Monday Morning Coffee

Hanley DP

August 5th, 2013

The Dodgers cannot be stopped.  They’ve won a franchise record 14 straight games on the road, and the last time that was done, Michael Jackson was black and the Republicans actually had a good president.   Since June 22nd, the Boys in Blue have won 31 of 38 games, and are a sizzling 14-2 since the all-star break.  What’s even more impressive is LA’s pitching staff, which hasn’t surrendered a run in the last 23 innings.  They have 6 starting pitchers that are throwing well, and they’ve helped the Dodgers open up a 5.5 game lead over Arizona in the NL West.

After this past weekends’ 4 game sweep over the Cubs, it appears the only thing that could derail the Dodgers are injuries.  Hanley Ramirez injured his right shoulder while diving into the crowd for a foul ball, and was seen leaving Wrigley Field with his arm in a sling.  The good news is that the injury was not to his left shoulder, which was the shoulder that he had surgery on previously.  He’ll be re-evaluated Monday.  Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig sat out yesterday’s game after injuring his thumb trying to be superman again the day before.   LA is hopeful Puig will be back in the lineup on Monday, and they’ll need him for a big week against the Cardinals followed by the Rays.

Well, then there’s lowly Angels.  Even though they took 3 of 4 from terrible Toronto, the Halos bullpen blew another game in the late innings yesterday.  That’s 4 times this week! It’s pretty hard for me to envision how this team is going to improve beyond this season.  There’s very few impact starting pitchers available on the free agent market this coming winter, and the Angels don’t have much money to spend because they blew their loads on Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.  Since those two guys are under contract for the next century or so, the Halos will have a big challenge trying to afford the $300 million contract that Mike Trout will have to sign then.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball is about to lay the hammer down on Yankees 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is linked to the Biogenesis performance enhancing drug scandal.  Sources say A-Rod will likely be suspended for the remainder of this season, as well as the entire 2014 season, which may end the 38 year old’s career.   I don’t have any sympathy for this guy after essentially getting caught not once, but twice, doing PED’s since baseball banned them.  I also have to give credit to commissioner Bud Selig, who for years has been known as one of the dumbest commissioners in sports, but is now stepping up his efforts to do the right thing and clean up the game.   I expect more drastic drug testing measures to be enforced in the MLB if they are serious about getting the cheaters out of their game.

Anybody that reads the LA Times sports section has to be wondering: Where has TJ Simers gone?  Simers has not written a column in 6 weeks, and the paper has not mentioned that he is on vacation under his columns, which is usually their protocol.   It now appears he may be let go this week.  Sports blogger Larry Brown reported last week that Simers’ boss at the LA Times is unhappy that he is doing work with Mandalay Sports Entertainment, most recently, a short video of his daughter participating in a free throw contest against Dwight Howard.    Simers is reportedly interested in launching a reality TV show about his family, in partnership with MSE, and this also isn’t sitting well with the big guys at the LA Times.  Love him or hate him, Simers is one of the most entertaining sports journalists in Southern California, and it would be a mistake for the paper to let him go.  Who else is going to badger Southern California athletes and coaches during post game press conferences?  Another quality columnist will depart, and the LA Times will move closer to their demise.  Here’s a look at his recent video….

Trying to choose a cable provider these days is like being forced to choose between a handful of drunk and ugly women at a bar.  Since Time Warner is in a dispute with CBS, that means if you are in Southern California, you aren’t receiving CBS, KCAL, or Showtime.  If you go with Direc TV, you’ll be forced to live without the Pac-12 Network, which is tough with college football coming up.  Dish Network has virtually no sports packages or channels, U-Verse doesn’t even have the NHL Network, and Cox just punishes customers with their prices.  Wait until the Dodgers launch their new channel on Time Warner in 2014, and then shit will really hit the fan.  These cable companies need to start offering their channels a la carte instead of packaging them with expensive other useless content.

Speaking of TV, Shark Week is airing on the Discovery Channel this week and it’s awesome!  I think at this point, Discovery should just give us Shark month.  I must say though, in recent years I’ve been a little disappointed in the amount of sensationalization that has gone on during the week, with many programs on shark attacks, and people who have told devastating stories about their limbs being torn off.    I’m terrified enough of Sharks, and don’t need to hear about this kind of stuff.  If anything, I want to hear more about what we’ve learned about these animals in recent years, which is incredibly fascinating.  I like what I saw last night, and watching scientists theorize about the estimated 60 foot Megaladon Shark was riveting.  Even better was watching video clips of mysterious attacks of fishing boats, which was like watching the Blair Witch Project on a boat.  Here’s a good Shark Week drinking games for you:

Shark Week Drinking

These are definitely the dog days of summer when it comes to sports stories.  That couldn’t have been more evident this week when Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was criticized by a celebrity gossip website for leaving only a $3 tip at a restaurant for a takeout order.  With that being said…..$3 for a takeout tip?  As far as I’m concerned, you’re lucky if you get a $1 from me as a tip on a takeout order.   Also, I love how restaurants and servers take the liberty adding in gratuity of 18-20%, and some insist that “20% is the minimum” one should be leaving.  Nice try.  Gratuity is simply predicated on performance.  If you did a good job, you’ll get rewarded.  If you didn’t, you’ll get little or nothing.  As for Brees, he’s one of the most stand up guys you will ever meet, and is the furthest thing from cheap.

Finally, I don’t understand all the hype about Sprinkles Ice Cream in Newport Beach.  For those of you unfamiliar, Sprinkles is an ice cream and cup cake place that’s been around for a while in Beverly Hills, but recently opened up in Newport.  People have been so excited about it, that they’ve been waiting 3 to 4 hours in line to get their ice cream!  I decided to go last week on a Monday night, and the wait was “only” 20 minutes.  Let’s just say I want my 20 minutes back.  Here’s what the line usually looks like:





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