Monday Morning Coffee

November 5, 2018

All this time I thought Andrew Friedman was a heartless, soulless, computer nerd.  It turns out he’s just a computer nerd that can sometimes look beyond the analytics.  That’s exactly what he did when  he re-signed Clayton Kershaw to team friendly 3-year $93 million contract last week.  Kershaw might not be at the peak of his game, but he is still an excellent pitcher who can win a lot of games for the Dodgers.  He also has the ability to age gracefully since he’s already showed signs of re-inventing himself as a master of control and location.  This was a good move, and the Dodgers still have about $65 million more to spend.  They don’t need to spend that money on Bryce Harper or Manny Machado.  Instead, they should do everything they can to help their bullpen, and get a couple of contact hitters in their lineup.  Friedman and Farhan Zaidi could care less though, and they are probably still nerding it up at Blizzcon as you are reading this.

NBA journalism has gotten ridiculous.  Even Adrian Wojnarowski, the best in the business, manufactures a lot of details around his reporting.  This couldn’t be any more obvious from Woj’s story over the weekend that inferred that Luke Walton is on the hot seat.  Sorry Woj, but this story turned into something as worthless as Lavar Ball claiming that Luke Walton should be fired last year.  Even after losing to Toronto, Walton isn’t on the hot seat.  Just because Magic had a stern talk with Walton and is disappointed that he hasn’t seen certain things, doesn’t mean he’s going to replace him.  The Lakers’ schedule is about to get a lot easier, and their record should get better quickly.  They are also in better shape than Houston, which all of you loved.  By the way, everyone said Lonzo Ball sucked, will never learn to shoot, and should be traded because you don’t like his dad.  He’s shooting 41% from three this season.  Don’t lose your minds people.  It’s a long season.

To the NFL, where the Rams suffered a tough loss yesterday to the Saints, but it was a spectacular game.  That’s the way every NFL game should look like, and hopefully we get to see those two teams again in the NFC Championship game.  That Michael Thomas touchdown was a back breaker.  In case you missed it, Thomas hid a cell phone in the goal posts and pulled it out to celebrate after the TD.  He probably tried to call Marcus Peters, but couldn’t get through because Peters had no coverage! I don’t know what happened to Peters, but he’s not the same shutdown guy we thought he was in the first few weeks.  He hasn’t been the same since getting hurt.  The Rams probably could have won the game with a call or two going in their favor, like that fake punt run that fell short of the 1st down by inches in the 1st half.  Nevertheless, if the Rams don’t have home field advantage against the Saints in the playoffs, I don’t like their chances nearly as much.  I still think pulling out a cell phone is cheesy, even if it’s a tribute to Joe Horn.

It would have been so typical of the Chargers to blow that game agains the Seahawks yesterday.  Some teams have a curse at certain positions.  The Angels have a left fielder curse.  The Clippers have a small forward curse.  The Chargers clearly have a kicker curse.  No matter who their kicker is, they stink and cost them games.  That’s exactly where they are with Caleb Sturgis.  Not only should that guy be cut, but he should have to walk back to LA from Seattle.  I’m still not sold on this team, but the best thing going for them is their schedule.  They got handled by the Chiefs and Rams, yet got by the other garbage they’ve played.  Other than a couple of road games left against the Chiefs and Steelers, there’s not much preventing these guys from missing the playoffs.  Once they get there though, don’t expect them to do much, and don’t expect anybody to show up to their playoff game unless they are wearing the oppositions’ jersey.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 9, The Raiders’ defense got destroyed by a UPS driver on Thursday night.  Jon Gruden will probably trade 12 first rounders for him.  Matt Ryan finally realized he has Julio Jones & tossed a TD pass to him. The Bills fans who toss sex toys onto the field have a higher QB rating than Nathan Peterman.  It’s Week 9 and Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t shown up.  The man clearly doesn’t like money.  I guess the Jets coaches didn’t explain to Sam Darnold that he’s supposed to throw to the guys wearing the same jersey he is.  Don’t worry Sammy, you get to go up against the Bills next week.  Good to see Cam Newton showboating again. I’ll be sure to remember this when he starts complaining and acting like a crybaby when things don’t go his way.  The Browns have a new coach, but that isn’t changing how they play football.

To College Football where the worst possible combination of events happened to the USC Football program last week.  Athletic Director Lynn Swann gave Clay Helton a vote of confidence, the Trojans beat a crummy Oregon State team, and Utah lost opening the door for USC to win the Pac-12 South.    When you add in the fact that we turned the clocks back an hour on Sunday, it means that USC is just giving Helton more time to flounder in mediocrity.  Most USC fans wish they could have turned the clocks back to 2003 instead of just an hour.  You probably forgot, but the Trojans were a top 15 team when the preseason rankings came out.  I’m not even sure the Trojans are a top 15 team in the state of California right now.  This is a total embarrassment for the program, and it’s shocking nobody there has done anything about it, or sounds like they plan to.  This team is going to win 7 games if they are lucky and then get embarrassed in a bowl game.  The new USC Football everyone!

Then there’s the Bruins who got crushed on the road against Oregon.  I’d just like to point out that the first UCLA home win coincided with the sale of alcohol at the Rose Bowl.  This was a very sensible decision because everyone now realizes that you are going to need a lot of alcohol to be able to sit through any UCLA Football game the rest of the season.  This is just bad football.  Missed tackles, dropped passes, lots of penalties, and questionably unimaginative coaching.  The latter is the most alarming part of this whole equation.  However, if UCLA beats USC, Chip Kelly definitely gets a free pass this year.

To the NHL, where the LA Kings are a total disaster, which led to to the firing of coach John Stevens yesterday.  They are dead last in the league folks.  The worst in the league, even after Saturday’s win over Columbus.   The Kings should have just hired Byron Scott to coach them because they should be tanking and rebuilding instead of trying to convince people that they are still cup contenders.  They have the worst offense in the league, and are in the bottom 3rd of the league in defense.  All of their knowledgeable fans can see this, but right now the front office appears to be in denial more than anything.

Finally, a monumental episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  My mind is blown.  As I suspected, Rick survived getting impaled, but to my surprise, he didn’t die although he’ll be off the show!  The irony is however, he spent the whole episode searching for his family only to be taken away on a helicopter by trash lady, and never get reunited with those people who he fought so hard to find.   Typical TWD trying to screw with your emotions.  I’m changing my Facebook relationship status with AMC to “it’s complicated”.  They are also going to screw with you further with three AMC Walking Dead movies that Rick Grimes will star in.  Guess all you “Richonne” fans will also have to deal with the fact there won’t be a “Richonne Baby”.  Does this mean that trash lady is off the show too? It remains to be seen.  I have to give the writers credit though for using transforming Baby Judith into the new Carl, and carrying on the Grimes legacy.  I can get with this idea along with “Mamachone” and “Grandma Carol”.  I still have some skepticism, but I’m willing to give this re-invention a chance.


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