March 28, 2022
UCLA’s March run came to a brutal end on Friday night in the Sweet 16 against North Carolina. I realize you all want to talk about Mick Cronin’s rotations, and how he should have given his guys more rest, while also playing more of a defensive lineup. However, the Bruins still played well enough to win. Sometimes the other team just makes some crazy shots and there’s not much you can do about it. Nobody knew that Caleb Love was going to turn into the 2nd coming of Steph Curry in the final few minutes of that game. That’s March Madness and that’s sports. Now if only Jessica Alba were in Philly on Friday and at the game, we might be having a different conversation today. At least the Bruins got to fly back to Westwood, while when Arizona lost, they had to fly back to dumpy Tucson. UCLA will be pretty damn good next year as well, and Mick Cronin will hopefully be coaching this team for the next 20 years. Still, the frustrating part is that it felt like if the Bruins had pulled out that win, they had a very favorable path to winning a National Championship.
Some of you Laker folks are hilarious, including Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq says that if the Lakers get out of the play-in tournament they will beat the Suns in the 1st round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, I’m wondering if there will be a play-in tournament opportunity for the play-in tournament. That’s how unsure I am that the Lakers will actually be playing in that tournament, especially after last night’s loss to New Orleans. It’s been 74 games people, and they have all been disastrous. Do you suddenly think that Lebron and AD won’t be taking opportunities away from Stanley Johnson and the Lakers are going to fulfill their true potential? They aren’t suddenly going to play like a championship team, even if you saw them play halfway decent for the past week.
To baseball where we are in the midst of spring training, and the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger is struggling again. Bellinger has been striking out more than Urkel did on Family Matters this spring. Coming into Sunday, he had struck out 14 of 19 times at the plate. That means you can expect him to change his batting stance about 64 more times this season, since his new stance doesn’t seem to be working already. The Dodgers have plenty of good players in their lineup, but having the “MVP level Bellinger” or at least 70% of him would go a long way to their World Series chances. Also, I wish the MLB would just make a decision on Trevor Bauer already. Either suspend him and give the Dodgers closure on the situation, or declare he can play and let’s move on. As for Dave Roberts and his “guarantee” that the Dodgers would win the 2022 World Series on the Dan Patrick Show, what else was he supposed to say? “We aren’t really that good and I don’t believe in this team?”
As for the Angels, Shohei Ohtani looked amazing in his spring debut last week. If Ohtani can be the Angels true #1 ace and win 15 games, and if Noah Syndergaard can be an elite #2, the Angels might actually be really good. That’s a lot of “ifs” and “mights” but not out of the question. What is in question though is where David Fletcher is going to play. Joe Maddon says that Fletcher could start at shortstop. What a great idea. Take your elite defending second basemen who can’t hit, and whose only value comes from defense, and put him a position where he isn’t an elite defender. Who needs analytics when you can just make these kind of idiotic decisions instead?
In the NFL, the Rams are still trying to lock up Aaron Donald to a contract extension. The reason why it’s taking so long isn’t because they don’t want to pay the man, but rather because they are trying to do some major salary cap gymnastics. Les Snead is clearly trying to bring back OBJ while also figuring out ways to improve the pass rush. Sounds like LA is out of the Bobby Wagner sweepstakes though, which would have helped a great deal. Hopefully when Aaron Donald gets paid, Urban Meyer will finally know who he is. Urban is probably also wondering why the Rams aren’t still playing in St. Louis as well.
W are down to the final 15 games of the regular season in the NHL, and the LA Kings are sitting in a solid playoff spot in the West. Despite the super slow pace of this rebuild, this is much better than many of us expected this season. However, these last 15 games will be tough with injuries to the Kings’ top 2 defenseman, Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson, as well as two other veteran forwards. Jim Fox said it will take 93 points to get into the playoffs, which means the Kings would just need to go 6-9 the rest of the way, but that doesn’t seem like enough in a brutally competitive conference. I’m thinking 97 points gets them in the playoffs, which would mean they would need to go 8-7. I hate the fact they didn’t make a big trade at the deadline last week, but neither did their division rivals, who they will see a lot of in the next couple of weeks. Also, if Jim Fox says 93 points will get them in the playoffs, you have to think he knows what he’s talking about. I mean he’s even up to date on Fortnight!
Finally, I’ve been a huge fan of Will Smith’s for a long time, and was very happy to see that he won his first Oscar last night for his role in “King Richard”. However, slapping Chris Rock on stage was totally inexcusable, and it’s really a shame that it took away from his moment winning the award for best actor. Funny how the audience really seemed to think that Will slapping Chris was part of the show, but once he started yelling and cussing at Chris, things got awkward. You can also tell this incident wasn’t just about one joke that was made. In 2016, when both Jada and Will boycotted the Oscars, Chris Rock also took aim at them during his stand up routine at the Oscars.