Monday Morning Coffee

July 22, 2019

The Lakers reportedly feel like they “got played” by Kawhi Leonard when he decided to join the Clippers. It’s this type of ridiculous logic that qualifies you to be the owner of the Lakers these days. Kawhi was clearly not going to go play for the Clippers unless they acquired another star, which they did at the 11th hour. Had they not, he likely would have joined the Lakers. The idea that Kawhi dragged out this process so that the Lakers would miss out on other free agents makes no sense. Kawhi would be hurting any team he joined by dragging out the process. This type of flawed logic also qualifies people to be NBA journalists these days as well. Nevertheless, Rob Pelinka deserves credit for recovering the way he did after he was spurned by Leonard. It sure would be nice though if Andre Iguodala got bought out and joined the Lakers. That would further vault them into title contention.

The Clippers are finally going to introduce Kawhi Leonard and Paul George this week. For a team that is trying to grow it’s fan base, what the hell took so long? I was beginning to think that the press conference was going to happen right around the all-star break at this rate. Kawhi probably asked if he could just Face Time for the press conference given how much he seems to enjoy the media. Meanwhile, Jerry West claimed that the Clippers are the best organization he’s ever worked for. This was clearly meant as a shot at not only the Warriors and Grizzlies, but most definitely the Lakers. Come on Jerry, nobody really believes that you believe that. We know you’re angry and making a prisoner of the moment statement. Still, it’s sad to see arguably the greatest executive in league history get away from the most storied franchise.

To baseball where the Dodgers keep winning but their bullpen is looking more and more disastrous by the day. You know it’s bad when Kenley Jansen admits things will be great when he and Joe Kelly start pitching better. You also know it’s bad when Clayton Kershaw expressed disappointment in their performance on Saturday, costing him a win. The question isn’t whether or not Andrew Freidman will try to fix the problem, it’s whether or not he’s going to shop at the 99 Cent Store to fix it. Friedman always goes dumpster diving for garbage relievers that never actually fix the problem LA has had for the past 5 years. That’s why it’s hard for me to imagine him actually paying the price to get a Felipe Vazquez, Brad Hand, or Will Smith. In reality, the Dodgers probably need two of those guys in the pen to give themselves a real postseason chance.

As for the Angels, they finally parted ways with Matt Harvey, after he pitched another disastrous outing. It turns out the Halos didn’t really sign the Dark Knight. Instead they signed the Joker, who burned about $28.5 million on useless pitching. Harvey and his $11 million salary was DFA’d, so was $8.5 million Closer Cody Allen, while $9 million Trevor Cahill was moved to the bullpen. Angel starters have gone an MLB worst 4.2 innings per game. The passing of Tyler Skaggs and the continuous trips to the IL by Andrew Heaney have made it even worse. There’s just no starting pitching for this team, and they won’t be a threat to do anything until they get some.

Arash Markazi is solid reporter, and as good of a guy as they come in the industry. However, his article in the LA Times yesterday about LA entering a “Golden Age” for sports rivalries is way off. Arash claims that the Galaxy and LAFC is currently a great rivalry, and cited Angels-Dodgers, Clippers-Lakers, and Rams-Chargers, as other solid inter-city rivalries. I couldn’t disagree more. While the Galaxy and LAFC is looking more promising, the Lakers and the Clippers haven’t even played a game yet with their new look rosters, so let’s slam the brakes on that one. Last time the Clippers put together “Lob City” it was “Flop City”. The Angels and Dodgers is more of a marketing manufactured rivalry, but no on-field rivalry. The Angels aren’t close to competing for anything, and nobody believes Cody Bellinger is better than Mike Trout. Rams and Chargers isn’t a rivalry either because the Chargers have no fans, and the teams are pretty friendly with each other. The Kings and Ducks had a very nice rivalry going a few years ago, but now they both stink, and the same goes for UCLA and USC. I’m not seeing much of a “golden age” here.

The Chargers might be toast in their negotiations with Melvin Gordon. If Gordon requests that the Bolts play in front of at least 200 fans at every home game, they are out of luck. No way 200 Charger fans exist in SoCal anymore, let alone getting 200 to go to a game. The Chargers are about 10th on the list of teams to support in Los Angeles, coming in right after the Sparks and an Intramural Sand Flag Football team in Marina Del Rey.

Watching Tiger Woods limp up and down the fairway at The Open Championship this weekend was just sad. It was only 3 months ago that he gave us a nice flashback by winning The Masters. However, his inability to physically recover between tournaments, while also not being healthy enough to consistently play between majors is preventing sustained success. The man has become less effective in the cold than Jared Goff. When I hear phrases like “Father Time” and “trying to prolong my career” out of his mouth, I’m fearing that we may have seen the last major title of his career this year. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

Finally, The Bachelorette went down on ABC last week and it’s back tonight. ABC just trolled everyone so hard when Hannah appeared to send Luke home, only to show him in the previews for the next show. Then again, if Tyler ends up punching Luke when this is all over, it will be totally worth the wait. I’m not sure we’ll ever look at windmills the same way again after Hannah told us about her adventures in one. Tyler’s pants are definitely tighter than Luke P’s grip on reality. Looks like Luke’s sex shaming strategy didn’t work out so great. Windmills and Luke are now the biggest rivalry in Bachelor/Bachelorette history. Jed was really struggling to get through that date without his guitar. This is getting more entertaining as we’re getting down to the end, despite the fact Hannah B herself is underwhelming as a Bachelorette.

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