What a terrible weekend it was for our Southern California sports teams. The Angels were swept, while the Dodgers, Bruins, and Trojans suffered losses that were the equivalent of getting kicked in the balls. What did LA do to deserve this? Is it because we have palm trees, fake large breasted women and nice weather? (Which really isn’t that nice right now because it’s 100 degrees). For the most part, it was just a reminder that being a sports fan requires enduring 99% kicks to the balls, and only 1% glory.
In just one quick weekend, the Angels flushed their wonderful season down the toilet. You all thought playing the Royals was going to be like an NBA team playing a WNBA team. You were badly mistaken. Apparently, all CJ Wilson is good for now is selling cars at his dealership. Wilson and his $77 million contract couldn’t even make it out of the first inning of yesterday’s elimination game. That game was over when Alex Gordon blasted a three run double off CJ. After that the Angels continued to come up empty at the plate. Mike Trout flopped like a fish out of water, and Josh Hamilton played like he just got hammered at the bar. It’s pretty tough to win when three guys who are supposed to be your best players don’t show up. In the end, this series was lost in Anaheim off a few great defensive plays that the Royals made, while the Halo sluggers disappeared like David Copperfield.
It hurts. However, this season went way better than we thought it would for the Angels. They found pitching, they fixed their bullpen, and throughout the season they had the majors best offense. Now that the Angels are back to an elite team, they need to consider how to put themselves over the top. That means without Arte Moreno making some stupid emotional, and irrational decisions. Getting Garrett Richards healthy, adding another starter, and finding some more production at 3rd base should be top priorities. The bad news is that the Angels are stuck with the contracts of Hamilton and Wilson for the next couple of seasons, and potentially little production for them. Prepare for an off-season of pissing and moaning Halo fans. This is going to hurt until your team gets back on the field in spring training.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers may be headed back to St. Louis with a split, but they should be up 2-0 after Friday nights collapse. What the hell was Don Mattingly thinking? You have managers so that they can manage players, especially superstars. Mattingly failed to do that on Friday night by letting Clayton Kershaw stay in the game when he started to come unraveled. As great as Kershaw is, he couldn’t just bully his way out of the inning. Even he has his limits, and with the amount of innings he has thrown, you have to wonder if he’s starting to wear down, or if the Cardinals just own him. Even Saturday night was a near disaster when JP Howell blew a 2-0 lead in the 8th. When Don Mattingly actually does use the pen, he can’t even use the right reliever. If it hadn’t been for Matt Kemp, who you all wanted to trade for a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, the Dodgers would be planning their trips to Cabo……
I can’t say I like the Dodgers chances heading back to St. Louis. Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn’t pitched in a month, which means the Dodgers will have to go deep into the pen, which is trash. Will they go back to Kershaw in game 4? He sucked on three days rest last year, and wasn’t even good on plenty of rest in game 1. Then again, do you trust Dan Haren? At least the offense is clicking. I like how AJ Ellis suddenly looks like the 2nd coming of Johnny Bench after a crummy regular season. However, I hate how Matt Carpenter looks like the 2nd coming of Ted Williams, and has been the devil against the Boys in Blue. It’s going to come down to which bullpen can hold their shit together. Poor Ken Rosenthal. His nice suit took a beating while interviewing Matt Kemp after game 2……
In other baseball news…..the Baltimore Orioles sweep of the Detroit Tigers marks the first time in history that the city of Detroit has actually been swept…..
Then there was the disappointment at the Rose Bowl for UCLA. The Bruins went back to being the team that plays down to their competition, and it finally caught up with them against Utah. Yes, that’s right…..Utah. UCLA had no business even having a chance to win the game, since they played so poorly throughout. Utah did whatever they wanted on offense. Somehow, the Bruins had two chances to win the game on field goals in the final seconds, yet blew them both. The Bruins can now kiss their hopes of a National Championship or football playoff goodbye. UCLA badly needs to beat Oregon next week at home, which won’t be an easy task considering the Ducks had their own disaster against Arizona last week. At the moment, UCLA football looks like nothing but a bunch of hype.
Over at the Coliseum, the Trojans choked harder than the Dodger bullpen. USC was up by 9 points with less than three minutes to go. When I checked my phone 10 minutes later, I thought it was broken because it said the Trojans had lost 38-34 to ASU. Unbelievable. USC’s defense got torched all game, giving up 541 yards, including a 46 yard hail mary to Jaelen Strong to win the game. It was devastating for Trojan fans, but this is who USC is. They aren’t some national championship or even conference championship contender. The loss to Boston College shouldn’t have happened. The loss to ASU should have happened, just maybe not in the way that it did. Sark is rebuilding, and it’s gonna take time. I know when I saw this I was thinking “Fight Oh…hahah”….
Elsewhere around the college grid iron, it was black saturday for teams in the top 10, as 5 of the top 8 were upset. That means that after my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame got by Stanford, they are now 5th in the country. The Irish can make you bang your head into a wall for the majority of the game, only to make you wanna chest bump that same wall when its over. Katy Perry on ESPN’s College Game Day was actually pretty hilarious for those of you that missed it. Equally hilarious were the losses by LSU, Michigan, Alabama, and Oregon. I think this sums up the weekend…
On to the NFL, where we had another Thursday night beat down with Minnesota getting destroyed by Green Bay. Vikings fans hadn’t seen a beating that bad since they let Adrian Peterson babysit their kids. The Chargers might be one of the best teams in the NFL, while Jets fans are longing for “the glory days” or Mark Sanchez. I guess the Giants and Cowboys might not be as bad as we thought. The Saints are a sorry bunch for barely getting by Tampa Bay at home. The 49ers have definitely come back to the rest of the pack, and much of it has to do with the players getting tired of Jim Harbaugh. And last night is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t write off the Patriots from winning the AFC East once again.
Great start to training camp for the Lakers. Nick Young tore ligaments in his thumb, and he’ll be out for the next 6-8 weeks after having surgery. You do realize that Nick Young is actually going to be the Lakers 2nd best player this year right??? No really, this is what it has come to. On the bright side, Steve Nash hasn’t gotten injured in the last five minutes, which has to be some kind of record.
The NHL season begins this week for the Kings and Ducks. I see the Ducks having another great regular season and coming up short again in the playoffs, in typical Bruce Boudreau fashion. The Kings will pace themselves during the season, since they partied their asses off all summer, and be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time. However, all of those playoff games the Kings have played over the last three years will likely catch up to them and hurt their pursuit of another cup.
Finally, the season premier of Homeland took place last night. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it yet, but it had what appears to be a very promising story line. I was skeptical of the show without Brody and his family, however, it’s looking like it will pull fans back in. As disturbing as this scene was, when Carrie momentarily thought about drowning her baby, I felt like that demonstrated a great deal about her psychological state. Why haven’t Carrie and Quinn hooked up yet? You know that is coming next. I’m looking forward to seeing how the plot develops now that Carrie is once again going back to Pakistan.