Monday Morning Coffee

August 19, 2019

I feel terrible for DeMarcus Cousins. He was working his tail off to get back to being an elite NBA player, and now he gets another devastating injury. I thought this was much worse for him and his career, than for the Lakers. That was until I found out that the Lakers have interest in Dwight Howard as a replacement, and Dwight Howard has interest in the Lakers. I now have interest in throwing up in a paper bag. Dwight is probably the biggest douche bag in Laker history, and has become one of the most unlikable players in the NBA. You don’t need to read Jock Talk LA to find this out, you can just go ask other NBA players, who dislike him as well. At one point he was an elite big man in an era where the traditional big man was becoming extinct, but that was 10 years ago. In a season where everyone needs to get along so Anthony Davis will re-sign, the last thing you want is some locker room cancer like Dwight. I’d rather have someone like Joakim Noah for the same price, similar production, and less risk.

Meanwhile, the Clippers started selling single game tickets this week, and lost their minds when it came to pricing. They set ticket prices for all the Laker games at above the secondary market. “That’s A Bold Strategy Cotton”, but a stupid one. If the goal is to get more Clipper fans into the building when they host the Lakers, then this is a massive fail. Clipper fans have always appreciated the fact their ticket prices are more affordable than the Lakers, especially with the “Hollywood crowd” they attract. Now it’s going to be tough for all 6 Clipper fans to afford to attend any of the home games against the Lakers.

To baseball where the Dodgers are still trying to sort out the mess that is their bullpen. It’s gotten so bad that Kenley Jansen is even losing his grip on the closer role. While Jansen isn’t being replaced, Dave Roberts is saying that his work load will be lightened significantly leading up to October. That’s also code for “let’s see if anybody else is capable of doing the job when it matters.” Their best hope is that the Dustin May bullpen experiment is a success, and that Julio Urias stops beating women and starts beating opposing hitters when he returns in September. That May experiment is definitely off to a bad start. May gave up a Grand Slam in relief yesterday. I also still can’t figure out why Andrew Friedman is obsessed with Joc Pederson. He has some pop, but he has a low OBP, low batting average, doesn’t steal bases, couldn’t play first base, yet he’s still leading off time and time again. There must be a bug in Friedman’s computer software.

Then there’s the Angels, whose problems are really bigger than pitching. As long as the Halos are saddled with the Albert Pujols and Justin Upton contracts for the next couple of seasons, Mike Trout might as well be sitting on the couch in October watching the playoffs with you and I. Billy Eppler might be rebuilding the farm system, but he’s constantly forced to bring up minor leaguers who aren’t ready, and either get injured or get their confidence shattered. When you combine all that with the atrocious pitching, its hard to have any faith that things are going to turn around anytime soon for the Angels.

We are rapidly approaching College Football season, but that might also mean several Trojans are approaching the end of their jobs. Has anyone seen USC’s schedule? They might win one of their first five games if they’re lucky. Then again, that might actually make them lucky because Clay Helton would be fired by then, and Lynn Swann would be gone by Thanksgiving. This season feels like a disaster just waiting to happen, but in the eyes of most USC fans, it probably needs to happen to turn things around. At least the first two games against Fresno State and Stanford are at night so that only a portion of the country will be awake to witness their embarrassing play.

As for UCLA Football, the schedule is even more brutal than the Trojans’. The Bruins could be a better team than last year, and easily be 1-5 to start the season. Games against Oklahoma, Cincinnati, and Washington State are almost guaranteed losses. Frankly, just beating a crummy USC team once again might feel like a monumental accomplishment for the Bruins. Then again, I’m not sure if this will sit all that well with the athletic department that is burning millions of dollars on Chip Kelly to lose a lot of football games every year. Kelly finally has the speedy team he is so accustomed to, but it remains to be see if he actually does anything with it this year. Last year his offense looked nothing like what we saw at Oregon, which isn’t exactly what Bruins fans hoped for.

Finally, there is very little to take away from the Rams preseason games. However, if there’s one thing I think we can safely conclude, it’s that Blake Bortles is still a very mediocre quarterback. If Jared Goff actually goes down with an injury, I hope Todd Gurley or Cooper Kupp can play QB. This man actually makes one believe that it is possible that you could play quarterback in the NFL. As much of a genius as Sean McVay is, I’m not sure he can help this guy make some of the throws that he misses. Let’s just hope the Rams can stay health this year.

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