Monday Morning Coffee

September 30, 2019

Here we are. End of the baseball regular season, and I’m not sure how any of you aren’t dreading what we’re going to see. Dave Roberts just told us that Kenley Jansen is still an elite closer. I can’t tell if he’s serious, or if he’s auditioning for the White House Press Secretary job. Joe Kelly has been so bad in the last month that he should be downgraded from a lower body injury to a “total body injury”. Verdugo, Hill, and Turner are all hurt, Lux and Smith are in a slump. If you’re not worried you’re an Astro or Yankee fan. Just getting out of the NL is going to be tough enough with the flaws the Dodgers have.

Meanwhile, the Angels mercifully wrapped up their season yesterday. The latest noise surrounding the Halos is whether or not they will pursue Joe Maddon and replace Brad Ausmus. I didn’t really think managing was the problem until I heard Ausmus defend Pitching Coach Doug White the other day by saying “He’s good but learning the in-game stuff.” Dude that came with 6 games left in the season, and the guy is still trying to figure it out! Maddon might help a little, but most GM’s like Billy Eppler just want a “yes man” who can read the instructions off a spreadsheet. Maddon is not that. However, what the Angels really need is a boatload of pitching and several more David Fletchers to compete.

To the NFL, where the Rams didn’t have it yesterday against the Bucs. I know inflation is a real killer, but apparently $194 million doesn’t buy what it used to. Yesterday it got the Rams four turnovers from Jared Goff, which each resulted in Bucs touchdowns, and a loss to the wildly inconsistent Jameis Winston. Of course Ndamukong Suh’s biggest play at the Coliseum came against the Rams, rather than when he was with them last season. If Jared Goff is under pressure or faces bad weather, he’s clearly not the same quarterback. Pressure was the culprit yesterday. Suddenly things are looking really cloudy for the Rams: a banged up secondary that got torched against the Bucs, and now they have to go on the road to face Seattle in a short week. This team has a lot of work to do if they have aspirations of getting back to the Super Bowl.

Had the Chargers lost that game to the Dolphins yesterday they should not have been allowed to come back to LA. Having the Dolphins on the schedule is a gift wrapped win for any NFL team, and the Bolts desperately needed it after a rocky 1-2 start coming into the game. Melvin Gordon is back with the team, but the guy looks like a fool. He’s making $5 mill this year, held out for $14 mill, the Chargers offered him $10 mill, and he didn’t accept. The Bolts pulled their $10 mill offer, and now he’s coming back to the team with his tail between his legs rather than holding out until November, when he has to report. I guess there were only so many cameo appearances he could do on Ballers before deciding to come back. The good news for the Bolts is they play a bunch of scrub teams in the Broncos and Steelers at home the next two weeks, so they can bank a few more much needed wins.

Elsewhere around Week 4, after watching yesterday’s Redskins-Giants game it’s clear that Jon and Jay Gruden have more in common than just their last name. Dwayne Haskins was probaly making more money at Ohio State. The Patriots got by the Bills, and Josh Allen got hit so hard he thought he was back at Wyoming. Cam Newton should enjoy his time off, but at this rate he might not have a job when he returns. Christian McCaffrey is the real Superman. The Browns beat the Ravens, but Jarvis Landry is nothing but drama. He made a business decision to not get hit, resulting in a Baker Mayfield interception. Of course karma came back to get him when he suffered a concussion later in the game.

On to College Football where USC was beaten down by Washington over the weekend in Seattle. The final score of 28-14 was really not indicative of just how badly USC was dominated. In reality, the beating was so bad that somebody probably should have called child protective services. Clay Helton is not good coach, and his comments around improving discipline early in the season are laughable now given all the penalties his team takes. That’s not to mention the fact he isn’t developing anybody, and his schemes stink. It’s gotten so bad that the truly elite recruits are losing confidence in the school’s ability to develop and are now going elsewhere. Firing him now won’t matter, but I think it’s safe to say he will be replaced when the season is over. SC is a perfect 19-0 at the Coliseum when Reggie Bush is on the field, including last week when Bush was on the Fox telecast. Maybe they should pay him to take up residence there? Oh wait they already did that!

Then there’s UCLA, who reminded everyone that they still are a bad football team after losing to Arizona. You thought for just a second that Chip Kelly remembered how to coach. Then he said “hold my beer”, and gave up 451 yards to an Arizona team that started their backup quarterback. Speaking of backup quarterbacks, you think Dorian Thompson-Robinson isn’t very good? Wait until you see how bad Austin Burton is. The worst part about this is that Chip Kelly looks like he doesn’t even care. I guess it’s easy not to when you know you have $20+ million guaranteed to you over the next 4 years. This man has completely gutted the program of top-tier talented upperclassmen and for what? So he can lose games every week to mediocre competition? This embarrassment has no end in sight.

To the NBA, where the Lakers held their media day on Friday. I don’t know if the Lakers are ready for the start of the season, but they sure sound like they are ready. This year there is much less noise from Magic Johnson, less questions about the future of the young core, and more focus around what this team needs to do to contend for a title. However, I find stories about whether or not Anthony Davis will re-sign with the Lakers laughable at this point. I realize some of these writers need clicks, but apparently logic is not something these writers use. AD shares an agent with Lebron James. Lebron James made Rich Paul. As long as Lebron James remains with the Lakers, which is guaranteed for the next two years, AD will remain a Laker. It’s as simple as that. One thing that is concerning however is the Lakers preseason trip to China. That sounds cool until you realize it’s a sure way to start the season slowly. Have you ever been to China? Unless you enjoy eating fried snakes and scorpions, it’s crummy food and weeks of jet lag guaranteed after coming back.

Finally, speaking of the NBA, ESPN did their annual NBA player rankings. As usual these rankings we’re clearly not based on a damn thing other than who these writers hold a grudge against, what they remember from watching the last 5 mins of NBA basketball, what Siri and Alexa told them, and what will get them the most clicks. That probably explains why these morons named Giannis as the best player, followed by Kawhi, who shut down Giannis in the Eastern Conference Finals a few months ago. That stupidity was also in full effect by putting Harden over Steph Curry, after Steph has changed basketball the last 5 years, and Klay Thompson being ranked as the 49th best player. I can just see Kevin Pelton, Jackie MacMullon, Brian Windhorst, and Kirk Goldsberry, taking a swig of tequila and having a good laugh while coming up with this list.

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