Monday Morning Coffee

January 1, 2018

Could the Lakers be any more disappointing?  They are clearly a lottery team once again, and this time they don’t have a lottery pick.  They may have stabilized their front office, but on the court they are still as shaky as Donald Trump’s approval rating.  They never show up to play against teams they should beat, they play too much isolation ball, and Julius Randle doesn’t play nearly enough minutes.  If they’ve given up on trading Luol Deng as reports suggest, why don’t they just waive him or play him instead of leaving him in limbo? I also don’t understand why Luke Walton won’t play Ivica Zubac, rather than Andrew Bogut and Brook Lopez, who won’t be with the team next year.  This is a total disaster, and it’s a locker room that’s going to get further splintered in the coming weeks.  The only way to turn this thing around is to get free agents to come here, but why would they? This feels like the same movie that starred Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss, only with a new cast of characters.

Meanwhile, the Clippers got Blake Griffin back in the lineup on Friday, and Doc Rivers probably thinks they can win an NBA Championship.  This is really the worst thing to happen to the Clippers since they decided to change their uniforms into those ugly pajamas.  The Clips are just delaying the inevitable rebuild.  They need to trade DeAndre, Blake, and the disaster that is Danilo Gallnari.  They’ll be locked in NBA purgatory until they do.

To College Football where the Trojans got blown off the field against Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl.  USC looked so bad, Sam Darnold might have been playing bad purposely so the Browns don’t draft him.  It was typical Sam.  Make a handful of highlight throws that the scouts will drool over, then serve up a handful of turnovers like Betty Crocker.  However, the real problem the Trojan faithful can point to is Clay Helton.  Once again, against a nationally elite opponent, USC looked like they had no business being on the field, and completely unprepared.  The Trojans got beat badly on the line of scrimmage, and the play calling was completely unimaginative.  Darnold would be foolish to come back to school with Helton there, but if USC is serious about having a legitimate national powerhouse, they will find themselves an elite coach.

The Bruins didn’t fare much better in their bowl game against Kansas State, but it was hard to expect them to since Josh Rosen was sidelined with an injury.  The real story here is Rosen suggesting that he would return to school just so he won’t get drafted by the Browns.  Let’s be honest Josh, we all know you aren’t stupid enough to turn down $20 million in guaranteed money just to avoid Cleveland.  If he’s dumb enough to do that, then it’s clear he didn’t get any education at UCLA.  The Bruins and every other team in the Pac-12 didn’t exactly make the conference look good this bowl season…..

Sean McVay and the Rams almost pulled it off.  By losing yesterday, they nearly took the #4 seed, setting themselves up for a showdown with a wounded Philadelphia team.  Instead, they’ll have to go through Atlanta, and then Minnesota if they advance.  The road is going to be tough, but I really like the Rams chances to make it out of the NFC.  Their offense is as good as anyones, and their defense has the ability come up with big plays.  As long as McVay doesn’t take the boys to Catch LA the night before and overload on sushi and saki, I fully expect the Rams to take care of business against the Falcons next week.  I also fully expect the Coliseum to actually have fans in it for at least one week.

As for the Chargers, maybe next year they will remember that the season starts in September, rather than October.  The Bolts 0-4 start killed them, and despite yesterday’s big win against the Raiders, they didn’t get the help they needed from other teams to sneak into the postseason.  Sure we’re going to hear for the next 6 months how the Bolts are building momentum for next year.  However, the Raiders are talented and about to bring back Jon Gruden.  The Chiefs are oozing with talent and aren’t going anywhere.  The Chargers still can’t be trusted to win close games, and I’m not so sure that changes in the Philip Rivers’ era.  I’m also not so sure they last five years in LA with the lack of support they are getting.

Wow, that Ravens season disappeared quicker than Ray Lewis’ bloody white glove.  Watching Joe Flacco play football is like some form or cruel and unusual punishment.  Andy Dalton really is an expert at taking teams out of the playoffs: his own and other teams.  I guess that was the closest Marvin Lewis will come to winning a playoff game.  It was so cold in New England yesterday, the football were naturally deflated.  I’d like to congratulate the Browns on fulfilling my hopes and dreams and finishing the season a perfect 0-16.  Cheer up Cleveland, you still have another beating to look forward to from the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

December 25, 2017

The Lakers better be damn sure that Paul George and either DeMarcus Cousins or Lebron James are going to be playing here next year.  Otherwise, they are going to look like fools when they trade Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle for some egg on their face.  Clarkson is a candidate for the NBA’s sixth man of the year.  Randle could be on the verge of being a 20-10 player if Luke Walton came to his senses and didn’t chain him to the bench.  The problem with the Lakers being so transparent about their plan to add two max free agents is that players feel alienated from the organization, and they put up lousy efforts like they did on Saturday night.  That includes KCP, and you’ve gotta love that he’s playing games this month with an ankle monitor and going back to jail when they are over.  I wonder if the guy jumps in an Uber Black on the way back to the slammer every night.  Do you think they let him stop for some In-N-Out along the way?

It was great to see Kobe get both of his jerseys retired last week at Staples.  You could say that retiring two jerseys is over the top, and so was the entire celebration on “Kobe Night”.  However, that’s what made Kobe who he is.  He practiced too much.  He shot too much.  He played too many minutes which got him hurt at the end.  However, that’s what made him the legend that he was.  That’s also what brought tons of fans and legends out on Monday night to honor him.  It’s his blessing and his curse, but it’s also why he is loved and respected by so many.  I also loved Kobe’s film regarding the big man, and the need for big guys to both shoot and defend the 3-pointer.  If they don’t they will become extinct.  The whole video is clips of Porzingas, KAT, AD, and Embiid.  I guess if you aren’t one of these big men, your position is already extinct.

Danilo Gallinari tore a muscle in his ass and will be out indefinitely.  Only a player playing for the Los Angeles Clippers could tear his ass.  The other day at work my boss said it wasn’t ok for employees to bring their kids to work around the holidays because it was unprofessional.  When will Steve Ballmer tell Doc Rivers to stop bringing his kid to work because it’s unprofessional?

The Dodgers have an $8.5 billion television contract.  They are laughing all the way to the bank, while most people can’t even see their games.  Now they are raising ticket prices on their fans.  I get that this is a business, but the Dodgers sure don’t know how to play the PR game very well.  They make it sound like they are saving money for the big free agent class of 2018, yet they have an extreme aversion to paying the luxury tax this year.  Which is it? I guess we’ll find out a year from now.

Is there anything more UCLA than seeing them beat Kentucky on the road? I’m telling you and I’ve been saying it for years: Steve Alford is Steve Lavin reincarnated.  The Bruins show up against great teams every now and again because they have talent, but that talent will forever be undeveloped and without structure.  That means they will never be elite, and they’ll often get punked by scrub teams like they have been in the past.  This team is ticketed for another early round exit in the NCAA Tournament after the committee does them a favor and lets them in.

Remember when USC was a preseason top 10 basketball team? Oh that’s right, you probably don’t because you forgot that the Trojans actually had a men’s basketball team.  Well they were, but they aren’t even in the Top 25 anymore.  USC is losing basketball games to nerds from Princeton, and they have assistant coaches that are headed to the slammer for corruption.  So much for the idea that UCLA and USC basketball could distract us from the dumpster fires that are the Lakers and Clippers.

The Rams won the Jeff Fisher Bowl yesterday by beating the Titans.  You would have thought two teams that were coached by Fisher would battle to tie.  However, this team won’t stop winning, and it’s unbelievable.  Four months ago I would have thought they had a better chance to be one of the worst teams in football this year, and that Jared Goff would be benched.  Instead, they are division champs, and one of the most underrated teams in the NFL.  Todd Gurley single handedly tormented the Titans and fantasy teams around the nation yesterday.  Here’s to hoping the Rams get the support they deserve at the Coliseum when they host a playoff game in two weeks.  Meanwhile, Jeff Fisher is basically saying he deserves credit for leaving the Rams in a good position to win after last year’s coaching debacle.  Fisher deserves about as much credit as I do, just for turning on the TV and watching the Rams every Sunday.

The Chargers are still alive too! They should send some Christmas cookies across town to the Rams after they beat the Titans.  In order for the Bolts to make the postseason, all they need is to beat the Raiders, have the Jags beat the Titans, the Ravens beat the Bengals, the weather to be 79 degrees with a 10% chance of rain, and the sun to rise in the west.  Are you paying attention? There will be a quiz on all this.  The Bolts blew it last week against the Chiefs.  It’s games like that which will eventually prevent Philip Rivers from getting in the Hall of Fame.  Rivers is a quarterback who is going to finish his career with big numbers but no postseason success.  This was a chance to position himself for that success, but he came up short when it mattered.  That’s all too familiar for this Charger team.

Do you realize how much of a genius Bill Belichick is? He traded Jimmy G to the 49ers so they could beat the Jags, allowing the Pats to clinch a first round bye.  Since Carson Wentz tore his ACL, he’s actually thrown more touchdown passes and fewer interceptions than Dak Prescott.  That explains why the Cowboys were eliminated by the Seahawks yesterday.  Now that the Browns have clinched the top pick, just about every NFL prospect in college has declared they are going back to school.  Jameis Wintson is going to beat eating crab legs watching the playoffs at home this year.  Does anybody know what a catch is anymore?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

December 18, 2017

Are there Louis Vuitton stores in Lithuania?  Maybe that’s why LiAngelo’s lunatic father is sending him and his brother to play there.  I’m no fan of the NCAA and their archaic rules, but pulling your son out of high school and college when they are on scholarship is stupid, especially when their odds of being a professional basketball player are about the odds of winning the Powerball.  These kids won’t even get the playing time they need to develop their games.  They will be playing against grown men that know how to play structured basketball.  They don’t.  Neither LaMelo or LiAngelo have been taking classes lately, but they are about to get a course in culture shock.

Lebron is such a drama queen.  If you want to give Lonzo some advice, why not do it in private where the whole world can’t actually speculate on what you said? Lebron probably asked Lonzo if he could have his hairline, but I’m sure Lonzo would only agree to that if Lebron would be his new dad.  The problem is Lebron would never agree to that with a jumpshot that looks as bad as Lonzo’s.

The Lakers actually called a meeting with Lavar and told him to not be so negative? This actually happened? What happened to not caring about what any players parents think, as Luke Walton explained last week?   It’s totally embarrassing that Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka don’t have better things to do with their time than meet with Lavar Ball.  Hopefully they bought him a one-way ticket to Lithuania and gave it to him during the meeting.

Gallinari must be the Italian word for “always hurt”.  Danilo comes back and five minutes later he’s injured again.  The Clippers hitched their wagon to a bunch of guys that are made out of glass.  When is Doc Rivers going to go on the injured list? The man clearly needs his head examined since he thinks he’s coaching a playoff team.

Horrible game on Saturday by the UCLA basketball team.  UCLA fans haven’t been this embarrassed since Steve Alford was named their head coach.  This team has no offensive structure, no depth, and it’s clear they are lacking player development.  Wasn’t UCLA supposed to be even better this year? I guess not.  The teams’ offense depends on three guards who can’t handle the ball or make good decisions.  It’s also dependent on big men standing beyond the three point line and shooting bricks.  They will get their heads handed to them come Pac 12 play.

To baseball, where the Dodgers finally made a big move this winter.  By big move, I mean they traded one pile of garbage for another to get under the luxury tax.  They also managed to piss off the Mexican community in LA by trading Adrian Gonzales.   I do hope that Matt Kemp does get a shot to stick with the Dodgers this year though, because he did love being a Dodger when he was here.  That’s probably unlikely though.  This move is supposedly all about the 2018 free agent class. Andrew Friedman said “I hadn’t noticed.  Is there a big free agent class next winter?” Why don’t you ask your super computer Andrew, since you rely on it to make every decision for you.  The Dodgers are saving all this money when they have plenty of it to spend, and it’s never been Friedman’s style to give out contracts more than $100 million and longer than five years.  You really think he’s going to go pay Bryce Harper $400 million? I doubt it.

The Angels say that Shohei Ohtani’s elbow issue “looks standard.”  Yup, it makes perfect sense why the Halos signed him.  His elbow looks as standard as all the other pitchers on their staff that needed their arms replaced.  The Angels are making some big splashes with the addition of Ohtani, Ian Kinsler, and Zack Cozart.  This isn’t the most ideal way to build a team, with a bunch of guys on the wrong side of 30, however, hopefully it will buy them some time to develop a decent farm system by the time Mike Trout is a free agent.

Stay positive Seattle. You still have lots of rain to look forward to.  The Rams should be arrested for assault and battery after what they did to the Seahawks yesterday.  The Rams are a serious threat to come out of the NFC and make it to the Super Bowl.  I feels insane saying that after thinking about where this team was just six months ago.  However, it’s true.  Nick Foles may be a competent quarterback, but he’s no Carson Wentz, so the Eagles are vulnerable.  The Vikings are good, but if the Rams played them again, they could hang.  They’ll have to play some tough road games next month, but the road isn’t a problem for this team.

After the Chargers lost to the Chiefs, they began writing their Christmas list for Santa.  The list included: Someone for Philip Rivers to throw to besides Keenan Allen and Marcus Peters.  More games against Nathan Peterman.  A logo the internet won’t make fun of.  People to stop calling them “San Diego”.  And finally, some fans that actually want to go to their games and cheer them on.

Elsewhere around week 15, the Raiders’ new motto should be “if we don’t beat you on the field, we’ll just stab you in the parking lot.”  After getting screwed on a couple of calls, that’s probably how most Raider fans felt.  I guess the referees are now measuring first downs with the help of index cards.    Marvin Lewis is leaving the Bengals after 15 seasons.  He leaves behind an amazing legacy of hiring criminals and zero playoff wins.  Jerry Richardson is selling the Panthers.  Hopefully he’s also selling all of Cam Newton’s post game clothing too.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

December 11, 2017

Lavar has officially lost his mind.  Any minute now he should announce his candidacy to run for President.  This guy brings more drama than all the Kardashians combined.  He’s not only pulled his youngest son, LaMelo, out of high school, but now pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA.  I’ve been pretty supportive of the way Lavar has done things up until now, but at this point he’s just trying to fulfill his own dreams at the expense of his kids’ future.  That dream is for both of those kids to eventually play for the Lakers.  LaMelo and LiAngelo might not even be good enough to go play overseas and get meaningful experience to develop their games.  However, UCLA Coach Steve Alford seems to be happy he doesn’t have to deal with Lavar anymore.  Maybe he can deal with his teams mediocre play on the court and start getting some wins.  Saturday against Michigan wasn’t exactly a promising start.

The Angels shocked the baseball world with their signing of Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani.  How did they pull this off? They must have throw in a couple of season passes to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm because this is the last place I would have expected him to end up.  It’s the pitching of Ohtani that the Angels will really need, since their staff is made of porcelain.  Meanwhile, the Dodgers not only missed out on Ohtani, but they passed up an opportunity to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, who’s first choice was to play with the Boys in Blue, yet he ended up with the Yankees.  I’m not gonna pretend like a core of Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Stanton for the next 10 years wouldn’t be nice.  However, what was the last MLB team that won the offseason, and then won the World Series the following year? I think the Dodgers will be just fine without Ohtani and Stanton.

It was definitely nice to see the Lakers get a win against Dwight Howard and the Hornets on Saturday.  I guess Dwight has learned nothing since his bad experiences with the Lakers, Rockets, and Hawks.  There he was on Saturday, playing another game with the intensity of pick-up ball at 24-Hour Fitness.  As for Luke Walton, it appears as though he is not only trying to follow in the footsteps of Phil Jackson, but also Doc Rivers because he spends most of the game crying and whining to the officials.  I’m surprised the media hasn’t gotten any comments from Kyle Kuzma’s dad.  Oh that’s right, Kuzma’s father isn’t hogging his son’s spotlight and trying to capitalize on his son’s fame.

This coming Friday is December 15th, which means a number of NBA players that were signed and acquired over the summer are eligible to be traded.  The Clippers should be on the phone at 12:01 am, and start calling 29 other NBA teams to unload DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams, and some sucker that is willing to take Doc Rivers off their hands from some draft picks.  If the Boston Celtics taught the league anything, it’s that the faster you tear it down, the faster you can rebuild it.  However, as long as Rivers is still employed with the team, he will have no interest in doing this.

Yesterday might have been the first time ever that all of Southern California was cheering against Kobe Bryant.  That’s because Kobe was cheering for the Eagles against the Rams, but it was the Rams who came up short.  They can thank Trumaine Johnson, who’s dumb unsportsmanlike conduct penalty cost the Rams the game.  I haven’t seen anything that dumb since the league decided to move two football teams to LA.  The Rams are still contenders in the NFC and a good bet to win the division, and in the big picture, the Eagles are big losers because Carson Wentz may be done for the season.  Problem is they badly needed that win, and should have taken advantage of Wentz’ absence.  The Rams need home field, but it’s going to be hell to get it with some tough matchups left, including at Seattle.  It’s much worse for Philly fans though.  Carson Wentz out.  Joel Embiid out.  Philly sports fans are black out……

The Chargers are no fun for any NFL team to play right now.  They are also no fun to write about anymore because I can’t make fun of them.  They are suddenly legit, and could probably beat any team in the league at this very moment.  Philip Rivers was slinging the ball around yesterday like he was playing Arena League Football.  They even let Kellen Clemens play, who is a human victory cigar.  The Chiefs are looking vulnerable, and the Chargers’ schedule is as soft as tissue paper, so they’re a good bet to win the AFC West.  Things are so good right now for the Bolts that even C-listers like Mario Lopez are showing up and partying on the sidelines.

Elsewhere around week 14, Derek Car was a dumpster fire yesterday in the Raiders’ loss against the Chiefs.  When the Browns were up by two touchdown against the Packers, I thought the world was going to end.  DeShone Kizer made sure they were going to lose.  Being a Bills fan must be fun.  If I wanted to go watch a game with little to no scoring I would have bought a ticket to go see Lonzo Ball play basketball.    Here’s a look at the stands in Buffalo yesterday…..

Finally, an absolutely shocking episode of The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so definitely read no further if you plan to watch it later.  Yes, we were due for a major character to die, and it finally is happening, or at least appears that way.  We learned that Carl has a walker bite and is going to die.  For those of you that don’t know, Carl is actually still alive in the comic, so this is a shocking deviation.  Now it all makes sense why he was serious about sacrificing himself for the rest of Alexandria and why he wrote that letter to his dad earlier in the episode.  Carl also died a virgin.  I’m blaming Enid for this.  As bummed as I am about this, it was necessary for the show to pull a shocking move that deviated from the comic to get your attention.  Especially with all those whiners and complainers who said the show was predictable.  Hopefully he actually goes out with a better ending in the next episode, because for being on the show after 8 seasons, he needs to go out with a bigger bang.  A few side questions though.  Where the hell is Heath and where did the garbage people disappear to? We all wish it were Eugene that died.  Ugh….see you in two months TWD.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

December 4, 2017

I was shocked at what I learned on Sunday morning while watching the College Football Playoff Selection Show on ESPN.  For about the first 30 minutes of the show, the crew was talking about the  three teams that could potentially be selected as the 4th and final seed for the playoffs.  One of those three teams they believed was USC.  That means I was shocked to learn that the ESPN College Football analysts take shots of tequila that early in the morning.  USC had no business being mentioned in the same breath as Ohio State or Alabama, and obviously the College Football Playoff Selection Committee felt that way too because the Trojans finished a distant 8th in the final rankings.  Even with a Pac-12 Championship, USC fans have to be disappointed given the hype train they were riding back in September.  Everyone thought Sam Darnold was a slam dunk for the Heisman and the Trojans were going to win the National title.  Even USC fans know they would be embarrassed if they were in the playoff, and that might even be the case when they play Ohio State.

Speaking of the College Football Playoff, the Selection Committee reminded everyone that they DGAF what we think.  They don’t care if you won your conference championship.  They also don’t care if all the people at your school think its ok to get with your cousin.  They were picking Alabama no matter what because they think they are the better team.  Ohio State is by far the more deserving team to get in the playoff.  However, Ohio State benefitted by being the better team last year, and not the more deserving team.  However, if the committee really had their way, their way, they would choose Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Oklahoma every year.

No problem for the Rams yesterday against the Cardinals.  That was by no means a performance that blew anybody away, especially against a mediocre team, but the Rams are still in the race for home field advantage in the NFC.  In fact, the Vikings and Eagles didn’t exactly look impressive either yesterday, and the Eagles are coming to town next week, so the Rams can catch them in the standings.  Ironically, the Rams match up very well with the Eagles, even though Philly has looked like the best team in the NFC all year.  However, it’s Minnesota that looks like they would give the Rams nightmares heading into the postseason.

It would have been extremely fitting for the Chargers to lose at home to the Browns.  However, they managed to win again, and surge into a 1st place tie in the AFC West.  The whole division has collapsed faster Harvey Weinstein’s career.  The Bolts schedule is way easier than the Raiders’ or Chiefs’.  However, I wouldn’t trust this team to tell me what they wanted on their pizza come the 4th quarter of a big game.  I’m convinced that they will find a way to lose in some awkward and strange way in one of these games they should win coming up.  One thing is for sure.  Many Charger fans are still bitter they left SD

Blake Griffin is going to be out for the next two months with a knee injury.  This is about as surprising as Doc Rivers not being able to draw up a decent play.  As if being a Clipper wasn’t a curse enough in itself, Griffin is also dating Kendall Jenner, which means she’s sure to add the Kardashian curse to the Clipper woes.  In all seriousness though, it’s high time the Clippers blow up their roster and start over.  This team is going nowhere fast, and their best bet to get some assets in return is to trade DeAndre Jordan.  Maybe they can even find some sucker to trade for Doc Rivers, like they did a couple of years ago.

Ok, it’s been a quarter of the NBA season, and I can safely tell you that the Lakers stink.  Lonzo Ball’s confidence is at an all-time low right now.  He isn’t improving nearly fast enough to get the free agents they need next summer. If only the Lakers could give the effort they did against the Warriors last week, on every night.   I never expected the Lakers to make the playoffs, but I certainly hoped that Lonzo, Ingram, and Kuzma would be turning heads far more than they are now.  This isn’t to say they aren’t going to be good NBA players, it’s just that the Lakers may not have time to wait for that to happen.  The best thing going for the Lakers is the fact that Oklahoma City just isn’t that good, which gives Paul George a great chance to come to the Lakers.  Then again, even if George comes to the Lakers, will that by itself take LA where they want to go? Probably not.  When Russell Westbrook signed his extension in OKC, the Lakers were quietly devastated.  If Lebron isn’t playing here next season, which he won’t be, the Lakers are going to continue on the very long rebuilding road.  By the way, Mike D’Antoni must still hate the LA.  He was playing his starters against the Laker scrubs for extended minutes last night to pour it on.

If you’ve been following the MLB offseason in hopes the Dodgers or Angels will make a big splash, don’t hold your breath.  The Angels just traded for Jim Johnson in order to create more money to spend on big Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani.  Johnson is a world class stiff who is capable of imploding an entire bullpen by himself.  Meanwhile, Ohtani is about as interested in the Angels as Cindy Crawford is in dating me.  The Dodgers on the other hand appear to be very content with their roster as is.  Not only have they been passive on Ohtani, but also just mildly interested in Giancarlo Stanton.  The league MVP appears headed to the Giants.  In other words, the Dodgers are that guy who feels like he can just turn down super models left and right, who are lining up to date him.

I have no idea who the LA Kings are anymore.  Are they the team that won 9 of 11 to start the season and their last 5 straight? Or are they the team that lost 7 of 8 games?  Only time will tell.  Yesterday, the Kings beat the struggling Blackhawks 3-1.  It must be really difficult for Hawks fans to watch a team that once won multiple Stanley Cups turn into a non-playoff team so fast.  Kings fan should feel really lucky……on wait never mind.

Finally, 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 that is the case.  You know that Eugene needs to die when suddenly you like Dwight more than him.  Perhaps I wouldn’t feel this way if the whole episode wasn’t dedicated to following Eugene around.  I can’t wait to see what Michonne is going to do to Jadis when she find out that she not only held Rick captive, but was getting ready to “sculpt” him.  I loved Rosita saying “I believe in Rick Grimes”, and even more powerful was that she admitted that Sasha’s death helped her arrive at that conclusion.  However, in the comics, that line is delivered by Maggie, which was far more powerful.  I guess nobody will be covering themselves in walker guts anymore after Father Gabriel got sick.  Speaking of Gabriel, he looks like a good bet to be the next significant character to die.  Based on the previews for the mid-season finale, somebody is going to die, and frankly, it’s probably about time.  I hope to God that when there is a Zombie Apocalypse, we are able to come across as much wine and alcohol in general as they have been lucky enough to stumble upon in this show.

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 27, 2017

UCLA shocked everybody over the weekend by not only hiring Chip Kelly, but stealing him away from Florida.  I guess Dan Guerrero got tired of me making fun of him for not giving a crap about his football program, and not actually paying up for good coaches.  The reality of it is that this was the perfect storm for the Bruins.  Kelly loves the Pac 12, loves the fact Bruin football isn’t under a microscope, and was not heavily influenced by money because the 49ers are going to be paying him until he dies.  Kelly’s system is fast and exciting.  Even faster than the Bruins were eliminated from Pac 12 contention this season.

Meanwhile listening to Trojan fans complain about the Kelly hire is hilarious.  It’s hilarious because many of those Trojan fans wish it was Kelly coaching their team rather than Clay Helton.  In fact, at the beginning of last season, Helton was on the hot seat, then turned things around for the Trojans.  Kelly was rumored to be the next Trojan coach.  Now Helton appears to be just good enough to keep the Trojans competitive in the Pac 12, but not nationally relevant.  That’s not good enough to fire him.  USC should be happy though because they lucked out getting to play Stanford again for the conference title, instead of a Washington State team that beat them earlier in the season.  It’s also probably a good thing they aren’t playing in the college football playoff, because they would have been embarrassed by any of the teams playing in it.

Elsewhere around College Football, you didn’t really think that Notre Dame wasn’t going to find a way to disappoint their fans before the season ended did you? Only the Irish could let their season unravel in a matter of three minutes during the 4th quarter against Stanford.  Notre Dame can definitely kiss their hopes of a New Year’s Six Bowl game goodbye.  Then there’s Alabama, who lost the Iron Bowl to Auburn.  That will likely put the Tide on the outside of the CFP looking in.  Alabama fans haven’t been this upset since the integration of public schools.  This boycott Tennessee made against Greg Schiano had nothing to do with his connection to the Penn State scandal.  It’s obvious the Volunteer alums and fan base were not having anything but a big name coach their program.  Too bad there aren’t enough big names out there.

To the NFL, where the Rams got a nice win against the Saints yesterday at the Coliseum.  If the Rams get a big win, and nobody was there to see it, did it really happen? There were only about 45,000 people at the Coliseum on Sunday, and another 15,000 dressed as empty seats.  That was against a great New Orleans team.  I really don’t know what it’s going to take for people to support this team because they are winning, and might even end up in the NFC Championship game.  Jared Goff has improved so much, he’s completely destroyed my ability to make jokes about him.  Were it not for Carson Wentz, Goff might be talked about as one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.  The scary part is it’s going to take 10 wins just to make the playoffs in the NFC, so the Rams need to keep winning.  That won’t be that easy considering they still have to play at Seattle, and against the Eagles.

Somehow, the Chargers are not only back in contention for a playoff spot, they might even win the AFC West.  Their huge win over the struggling Cowboys on Thanksgiving put them just a game behind Kansas City in the division.  It was clear that with Tony Romo working the broadcast on CBS, the Cowboys honored their former quarterback by committing lots of turnovers against the Bolts.  Phil Rivers’ family is so big, it probably took him four hours just to feed his entire family Thanksgiving dinner.

The Clippers may have won their last two games, but prior to that their losses were piling up faster than sexual harassment victims in Hollywood.  It’s time for the Clip show to pull the plug on the season and tank.  They should be used to that since they did that annually prior to Chris Paul arriving in LA.  They finally have their own draft pick this season, Patrick Beverly is out for the year, and Danilo Gallinari will be hurt five minutes after he comes back.  This is really what some members of the Clipper front office wanted to do, but Doc Rivers sure didn’t.  Speaking of Doc, Steve Ballmer should just lock himself in a room with him and stare at Doc until he quits.  He should probably trade DeAndre Jordan and listen to offers for Blake Griffin after that, since those two are fairly inept in the 4th quarter.  I wouldn’t be shocked if DJ or Doc were gone by Christmas.

As for the Lakers, you knew Lavar was going to do this at some point.  Sure enough, last week he criticized Luke Walton and the organization for going soft on Lonzo.  Well Lavar, if you wanted the Lakers to go tough on Lonzo, he probably would never see the floor, since he’s shooting 32% from the field.  Luke’s response was pretty epic though, basically saying the team doesn’t care what parents think.  Unlike those of you that hate Lavar though, I don’t take most of what he says seriously.  He is trolling everybody, including the President of the United States.  You can actually take this guy seriously???

There’s talk that Giancarlo Stanton is going to find a way to force his way to the Dodgers since he has a the ability to veto certain trades.  There’s also some talk that he could end up with the Giants.  I could care less if that happens.  As I’ve said, the Dodgers do not need Stanton at all.  The Giants can have him, and they can enjoy paying his $300 million salary for the next decade, while they continue to put a lineup around him that can’t even hit little league pitching.  Obviously at a certain price the Dodgers would have to go get Stanton, but building from within is much more desirable for LA at this point, and probably more likely to get them where they want to go.  Not some shiny new toy in Stanton, who will give the Dodgers nothing more than offseason headlines.

Finally, The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen it, so read no further if that is the case, and you plan on watching it later.  Why are kids just obsessed with following Carol?  That episode should have been called, “come with me.”  Rosita went with Michonne.  Carol went with Siddiq, and Tara went with Darryl.  Rosita just welcome herself back to the show by using a bazooka on a Savior.  Was Rick doing arts and crafts while naked in the container?  Admit it, now that Morgan is crossing over onto Fear The Walking Dead, you are pissed because you are thinking of catching up on that crappy show.  Once again, everybody like Michonne, Rosita, and Carl were making stupid decisions this episode.  Only two more episodes in 2017, which is both exciting and disappointing.  Hoping for a lot more in those two episodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 20, 2017

Yesterday was Jim Mora Jr.’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Jim! You’re getting $11 million to go home and not coach the UCLA football team anymore.  When is Dan Guerrero’s birthday? Hopefully UCLA doesn’t have to wait that long to fire him.  I’m surprised Guerrero had the guts to make this move with some much money left on his contract, but it was the right decision.  It’s the right decision if UCLA can convince someone like Chip Kelly.  I say “someone” because Florida is a better option for Kelly.    As for Saturday night, Josh Rosen proven he’s the better quarterback over Sam Darnold, but Darnold played on the better team.  It just goes to show you how Mora completely wasted the talent he recruited over the last 6 years.    Meanwhile, the Trojans may have escaped with the win, but that’s about all they can feel good about.    Darnold looked about as accurate as Hellen Keller throwing darts, and the offense had about as much rhythm as Ashley Simpson.  The Trojans need coaching just about as bad as the Bruins do, but their talent sometimes hides it.

On the hardwood, the Bruins basketball team is 3-0 after a couple of wins over those powerhouse programs Central Arkansas and South Carolina State.  This is what this “basketball school” has become.  Frankly, had it not been for the side show that is Lavar Ball and those three idiots that shoplifted in China, people would be talking more about how unimpressive the Bruin basketball team looks.  Trump tweeted that he should have just left the three kids in jail in China, after Lavar didn’t acknowledge the President’s role in their release from prison.  However, if Trump really wanted to punish the three kids, he’d make them watch film of Lonzo Ball playing for the Lakers.

The Dodgers don’t need to trade for Giancarlo Stanton.  That would be like buying a Ferrari when all you need is an oil change in your Honda.  Contracts that are ten years in length never work out.  Besides, the Dodgers don’t need a power-hitter in their lineup who strikes out a lot.  They need a reliable contact hitter who can put the ball into play.  One they already have returning from injury, in Andrew Toles.  They also don’t need to waste their money on Yu Darvish.  Darvish can’t be trusted to win a big game in the postseason, so why pay big money for a guy who is a glorified middle of the rotation pitcher? The Dodgers should sign Shohei Ohtani though.  His potentially elite right-handed pitching is exactly what this team needs.  Aren’t you proud of me? I wrote a whole Dodger paragraph without criticizing Andrew Friedman.

Lonzo Ball went eight days between triple doubles, and in between everybody was trying to send him to the G-League.  Yes he’s had some ugly games, but get a grip people, this is what it looks like building around a 19-year old in the NBA.  He’s actually turning out to be a decent defender, clearly he can pass, and he’s already a good rebounder.  Shooting is the easiest part of an NBA players game to fix, if they work on it. That’s exactly what happened to a player like Jason Kidd, who turned out to be a Hall of Famer.  If there was no Lavar Ball and this wasn’t happening in a big market, you might have some more rationale perspective on this.  The same can be said for Brandon Ingram, who is much improved from last year, yet people are still finding a way to bitch about him.  This is simply rebuilding in the NBA.  It takes time.  You just don’t have the time to wait.  Do the Lakers have the time though? That remains to be seen.

Looks like the Clippers are back to being the worst team in Los Angeles.  Doc Rivers decided to call his team out after losing to Charlotte, which was the team’s 8th straight loss.  Is anyone going to call out Rivers for his inability to actually design an offense?  Everyone thought Blake Griffin was an MVP candidate after 4 games.  Since then, when the 4th quarter comes around he disappears like Amelia Earhart.  This is just another reason why Blake is a good #2 or #3 option, but not the guy you want as your #1.  Doc Rivers on the other hand is not the guy you want at all.

Disappointing loss yesterday for the Rams at Minnesota.  Was Cooper Kupp shaving points? Because he left about 10 of them on the board.    You’ve gotta give Jared Goff credit for not turning the ball over against a tough defense, but the Rams have bigger picture problems.  They lost Robert Woods, and look like they are going to lose the battle for home field advantage to the Eagles, Vikings, and Saints.  Those are all teams whose defenses are going to be a matchup problem for the Rams and their high-scoring offense.  This Rams team is much improved, but it looks like this is where the fun ends, with the schedule getting much tougher from here.  Amazingly enough, people still aren’t showing up to the Coliseum, despite the fact the Rams have been winning.  Adam Thielan is the fastest white guy I have ever seen…..

Not even the Chargers could blow it against the Bills yesterday.  Buffalo made one of the stupidest personnel decisions by benching Tyrod Taylor in favor of Nathan Peterman, who was giving out interceptions like he had a Groupon for them.  Shockingly, the Bolts are only only one game out of the AFC Wild Card spot.  Even more exciting for them is the fact they get to play the Cowboys in four days, who are sinking like the Titanic.  The Charger players said they felt disrespected by the Bills quarterback switch, which motivated them to put up 54 points.  They should feel disrespected over the fact that they don’t have any fans showing up to their games, and that their owner has no idea what he’s doing.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Roger Goodell got a good laugh last night at Jerry Jones’ Cowboys getting blown out by the Eagles.  The Chiefs’ season is disappearing faster than Andy Reid’s food at a Chinese buffet.  The Steelers dominated the Titans.  It was so cold in Pittsburgh that Le’Veon Bell’s bong water froze.  Jay Cutler threw 3 interceptions in the 1st half in Miami’s loss to Tampa.  That means everybody attending the game in Miami gets 50% off on cigarettes at 7-11.  If the Redskins lose any more players to injury, they are going to have to start asking people from Trump’s cabinet to play on Sunday.  The Raiders had more fans arrested in Mexico than points scored this weekend. Things are going so badly for the Packers that they are actually peeing themselves…..

Finally, The Walking Dead went down last night on AMC, which was episode 5 of season 8.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  Admit it, for just a second, you were feeling bad for Negan when you found out that his wife died of cancer.  Then you remembered he killed Abraham and Glenn and you hated him again.  Why don’t people put Walker guts on themselves all the time? It’s the most effective trick we’ve seen again them.  Creepy Gabriel not only lived, but he’s back after declaring he was present to take Negan’s confession.  If everybody claims they are all Negan, then why do they have to kneel before the real one?  Darryl and Rick are fighting like brothers, but I do love the reference Rick made back to season 1, when he told Darryl “the chokehold is illegal”.  The look on Gabriel’s face when that women said “thank God for you Negan” was priceless!  I’m not going to be like these whiny babies that say they aren’t liking the show, but that episode had much more potential and fell short.  It would have been nice to see a more extensive flashback of Negan pre-apocolypse and how he came into power.  Not just an explanation.  Nevertheless, this episode was better than the last.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 13, 2017

So Luol Deng wants a trade? That’s hilarious.  Deng really doesn’t know the Lakers have been trying to trade him for over a year? If they could find a taker for him, I’m sure Rob Pelinka would carry Deng to Minnesota, Phoenix, Philadelphia, or any other sucker franchise that might take him.  If the Lakers are so focused on moving Deng’s contract, and maybe even Clarkson or Julius Randle, why the hell doesn’t Luke Walton actually play them?  It would actually help their trade value. I get that Kyle Kuzma is pretty good, and that Lonzo Ball needs to develop, but Clarkson and Randle can actually help them win games now.  You would never be able to tell by the way we are treating them though.

I love those idiots that supported the idea that the Clippers were somehow going to be better without Chris Paul this year.  The Clips have lost five in a row, are sinking like the Titanic, and some of you think it will be all good once they get healthy.  I’ve got news for you, they have a bunch of injury prone players on their team.  They are never going to be healthy.  Even when they are, they just aren’t that good.

Do you realize how disappointing this UCLA story was last week?  The whole program goes to China, three people get detained, and none of them included Dan Guerrero or Steve Alford.  Even more disappointing is the fact that we didn’t get a Lavar Ball-Donald Trump press conference.  Nothing could possible be more entertaining.  I guess LiAngelo Ball already leads the Bruins in steals.  He probably wouldn’t have gotten that many minutes on the Bruins’ team this year anyway, and neither would the other two players who were arrested.  That’s says a lot considering UCLA struggled against Georgia Tech on Friday, looking nothing like the solid they were last season.

So that’s it for Trojan football huh? They couldn’t just wait another week to clinch the Pac-12 South and make their game against UCLA next Saturday a little bit more interesting could they?  Sam Darnold didn’t have any problems against Colorado on Saturday, and USC jumped out to an early lead, while toying with the Buffaloes on the way to another win.  Colorado just couldn’t match the talent of the Trojans, which was reflected in the number of big plays USC made on both sides of the ball.  I’d expect that to continue next week against an inconsistent UCLA team, but trouble could be ahead come the Pac-12 Championship game on Dec 2nd.

It was nice of Josh Rosen and the Bruins to show up against Arizona State.  By show up, I mean it was only the offense that showed up, but that was enough to actually beat the Sun Devils.  How do the Bruins rack up that many points and still don’t have a 100-yard rusher?  If feels like Jim Mora has to win his last two games just have a chance to keep his job, and I’m not even sure that’s enough to ensure him he stays.

Just when you start to believe in Notre Dame they go back to being the same old Irish, disappointing against top 10 opponents.  That’s exactly what happened when they got embarrassed by Miami on Saturday.  Things haven’t been this bad for Notre Dame since the movie Spotlight game out.

To the NFL where the Rams are now 7-2 after destroying the Texans.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Jared Goff is turning himself into an MVP candidate.  He’s probably not going to win it because ESPN is in bed with Carson Wetnz, as well as the fact Todd Gurley is going to split votes with him.  In any case, with Richard Sherman done for the season, the Seahawks are toast, and the Rams might as well pencil themselves in as NFC West champs.  The next three games against Minnesota, New Orleans, and Philadelphia will really tell us whether or not the Rams are going to have any real chance once they actually get to the playoffs.

i’ve gotta hand it to the Chargers, who just find new ways to lose games all the time.  This time it was at the hands of the Jaguars, and their former kicker Josh Lambo.  How many more games does this team have to lose before the league just forces them to go back to San Diego? How many more embarrassments at the StubHub Center involving opposing fans do we have to witness? Probably a lot more.

Finally, The Walking Dead was back on AMC last night with episode 4 of the season.  Spoiler alert if you have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case.  I was wondering all along who the next character to die would be.  It’s been way too long since somebody of significance died.  We’ve seen horrible deaths, but this time, the show may have gone too far.  They killed Shiva, who died at the hands of a pack of Walkers.  I can just see the amount of letters the show producers are going to get from PETA this week.  You haven’t bent this upset since Glenn died at the beginning of last season.  I’ve gotta say that most of the time, I don’t like these episodes that side track and focus on one character who doesn’t need one whole episode dedicated to him or her.  However, we needed to see the backstory on King Ezekiel, who lost his whole army, as well as Shiva.  I hope they do the same with Negan.  Speaking of Negan, where the hell is he? When do we find out what happened to him and Father Gabriel? Will we ever see Carl again? He might as well be dead.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Coffee

November 6, 2017

Congratulations to the Houston Astros and their fans on winning the World Series.  As if Justin Verlander’s life couldn’t get any better.   As for the Dodgers, their cockiness caught up with them.  After game 6, Yasiel Puig and other Dodger players told the media that the Astros had no chance to win the series.   That cockiness extended to Dodgers’ radio host David Vassegh, who was even more cocky after game 6.   Screw Yu.  Yes, as in Yu Darvish, who couldn’t win the big games the Dodgers acquired him for.  The Astros treated Darvish like a Harvey Weinstein victim.  Carlos Correa’s girlfriend still got a ring before Clayton Kershaw.  The Dodgers also couldn’t hit with runners in scoring position when it mattered most.  LA will be in contention next year, but their chances of winning the World Series are no better than getting hot on the tables in Vegas.  That’s just baseball.  Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw won’t be great forever.  Hopefully the Dodgers don’t sabotage themselves with an overuse of analytics moving forward, which is a major reason why they lost this series.

Very quietly, the Angels made a big move by re-signing Justin Upton to a 5-year deal.  In general, giving long-term deals to outfielders over 30 hasn’t worked out well for many teams.  However,  this is a good start to the offseason for the Halos, as they need to spend lots of money to fill a lineup that has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese.  They also need to spend because they need real quality major league players while they rebuild their crummy farm system.  If the Angels can also find a way to trade for Giancarlo Stanton, they may actually make the playoffs next year.  Of course having the Astros in their division means the Halos will be relegated to fighting for a Wild Card spot and the right to get punked early on in the postseason.

The Lakers may have won last night, but is it too soon to be concerned about Lonzo Ball?  It’s been 10 games already and he’s played well in about 2 of them.  The biggest issue is actually not his shooting, but rather his lack of aggressiveness.  I never expected him to be Ray Allen from the 3-point line, but he is capable of doing much more on the offensive end.  Screw this “let the game come to you nonsense”.  Lonzo’s best chance to contribute more offensively is with his speed and playmaking ability in transition.   The more the Lakers run and he attacks the paint, the sooner we can stop making fun of his shot and Lavar.  I hope Luke Walton plans on making this adjustment very soon, or else people will start calling Lonzo a bust.  On the bright side though, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma are coming along just fine, as is the Laker defense.  It just so happens that the Lakers also have a better record than the Cavs too, which can’t hurt their chances with Lebron next summer either.

Meanwhile, the Clippers are like high school girls, finding a way to continue their drama when you think it’s gone.  We’re a couple of weeks into the season now and Doc Rivers is still doing damage on the team’s chemistry issues and culture last season.  His latest proclamation was that JJ Redick was practically begging the Clippers to return last summer, which Reddick denied.  Doc needs to stop talking about this nonsense and focus on basketball.  If the Clippers hope to add any free agents in the near future, any NBA player will start thinking twice about joining them knowing that Doc might be responsible for that negative culture.  Doc is definitely responsible for his team running the YMCA offense, which is nothing but Blake Griffin hero ball at the end of games.  We’ve seen much of that in the Clipps latest losing streak.

To college football, where the Trojans found the win column on Saturday against Arizona.   This one was actually much more unsettling than the final score, with Ronald Jones needing to do his best Bo Jackson impression to secure the win.  USC is a good team, but not the elite team everybody thought they were going to be.  They nearly collapsed, giving away a 21-point lead.   They’ll easily win the Pac 12 South, but the next real test they’ll have will be against Washington in the Conference Title Game.   If that game turns into another embarrassment against an elite team, they’ll be more pressure on Clay Helton.  Unfortunately for Sam Darnold, the disappointing play by the Trojans has raised more questions about his career potential in the NFL.   Darnold doesn’t care and reportedly just doesn’t want to be drafted by the Browns.  Can you blame him though? Wouldn’t you rather party with sorority girls then spend your weekends taking a beating in Cleveland.

Elsewhere around the college game, “The Ohio State University” just took “The Biggest Beatdown” of the season on Saturday.  The Big 10 is doing everything possible to not send a team to the College Football Playoff.  Baker Mayfield put up video game numbers, and Oklahoma outlasted Oklahoma State.   It feels like those two teams scored more points than 49ers and Browns have all season.    The Irish keep winning, which is weird for the fans.   Notre Dame fans feel like Cub fans before the World Series win last season, always waiting for disaster to happen.  To Brian Kelly’s credit, that disaster hasn’t struck yet.

I think its safe to say the Rams are a lot better at football this year.  The Rams and Seahawks both faced injury decimated teams yesterday.  The Rams dismantled the Giants, while Seattle lost a close one at home to the Redskins.  That’s where this team is easily the best in the division right now.  The Rams have also scored 263 points in 8 games this season.  They had just 224 points all of last season.    It just goes to show you that the NFL is more unpredictable than who Donald Trump is going to argue with next.  The best part is the Rams still have to play the Eagles and the Saints at home, which is potentially huge for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.  Did I really just write that? Playoffs? The Rams are really that good, and they are getting even better.  Let’s just hope they get the support they deserve next Sunday the Coliseum.

Week 9 was filled with blowouts.  The Eagles ripped the Broncos, and replacing Brock Osweiler with Trevor Siemian is like using a bandaid to stop an oil leak.  Leonard Fournette was benched by the Jaguars for being a highly successful player, which is a direct violation of team rules.  The Jags still managed to destroy the Bengals.  DeShaun Watson with a torn ACL is probably better than Tom Savage.  So is a coat rack.  The Raiders beat the Dolphins, and used Amare Cooper on the “hands team” to recover an onside kick.  Cooper leads the NFL in drops.  The Raiders just trolled the Dolphins.  Ezekiel Elliot’s “on again” then “off again” suspension was back off, and the Cowboys beat the Chiefs.  Elliot and the NFL are more on and off than Rachel and Ross on “Friends”.  It was also a fantastic week for the Browns, who didn’t play, which means they didn’t actually lose.  Great potato sack race celebration by the Chiefs here…..

Finally, The Walking Dead was back on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later.  I like how Morales was around for about 15 minutes before getting killed.  It was like he got his acting job back and taken away in the same day.  He talked more in those 15 minutes than he did during the entire first season.  Can we just find out already what happened to Father Gabriel?! This is turning into that moment when we thought Glenn died after falling off the dumpster, but didn’t find out he lived for a couple of episodes.  I prefer Daryl and Morgan’s “kill now and ask questions later” strategy.  Daryl is clearly not big believer in the idea that you “don’t shoot the messenger.”  If you like spaghetti on this show, you’re going to die.  Herschel, now Eric.  After we learned that the Saviors were ordered not to kill Rick, Maggie, or the King, no way the King is going to die in the shootout we saw in the cliff hanger.  Michonne and Carl just hanging back in Alexandria like they are on vacation.  Hope the next episode moves a little faster.

 

Monday Morning Coffee

October 30, 2017

The World Series has been exciting, but never have I been more frustrated as a Dodger fan.  They shouldn’t be down 3-2 to a team with no bullpen.  Andrew Friedman is data dumping all over this series.  Dave Roberts has managed the lineup so poorly, even Doc Rivers could do a better job as Dodger Skipper right now.  I didn’t realize there was a rule you had to use every play on your roster or you lose.  They Dodgers must think this is a rule, otherwise you can’t explain the nonsense that has gone on.  Charlie Culberson has been phenomenal in the postseason, but didn’t start until game 5.  Andre Ethier is one of the best hitters on the roster, but he’s probably wondering why he’s even on the roster.  Why would you pull Rich Hill in game 2 after he was cruising through the 5th after 60 pitches? Why would you pull Alex Wood after giving up 1 hit on 84 pitches? Of course the bullpen is going to get tired.   Anybody that knows analytics knows they aren’t used to make decisions, but to help provide more info in making them.  Except if you’re Andrew Friedman.  This series was lost in game 2 after Friedman’s software upgrade.  Hard to imagine the Dodgers winning two straight, even if it’s at home, from such an evenly matched team.  It was a nice run while it lasted.

Is it going to be like this every night Lonzo Ball takes the court? The opposition motivated as ever to embarrass him, just because his dad said something stupid.  Lavar has done a lot of good things, but this is where he’s making life 10x more difficult for Lonzo, who has put together one good game out of six.  I didn’t realize that the holidays had come so early this year, because the Lakers were in such a giving mood, they gave away a 17-point lead in Friday night’s loss to Toronto.  Their defense may be getting a little better, but the 3-point shooting has been abysmal.  This is supposed to be the easy part of the Lakers’ schedule, so excuse me for not jumping for joy like some of you who are satisfied with the moral victories of close games and playing hard.  The Lakers need to win games now, and if they don’t it’s going to crush their big plans next summer.

Meanwhile, the Clippers suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday at Staples.  The Pistons locked up the Clippers, holding them to just 15 points in the 4th quarter.  Doc Rivers said the team just didn’t have the right spirit.  I think they just didn’t have the right coach.  With a 4-1 record, this team is off to a much better start than I thought, but I have serious doubts about Doc’s ability to re-invent this team without Chris Paul.  Danilo Gallinari is shooting under 30% from the floor, and Doc sure isn’t giving anybody any confidence that he can create a game plan that can effectively utilize Gallinari, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan.

You didn’t really think the Chargers were going to go into New England and beat the Patriots did you? I was surprised they didn’t take an even greater beating than they did.  The Bolts made more bad decisions in this game than I made on a Saturday night while in college.  Meanwhile, the demise of the Patriot defense was far exaggerated, as they have suddenly figured out how to shut down their opponent’s the last several weeks.  The Chargers are loaded with weapons on offense, but you would never be able to tell with how they execute.  Life isn’t going to get any easier with their next three games against the Jaguars, Bills, and Cowboys.  This has to be the worst punt return of all-time…..

Elsewhere around the NFL, cheer up Browns fans! You actually had the lead at halftime before losing to the Vikings in London.  It didn’t take very long, but the Raiders have returned to being the Raiders after losing to the Bills.  That wasn’t rain in New York.  It was the tears of Jets fans after losing to the Falcons.  Deshaun Watson has more touchdowns through seven games than Mitch Trubisky had completions against the Saints.  The 49ers lost to the Eagles, and they have now won just 3 of their last 27 games.  Those 3 games were against the Rams.  It feelsl ike the Browns and 49ers are in a “hold my beer” battle for who can be worse.

To college football where the Trojans got back in the win column on Saturday at Arizona State.  The Trojans blew the Sun Devils off the field, which has to be even more frustrating for the USC faithful.  How could the team look so dominant against ASU, yet look so awful against Notre Dame?  Actually, you might argue that was only the 2nd complete game they played all season long, with the other one against Stanford.  The whole does not equal the sum of the parts.  It’s becoming more obvious, especially as USC will probably win the South, then get obliterated in the Pac 12 Title game by Washington.

Then there’s the Bruins, who were crushed like a grape against Washington.  I haven’t seen a beat down that bad since…..the last time UCLA played on the road.  The Bruins have lost 8 in a row on the road, and they’ve lost 4 of the past 5 road games by at least 17 points or more.  Josh Rosen is banged up, but he couldn’t do much anyway against an elite team.  He also isn’t helped by the fact the Bruins have the worst run defense in the country.  There’s no way this team is going to even get to a bowl game.  Saturday was the epitome of the way the Bruins play football: dropped passes, foolish penalties, and missed tackles.  I think UCLA is ready to not only move on from the Jim Mora era, but also the Josh Rosen era as well.

The Notre Dame effect is taking over the college football.  The Irish jumped up to #5 in the AP poll after defeating NC State on Saturday.  This is also setting the stage for the Irish to be placed in the top 4 for the first release of the College Football Playoff Poll on Tuesday night.  Notre Dame is way better than I thought they would be, and despite Brian Kelly’s shenanigans, are looking like a good bet to make the playoff.  Much of that effect is the fan fare the Irish are going to get, and how well their fans travel.  Even the fools that run the NCAA are smart enough to figure this out.

I like that Drew Doughty of the LA Kings was attributing the Kings hot start to the coaching change.  Doughty told the media that the team simply enjoys coming to work everyday, and that hockey is fun again under John Stevens.  Apparently Darryl Sutter leading the Kings to two Stanley Cups didn’t really mean a whole lot to Drew.  I just hope that when the Kings start regressing to the mean and they go through some tough times later this season, there’s accountability in the locker room, which they always had with Sutter.  Only time will tell.

Finally, a wild 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 that is the case.  Morales is back?  Wait, who the hell is Morales? Yea, I had to Google him too in order to remind myself that the guy was all the way back in season 1.  The forests of Georgia suddenly feel like Jurassic Park with Shiva attacking Saviors.      How come nobody ever needs to reload when they are shooting?  I like how Morgan went from being determined to not kill anybody to killing more people than the Terminator.  I’m still not really sure how he survived getting shot though.  I appreciate the action, but the episode was a full hour of gun fighting.  Had I watched an old John Wayne western, I would have been about as entertained.  Hopefully next week brings something with a little more of a storyline.