Monday Morning Coffee

August 8, 2022

Well we’ve reached August and the entire NBA is still being held hostage by Kevin Durant. However, now that’s it’s August, Lebron James is eligible to sign an extension of up to 2-years. I know there are some of you out there that think the Lakers should trade him and start over, or just let him walk, but let’s be real: you’re all crazy. Lebron may be 37 years old, but he is still a top 3 NBA player, and on any given night, could be the best baller in the association. You don’t trade him when you’ve still got Anthony Davis paired with him. You’re forgetting that it’s actually a lot easier to find capable role players than it is to find superstars. The Lakers have two stars and just need capable role players. That might seem impossible, because it would take trading away Russell Westbrook, which sounds too hard, but it’s actually not as impossible as you think. The Lakers may not be much of anything right now by Lakers standards, but they also might not be as far away as you think.

In baseball, the Padres traded for Juan Soto last week, which got me thinking: the Padres remind me a lot of the Clippers. By adding Juan Soto the Padres can boast a lineup with Soto, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis, and even Josh Bell. That sounds nice on paper, but even before that trade the Padres were talented, and did nothing. They are even more talented now, but so far, doesn’t look like it will get them to compete with the elite of the NL. Same goes for the Clippers, who traded for Kawhi and Paul George three years ago, but it hasn’t worked so far. That’s not to say that eventually those moves can’t still work, but we’ve yet to see it pay-off for either franchise.

I’ll get to everything Vin Scully in just a moment, but first the Dodgers. They made no moves at the trade deadline, which frankly, isn’t the worst thing in the world. The Dodgers have the best record in baseball, and for the past week, made the Giants and Padres look like Little Leaguers. They certainly didn’t need Juan Soto. Could they have used some pitching or another closer? Of course. You can never have enough pitching. However, they have a boat load of players coming back from the IL: Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Blake Treinen, Edwin Rios, Dustin May, and Walker Buehler. That’s an entire all-star team of players that can help. Considering the Dodgers have some transcendent level prospects in their system, there’s really no need to make a panic move and mortgage the future when they are still elite in the present. Clayton Kershaw’s back is a concern, but at least it’s not his arm, he’s got time before the playoffs start to recover, and the Dodgers don’t live and die anymore with each of his playoff starts.

I was extremely saddened by the passing of Legendary Dodger Broadcaser Vin Scully last week, but also, feel so privileged to have heard him. The man was 94 years old, and you have to feel happy for him that he worked all the way up until 88, and still got to spend time with his wife before he passed. This man could read a phone book, and make it interesting. That’s how good of a story teller he was, and his stories were fascinating during every game. I also love the fact that Scully was not a homer. He called it like it was during the game. An exciting moment was an exciting moment, regardless of whether or not it was the Dodgers or their opponents. The same can be said for fellow legendary LA broadcasters Chick Hearn and Bob Miller. This is not normal. You rarely get a hall of fame broadcaster working for your team. LA had three amazing ones. We are beyond spoiled here, but more than anything blessed to be LA Sports fan, especially thanks for Scully.

Meanwhile, the trade deadline came and went for the Angels, who sold off some spare parts: Noah Syndergaard, Raisel Iglesias, and Brandon Marsh for some prospects they hope will become useful. The real criticism they are receiving is that they should have traded Shohei Ohtani, which could have jump started the franchise with a boat load of high end blue chip prospects. However, their strategy unfortunately looks like it’s going to be nothing more than “rinse and repeat”, by just trying to fill holes this summer by signing free agents. That is unlikely to work for two reasons: there are too many holes, and Arte Moreno can’t outspend enough teams competing for elite players. Then again, the more I watch the Angels, the more I wouldn’t want Moreno to spend more money, because he spends it so poorly. Instead, he should be spending on scouting and player development. Half the Angels lineup on Saturday afternoon was hitting under .200. That just goes to show you what little depth this franchise has, and its lack of resourcefulness. I can’t see much changing without or without an Ohtani trade, as long as this fundamental structure remains in place.

In the NFL the Rams are continuing training camp at UC Irvine, as they get ready to take on the Chargers in their 1st pre-season game on Saturday. However, there is real concern about the elbow of Matthew Stafford. Sean McVay described it as “abnormal” which makes me wonder how this dude is going to last until February. It almost sounds like a baseball injury, that could potentially need Tommy John surgery. At this point every one of those 50 yard no-look passes I see him throw make me wonder if his arm is going to fall off like he were pitching for the Angels.

There’s a massage therapist convention that went on in Cleveland this weekend. DeShaun Watson must think this is some horrible joke the city is playing on him, and he probably desperately wanted to get into that convention. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers mentioned he’s taking psychedelics, but he didn’t really need to tell me that it’s helping him be a better lover.

Finally, there’s only two episodes of Better Call Saul left. I have to say, the last two episodes have been a little disappointing and unnecessary. We had a great build up in the story line with Kim and Jimmy, they break up …..yea spoiler alert…….and then all we see are a series of flash forwards and flashbacks. Other than providing some nostalgia for Breaking Bad, the flashbacks and flash forwards are doing nothing for the story. Hopefully we’ll see a strong finish in the last two episodes for what’s been a great series.

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