July 14th, 2014
It was a a complete free agency failure for the Lakers. All we heard about for the last three years was how the Lakers were going to make a splash in free agency to reload their team. They showed up about as prepared as I am to date Megan Fox. No coach, no young talent, an aging and broken down superstar, and an ownership that probably couldn’t even agree on what to order for lunch right now. It’s no wonder the Lakers not only didn’t get Lebron or Carmelo, but lost Pau Gasol, and had to overpay to keep Nick Young and Jordan Hill. The Lakers were so desperate they couldn’t even get Pau to accept a 3 year $29 million deal, which would have been a bad deal. It’s true what they say about Pau, he really is a nice guy. So nice that he actually saved the Lakers from themselves by turning down that deal.
The only small bright side is that the Lakers ripped Jeremy Lin’s expiring contract and a 1st round pick from the Rockets for nothing, and the Rockets didn’t even get Chris Bosh after clearing their cap. The joke is still on the Lakers though, who have assured themselves of being a lottery team for another season, without a lottery pick (Phoenix owns the Lakers 1st round pick next year if it’s outside the top 5). The Lakers had plenty of money to go get some young talent with some upside like Isaiah Thomas, Lance Stephenson, or even Trevor Ariza. There’s a lack of commitment to the free agency plan, and a lack of commitment to rebuilding. That means there’s a complete lack of leadership, no matter what the front office is saying publicly. Kobe is going to have aneurysm on the court next season, once he realizes who his teammates are going to be. As blasphemous as this sounds, the Lakers should call the Knicks and see if they can trade Kobe for Amare Stoudemire, a draft pick, and one of their young players. Give him the chance to win his 6th ring, and let the Lakers commit to rebuilding.
Pau Gasol was probably writing apology letters to all 29 NBA teams that he did not sign with, while Lebron James was holding the entire league hostage again over another free agent decision. Lebron’s decision to go back to Cleveland was an admirable one, and he sounds like he’s matured a lot when you read his sports illustrated essay, where he announced the decision. It’s a great story that he feels a connection to the place he was born and raised in, and I do hope he is actually able to win one for Cleveland. I mean it’s Cleveland folks…….if you’ve never been there…..believe me, they need it badly. The only thing that should make Cavs fans nervous is the fact that he can opt out next year, and test the market again in 2016. Of course Lebron’s mouth piece, Brian Windhorst, was on ESPN saying that he did this because he’ll receive a higher max salary in 2016. Good one Windhorst! Go back to Hometown Buffet! Why does he have an opt out after next year then? Why wouldn’t he just sign a longer deal with the same opt out in 2016? Lebron seems about as committed to the Cavs as I was to my 6th grade girlfriend. Here’s a preview of next season’s Miami Heat season opener…..
We’ve reached the All-Star break in baseball, and for all the complaining I’ve been doing, the Dodgers have the best record in the National League. The Boys in Blue took 3 out of 4 from the Padres at the Ravine over the weekend, and the pitching continues to be lights about. It’s almost an outrage that Clayton Kershaw actually gave up a run in his last outing, which ended his shutout streak at 41 innings. General Manager Ned Colletti indicated yesterday that it was unlikely the Dodgers would make a trade for a big name like David Price or Cole Hamels. What the Dodgers really need to do is get the back end of the rotation healthy, find some bullpen and bench help, and get some consistency at the plate from their outfielders. They also need to get some better food options at the stadium, where you can’t even get salsa to go along with your nachos. The Dodgers and their stadium have their flaws, but they still have enough talent to come out of the NL and make it to the World Series.
As for the Angels, their first half was a very pleasant surprise. After completing a 4 game sweep over the Rangers, the Halos are just 1.5 games back of the A’s in the AL West, and they hold the 2nd best record in baseball. Last season the Angels were just 4-15 against Texas, and they are already 8-2 this season. The Halos should feel great about their pitching, and the offensive support around Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. The real question is whether or not they think Joe Smith is the long term answer as their closer. I still think this team needs multiple arms in their bullpen to give themselves a chance in the fall. Their needs to be an investigation on why Garrett Richards didn’t make the all-star team though. Richards is 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA, which is 5th in the AL. There were 13 pitchers picked ahead of this guy? He was snubbed not once, not twice, but three times, after he was passed over again as a replacement for David Price on Saturday. I’m thinking Richards must have slept with John Farrell’s wife.
I admit it, I actually watched the World Cup Final on Sunday. I had to see what the fuss was all about as the Nazi’s and the drug cartel went to battle over that gold trophy. Pretty entertaining game, but I was a little disappointed Lionel Messi didn’t complete his legacy with a win for Argentina. I love to see greatness, and we witnessed a number of those amazing moments from Messi in the tournament, but not yesterday. However, nobody should feel as bad about themselves as Brazil, who just got blown up in their last two games, and it was in front of their home crowd. The Germans should be called in front of the United Nations this week to determine if they should be charged with crimes of war against Brazil. The Brazilian soccer team was so bad, their week was even worse than the Lakers’.
What a weird free agent signing by the Anaheim Ducks over the weekend. The Ducks signed forward Danny Heatley to a free agent contract for $1 million. Heatley should have to pay the Ducks $1 million just to be on the roster. His game has been in rapid decline for years, he’s a locker room cancer without any accountability, and has had little success in the playoffs. To come to think of it, he’ll fit right in while he’s in Anaheim then! Meanwhile Anze Kopitar is enjoying his breakfast out of the Stanley Cup…….