Monthly Archives: October 2015

Monday Morning Coffee

Mattingly Out

October 26th, 2015

Does Andrew Friedman think we’re all idiots? He really expects us to believe that there was a “mutual parting” between Don Mattingly and the Dodgers? The fans and the media may be that gullible in small markets like Tampa, but not in LA.  It’s pretty hard to hold Mattingly accountable for the lineups he put on the field when it’s Friedman who was telling him what to do.  Someone needs to hold Friedman accountable for all the horrendous moves he made this year.  The bottom line is that this nerd is driven by analytics, while Mattingly isn’t.  Mattingly saw the writing on the wall that Friedman is ultimately going to lead this team into failure, despite having more resources than anybody else in the game.  That led to Don Mattingly and the Dodgers “mutually parting ways”, especially since teams like Florida and Washington are lining up for him.  Too bad Friedman’s analytics are going to tell him that the Dodgers are better off without Zack Greinke, and a bunch of stiffs pitching behind Clayton Kershaw.   Small market GM’s don’t belong in big markets.  By the time Guggenheim realizes this mistake in hiring Friedman, it will be too late, and the Dodgers will be even further away from a World Championship than when we were in the Frank McCourt era.

The NBA season starts tomorrow night! The Lakers open up on Wednesday at home against the T-Wolves, but they are going through their final round of roster cuts.  I’m still extremely disappointed that the Lakers chose that stiff, Robert Sacre, over Robert Upshaw, who will be joining the Lakers D-League affiliate.  Upshaw blocked 80 shots in 20 games in college and has potential.  Sacre has about as much potential as I have of dating Jessica Alba.  The Lakers are rebuilding and can afford to take a chance on Upshaw, despite his personal problems.  He sure would be a nice building block to put next to Julius Randle.  As for the team, they better be at least .500 or better in their first 10 games, because only one of those opponents is expected to make the playoffs.  I think the Lakers win about 33 games, assuming Kobe stays reasonably healthy and effective, while Clarkson, Randle, and Russell make progress.  That should put the around 12th in the West, but the development of those young players is far more important.

As for the Clippers, they have become that obnoxious team that everybody now wants to kill.  They’ve given the Warriors all kinds of extra incentive to dominate them since Doc Rivers implied that Golden State’s title was “lucky”.  They’ve also pissed off Matt Barnes, who claims that Doc Rivers couldn’t wait to get rid of him.  The Clipps are as talented and deep as any team in the league, but at this point, it’s hard to trust them in the big moment.  I see another great regular season, #3 in the West, taking down Memphis in the 1st round, then getting punked by the Warriors in round 2.  The biggest test for the Clippers throughout the season will be how they fare mentally, especially against the elite teams.

The Clippers aren’t the only talented team I don’t trust in the big moment.  The same can be said for the Rockets as well.  The top 8 in the West should go Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, Rockets, Thunder, Grizzlies, Pelicans, and the Jazz.  In the East, the top 8 should be the Cavs, Wizards, Bucks, Bulls, Hawks, Raptors, Heat, and Pacers.  Cleveland has another cake walk to the NBA Finals, but then Lebron wants to hang himself when he has to play the Spurs again, who should win the title in 6 games.

To College Football where the Trojans showed their fans why they are one of the most frustrating teams to watch after Saturday’s win against #3 Utah.  USC hammered Utah 42-17, in a game that truly made the Trojans look like they were the #3 team in the country.  If anything, USC fans should be lined up outside of Pat Haden’s office with pitch forks and tiki torches, demanding an elite head coach, since that is what they needed to live up to their top 10 preseason ranking.  USC has 3 losses, and they still actually have a chance to win the Pac-12 South, despite everything that’s happened.  However, after this win, there’s two different types of Trojan fans that just blow my mind.  The first is the Trojan fan that wants to hire Clay Helton as the permanent head coach.  These are probably the same people that wanted to hire Ed Orgeron two years ago when Lane Kiffin was fired.  These aren’t the leaders you need to get your program where it needs to be. Don’t be prisoner of the moment after a couple of nice wins.  Then there’s the dude that is somehow hoping that Pete Carroll will come back and coach the program.  Why would Pete Carroll leave a powerhouse NFL team that has become a Super Bowl contender to come back to college football? Besides, he was so good last time, I can’t imagine that he could recreate something that good with the energy he brought.  The sooner the Trojans break away from this ridiculous Pete Carroll coaching tree, the better off they will be.

Meanwhile, the Bruins got back on track with a win over Cal on Thursday.  Good to see Jim Mora not making any excuses about midterms or homework in this one.  Josh Rosen made me once again think that he can be an elite college quarterback down the line, and the Bruins aren’t quite dead yet.  Considering that they still have to play at Utah and at USC, UCLA still has a good shot at playing in the Pac-12 Championship game.  The Bruins are back in the Top 25, but it’s nothing to get too excited about yet.

Notre Dame had a bye week, and it couldn’t have gone better for them.  Georgia Tech upset Florida State, Clemson dominated Miami, and since Utah tumbled, the quality of the Irish strength of schedule just went up.

On to Week 7 of the NFL where the Chargers played so badly against the Raiders yesterday, the city of LA is banning them from moving there next year.  What a disgrace that was, and in typical Charger fashion, they racked up a bunch of meaningless touchdowns late when it didn’t matter.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned after 7 weeks, it’s that this league sucks.  It’s Green Bay, maybe Arizona, New England, and everybody else.  Everyone calm down and wait for Chip Kelly to get his system in place though.  I’m sure once that happens the Eagles will just crush everybody.  Greg Hardy is turning into the disaster I thought he would be in Dallas.  You know how I know the Texans are terrible? They got destroyed by the Dolphins.  After yesterday’s win, Kirk Cousins has a question for RGIII and the rest of us….
If There’s one thing Rick Pitino has to be really upset about, is the fact that he’s getting in trouble for throwing all these parties involving hookers, yet he wasn’t even invited to them.  The fact that he is still employed tells you everything you need to know about college basketball.  The recruiting environment is one of the dirtiest out there.  This is all the fault of AAU Basketball!

It’s incredibly early in the hockey season but let me give you a few quick thoughts.  The Ducks are in last place in the division and collapsing faster than Lamar Odom at a brothel.  They definitely should not be this bad.  It’s one thing to go through scoring droughts, but this team is just going through the motions, not even hitting people or winning the battles for loose pucks on the ice.  Kings forward Tyler Toffoli has scored more goals than the entire Ducks team this season! I guess coach Bruce Boudreau figured he should start slowly, then peak in the playoffs, instead of crashing and burning in the playoffs like in past seasons.  The problem is he might be fired before this road trip is over.  Meanwhile, the Kings have turned things around, winners of 5 straight games after Jonathan Quick’s brilliant save in the final seconds last night.  More importantly, their Hall of Fame play by play announcer Bob Miller told a story with quite a sexual innuendo in it after the end of the 1st period last night in Edmonton.  He explained that years ago, Kings goaltender Mario Lessard broke his stick in a game against the Oilers.  Goaltenders can play with a broken stick, the Oilers were bringing the puck up the ice, and in the midst of Bob’s excitement he said the following……
Finally, let’s talk about a shocking episode of the Walking Dead last night.  Before I go any further, major spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Read no further if that is the case.  Let me say this, in all of our favorite television shows, we grow to love a number of different characters.  In our minds, we tell ourselves that certain characters are “untouchable” and could never be killed off.  You told yourself that in The Walking Dead, but I told you it was gonna happen.  I told you months ago that we were gonna lose either Maggie, or Glenn, or Daryl, or Carol.  Sure enough, we lost Glen last night, who was my personal favorite character.  You have to give the writers of the show credit, they have guts.  The’ve given us 3 explosive episodes to start the season, and even for a second I thought they were going to kill off Rick too.  At this point, I think I hate Nicholas more than I hated The Governor, or the people of Terminus, or Shane.  Glenn should have killed him, or let him die, when he had numerous chances to do so.  And for those of you who think that he’s still alive, I find that hard to believe.  Even if that was Nicholas’ body on top of his, how the hell is he going to get out of that situation alive? I don’t know that we’ve seen the last of him.  I’m thinking he might end up being shown as a Walker.  I’m curious to see where it goes from here, but before you people go burn down the houses of the writers and producers of the show, remember, this had to happen.  Props to the writers for having the balls to do this.  It sucks for us, but it’s inevitable, otherwise the show gets stale.  Another interesting storyline to keep an eye on is whether or not Rick is infected.  He got cut by a machette that was sticking out of a Walker, and maybe he got some of it’s blood in his wound? He looks concerned, and it makes me wonder.  I’m upset, but I’m riveted.  Don’t get angry people.  It’s good television.

Thanks Glenn




Monday Morning Coffee

Puig looks on

October 19th, 2015

Let’s start with the disappointment that is the Dodgers. Just because I told you all they were gonna fall short in the playoffs, doesn’t make it any less frustrating. The Boys in Blue had every opportunity to put away the Mets in game 5 at home, and didn’t do it. Zack Greinke pitched well enough to win, but in the end, the Dodgers had a lineup that scored less than Steve Urkel on Family Matters. This has nothing to do with Don Mattingly, or Clayton Kershaw, and everything to do with Andy Friedman. Mattingly can’t be blamed for having a crummy bullpen, or not having a reliable 3rd starter, or a lineup that couldn’t hit when it mattered. Kershaw did his job and pitched well when his team needed it. Friedman is a small market GM who’s computer is telling him that a bunch of inferior parts are better than stars like Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Dee Gordon. This stupid philosophy won LA less games than last year, and advanced them no further in October. Now I’m really dreading what’s coming up in the next two months. He’s never signed a pitcher to a $100 million deal, and he’s going to have to in order to keep Zack Greinke. There’s simply no excuse not to. Nobody in there right might would argue the Dodgers are better without him, and unless they sign David Price, there is no comparable replacement. If he doesn’t, his act has no place in a large market, where the bar is much higher and championships are expected. The Boys in Blue just need some tweaking and they are a World Series winner. Instead, Friedman seems to keep pushing them further and further away from that.

I’m not sure how much longer the Cubs are going to last in these playoffs.  Daniel Murphy is doing more damage to Chicago than gangs.  The Mets last two victories are the closest Carmelo Anthony will get to winning anything in New York.

From one disaster on to the next with Trojan Football. USC actually put up a pretty good fight against my Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Lots of people pointing the finger at Cody Kessler after he threw a couple of picks, however, one of those was tipped, and the other was the result of phenomenal catch by a Notre Dame defensive back. In typical USC fashion, most of the offense came on a couple of huge plays from scrimmage, by some incredible athletes. However, those huge chunks of yardage that led to big scoring plays dried up late in the game, and the Irish defense was finally able to slow down the Trojans. Those big plays from big time athletes on the USC side tell you everything you need to know about where their football program is at. They have incredible individual talent that simply doesn’t have the right leader to harness and develop it, or a solid game plan week in and week out. It’s pretty tough to win football games, let alone rivalry games, without a good coaching.    I’ve gotta think that’s gonna come soon enough for the Trojan football program, who can’t possibly have ANOTHER bad hire with a program as attractive as theirs.  Also glad to hear that Pat Haden is ok after having a brief health scare on Saturday night.

As for the Irish, the real tragedy for them is that USC was unranked by the time they played them, marginalizing the magnitude of their victory in the polls. Notre Dame is going to have to win out to have a chance at making the College Football Playoff, but that will be tough given that they’ll have to face Stanford in their final game of the season in Palo Alto. Even with two losses, that’s still pretty impressive for a team that has now lost seven starters to season ending injuries.

Speaking of injuries, they’ve finally caught up to the Bruins. UCLA got smoked by Stanford on Saturday in Palo Alto. The Bruins were simply outmuscled, outclassed, and outplayed in every way shape and form. Barring a miracle, the Pac 12 South Title is gone, as are the Bruins hopes for a BCS Bowl game. Funny how it was just two weeks ago we thought UCLA was going to be a threat for the College Football Playoff, and now they just look like a bunch of complainers when their schedule got tough. I still like Josh Rosen long term, and think he could be an elite QB as soon as next year. However, Myles Jack is making a huge mistake dropping out of school to go rehab and get ready for the NFL Draft. I have no problem with anybody pursuing their dream, but Jack is just rehabbing a knee injury, and not even training for the NFL Combine.  Whose he getting financial advice from? Bernie Madoff? Finish your education, which you are ever-so close to completing, and then pursue the NFL.

Texas A&M may have lost to Alabama, but they would like to point out that they have synchronized cheers.  That was one of the greatest choke jobs in the history of choke jobs on Saturday in Ann Arbor.  That was the worst thing to happen to Michigan since Detroit came into existence.  I think this sums up how Michigan fans are going to feel for the next few weeks after blowing it against Michigan State…..

On to Week 6 of the NFL, where the Chargers almost did the most Charger thing ever by almost defeating the Packers.  I could swear Philip Rivers has made a career piling up statistics when the Bolts are trailing by massive amounts.  That was no different yesterday.  Meanwhile, the city of Detroit is going to throw a parade after the Lions finally got their first win of the season by beating the Bears.  Joe Flacco did an excellent job keeping a play alive long enough to find a wide open defender in the Ravens loss to the 49ers.  The Seahawks finally found a way to get Jimmy Graham involved, but also found a way to blow their 4th quarter lead against Carolina.  Peyton Manning’s loved ones must be urging him to move into a retirement home.  Despite that, the Broncos are somehow still undefeated.  I think the Patriots demonstrated last night that they don’t win because of deflated balls, but rather having a better football team.  The Colts on the other hand made one of the dumbest special teams plays ever.  Even the University of Michigan football team thought that play was horrible.  To be fair though, that wasn’t even the dumbest thing the Colts did in the last couple of years.  It was trading a 1st round pick for Trent Richardson.  This is a close second though…..

I’m glad to hear that Lamar Odom appears to be doing much better in his recovery from an overdose last week. Most people that know him say that Lamar is a great person and a pleasure to be around, which is obvious from all the people that have come to visit him at the Las Vegas hospital he is staying at. However, if the guy has that many people around him that love him and care about him, why can’t he get his life together again? Three days in a brothel? He’s obviously had a great deal of trauma in his life, including the loss of several loved ones, and a father that’s a drug addict, however, his life sure seemed a lot better when the Kardashians weren’t a part of it. Every person they touch seems to get screwed up. Whether its Lamar’s life, Reggie Bush’s football career, or Bruce Jenner’s sexuality, nobody can keep their shit together when those women are around. I’m very fearful that this isn’t going to be the last time we see LO get himself into trouble.  He did however, show more life yesterday than the Philadelphia 76ers have in the past three years.

Did anybody watch the Democratic debate? It wasn’t nearly as entertaining as the Republican debate.  Did anybody even get to speak other than Sanders or Clinton?  O’Malley, Webb, and Chafee were more disrespected by CNN than Tupac was to Biggie.  I don’t even feel like Hillary took a real stance on anything.  She would rather let the polls do the talking for her.  “Hillary what’s your position?”  Her reply….”My position is that my position will be whatever position it needs to be to get my position positioned to make me President.”

That was an excellent 2nd episode of The Walking Dead last night on AMC.  Spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen it yet.  I definitely did not expect an episode this early in the season where the villain just massacres so many people, and it’s also rare that so many people got massacred, and none of them were our favorite characters.  I was somewhat right in my prediction that it was the Wolves who caused that loud horn we heard at the end of last week’s episode.  Ok it wasn’t entirely the Wolves, but it was the result of their attack on Alexandria.  More than anything, the attack demonstrated how unprepared the community was for an attack.  Had it not been for Carol acting like she was Ninja Gaiden, everybody might have died.  The real creepy part of the episode though was Enid, who has some sort of connection with The Wolves.  Either she is one, or has encountered them before.  My guess is she is one, because she played it way too cool during the attack.  I was even beginning to think she might stab Carl when she was visiting him.  Morgan is going to realize eventually that he’s going to have to start killing people.  That was one hell of an episode, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Morgan WD


Monday Morning Coffee

October 12th, 2015

It took a wild slide from Chase Utley, but the Dodgers narrowly avoided a disaster at the Ravine on Saturday against the Mets.  LA is fortunate to be going back to New York with the series tied 1-1.  The most overused term in sports is that something was a “dirty play”, or we should consider someone a “dirty player”.  It’s terrible that Ruben Tejada broke his leg, but Chase Utley was just doing his job, trying to break up the double play, and had no intention of injuring Tejada.  Sure that slide might have come a little late, but that doesn’t make it dirty.  If you have a problem with it, your issue should be with the rule, which doesn’t protect the infielder covering 2nd base.  Utley should not have been suspended, even with the late slide.  With that being said, they need to change the rule.  As for the series, Clayton Kershaw pitched well enough to win game 1, but the Dodgers just couldn’t give him any run support.   Don Mattingly probably should have given Kershaw the chance to clean up his mess in the 7th inning, but based on the disasters of the previous two seasons, I know why he made the choice he did.  It’s like choosing which Kardashian sister you have to sleep with… know you’re going to come out with an STD either way.  I can’t say I like the Dodgers chances tonight having Brett Anderson go against Matt Harvey.  However, if the Dodgers don’t have to face Jacob deGrom in game 4, this should go 5 games.  Jimmy Rollins and Kike Hernandez need to be in the lineup while Joc Pederson and Corey Seager need to take a seat.  I still like the Boys in Blue to finish it off at home in that 5th game….but just barely.

Speaking of baseball, I love how Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia checks himself into rehab for alcohol abuse right before a playoff game, and he’s practically viewed as a hero in the New York media.  Meanwhile, former Angel Josh Hamilton relapses and checks himself back into rehab, and he’s completely crucified by owner Arte Moreno, who did everything in his power to get rid of him and even not pay him.  Neither one of these guys are living up to their contracts, but the same situation handled completely differently.  I’d sure like to hear Arte Moreno’s explanation for this.

Speaking of alcoholics, let’s move on to the train wreck that is the USC Football program.  We saw the final episode of “Sark Tank” on Thursday night, when the Trojans got punked by Washington at the Coliseum.  Another instance of a talented USC team that was out coached, out muscled, and out classed by an inferior opponent.  That game seems small now in comparison to what lies ahead for the program.  Steve Sarkisian is simply not healthy enough to coach the team, and Pat Haden announced yesterday that he’s taking a leave of absence.  How bad is it? It’s so bad that Sarkisian couldn’t even come in and speak to the media about it and fake it.  It’s all leaking out now…..Sark showing up drunk on campus yesterday, getting lit up before the game at ASU, and the divorce he’s going through.  Now offensive coordinator Clayton Helton takes over as the Trojans are about to go through their most brutal stretch of the schedule.  Not only is a coaching change inevitable, don’t be surprised if Pat Haden loses his job as well.  Haden had the chance to put Sark on leave months ago, yet made an even bigger embarrassment of the program in the process by keeping him on.  The good news for the Trojan faithful however, is that the Chip Kelly to USC rumors make too much sense.  Kelly is probably dying to get to USC just as bad as USC wants him.  I don’t think recruiting is going to take too much of a hit because USC is always going to have something to sell.  In the meantime however, the rest of the season could be a rough ride, starting with next Saturday at rival Notre Dame.

I think we should start calling him Jim “Mid-Term” Mora.  He claims that his UCLA football players are negatively being impacted by the start of classes and mid-term exams, even suggesting that is to blame for their loss to ASU last week.  Oh my goodness… think that these guys actually have to go to class and not just play football? I guess the Bruins are really going to be screwed later in the season when final exams come around.  I would have thought by now Jim Mora wasn’t naive enough to think that the Pac 12 or the NCAA cared about “student athletes”.

Elsewhere around college football, those Notre Dame vs Navy games always make me nervous as hell.  Navy’s gimmick offense always keeps them hanging around for longer than they should, as was the case on Saturday.  Fortunately, the Irish were able to handle business in the end.  I’m looking forward to being there for the big Irish-Trojan showdown next weekend in South Bend.  My only fear is that the Irish will let up knowing all the drama going on at SC.  I think Oklahoma lost to Texas to insure that Charlie Strong would stay employed a while longer.  After Oregon’s loss to Washington State, Nike has placed Oregon on the trade block, and is looking to move them to another uniform maker ASAP.   The best tackle of the weekend was made by this security guard, who had perfect form taking down this fan……

On to week 5 of the NFL, where the Colts have earned their 3rd win of the season, clinching the AFC South Division.  The Matt Hasselbeck-Ryan Mallet QB showdown in Thursday’s game would have been a nice high school football matchup.  The Seahawks have fired the officials from Cincinnati for failing to seal a victory for them with a 17 point lead.  After getting benched for Dan Orlovsky in the loss to Arizona, Matthew Stafford has now retired, saying he’ll never be able to show his face in public again.  JFK could finish a drive better than the Lions could.  Greg Hardy and the Cowboys are the only thing in the world that can make people cheer for the Patriots.  I don’t think the Cowboys thought it would go this bad when Dez and Romo went down.  The Giants always seem to come up with the most insane catches.  DeMarco Murray had an amazing 9 carries on 44 yards yesterday, or what Trent Richardson would call “a great career”.

Let’s talk some NBA.  Look…..the Lakers are going to suck.  Anybody that tells you otherwise should be slapped and have their cable watching priveldges revoked.  However, they’ve finally got some young players you can get excited about watching.  D’Angelo Russell has some amazing vision.  Julius Randle is already playing like an animal, and is fun to watch when he gets the ball in transition.  I also really liked how the other night Roy Hibbert came to the defense of Randle when Trevor Booker started to get physical with him.  Booker slapped Hibbert, and was hit with a $250 K fine.  In a related story, Kobe sent Booker a check for $250 K, along with a thank you note, explaining that he’s been dying to slap Hibbert since he arrived in LA.  As for Randle, stuff like this has to get you excited….

As for the Clippers, Doc Rivers is already running his mouth like he usually does, and it’s already getting noticed by Klay Thompson and the Warriors.  Doc referred to the Warriors run last year as “lucky”, which Thompson took exception too, citing the fact that the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Rockets, who the Warriors handled in the following round.  So the Warriors were “lucky enough” not to play a Clippers team that wasn’t even good enough to advance to the next round? This just seems like another instance where the Clippers are coming across as cry babies to the rest of the league, and people are taking notice.  Doc Rivers also didn’t do much to take the pressure off his team last week by basically saying that if this team can’t get it done, they are going to blow it up.

On to some hockey.  Guys….it’s been a while since I’ve seen the Kings play, but someone refresh my memory: is giving up 9 unanswered goals to two non-playoff division rival teams from last year a bad thing? The Kings look like crap.  We waited 6 months for the Kings to come out and “avenge” missing the playoffs, and instead they took a dump in the first two games.  Have these guys tuned out Darryl Sutter? Milan Lucic already looks like a bust.  Kopitar doesn’t even look close to worth the $10 million per year he’s asking for, and the defense is nothing like it once was.  It’s only two games, but there’s some real concern for Kings fans.  Then there’s Dean Lombardi’s ridiculous statement to the media, explaining how he was “played” by Mike Richards.  Richards may be an ass hole for his substance abusing conduct, but you’re a fool for not cutting ties with him when you should have.  The notion that Dean was the victim here, which is what he’s trying to sell us, is ridiculous.  As the General Manager of any franchise, you have to be objective.  As great a job as he’s done putting together a couple of cup winning teams, his judgement may also lead to the rapid decline of this franchise once again.

Some good TV was on last night, starting with Homeland on Showtime.  Spoiler alert in case you have yet to see it.  Quinn has obviously been given assassination orders from Saul.  Am I crazy to think that his next target might be Carrie? The writers of the show are really trying to create this Edward Snowden like storyline with the leak in CIA documents.  I thought for sure that During was going to be killed in Lebanon, but then I remembered that Carrie is skillful enough to protect him.  I love that we got an action packed episode early in the season, but there’s just so many questions as to what direction the plot is going.  In any case, hope the show keeps up the blistering pace it started with this season.

Finally, the season premier of The Walking Dead went down on AMC last night.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  Rick and his group have taken over Alexandria, and doing things in their own way.  I liked the episode, but came to some stark realizations.  I’m a little tired of the new character that Rick has become.  He’s bitter, he’s reckless, and eager to get things done regardless of input.  It’s become exhausting watching him, and the fact that he thinks Jessie will still fall for him after killing her abusive ex-husband (but father of her kids), shows me how skewed his worldview has become.  He also couldn’t be any more of a hypocrite when he says he won’t bury Pete in Alexandria because he’s a killer.  Morgan points this out by telling Rick he’s a killer too.  Then again, the people of Alexandria just don’t like Rick, but they are obnoxiously cowardly and weak.  Let’s be honest….they are all just food for the Walkers at some point.  Just like Carter was.  Abraham seems like something’s been knocked loose after Pete died.  What was with that pesky horn at the end of the episode? I have a feeling it’s coming from those evil Wolves, who are inevitably this seasons’ villain.  I’m content with the start to the season.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne and Lennie James as Morgan Jones - The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne and Lennie James as Morgan Jones – The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Monday Morning Coffee

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: Pitcher Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers has champagne poured on him following the Dodgers' 9-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants to win the National League West Division Championship at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) October 5th, 2015

Let’s start with some baseball where the Dodgers managed to clinch the NL West in San Francisco last week, and were fortunate enough to secure home field advantage in the NLDS against the scuffling Mets.  I’ve been as critical as anyone all season long about the Dodgers, whose payroll is larger than the GDP of many small countries.  However, I have no problem with them celebrating the way they did after the clinching the division.  The baseball season is longer than any other season, so these guys deserve the right to let loose a little.  However, they know that they will be judged by how they perform in the postseason.  The Dodgers and Mets are pretty evenly matched on paper, but LA has the big edge in starting pitching.  I sure hope Don Mattingly isn’t going to roll the dice and put Yasiel Puig in the lineup for the NLDS.  LA is also catching a huge break in only seeing Matt Harvey in game 3.  If Kershaw and Greinke are brilliant, and I mean so brilliant that the rest of the bullpen has little to no use, and if the Dodgers can put up a little bit of offense, they should be able to beat the Mets in four games.  I’m not so confident in how they’ll do after that though.

As for the Angels, they had a nice run while it lasted, but their playoff hopes were obliterated after yesterday’s loss to Texas.  In some ways, I’ve gotta hand it to these guys for battling as hard as they did until the last day of the season.  The fact they came so close to sneaking into the playoffs is almost amazing considering the team had more drama than a daytime NBC soap opera.  Josh Hamilton was a distraction they had to get rid of, so was the Jerry Dipoto-Mike Scioscia battle, and CJ Wilson proved unreliabe .  Then again, the Angels had plenty of opportunities to clinch a wild card spot, and even the division over the last two months, but suffered some major late game collapses.  The collapse against Oakland last Wednesday was the real the kick in the balls.  The starting pitching and the bullpen just wasn’t what it was last year, and the lineup had some holes in it.  If there’s one thing the Angels need to do this off-season, it’s get some organizational stability.  That starts with getting a GM who is on the same page as Mike Scioscia.  The Angels have named Yankees assistant GM Billy Eppler their new GM, so hopefully he and Scioscia can play nice.  Now that they’ve done that, they can plug the holes at 2nd base and left field.  They aren’t that far away from contending, but Albert Pujols isn’t getting any younger, while the Astros and Rangers are only getting better.

To college football where the Bruins laid an egg on Saturday at the Rose Bowl against ASU.  I love how UCLA urged fans to show up on time for the game.  Turns out it was the Bruins who didn’t even show up for this one at all.  The offensive line provided about as much protection for Josh Rosen as a busted condom.  The running game was non-existent, nobody could catch a pass, and the defensive couldn’t stop the Sun Devils ground attack either.  I thought this was a different UCLA team, but it looked eerily similar to what we’ve seen the past few years: A couple of big wins followed by a major let down.  The good news is that the Bruins only fell to #20 in the polls, and aren’t really out of contention for anything.  The bad news is that the schedule ahead is a mine field.  UCLA has a bye week, then travels up north to play #16 Stanford, followed by #23 Cal at home.  Both games are on Thursday nights, which Coach Mora bitterly complained about.  Every team can be expected to have a let down somewhere along the way.  However, this one had an all too familiar feeling to it.

Elsewhere around college football, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Brian Kelly for completely blowing the season for the Irish.  Notre Dame lost at Clemson 24-22, and Kelly blew it by going for two points instead of the easy one point after the first Irish touchdown.  If that wasn’t bad enough, Kelly called a stupid play in the final seconds, foolishly trying to get his quarterback, Deshone Kizer, to run in into the end zone.  I used to think that Kelly looked liked William Shatner, but now I think that he is Shatner because their coaching ability is about the same.  I love their heart, I love their depth, but that game was lost on coaching.  Four top 10 teams lost over the weekend.  Ohio State and Michigan State barely survived their games.  I’m sure OSU is trying to schedule Devry and University of Phoenix instead of MSU before the season ends.  TCU plays absolutely no defense.  Florida abusing Ole Miss just proves how disgustingly overrated the SEC is right now.

Let’s talk about week 4 in the NFL.  The Browns lost to the Chargers yesterday in the most Cleveland Brown way possible.  Josh Lambo nearly blew the game for the Bolts, but redeemed himself on a 2nd field goal try, after Cleveland jumped offside.  What has happened to all the NFL kickers? They are about as accurate Hellen Keller’s parallel parking.  Josh Scobee blew that game for the Steelers on Thursday night against the Ravens.  After missing three field goals, he was seen on the sideline looking for jobs on in the 4th quarter.  The Cowboys had 3 more players out after losing to the Saints.  Next thing you know, their fans are going to be blacked out from drinking another shot of tequila.  Big play by Drew Brees to win that game.  Boy, wait until Chip Kelly gets his system in place.  I’m sure everyone will be shaking in their cleats when that happens.  The Broncos are the sketchiest 4-0 team I’ve ever seen.  After the Dolphins embarrassing loss to the Jets in London, Miami officials are attempting to get the entire Dolphins roster on the U.S. no fly list so they can’t return to this country.  Todd Gurley is going to be a really good NFL player.  What happened to Colin Kaepernick? The guy nearly won the Super Bowl a few years ago, and now he can barely complete a pass.  An arrest warrant has been issued for the entire Falcons roster on charges of assault, rape, and murder against the Texans.   It appears as though the Houston Texans season is over before the Houston Astros.  I’m sure we all could have predicted that one.  The Colts are fortunate they play in a division that is a dumpster fire.  Andy Dalton and the Bengals are making it very difficult to make jokes about them since they are tearing it up right now.  With the Bears win over the Raiders yesterday, they are assured of not going 0-16.  The parade will be held on Tuesday on Michigan Avenue.  Odell Beckham made the greatest catch ever that never counted against the Bills…….

The Lakers had their 1st preseason game last night against the Jazz in Hawaii.  I think the Lakers had one too many Mai Tai’s before this one.  LA shot about 28% from the field, got crushed on the glass, and more importantly,  Nick Young and Ryan Kelly are having serious issues with their hair.  There were a few bright spots though.  Lou Williams was a great free agent signing for the Lakers, and he came for a bargain.  That dude can score.  It was good to see Kobe back on the floor, even in limited minutes.  Just seeing the guy on the floor and physically able to play is a victory in itself.   Every now and again, D’Angelo Russell makes a pass where you go “OMG!”  It’s going to take time, but the talent is there.

As for the Clippers, I don’t like to draw too many conclusions from preseason games in any sport, but as sports fans….it’s what we do.  Paul Pierce is going to be a great fit for the Clipps.  He probably knows Doc Rivers playbook better than most of his other teammates.  Meanwhile, Lance Stephenson looks just a crappy as he did last season in Charlotte.  He can’t shoot, he’s out of control, and he looks lost.  The Clippers have so much depth that they simply aren’t going to find minutes for all of these guys and keep them happy at the same time.

Let’s go the ice, where the Kings and Ducks are ready to start the season this week.  The Kings defensive depth is already going to be tested with Matt Greene and Jake Muzzin already hurt.  LA is an outside favorite to contend for another cup.  However, they are going to need some unproven kids like Jordan Weal, Nick Shore, and Michael Mersch to play big roles on the 3rd and 4th line.  They probably need to acquire another quality defenseman as well.  Without that defenseman, i like the Kings to finish 2nd in the Pacific, but lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs.  As for the Ducks, they are once again loaded with talent, but can they come through when it matters in the playoffs? Anaheim has even more speed now with Carl Hagelin, and with the development of young defenseman Hampus Lindholm, they are what you would call “the paper Stanley Cup Champions”.  Unfortunately for them, Stanley Cups are won on ice, and not on paper.  I like the Ducks to have another great regular season, finishing 1st in the West, but I don’t think coach Bruce Boudreau is the guy to lead them to a cup.  The Ducks make it to another Western Conference Finals, but lose to the young and upstart Nashville Predators.  I say the Predators go on to win the Stanley Cup over the New York Islanders.

It’s October and that means the fall TV series are back! Season 5 of Homeland was back on Showtime last night.  It’s really amazing how much this show has changed since Season 1.  I have to say, after a couple of crappy seasons, it’s back to a very solid combination of thrills and drama.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see the the first episode of the new season.  It definitely hurts to see Carrie and Saul as cold to each other as they were, but you know it’s only temporary.  I like how Carrie has a new boyfriend who looks exactly like Brody.  It’s probably only a matter of time before Quinn and Carrie cross paths.  I think he’s really going to need her in Berlin.  I like how we were all led to believe that the Middle Eastern guy walking through the Berlin Airport was a bad guy.  Instead, he seems to be a computer hacker working against terrorists.  Then again, just because he’s not a bad guy, doesn’t mean he’s working for the good guys.  This seems like classic Homeland drama.  I love the fact that his username is “douchebag” spelled backwards.  Nice job by Carrie getting herself kidnapped to ultimately give her more safety in Lebanon.  The whole concept of Carrie as a mom is way too weird.  It’s a good start for the 5th season.  Hopefully it continues that way and doesn’t go out with a whimper like last season.


And finally, the season finale of Fear The Walking Dead was on AMC last night.  When i saw FTWD trending on Twitter last night I assumed it was because another Dallas Cowboy player was injured.  But seriously……the show is simply moving too fast.  Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it.  The real fascination with the show was everything that was going on before the world fell apart and the zombie apocolypse started.  That all happened way too fast.  Now there’s supposed to be another season of this? I don’t see how it can deviate too much from Fear The Walking Dead and be entertaining.  Travis was by far the most interesting character.  From the start of the show until now, he transformed from a weak minded, can’t come to grips that this is actually happening male, to a near Rick Grimes type attitude where he was forced to kill his infected ex-wife.  This was actually somewhat anti-climactic because it occurred after they escaped from all the chaos.  I found the whole thing entertaining, yet very unsatisfying.  Especially considering the writers never even addressed the question of what Ophelia thinks about Daniel, now that she knows he’s a torturer.  They don’t need to keep the show going.  It gave us a peek about how it started, but let’s just bring back The Walking Dead next week and stick with that.

FTWD Season Finale