MMC

Monday Morning Coffee

October 16, 2017

The Dodgers did what they absolutely had to do.  They won their first two home games of the NLCS.  With the next three in Chicago, the Dodgers will be fortunate just to win one, and that would be perfectly fine.  However, with Corey Seager out of the lineup for the series, the Dodgers are suddenly hitting like little leaguers.  Losing Seager means we’re going to see more of Curtis Granderson and Joc Pederson, both of whom are just terrible.  The Dodgers left so many runners in scoring position last night, it would make any fan want to throw furniture across their living room.  The pitching has held up for LA, but this series is far from over.  The Cubs have been the best team in baseball during the 2nd half of the season.   The Cubs also have some big game pitchers that may not have performed well during the regular season, but that have the ability to come up big in October.  However, with Yasiel Puig doing his best Hank Aaron impression, and Justin Turner providing the heroics, it’s hard not to like the Dodgers’ chances of getting to the World Series.  Beating Houston without Corey Seager though is another story.

The Rams not only won on the road yesterday, but their defense even made a “special celebrity guest appearance.”  This team isn’t going away.  The Rams are making us look foolish for doubting them, and suddenly, the NFC West is in more trouble than Harvey Weinstein.  Jared Goff didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but he didn’t turn the ball over, and Todd Gurley continued to be productive on the ground.  I’m still baffled at why the Rams acquired Sammy Watkins.  If the team had no plans to use him, then why give up the draft pick they did for him? I think they should consider moving him at the trade deadline to get a draft pick back, since Watkins is serving as nothing more than a human pylon right now.  The Rams next game against Arizona, in London, is going to be another tough one, but there’s no reason to think they can’t find the win column again if they play solid football like they have been.

Meanwhile, the Chargers and Raiders engaged in a riveting battle for the 9th and 10th pick in this year’s NFL draft in Oakland.  I like how the league decided they would rather both teams suffer lung damage than face the embarrassment of playing a game in San Diego.  The Chargers two wins have come against one of the worst teams in the NFL, and a Raider team that is sinking like the Titanic.  I think the Chargers are also starting to wish they could play on the road every week, because they probably have just about as many fans in that stadium as they do during their usual home games.

Elsewhere around the NFL, the Packers can kiss their Super Bowl hopes goodbye after Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone.  They would probably sign Bart Starr before signing Colin Kaepernick.  The Saints and Lions game was the equivalent of a Charlie Sheen cocaine bender.  Adrian Peterson rose from the dead for Arizona and pretended like it was 2009, leading the Cardinals to a win.  The Browns only choice is contraction after losing again.  Even though the Patriots beat the Jets, Bill Belichick is debating how many players he’s going to trade to the Browns for 2084 7th round picks after nearly losing.  The Dolphins not only defeated the Falcons, but Kiko Alonso found love……

The Trojan football team “won” on Saturday against Utah, but it may actually hurt them in the polls.  That first half was sloppier than a Thursday night on fraternity row.   Another totally undisciplined performance filled with three  turnovers was salvaged by the heroics of Sam Darnold and Ronald Jones III.  If you played a drinking game where you had to take a shot for every time it was 3rd and 10 for the Trojans, you would be dead by the 3rd quarter.  Darnold needs to go to the NFL and take Tee Martin with him.  The Trojans should win the Pac 12 South, but it’s hard to have much confidence in them winning anything meaningful beyond that at this point.

I’ve gotta hand it to UCLA football.  Just when you think they can’t embarrass themselves anymore, they find a way to take it to a new level.  This time getting dominated by Arizona, giving up 457 yards on the ground.  I guess now that classes have started since UCLA is on the quarter system, not only does the performance of the student athlete suffer, but apparently so does that of the defensive coordinator. The Bruins can’t even block and tackle anymore, two of the basics that Jim Mora assured us would be elite when building the program.  Mora has had every opportunity to keep his job in a Pac 12 South that is far more average than we thought, but can’t turn the season around.  I’m not even convinced that Dan Guerrero cares, but he should get an ear full from angry alums.

Speaking of embarrassments, the US failed to qualify for the World Cup last week after their loss to Trinidad & Tobago.  There’s about 4 million Americans who are going to pretend like they are outraged and then forget about it for the next 4 years.  Those 4 million people are also probably confused at how we lost to “both” Trinidad and Tabago at the same time.  So much for building on the success of the last World Cup.  We just don’t care to invest what other countries do in soccer, and we should be ok with it.  Taylor Twellman on the other hand is going to have an aneurysm over the whole thing….

We’re just a couple of days away from the NBA season.  Spoiler alert! The Warriors are going to win the title again.  There is some hope for the Lakers though.  That’s because “Kuzmania” is taking over.  I do think Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball will help the Lakers get a lot closer to the playoffs this year, but not actually in the postseason.  If the Lakers can win 35-40 games this year with a strong showing from those three players, they will be a viable destination for next summer’s top free agents.   That’s truly the best they can hope for because the Lakers have no 1st round pick this season, and they are putting all their eggs in that free agent basket.  Luke Walton did say he was undecided on the starting lineup.  Hopefully he’s not undecided on his team playing defense because judging from the preseason, there isn’t much of it being played.

Then there’s the Clippers, who seem to be convinced they have a playoff team.  The only playoffs this team will be seeing will be in their living rooms come April.  Blake Griffin, Danilo Gallinari, and DeAndre Jordan sound like an intriguing front court duo.  They’ll only be intriguing if they can all stay healthy, and that’s doubtful for Danilo and Blake.  There’s a lot of whispers about how good of a coach Doc Rivers really is, and whether the Clippers have constructed any kind of real organizational success.  Now that CP3 is gone, we’ll find out real soon if that is the case, or if the Clippers are still gonna clip.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 9, 2017

You didn’t actually think that I wouldn’t complain about the Dodgers, despite taking a 2-0 lead against the D’Backs did you? Ok fine, I can’t overlook the positive.  The Dodgers are hitting like we haven’t seen them do before in the postseason.  Cody Bellinger hasn’t even done much, and the offense is still scoring more than high schoolers do on prom night.  Then there’s Yasiel Puig, who has suddenly matured and harnessed his talent into a game-changing player.  His teammates actually like him now too.  However, I still don’t trust the bullpen.  I also don’t trust Dave Roberts to use his head and actually take Clayton Kershaw out of the game after six innings.  Apparently nobody told him Kershaw has an ERA of over 25.00 in the 7th and beyond.  Imagine how much different the playoff narrative of Kershaw would be if Kershaw was actually removed after six innings? I expect the Dodgers to close out the D’Backs early next week, but the questionable decision making and untrustworthy middle relief leave me skeptical.

Yesterday it felt like Jeff Fisher was coaching the Rams again.  The offense was a turnover machine, Todd Gurley was bottled up, and the defense was on the field way too long.  What happened to Sammy Watkins? He has disappeared like the fans at the Coliseum.  Wasn’t he supposed to stretch the field? There goes another draft pick.  How did Cooper Kupp drop that pass?  That’s one he’s gotta catch, and it totally changes the narrative.  The Rams now have to go back east to play the Jags next week, which suddenly looks like a very tough game.  The Seahawks are still the class of the NFC West, and the Rams may suddenly be facing a losing skid, reminiscent of last season.  Buckle up for the bumpy ride.

Meanwhile, you know what Chick-Fil-A and the Giants have in common? They both don’t show up on Sunday.  The Chargers took advantage of that and finally got their first victory as the LA Chargers.  I feel terrible for OBJ, who was making some huge plays for the G-Men before he went down.  This is apparently what it’s going to take for the Bolts to actually find the win column.  Broken ankles from the opponents best players.  The solution for the Chargers may just be playing every game on the road because playing at home seems to be an even more hostile environment with 27,000 of the opponents’ fans.  The road game might even help next week against a struggling Raiders team, which has massively underperformed.

As for the rest of week 5 in the NFL, the Cowboys shouldn’t be kneeling for the national anthem, but instead should be kneeling when Aaron Rodgers walks by them, after his Packers beat Dallas in the final minute.  The Steeler fans are going to use their terrible towels to wipe away their tears after losing to the Jaguars.  I think VP Mike Pence realized he would have been far more offended watching the 49ers and Colts rather than the players actually kneeling, which is why he really left the game early.  I guess Cam Newton’s kryptonite is not angry female journalists because he led the Panthers over the Lions.  The CIA plans on using the Browns and Jets game film as a method of torturing terrorists.  The Eagles hammered the Cardinals, and it looks like they’ll have to start walking Torrey Smith intentionally…..

To college football where the tune of Trojan fans has changed overnight.  Prior to the Washington State loss, USC fans were purchasing tickets to the College Football Playoff game.  Now they are probably listing those tickets on StubHub, especially after an underwhelming victory over Oregon State.  The Trojans had three turnovers against the Beavers, yet they won by 28 points.  If they have three turnovers against Utah, Notre Dame, or UCLA, they will get crushed.  #3 Oklahoma lost, which seems like a golden opportunity, but USC just isn’t that good, and is likely to get exposed in the coming weeks.  Even the great Sam Darnold can only be so great when his offensive line can’t protect him, but there could be a bigger problem than than.  The question arising is whether or not coach Clay Helton is actually building anything meaningful.  We might find out in the next few weeks.

Elsewhere around the college game, Oklahoma has developed a bold new strategy.  This year they figure they can’t actually blow it in a playoff game if they don’t actually make the playoffs.  I guess that’s why they lost to Iowa State.  Notre Dame is up to 5-1 after beating UNC, but the Irish faithful are probably disappointed because Brian Kelly is getting closer to a contract extension than being fired.  As for the latest AP rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. A  4. Bunch 5. Of 6. Teams 7. With 8. No 9. Chance.

I’m not big on preseason games for any sport.  However, if I knew nothing about basketball (like many NBA GM’s), and began watching the Lakers first two preseason games, I’d say that Kyle Kuzma is easily the Lakers’ best player.  It’s only a matter of time before Kuzma is inserted into the starting lineup, likely in place of Julius Randle.  Luke Walton is trying to emulate Golden State’s system, which is pretty difficult to do if you don’t have shooting.  Kuzma gives the team shooting and versatility.  However, the real concern right now is the durability of Lonzo Ball, who’s ankles are about  as stable as the Knicks front office.  The Lakers need to hope Kuzma, Ball, and Brandon Ingram make major strides this year, or their plan to attract big free agents next summer will be obliterated.

Speaking of Lonzo Ball, his father Lavar was back in the news last week.  Lavar said he is going to pull LaMelo Ball out of school, and home school him for his final two years of high school.  Lavar said this is simply because he doesn’t see eye-to-eye with the new head coach at Chino Hills.  I’ve been a big believer in what Lavar is doing to create a brand, but home schooling your kids in the last two years of high school is one of the most short-sighted things I’ve ever heard of.  What most people fail to realize is that going to school (and college as well) is about learning about yourself and building social skills, not just education.  I can’t say I would expect Lavar to understand this though.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero rewarded basketball head coach Steve Alford with a one-year extension last week.  This one isn’t going to sit well with the Bruins fans.  It was only 18 months ago that people were questioning whether or not Alford was the guy to lead the program back to the Final Four.  However, the extension for Alford and the continued support for football coach Jim Mora are more a reflection of the financial limitations at UCLA.  The Bruin athletic program simply isn’t going to pony up the big dollars for big-time coaches, even for basketball, their profile sport.  As long as Dan Guerrero is in charge, which will probably be for at least a couple of more years, I wouldn’t expect any bold “shoot for the moon” changes in the athletic program.

Finally, the NHL got their season underway last week which is always exciting.  After Saturday’s nights’ Kings win over San Jose, I can’t decide if this is a new and improved Kings team, or the same old San Jose Sharks.  In any case, it’s nice to see Anze Kopitar actually scoring some goals.  The last time that happened, we actually had a President who wasn’t crazy.  Meanwhile, the Ducks allegedly started their season on Thursday night too.  You wouldn’t be able to tell though, because it looks like Anaheim doesn’t plan on showing up until the 2nd half of the season like last year.

Monday Morning Coffee

October 2, 2017

Wow, USC is involved in another corruption scandal.  Who could have seen this coming? This is about as surprising as Donald Trump insulting somebody.  Assistant basketball coach Tony Bland is the culprit this time.  On the bright side, this makes him an excellent candidate to be the Dean of the medical school, which is facing a scandal of its own.  The corruption at USC is still at comedic levels a decade after the Reggie Bush and OJ Mayo violations, even after installing new leadership.   However, the NCAA either needs to abolish their archaic rules and start paying student-athletes, or make these violations punishable by criminal law.  I’m in favor of the former.

Speaking of the Trojans, on the field their sloppy play finally caught up with them.  You would have thought that USC had Jesus Christ playing quarterback, the way everyone was talking about Sam Darnold.  The Trojans could not convert a 3rd down to save their lives, and their offense is highly dependent on one or two explosive plays.  That’s not good enough against a quality Top 15 opponent like the Cougars.   I’m sure the story will be how much the injuries have hurt the team with no bye weeks, but this team looked questionable prior to being banged up.  I can easily see a couple of more losses with this erratic group.

Meanwhile, the Bruins earned an underwhelming victory at Colorado.  UCLA football success has been reduced to victories over mediocre programs in which they avoid embarrassment.  This game was more of the same, characterized by hero ball from Josh Rosen, and a running game that has disappeared like Hilary Clinton.  What’s very telling is that UCLA recruits three and four star players, while San Diego State takes the leftovers.  That San Diego State team held Stanford to 17 points, while UCLA gave up 58 to them.  This is all about coaching and it’s becoming more and more obvious that Jim Mora is the problem.

Elsewhere around college football, Notre Dame beat fake Miami (Ohio) over the weekend, which isn’t much to get excited about.  The Irish still can’t figure things out when they face anybody ranked in the top 10.  Meawhile, here’s an updated look at the rest of the college footballs rankings: 1. Alabama 2. Alabama’s backups 3. Alabama’s cheerleaders 4. Alabama’s practice squad 5. Clemson.

To the NFL, where I completely expected the Rams to get crushed like a grape against the Cowboys yesterday, but they proved me wrong.  I thought the Rams could only win when they played the 49ers on Thursday night with those pajamas they wore last week.  Instead, Todd Gurley looks like one of the best running backs in the NFL, and Jared Goff is finally commanding respect from defenses.  In fact, Gurley faced 6 or fewer defenders in the box on 16 of his 23 rushing attempts.  Goff isn’t Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers, but he’s not turning the ball over and making sound decisions.  The Cowboys are a great team and the Rams deserve credit, but they did start 3-1 last season.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if they took down Seattle next week, but I’m not exactly ready to call them the class of the NFC yet.

If the Chargers lose at home, but no Charger fans were actually there to see it, did it actually happen? The Bolts are 0-4, and their five fans are obviously very disappointed with their start.  As usual, Stubhub Center was filled with Eagles fans, and many of the best seats in the house were completely empty.  The Bolts look like a team loaded with talent, but they consistently come up short on offense, and are terrible at finishing games.  That was once again the case yesterday.  It’s not all bad news for the Chargers though.  First of all they get to play Eli Manning and the Giants next week, who are just as terrible.  They can look forward to seeing Eli have that “somebody shot my dog” look on his face with a victory.  There’s also the idea that if they keep losing, this is an excellent year to get a high draft pick and draft a successor to Philip Rivers.

As for the rest of week 4 in the NFL, the Saints and Dolphins game in London was so atrocious, England is considering declaring war on the United States after such an act of terror.  The Jets won a game and since they are supposed to be tanking, Todd Bowles will likely be fired after collecting two wins.  Only the Browns could make the Bengals look like a Super Bowl team.  If you threw something in the trash yesterday, you probably racked up more passing yards than Joe Flacco.  The Raiders suck again.  The Bills are 3-1 and the Lions look like one of the best teams in the NFL, so hell must have frozen over.  Matt Ryan should never ever play receiver again……

The Dodgers begin the playoffs on Friday, and Dave Roberts claims he’s not intending to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest.  That’s like going to a strip club and claiming your intention isn’t to get a lap dance.   The Dodgers claim they have pitching depth but we know they will use Kershaw on short rest, which hasn’t worked in the past.  October also means we can expect guys like Pedro Baez to blow games in the 7th and 8th, and for Kenley Jansen to be forced into ridiculous six-out save situations because the Dodgers don’t have any competent middle relievers.  These are the nightmares of recent postseasons that have haunted LA, and are sure to haunt them again.

Then there’s the Angels, who missed the playoffs again.  This is a good time to look back at Albert Pujols saying that he’s not concerned with the standings in April, but rather in September.   Maybe if Albert decided to show up in April and start earning his $240 million, the Halos might have enough wins to actually be in the postseason.   Everyone knows a win in April is one less you need in September.  Everyone except Albert and Mike Scioscia.

The Lakers started the preseason on Saturday against the Wolves, but they got some severely disappointing news on Friday.  Russell Westbrook signed a 5-year extension with the Thunder.  Westbrook will likely go on a massive shopping spree at Hot Topic with his $205 million but there’s greater repercussions than that.  That not only eliminates him as a potential free agent acquisition, but also hurts the Lakers’ chances of signing Lebron James and Paul George.   This is just another example of why free agency by itself is a horrible way to build a team.  It’s also an example of why it isn’t the best idea to give away young productive players like D’Angelo Russell for half a can of Diet Coke.

Finally, Hugh Hefner passed away at 91 last week.  Has there ever been anybody who has had more fun in life than Hef? Every man in America could only dream of living a life like that.   It was so fun, when he gets to heaven, he will wonder why it’s such a downgrade.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 25, 2017

The Rams and 49ers were shockingly able to provide us with one of the best Thursday Night Football games we’ve ever seen.  The Rams also put up 41 points, and coincidentally, 41 is the number of people that actually attended the last Rams home game.  In all seriousness though, Sean McVay deserves credit for turning the Rams offense around and making Jared Goff a competent NFL quarterback.  However, I still have no idea if Goff is Ryan Tannehill or Matt Ryan.  It’s hard to tell when both of your wins are against the Colts and 49ers.  It’s not hard to tell that the Rams defense is garbage.  They can’t stop the run, and their secondary is average at best.  Todd Gurley seems to think the 49ers still have Joe Montana and Jerry Rice because he thinks so highly of beating San Francisco, he says the Rams are going to go “whoop up on Dallas.”  If that happens, they’ve got my attention.  Until then, this team has simply improved from terrible to mediocre.

While most of the NFL players were taking a knee during the national anthem, the Chargers looked like they were taking knee the entire game in their humiliating loss to the Chiefs.  Even more humiliating is the fact the entire stadium was filled with fans off the opposition for the 2nd week in a row.  I don’t know why the league or Dean Spanos is surprised nobody cares about the Bolts in Los Angeles.  People in LA have been screaming for years that they don’t want the Chargers to come to LA, and now the league and Spanos have egg on their face.  Spanos is more hated than Donald Trump in Amerca’s Finest City, so there’s no way the team could move back without him selling the franchise.  If the league were smart, and don’t worry they aren’t, they would let Spanos sell the team for a fair price, then move the team back to San Diego and build a stadium themselves.  That would put the Chargers back where people give a damn about them.  In the meantime, nobody even cares they stink.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Kirk Cousins just forgot to preheat the oven, but he finally tore it up last night against the Raiders.  You like that? The Jaguars probably will never leave London after dominating the Ravens.  The Jets, Jaguars, and Bills all won by a combined score of 90-29, and the Bears upset the Steelers in OT.  The odds of getting hit by Hurricane Maria and a 7.0 earthquake at the same time are greater than that happening.  The Falcons reminded us that god just hates the Lions, while Tom Brady reminded us that he might be the GOAT.  To protest injustice, the New York Giants have decided not to show up in the win column this season.  The Bears Marcus Cooper thought he had a touchdown, and then blew it by celebrating too early….

To College Football, where USC continues to be underwhelming, yet continues to find the win column.  The latest uninspiring performance came against Cal, and required some big plays from the defense to remain undefeated.  The Trojans decided to show up for exactly three minutes of this game, which was just enough to avoid being upset by an unranked team.  Most Trojan fans are going to spin this as “we’re still undefeated which is what matters.”  However, the way they are playing is going to matter when they have to play at Washington State, vs Utah, and at Notre Dame in a few weeks.  Sam Darnold and the Trojan offense are finishing about as well as a 70-year-old dude without his little blue pill.  Things are about to get much tougher for Southern Cal, which means we’re about to find out if they can live up to the hype.

There’s absolutely no hype to the Bruins, who got dismantled again by Stanford.  For the last five years we’ve been waiting for Jim Mora to show us a team that would be tough enough and physical enough to beat Stanford.  Mind you, not all of those Stanford teams were national powerhouse teams either.  On Saturday, we saw a UCLA team that has no defense, no effective threat at wide receiver, and a frustratingly inconsistent running game.  The fact UCLA had a 100-yard rushing running back for the first time in two years was almost more aggravating.  I’ll give Mora credit for his recruiting, and ability to make the team more disciplined.  However, after a solid first two years, and three disappointing years after that, it’s clear he can’t develop his talent.  With every loss Mora gives us more false promises than a Presidential candidate.  I think we’ve seen enough of the status quo in Westwood.

The Dodgers may have clinched the division on Friday, but their bullpen has officially turned into a pumpkin and stinks again, with an ERA of 7 this month.  The pen is also giving up home runs like it’s the steroid era as well.  I guess this is what happens when you have the naive belief that starting pitching is overvalued, and you are forced to use exhaust your pen over the course of 162 games.  Nice work Andrew Friedman.  The Dodgers are also about to give up their lead on the Indians for home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Then again, I’m not so sure why I’m worried about it because I have diminishing confidence in the Dodgers’ ability to get to the World Series.  I still have no idea why Curtis Granderson is playing everyday when he gives you a hit about once every 40 at bats.  Granderson must have some serious dirt on Dave Roberts because there is no explanation for this.  October is just around the corner and that means my biggest Dodger nightmares are about to arrive like the Grim Reaper standing outside my door.

Then there’s the Angels, whose odds of making the playoffs appear about as good as winning the Powerball.  Mike Scioscia’s new strategy is to pray his starting pitchers arm’s don’t fall off after five innings, and then hope one of his relievers don’t blow the game.  The Halos schedule down the stretch may be brutal, but that’s why they should have shown up for games in May, June, and July.  Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips were nice contributors for a few weeks, but don’t be fooled, the Halos are deeply flawed.  They need to reconstruct their entire roster, and could use an upgrade at literally every position other than centerfield and shortstop.  If the Angels hope to make the playoffs before Mike Trout’s contract expires, they should seriously consider this.

I’ve gotta hand it to Thunder GM Sam Presti for trading for Carmelo Anthony.  Presti basically gave up half a can of Diet Coke, and two pretzels for one of the best scorers in the NBA.  When you’re in a small market like OKC you have to know your window to win.  Presti realizes that with Russell Westbrook’s looming free agency, and working under a cheap skate owner.  Still, the Thunder are like everybody else and have no chance of beating the Warriors.  They very likely will be starting from scratch next year with Westbrook, Paul George, and Anthony departing via free agency.  I wouldn’t be shocked if two of those three players ended up on the Lakers.  Speaking of the Lakers, I’m still not really sure why they decided to sign Andrew Bogut.  There’s probably no center that is going to play more than 20 minutes in Luke Walton’s system, and those minutes should go to developing Ivica Zubac.

Finally, sports is supposed to unify society and help everyone rise above political differences.  I find it deeply disappointing that Donald Trump has escalated things with the entire sports world, tweeting that NFL players should be fired for kneeling during the National Anthem, and for uninviting Steph Curry to the White House.  At the same time though, I don’t think NBA players should refuse an invite to the White House, even if they don’t like Trump.  If players want to use their fame to make a difference and let their voice be heard, then why not take the opportunity to go to the White House and let your voice be heard in front of the most powerful person in the world? This would be more productive than having Lebron James, Steph Curry, and Donald Trump sling insults at each other via Twitter like high schoolers.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 18, 2017

I thought the Rams actually had a good defense? The Rams were handing out rushing yards like they had a Groupon for them against the Redskins.  So much for the Rams getting Aaron Donald back and taking advantage of a soft early schedule.  That was a very winnable game they failed to take advantage of.  At least Todd Gurley looked as good as he was during his rookie year, and I guess we’re supposed to be excited that Jared Goff isn’t as crappy as we all thought he might be.  This team is still lacking a lot of talent, and it’s going to really show in the coming weeks against better teams.  They are also lacking some serious fan support too, with a reported 56,612 in attendance yesterday.  It feels like 25,000 of those people showed up disguised as seats.

Things were just as embarrassing in Carson, where the Chargers found a way to blow another game in dramatic fashion.  This time it was against the Dolphins.  You can take the Chargers out of San Diego, but you can’t take bad losses away from the Chargers.  After the team spent all week talking trash about Jay Cutler and how useless he is, they found a way to lose to his team.  For the 2nd straight game the Bolts lost on the leg of Younghoe Koo.  He should change his name to Younghoe Boo because the fans should boo him when he steps on to the field.  Oh and by “the fans” I mean the mere 25,000 that showed up to watch the team play.  The combined attendance of the Rams and Chargers was 81,000 this weekend, which is less than the 84,000 that showed up on Saturday to watch USC play Texas.  I can’t wait to see what the StubHub Center looks like when the Raiders come to town and the entire stadium is silver and black.

Elsewhere around the NFL in Week 2, Tom Brady went full on Katrina against the Saints and their bad defense.  The Patriots keep losing players to injuries but keep winning.  I walked to the fridge and picked up more yards than ‘Zeke Elliott did in the Cowboys’ loss to the Broncos.  Marshawn Lynch is the perfect Raider, and they dominated the Jets.  The Seahawks won but they score about as often as Steve Urkel.  The Packer defense was already in postseason form in their loss to the Falcons.  Andy Reid is going to celebrate the Chiefs victory over his former team by giving his cholesterol a shot of KC BBQ.  The Vikings should have just forfeited against the Steelers when they found out they had to start Case Keenum in place of the injured Sam Bradford.  The Ravens beat the Browns, but so does everybody.  The Colts found a better quarterback but couldn’t find a win against Arizona.  Starting Blake Bortles at QB is like having your football team destroyed by a hurricane every week, which the Jags learned in their loss to the Tennessee.  The Bears got destroyed by the Bucs, and are playing like Jay Cutler is still their quarterback.  Greg Olsen’s foot is broken and so is Carolina’s offense, despite their win against the Bills. The last time the Bengals scored a touchdown, Obama was still President.

To College Football where USC escaped with a win Saturday night against Texas, in a game that was nearly disastrous for their season.  Perhaps the Trojan players were star struck by seeing Matthew McConaughey on the sidelines, or just thinking about him selling them a Lincoln.  Just when you think USC has turned the corner, they come out flat against a team they should have blown off the field.  To make matters worse, Stanford lost to San Diego State, meaning that the Trojans haven’t  even beaten a ranked team yet, while struggling in two of their three wins.  Clay Helton was out-coached by Tom Herman, and were it not for some late game heroics, Sam Darnold was outplayed by a true freshman quarterback for Texas.  This is sure to hit them in the rankings, and has to make you skeptical.  I like how ten years later, this game was hyped up for “revenge” for what happened in 2006.  I’m pretty sure none of the current players on either side gives a damn about that, and are more focused on what party they are going to go to next Thursday night on fraternity row.

As for the Bruins, they suffered an embarrassment of their own by losing to Memphis.  I don’t care if the game was too early.  UCLA should never lose to a team like Memphis.  Do you really expect Josh Rosen to throw the ball 56 times, or any quarterback, and not throw two interceptions? Rosen’s ego can be irritating, but you can’t blame these losses on him when Jim Mora is asking him to play hero ball.  UCLA has no system and they have no running game.  It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see the Bruins get beaten like they stole something next weekend against Stanford.  As long as Mora is coaching this team, Bruin fans should buy a Vegas timeshare for their annual trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

Elsewhere around College Football, Notre Dame did the UNTHINKABLE and knocked off an unranked Boston College team.  I’m waiting for the day Brandon Wimbush gets his head knocked off as Brian Kelly gets another one of his quarterbacks killed by letting him run around like he’s Forest Gump.  That’s what happens when the rest of your offense is inept.  The Clemson defense is the kryptonite to Lamar Jackson.  The SEC has announced they are demoting Tennessee to Pee Wee Football and will no longer be affiliated with the program.  Well at least they should announce that after Tennessee lost to Florida on a last second Hail Mary.  Rick Pitino made an appearance on ESPN’s College Gameday, but I didn’t realize that he buys his clothes at Baby Gap….

The Dodgers are really making a habit of this whole winning thing.  It was one thing to merely end that 11-game losing skid, but now they are hot again.  Cody Bellinger claimed that what helped the team get through such a rough stretch was having veterans who had been there before.  I didn’t realize that the Dodgers have players on their roster that have been on the team since 1958, because that’s the last time they had a streak that bad.  The Dodgers’ potential for playoff failure still scares me to death.  Somehow they found a center fielder that is worse than Joc Pederson.  Not only should Curtis Granderson be chained to the bench, but so should Yasmani Grandal.  Austin Barnes is statistically the most valuable hitter against right-handed pitching in the National League this year, so I have no idea why he isn’t in the lineup everyday.  Only two more weeks before the postseason, and the Dodgers have to worry about their pitchers being done after five innings, and their hitters being done after September.

The Angels sure are determined to make this AL Wild Card race interesting.  It sure would help their chances though if they didn’t keep losing pitchers to elbow tears.  The latest is JC Ramirez, who is done for the year, and possible next year too.  It’s almost like the team’s training staff is always finding new ways to get their pitchers injured.  Then there’s Luis Valbuena, who is perfecting his bat flip, even during those moments where he’s barely hitting the ball out of the infield.  Valbuena can’t even hit .200, meaning that never has an athlete that is so bad acted so cocky.  Valbuena’s antics actually angered Astros pitcher Mike Fiers so much, after giving up a home run to the Angels’ infielder, he threw at his head.  That got Fiers suspended for five games.  Fiers said he felt “disrespected”.  If you give up a home run to a guy who is hitting .200, you deserve to be disrespected and suspended.

In case you haven’t heard, the Lakers are retiring Kobe’s jersey on December 18th, when they host the Warriors.  They will also be retiring both his #8 and #24 jersey’s.  I think the #24 Kobe was much better than the #8 Kobe, and the Mamba reached the pinnacle of his career wearing #24.  That one should really be the only one to be retired, however, there’s probably no player in their right mind who would want to wear #8, so the Lakers might as well retire both jerseys.  By the way, the cheapest ticket to get in that game right now is $600.

The NHL preseason is underway, and it couldn’t have gotten off to a cloudier start for the Kings.  Defenseman Drew Doughty told The Sporting News that if the team didn’t start contending for Stanley Cups again, he would consider signing elsewhere when his contract expires in two seasons. When an LA Times reporter questioned him about this, he said he would love to finish his career as a King.  Drew, if you back peddle any faster, you will start moon walking like Michael Jackson.  The Kings are a lot closer to rebuilding than contending, and Doughty could easily leave the team in two years.  On the bright side though, the Kings Twitter account is run far better than that of the Ducks.  Here’s a look at their early season social media fail….

Finally, has ESPN’s Jamele Hill been living under a rock for the last year? She just witnessed complete carnage at her company, as a number of her colleagues were laid off due to declining ratings and more cord cutting.  We can attribute some of that to the fact that ESPN’s content has become more and more political, which has displeased viewers.  So what does Jamele do? She decides to go on some Twitter rant, ripping Donald Trump for being a racist, and called him a white supremacist.  Regardless of what you think of Donald Trump, if Jamele wants her political voice to be heard, she should just go join CNN with the 12 other people sitting at a desk screaming their biased opinions at each other.  I also like how hypocritical ESPN is after suspending Linda Cohen last spring for saying the network was getting too political, yet they did nothing to Hill for her unnecessary rant.  It’s also apparent to me that Colin Kaepernick has no desire to play in the NFL, because he came out and supported her rant on Twitter.  I guess the man just couldn’t get enough controversy in his life.

Monday Morning Coffee

September 11, 2017

The Dodgers are collapsing faster than the state of Florida.  Oh wait, this must all be a part of Andrew Friedman’s plan right? The Dodgers must be sending a message to all the other teams in the NL, trying to make them overconfident come playoff time.  Those other NL teams must be real overconfident now because the Dodgers’ entire pitching staff looks like a bunch of stiffs.  This has to be the case since Dave Roberts assured us all a few days ago that the Dodgers will win the NL West.  Not even Clayton Kershaw can help the team find the win column, and suddenly the entire team can’t hit.  I’m beginning to think this is the law of averages catching up with the team at the worst time, because they are on the verge of one of the biggest choke jobs in baseball history.  Since Sports Illustrated came out with an issue asking if this is the best team ever on the cover page,  Perhaps the Dodgers would have better luck if Sports Illustrated’s next cover page said “Biggest Choke Job Ever?.  It’s officially time to panic.

Meanwhile, the Angels are still hanging in the AL Wild Card race, but are limping their way toward the finish line.  After avoiding a sweep yesterday against the Mariners, they Halos are just one game out of the final Wild Card spot.  However, Andrew Heaney looks more broken than those couples that win reality dating shows.  Garrett Richards looks like his arm could fall off any moment.  Parker Bridwell has remembered that he’s just Parker Bridwell.  This team has impressed me given how they’ve handled adversity, but since they have nine more games against Houston and Cleveland, I doubt they can make it through that field of land mines to make the postseason.

To the NFL, where the Colts made the Rams look like the 1972 Miami Dolphins yesterday at the Coliseum.  I’ll be far more impressed when the Rams manage to do this against a team that isn’t playing at a college level, which probably won’t be for a few more weeks.  Actually, I’m not even sure that Scott Tolzien played at a college level yesterday.  Of course Jared Goff is going to look like Joe Montana against a crappy defense like that.  The Colts lost by so many points, Chuck Pagano actually forgot who they played, referring to the Rams as the 49ers.  Don’t think the Rams managed to entirely avoid embarrassment for the week though.  The amount of empty seats at the Coliseum made the game look like a University of San Diego football game.  I guess this NFL in LA thing is really working out so far.

Elsewhere around week 1, apparently that judge had Ezekiel Elliott on his fantasy football team.  Elliott and the Cowboys got an easy win against the Giants.  First Hurricane Harvey, then losing to the Jags.  As if Houston hasn’t suffered enough.  Andy Dalton is already in playoff form, throwing four  interceptions in yesterday’s loss to Baltimore.   The NFL should spot the Browns 14 points in every game to make it more fair.  They could have used that yesterday in their loss to the Steelers.  Russell Wilson and his Seahawks got manhandled by the Packers yesterday.  He must have stopped having sex with Ciara again.  The 49ers barely scored more points than the San Francisco Giants yesterday.  Alex Smith is probably going to sit out of next week’s game with arm fatigue after throwing the ball more than 30 yards in the Chiefs win over the Patriots.  The Bills beat the Jets in a game that should have been called “the toilet bowl”.  Great special teams tackle by the Jets on themselves here…..

To college football, where the Trojans finally found what they were missing against Stanford: an elite quarterback.  The Cardinal had won 7 of the last 10 games against the Trojans, but Sam Darnold returned to the elite QB we saw for most of last season, leading USC to a big win.  The Trojan defense is nothing to brag about, but if Ronald Jones is going to run like Reggie Bush, and Sam Darnold is going to play like Matt Leinart, that won’t matter.  Nobody even heard of Deontay Burnett until the Rose Bowl last January, and now he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Darnold’s four TD passes vaulted him back in the Heisman discussion.  The Trojans beat Stanford at their own game, running the ball, and playing a much more physical, ball-control game.  The only thing Stanford did better was drink more chardonnay during the tailgate.  USC should roll in their next two games against Texas and Cal, before facing a tough Washington State team on the road.

It would have been very “UCLA” of the Bruins had they lost Saturday’s game against Hawaii after defeating Texas A&M in dramatic fashion.  Instead, Josh Rosen picked up where he left off by throwing five TD passes, piling up 329 yards like he was playing a video game, and UCLA hammered Hawaii at home.  The Bruins did what they were supposed to do, crushing a team with inferior talent, but they still have plenty of issues.  The defense is banged up, the offensive line provides about as much protection as a broken condom, and they have no running game.  If Rosen can overcome all that and lead the Bruins to an upset road victory or two over the likes of Stanford, Washington, or USC, he definitely deserves to win the Heisman.

As for the rest of college football, nice job by the NCAA to schedule all of last weekend’s great games at the exact same time.  Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly says that the Irish are really close to being able to compete with any football team in the country.  After losing to Georgia at home, the Irish are 2-11 in their last 13 games against top 15 teams.  They are only a head coach away.  Looks like “The” Ohio State University has “The” worst pass defense in the country, and won’t be in this year’s college football playoff after losing to Oklahoma.  Baker Mayfield was savage putting that flag into the center of the Buckeyes logo after the win.  Here’s the Buckeyes new logo…..

Finally, I feel terrible for Florida, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the families that were impacted by the Hurricane.  However, why don’t these people evacuate sooner? The real problem is the name of the Hurricane.  Nobody is afraid of Hurricane “Irma”.  However, if you gave it an Arab name like Hurricane “Abdullah” or Hurricane “Muhammad”, people would run for the hills.  I also love the fact that these news reporters are practically in a contest with each other for an Emmy award while reporting on the Hurricane.  In fact, it’s getting so competitive we’re practically seeing field reporters blown away on live television, and they seem to be ok with it.

Monday Morning Coffee


September 4, 2017

Every blogger and writer has done it at least once before. You write your story or column before the game is over because you think the game has been decided. I was guilty of that last night when I thought UCLA would never rally from a 34-point deficit against Texas A&M. I was ready to trash Josh Rosen, and instead he shut me up for a week by throwing for 491 yards and 4 TD’s. I was also about ready to have Jim Mora fired and replaced with Chip Kelly, but I guess that will have to wait at least another few weeks. The Bruins showed they are entertaining and may win some games, but they are still deeply flawed. There is no running game, their offensive line is downright offensive, and they can’t tackle anybody. It’s probably only a matter of time before all this catches up with them. In the meantime though, they deserve credit for yesterday’s win, while Josh Rosen can go keep his grades up in those really hard classes he hates taking.

So this is the USC football team everybody waited eight months to see? I guess everybody was excited to see a team that tackles about as well as my high school varsity team did, and one that is made up of wide receivers that can’t even catch a cold? Despite beating Western Michigan, this looks a lot more like the disastrous team we saw at the beginning of last season, rather than the juggernaut we saw after the Rose Bowl. The Trojans don’t have much time to get their act together either, with Stanford coming to town next week. You can be assured that the Cardinal will be running the ball early and often, against the tackling dummies that appeared to be the USC defense on Saturday. Sam Darnold had what was easily his worst game as a starter. Even though it wasn’t entirely his fault, you’ve gotta wonder if the kid can live up to all the ridiculous hype he’s been getting since the end of last season. The Trojan faithful had better hope that this was simply a case of the boys doing a little too much early semester partying on fraternity row. Don’t be surprised if they drop slightly from their #4 ranking.

Elsewhere around college football, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame actually looked halfway decent against Temple. The Irish have talent, but they are being far more courteous to their fans this year by waiting until at least after the first week of the season to disappoint them. #1 Alabama looked strong in their win over #3 Florida State, in the cousins vs convicts battle. After the win, ‘Bama should be entitled to replace the Jets this season in the NFL. Tom Herman made his coaching debut for the Longhorns, and he learned that everything is bigger in Texas. That includes their losses, as they got beat by Maryland. This  Wyoming punter really put the “special” in special teams…..

The Dodgers have problems.  They aren’t new problems.  They are the same ones I was concerned about back in April.  When things really matter in October, they still don’t have any pitcher you can trust outside of Clayton Kershaw.  You thought it was Yu Darvish? Somebody needs to tell him “Yu Suck.”  Some of you are panicking because you are just noticing this now, but the last week has only reinforced what I’ve thought all year.  At the same time, Cody Bellinger should not only be rookie of the year, but also NL MVP because the Dodger offense has gone to hell when he’s been out of the lineup.  Curtis Granderon has been such a failure at the plate since he was acquired, all Alex Verdugo needs to do is hit .240 to make the playoff roster.  When it comes to pitching, this team is nothing but Clayton Kershaw and four guys carrying baseball gloves.


Meanwhile, the Angels better hope they make the playoffs because what they are doing is pure recklessness.  They just acquired Justin Upton and Brandon Phillips, who are both nice players, but are nothing more than two-month rentals.  The are depleting a farm system that is already devoid of talent.  As if that wasn’t reckless enough, they are sending Garrett Richards to the mound on Tuesday against Oakland, when he hasn’t even built the arm strength to throw 60 pitches.  60 pitches???!!! Why not just get some AAA scrub to give you three innings since it will be a bullpen game anyway? If Richards is supposed to be the Halos franchise pitcher, they certainly aren’t treating him that way.  If the Halos were going to acquire anything in August, it should have been pitching.  Instead, adding Upton and Phillips is like making a run to the store for some vodka and tequila in the middle of a party, when you really just need some ice.

To the NBA, where the Lakers avoided a disaster last week, after only getting fined $500 K by the league for tampering with Paul George.  This could have completely derailed the Lakers’ plan to sign two max level free agents, or even just George next summer, had the penalty been anything more severe.  Word is that Jeanie Buss was not pleased that her front office did this.  However, how can you blame Rob Pelinka.  This happens all the time.  How do you think that Chris Paul got traded to the franchise of his choice, the Rockets, three days before he was due to become an unrestricted free agent?  Since the Lakers still have the largest TV deal in the NBA, they will be paying $500 K fine like….

I don’t blame Aaron Donald at all for holding out.  If Donald were to simply play out his rookie contract and then go on to hit the open market, he would likely be in decline.  This is the only leverage he has, and since the Rams are a talentless team, there is no reason for them not to pay him.  Perhaps it would have been smarter not give Tayvon Austin an extension worth $28 million last summer.  The bad news for Aaron Donald is that the Rams might actually get off to a decent start since they aren’t really playing anybody in the first three weeks of the season.  However, when it’s all said and done, this is probably going to be no better than a 6-10 team.

Then there’s the Chargers.  With each passing day, the Bolts’ ownership must be considering jumping off the tallest building in Los Angeles, as they continue to walk down the path of irrelevancy.  The San Diego State Aztec football team had 40,000 people at their first football game on Saturday.  The Chargers drew half of that in their first preseason game.  You think that’s bad? The combined ratings for the Chargers and Rams final preseason game wasn’t even as great as the Raiders final preseason game that was shown on KTLA.  It’s still a Raider town, and the Raiders aren’t even coming back.

Brock Osweiler is the real winner after he got cut by the Browns.  He’s getting paid $16 million to not play for the Cleveland Browns.  Since he never got to actually play a game, it isn’t an unreasonable question to ask: is he the greatest quarterback in franchise history?

Finally, NHL training camps open in a little over a week from now, but the trash talking has already begun between the team Twitter accounts.  You have to love that Vegas is already well-versed at making fun of the Sharks.

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 28, 2017

Obviously I have to start with Game of Thrones after an awesome season finale.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  The Stark clan survived an entire season! I’m not sure who got more inches of Snow in this episode: Kings Landing, or Dany? Jon Snow looks like he just knocked up the Mother of Dragons, so I look forward to two pregnant queens battling it out on Real Housewives of Incest City next season.  Admit it: incest went down and you thought that it was ok.  Meanwhile Ser Jorah was probably crying in the next room, and I’m still not sure what Tyrion was doing awkwardly standing outside Dany’s room.   Love how Brienne and the Hound were acting like such proud parents of their little murder child, Arya.  I’m telling you, Cersei is crazy enough to kill Jamie if he betrays her, and she nearly did.  I wouldn’t trust her to tell me what she wanted on her pizza.  I don’t understand the Dragon’s blue fire.  Is it spitting fire? Ice? or a blue laser? This is going to trouble me until season 8.  Congratulations to the show producers for finally killing off a character we wanted to see die in Littlefinger.  This is me when I heard that we might have to wait until 2019 for the final season to start…..

So you think that Mayweather vs McGregor was a big fight? Wait until your wife finds out that you paid $100 for it.  They stopped that fight way too early.  For that price I expect to see somebody actually hitting the ground on a knockout.  It was a far better fight than most of us expected.  However, just as it started getting good, the referees pulled the plug.  Props to McGregor for making it interesting, but there were no losers in this one.  I guess that explains why Floyd wore a ski mask when entering T-Mobile Arena.  He was robbing the public of its money.  McGregor is taking home $75 million, while Mayweather is getting $100 million.  Coincidentally, 100 is the highest number that Floyd can count to.

Well Jared Goff is consistent.  He’s consistently inconsistent.  In Saturday’s loss to the Chargers, he turned the ball over twice, and couldn’t complete a pass for more than seven yards.  Wasn’t getting Sammy Watkins supposed to help stretch the field? The offensive line also continues to be a train wreck for the Rams.  Even more disappointing is the sparse crowd showing up for these games.  The Coliseum was less than half full on Saturday.  The Chargers couldn’t even fill a 27,000 seat stadium, and the Rams’ crowds have been getting smaller by the day.  While you may think this is just preseason and it’s no big deal, that shouldn’t be the case when you have two new NFL teams in the #2 media market in the country.  Watching these two teams makes me wish I had stared at the solar eclipse for longer so I wouldn’t ever have to watch them play football again.

The real rivalry that went down at the Coliseum on Saturday was the race between Keyshawn Johnson and Marcellus Wiley.  This should have been a giant mismatch, but Keyshawn didn’t seem to take it too seriously, so it ended up being far more competitive than expected.  Marcellus false started three times, and Keyshawn just barely beat him after that.  There seemed to be some controversy over the start of that race, so when they raced again, Marcellus beat him the 2nd time.  Say what you will about Keyshawn being the true winner here and the faster man.  However, Marcellus more than held his own and should not have even been in the final frame.  Keyshawn is a former #1 overall pick in the NFL people.  The man only narrowly avoided being embarrassed by a defensive end! He should still never hear the end of it from his colleagues at ESPN.

I’m not sure you people really understand the gravity of these Laker tampering allegations if they turn out to be true.  If the Lakers are forced to forfeit any future 1st round picks, they wouldn’t be able to move the Luol Deng contract.  If they can’t move the Deng contract, they can’t sign two max level free agents, which means you can forget about Lebron James coming here next summer.  The league might not even let them sign Paul George with their one max slot, and then they’d be totally screwed.  I was actually convinced Lebron James was going to sign with the Lakers until a few days ago when Ric Bucher reported that he’s headed to the Lakers.  If Bucher reported that the sun was going to rise tomorrow I’d be concerned the world was going to end.

Speaking of Lebron and the Cavs, there’s no way they are going to have this trade with Boston vetoed because of Isaiah Thomas’ hip injury.  They just can’t bring Kyrie back to Cleveland given everything that’s transpired between him and the organization.  As for the Celtics, Danny Ainge had a chance to flip that valuable Brooklyn 1st round pick for Jimmy Butler, Paul George, or DeMarcus Cousins.  Instead, he flipped it for a player who doesn’t play any defense, and is incapable of being the best player on a championship team.  How are the Celtics planning on defending people anyway now that they lost their three best defenders this offseason?  It doesn’t really matter though because Lebron could have Bone Thugs-N-Harmony as his teammates and still make it to the NBA Finals in the East.

It figures that the night the Dodgers get shutout at home, it’s the night they honored the LA Kings.  This past weekend was a perfect reason why I’d be worried about the Dodgers’ postseason hopes.  They play a team with some real pitching like the Brewers, and they can’t hit.  Sure they miss Cody Bellinger, but it feels like the law of averages could be catching up with Chris Taylor and Justin Turner.  They can’t be on fire forever, but LA better hope that fire doesn’t go out come October.  As for their pitching, Yu Darvish might not even be the Dodgers’ 4th best pitcher right now.  Rich Hil, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda are all throwing the ball better.  I guess that might be the reason the Rangers gave him up at the 11th hour for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Finally, Albert Pujols is statistically one of the least valuable players in the American League, yet somehow, the Angels are still in the AL Wild Card hunt with five weeks left in the season.  Pujols blew two opportunities with the bases loaded yesterday.  He’ll probably still be batting 3rd tomorrow as well.  I guess $240 million just doesn’t buy what it used to.  The Halos sure could use some better starting pitching, but they can’t be optimistic they are going to get it anytime soon.  Andrew Heaney hasn’t looked great since he returned from injury, while Garrett Richards is still two weeks away from returning, and might be held to a 60-pitch limit once he’s back in the rotation.  Is it even worth it to push two valuable young arms back in your rotation when they aren’t healthy or effective? The answer is no, but Arte Moreno would tell you otherwise, since all he cares about is selling tickets and entertaining rather than winning.  This is what Pujols looks like running to first base…….

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 21, 2017

Everything was going great for the Lakers until this weekend, when they found out they are under investigation by the NBA for tampering with Paul George.  This is like your ex-girlfriend trying to prevent you from ending up with the girl you know you’re going to end up with by trashing you on social media.  Every team tampers.  It’s simply the name of the game when trying to lure NBA free agents these days.  If the league cracks the whip on the Lakers and forbids them from signing Paul George, it would be shameful.  Meanwhile, Chris Sheridan has sources saying Lebron is leaving Cleveland at the end of the year.  Could he make it any more obvious that he’s planning on joining the Lakers?

To the NFL, where Jared Goff shocked most of us haters over the weekend with his performance against the Raiders.  The guy suddenly looked like he can play.  However, prior to that Sean McVay gave us reason to doubt him.  Every time McVay talks about Goff’s progress, the best thing he can say about him is that he has command of the huddles and is gaining respect.  That’s it?  What about his accuracy as a passer? Can he actually avoid turnovers? He did on Saturday, but even McVay sounds skeptical that he can be consistent.  Meanwhile, since the Chargers are giving out free tattoos to their fans, maybe they can pay for the Rams front office to get one across their forehead that says “sign Aaron Donald.”

Watching the Chargers and Saints do battle in practice, and in preseason last night can only make you look back on the Philip Rivers vs Drew Brees debate.  Brees got screwed in 2006 when Chargers GM AJ Smith told him he would be re-signed, even after his shoulder injury.  However, Smith went back on his word, ultimately letting Brees sign with the Saints, while giving the starting job to Rivers.  I’ve always felt bad for Brees because his heart was in San Diego, and he never wanted to leave.  However, had he remained in San Diego he would not have become one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.  The Bolts would not have built the team around Brees the way the Saints did, allowing him to become the player he did.  That’s no disrespect to Rivers, who is a fine quarterback as well.

To baseball, where the Dodgers are still rolling despite yesterday’s loss to the Tigers.  However, Andrew Friedman finally stopped listening to his computer, and sent Joc Pederson down to the minors.  He found a way to replace him with Curtis Granderson, who is already contributing quite nicely.  Since only 30% of the fans in LA can see the Dodger games, I guess if the Dodgers win the World Series only 30% of the fans will get to see the parade.  Nobody should worry about comparing those great regular season Dodger teams of the past that failed in the playoffs to this one though.  That would be like saying the Presidential approval rating of the 1962 President is better than today……oh wait never mind! The Dodgers really are screwed.

Big win by the Angels yesterday that kept them tied for the last AL Wild Card spot.  That series should have been a sweep though because Friday’s loss was brutal.  I guess there’s only 40 more times or so where the Angels can disappoint their fans like that because something tells me the Halos will make it interesting, yet somehow, the pitching will let them down when they need it most.  I also can’t figure out why the LA Times can’t send an actual beat writer to cover the team, as opposed to just giving readers an AP article on their road games.  Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and Albert Pujols just hit his 600th home run, yet the Halos can’t even get any local coverage.

The LA Kings held a “State of The Franchise” meeting last week, and it was nothing but selling false hope.  They might as well have told their fans that they are going to be the same team that will try to be physical, but probably won’t be able to score.  Apparently Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar are going to score twice as many goals as last season, just because they are in better shape.  LA’s best hope is for their recent draft picks to turn into something, but that’s probably a couple of seasons away.

I tried to watch The Bachelor in Paradise, but it was terrible.  Somehow, the show managed to take all of the uninteresting characters from previous seasons, and combine them into one uninteresting hour of television.  Corrine and DeMario gave us some entertainment for exactly one episode, but the collateral damage left us with a discussion on sexual consent and race.  The show’s budget is going to hell too.  Chris Harrison has to be the lifeguard, and wardrobe won’t even buy him a bathing suit.

Finally, what an episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Face it, we’ve reached the point where when one of your favorite characters dies you can probably deal with it.  However, when we lose a dragon, you’re heartbroken and want to call PETA.  That’s exactly what happened last night.  If you think that’s not strange enough, how many of us are rooting for incest to take place and see Jon Snow and Daeny actually hook up? It nearly happened last night, and I was shocked it didn’t.  The Night King would be both an excellent Olympic Javelin thrower, as well as a far better quarterback than anybody on the Jets roster right now.  Imagine what Donald Trump was probably thinking if he saw this episode.  “The White Walkers were peacefully protesting before a stone was thrown.  There is blame on both sides.”  Where does the army of the dead get chains to pull the dragon? Is there a Walmart north of the wall?  After episodes like that, I’m beginning to think HBO needs to include therapy in your subscription.  I think we need to face the fact that there’s a strong likelihood this season, and the series could very well have an unhappy ending.  One of Sansa, Arya, or Daeny seem most likely not to make it out of this season.  The show could tear your heart out next week, then disappear for a year.  Hard to tell if this is a TV series, or your ex.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 14, 2017

Roger Goodell has committed quite a few acts of cruelty during his time as NFL Commissioner.  The Bills topped all of those acts of cruelty last week by trading Sammy Watkins to the Rams.  This is called building a franchise reactively instead of proactively.  The Rams need talent and playmakers that can stretch the field, but they can’t be in the business of giving up high draft picks in the process. Watkins will probably suffer another injury boarding the plane that will keep out for 6-8 weeks.  If the Bills believed that Watkins was healthy, they wouldn’t have given up on him.  He’s a problem for the Rams now, but the bigger problem is their offensive line, which still pretty terrible.  Saturday’s preseason game against the Cowboys showed that problem on full display.

Speaking of the Cowboys, they learned that Ezekiel Elliott would be suspended for six games for alleged domestic abuse.  Jerry Jones is so upset over this, he’ll probably sign Lucky Whitehead and cut him again. I also like how every Cowboys fan on Twitter turned into an attorney once they heard this news.  Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un will probably play in the NFL before Colin Kaepernick does.  The Falcons had a double digit lead on the Dolphins going into the 4th quarter of a preseason game, blew it, and lost. They’re already in playoff form.  Mike Glennon’s 2nd pass as a Chicago Bear was a pick six. He’s replacing Jay Cutler perfectly.  The NFL regular season is just a few weeks away!

There were 21,000 people at the Chargers game last night.  There were 25,000 people at the last LA Galaxy game.  After last night, LA officials are probably on the phone with the city of San Diego trying to figure out if there is a way the Bolts can move back there.

To baseball, where the Dodgers may have won two of three against the D’Backs earlier in the week, but they gave us a glimpse of where they should still be concerned come playoff time.  The bullpen.  In two of the three games against the D’Backs, the pen imploded in the 7th or 8th inning.  As great as the Dodgers have been this year, this is the same problem they’ve had in the postseason the last four years.  Even scarier is the fact the St. Louis Cardinals are knocking on the door of the playoffs.  As if I didn’t have enough nightmares from the recent Dodger playoff appearances.  Houston Mitchell of the LA Times says that we should stop worrying about what happens to the Dodgers if they come up short in the playoffs, because it’s like worrying about the traffic on the way home from Disneyland.    Houston forgot that we worry about the crowds at Disneyland and the traffic on the way home, but it doesn’t stop us from going.  It’s just part of being a sports fan.  We don’t stop being Dodger fans because they kick their fans in the balls every October, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less when it happens, or stop us from being worried about it.

Meanwhile, the Angels are now sitting in the 2nd Wild Card spot in the American League.  I don’t know if that says more about the Halos, or the fact that the rest of the American League isn’t very good.  This team is Mike Trout and a bunch of pitchers held together by duct tape and chicken wire.  However, that pitching staff might actually be getting some serious help in the next couple of weeks.  Andrew Heaney looks like he could be coming off the DL soon, and Garrett Richards could be coming shortly after that.  When you add those two guys to rookie Parker Bridwell, who is now 7-1 after yesterday, the Halos roster may be getting better when they need it most.

Lonzo Ball picked Lebron Over Kobe when asked who is better.  I realize that some Kobe fans probably want to burn Lonzo’s house down, impound his car, and eject him from the universe.  However, this was a shrewd move by Lonzo, who is angling to play with Lebron in 2018, when he will be a free agent.  Lonzo doesn’t always say a lot, but when he does, he gets it.

I like the Clippers new uniforms and all, but how often are they going to keep changing them? Steve Ballmer has been trying to establish a new brand and much different identity since taking over the team.  However, how can you establish that identity when you change uniforms more frequently than Zach Randolph smokes weed?

If Josh Rosen thinks the demands of being a student athlete at UCLA are unreasonable, then he can try being a regular student.  Like all the other students at UCLA, he can struggle to actually find a spot in the classes he needs for his major to graduate.  He can also get a job and pay for his education the way many others are, as opposed to the free education he is receiving.  Nobody said being a student athlete is easy, but Rosen shouldn’t act like he doesn’t have the opportunity of a lifetime in front of him.

Let’s talk TV, starting with The Bachelorette season finale last week.  How did Rachel ever leave Kevin Durant? They had so much in common, like the fact they were totally desperate and would do anything for a ring.  They each got one in 2017.  Everyone put her on pedestal when the show started, but she ended up disappointing many by choosing Bryan over Peter.  There’s nothing like wanting to be married more than wanting to be with the right person.  You thought Nick and Vanessa were the most superficial looking couple you’ve ever seen? Rachel just said “hold my beer”, and gave us an even more fake relationship with her and Bryan.  How does Bryan feel about the fact that his fiancé wanted to be with another man 24 hours before he actually proposed to her? That’s like winning by forfeit.  Bryan is to true love what chiropractors are to medicine: fake.  Unfortunately, Rachel was too busy flying around in helicopters, and having dates in Spain with too many guys to realize that is the case.  The season started off so promising, but had an unsatisfying ending.

Finally, Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night with another episode.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if that is the case.  This episode wasn’t edge of your seat like last week but still pretty solid.  Nobody really thought that Jamie was dead after last week right?  You have to appreciate the alliances that are taking place here.  A coupe of bastards, two dudes who have been resurrected, a disgraced knight, a Wildling, a sorcerer, and the Hound, all team up to form a coalition with Cersei, who really wants them dead.  The Lannisters now look like they are screwed, but their fate will just have to wait until the battle with the White Walkers is over.  Something tells me Littlefinger is going to outsmart Arya, and will successfully drive a wedge between the two Stark girls with his latest move.  The biggest bomb of the show was Gilly mentioning Rhaegar being secretly remarried to Ned’s sister. That makes Jon Snow a true Targaryen, and gives him an even more rightful claim to the iron throne than Dany.  Jon touching the dragon might as well have been a DNA test to prove he’s a Targaryen.  Only two episodes left in 2017!

 

Monday Morning Coffee

August 7, 2017

I’m that guy.  That’s right.  I’m the grumpy Dodger fan that finds a way to remain skeptical of their World Series chances, even after putting together the best 50-game stretch in the last 100 years of baseball.  How can you blame me though? The team hasn’t won the World Series since 1988, while their middle relief and lack of starting pitching depth has let them down in the last four years of postseason play.  I’m not so sure that Tony Watson or Tony Cingrani can fix that relief problem, given their struggles against lefties this year.  Cingrani sounds better suited to be Italian seasoning on chicken, rather than a Major League pitcher.  As for Yu Darvish, he looked great in his debut, but knowing the Dodgers’ luck, he’ll probably pick up a blister shaking hands with Rich Hill and Brandon McCarthy.  Maybe Andrew Friedman should have acquired Steve Bartman at the deadline as a scapegoat if the Dodgers come up short in the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the trade deadline came and went in disappointing fashion for the Angels.  The Halos are like a drunk ugly guy at the party who can’t get a ride home, but isn’t good looking enough to find a girl to hook up with.  They tried to get prospects for some of their relievers, but their assets weren’t good enough to help replenish their disastrous farm system.  They also aren’t nearly talented enough to compete for an AL Wild Card spot, let alone the AL West title.  It’s no wonder the Angels have no choice but to keep sticking Albert Pujols in the middle of their batting order, and Ricky Nolasco on the mound.  They have no better alternatives.  It would also be nice if Kole Calhoun didn’t step out of the batters box after every pitch.  The man has become the human rain delay.

Doc Rivers is out as head of basketball operations for the Clippers, but will remain coach.  That should insure that the Clippers will miss the playoffs next season.  Austin Rivers is probably wondering whether or not he’ll be traded anytime soon.  In all seriousness though, Doc Rivers trusts Lawrence Frank quite a bit, so I’m not sure how much they will disagree on issues anyway.  Doc also isn’t going to be interested in sticking around long if the Clippers miss the playoffs and are closer to a rebuild.  In any case, I think it’s safe to say that Danilo Gallinari plays and punches like a Clipper.  He couldn’t have begun his Clipper career in more typical fashion by breaking his hand on another player’s face.  He and Blake Griffin should call themselves the orthopedic front court duo.

Just one week into NFL training camp, the Chargers have lost rookie offensive lineman Forrest Lamp to a torn ACL.  You can take the Chargers out of San Diego, but you can’t take the injuries out of the Chargers.  Good thing GM Tom Telesco claimed his focus was on drafting players that he thought would remain healthy.  1st round pick Mike Williams is going to be hampered by a back injury this year as well, so the Bolts are clearly in mid-season form.  The Chargers not only can’t seem to get their draft picks right, but they also can’t seem to get their birthday’s right either.  They wished Williams a happy birthday when it was really two months away.

It’s great to hear that the 2028 Olympics are going to be back in Los Angeles.  Let’s be honest though, LA and Paris are really two of the few remaining cities that are capable of profitably hosting the summer games.  Part of the agreement includes several hundred million dollars up front that the city of LA plans to use for youth sports.  However, as a concession for deferring the games until 2028, LA could have extracted even more from the IOC, who really could have been put over a barrel.  Instead of utilizing existing spaces at UCLA and USC for an athlete Olympic village, LA could have had the IOC dump money into a new Olympic village, which could have been converted into low income housing.  That would help solve a few of SoCal’s current issues like homelessness.

Let’s talk TV.  The season finale of The Bachelorette goes down tonight on ABC.  However, the story of last week was the Men Tell All, which was extremely uncomfortable.  That episode was as dramatic as when Scaramucci got canned in the Oval Office, but with more attractive people.  Lee got absolutely crushed on national television, and spent two hours trying to avoid saying “I’m a racist.”  What happened to his thick southern boy accent?  Chris Harrison didn’t exactly help Lee’s cause either by putting him on blast by showing some of his previously racially insensitive tweets to the audience.  I’m still not sure if ABC should send a memo out to the public apologizing for casting a racist, or if they meant to do this to give us what they thought would be great entertainment.  Meanwhile, DeMario clearly missed the memo that he was supposed to wear a suit to the show.  He looked like he was getting ready to pick up a shift at the Olive Garden when it was over.  There should be a Men Tell All show for all the people Donald Trump has fired in the last six months.

Then there was Sharknado 5, which went down on SyFy last night.  Once again, this thing nearly broke the internet, dominating Twitter.  I know what you’re thinking: a tornado with sharks could never happen.  However, a Sharknado is ten times more likely than the Rams or Chargers making the playoffs, and far more realistic than CNN’s reporting.  I’ve gotta hand it to the producers.  They found a way to offend nearly every country in a two hour period.  I feel like Tara Reid’s entire script was her yelling “aaaaaahhhhhh” for the whole movie.  Where can I get one of those Gil helmets for Halloween? So many people died in Sharknado 5, I was beginning to think i was watching Game of Thrones.  More on that in a moment.  Of course they are coming out with Sharknado 6 next summer.    If Ms. Piggy and Michael Jackson had a baby, it would grow up looking like this.

Finally, what an unbelievable episode of Game of Thrones last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  I love how most people watching the episode probably weren’t even phased by the fact thousands of men were burned alive, yet the dragon took one spear and everybody was horrified.  I was most concerned that we could lose Dany because no significant character had died recently.  However, I did not want to see Jamie die either, which is ironic, because most of us probably have a soft spot for the guy that pushed a ten year old boy out the window when this whole thing started.  Speaking of that 10 year old boy, Bran is starting to get on my nerves.  He’s like your weird emo friend who you just can’t talk to anymore after he’s taken one philosophy class in college.  Arya is getting way too cocky with her sword skills.  I have a feeling it might actually get her killed.  Poor Sansa, all of her siblings have super powers yet what is hers? Attracting terrible men?  Robert Baratheon once said only a fool would meet the Dothraki in the open field battle.  I think we all know what he meant after that episode.  Do you realize that there has been a battle in every episode this season? Do you realize how wild the next three episodes are going to be? I don’t know how I’m going to wait another week for this.  Writing in a television series might have never been this good.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 31, 2017

Don’t be surprised or disappointed if the Dodgers don’t do anything much before today’s MLB trade deadline.  In two previous trade deadlines, Andrew Friedman has held on to his top prospects the way Charlie Sheen hangs on to bags of cocaine.  That was when there were real elite pitchers available like Cole Hamels, David Price, and Johnny Cueto available.  Today there’s nothing but a bunch of has-beens available like Yu Darvish and Justin Verlander, even though the trade value of the Tigers’ pitcher is enhanced by the fact his girlfriend is Kate Upton.  Improving the bullpen would be nice, and so would Yu Darvish, but this isn’t the trade deadline to go all out.  If Friedman didn’t do it then, he’s probably not going to do it now.  He doesn’t need to either.  As for Clayton Kershaw, the one positive about his back injury: he gets to rest his arm for the playoffs.

What are the Angels doing? They should be moving players at the trade deadline like they are having a clearance sale, just to do whatever they can to improve their farm system.  The Halos’ front office refuses to look themselves in the mirror and admit that they need to rebuild.  They might have Mike Trout, but they have no money to go get quality free agents, and no solid young players to build with.  By now, Bud Norris, David Hernandez, and Yusmeiro Petit should all have their bags packed.  Even Kole Calhoun could fetch some decent prospects.  Instead, the Angels will continue to fall out of the playoff race and come this winter, they’ll once again try to convince everyone that they are just a player or two away from contending.  That really means they are about to make another stupid free agent signing.

By now you have probably heard about how rough of a week NFL wide receiver Lucky Whitehead is having.  In fact, it’s probably the worst week any human being has ever had.  First his dog gets stolen by his ex-girlfriend, sold to some rappers who then held the dog for random.  Then he gets cut by the Cowboys after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, he got claimed off waivers by the Jets.  At this point, he should probably change his name to “Unlucky Whitehead”, and request to go back to jail since that’s better than playing for the Jets.  You’ve gotta love the Cowboys’ logic.  Ezekiel Elliott was accused of multiple crimes, but he’s a great talent, so they protect him at all cost.  Whitehead was falsely  accused of a crime but since he’s not a great talent, the Cowboys cut him immediately.

Speaking of the NFL, the fact the Rams have been unable to come to an agreement with Aaron Donald just goes to show you how out of whack the NFL is.  Quarterbacks like Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill can make $20 million a year just for being mediocre.  Meanwhile Donald is one of the best players in the league, and he’l be lucky if he makes half of that.  The only thing exciting about the Rams this coming season is the fact that they have a fun training camp to go watch at UC Irvine.  They might be able to find better football players walking on campus though.  Not even an easier schedule can stop this team from being one of the worst in the NFL in 2017.

The Chargers also opened up training camp in Costa Mesa over the weekend.  I’m definitely intrigued at the thought of the Bolts playing in a soccer stadium, where the fans could provide an incredible home field advantage.  However, the Chargers division and their schedule, is way too tough to expect them to make the playoffs.  Also, the fact that Mike Williams is already injured is about as surprising as Donald Trump insulting his fellow Republicans.

I can’t believe people actually thought that Michael Phelps was going to get in the water next to a Great White Shark and actually race it.  I was shocked that those people walk among us.  It was actually bold enough for Phelps to get in the water and swim in an area that has been known to have Great White Sharks in it.  Even against the computer model shark, Phelps had no chance.  In order to train for the race he should have just had Ray Lewis chase him around with a knife.  The race would have been way more fair if marine biologists had injected the shark with the same weed that Phelps smokes.

The Bachelorette is back on ABC tonight for the “Men Tell All”, but last week’s episode had to make you laugh.   Rachel is of the opinion that when the show is over, she has to be engaged.  On the other hand, Peter has a take it a little more slow opinion that the rest of the world has, yet he is viewed as the crazy one.  I’m beginning to think Rachel’s dad would rather light himself on fire than end up on reality television, since it’s been two seasons that he decided not to be on the show.  The show has a tendency to make you think one thing is going to happen, in last week’s case getting rid of Peter, then does something totally different.  Peter is still in the game.  However, you know Rachel is mad at him because she didn’t even finish her glass of wine while she was with him.  Rachel never leaves an empty glass of wine people.  For those of you that like Peter, be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Finally, Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you haven’t.  This was an amazing episode.  Lady Olenna just dropped the mic in spectacular fashion.  That woman showed that a dying rose can still kill a Lion.   The meeting between Daenerys and Jon didn’t go as smoothly as we thought.  She gave a long tale of how she struggled to get where she is now, and all Jon had to say was “I actually died and came back to life.”  I like how it no longer takes a full season for characters to travel from one part of the seven kingdoms to the next.  Jamie is going to kill Euron at some point.  Someone needs give Sansa their HBO GO password so she can go back in time and figure out what the hell Bran is talking about.  Then again, if he told you he’s the “three-eyed Raven” instead of the Lord of Winterfell, you would probably think he just got back from Burning Man.  The Lannisters look like they are winning the war for now, but something tells me they are going to blow it.  The next episode can’t get here soon enough!

 

Monday Morning Coffee

July 24, 2017

So what exactly do you get if you win an NBA Summer League Championship in Vegas? Do you get free lap dances at the Spearmint Rhino? Probably nothing more than respect and a nice trophy, but it was good to see the Lakers win something because it’s been a while.  The bigger take away was Lonzo Ball’s impact, and I’m not just talking about on the floor.  The Lakers final summer league game got better ratings than the Red Sox vs Blue Jays on ESPN, and Lonzo didn’t even play in the game.  People were just tuning in to find out what shoes he was wearing.  Being an NBA superstar isn’t just about how great you are on the court, which Lonzo demonstrated by winning the summer MVP, but also your marketability.  You can thank Lavar for that, and at this rate, he’s going to be demanding a statue outside of Staples Center pretty soon.  Then there’s ESPN, which is so desperate for news in July, they are busy analyzing whether or not Lonzo had the greatest calf strain injury in NBA history.  This sums it up nicely…..

Then there’s Kyrie Irving who rocked the NBA by requesting the Cavs to trade him.  Who wouldn’t want to play with Lebron James? This is what you expect from a guy who thinks the world is really flat.  Kyrie’s request actually speaks volumes about what he thinks Lebron James is going to do in a year from now, rather than his desire to be the man.  He averages more shots than anybody else on the team, and has a usage rate of 31%.  He’s also ok with being traded to San Antonio, who has Kawhi Leonard, or Minnesota, who has Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler.  Kyrie is just ready to turn the page, even if it means missing out on a sure NBA Finals appearance next season.  I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Clippers make a bid for him either.  They’ve got some very useful assets and team friendly contracts.  A trio of Blake, DeAndre, and Kyrie is a solid foundation to work with for the next five years as well.

To Major League Baseball where the Dodgers have opened the bidding for sponsors to put their name on the field at Dodger Stadium for a measly $12 million.  If Spectrum Sports wins the bidding, we can probably expect the fans attending the game to somehow be unable to watch the games.  As for the team, the trade deadline is fast approaching, and they need pitching.  Last week was a reminder of just how scary it might be throwing Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy out on the mound in an October game.  There’s even more concern now that Clayton Kershaw is headed to the disabled list after injuring his back yesterday. However, there really isn’t a pitcher available on the trade market better than those two guys right now.  The Dodgers are better off acquiring a shutdown lefty reliever like Zach Britton, who they can deploy three or four times during a six or seven game series.  I’m not really sure what the point of having a great regular season bullpen is if you can’t trust them in the playoffs.  That’s why Britton is the answer.

Meanwhile, the Angels would be foolish to be buyers at the trade deadline.  Even though they are 3.5 games out of the AL Wild Card, they are battling seven teams for two available spots.  Even with Mike Trout, the team is boring.  My uncle had a heart problem recently and his cardiologist advised him not to participate in any activities that would cause excitement.  The cardiologist suggested watching Angels baseball every night so that wouldn’t happen, and my uncle is in much better condition because of it.  They Halos need an entire pitching staff and come this winter, they are probably going to need an entire new infield.  The only players on the roster worth keeping are Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons.  The Halos should also be concerned that Trout is busy trying to recruit Lebron James to his beloved Philadelphia 76ers next year.  Does that mean he’s trying to make his way to the Phillies in the next few years?

I’m amazed that people are still obsessed with OJ Simpson.  I also felt like I entered a time machine and traveled twenty years back watching his parole hearing.  Back then OJ was known for feeling like he was entitled to whatever he wanted, and people were still obsessed with his celebrity.  That was a major contributor to him being acquitted of murder.  I still think his biggest crime is making the Kardashians famous.  During his parole hearing one of the commissioners was actually wearing a Heisman Trophy shirt and a Kansas City Chiefs tie.  Another felt the need to joke around with OJ that he was really 91 instead of 71 years old.  OJ’s attorney was also caught on camera saying OJ was like Donald Trump, who gets two scoops of ice cream while everybody else gets one.  Twenty years later nothing has changed.  OJ still feels entitled, and people are still star struck.  Even weirder is the fact that the folks at USC refuse to stop associating themselves with him.  “USC recognizes O.J’s accomplishments as a football player,’’ a university spokesperson said Thursday. “What happened after USC is beyond our scope.’  USC has no shame I tell you.

Let’s talk TV starting with the Bachelorette, which is back on tonight on ABC.  We’re down to three contestants for Rachel to choose from, but the story last week was Dean, who was eliminated after the show took advantage of airing his family’s dirty laundry.  After the show put him through all that, he should definitely be the next bachelor.  However, watching his dad with his long beard made me feel like I was watching The Karate Kid.  I was waiting for him to tell Rachel that he just got finished karate chopping some wooden boards before he met with them.  I’m beginning to think that Peter is going to be the next bachelor, which means she’ll probably end up with Bryan.  We all know that Rachel likes white guys, so it’s gotta be Bryan.

Shark Week 2017 began last night on Discovery, which is like Christmas for me.  I have always been incredibly fascinated by Sharks yet incredibly terrified of them.  Given how common it seems to be these days to spot a Great White Shark off the Southern California coast, it’s almost shocking that we haven’t heard of more incidents happening between sharks and human beings.  That also goes to show you that sharks aren’t trying to eat us.  I’m pleased to see Discovery filling their programing with educational shark content as opposed to talking to numerous victims who lost some limbs during shark attacks, which the network did several years ago.  That just demonizes sharks.  I loved the idea of Michael Phelps racing a shark to kick off the week though.  However, Phelps’ chances of beating that shark were similar to the chances of the Cleveland Browns making the playoffs.

Finally, Game of Thrones was back on HBO last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan to watch it later.  I think the show is just being nice to us for a little before killing everyone we actually care about.  Euron is clearly shaping up to be this season’s psychotic villain, like Joffrey and Ramsey, who we all want dead.  Just when I you think Theon has become a man again, he reminds us that he doesn’t have any balls (literally) to save his sister.  Ser Jorah just needs some coconut oil and I’m sure he’ll be fine.  I definitely needed to puke after seeing the camera cut to food after seeing his skin though.  Dany is getting a little too cocky for my taste.  Half the drama on this show could be avoided if nobody asked anybody else to “bend the knee”.  Somehow Little Finger is going to survive until the end of this series, and be a huge player when it’s over.  I love how Sansa was mad at Jon right up until he said he was leaving her in charge of the north.  Here’s a nice little summary of the Grey Worm and Missandei sex scene……..

 

Monday Morning Coffee

July 17, 2017

Remember early last week when you were prisoner of the moment and thought Lonzo Ball was totally overhyped? I bet you don’t feel that way anymore.  Don’t feel bad though, so did some of those foolish ESPN writers, who didn’t even rank Lonzo in the top 10 summer league rookies at that point.  Forget the fact that Lonzo is going through shoes faster than the Kardashians go through NBA boyfriends.  His impact has been unbelievable.  I’m not talking about his stats.  It’s the intangibles.  He forces everybody to make the extra pass and look for an even better shot.  Wait until he plays with even better players come the fall.  As for the offseason, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was a great signing for the Lakers, who is a nice piece to go along with their young core.  He’ll also be a nice plan B next summer, if the Lakers are unable to sign Lebron next.

Elsewhere around the NBA, I love how the Knicks waited until the offseason was basically over to bring on new General Manager, Scott Perry.  There must be some rule that once you end up in New York, you automatically become dumber.  Perry talked about the importance of young talent after signing a new five-year deal, yet for some reason he wants to try to convince Carmelo Anthony to stay after the Knicks had momentum on a trade with Houston.  Meanwhile, the Paul George press conference in OKC was hilarious.  “I’m committed to the Thunder to give them everything I have while I’m here.”  Are you kidding? He’s not even hiding the fact he’s signing with the Lakers next summer.  I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read that.

The 2017 MLB All Star game MVP should have been awarded to the fan who was able to stay awake for the entire game.  The best part of the game was Nelson Cruz deciding to take a picture with the umpire in the middle of the game.  The home run derby was slightly more entertaining, however, Aaron Judge can expect a drug test from the league after that performance.  Cody Bellinger’s mom should also get expect to be hit on and trend on Twitter for the rest of her son’s career.

The Dodgers are rolling and in a couple of weeks they’ve ended the NL West race faster than a knife fight in a phone booth.  They have the best record in baseball but it’s not all good.  Brandon McCarthy, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, and Hyun-Jin Ryu still can’t be trusted to give you a reliable performance.  If this were the postseason, I wouldn’t even trust any of them to tell me what they wanted on their pizza.  The Dodgers also can’t seem to find a reliable lefty shutdown reliever since Grant Dayton, Luis Avilan, or Adam Liberatore are either injured or stink.  Those might seem like correctable problems, but there isn’t really any starting pitching available at this year’s trade deadline to improve, and the reliever market is always fickle.  Things look great now, but I’m still a doubter until LA can finally come through in October.

Meanwhile, the Angels continued their annual tradition of getting rid of their starting 2nd baseman in the middle of the season by letting go of Danny Espinosa.  I guess it took half the season to realize that he was the worst performing everyday 2nd baseman in the league.  I wonder how much longer the Halos will put up with the likes of Jefry Marte and Luis Valbuena?  Probably not before another Angel pitcher gets hurt and not before Garret Richards comes to his senses and realizes he should have had Tommy John surgery last year.  The Angels need to find young and effective arms that can stay healthy. Until then, not even Mike Trout will be able to lead them to the postseason.

I hope you’re all enjoying these ridiculous WWE like scripted press conferences that Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor are providing us.  It’s going to be ten times better than the fight itself, and should remind you just how far the sport of boxing has fallen.  With all this talk about Mayweather’s taxes and smear campaigns against both fighters, I’m beginning to wonder if this is about a boxing match or a Presidential election?  Even if McGregor makes $100 million off of this fight, it won’t buy him better taste in suits.

Let’s talk TV because the season premier of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Did anybody actually know what Ed Sheeran looked like before seeing him on that episode last night, and with the help of the internet? I sure didn’t.  One of the scariest parts of the episode was hearing Sansa say that she has learned a ton from Cersei.  I hope she was talking about her taste in wines because nobody wants to see Sansa become the evil villain that Cersei is, but it sounds like she might become more unlikable.  This show is clearly delivering a theme of women that are becoming empowered.  Sansa’s input is becoming more valuable to Jon, Cersei is controlling Kings Landing, the Mother of Dragons has an army behind her, and Arya is on a mission to avenge the death of her family.

Finally, The Bachelorette is going down tonight on ABC, and we’re down to the final four.  Well, I think we are.  After last week, I’m beginning to think the producers just throw in random people you’ve never heard of on a weekly basis, just so Rachel can eliminate them.  I mean who are Matt, Adam, and Will and has Rachel ever spoken more than 10 words to them? I knew Eric was going to stick around for at least another week.  ABC wasn’t going to continue to anger people by eliminating every black man off the show.  They’ll just wait until the season finale to show their racial insensitivity again.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 10, 2017

NBA Summer League is out of control.  People have officially lost their minds, acting more riveted by Summer League action than the NBA Finals.  People are spending $200 a ticket to come see Lonzo Ball play against guys that will probably never play in the NBA.  Then there’s the analysis and coverage of each game, which is more scrutinized that Donald Trump’s presidency at this point.  It’s an easy reminder that we are watching 18 and 19 year old kids that need years to turn into something.  As for the Lakers, they still can’t get anybody to take their $17 million because they are only offering a one-year deal.  There’s not much left on the free agent market either.

As for the Clippers, for about six days it looked like they were on their way to building a basketball team the right way.  Then they couldn’t help themselves and decided to blow $21 million on Danilo Gallinari, who is an injury-prone player that will likely struggle to fit next to Blake Griffin, who plays his same position.  On top of that, they finally got a 1st round pick next year from Houston, yet managed to give it away just days after acquiring it.  I doubt the Clips have the durability or the chemistry to make the playoffs in the West.

A few years ago I came to the conclusion that anybody can get married and anybody can have sex.  In the same way, after Swaggy P signed with the Warriors last week, I learned that anybody can win an NBA championship if they are in the right situation.  I was also reminded that the Knicks still can’t get out of their own way.  Just when you think they are about to grow a brain after firing Phil Jackson and setting up an interview with David Griffin, they ask you to hold their beer so they can remind you how stupid they are.  A $71 million contract to Tim Hardaway Jr. shocked the NBA world, and failure to give David Griffin the personnel he wanted was senseless, but then again, nobody should be surprised.

To baseball, where we’ve reached the All-Star break and the Dodgers own the best record in baseball.  However, I’d be more scared that this is a 107-win team that’s peaking too early.  Baseball is all about timing.  Sure the Cubs won the World Series with the best regular season record last years.  However, the last time it happened before that was in 2009 with the Yankees.  Those two teams had far better pitching than the Dodgers do now.  I’m also scared to death that Cody Bellinger is going to be the next Joc Pederson now that he’s going to be in the home run derby this week.  Bellinger was already struggling, so maybe this is the beginning of the end.

As for the Angels, things could be worse at the break, but they could also be a heck of a lot better.  Mike Scioscia says he likes NL lineups better.  I guess that explains why he he has a bunch of .200 hitters in his lineup like Danny Espinosa and Luis Valbuena on a regular basis.  The Halos are within striking distance of the AL Wild Card, but the risk of putting their young injury-prone pitching staff back on the mound just to get blown away in the playoffs isn’t worth it.

I cannot believe that the Olympics are adding 3-on-3 basketball to the summer games.  What’s next Wiffle ball and capture the flag?  As long as the IOC keeps bastardizing the Olympics, i guess we’ll see lawn darts and korn hole next.

Finally, let’s be honest…..you were all outraged last week when you raced home from whatever it was you were doing last Monday, only to find out that the Bachelorette was airing a rerun of the previous week’s episode.  Like you really wanted to see Lee and Kenny battle it out again, and ABC remind us how much they like sensationalizing racism.  Hopefully they’ll give us something better tonight.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

June 26, 2017

The Lakers have announced their plan.  That plan sounds a lot like the old plan, but with a few key differences.  Mostly that it’s being executed by Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka.  Generally, trading away a productive young player like D’Angelo Russell just to get rid of a bad contract isn’t good business.  However, Magic and Pelinka didn’t join the Lakers to wait five years to win.  They can afford to take risks.  The Lakers plan on coming to the free agent bargaining table with room for two max free agent next summer.  That’s something the previous regime did only once in the last four summers, and it was last summer when they were coming off their worst year.  Magic and Pelinka also know how to play the back room game with free agents, interacting with player agents year round.  Ultimately, the success of the plan will depend on whether or not Lebron, Paul George, or Russell Westbrook will sign here in 2018.  In any case, the Lakers’ real championship aspirations will depend on whether or not Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram can become superstars.  Lonzo can’t go wrong when he looks like……

The big story surrounding the Clippers is the fact that they were shopping DeAndre Jordan.  Everyone seems to be under the impression that this was done because they might be looking to rebuild, or blow up the core.  What all those nerdy salary cap experts realize is that they were doing this to see how they might be able to gain more financial flexibility to sign Lebron James in 2018.  That’s probably why Chris Paul will re-sign, along with 205 million other reasons.  In the meantime though, Paul is going to act like that girl who just became single for the first time in a few years, flirting with every guy at every bar and restaurant, acting like she’s got serious game.  Only when the fun of the flirtation is over, she’ll end up back with her ex-boyfriend.

As for other NBA news that broke last week, Dwight Howard has changed teams again! This guy is getting passed around the NBA more than a Kardashian.  At this rate he’s going to be finishing his career in the WNBA.  Hawks’ General Manager Travis Schlenk said they had other offers for Dwight but that was the best offer.  The best offer? You had to acquire one of the worst contracts in the NBA to get rid of Dwight.  What were the other offers? To be physically abused? The incompetence of some NBA organizations is amazing.  The Cavs have made the finals for three straight years, then they decided to fire their General Manager and try to replace him with somebody that doesn’t have experience. Then there’s Phil Jackson who has found a way to make the Knicks an even bigger joke than they were.  You have to wonder if he’s actually drinking on the job, or smoking weed.  We know he’s sleeping on the job according to a top 15 prospect who worked out in front of him.  Check out the latest update to his Wiki page…..

The Dodgers are on fire right now.  It’s starting to feel like not even Andrew Friedman’s mistakes can stop them these days.  However, they did get some horrible news last week.  Julio Urias, the organization’s most promising young pitcher, ruptured the anterior capsule in his left shoulder.  He will undergo surgery and miss not only the rest of 2017, but most of 2018 as well.  This is much worse than Tommy John surgery folks.  The sample of pitchers who have undergone this surgery is very small, and those who have had it have been finished with baseball career shortly after.  Sadly, the Dodgers will have to assume that he will not be a part of their future plans unless a pleasant surprise occurs.  Urias had the potential to be the frontline starter the Dodgers needed behind Clayton Kershaw come October.  As great as Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy look now, come playoff time, I wouldn’t trust them to tell me what they wanted on their pizza.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers will have no choice but to trust them if they have World Series aspirations.

As for the Angels, the fact they are still in the Wild Card Race is impressive.  They haven’t had Mike Trout for weeks, and they haven’t had a pitching staff all season.  Somehow they have the 6th best ERA in the American League, mostly due to an overachieving bullpen.  Apparently when Mike Trout signed his last contract in 2014, he sought a lifetime contract from the Halos.  At that point Arte Moreno declined, but one has to wonder if Moreno would re-consider at this point.  That depends how Moreno wants to run his franchise.  If the Angels aren’t ready to win by 2020, when Trout is a free agent, then they would be wise to reboot the franchise with a boat load of prospects, rather than commit to Trout until he is 40 years old.  However, if Moreno is primarily interested in just filling the seats and getting 3 million people coming to the ballpark every year, which it seems is his only goal, then sign him up to the lifetime deal.  As great as Mike Trout is, one player in baseball only takes you so far.

Many fans of Breaking Bad have been invested in Better Call Saul for the last three years.  Spoiler alert if you plan on watching it so read no further if that is the case.  If you loved Breaking Bad and haven’t taken the plunge into Better Call Saul, then you need to immediately.  The show just finished its third season last week, and is all about the little nuances that are connected to Breaking Bad, which gives you an even greater appreciation for both shows.  However, the one storyline that keeps us coming back for more is why did Jimmy end being the shady character that he turned out to be? Most of us have a feeling that is has to do with his brother’s death, Chuck, who we think just died in the last episode.  The suspense of what happened to Kim Wexler is also killing everyone.  Since there is no Kim Wexler in Breaking Bad, one of two things had to have happened: either she died, or Jimmy’s behavior destroyed her career so she moved away.  Since this show is so dramatic, and since she started to display reckless behavior in season 3, I think we’re headed for a very sad death to end the show.

Finally, the Bachelorette was back last week, and get ready for another two episodes this week.  It was only a matter of time before the producers brought race into this drama.  Sure enough, Lee is clearly a racist, confronting Eric and now Kenny, trying to rat them out and get them kicked off the show.  Of course leave it to Dean to call out Lee for his racism in the most classy way possible.  Knowing Rachel though, she’ll probably cut Kenny for his inability to spell “champagne”, and Eric for his inability to spell “facade”.  Dean and Peter seem like locks for the final four.  How the hell is Iggy still on the show? That guy never talks to Rachel, other than to snitch on some other guys in the house.  I guess Rachel likes white guys and guys that look like Shaka Zulu.  Josiah is definitely growing on me.  He’s got a chance after his spelling bee win.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

June 19, 2017

Now that the Warriors have won the title and assembled what’s going to be a tyrannical dynasty for the next five years, NBA super teams are about to go to a whole new level.  This starts and ends with whatever Lebron James decides.  Rumors are swirling that he’s going to leave the Cavs in 2018 to join either the Lakers or Clippers.  Lebron has clearly expressed an interest in playing with his banana boating buddies before his career ends, but ultimately, he needs to decide if playing with his buddies and living in a better city is more comfortable, or winning championships.  Lebron, CP3, Carmelo, and Dwyane Wade still aren’t going to beat the Warriors, and it would be that much tougher playing in their division.  If Lebron is really serious about adding more rings, he’d stay in the East and figure out a way to team up with All-NBA players like Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook.  Still, it sounds more and more like he’s LA bound in 2018, and given CP3 and Carmelo’s likelihood of landing with the Clips this summer, it gives them the upper-hand getting Lebron next summer.  By the way, check out this interesting stat.  As Alabama football goes, so does Lebron……

The NBA Draft is already getting wild after the Celtics traded the #1 pick to Philly over the weekend.  Boston wants Josh Jackson, but it would be great to Magic screw Danny Ainge and the Celtics by taking him with the #2 pick.  However, Lonzo Ball is the guy the Lakers should take with that #2 pick. Shooting and ball handling can be improved upon by every NBA player, but you can’t teach the intangibles and leadership that Lonzo will bring to the table immediately.  The Lakers should also feel pretty good about the fact that suddenly, more and more players are interested in joining the franchise again.  In addition to Lebron’s rumored interest, Paul George has informed the Pacers he’s leaving in 2018, and prefers the Lakers, and Damian Lillard said if he ever left the Blazers he’d strongly consider the Lakers.  It’s clear that the new Laker leadership is very appealing to stars around the league.

Speaking of leadership, the Clippers shocked us by getting Jerry West to join them as a consultant last week.  Every team West has joined, he’s rebuilt from the ground up due to his greatness as a talent evaluator.  The Clips don’t have any draft picks to work with, so how West guides them from here will be a huge challenge.  The biggest issues with West’s hiring for the Lakers, is that it means they will likely lose the talented Ryan West, Jerry’s son, from their front office.  The Clips are also making headlines by attempting to build a new arena in Inglewood.  Despite all this, it would be extremely “Clipper-esque” of them to make these moves and then lose Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in free agency in a couple of weeks.  I still think both of them are re-signing, but when Adrian Wojnarowski says that there will be meetings with other teams and that both are going to look at their other options, I’d be a lot more nervous about losing them if I were the Clips.

Did you watch the ESPN 30 For 30 on the Lakers and Celtics rivalry? It was spectacular.  It’s funny how we have all forgotten that early in Magic’s career, he was actually booed by Laker fans for getting Paul Westhead fired.  We also forget some of the horrible crunch time mistakes that Magic and James Worthy made in the ’84 NBA Finals against the Celtics.  I still have no idea how LA managed to lose that series.  They had so much more talent and we’re a far better team.  The Lakers never disrespected the Celtics the way they disrespected the Lakers.  I also still feel horrible for Jerry West, who lost eight straight times in the finals to Boston.  You can tell how much it bothers him to this day.  Finally, there were some horrible trades in the 1980’s! The Jazz gave the Lakers the pick that gave them Magic.  The Cavs gave the Lakers the pick that gave them Worthy.  The Sonics gave the Celtics the pick that gave them Len Bias (despite his tragic passing).  It’s almost like every NBA team had Andrew Friedman working as their GM at the time.

The Reds took more abuse from the Dodgers over the weekend than Tiger Woods took from his ex-wife beating him with a golf club.  Cody Bellinger is looking like one of the best power hitters in baseball.  With 19 home runs coming into Sunday, only Gary Sanchez had a better 49-game start to his career.  Sanchez is only a couple of years into his career so it’s hard to benchmark Bellinger against him.  I’m not sure if Bellinger is among the likes of Mark McGwire, Frank Robinson, and Albert Pujols, or among the likes of James Loney and Lance Niekro.  In all likelihood he’s probably somewhere in between complete greatness and complete bust.  He’s certainly helping the Dodgers more than I thought this season, but they still need pitching.  Then again, so does every contending MLB team.  There’s just no real quality pitchers out there that can make a difference.  For those of you that say Alex Wood is an ace, let’s see if you still feel that way come October when LA actually has to give him the ball to start playoff game.

I’m not a big fan of over-analyzing the MLB draft, but considering the Angels have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, their latest draft has to be criticized.  Considering the Halos have one of the best players in the history of baseball playing on their team, they should take advantage of that.  Instead, they spent their 1st pick on Jordon Adell, an outfielder who probably won’t make it to the big leagues before Mike Trout hits free agency in 2020.  Also considering the fact the Angels have no good young pitching, it’s disappointing that two of their first three picks were not pitchers.  However, considering that the one pitcher they did pick, Santa Margarita and UCLA product Griffin Canning, has injury concerns in his back, he should fit right in with all the other injured Halos pitchers.

So we’re actually going to get a Mayweather vs McGregor fight? The only thing dumber than this fight is the people that actually spend money to watch in on Pay-Per-View.  Floyd Mayweather will probably receive a $10 million bonus if he can read one page of a Dr. Seuss book during the weigh in.  This is what boxing has become.  A sport that has absolutely no star power anymore.  A sport where nobody can even identify who the heavyweight champion of the world is.  The sport is dying, and in order to save it they are giving us a boring fighter coming out of retirement against a guy who doesn’t even box.  Some are saying that it’s not the fight that’s going to be entertaining, but all the talk we will have leading up to it.  Those people must really enjoy funerals, because we might as well be talking about the death of what was once a great sport between now and then.

Finally, the Bachelorette will return tonight on ABC, but the real headlines have been made over the last week with the taping of The Bachelor in Paradise.  As many of you probably heard, taping was suspended over some alleged sexual misconduct between the infamous Corrine and the infamous DeMario.  I will spare you the details of this encounter since this is a family blog, however, keep this in mind.  If you have watched The Bachelor and The Bachelorette none of this is “allegedly” surprising.  Is it hard to envision Corrine engaging in wild drunk behavior and passing out? Nope.  Is it hard to envision DeMario as a total player who feels “entitled” to any woman he wants and engaging in that type of behavior?  Nope.  Once this all gets sorted out, bring everybody back and safely resume the taping.  We all watch this stuff because it’s like watching a live train wreck on television.  ABC wants drama and they got it, so let’s bring it back and not complain.

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

June 12, 2017

I’m really looking forward to the NBA Finals ending tonight.  Then we can finally stop this ridiculous idea that the Cavs have the Warriors right where they want them.  It took the best first half in NBA Finals history for the Cavs to actually win a game from Golden State.   That’s not likely to happen three more times, and even more unlikely to happen tonight at Oracle Arena.  However, when the Warriors do win, I hope we don’t have to hear that Kevin Durant is the best player in the world for the next year.  Kevin Durant has to do nothing more than sweep the floor and make his bed.  Meanwhile, Lebron James has to sweep the floor, make the bed, make the breakfast, and feed everyone too.  Only Paul Pierce would come up with such a ridiculous idea that Kevin Durant is the best player in the world, especially since he declared himself the best player in 2008 after the Celtics beat the Lakers.  He must have thought Kobe died.

These NBA draft rumors have gotten really annoying.  The Lakers are trying to spread these rumors that they might not really take Lonzo Ball, and could be taking Josh Jackson instead with the #2 pick.  This reminds me when I was a kid and I was on a really long road trip with my mom, dad, and sister. My sister and I would be fighting in the back of the car when my dad turned around and said “if you kids don’t stop fighting I’m going to turn this car around now and go home!”  Sure you are dad…..after 14 hours in the car, I’m sure you’re just going to turn around.  These are the same empty threats the Lakers are making to Lavar Ball.  They are essentially telling him “if you don’t settle down we aren’t drafting your son.”  We all know the Lakers are taking Lonzo Ball so just stop it already.

Speaking of the Lakers, Luke Walton said something I’ve been preaching on Jock Talk LA for a year now.  That is that the Lakers shouldn’t be willing to trade a whole bunch of talent for one superstar because it’s going to take multiple stars to compete with the Warriors for the next four years.  In other words, now is a really good time to rebuild, so why not just stick with the youth? In fact, I would argue that there aren’t even 3 All-NBA players that can be combined that would beat the Warriors.  That’s the reality of the NBA right now.  At least the Lakers have a handful of young players to rebuild with.  In the case of some teams, they might as well not even bother showing up to work for the next five years.

The Dodgers beat up on a crummy Reds team over the weekend, but the Colorado Rockies aren’t going away in the NL West.  The worst part about it is the players that could be available at this year’s trade deadline are laughable.  LA needs starting pitching and the players being talked about include Oakland’s Sonny Gray and Chicago’s Jose Quintana.  These pitchers are nothing more than middle of the rotation starters that are nothing more than .500 pitchers without much of a post season track record.  The Dodgers have 6 Jose Quintana’s on their roster right now, so why give up prospects for one more? This is just another reason why Dodger fans shouldn’t be very optimistic about their chances come October.

The Angels took advantage of an injured Astros team over the weekend, but Houston has already won the division and we aren’t even at the end of June yet.  Mike Trout has been out for two weeks and it feels like the Halos are a mediocre team with and without him.  Everyone always considers Mike Scioscia one of the best managers in baseball, which is probably true, but it’s still shocking that he’s kept his job so long.  The Halos have made the playoffs one time in the past seven years, and haven’t won a playoff game in 8 years.  Scioscia is still living off of the World Series Championship of 2002, because any other manager, no matter how great, would probably have been fired by now.  Then again, by now it seems to be clear that the Halos are in the business of selling tickets rather than in the business of winning baseball games.

Congratulations to the Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup last night after defeating the Predators in game 6.  I’d like to point out that the Penguins are actually the 2nd team in the cap era to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in a FULL NHL SEASON.  You may have forgotten that the Kings won the cup in 2012 and 2014, while losing in the conference finals in the lockout shortened 2013 season.  Gary Bettman makes Donald Trump look popular.  It’s too bad the officiating in that game was horrible last night and cost the Predators the right to play in a 7th and deciding game.  Bettman should have handed the MVP award to the referees rather than Sidney Crosby……

The recent resignation of Oklahoma football head coach Bob Stoops was definitely noted by the football programs of Notre Dame, UCLA, and even USC.  Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly is definitely on the hottest seat entering the 2017 season.  However, UCLA has underachieved recently under Jim Mora Jr, and it wasn’t all that long ago that everyone was questioning whether or not Clay Helton was the right guy for the Trojans.  Considering USC has such high expectations, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear his name attached to the program if the team struggles.

Although the results are going to be very anti-climactic, I’m very excited to know that LA will likely be awarded the Summer Olympic Games of 2028, while Paris gets the games of 2024.  Although LA could be ready for the Olympic Games next week if necessary, by 2024, hopefully terrorism will have been eradicated by then.  Security will be the biggest issue for both of those cities, but hopefully people won’t have to think about that 7 years from now, and just focus on the beautiful celebration that the Olympics should be.

Finally, the Bachelorette won’t have any new episodes until June 19th.  Going back to last week, I subscribe to the conspiracy theory that Lucas and Blake were buddies who pretended to be enemies to get more camera time on the show.  For that reason, I was glad that Rachel sent both of them home at the same time.  One of my favorite parts of the episode was seeing Corrine and Rachel’s friends from The Bachelor give their opinion on some of the guys.  Not only did Corrine not say anything during the entire show, but it looked like she was falling asleep (again!) at the mud wrestling bar.  Eric is sure to get thrown off the show soon just for being too emotional.  Poor Fred was stressed out over his relationship with Rachel, which eventually got him kicked off the show.  Meanwhile, Peter was relaxed and slamming a burrito after his one-on-one.

 

Monday Morning Coffee


June 5, 2017

Remember after Thursday night when the Warriors destroyed the Cavs and you told yourself “it’s only one game”? After last night’s Warrior win, you’re probably telling yourself, “The Warriors just defended home court, it’s no big deal.”  I said this was going to be a short series, and I’ve seen nothing to make me think differently.  Lebron hasn’t been this upset since he found out Delonte West was sleeping with his mom.  He knows the Cavs are in trouble. It doesn’t matter if Riley Curry  is coaching the Warriors, or Steve Kerr.  Adding Kevin Durant to this team was simply unfair.  They are so good that the Cavs actually think giving up dunks and layups is a better strategy than giving up 3-pointers.  Actually, the best thing about the first two games was the beef between Durant and Rihanna, as well as Jeff Van Gundy getting distracted by her on the broadcast.

Speaking of Durant, Doc Rivers suggested that there is something wrong with KD signing with the Warriors for “anybody that’s competitive.”  I think what Doc really means is that it’s just tough that KD didn’t join the Clippers.  Doc’s only championship came courtesy of a super team in Boston.  The NBA has always had super teams like the Lakers, Celtics, and Bulls, yet nobody complained about it.    The league isn’t in bad shape when there is a dynasty in place.  In fact, it’s actually thrived.  Great players want to win championships to cement their legacy.  When they don’t win them they get crucified.  Now that KD wants to win multiple titles and took less money to do so, he shouldn’t be criticized for it.  If it was Doc who was coaching this super team, I’m sure he’d be telling you how great super teams are for the NBA.

There has been much discussion about Jerry West’s desire to return to the Lakers as a consultant, and finish his career where it started.  West revealed last week that it’s not going to happen.  Actually, West indicated this back in February, even before Magic Johnson was put in charge of basketball operations.  So before you go blaming Magic for this, keep in mind that this has everything to do with a conversation that Jeanie Buss must have had with West prior to that.  Given how great of a talent evaluator West is, and how important drafting is these days, I’m surprised LA couldn’t find a place for him.  Speaking of evaluating talent, I don’t believe the rumors that the Lakers aren’t sold on drafting Lonzo Ball.  Only by leaking that information will they be sure that he works out hard for them, and the same with other prospects coming in to work out for the team.  It’s also a reminder to Lavar Ball to “Stay In Yo Lane.”

The Stanley Cup Final looked like it wasn’t going to be competitive after the Penguins routed the Predators in the first two games, but Nashville is starting to make things interesting again.  However, anybody that watches this series has to be wondering: who the hell comes to a hockey game with a dead catfish in their pants, holds onto it for 2 hours, then throws it on the ice?  I don’t think there’s a dry cleaners in the world that can get that fish stench out of your clothes.

Congratulations to 28-year-old Alex Faust, who was named the LA Kings new television play-by-play man.  He’ll be joining long time analyst Jim Fox in the booth.  It’s usually difficult to follow a legend like Bob Miller, but the Kings followed the Dodgers’ example of hiring a young and upcoming voice, when they hired Joe Davis.  However, even though the Kings have both Faust and Fox in the booth, they might be “F’ed” on the ice.

For the last year I have said that the Rams need a better offensive line before I can judge whether or not Jared Goff can play.  Now I’m not so sure anymore.  Last week head coach Sean McVay suggested that Sean Mannion might actually give the Rams a better chance to win football games.  In other words, McVay is suggesting that the trade to get Goff was a total disaster, and that the kid just can’t play.  When the old coaching staff suggested this it wasn’t a big deal.  However, now that McVay is suggesting it there could be a problem.  If the Rams are bad this year and end up with a top pick in next year’s draft with a ton of quarterback talent, they better not pass up a QB just because they have so much money invested in Goff.

I fail to understand why the Dodgers won’t let their pitchers go more than five innings.  It’s actually much worse than that now, as they’ve been pulling their starters after four innings.  Do Dave Roberts and Andrew Friedman provide their starters with baby bottles and burp them in between innings as well?  Using your bullpen for 6 innings a night is a sure way to burn them out come October, when the success of your bullpen is critical.  I know the Dodgers have some frail guys in their rotation that are injury prone, but this is no recipe for success.

Congratulations to Albert Pujols, who hit home run #600 on Saturday night at the Big A.  15 years ago, this accomplishment would have been more celebrated.  However, now that we know that we had an entire era of steroid users, fair or unfair, it’s hard to know just how real Pujols’ 600 home runs are.  It’s sad that we have to ask ourselves this question, but in reality, most people are.  When Arte Moreno signed Pujols, which also feels like 15 years ago, he envisioned that the chase for 600 home runs would sell out the Big A on a nightly basis.  That wasn’t the case, and the decision to sign Pujols make you wonder whether Arte’s decision making is being driven by winning or by business and marketing.

Maybe Tiger Woods needs to party again to get his game back? If that’s the case, then he’s just one Perkins waitress away from being great again.  Maybe Donald Trump will appoint him as the head of the Department of Transportation now.  Tiger made a very poor decision to get behind the wheel after excessive use of prescription drugs.  There’s no reason for someone like that to not have transportation in this day and age.  However, let’s not forget how much the media sucks.  Last week, tons of media members jumped the gun by reporting that Tiger got a DUI for having too much to drink.  It turns out that alcohol wasn’t even involved at all.  I’d love to see Tiger become great again, but when his DUI is the most athletic thing he’s done in years, it’s probably not likely to happen.  I guess I’ll just have to resort to having fun with him like the media…..

Finally, the drama of The Bachelorette is in full effect after last week’s episode.  DeMario was clearly the story of the last episode once his ex-girlfriend showed up.  That girl definitely looked unstable, but he also looked like a liar by saying “who is this?” when she showed up.  I’m sure he won’t get another chance, but I can’t be critical of a guy who just broke up with his girl days before the show, while the girl he’s chasing is still dating 25 guys.  If Peter didn’t have that gap in his front teeth, I don’t think Rachel would like him.  That connection is too strong.  My orthodontist told me my character would be just fine after fixing the gap in my front teeth.  That pickup basketball game that was played was the worst display of basketball I’ve seen since the first 3 rounds of the NBA playoffs.  Even Ashton Kutcher is really confused as to why Lucas is still on the show, and even more confused as to what exactly “Whaaaboooom” is.  Looking forward to more drama on tonight’s episode.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 29, 2017

So the Warriors and Cavs will be playing for the NBA Title for the 3rd year in a row.  Who could have seen this coming? Oh that’s right…..everybody!  The playoffs haven’t been competitive, so I’m sure everyone is hoping that we’ll finally get a great series to end things.  However, that’s not going to happen.  The Warriors should just hold a fan contest with the winner coaching the team for the NBA Finals since it doesn’t matter who coaches them.  Golden State should win in 5 games.  Last year it took a Draymond Green suspension, an injury to Steph Curry, and a historic performance from Lebron for the Cavs to win.  This season, not even a great performance from Lebron can stop the Warriors, and especially not with the addition of Kevin Durant.  The games might be somewhat close, but the series won’t be.

Being an NBA reporter these days is easy.  Apparently all you need to do is come up with some suggestion and everyone will consider it a fact.  That’s what ESPN’s Zach Lowe did when he suggested the Spurs should try to sign Chris Paul this summer.  Apparently not many stopped to consider the fact San Antonio doesn’t even have the cap room to give Paul the supposed 4 years and $153 million max contract they could give him.  At the moment it’s mere $6 million a year they can offer.  However, just for a second, I’ll play along with the rest of you that forgot to use their brains.  Even if the Spurs could somehow come up with a max contract for CP3, and somehow maintain their current roster (totally impossible), they still wouldn’t beat the Warriors or Cavs.  CP3 is 32 years old, and isn’t leaving an extra $53 million on the table to go sign with a team that is far from a favorite to win the NBA title.  I guess this story is what counts for good journalism though.

Speaking of CP3, former NBA Commissioner David Stern played revisionist history a few days ago when it came to the the trade he famously vetoed in 2011.  Stern claims that the trade could have been re-worked but Mitch Kupchak “panicked” and traded Lamar Odom to Dallas prematurely, destroying the possibility of a deal.  These are some cute alternative facts Mr. Stern, but we know you are just blaming Kupchak to preserve your own legacy, especially since Kupchak is too classy of guy to even respond.  The trade never should have been vetoed in the first place.  It was simply the result of Stern succumbing to the pressure of 28 owners in the league complaining that the Lakers making this trade was unfair.  Apparently those other owners were unhappy that at the time, the Lakers were smart and they had money.  Meanwhile, they considered themselves stupid as well as poor.

After the Ducks were eliminated by Nashville last week, I’m sure Kings fans were lining up at the airport to greet them back at LAX to congratulate them on their loss.  That means the Predators and Penguins will be playing for the cup beginning tonight.  If you learn nothing else, just remember, it’s called “The Stanley Cup Final” and not “The Stanley Cup Finals”.  If you’re planning on going, you should probably go to games in Nashville, where it will cost you a minimum of $300 a ticket to get in, where in Pittsburgh it will cost you at least $1,000 to get in the building.  Plus in Nashville you’ll get some quality BBQ.  The real question in the series though is who will get the award for best actor: Sidney Crosby or P.K. Subban? I’m going with Crosby, but I’m also going with the Penguins in 6.

I know most of you are going to tell me that the Dodgers just told me to “shut the hell up” after taking 5 out of 6 games from the Cardinals and Cubs.  They were nice wins, but remember, it’s not always who you play but when you play them.  The Dodgers just caught the Cubs in an offensive slump that is so bad, high school seniors scored more at last week’s Prom than Chicago has of late.  If Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Kenta Maeda actually stay healthy and pitch that way come October, then I’ll actually be impressed.  In the meantime, the Dodgers have their work cut out for them just trying to overtake the Rockies in the NL West.

The Angels are a perfect example of why baseball is just a weird game.  They have a bunch of nobodies pitching for them on a nightly basis, who have given up more home runs than any other staff in the league.  They are also in the bottom third of most offensive categories in the American League, consistently putting 3-4 guys in their lineup that can barely hit .200.  I wouldn’t even think Mike Trout’s greatness could overcome this.  In spite of all this and losing 4 of their last 5 games, they are still in the thick of the AL Wild Card race.  Hopefully Trout doesn’t miss any time with that thumb injury he suffered yesterday.  Imagine how much better the Halos would be if Albert Pujols lived up to his contract?  He typically reaches the maximum annual social security contribution limit ($118,000) after his 1st at-bat in every game.

Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler must be pursuing a new career as a comedian.  Osweiler claimed that the “proof is in the film for the last two years” that he should be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.  The only thing more hilarious than his comments was the tweet by former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith that showed his reaction……

What a huge missed opportunity by Italian Cycler Tom Demoulin.  Despite the fact that he became the first Dutchman to win the Giro D’italia, he blew a huge marketing opportunity.  Earlier in the week he had his lead in Stage 16 narrowed after pulling off to the side of the road to go to the bathroom.  Sorry Tom, I realize having to go to the bathroom while riding a bike isn’t all that comfortable, but when you are in stage 16 you go to the bathroom in your pants, explain it to the media, then you’ll have Pampers or an adult diaper maker calling you the next day for a sponsorship.  Instead, he gave this explanation….

Finally, The Bachelorette is back and the season premier went down last week.  After just one episode I can already tell that this season won’t be nearly as entertaining as the last season of The Bachelor, especially without Corrine.  I did enjoy her 30 second cameo appearance at the beginning of the show though.  Rachel Lindsay’s judgement is already in serious question, given that  “The Tickle Monster” and Lucas (a.k.a.- “Wahboom!”) have been given roses.  Meanwhile, Blake K got sent home, apparently for being the most normal and successful guy on the show this season.  It seems to me like all the brothas on the show are actually there to marry Rachel, while all the other guys are just there to launch their reality TV career.  For all those guys on the show that cried after getting sent home after 1 episode, you should have your man card revoked immediately.  Wahboom!

Monday Morning Coffee

May 22, 2017
I don’t know why you guys are so surprised the Lakers got the #2 pick in the draft.  Lavar Ball told us that it was going to happen.  The only guy who doesn’t understand what’s going on is Joel Embiid, who is still trying to understand the lottery.  If the Lakers do actually keep the pick and not trade it, they should absolutely take Lonzo Ball.  For those of you that don’t want to because of Lavar, it’s simply because you have been hanging around AYSO or Little League with helicopter parents.  Those parents don’t matter in the NBA or in professional sports.  They become irrelevant over time.  What the Lakers do have to worry about though is the Celtics taking Ball, or even trading the pick to somebody who wants him, just to screw the Lakers.  It would be a very Boston Celtic thing to do.

That wasn’t the only good news for the Lakers last week.  The All-NBA teams were announced, and Paul George did not make it, increasing the likelihood of him not re-signing with the Pacers.  At this point, George isn’t even hiding his desire to join the Lakers, and seems confident that he can resurrect the franchise.  George was on with Jimmy Fallon last week and didn’t deny anything, which can’t make the Pacers feel too good.  As for All-NBA and the media determining the outcome, they should, even if an extra $76 million is on the line.  If it were up to the owners and coaches, they strategically wouldn’t vote for certain players so they would have a better chance to leave in free agency.  Besides, great players will go wherever they want to play.  Kevin Durant left $100 million on the table last year to leave for the Warriors.

Lavar ball is going to get some bad press for his heated discussion last week with Fox Sports One’s Kristine Leahy.  However, this was one incident in which both Lavar and Kristine were wrong.  Since when does Kristine actually ask guests questions on Colin Cowherd’s show? This was nothing but Leahy trying to make a name for herself by being confrontational, but in all the wrong ways.  As for Lavar, he once again demonstrated his lack of business acumen by failing to suggest that the “Big Baller Brand” will not cater to women, and that they don’t need to.  They actually have women’s T-shirts on their website that he didn’t even mention.  No reason to give people a reason to hate your brand when you are trying to build it.  In case you missed the exchange, here it is.

The Dodgers took 3 out of 4 from the Marlins over the weekend and Cody Bellinger is still hotter than   the Sahara desert.  However, the bad news is that their stud pitcher Julio Urias has been getting destroyed.  It’s bad enough that the Dodgers are being as cautious with him as you would be with a newborn baby.  On top of that’s he’s just not that effective right now.  No matter how hard you try to convince yourself, the Dodgers don’t have any real reliable starting pitching beyond Clayton Kershaw when it matters.  That’s why Urias needs to get on track if LA hopes to have any real chance come October.  He has the highest ceiling and the most talent of anybody on the roster after Kershaw.

The Angels had a rough weekend in New York against the Mets, but they are somehow still hovering around .500.  Even more encouraging is the fact that Doug Fister is joining their starting rotation.  You’re wondering why that’s encouraging? Because when your #1 starter is Ricky Nolasco, adding Doug Fister feels like you just signed Nolan Ryan.  Maybe now they will find a 2nd baseman and a left fielder that can hit better than .200.

Things are looking bad for the Ducks.  They are now one game away from elimination after the Predators beat them at the Honda Center yesterday.  This series has featured more injuries than a United Airlines flight.  Ryan Getzlaf has suddenly remembered that he’s the old guy Ryan Getzlaf, and the Predators are a little better in goal and on defense.  This series might go seven games, but Anaheim looks like a strong bet to lose in the conference finals again.  Meanwhile, parking pass prices are rising for game 7, as Kings fans are buying them in hopes of witnessing the Ducks fans crying while leaving the Honda Center.

Tom Brady is going to be endorsing a new DB11 Aston Martin.  The new car costs $211,000 , which is an amount that many of his teammates probably can’t even afford.  Brady will also be designing several limited edition models that will be sold for $300,000.  There will only be 12 of those made available to the public.  If you can afford it, as long as those cars don’t say “Patriots” all over them, you probably want one of those.  It will be one of the few cars that actually appreciate in value.  For those of you that hate Tom Brady for his perfect life, now you can hate him even more.

In the latest Harris Poll annual brand report, Five Guys was named the Burger Brand Restaurant of the Year, eclipsing In-N-Out, which has won the award twice before.  This poll is the biggest scam I’ve heard of in years.  Five Guys is nationwide, while In-N-Out is on the west coast, skewing the poll drastically.  In-N-Out serves more customers in 1 hour than Five Guys does in one day.  Five Guys has no drive thru and it’s twice as expensive.  The next time someone tells me that Five Guys is better than In-N-Out will be the first.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 15, 2017

Don’t worry Laker fans.  Tuesday isn’t that big of a deal.  It’s ONLY the entire future of the organization at stake for the next five years determined by a couple of ping pong balls.  The have a slightly less than 50% chance of keeping their 1st round pick this year, which has to be in the top 3 for it to belong to them.  With those kind of odds, I’d feel better if PWC and Warren Beaty were involved in the lottery, because it might actually improve the Lakers’ chances.  Somebody usually gets screwed every year.  Hopefully it’s not the Lake Show.  If they do end up keeping the pick though, I’m thinking they will try like hell to trade that pick for an all-star caliber player.

Then there’s the Clippers and their dilemma about what to do with JJ Redick.  The 32-year-old sharp shooter is seeking $18-20 million a year for his new contract.  Even if you love Redick as a player, trying to convince your owner to spend that much money on a player like him is like your wife trying to convince you to pay $700 for some pair of designer shoes that she can wear with one outfit. Those shoes will make your wife look nice, but you’re going to pay that much so she can look great every now and again with her one outfit? Redick is nice player, but there’s only one thing he can do great, and that’s shoot.  It’s a nice thing to have in your lineup, just like it’s nice for your wife to have those shoes in her wardrobe, but not at that price.  We are talking about the NBA though, so somebody is probably going to be dumb enough to pay the price for him.

As for the rest of the NBA playoffs, the Spurs missed their chance to steal the momentum against the Warriors yesterday.  Golden State was rusty and San Antonio let that chance slip away.  The Warriors are so good that not even Mike Brown coaching them against Greg Popovovich can prevent them from winning.  As for the James Harden disastrous performance against the Spurs, superstars can have bad games in the playoffs, but nobody repeatedly has the body language and disinterest in big games that Harden has had the last couple of years.  He reminds me of the dude you work with who is sitting in the meeting and looking at his watch every 5 minutes because he’s just punching the clock and doesn’t care about the final result.   Next time he should book his vacation plans later in the summer instead of during the playoffs.  There’s also a great new Shaq and Kobe NBA 2K commercial.  Nice to see these two playing nice these days.

What would Monday Morning Coffee be without an update on Lavar Ball? The latest outrageous comment to come out of his mouth is that his son doesn’t need advice from Kobe Bryant, and that Lonzo will not take his game and “pattern after nobody”.  The real stupidity in his comment that nobody is talking about is how this will impact his “Big Baller Brand” business.  Kobe Bryant’s followers are cult like, and frequently threaten to impound your car, riot, and then demand that you are ejected from the universe if you say anything bad about The Black Mamba.  Whether or not Lonzo plays for the Lakers, he still needs to sell sneakers.  Kobe fans buy sneakers, and they sure won’t be buying Lonzo’s new sneakers after The Mamba was dissed.  Lavar and his brand just lost a big potential customer.

After 38 games, here’s what you need to know about the Dodgers.  15 of their 22 wins have come against teams under .500.  The are just 7-9 against teams over .500, so they aren’t very good against real teams.  Also, of their 7 losses to teams under .500, 4 of them have come against one of the worst teams in baseball, the Giants.  Remind me again why you people are excited about the potential of this team? The best thing about the Dodgers is Clayton Kershaw and Cody Bellinger.  The worst thing is Andrew Friedman and his data driven approach that has proven nothing in a big market.

Then there’s the Angels.  Remember when we thought the Halos would have no problem scoring runs? Well in 12 of their last 20 games, they’ve been held to 3 runs or less.  It’s not hard to figure out why either.  When you stick three guys in your lineup regularly that can barely hit .200, you aren’t going to get much production.  Is Billy Eppler really incapable of finding a better left fielder or 2nd baseman?  I know Mike Trout is the greatest player since the Dinosaurs roamed the earth, but not even he can make up for the rest of the stiffs hitting around him.  I’d also like to thank Garrett Richards for his stupidity in not having Tommy Johns surgery last summer, resulting in him “hoping” he’ll be back from his latest arm injury in September.  It’s going to take this guy 3 years to get his body right instead of the 1 year it should have taken.

That Anaheim Ducks playoff game was really something last night.  The Ducks had such a bad start to the game, they showed up even later than their fans usually do.  They were also fortunate that Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne managed to play like he took a few too many shots of tequila at J.T. Schmid’s Brewery across the street prior to the game.  That series looks like it will go 7 games. The NHL also has absolutely no shame in it’s choice of sponsors.

I can’t believe that we have to wait two more months for the first half of the final season of Game of Thrones!  Maybe what they really meant by “Winter Is Coming” is that it’s going to take so long to get to the last season that global warming might actually put us into another ice age by the time we get to see it.  I’m looking forward to it, but given the pace of the show so far, I have a hard time imagining that we’re going to get a satisfying conclusion to the show in another 12 episodes or so.

Monday Morning Coffee

May 8, 2017

Hey Andrew Friedman….do you still want to send Cody Bellinger back to the minors? I didn’t think so.  Bellinger is hotter than the sun right now, and he’s the only reason the Dodgers snapped out of their early season slump.  Two Dodger stories from last week made me want to throw my laptop out the window.  The first was the idea that the Dodgers need to send Bellinger back to the minors to control his future cost.  If the Dodgers think that way, they are failing to understand that guys like Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, and Justin Turner, won’t be great forever, and that there is a window to win with them.  The other story that annoyed me was the suggestion that the Dodgers have the best pitching staff in the big leagues because they haven’t invested too much money in any single starter, except Clayton Kershaw.  This is a cute strategy until October, when you don’t have any real starting pitchers to get you through the playoffs.

I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked the Angels haven’t collapsed like the United States Congress.  How are they still hovering around .500, yet they are in the bottom third of nearly every critical offensive and defensive statistical category in the American League?  They are counting on dudes like Ricky Nolasco, Jesse Chavez, and JC Ramirez to go to the mound to get them victories.  They’ve had four guys in their lineup getting regular playing time of late hitting .200 or less.  I don’t even think the greatness of Mike Trout and Mike Scioscia can overcome this.   I think staying in the race has more to do with how terrible Texas and Seattle have been than anything else.

Let’s talk NBA playoffs.  Due to human rights concerns the NBA should suspend the remaining portion of the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, and just give us Warriors vs Cavs.  The NBA’s motto is “NBA Cares.”  If they did, they would just give us the finals already.  The Warriors and Cavs are so much better than everybody else, there’s a very reasonable case to be made that 26 other teams in the league should tear it down and rebuild.  This is how Drake feels after his Raptors got bounced by the Cavs for the third straight year.

Lonzo Ball’s new “Big Baller Brand” sneakers will be sold for $495.  For that price I can go hire an Asian child to make unlimited pairs of his shoes.  I did hear however that 3 pairs of shoes have already been pre-ordered.  That means that “Big Baller Brand” has tripled their sales forecast.  As much fun as it is to make fun of the price and Lavar Ball, he really may turn out to be a genius.  If Lonzo ends up going to LA or New York, he gets a marketing boost right there.  Ultimately though, Lonzo has to be a star player and if he is, then what looks like a ridiculous bet on his son now may prove to pay off.

Just when you thought it was the Oilers who choked against the Ducks, now it looks like Anaheim is the real head case after losing game 6 last night.  Don’t worry Ducks fans, if you lose game 7 at home for the 5th year in a row on Wendesday, your playoff tickets can be redeemed at Zales for “choker” necklaces, in honor of your annual collapse.  I have to say though, up until last night Ryan Getzlaf has played like he’s Jesus Christ rising from the dead, and looked like one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of hockey skates.  The bad news for Anaheim though is that they now have 3 whole days to think about their past playoff failures before taking the ice again, which can’t be good for their chances.  I guess we’ll find out if the issue was coach Bruce Boudreau from the last four years, or if they just aren’t able to ever meet the moment.

The Kentucky Derby was won by “Always Dreaming”, which is a horse that must have been named after the Rams playoff chances.  I can definitely relate to that horse that jumped out of the gate and just said “nope” and stopped running.  He probably belongs in a rodeo instead.  The derby is easily the biggest group of white rich guys assembled since the Trump cabinet.  How could you not root for “Patch”, the one-eyed horse?

Did anybody watch the Canelo Alvarez – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fight? This is exactly why boxing is dying.  That was the best fight the sport could give us, in what will probably be the only big fight of the year.  Canelo is so savage, he didn’t even sit down between rounds for the entire fight.  Since most of you probably missed the fight, here is a quick recap….

Monday Morning Coffee

May 1, 2017

The Clippers should be totally embarrassed the way the Jazz eliminated them in game 7 yesterday.  They lost 3 times at home in a seven game series.  Role players are supposed to play well at home, and the Clips role players disappeared like houdini.  JJ Redick couldn’t even get his shot off, yet somebody is going to pay him $20 million next season.  Jamal Crawford is making $14 million and was nowhere to be found for much of the series.  The Clippers “depth” is actually more shallow than Howard Stern, and that’s what really needs to be addressed in the offseason.  However, based on what we’ve heard from Steve Ballmer and Doc Rivers, keeping this team together is up to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  Unless the Spurs get creative with their salary cap, their probably isn’t a better place for CP3 to go.  As for Griffin, he seems uncertain whether or not he wants to stay, and the Clippers don’t seem confident in his return.  In any case, a 1st round loss in 7 is probably better for the Clippers own self perception, instead of getting swept by Golden State.

Meanwhile, the Lakers and their fans are going to be sitting on pins and needles between now and the NBA draft.  First they’ll be anxiously awaiting May 16th, which is the day they find out if they keep their top 3 protected pick.  Should they keep it, it becomes a huge building block for the future, or a very valuable trade asset.  The Laker will also be awaiting the announcement of the All-NBA teams, which they hope will not include Paul George on the 3rd team.  If it does, then there’s a much stronger likelihood that George remains an Indiana Pacer because he can be offered an extension around $220 million, which no other team can match.  How would you like to be Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson right now?  This means that their success as executives for the next 3-5 years might just be determined by luck in the next two months.  Who could blame someone for being superstitious?

Is it too early for the Dodgers to panic? Probably not.  They just faced the worst team in the National League for four games, and could do nothing more than split four games with them.  Even their sweep against Philadelphia were unimpressive.  The rotation is so underwhelming after Clayton Kershaw.  For the last week Dave Roberts was pretending like Brandon McCarthy was the 2nd coming of Don Drysdale.  Then he looked mediocre on Saturday against the Phillies.  Now they’ll probably pretend like Alex Wood is the next Sandy Koufax.  To make matters worse, Adrian Gonzales doesn’t have any power, yet for some reason, the teams plans on sending Cody Bellinger back to the minors in a few days.  I’m not analytics guy, but I think hitting three home runs in your first week of Major League Baseball is pretty good.

As for the Angels, why didn’t Garrett Richards just have Tommy Johns surgery? He’s going to be out until near the All-Star break, and then who knows if his arm will even hold up after that.  Meanwhile, Andrew Heaney is probably going to be back in the rotation before Richards ever gets healthy again.  I’ve gotta admit though, the Angels are playing better than i thought.  It makes you think if they can stay in contention by the trade deadline, maybe reinforcements will be on the way.  However, then you realize they don’t even have the prospects to make an impact trade.  Even if they did, would it be worth it at the risk of further damaging the health of their top pitchers? The Halos need to get their young and most valuable pitchers healthy before continuing to give some “half a deck of cards” effort toward contending.  Otherwise, they really are wasting Mike Trout’s best years.

On the ice, good thing for the Ducks they won last night.  Their fans were probably having a hard time deciding whether to buy tickets to the next round, or buy a season pass at Disneyland.  The Oilers are far less intimidated by Anaheim than the Ducks thought they would be.  They also have one of the best players on the planet in Connor McDavid.  As for the NHL Draft lottery, it was crazy.  The Devils, Flyers, and Stars ended up with the top 3 picks.  To put that in perspective, the Devils had the 5th worst record, and an 8.5% chance to get the top pick.  The Flyers had the 13th worst record, and the Stars had the 8th worst record.  That means Colorado, Vancouver, Vegas, and Arizona got screwed out of good draft position after having horrible seasons.  Good thing the NHL uses E&Y.  PWC has declared La La Land the winner of the NHL Draft Lottery.

The Rams might have a new coach, but it still didn”t prevent the front office from keeping their annual tradition of draft day foolishness.  Last year, it was trading a boatload of draft picks for Jared Goff.  This year, they did not select a single offensive lineman in the draft.  That’s right folks.  The Rams had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last year, and did very little about it, other than 1 free agent signing.  Without a decent offensive line, I have no idea if Goff can actually play, or if Todd Gurley is good running back or not.  It’s arguably the most important position to build your team around, and the Rams have neglected it for two years.  Here comes another horrible year.

I can’t make fun of the Chargers too much for their draft, because they actually did a great job.  That’s unusual when you talk about the Bolts.  The bad thing for the Chargers is that they didn’t draft a quarterback to start grooming a successor for Philip Rivers.   Also, before you start naming the Chargers as 2017 AFC Champions, keep in mind that they still play in one of the toughest divisions in football, and will have to contend with the Raiders and Chiefs.

As for the rest of the NFL draft, Myles Garrett is on suicide watch after being draft by the Browns.  Cleveland is probably counting on a local radio contest to decide who is their starting QB in 2017.  Colin Cowherd said it best…..the NFL draft is like planning a wedding.  You start out by saying “We’ll keep it small baby, family and friends, it’s just about us and our love.”  Then three weeks before the wedding you have 300 guests, most of them business colleagues and family you hardly know, and you pay $200 for each of those charger plates underneath the plate you actually eat off of.  You do this all because you saw it at another wedding several months earlier.  NFL teams have a plan, and then they are pressured by what other teams are doing.  I guess nobody learned from the Rams stupidity last year.

Finally, ESPN has fired so many people, they had the Rocky statue covering part of the NFL Draft.  Everyone is pointing to the fact that their content is becoming more political rather than sports oriented.  However, this has nothing to do with their issues.  The customers motivation to cancel cable has killed ESPN after the billions they spent on broadcast rights fees for the NFL, NBA, and MLB.  Eventually the current cable model will be destroyed, but in the meantime, this is going to hurt cable companies and eventually sports teams.  Still, ESPN is making the cuts that are an absolute must.  If Andrew Friedman were in charge, he would have fired Linda Cohn, Max Kellerman, the legacy staff, and sent the LA SportsCenter crew to Miami.  Is it too soon for this logo?

Monday Morning Coffee

April 24, 2017

It’s become an unfortunate annual tradition for the Clippers.  How do you know you get injured a lot? When your injuries eliminate you from the postseason even before the Clips are eliminated.  Sure enough, it happened again in game 3 vs the Jazz.  Even after losing game 4, and even after sending out a missing person alert on JJ Redick, as long as Chris Paul is on the floor the Clippers are still probably going to win this series.  However, it’s only delaying the inevitable annihilation they will take from Golden State.  The bigger question everybody wants to know about is the future.  Well for those of you saying that keeping an injury prone Griffin and keeping the band together isn’t ideal, it’s also better than the alternative.  That alternative is going back to being one of the most pathetic franchises in the NBA, which the Clips were for decades.  Doc Rivers is wrong that his team is close to winning, but he’s right that keeping the team together is what they should do.  Whether Steve Ballmer wants to foot the bill for this remains to be seen though.

The NBA just announced that the Celtics were not the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the playoffs, but instead, they were the #1 seed in the WNBA playoffs.  That team is much further away from winning anything than most people thought.  The bad news for the Lakers is that the Bulls success in this series make it more unlikely Chicago will trade Jimmy Butler.  Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony is now taking losses on and off the court, after separating from his wife, LaLa.  I guess nobody wants to be around ‘Melo these days since Phil Jackson wants him elsewhere too.  The Grizzlies and Spurs are now locked up in a great series, and that’s thanks to the rant from Memphis Coach David Fizdale.  In case you missed it after game 2, it’s an all-timer……

Let’s go to the ice, where the Ducks swept away the Calgary Flames in their 1st round series and are ready to take on the Oilers in round 2.  Anaheim did more damage to the Flames than the Canadian dollar in the last few weeks.  Things are setting up perfectly for the Ducks, taking on an inexperienced team they should have a nice advantage against, and then potentially taking on a Predators or Blues team, who are not nearly as talented.  If the Ducks don’t get to the Stanley Cup Final, their fans should go jump off the top of the Magic Castle at Disneyland.

As for the Kings, they promoted John Stevens as their new head coach on Sunday.  Stevens is a well respected voice in their locker room, but doesn’t seem like he’s too far removed from what Darryl Sutter did.  It would be a decent hire if you like what Darryl Sutter was doing of late.  I don’t.  It would also be a decent hire if the Kings had really good young players to develop.  They don’t.  They need to re-invent they wheel, but they just don’t know it yet.

I respect people’s right to protest, but I don’t see how New England Patriot players skipping a trip to the White House to be honored for winning a Super Bowl is sending any kind of message.  The President, regardless of how you feel about him, is taking the time to honor you for your accomplishments.  If the player doesn’t want to be honored, then it’s their loss.  As for Aaron Hernandez, sad to see the downward spiral of his life, and him ultimately taking his own life.  I still don’t understand how he wasn’t convicted of that second murder.  I guess the entire O.J. Simpson jury was assigned to that case as well.

I don’t know why anybody is really surprised that the Dodger pitching staff is falling apart.  They are finally getting exposed for what they are: a bunch of injury prone, unreliable veterans, who are making way more money than they should be.  Now that they actually have decent teams in their division like the Rockies and Diamondbacks, we are just noticing their flaws earlier in the year instead of when they get exposed in October.  Andrew Friedman claims that starting pitching is one of the most overvalued positions in baseball.  The only thing overvalued is Friedman’s front office work.  Let’s see if he feels that way in another couple of weeks when the team continues to scramble to find somebody other than Clayton Kershaw to give the ball to.  I’m pretty sure trading for Ryan Braun isn’t the answer either.

If it wasn’t for facing a terrible Blue Jays team and a couple of miracle wins in the first week, you would already realize the Angels are a bad team.  Did somebody tell Mike Scioscia that the Halos are supposed to be tanking to get the #1 pick in the draft?  It sure seems like it since he keeps insisting on sticking Jefry Marte in the lineup with his crummy defense.  Scioscia claims that the Angels need his bat, but apparently he didn’t notice that Marte was hitting .179 coming into Sunday.  Don’t forget about Danny “Mendoza Line” Espinosa, whose batting average is so consistently low, you can never tell if he’s in a slump or not.

I was under the impression that the Raiders were no longer a Mickey Mouse franchise in the NFL, but apparently I was mistaken.  Instead of re-signing 27-year-old running back Latavius Murray, who had a nice season last year, they are replacing him with a 31-year-old Marshawn Lynch, who has been sitting on his couch eating skittles for the last year.  Apparently their justification for this is that Lynch is from Oakland, so he should give the local fans a reason to show up to their games.  Those same local fans they will be leaving behind in a year or two when they move to Vegas.  With the NFL draft later this week, hopefully the Rams and Chargers don’t have any of these stupid moves planned themselves.  You know….something as stupid as trading a boat load of draft picks for Jared Goff.

Finally, People Magazine named Julia Roberts the most beautiful woman in the world last week.  Which world are they talking about?  I initially thought that the writers of People Magazine gave up common sense for Lent.  However, upon further examination I realize that this is the 5th time this has happened!  Apparently we are still in the year 1991.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 17, 2017

Wasn’t this postseason supposed to be different for the Clippers? I know we said that last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that.  But we really meant it this year.  18 seconds into Saturday night’s game, this series should have been over, after the Jazz lost Rudy Gobert to a knee injury.  Somehow, it was like the series was just getting started.  The Jazz are making this series more physical than a flight on United Airlines, and the Clippers are in for a serious challenge.  You know it’s playoff time when the Clipper bench is getting destroyed by their opponents.  It’s like an annual curse that has returned once again.  This is going to be a long series.

Then there’s the Lakers, whose season has mercifully come to an end.  As bad as it was, 26 wins is a lot better than 17 from a year ago.  Had they stayed healthy in December, it might have been well over 30.  The real question though is whether or not Magic and Rob Pelinka are going to keep a bunch of 20 and 21 year-olds and let them grow together, or are bunch of them are going to be traded for a veteran star or two?  I don’t get the sense that these two gentleman came to run the Lakers to wait 5 years to hope the team is competitive again.  I also don’t get the feeling that Jeanie Buss hired them to wait that long as well.  It’s tough to sign a star player if you don’t already have one here, so be prepared for the Lakers to be in some blockbuster trade discussions.

The NBA Playoffs started Saturday. That special time of year with slam dunks, tough defensive battles, and nonstop flopping!  It’s also that special time of year when Draymond Green really steps up efforts kicking opponents in the junk.  The Raptors took a a game 1 loss. In other news Canada is cold and they love maple syrup.  Brad Stevens should call Bill Belichick for some tips on how to cheat to win playoff games.  The Grizzlies took a senseless beating from the Spurs in game 1.  Who knew ESPN could show violence like that? The Cavs were fortunate to win game 1 against the Pacers, but I still don’t think they are going to have any problem getting to the finals.  I also don’t think the Warriors are going to have a problem winning them.

The Dodgers have taken their problems hitting left-handed pitching to a whole new level.  After two weeks they are hitting just .226 against left-handers.  It’s like Andrew Friedman asked himself how it was possible to make the team worse at hitting lefties than last season.  It’s become so bad that teams are now starting left-handers that have now business being in the big leagues against the boys in blue.  To make matters worse, it feels like they can only beat crummy NL West teams, and that they aren’t really that good. I don’t know why I’m acting surprised.  The only bright spot is that Yasiel Puig appears to have remembered how to play baseball again.

Then there’s the Angels who’s season is starting to fall apart two weeks in.  The team finally got a couple of reasonable pitching performances over the weekend, and they still managed to get swept by the Royals.  Mat Shoemaker and Tyler Skaggs aren’t going to pitch like that consistently.  It’s as though the team has a collection of #4 starters in their rotation.  There’s no point in having great defense when your pitchers can’t keep the ball in the ballpark.  Were in not for two miracle comebacks, you would realize a lot faster that the Angels just aren’t very good.

If the Anaheim Ducks can’t win the Stanley Cup this year, I’m not sure they ever will again.  The Blackhawks and Sharks could be eliminated shortly, leaving a bunch of inexperienced and less talented opponents for the Ducks to take advantage of.  It also helps to be playing a Calgary Flames team that hasn’t won in Anaheim in 29 tries.  You can’t have any bigger psychological edge that that. Plus when goals like this happen, it makes you think that you are just a team of destiny…..

Then there’s the LA Kings, who cleaned house last week by firing coach Darryl Sutter, and GM Dean Lombardi.  This just goes to show you how brutal sports are.  Lombardi and Sutter won two Stanley Cups in four years, and went to a a conference finals as well.  Although they missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons, they are easily the most successful coach and GM in franchise history.  Still, the fact that they were fired shows how dedicated the Kings are to winning, and the kind of expectations ownership has for the franchise.  For the time being though, they will be dedicated to sitting on their couch for the next 3 months watching the playoffs.

The hot rumor around LA is that the Rams could hire Peyton Manning to run their front office.  My only question here is what is taking so long for this to happen? Manning adds instant credibility to a team who appears to have given up their credibility for Lent.  The Rams trade for Jared Goff was more of a headline grabbing move, as opposed to a sensible football move.  Manning would bring far more of that sensibility to the organization.

Finally, Better Call Saul is back on AMC.  The season 3 premier was last Monday, and it’s a great show.  However, as great as it is, it’s no Breaking Bad, and nor will it ever will be.  Most of the excitement that is generated by the show is from all the connections to Breaking Bad, which many fans of both shows pick up.  For instance, most people are just excited by the fact that Gus Fring is going to play a major role in this season, since he played a huge role in Breaking  Bad.  I still don’t understand however, why they can’t figure out what to do with Rhea Seehorn.  Her character just isn’t very interesting on the show compared to everyone else around her.  Don’t get me wrong….it’s a great show, but at the end of the day, it’s always going to leave you wanting more from it.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 3, 2017

Baseball season is upon us folks. Opening day is today, and that means it’s time for Dodgers baseball! Unfortunately, Vin Scully won’t be there to tell us that.  Trying to make predictions for an upcoming baseball season is like stepping into a batting cage after 5 shots of tequila.  With that being said, its safe to say the Dodgers have a good team, just not one good enough to win the World Series.  You have to have real pitching for that.  You can’t have Clayton Kershaw and 6 other arms you claim will give you “depth”, while many of them are nearly guaranteed to get hurt.  You also can’t expect to get consistent performances from your outfielders when you determine which ones will play on a daily basis by some cute little numbers.  The Dodgers will win the NL West.  However, anything beyond that and you can forget it.

Then there’s the Angels, who have to deal with playing in the toughest division in baseball.  The Halos need a lot to go right to be playing in the postseason.  They need Garrett Richards, Tyler Skaggs, and Matt Shoemaker to stay healthy, and pitch as well as they did 2 years ago.  They’ll also need to have a 2nd baseman and a left fielder that is capable of hitting above the Mendoza line.  It feels like the Angels might have better odds playing the Powerball than for all that to happen.

To the NBA, where everybody is wondering: what is the Laker front office planning to do? Jeanie Buss mentioned the other day that she would be “heartbroken” if the Lakers don’t have an All-Star next year with the game being in LA.  That feels like some indirect pressure on the front office to go acquire a star.  I don’t get the feeling that the Lakers want to wait 3 more years for D’Angelo Russell or Brandon Ingram to become an All-NBA player, even if they have that potential.  However, even if they could acquire both Paul George and Jimmy Butler, would that be good enough to compete with the Warriors? Being competitive immediately sounds great, but if you can’t build a team that can compete for championships year in and year out, then what’s the point?  Even though some of these Laker games these days are uglier than the Ronaldo statue, there’s still a very reasonable case for building from within…for now.

People really think that the Cavaliers are not going to come out of the East? The Cavs aren’t playing defense right now because they are bored.  Although they look like they are fading faster than J.R. Smith after a bottle of Hennessey, they will be fine.  Lebron James isn’t bored because he knows he’s playing for his legacy as one of the best players of all-time.  He’s not slowing down, even though his teammates might be.  Still, when the playoffs roll around, the Celtics, Raptors, Wizards, or any of these other Eastern Conference pretenders will have no chance to beat the Cavs 4 times in 7 tries.

The Final Four gave us a couple of good games over the weekend.  I’m beginning to think that Gonzaga’s starting center is really 55 years old.  That probably explains why he dominated South Carolina in the paint.  South Carolina is so upset that they have been burning Confederate flags every since the loss.  Meanwhile, Oregon players looked like they were allergic to the basketball while trying to grab a rebound at the end of that UNC game.  I’m sure the Ducks have special uniforms just to sit at home and watch the National Championship game from their couch on Monday night.  The Tar Heel players are just excited they don’t have to be in class on Monday.  Good luck to many of those that have tickets to Monday nights game.  You probably have a better view of the court from outside your house than you do while in the arena.

The LA Kings were officially eliminated from playoff contention last night, which was simply a formality.  The more I watch the Kings, the more I realize that they are simply too old.  In the NHL today, if you are 30 years old, it is almost the equivalent of being 40 years old.  If you are 25 years old, you are essentially a veteran.  The Kings’ core is old.  Drew Doughty is 27, Anze Kopitar is 29, Jeff Carter is 32, and Jonathan Quick is 31.  Even players like Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson are of “veteran age”.  It’s time to dump some contracts, even if it means eating money, and getting younger.

The Raiders are moving to Vegas!  This means that NFL teams are hoping that if they lose a road game to the Raiders it won’t count since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.  Aside from the fact the crime rate in Vegas is going to be going up, this is a great move for the franchise.  The Raiders in Vegas is perfect for the brand, and since most of the fan base is very transient anyway, they won’t have an issue retaining many of their season ticket holders, as well as getting a number of new ones.

Finally, the season finale of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Knowing what I know about the comics, I have to say I was mildly disappointed that the storyline didn’t get further along than where we ended up after season 7.  However, the finale was still an uplifting episode.  You have to appreciate the fact that somehow, Maggie keeps her eyebrows plucked during the chaos of the apocalypse.  You know why Ezekiel is King? Because he brings a Tiger to a bat fight.  Rick clearly drew the line when Negan said he was taking the pool table.  Even in ancient times they would kill your cattle and burn your village, but they never took your pool table.  I knew Jadis was evil just from her haircut.  Nobody with bangs like that can be good.  It was really nice to see Carol getting her gun on again.  I’m sad to see Sasha go, but that was definitely one moment I wanted to see a Walker win a fight.  R.I.P Sasha.  I’m not sure what makes you want to cry more: Maggie’s final words about Glenn, or the fact that you won’t get to see another episode until October! Peace out TWD.  This is how we all felt after Carl was saved by Shiva……

Monday Morning Coffee

March 27, 2017

I don’t know what’s more disappointing for UCLA fans.  The fact that they lost in the Sweet 16 for the 3rd time in the last 4 years, or the fact that Steve Alford is still going to be coaching this team moving forward.  UCLA is getting exactly what I thought they would get with Alford.  A coach who is a tremendous recruiter, but one who is unable to harness that talent into tournament success.  As great as the Bruins’ offense was, their defense is what led to their downfall, and that’s always what leads to the fall of Alford’s teams come tournament time.  Lonzo Ball had a great season, but on Friday he got outplayed by De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk.  The Bruins were entertaining this season and slightly more relevant than in previous years, but the reality of it is that UCLA basketball still isn’t where it should be.

Say what you will about Lavar Ball and his craziness, but the man is actually a genius.  He is building a brand for his kids.  He is also wildly entertaining when you put a microphone in front of him.  Sports are about entertainment value, and it seems like for years to come his kids are going to be providing that entertainment on the floor, while he provides the entertainment for us off the floor.  As for his proclamation that his kids are worth $1 billion, if Lonzo ends up on the Lakers, don’t be surprised if one of the most successful business men in the world helps makes that happen, Magic Johnson.

What a great game between Kentucky and North Carolina yesterday.  There were so many lead changes that Drake kept switching between his UNC and UK jersey all game long.  UNC is the easy pick to win the Final Four.  Meanwhile, Kansas has clinched their annual spot on their couch for the Final Four after losing to Oregon.  I’d say South Carolina busted your bracket, but the reality of it is your bracket was probably busted long ago.  Gonzaga really lucked out that Arizona was upset by Xavier.  They also lucked out that West Virginia somehow couldn’t even get a shot up in the last twenty seconds of the game.  That kid is still probably dribbling the ball as we speak.

I loved seeing the Lakers unveil Shaq’s statue on Friday, outside of Staples Center.  However, what really almost made me cry was listening to Kobe talk about Shaq both during the ceremony, and to the media leading up to it.  “When you win three titles together and you’ve had so much impact on one another’s legacy as a player and as a champion,” Kobe said by phone last week, “there is absolutely no way in the world I would miss an opportunity to talk about him and thank him and to acknowledge everything that he’s done for not only this organization and the city, but for me personally.”  Kobe and Shaq grew up before our very eyes.  We can only hope we are fortunate enough to witness another Laker duo as fun as it was watching them play.

It looked like the Clippers were getting their act together when they defeated Utah on Saturday.  Then they blew an 18 point lead against Sacramento yesterday, and lost at home.  The real reminder is that the bench isn’t really as reliable as we thought it was.  The bench was outscored 46-28 yesterday, mostly while CP3, Blake, and DeAndre were resting.  Of even greater concern are comments from JJ Redick and Blake Griffin mentioning things like “lack of spirit”, uncertainty around game plans, and overall lack of chemistry.  Given the amount of time this team has been together, that shouldn’t be the case.  If anything, the Clips biggest problems seem more psychological.

It’s amazing how the media milked the story last week about NBA teams resting stars. This is really only a significant story for a handful of players like Lebron, Westbrook, Harden, Durant, and Curry.  Those are the only players people really care about seeing, and people will spend their hard earned more for the chance to watch those players play.  With that being the case, the league should do a better job scheduling nationally televised games, and avoiding back-to-back games for teams on those nights.  That would increase the likelihood of star players playing.  At the same time though, NHL players have an even more grueling game to play, and they don’t complain that they need rest.  NBA players need to stop being so soft, and understand their responsibility to the fans who actually make the league what it is.

Congratulations to the United States for winning the World Baseball Classic by defeating Puerto Rico.  Puerto Ricans haven’t been this upset since Menudo broke up.  Somehow Ian Kinsler managed to become public enemy #1.  I didn’t actually watch more than 5 seconds of the tournament.  That’s because winning the WBC is like being the smartest person at a monster truck rally.  It’s cool, but it really means nothing.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says it’s doubtful NHL players will participate in the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Good one Gary.  You and I both know you can’t afford to not send players to the Olympics.  It’s too much free marketing and exposure for the NHL and its player’s, who love representing their countries by the way.  It’s going to happen.

Finally, another episode of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Second to last episode of the season goes down, and amazingly, nobody of significance died.  I have a feeling that’s going to change next week.  If you didn’t like the episode, you don’t like character development.  I do wish however, that we would get to see the backstory on Negan.  I’m sure we were all shocked that Gregory couldn’t fight off a walker.  Carl has pretty good aim to be able to shoot while holding a gun up to his patched eye…..

 

Monday Morning Coffee

March 20, 2017

Let’s start with UCLA.  The Bruins had a few very nervous moments in their 1st weekend of the NCAA tournament, but got by Kent State and Cincinnati.  Lonzo Ball managed to cure cancer, and end the dispute between Israel and Palestine, as well as score 19 points last night.  Well at least according to his father Lavar, he will eventually do all those things.  Knowing Steve Alford though, the downfall will be on Friday against Kentucky, because the Sweet 16 is always where his road ends.  I can’t see UCLA surviving that game, let alone a game after that against UNC, in what will basically be two hostile road games.  Speaking of Steve Alford though, you know that UCLA fans are just chomping at the bit for him to take the $31 million that Indiana is offering him and hit the road.  On the other hand, they are probably hoping he’ll take Dan Guerrero with him too, which won’t happen.  As we’ve seen before, Guerrero is unlikely to hire a superior replacement, so don’t count on the 2nd coming of John Wooden coming to Westwood.

Meanwhile, despite losing yesterday to Baylor, the Trojans made a strong showing in the tournament.  Frankly, had USC not been playing their third game in five days, they might have actually had the energy and the mental toughness to finish that game.  However, the committee screwed them by forcing them to play in the First Four game on Wednesday night.  That goaltending call on Chimezie Metu was nearly a spectacular play that might have been the play that gave the Trojans the win.  However, USC is going to go home and take shots of whiskey at the Nine-O when they come to grips with the fact that they would have faced an East Regional without the top two seeds, Duke and Villanova.  That’s right….Andy Enfield would have had a real chance to send the Trojans to the Final Four.

Elsewhere around March Madness, you’re bracket is really jacked up now.  But think of it this way, you took one for America.  Duke is out, so the country wins.  If anybody actually watched college basketball, which we all pretend to, we would have known that Villanova was going to get exposed in the 1st weekend.  UNC also got a late clutch performance by the referees to advance to the round of 16.  I thought Vanderbilt kids were supposed to be smart?  Apparently not after intentionally fouling in a tie-game.  Louisville also went down faster than a call girl on a high school recruiting trip.    After the 1st weekend, there are 164 perfect ESPN brackets remaining.  Lavar Ball claims he owns all of them.

Why are the Lakers screwing with D’Angelo Russell’s confidence so much?  Just let the kid play like he did last night! That was the perfect tanking game.  Russell exploded for a career-high against elite competition, all five young Laker starters showed some nice development, and the Lakers lost in competitive fashion.  For all the criticism that Byron Scott got for benching Russell last year, Luke Walton is actually playing him fewer minutes on average than last season.  I thought Luke was supposed to be promoting development? I also don’t understand why Russell and Clarkson haven’t spent more time playing together in the backcourt.  If they are the backcourt of the future, then they should be developed together.  At least Magic and Rob Pelinka are taking their tanking efforts very seriously.

Speaking of tanking, had it not been for Saturday’s win, you might think the Clippers are tanking with the way they’ve been playing of late. When I watch the Clips play since the All-Star break when they’ve been healthy, it’s like they’ve aged overnight.  Teams like the Warriors, Rockets, and even the Nuggets and Jazz suddenly seem more athletic with better shooting.  If that’s not bad enough, JJ Redick makes it sound like the team is questioning the defensive game plan on a nightly basis.  In a lot of ways though, it seems like the Clippers curse is with their bench.  Every year it seems like Doc has found some useful pieces on the bench, but when it really counts, they don’t play well.  That’s what’s happening again.  There’s not much more time for them to get it right with just a couple of weeks left in the regular season before playoff time.

So you thought it was last night the LA Kings playoff hopes were toast? It actually happened a week ago when they lost to St. Louis at home.  That was the official nail in the coffin.  Last night just exposed the Kings for what their team has become.   An aging group that is playing a style that is suddenly outdated.  The Kings players may not be old in age, but they’ve played enough hockey to be old.  They need to get younger and faster, and find a way to unload some of the terrible contracts they gave the Dustin Browns and Marian Gaboriks of the world.  It’s just a matter of whether or not it will be Dean Lombardi that’s going to do it or another General Manager taking his place.

I think the Angels have a permanent curse in left field.  Now it’s Cameron Maybin’s turn.  He was in an 0-20 slump before finally breaking out of it on Saturday.  Then there’s Danny “Mendoza line” Epsinosa, who’s career batting average is so low, we might not even realize when he’s actually in a slump.  We haven’t even started the season yet and the Angels warning flags are up.

The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC, and the season is building toward a big last two episodes.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  I thought for sure we we’re going to see Sasha and/or Rosita die last night, but I guess we will have to wait at least one more episode.  In other words, nothing happened.  I guess Eugene didn’t want to leave without his pickles.  The Saviors traded a box of aspirin for a real doctor.  Now that sounds like real American healthcare.  Simon probably just gave Gregory directions to a toilet so he could find somebody who gives a crap.  When Darryl cries, we all cry.  I’m looking forward to an all-out war in the last two episodes of the season.  At least I hope so because the last 13 episodes have been pretty slow.

Finally, what a horrible ending to ABC’s The Bachelor last Monday night.  The finale was so not Raven.  It’s like Nick picked Vanessa because he knew he didn’t want either woman that was left, and wanted the relationship to fail.  Perhaps if Raven just hit him with a stiletto, as she did with her ex, he might have actually had some sense beat into him.  We kept hearing about “the most shocking thing in Bachelor history.”  I thought this would be that somebody actually said “yes” to a Nick proposal.  Anybody that thinks Nick and Vanessa are going to get married need to be hit with a stiletto.  Think of it this way.  Nick gives every man in the world hope that if you are boring, and get rejected enough times, you too can marry a girl that completely hates you.

Monday Morning Coffee


March 13th, 2017

The Lakers introduced Rob Pelinka as their new General Manager on Friday.  I heard a lot of good things from Pelinka, and it’s exciting, not just because he looks like Rob Lowe.  However, I also heard something a little concerning as well.  I heard a lot of talk about free agency.  If there’s anything we’ve learned over the past five seasons of Laker basketball, it’s that free agency by itself is a lousy way to build a team, and it’s about to get a lot lousier with the new CBA.  However, when you do an excellent job of drafting and developing players, you give yourself the opportunity to get elite free agents, and elite talent via trade.  Rob Pelinka probably has some great relationships with players, but hopefully he’ll have more than that to sell to free agents during the offseason.  As for the Lakers, here’s a summary of their season in 30 seconds……

On to college hoops, where March Madness is upon us, and the NCAA tournament bracket is set.  That means UCLA’s fate has been determined after their disappointing showing over the weekend in their conference tournament.  The Bruins blew a major opportunity to get a a #2 seed in the West, and have a very favorable path to the Final Four.  Now their potential 2nd round matchup won’t be easy, and then they’ll probably have to face Kentucky and UNC to get to the Final Four.  The bigger concern is the fact that UCLA reminded us over the weekend that they live and die by the 3-point shot, and that they can revert back to not playing any defense at any time.  Lonzo Ball is banged up, Bryce Alford can’t get any shots off other than 3-pointers,  and suddenly, I’m feeling a lot less confident about Steve Alford coaching the Bruins now that’s it’s March.

As for the Trojans, they narrowly made the NCAA Tournament, and will be participating in the play-in game on Tuesday vs Providence.  USC will be the #11 seed.  Sure enough, they are playing the team that played them last season in the 1st round, and beat them at the buzzer.  That’s about as surprising as a USC student being hungover for class on Friday, after a Thursday night frat party.  The selection committee loves these type of re-matches and creating story lines out of them.  The Trojans game against Providence, and potentially SMU after that should be close ones.  They are evenly matched, and USC should feel good that they beat SMU back in November.  They probably won’t make it too much further though, with Baylor awaiting the winner of that game.

As for the rest of the bracket, Arizona might as well have a bye to the Final Four.  You can pencil in Gonzaga to be upset by the Sweet 16 every year, and this year is no different.  Congratulations to Kentucky for winning the SEC tournament.  Their players are clearly earning all the money they are being paid.  Word is President Trump has selected Trump University to win it all in his NCAA bracket.    Kansas also has a fairly easy route to the Final Four but you can always count on them to blow it.  That’s an annual guarantee like people smoking weed at Coachella.

The Rams went out and spent money on former USC receiver Robert Woods last week.  I realize that the Rams needs help at wide receiver, but $15 million guaranteed for Robert Woods? Alshon Jeffrey got $14 million guaranteed and at least he was once a Pro Bowler.  When you include Tavon Austin, that’s two receivers the Rams have overpaid for that are really #3 receivers on a good team.  They should be directing most of their resources at the offensive line.  Andrew Whitworth was a good start, but they need more.

If you think the Rams are having an unspectacular offseason thus far, the Chargers look like they are trying to give their new cross-town rivals a run for their money.  The Bolts signed Russell Okung to help their offensive line, but apparently Okung nor the Chargers knew the rules about negotiating with a player who didn’t have an agent.  They might have tampered by negotiating with him prior to the period when it was allowed.  Based on how Okung played last season though, they probably have more to worry about him protecting Philip Rivers than the tampering issue.

I’m not in denial anymore.  The LA Kings aren’t making the playoffs folks.  Every time i find myself saying they are only a few points behind one particular team for the last playoff spot, a week later that team is about 10 points ahead of them.  The same is about to happen with St. Louis, who is coming to Staples Center tonight.  The wins the Kings are picking up now needed to happen back in December and January.

A tragic episode of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  SPOILER ALERT for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if you are watching it later.  The Saviors have officially lost their minds, in case we weren’t sure before.  Now they are shooting people over a missing cantaloupe.  Our favorite killer homemaker finally knows what happened in Alexandria, and Morgan is about to do his Rambo impersonation.  It only took 13 episodes, daylight savings time, and a cantaloupe.  I don’t remember a cantaloupe causing this much drama since Janet Jackson’s at the Super Bowl.  Apparently in the apocalypse your life is worth 1 cantaloupe.  Why isn’t Ezekiel bringing Shiva to these meetings?   The last three episodes of this season are going to be epic.

Finally, it’s about to go down tonight on The Bachelor.  The finals between Vanessa and Raven.  However, when it’s over, you’ll think Nick is going to choose Raven, but he’s really going to choose nobody.  Which we all agree is better than living in Canada.  The producers must have blown the whole budget on the trip to Finland so they had to settle for ice baths for Nick and Vanessa’s date.  Either that or Nick was determined to give Vanessa pneumonia.  In the last episode, Nick saw more action than Chuck Norris does with 4 different girls in fantasy suites.  The only difference is the action Chuck Norris sees can kill him, while the action Nick sees can give him herpes.  My favorite part of the last episode was when Vanessa said this is the best relationship she’s been in.  Really? The best relationship you’ve ever been in is with somebody who was dating two dozen women at the same time? Corrine and champagne  are one of the ultimate duos of all-time.  She was going off at Taylor during the women tell all.  It felt like Josephine was Corrine’s hype man, supporting her with every word that came out of her mouth.  Poor Taylor though….I guess she gave up her career for lent.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

March 6th, 2017

Just when you thought the Laker front office was stabilizing, Jim Buss comes back to screw the franchise.  That’s right folks, Jim Buss wasn’t going to go quietly into the night after his sister fired him.   It’s like watching an episode of Game of Thrones, except Jim’s removal was more like “The Purple and Gold Wedding”.  Jim and his brother Johnny, are trying to take control, but I don’t see it happening.  The fact that Jim and Johnny’s first attempt to oust Jeanie was shot down rather quickly, suggests that he and Johnny are being nothing but foolish and vengeful.  I also love how Jim’s attorney tried to do major damage control after the story leaked, claiming that the two brothers support her.  It was also interesting to see  NBA spokesman Mike Bass quickly issue a statement in support of Jeanie and her importance as an owner in the NBA.  There’s simply no way that the NBA is going to allow the Billy Madison of the Buss family to be the controlling owner of the Lakers.  I guess we’ll know for sure on May 15th when a judge reviews the family trust.  Who says the Lakers aren’t playing in the post season?

Meanwhile, the Clippers have been having their own problems on the court of late.  They’ve lost 4 of their last 5 games, and have been getting destroyed by their top competition in the Western Conference.  Even more alarming was the fact that they got blown out by the Houston Rockets by 30 points at home.  Weren’t the Clippers supposed to have this great bench this year? Don’t people say the Clippers are going to have a great bench every year? Well once again, they don’t.  Austin Rivers is not a real point guard.  Ray Felton is past his prime, and Jamal Crawford has been in a horrible slump.  Everyone is healthy, and the Clippers still can’t hang with the best teams in the West.  They also can’t defend against good 3 point shooting teams.  We all know how this movie ends, but Doc Rivers is of course pretending like he hasn’t seen it five times.

Next week is going to be an amazing Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas.  UCLA is probably going to have to go through USC, Arizona, and then Oregon to win the tournament.  The good news though is that if they beat those three teams, they will be a #1 seed in the Western Region.  However, the Bruins better hope that freshman forward TJ Leaf will be healthy enough to play next week.  There’s no way UCLA can contend with the size of Arizona without having their own skill in the paint in Leaf.  This is going to be fun, and the NCAA Tournament is going to be even better the following week.

I can’t believe how early spring training started this year.  And we wonder why pitchers keep having Tommy John’s surgery? That leads us to the Dodgers.  I can’t believe some people are buying into the nonsense that the Dodgers are world series contenders.  I must have missed the part where the Dodgers acquired another reliable starting pitcher over the winter.  I also must have missed the part where they added some more trustworthy arms in their middle relief.  On top of that, they can’t decide on 3 regular outfielders, which screws up the quality of their play by shuffling them in and out of the lineup.  Until that changes, this team might win the division, but is nothing more than a pussy cat in the postseason.

Then there’s the Angels, who are playing in the AL West, which should be known as “the division of death.”  The Halos are going to have to figure out a way to deal with a young and talented Houston team, an always solid Texas team, and a Mariners team that is bound to make the playoffs one of these years we keep making fun of them.  I can’t imagine that the Angels aren’t going to score runs, but its a matter of whether or not their starting pitchers can stay off of the operating table.  The Halos aren’t even sure Garrett Richards is going to be healthy and return to the ace he once was.  They’ll also need to get lucky with a few more arms on their staff.  Mike Trout is amazing, but he can’t do it all.  The Angels are going to need to get lucky to get into the post season.

I still think the LA Kings are in serious danger of missing the playoffs.  Jerome Iginla is 39 years old.  Acquiring him last week was a great move….5 years ago.  Even though it’s low risk, LA just doesn’t have the goal scorers this year to get it done.  It’s like watching a team throw for 400 yards every game in the NFL, but never score inside the red zone.  The Kings dominate the shots, the possession stats, and even special teams, but they get outscored 5-on-5.  Then there’s the Ducks who acquired the player the Kings needed at the deadline: Patrick Eaves.  Anaheim has their own goal scoring issues, but is still in good position to make the playoffs, and then see what happens from there.

Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was the equivalent of watching an apocalyptic  honey moon.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it so read no further if that is the case.  You didn’t really think that Rick died in that episode did you? I would hope if it ever came to that, it wouldn’t be at the hands of a pack of walkers like that.  I think Rick has laughed and smiled more in the last three episodes than he has during the last seven seasons.  Then there’s Rosita.  who I really liked for a while, but now she’s just being stupid.  It’s like she wants to be Carol, but she’s just being driven by emotion and anger, and that usually gets somebody killed.  It nearly got Carl killed, but this time, I don’t think Rosita is going to get some spaghetti if things don’t work out.  I’m surprised that Sasha is being just as dumb about the whole plan to take down Negan as she is.  They both failed to realize that her foolishness is actually what got Eugene captured.

Finally, it’s going to be a three hour episode of The Bachelor tonight.  I’d like to thank Corrine for making this season worth watching, prior to her departure last week.  I think it’s safe to say Nick is an idiot for getting rid of her.  Hope he has fun renewing his passport and living in Canada, or squashing all those roaches in Houston, or rolling in the mud in Arkansas, as opposed to living in Miami.  It was very fitting though that Corrine took a nap right after her big statement in the limo when she was leaving.  Apparently dismissing her was Nick’s way of thanking her for buying him a pair of $800 sweatpants.  You’ve gotta feel bad for Raven’s ex-boyfriend.  She’s putting the dude on blast for cheating on him, and then never giving her an orgasm.  That guy might never get another woman.  There’s nothing worse than seeing a guy cry in a turtleneck.  I feel like after that episode we need to call him “TurtleNick”.  The only smart thing Nick has said this entire season is that ironing your clothes is way more effective than steaming them.

Monday Morning Coffee

February 27th, 2017

In case you were living under a rock over the last week, Magic Johnson has replaced Jim Buss as the President of Basketball Operations, and NBA player agent Rob Pelinka, has replaced Mitch Kupchak as General Manager of the Lakers.  This might make some of you feel better because you didn’t like how things were going with Buss and Kupchak.  However, it’s not like everything is suddenly ok in Lakerland because of the changes.  The good news is that Jeanie will be able to actually have normal communication with the Basketball Operations Department, unlike the weird dynamic she had with Jim earlier.  The way things were going,  these two practically needed attorneys just to decide what they wanted to order for lunch.  It’s always good for any organization to have a unified direction, unified voice, and good communication, which the Lakers now have.  Still, it doesn’t change the fact the Lakers need to get somewhat lucky to be good again.  They’ll need to keep their 1st round picks, and likely find their next face of the franchise player in the draft.  These days, determining the success of a 19 year old in the NBA is about as easy as playing darts blindfolded after 5 shots of Tequila.  That’s why I’m a little disappointed Jerry West isn’t going to be coming back in any role with LA.  He was the greatest talent evaluator ever.  Even if they sign Paul George in 2018, they’ll still need a lot more around him to be competitive, which can’t be done through free agency alone.

ESPN must be desperate to create news, and the only way they can do it apparently is by talking about race.  On Thursday, Dan Le Batard explained on his radio show that he felt like Magic wasn’t all that qualified to run the Lakers.  Although he gave a comprehensive explanation of this, ESPN decided to take clips of Le Batard’s criticism of Magic, and play them on all their stations.  However, those clips made it sound like Le Batard was a racist, implying that Magic was simply all about “shucking and jiving” his way to the top.  Anybody that knows Le Batard knows this isn’t what he meant and that he’s not a racist, but it’s just another example of ESPN manufacturing a story. Le Batard also spent all of Friday explaining his position on multiple talk shows, as opposed to the clips which suggested he might be racist.  Since ESPN has lost all of their real talent, apparently they have to resort to these smoke and mirror stories. So the Clippers are now considering moving to Inglewood, next to the new Rams and Chargers stadium.  Don’t we have enough terrible teams moving to Inglewood?  Do we really need to add a 3rd? It’s like we’ve created the city of losers.  Getting approval to build that NFL stadium was complex enough, so I’d be surprised if Steve Ballmer is able to get all the city and EIR approvals necessary to get this done.  Even if he has all the money to build the stadium.  Ballmer does realize that Inglewood is in Los Angeles and not in Seattle, right?

I love it when college and NBA players say they never read the headlines, or pay attention the criticism they receive from the media.  The UCLA Bruins basketball team sure reads the headlines and pays attention to that criticism, because for weeks I’ve been ripping them for their pathetic defense, soft play, and lack of toughness.  In the month of February they have answered the bell, playing tough defense against quality opponents.  Both Coach Steve Alford, and his son Bryce, are most aware of this and admitted they are constantly working on it.  It showed, and if the Bruins continue to play like this, the are true national championship contenders.  UCLA has two of the biggest road wins in college basketball this year.  As for Lonzo Ball’s dad, Lavar, he’s at it again, suggesting that he would only play for the Lakers when he enters the NBA next year.  Although he backtracked from these comments yesterday, he replaced them with dumber comments by suggesting that if we currently put Lonzo on the Warriors instead of Steph Curry, they would be better.  Lavar is going to make Lonzo the most hated basketball player in the world at this rate, and he hasn’t even played a single NBA game yet.

Why are NBA players so thin skinned these days? First you have Lebron complaining about Charles Barkley criticizing him for needing more help.  Now we have Javale McGee engaging a huge Twitter war with Shaq because McGee is repeatedly on “Shaq’tin A Fool”, which is a weekly blooper reel of NBA highlights.  It’s Shaq’s job to be entertaining, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.  If Javale has a problem with being featured on the bloopers every week, he should stop making a fool out of himself every week he plays.  The crying and bitching that we’re seeing from his teammates and the Warriors, who are complaining to TNT, is ridiculous.  In case you missed the exchange between Shaq and Javale, here it is.


This race for the 2024 Summer Olympics in getting interesting.  After Donald Trump was elected President, it dealt a major blow the hopes of LA’s bid.  However, Budapest dropped out because similar to a number of other previous bidders, the cost was just too great for them.  That leaves Paris and Los Angeles.  Paris is unfortunately the home of a lot of terrorist activity of late, while the United States creates a great degree of uncertainty because of Trump’s immigration orders.  On one hand, it’s hard to imagine all of those IOC voters from Islamic and Latin American countries voting for the LA because of Donald Trump.  But on the other hand, we know the IOC is corrupt, and is getting bribes left and right.  How else do you explain a disastrous country like Brazil getting the Olympics? It’s going to be an interesting decision for this corruption that is the IOC.

Why did the LA Kings acquire one of the top goaltenders on the market to backup Jonathan Quick now? This would have been helpful 3 months ago when Quick was hurt.  Maybe they wouldn’t be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in if they had.  By the way Kato Kaelin was in the house for the Kings-Ducks game on Saturday at Staples Center.  This makes sense. Whenever Kato is in the house there is always bloodshed.

The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it yet, so read no further if that is the case.  Just when I thought I got that “Easy Street” song out of my head, I had to hear it again, and I’m going to playing it in my head for the next few weeks.  Listening to Eugene’s nerdy talk was unbelievable.  He was like some type of super nerd, that was made from parts of a lesser nerd.  Couldn’t Negan have just killed him instead of some of our favorite characters this season? It was even more painful watching him interact with the girls Negan sent to him.  Negan lines up some easy sex for him and somehow, in two or three sentences, he lost the ability have sex with every woman in that room.  The scary thing about him though is that once you gave him some pickles, he got his confidence up, and bought into Negan’s nonsense.  Eugene is desperate for his own survival, and knows the’s too much of a coward to stand up for what’s right.  Dwight on the other hand is on the verge of snapping, and I’m curious to see if he gets revenge on Negan.

As for the Oscars last night, I thought blunders like that only happened in beauty pageants that were hosted by Steve Harvey! Harvey may think he’s off the hook, but the reality is we will forever compare his blunder in the pageant to every other blunder like last night.  I realize it wasn’t entirely Warren Beaty’s fault, but perhaps the Academy should make sure all of its presenters are young enough to effectively read and recognize when they have the incorrect envelopes like Beaty did.  Props to all the people from La La Land that recognize the goof, and stopped their acceptance speech to give the real award to Moonlight.  I know i know…..most of you are wishing that the 2016 Presidential Election turned out the way Best Picture did last night.  Outside of that blunder, and Justin Timberlake’s brilliant performance to open the show, last night was just a reminder that the Oscars are nothing but politics and who is in bed with the right people in Hollywood to get recognized.  In case you missed the blunder here is the full disaster….. 

Finally, we get to see another highly anticipated episode of The Bachelor tonight on ABC.  Last week we got to see Nick go on four different dates with each remaining contestant.  The remaining women are from Houston, Montreal, some small town in Arkansas, and Miami.  It should be a no-brainer where he wants to live.  Corrine has both geography and money on her side.  Her dad also seems like the equivalent of Pauley D from Jersey Shore, but 25 years older.  He’ll also have the person who might be the most famous nanny in the world, Raquel.  My favorite part of the show was seeing Corrine’s mom say “I can’t do a lot of things without Raquel”, while waiting anxiously for Raquel to pass her a glass of wine.  Let’s be honest though, Nick doesn’t really like olives.  Vanessa might seem like the most normal, but her family is way too intense.  She got dumped people, she didn’t grow up eating lipstick.  Apparently, none of them realize they are on The Bachelor, and are surprised Nick asked for the permission to marry each girl remaining from all the parents he visited.  They were about as surprised as I was that there was no cheese pasta served for dinner at her house.  I’m going to need to take a shot of whiskey tonight every time Nick says the word “respect”.  From platinum “vageen” to platinum visa, Corrine needs to be the winner.

Monday Morning Coffee

February 20th, 2017

The NBA All-Star game went down last night.  That game was basically a 2.5 hour and 1 mix tape.  The West beat the East 192-182.  Yes that was actually the final score of the game.  Since both teams were on pace for 200 points each by halftime, they really made an effort to lock down on defense in the second half.  I’d also say Steph Curry’s defense was about as good as it was in the NBA Finals last year. Besides, 192 points are what the Knicks would call an average game for their opponents.  Hopefully Anthony Davis will be awarded a free eyebrow wax from the NBA since he took home the All-Star game MVP last night.  The league could easily make this more competitive by giving a $10-$15 million prize for the winning team.  I suspect Adam Silver will fix this problem.

Last night DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans.   It was just hours earlier that the Lakers were in talks to acquire him, but the price was too high as far as they were concerned.  We know the Kings asked for Brandon Ingram, a future 1st rounder, and probably more.  The Lakers didn’t want to include Ingram.  You might think the Lakers were stupid to not give the Kings what they wanted for Cousins, even if it meant giving up Ingram.  However, LA made the right decision hanging on to him.  As great as DeMarcus Cousins is, we’ve seen what a team looks like with him as the best player, and it’s not even a playoff team.  As a Laker, Cousins would become the best player on the team immediately, and LA still wouldn’t be a playoff team.  Don’t be fooled into thinking LA won’t give up their young talent for a star player.  That star isn’t DeMarcus Cousins though.

As for All-Star Saturday night, this had to have been one of the more disappointing ones I can remember in the last several years. The NBA is all about star power, and unfortunately, we just didn’t see much of it in any of the three contests.  Kristaps Porzingas winning the skills contest is the most exciting thing to happen to the Knicks since Allen Houston came off their payroll.  They might as well have called the three-point shooting contest the “Klay Thompson Invitational” and the slam dunk contest the “Aaron Gordon Invitational” since they were such heavy favorites, yet somehow, they both managed to lose those events.  Eric Gordon shot well, but how can you have a three-point shooting contest without Steph Curry and Kyle Korver? Otto Porter leads the league in 3 point shooting this year, and he wasn’t even in the contest. As for the slam dunk contest, not having Zach Lavine go up against Aaron Gordon was a big let down after Lavine’s injury.  Aaron Gordon himself looked like he was laboring with his foot injury, and that probably allowed a guy like Glen Robinson III to win.  In addition to the dunks just not being creative enough, the names just weren’t there either.  I think we have all come to grips with the fact Lebron isn’t going to compete now that he’s well into his 30’s.  However, where is the top young athleticism in the NBA like Andrew Wiggins, Giannis Antetokounmpo, or even an athletic freak like Larry Nance Jr? It’s feeling more and more like a “whoever we can get to show up” contest.  DeAndre Jordan had a nice dunk, but we all know the odds are always stacked against you when you are a big man.  In DeAndre’s case, the odds are also stacked against him playing basketball when Chris Paul isn’t on the floor to throw him some ally-oops.  Hopefully Adam Silver comes up with some ways to keep the dunk contest alive.

Even though the NBA All-Star game did not have any Lakers playing in it, they did have some representation, most notably in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Both D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram participated. I don’t like to read too much into an exhibition game without a lot of defense being played, but after seeing D’Angelo contribute 12 points and 4 assists, and giving the fans some highlight reel isolation plays, it couldn’t help but reinforce what I already thought about him. Russell has star talent, but whether he fulfills it will come down to all the intangibles: work ethic, mental toughness, and maturity. As for Brandon Ingram, the skill is there, but until the kid puts on some weight, it’s hard to know exactly what the Lakers have in him.

Did anybody stop and think for just one minute that Kyrie Irving was actually trolling the media when he suggested the world is flat? It just goes to show you how desperate the media can be for a story in a slow news weekend.  Kevin Love has been the subject of some trade rumors in Cleveland, as he has been the last couple of years.  He was actually replaced on the All-Star team by Carmelo Anthony.  He and Lebron had a nice little exchange of text messages a few days ago….

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis turned himself in to authorities on Friday, after being charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor stemming from an altercation in Pittsburgh last week. Revis is scheduled for a hearing in a few days.  Looks like Revis Island is about to turn into Alcatraz Island if he has to face jail time.  If the judge we’re going to give him a maximum sentence though, he would just sentence him to playing for the Cleveland Browns for the next five years.

Going into Saturday, it felt like UCLA was never going to beat USC again in basketball.  Then Lonzo Ball reminded us how great he was once again, as the Bruins blew out the Trojans at Pauley Pavilion.  Not only did UCLA play great defense, but we didn’t have to hear Steve Alford bitch about how high of a standard we hold him to when they don’t play defense.  If Alford wants to complain about it, he should go coach at Southwest Missouri State and take his kid with him.  To his credit though, Alford has gotten the Bruins to play some much better defense in the last couple of games.  I still think that Lavar Ball needs to settle down with all the talk about Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and better than Jason Kidd.  It’s great to have confidence in your kid and support him, but no need to put the added pressure on him, or even put a target on him that other players want a shot at.  Lavar Ball has become the world’s worst soccer mom.

Let’s go to the ice where last night the LA Kings played one of their biggest games of the season, yet somehow laid their biggest egg.  In typical Kings fashion, they couldn’t score, losing 1-0 to the Ducks at Honda Center.  The Kings must be under the impression that their bye week was for two weeks instead of one, because they haven’t showed up in their last three games.  I get it, Anze Kopitar is a nice defensive forward who does more than score.  However, the Kings sure as hell need him to score, and for $10 million per year, it better be more than six goals a season.  I also love how the Kings called up their most skilled prospect in Adrian Kempe, yet stick him on the 4th line instead of the top line when they are desperate for offense.  The Kings may not be out of the playoff race, but it sure feels like they’re letting the playoffs slip further and further away from them.

To baseball where spring training has opened up in Arizona for the Angels and Dodgers.  However, the big news for the Halos is that according to Arte Moreno, they will be playing at Anaheim Stadium until 2029.  The Angels also spent $1.5 million to install some LED lights in the stadium during the off-season, to go along with other improvements to the stadium over the years.  Moreno has clearly experienced the same troubles that Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has recently, with regards to trying to build a new stadium in Southern California.  Even if Moreno had the money to do it himself, which he doesn’t, trying to build something in Orange County is not amenable to most residents, while in LA there are just too many stadiums.  Even if there was an opportunity to move, Anaheim has been home to the Halos for decades, and should continue to be that home.

Another coalition building episode of The Walking Dead last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case, and you want to watch it later.  I like how Rick was saved by Michonne in this episode, and she wasn’t even fighting with him.  I was shocked that Jadis didn’t ask for a hair stylist instead of all those guns for her group.  She must have thought the Jim Carey “Dumber & Dumber” haircut was in.  I was really bummed that Darryl didn’t tell  Carol that Glenn and Abraham were beaten to death.  However, my gut feeling is that she will eventually find out, and when she does, she will get her revenge.

Lastly, we’re down to the final four on The Bachelor, and I’m sure many of you can’t wait for tonight’s episode.  I’m fairly amazed how Nick has found a way to send all the girls home that would actually be good wives.  That dude is crazier than the women on the show.   He wants a deeper relationship, the women say they love him, then he sends them home.  Can they just send Nick home already? Let’s be honest, Nick probably sent Christina home because he thought he had to travel all the way to Russia for the hometown date with her.  Looks like ABC forgot to issue the spoiler alert when they announced that Rachel Lindsay will be the next Bachelorette.  This was never a problem with previous Bachelorette’s, so I’m not sure why ABC made this scheduling goof.  I’m not sure what was up with Corrine suddenly talking in the third person during last week’s show.  Who does she think she is, Elmo?  Nevertheless, she has a real shot to win, and my prediction is that you’re going to see her in the final.  If not though, I hope we at least get to meet her crazy family and Raquel.  After all, nothing says bringing a girl home to your family like a “platinum vageen”.  I’m not sure what was funnier: seeing Corrine walk out of that hotel while walking past the sliding doors, or seeing her walk like Bambi in those Louboutin’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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