Monday Morning Coffee

August 29, 2022

The Lakers made a notable move last week by acquiring Pat Beverley from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before I give you my current opinion of him as a player, I gotta remind you all that he told Steph Curry, “the next five years are mine” and then got traded five times. Putting all the trash talking and obnoxious antics aside, if I’m going to be completely fair, I don’t think Beverley is the All-NBA defender he was two years ago as he’s aged, but he can be a strong leader, and probably a better defender and shooter than many of the role players the Lakers had on their roster last season. Losing THT is tough, but he doesn’t fit the Lakers timeline, so I’m ok with trading him. I also don’t like to look back at the sunk cost of paying THT over Alex Caruso, like many of you are doing. It’s an upgrade to what they currently have, although it has it’s imperfections. As for Russell Westbrook, I fully expect him to be traded after this, and for several high caliber, albeit expensive role players. We’ll see if that comes to fruition before training camp, otherwise, media day is going to be very awkward.

To baseball where the Dodgers not only lost Walker Buehler for the season, but will likely be without hi for all of 2023. That’s difficult to stomach for most teams, however, the Dodgers are deep enough to still contend without him. We got more evidence of that over the weekend, when they dominated the Marlins. I’m not sure Mookie Betts ever wants to leave Miami, after crushing 4 home runs in three games, and looking every bit like not just the NL MVP, but also arguably the best player in baseball. It’s also really good to see Dustin May back in the rotation and looking like a serious ace of the staff. This team has enough starting pitching, and probably enough in the bullpen, but come October, it’s just a matter of whether or not they can hit elite pitching, and whether or not Craig Kimbrel can keep it together. I wouldn’t exactly bet my house on the latter.

As for the Angels, the big news that was revealed last week was that Arte Moreno looking to sell the club. This is actually the best news that Angel fans could hope for. Arte Moreno didn’t have the money to invest in the team and make them competitive. Namely, when it came to scouting and player development. While a new owner doesn’t guarantee them success, it almost assures them of having ownership that will have deeper pockets than Moreno, and more likely to have a better organizational infrastructure. The bad news though is that it make take a while to fix the damage that has been done, and that they may even lose Shohei Ohtani to free agency before new ownership gets into place. It also assures the Angels of likely being bad next season, and no major free agent spending this off-season. Also at that point, Mike Trout could be in his mid 30’s, and past his prime. It’s a rough outlook in the short-run, but in the long-run, this is what’s best to make the franchise more competitive again. Angel fans can at least have a parade down Main Street at Disneyland to celebrate the departure of Moreno. Knowing him, he’ll probably go on Shark Tank and ask the Sharks for a $2.5 billion investment in his underachieving team with two of the best player in the world.

Allen J. Schaben –– – Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno signs autographs and poses with fans as he attends Angel Fest 2004 Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 at Angel Stadium. Angel Fest continues Sunday.

I know it’s been a while since we saw UCLA Football, but here’s a reminder: Chip Kelly is still their coach. That’s not good. The Bruins won 8 games last year with a roster that was pretty good. USC was down, and they should have done more. This year, that roster isn’t nearly as good, even though they have an easier schedule. If they win 8 games with this team, I will be surprised. There’s more holes than swiss cheese on this roster, and it’s hard to imagine anything better than a middle of the road PAC-12 finish.

As for the Trojans, they should be much better this year with some elite coaching, but slow your roll on the expectations. USC is certainly a contender to win the division, and ultimately, the conference. However, to think they could compete for a National Title, or even a playoff spot at this junction is like believing in the Tooth Fairy. However, one thing USC can hang it’s hat on is the evolution of Lincoln Riley as a coach. Riley runs the air raid offense, and it’s known for not just evolution but misdirection. That’s something that was completely non-existent for USC under Clay Helton. That in itself is progress. It’s going to take some time to get back to where they should be as a program, but this is a good start.

Finally, I’m really excited about House of Dragons on HBO. There’s clearly a lot of pressure for it to live up to after a poor ending to Game of Thrones. However, the ratings are already there, as the first episode had ratings that were better than some of this years NBA Finals games. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching the first two episodes later. I fully expect Viserys to be dead within 6 episodes, if Game of Thrones taught us anything. Then I guess we can expect to see a lot of people getting killed. For that reason, better avoid naming your kids any characters in the show for now. I was sort of expecting the show to be about the Mad King, but then again, we already know what happened there. So this might actually be way more interesting in the long run. I’m sure everyone jumped out of their chair and did a little dance when they heard the Game of Thrones intro music at the start of the show. I don’t really like that look Alicent gave Rhaenyra like ” sorry bitch, I outsmarted you this time”. Feels like everyone is just pimping out their daughters at this point. The visual quality on this show has been incredible so far. This episode had a lot of backdoor politics, and ultimately, Viserys made an interesting choice to choose House Hightower instead of House Velaryon, which would have made way more sense politically. Looking forward to the next episode, as the story is off to a pretty fascinating start so far.


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