbing image by talking badly about Magic in front of the team. The Lakers almost had Kawhi and could have crushed the league for years. Instead their own arrogance and foolishness cost them, and now life is going to be a lot tougher.

If there’s one thing we learned from this whole Kawhi drama, it’s that Chris Broussard, Jalen Rose, and this Ayre Abraham kid don’t know crap about what’s going on in the NBA. If you believe anything they say, you should probably go buy a ticket to next years Fyre Fest. If Broussard told me he had pepperoni on his pizza last night, I wouldn’t believe him. Dude claimed that not only was there a 94% chance he signs with the Lakers, but that the Clippers were out. If Fox Sports is keeping this guy employed for his “sources”, they are even dumber than I thought. Next time I hear something his sources say, I’m calling the Feds myself. Any pro insider with half a brain like Woj, Ramona, David Aldridge, or even Brian Windhorst would never speak in absolutes. Free agency was absolutely wild, and these four minutes sums it up quite nicely for NBA fans.

To baseball, where the Dodgers have reached the All-Star break with the best record in baseball. Cody Bellinger has been absolutely amazing. He’s easily the MVP of the National League, and other than Mike Trout, he’s the best player in baseball. Hopefully Andrew Friedman’s computer reminds him to lock him up to a contract extension soon. The Dodgers should also be getting reinforcements back soon with Corey Seager and AJ Pollock coming off the DL shortly after the break. They’ll need it because Joc Pederson has decided he’s going to suck in the 2nd half of the season since he’ll be participating in the Home Run Derby. The last time Joc did this, he disappeared like Hodini for the rest of the season. Scary moment the other night seeing Russell Martin get hit in the head with a fast ball. He got hit so hard, you had to wonder if he would remember that he was once an all-star player in this league. Meanwhile, this was a friendly and playful competitive exchange between Manny Machado and a fan last week.

I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Angels’ pitcher Tyler Skaggs, who tragically died last week. By all accounts, everyone that knew Skaggs had nothing but amazing things to say about him as not just a competitor on the field, but also as a wonderful human being. It feels like these types of tragedy’s have historically hit the Angels organization. From Nick Adenhart, to Lyman Bostock, and Donnie Moore, this is a sad and unexplained trend surrounding the organization. At this point baseball can’t be at the forefront of everyone’s mind in the organization, yet it’s probably one of the few things that can be somewhat therapeutic during a difficult time.

Seeing Paul George and Jerry West stab the Lakers in the back this weekend wasn’t the only dagger thrown in SoCal the last few days. In hockey, the Ducks hired former Kings Coach Darryl Sutter as an advisor. That’s right the greatest coach in Kings history who won two Stanley Cups is now advising their cross town rival. Meanwhile, the Kings are going through coaches like Kardashians go through boyfriends. Wait until the Ducks hire Dean Lombardi next and stick it to the Kings even more to accelerate their rebuild.

Finally, the Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight, and we’re getting closer to the end. I think the producers of the show are testing the viewers inner strength. They know that every time Hanna selects Luke P you want to hurl yourself off the roof of a building. This has to be an inside job. Hanna must be getting paid to keep him around, or it’s gotta be in her contract. Garrett must have never seen an episode of The Bachelorette. In every season the dude that confronts the dude nobody likes and talks badly about him is the dude that ends up packing his bags and going home. You can’t win an argument with an idiot. Best-case scenario, you prove yourself as smarter than the idiot—an assumption everybody had when you walked into the room. Worst-case scenario, you lose the argument. That’s how Garrett spent his last moments on The Bachelorette, slinging baloney with a doofus. Luke, Tyler, Jed, and Pete are the final four. All white guys, trying to be with a girl from the south. Who could have predicted this one?

Monday Morning Coffee

July 1, 2019

The madness has begun! NBA free agency is in full effect, and the Lakers are right at the center of it. At this point though, it’s looking like Kawhi Leonard or bust for the Lake Show. This is one dude that nobody knows anything about. I might actually be convinced he’s leaving Toronto, but Chris Broussard said he’s probably leaving Toronto which really means he’s re-signing there. The Lakers have to hope that if Kawhi decides to go elsewhere, there are still enough solid role players out there to be had. These free agent meetings are such a waste of time though. These dudes all know where they are going. Then again, if I were an NBA free agent I’d probably meet with all 30 teams to get 30 different free dinners.

Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka deserve credit for getting the Lakers to this point in the last few weeks. However, Buss finally spoke to the media last week, and her statement couldn’t have been any more disingenuous. She said the team is “in a really good place”, is “on the right path” and that “the goal has always been to get back to the playoffs.” Weird, because I always thought the goal was to win championships. The Lakers may be on the right path, but we won’t really know until free agency plays out. However, don’t give me some statement ignoring Magic pulling out the rug from under us, or without mentioning the disastrous coaching search. She could have at least told us “We know we have work to do, we know it’s been a difficult last few months, but I’m confident I can get the Lakers back to where we belong.” There has to be an element of self-awareness and there still seems to be none.

Meanwhile, Magic Johnson had to announce to the world that Kawhi wanted to meet with him to take another shot at Pelinka. The man’s ego knows no bounds. It also feels like Magic is putting in more effort now with the Lakers than he did as President of Basketball Operations. Speaking of Pelinka, he really pulled a magic act by clearing additional cap space to create a max slot. He must have promised the Wizards a dinner with Michael Jackson.

Kevin Durant is a great player, and he’s earned the right to do whatever he wants, but this dude is crazy. He’s the best player, already an all-time great, and playing on one of the best teams in the history of the NBA. Instead, he’s decided to leave them to play in New York, with a guy who’s fairly moody in Kyrie Irving. He’s doing this all because some teenager on Twitter thinks he’s a front runner. It shocks me that anybody could be that thin skinned. At a certain point you just have to tune out the noise and not care what people think. I admire the Nets aggressiveness in turning around their franchise, but I’m not so sure about the wisdom of replacing one all-star point guard who hasn’t reached his peak with another that has more mileage, and investing most of their cap in a guy who is coming off a torn achilles. Then there’s the Knicks. Only the New York Knicks would trade one of the best young players in basketball into cap space, and sign no star free agents. Hilarious.

To baseball where the Dodgers are still enjoying the best record in baseball, even after a tough weekend in Colorado. However, these ballparks really need to do something about security. Fans have been running onto the field nonstop just to give Cody Bellinger a hug. Imagine what would happen if Andrew Friedman were on the field. Fans would be running onto the field to kick him in the balls since he can’t put a good bullpen together. I love the fact the Dodger starters are going deeper into games, which lightens the load on the bullpen, but I sure hope Friedman’s computer allows Dave Roberts do that in the playoffs. Only a month left to find a quality arm or two for the pen.

Mike Trout is depriving us during the All-Star break. The man refuses to participate in the Home Run Derby. Look, he can do what he wants, but it’s reasons like this that people claim he isn’t marketable, or as easily identifiable to baseball fans, as great as he is. I’m sure participating in the derby once won’t kill him, especially now that his financial future is secure for nearly the next two decades. Meanwhile, Shohei Ohtani has already hit 10 home runs in just 44 games this season. That’s nice but they really need him to get back on a mound a pitch. Too bad that won’t happen until next year, which means another year of the Angels and their fans saying “maybe next year we’ll have good pitching.”

Finally, the Bachelorette is back tonight on ABC. You’ve gotta love the look on everyone’s face when Hannah gave Luke P a rose. That guy has to be a producer pick at this point right? Luke claimed he was “staying in his lane”. If that’s what he calls “staying in his lane” then he must be driving drunk. If I didn’t know better I’d say he was the first male Bachelorette. Someone should throw that dude’s passport in the river so he can’t go on to the next country. Tyler C seems like a pretty good bet to be the next Bachelor right now. There are some pretty good dudes on the show, but we’d never know since we get about two hours of Luke drama every week. We’ll see where it goes from here.