October 16, 2017
The Dodgers did what they absolutely had to do. They won their first two home games of the NLCS. With the next three in Chicago, the Dodgers will be fortunate just to win one, and that would be perfectly fine. However, with Corey Seager out of the lineup for the series, the Dodgers are suddenly hitting like little leaguers. Losing Seager means we’re going to see more of Curtis Granderson and Joc Pederson, both of whom are just terrible. The Dodgers left so many runners in scoring position last night, it would make any fan want to throw furniture across their living room. The pitching has held up for LA, but this series is far from over. The Cubs have been the best team in baseball during the 2nd half of the season. The Cubs also have some big game pitchers that may not have performed well during the regular season, but that have the ability to come up big in October. However, with Yasiel Puig doing his best Hank Aaron impression, and Justin Turner providing the heroics, it’s hard not to like the Dodgers’ chances of getting to the World Series. Beating Houston without Corey Seager though is another story.
The Rams not only won on the road yesterday, but their defense even made a “special celebrity guest appearance.” This team isn’t going away. The Rams are making us look foolish for doubting them, and suddenly, the NFC West is in more trouble than Harvey Weinstein. Jared Goff didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he didn’t turn the ball over, and Todd Gurley continued to be productive on the ground. I’m still baffled at why the Rams acquired Sammy Watkins. If the team had no plans to use him, then why give up the draft pick they did for him? I think they should consider moving him at the trade deadline to get a draft pick back, since Watkins is serving as nothing more than a human pylon right now. The Rams next game against Arizona, in London, is going to be another tough one, but there’s no reason to think they can’t find the win column again if they play solid football like they have been.
Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders engaged in a riveting battle for the 9th and 10th pick in this year’s NFL draft in Oakland. I like how the league decided they would rather both teams suffer lung damage than face the embarrassment of playing a game in San Diego. The Chargers two wins have come against one of the worst teams in the NFL, and a Raider team that is sinking like the Titanic. I think the Chargers are also starting to wish they could play on the road every week, because they probably have just about as many fans in that stadium as they do during their usual home games.
Elsewhere around the NFL, the Packers can kiss their Super Bowl hopes goodbye after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. They would probably sign Bart Starr before signing Colin Kaepernick. The Saints and Lions game was the equivalent of a Charlie Sheen cocaine bender. Adrian Peterson rose from the dead for Arizona and pretended like it was 2009, leading the Cardinals to a win. The Browns only choice is contraction after losing again. Even though the Patriots beat the Jets, Bill Belichick is debating how many players he’s going to trade to the Browns for 2084 7th round picks after nearly losing. The Dolphins not only defeated the Falcons, but Kiko Alonso found love……
The Trojan football team “won” on Saturday against Utah, but it may actually hurt them in the polls. That first half was sloppier than a Thursday night on fraternity row. Another totally undisciplined performance filled with three turnovers was salvaged by the heroics of Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones III. If you played a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time it was 3rd and 10 for the Trojans, you would be dead by the 3rd quarter. Darnold needs to go to the NFL and take Tee Martin with him. The Trojans should win the Pac 12 South, but it’s hard to have much confidence in them winning anything meaningful beyond that at this point.
I’ve gotta hand it to UCLA football. Just when you think they can’t embarrass themselves anymore, they find a way to take it to a new level. This time getting dominated by Arizona, giving up 457 yards on the ground. I guess now that classes have started since UCLA is on the quarter system, not only does the performance of the student athlete suffer, but apparently so does that of the defensive coordinator. The Bruins can’t even block and tackle anymore, two of the basics that Jim Mora assured us would be elite when building the program. Mora has had every opportunity to keep his job in a Pac 12 South that is far more average than we thought, but can’t turn the season around. I’m not even convinced that Dan Guerrero cares, but he should get an ear full from angry alums.
Speaking of embarrassments, the US failed to qualify for the World Cup last week after their loss to Trinidad & Tobago. There’s about 4 million Americans who are going to pretend like they are outraged and then forget about it for the next 4 years. Those 4 million people are also probably confused at how we lost to “both” Trinidad and Tabago at the same time. So much for building on the success of the last World Cup. We just don’t care to invest what other countries do in soccer, and we should be ok with it. Taylor Twellman on the other hand is going to have an aneurysm over the whole thing….
We’re just a couple of days away from the NBA season. Spoiler alert! The Warriors are going to win the title again. There is some hope for the Lakers though. That’s because “Kuzmania” is taking over. I do think Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball will help the Lakers get a lot closer to the playoffs this year, but not actually in the postseason. If the Lakers can win 35-40 games this year with a strong showing from those three players, they will be a viable destination for next summer’s top free agents. That’s truly the best they can hope for because the Lakers have no 1st round pick this season, and they are putting all their eggs in that free agent basket. Luke Walton did say he was undecided on the starting lineup. Hopefully he’s not undecided on his team playing defense because judging from the preseason, there isn’t much of it being played.
Then there’s the Clippers, who seem to be convinced they have a playoff team. The only playoffs this team will be seeing will be in their living rooms come April. Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, and DeAndre Jordan sound like an intriguing front court duo. They’ll only be intriguing if they can all stay healthy, and that’s doubtful for Danilo and Blake. There’s a lot of whispers about how good of a coach Doc Rivers really is, and whether the Clippers have constructed any kind of real organizational success. Now that CP3 is gone, we’ll find out real soon if that is the case, or if the Clippers are still gonna clip.