Monday Morning Coffee

August 10, 2020

The Lakers clinched the West last week, and then proceeded to relax. Then after playing a couple of games like they were just out for some cardio at 24 Hour Fitness, the rest of you started panicking or thinking they weren’t really that good. Relax people. The Lakers can treat these games as exhibitions. It was only a week ago that they were playing really well, and beating really good teams like Utah and the Clippers. The Lakers actually played pretty well against Indiana, but toyed with their regular rotation more than usual. Lebron didn’t even play against Houston, and they clearly played like they didn’t care against OKC. Don’t get me wrong, if they have to go through Portland, Houston, and the Clippers just to get to the Finals, that’s a tough road. However, let’s not pretend like they shouldn’t be expected to win at least those first two rounds, if not win the whole thing. The bottom line is that I fully expect to see a much better Laker team a week from now when the playoffs start.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have mailed in some meaningless games of their own in the bubble. Are people worried about them too? I mean that’s how this works right? Oh that’s right Paul George didn’t play yesterday. Neither did Lebron on Thursday, when the Lakers lost to Houston. I guess people only care about Lebron and the Lakers. That’s the luxury of being a team that nobody cares about in the city of LA. The Clips have the talent to be there in the end, but the one thing everybody is overlooking is their chemistry. They haven’t had the time to build it, and the fact they keep getting guys in and out of the lineup means they still aren’t building it. Then there’s the very amusing back and forth between Damian Lillard and Paul George. Lillard eliminated Paul George and the Thunder last year, and basically called him a punk for changing teams where he has much less accountability. It’s funny because George thinks he’s Lillard. He’s far from it.

On to baseball where the Dodgers took 2 out of 3 from those Silicon Valley Snobs, the San Francisco Giants. The Boys in Blue have won 9 of their last 12, and have the third best record in baseball in this bizarre season. However, I will never understand those of you so called “Dodger fans” that root against Clayton Kershaw, and call him a choker. If Kershaw retired today, he would be one of the 5-10 greatest pitchers this game has ever seen. This isn’t the NBA, playoff success doesn’t factor into your legacy in baseball. This man is so great, that in a down year last year, he was better than 90% of baseball pitchers. When you suck, you get fired from your job. When Clayton Kershaw sucks, he’s still better than 90% of his competition. Not to mention the fact the guy is just such a good dude, how can you want him to fail? The Dodgers are good enough to not have to put all their success on him, but they need to make sure they put him in positions to succeed and not fail because of that. Saturday was a bad start, but every pitcher has those. On another note, the A’s and Astros had a huge brawl on Saturday. I’m sure this means Rob Manfred will suspend Dave Roberts for the season, and give Joe Kelly the death penalty.

As for the Angels, they stink. They have the worst record in the American League after getting swept by the Rangers, and they can’t do anything right. They have 6 guys that regularly see playing time in their lineup that are hitting under .200. I’m talking about dudes that are making enough money to buy a small country like Anthony Rendon, Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, and Shohei Ohtani. As if that’s not unacceptable enough, they are lucky if they can get a pitcher to go 5 innings these days. Dylan Bundy has been great, but you have no idea what you will get out of Andrew Heaney, Griffin Canning, or any of the little leaguers on the pitching staff behind them. At least they brought up Jo Adell to get some experience. It’s been a slow start for him, but it’s nice to see him giving a tribute to Jose Conseco with this bonehead play he made yesterday.

I’ve got bad news for you USC and UCLA football fans. You will likely have your head football coaches for the next two years. By the time you finish reading Monday Morning Coffee, it is likely that the entire College Football Season will be postponed, if not cancelled. That’s a shame, and it falls on the extremely poor leadership by the NCAA. This is going to devastate athletic departments around the country. It’s also going to devastate the fan bases of UCLA and USC who would give anything right now just to see Clay Helton and Chip Kelly fired. UCLA ran up a huge deficit in their athletic department. Now not having football is going to devastate that deficit even more. This program is quickly turning into the Lehman Brothers of college sports. I feel terrible for all the athletes that are going to suffer from this. I’m not sure what this means for ‘Bama though. Do they still have to pay their players under the table if the season is cancelled? I’m sure these Presidents would love to play football because it makes money, but if they did, they have no plausible deniability anymore in pretending like these kids are “amateur athletes” that shouldn’t get paid.

Finally, Shark Week 2020 is here! This is one week of television on Discovery that I have loved for decades. It’s also especially nice to get it during all the craziness going on in the world. However, I don’t need all these celebrity cameo appearances to enhance the experience for me. This isn’t Entourage, it’s Shark Week. I can appreciate the programs without seeing Mike Tyson, or Shaq. Besides, hasn’t anybody told Discovery that Black Lives Matter? Probably not a good message to send putting black people in the water with Sharks. In all seriousness though, I’m glad Discovery has gotten away from the sensationalizing of Shark attacks, and demonizing them like they did a fear years ago. It’s more factual, interesting, and exciting to watch now. As for Tyson, this guy gets in the water with Sharks, and now everybody thinks he’s ready to get back in the ring.

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