Monday Morning Coffee

August 19th, 2013

The Dodgers lost a game?  What do you mean they lost?  They never lose!  I thought they were supposed to go win every game the rest of the season?  Well, I suppose I can forgive them for losing the series finale to the Phillies yesterday by a score of 3-2, even after Hanley Ramirez made 2 errors in the 9th inning,  The Boys in Blue have still won 10 of their last 11 games, are 25-4 since the all-star break, and are a historical 42-9 in their last 51 games.  Do you realize how good this stretch is?  Going into Friday, the Dodgers had more wins in their last 48 games, than the Houston Astros had in their last 118 games!

Even with a 7.5 game lead though, yesterday’s loss did raise a few questions as LA aims for it’s first World Series title since the Jerry Curl was in.  Will Hanley Ramirez’ defense be an issue when it really matters?  Will Yasiel Puig’s aggressive style of play cost the Dodgers in the late stages of a critical game?  It sure did yesterday, as his failure to hit the cut off man led to the Phillies tying up the game.  Will Matt Kemp ever be healthy and effective, and how will he fit in when he returns?  And will the Dodgers bullpen continue to be effective despite a very heavy workload?  For all of these issues, only time will tell, but at this point, Dodger fans should be enjoying the ride.

Meanwhile, Angel fans aren’t enjoying much right now.  I had the misfortune of actually seeing this disaster in person on Friday night at the Big A, which was when the Angels lost their first of two games this weekend to the lowly Astros.  I’m not even sure the Astros are actually trying to win games right now, but it seems like every time these guys come to town, they give the Halos a beating.  Can anyone actually name 3 players on the Astros team?  1/5th of all of their wins this season have come against the Angels.  It’s clear that the Halos have already packed it in, and the hamstring injury to Mike Trout yesterday just pours a little more salt in the wound.

The only question now is what will be the fate of skipper Mike Scioscia and General Manager Jerry Dipoto.  On Friday night, the LA Times tried to get a comment from owner Arte Moreno regarding the job security of both these men, but Arte declined to speak on the topic.  This fact alone makes it clear that a change of some kind is probably coming at season’s end.  Nevertheless, regardless of who the new GM and manager are, turning this club around any time soon will be tough.

How awkward is this A-Rod situation?  Everyone knows the guy is an expensive, lying, cheating, phony, who’s teammates don’t want him around.  Still, he continues to show up to work, and is actually playing pretty well.  Yankees GM Brian Cashman even said yesterday that he isn’t really comfortable talking to A-Rod “because we feel we are in a litigious environment.”  It must suck to show up to work when nobody wants you there, even when you are doing your job well.

It’s that time of year again: fantasy football draft time!  I had my first of 4 drafts yesterday, and as most fantasy football participants know, it’s usually a celebrated event.  At the same time, the annual complaining from women I’ve dated comes hand in hand with this tradition.  “So let me get this straight.  You are spending the next 5 hours putting together a ‘fantasy’ team?  You know how ridiculous that is? You’re going to spend the next 5 months yelling at your phone, getting disappointed, and then yelling at me for no apparent reason!”  It’s true.  How many times do we end up yelling at our loved ones, or even our dogs, when it’s Philip Rivers we should be yelling at?  Then there’s those weekends when you end up yelling at your TV set like a mad man because your team got beat when the Bears defense scored 17 points to come back and beat you.  Then your foreign born neighbors are wondering what the hell you’re screaming about, then you have to actually explain the concept of fantasy football to them.  At that point, your neighbors walk away acting sympathetic towards you, but in the end, they are filing this one away as another reason they made a mistake in moving to this fast declining country.

Yesterday, via Twitter, we found out that Wayne Gretzky’s infamous daughter, Paulina, is now engaged to pro golfer Dustin Johnson.  I think the question most people are wondering is:  does this mean Paulina will stop posting provocative pictures of herself on the internet?  I’m sure the Great One hopes that is the case, while many other guys don’t.

After Usain Bolt helped Jamaica win the 4×100 meter relay yesterday in the world championships, he tied former US sprinter Carl Lewis with his 10th career medal.  Bolt won 3 gold medals this past weekend, also taking the 100 and the 200 meter races.  I hope this guy enjoys his fame while it lasts, because it’s only a matter of time before we find out he is on PED’s.  You can certainly compare pictures of Bolt when he was younger and see how he’s bulked up in a way that could only be achieved through PED’s.  Even more ridiculous are the world record times he’s been running, obliterating previous marks.  The Jamaicans are known to be pretty lax in their drug testing programs, and as someone who ran and coached track and field, I have a hard time believing someone with the lanky build of Bolt could run that fast.

14th IAAF World Athletics Championships Moscow 2013 - Day Nine

Finally, last night’s episode of Breaking Bad continued the wild ride for its fans.  It’s amazing how the last 6 episodes of the series appear to be a showdown amongst family members.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have it on DVR.  That showdown appears to be between Hank Schrader and his wife Marie, who are facing off against her sister Skyler, and the infamous Walter White.  Alliances are forming, which I have a feeling will be setting the stage for a shocking betrayal.  Will Walt kill his own wife Skyler?  Will he kill his brother in law Hank?  It appears not, after Walt immediately shot down his slimy attorney Saul’s idea to kill off his brother in law.  One also has to wonder whether or not Jesse Pinkman and Walt will turn on each other, even after Walt was almost a father figure for Jesse in previous seasons.  Remember though: Walter White has slowly transformed from a nerdy chemistry teacher, into a monstrous criminal master mind.  Along the way, he has blown up a nursing home, poisoned a child, and run over drug dealers in the streets to protect himself.  So when a family member is willing to put him in jail, I believe when push comes to shove, he will do whatever is necessary to protect himself.





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