August 10th, 2015
The Dodgers need to bring back their slogan “A Whole New Blue” from two years ago. That’s because this team is more painful to watch than having blue balls. This weekend’s series against the Pirates was a perfect example of that. The Dodgers are a good team, but they don’t look ready to beat a great team in October. After refusing to trade Yasiel Puig at the deadline, Don Mattingly is on the verge of benching him for his inconsistencies at the plate. If Puig were the real superstar we once thought he was, we could live with some of his stupid mental mistakes. However, now he’s just a guy. Then there’s rookie Joc Pederson, who is baseball’s new Adam Dunn. He’s either going to walk, strikeout, or hit a home run. Lately it’s been mostly strikeouts, and the only thing keeping Pederson in the lineup is his defense. This is all compounded by the fact that the bullpen is terrible. How many times do I have to see Joel Peralta give up a bunch of runs, then have that “I’m so disgusted with myself” look on his face? It doesn’t matter how much money the Dodgers have. They just don’t know how to play their cards right.
Then there’s the Angels. They had a relatively free drama week, but they are still chasing the Astros in the AL West, and they’ll also need to fend off the Rangers. First, the Astros made moves at the deadline to jumpstart their team, then Texas acquired notorious Angel killer Mike Napoli from Boston. I’m not sure what exactly Bill Stoneman is waiting for…..to turn 72 years old? The man has a part-time job and essentially has nothing to lose, yet managed to acquire every useless left fielder in the American League at the trade deadline. Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes is already tearing it up with the Mets. He sure would have been a nice bat to put next to Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Speaking of Albert Pujols, MASN’s Gary Thorne probably didn’t use the right adjective here on this play…..
To the NBA, where Kobe Bryant says the Lakers can “absolutely” make the playoffs this year. That is true assuming LA is playing NBA 2K in rookie mode. Kobe also said that he can envision himself finishing his career overseas before retiring. This would really be a complete no-brainer if he has the opportunity to do so. The Lakers are going to need some time to develop their young core. Kobe isn’t going to stick around for that beyond this year, especially if the Lakers are going to ask him to take a pay cut from the $25 million salary he’ll be making next season. The Black Mamba can easily go to Italy to play for an easy $50 million a year, where he’ll be playing a much less stressful 30 games a year or so. If Kobe knows he can’t win another title before it’s over, he should go for another payday. Speaking of Kobe, Brandon Armstrong is a former overseas player who recently made a video impersonating him. Armstrong has also made numerous other hilarious videos impersonating NBA all-star’s on the court, including Lebron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Tim Duncan. Even the Mamba thought this was hilarious….
College Football is underway, and that means camps have opened for both USC and UCLA. It absolutely blows my mind that Cody Kessler is in the preseason discussion as a potential Heisman Trophy Candidate. Never in my life have I seen statistics as deceiving as this guy put up. He has huge games against horrendous competition, and is nothing more than an average quarterback against real competition. He also doesn’t take too many chances throwing the ball down the field, so naturally, his interception numbers are going to be low. The Trojans have got some depth this year, but maybe not the star power they had in the past. The non-conference schedule is pretty weak early, but things get tough down the stretch with games at Notre Dame, at Oregon, and at home against UCLA. This has the makings of another 8 or 9 win season.
As for the Bruins, everything starts and finishes with true freshman quarterback Josh Rosen. By all accounts, this kid is going to be good, the questions is how much time will it take? The Bruins could be as good as an 8 or 9 win team if he learns slowly, or good enough to win the Pac 12 if he’s as good as advertised in his first year. The early trip to Arizona and the late trip to the Coliseum will determine who is going to come out of the Pac-12 South. The talent has been there for the last few years, it’s simply a matter of whether or not UCLA can come to play against the elite.
NFL Football is back! Ok sort of. We got to watch the Hall of Fame game last night, which everyone salivated over, even if we get to see the starters play for a few seconds. I’ve never really been a fan of attending preseason sporting events. You pay regular season prices to see talent that probably won’t be playing during the regular season. It’s even worse for season ticket holders, who are forced to actually buy those tickets with their season ticket packages. Meanwhile, Alden Smith was released by the 49ers this past week under their “23 strikes and you’re out” policy. Have the Cowboys signed him yet? With Arian Foster set to miss part of the season, the Colts are now projected to clinch the AFC South when their week 1 game kicks off. Amazing, Robert Griffin III has gone an entire hour at Redskins camp without suffering an injury, which sets a new personal best for him.
Finally, The GOP debate on Thursday night in Cleveland was simply epic television. It felt like I was watching an episode of Saturday Night Live, especially every time Donald Trump opened his mouth. Trump may end up hurting the Republican’s chances in the long run, but his presence alone is generating the biggest and most attentive audience in American politics at this point. In the most conventional of thoughts, most people would think Trump actually hurt himself with some of his smart ass comments. However, when you have so many new people engaged in politics that generally don’t come out to the polls for elections, all bets are off. There’s a great deal of frustration and anger that these new viewers have when tuning in, so in many ways, Trump is appealing to them. The real surprise was actually that Jeb Bush didn’t do much to give people a reason to go the polls and vote for him. There was simply nothing about him that set him apart. There were other candidates like Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina that did well, but nobody outshined Trump. I can’t wait for the next one of these in September. You knew it was going to be a great two hours when Trump opened with this…..