October 14, 2019
I was there and it was awful. Game 5 of the NLDS was like watching a horror movie where you see people make stupid decisions, and it’s only a matter of time before the killer brutally murders someone. Yes, Clayton Kershaw didn’t come through again in the playoffs, and we all feel terrible, but there’s a much larger portion of the blame that needs to go to Andrew Friedman. Friedman is telling Dave Roberts how to manage, and he decided they were going to use Kershaw in that game 5 the night before. Yes they went with their gut rather than analytics, but that resulted in more bad decisions like Friedman and Roberts usually make in October. If I have to ask Kershaw to pitch in the 7th and 8th inning of game 5, it means I didn’t build a good enough bullpen. The same issue Friedman has had every year he’s been with the Dodgers. Kershaw might not be the same player in the postseason, but Friedman’s failures are a large contributor to the Kershaw narrative.
Speaking of awful, that’s exactly what the Rams offense was yesterday against the 49ers. All those nerds at Comic Con scored more this weekend than the Rams did. It’s definitely time to start worrying. The Rams are 2.5 games behind the 49ers, and without Todd Gurley unleashed, the offense isn’t nearly as dynamic or dangerous. The offensive line is also a big issue, and once again, they gave Jared Goff no time to make throws. The best thing the Rams have going for them is their schedule. Even though they are on the road for the next month, they have winnable games at the Falcons and Bengals coming up, followed by a bye week to get healthy. The number of 49ers fans at the game was also alarming, but I would chalk this one up to LA fans having PTSD from the Dodgers, and the Rams off to a so-so start.
On the other hand, I’m not sure what’s the Chargers excuse is for sucking and having no fans. The Chargers played a Steelers team that was playing their 3rd string quarterback, and they got blown off the field. You would think the Bolts would take the money they saved by not paying Melvin Gordon and pay for an offensive lineman or two, but no. I’m not sure if the Chargers decided to kick a field goal when they were down 24-0 because they thought it would be a good strategic move, or because they wanted to avoid the embarrassment of being shutout “at home”. The Chiefs aren’t even running away with the division anymore, but the Bolts are doing nothing about it. Philip Rivers has more children than the Chargers had fans that attended the game. Go back to San Diego already and take the Clippers with you.
Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 6, after losing to the Jets, the Cowboys have been relegated to the XFL. After the Eagles lost to the Falcons, Philly will need to make another “rage room” for their fans to break things like the Flyers did. Remember when we were told Baker Mayfield was an MVP candidate and the Browns were Super Bowl contenders? Me neither. I’m sure the Dolphins will be voting for Bernie Sanders. Under his plan, any team with 12 or more wins will have to donate a win to Miami. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota came into the NFL in the same year, and come out of the NFL in the same year. Both are now turnover machines.
We’re just a week away from the NBA season getting underway, and the Lakers have to be holding their breath already on Anthony Davis. AD injured his thumb in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Nets. Somebody needs to put this man in bubble wrap until the season starts. This team can win the NBA title , but they are going to have to run the perfect race. Not expending too much energy during the regular season, getting guys rest and keeping them healthy, but winning enough games to have favorable position in the West. Sooner than later though, Frank Vogel is going to have to play a real rotation in the preseason so this team can build some chemistry. Until then, Dwight Howard will be playing video games, slamming candy, and buying more snakes.
Oh by the way, the Clippers have also been playing NBA preseason games. Were you aware? Did you care? Well it just so happens the Clippers lost by 20 points to the Nuggets in the preseason. If the Lakers lost by 20 points in the preseason, the media would spend the next week talking about how Anthony Davis and Lebron have no chemistry, how the Lakers are dysfunctional, and can’t defend anybody. Meanwhile, nobody says anything about the Clippers because nobody gives a damn about them. Actually, the only time somebody feels the need to comment on them, it’s usually to ask the question of whether or not they are better than the Lakers, or to slander the Lake Show. That should tell you everything about their relevance in the LA sports landscape.
Then there’s the crisis the NBA is dealing with in China. We just spent the last couple of seasons hearing the players and the league stand up for freedom, freedom of speech, human rights, and racial equality. Now that China is a massive financial partner for the league, everyone is afraid to express how they really feel and rally behind Daryl Morey’s tweet against China’s dictatorship. I’m not saying the league doesn’t have a right to play it safe and not take a political stance because the financial implications are so great. However, when this is over, the league and the players shouldn’t be parading around pretending like they are political and social crusaders. Otherwise, nobody would be able to take them seriously.
I hear local grocery stores in LA are offering free tickets to USC games with their purchase of $35 or more of groceries. That’s perfect so Trojan fans can cover their heads with the grocery bags during the games. USC didn’t embarrass themselves on Saturday against Notre Dame, and their talent helped keep them in the game against a good team, but their coaching couldn’t help them win it. Not sure why Clay Helton believes in running back by committee when Markese Stepp is averaging 7 yards a carry. Don’t be surprised if Notre Dame sneaks into the College Football Playoff again. They just moved up to 8th in the AP Poll, and 4 of the 7 teams in front of them are going to play each other before the season is over. Carol Folt was ready to fire Clay Helton then she got distracted checking out referees.
Finally, another episode of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it. It was a little earlier than I thought, but I loved seeing an episode fully dedicated to the Alpha backstory. I’d love to see one dedicated to Negan as well. The fact that Lydia cleans herself off and Alpha doesn’t says everything about her character. Anybody else think Alpha was going to savagely squeeze that woman’s head like a grape? She was just playing with human remains like she’s peeling potatoes on a Sunday afternoon. Beta is like a cross between Michael Myers and Jason from Friday the 13th. Maybe the weirdest moment in 10 seasons of the show was seeing Alpha and Beta hold hands. Bummer we didn’t get to see who Beta is under the mask, but overall, good episode. Now somebody get this woman some skin care products immediately.