Monthly Archives: August 2018

Monday Morning Coffee

August 27, 2018

According to the co-founder of the Big3, Jeff Kwatinetz, Kobe Bryant will be joining their league next season.  That is unbelievable news for a league that I thought would last about as long as the career of Vanilla Ice.  Kobe must have gotten bored with all those pickup games at Equinox.  The man still has so much star power, he could probably get the Big3 to play their games in his front yard for convenience.  I have to say though, Kobe has played this whole retirement thing pretty well.  Contrary to what most people thought when Kobe retired, he certainly doesn’t miss basketball, and the fans miss him a lot more.

Paul George is a fool, and now he’s talking like one.  He’s going around telling the media that the Lakers were angry they didn’t even get a meeting with him.  He also suggested that he’s still got another contract to sign before his career is over, and that he could still join the Lakers down the line.  The mere fact that he felt the need to say this tells me he’s already questioning his decision to not only spurn the franchise he dreamed of playing for as a kid, but also the opportunity to play with the best player in the world.  Apparently George has no interest in playing for an NBA Championship, because with him, Lebron, and plenty of expendable pieces to trade for Kawhi at that point, the Lakers would be competing with the Warriors for a title this year.

Despite the sweep over the weekend, the Dodgers have been sinking like the Titanic.  They picked a very bad time go into the tank with about 30 games left in the season.  Their bullpen is so bad that they are now forced to run Kenley Jansen out to the mound while being completely unprepared to pitch.  Somehow even Manny Machado has caught the Dodger Blue Virus that prevents you from hitting with runners in scoring position.  Here’s some analytics Mr. Friedman, when you go to your bullpen too early, there is a 100% chance you will blow the game, but that doesn’t seem to matter since 70% of your fan base can’t actually watch your games on TV anyway.  I also love how the Dodgers couldn’t be any more desperate for bullpen help, yet Friedman is out there trying to trade for another guy hitting .220 in Bryce Harper.   This feels like it’s going to be a disastrous finish for the Dodgers.

Has anybody looked at UCLA’s football schedule this year? It’s going to be like trying to get through a field of land mines.  They play five teams in the preseason Top 25 AP poll, including a trip to Oklahoma to play the 7th ranked Sooners.  It’s definitely a championship schedule, but UCLA is far from a championship team.  They’ll be very lucky to go 8-4. The Bruins don’t even know who their starting quarterback is going to be yet, but for now they can be excited about having Chip Kelly coach their team.  Ironically when Chip Kelly is your coach you get no name recruits that end up producing at very high levels.  The Bruins need to hope Kelly still has the magic he had at Oregon because that feels like many moons ago, despite the success it was.

Meanwhile, USC might be loaded with talent but their schedule is softer than Charmin toilet paper.  Sure that won’t be a problem when the Trojans are dismantling UNLV and the Sigma Chi’s are celebrating on their front lawn doing keg stands.  However, it will be a problem once the end of the season comes and they start bitching that they should be in the College Football Playoff with a loss or two.  Now that JT Daniels has been named the starting quarterback in week 1, it’s only a matter of time before Jack Sears and maybe even Matt Fink decide to transfer.  It will take an injury or extremely poor performance by Daniels for them to ever see the field.

Finally, speaking of UCLA and USC, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are already looking like strong bets to be starting NFL quarterbacks in the very near future.  Darnold might actually start in Week 1, and the Jets have been so sorry, he feels like their best quarterback in a decade.  Rosen is already throwing darts and looks like he’s going to very good for the Cardinals as well.  He’s going to make those NFL GM’s look like idiots for passing on him simply because he’s outspoken on holding them accountable for what they are doing.  Then there’s the Buffalo Bills, who passed on Rosen and took Josh Allen instead, who looks about as effective as Helen Keller would be at quarterback.

Monday Morning Coffee

August 20, 2018

You’ve gotta love how sports radio and TV networks fill air-time during the dog days of August when not much is happening. If it’s not analyzing some stupid tweet or instagram post from an athlete, it’s usually debating if Lebron is better than Michael Jordan. That’s really like arguing who is better: Spider-Man or Superman? I’ve always been partial to Batman to be honest. Nevertheless, one person that actually does care about this ridiculous argument is Lebron himself, who has admitted in recent years he’s “chasing a ghost”, which is Jordan. What Lebron is clearly trying to do to enhance his legacy is make himself active in community and social issues. It’s actually very smart. Most people subconsciously think of Magic Johnson as an even better player with a better legacy because of what he did away from basketball. Lebron’s journey with the Lakers is about to build this part of his legacy.

What a ridiculous week it was for the Clippers. They actually fired broadcaster Bruce Bowen for being critical of Kawhi Leonard, in hopes that it will help their chances of signing Kawhi next summer. Bowen was basically fired for doing his job and giving a very reasonable opinion. That’s very thin skinned on the part of the Clippers, but then again, Kawhi is a weird enough dude where he might actually sign with them next summer. Even more ridiculous was the pep rally the team threw over the weekend. Steve Ballmer claimed they weren’t going to suck for the next couple of years. That’s probably because they are going to suck for a lot longer than that.

It’s a complete disgrace that a team with a nearly $200 million payroll like the Dodgers has such a fragile rotation, and a bullpen that is totally untrustworthy. Here’s an idea. Instead of giving away a sum of cash every home game to a fan during the 50/50 raffle for charity, the Dodgers should just offer a fan a spot in their bullpen for a game. I can’t imagine the fan’s chances to get a couple of outs could be any worse than the stiffs that Dave Roberts is forced to give the ball to on a nightly basis. I’m very curious to see what happens to Andrew Friedman and the front office if the Dodgers fail to make the playoffs. Lately it looks like his computers have been hacked by the Russians given the decisions he’s been making. He better call tech support before the season is over or he might be out of a job.

The Angels’ decision to try and get Shohei Ohtani back on the mound is the worst idea since they decided to open Jurassic Park. The Angels knew that Ohtani had elbow problems prior to signing him, and those problems are flaring up already. Similar to Garret Richards, it feels like if Ohtani gets back on the mound, he’s going to end up on the operating table. If that were to happen next season, he would be unable to play before Mike Trout’s free agency in 2020. In other words, the next two seasons are critical for the Halos, so they need to make smart decisions to be competitive with Trout. Making Ohtani an everyday DH or outfielder is one of those smart decisions in the long-run.

If there’s one thing that really scares me about the Rams this year it’s the fact there is so much hype around them. ESPN came out with an article the other day basically saying it’s Super Bowl or bust. This team has so much hype around them that even Lavar Ball thinks it’s a little much. A few years ago the Eagles assembled what they thought was “the dream team” and it ended up being a total disaster. With all the combustible personalities in the Rams’ locker room, there’s no telling if all their talent will come together and perform, or implode. The NFL is that weird of a game where intangibles matter just as much as talent. Except if you’re the Cleveland Browns where intangibles and talent don’t matter because you suck anyway.

The Walking Dead franchise is in complete shambles. The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead are getting rid of characters faster than Donald Trump is firing cabinet members, and the shows’ ratings are looking more like a B-rated network TV show. On top of that, Chris Hardwick was nearly removed as host of Talking Dead after his girlfriend accused him of physical and emotional abuse. At one point I believed the franchise could take the show another 7-8 seasons, and even get the amazing ratings they once had. However, now the show has veered so far off the storyline of the comics, it feels like the writers are struggling to just make things up as they go. There is no way their remaining main characters, or Hardwick can keep the franchise alive much longer. I give it another year, then it’s time to take this series out back and shoot it because it’s a Walking Dead zombie.

Finally, I can’t believe that SyFy has made six Sharknado movies. Six! Then again, I can actually believe it because network TV sucks, there’s nothing on in August, and it nearly breaks Twitter every time they come up with another one. It’s like a bad car accident you just can’t look away from. The first 15 minutes was like watching Game of Thrones, just not quite as good. I loved the Tori Spelling cameo and high school 90210 reference she made. That movie will probably get you a history credit at your local JC. Tara Reid actually ended up in a Shark’s mouth in the movie. However, she is made of so much plastic, it’s probably considered pollution to throw her in the ocean. It’s like when they came up with the movie, after filming every scene the producers said “nah we’ll fix that later.” Just think, whenever you think you’ve come up with a bad idea, remind yourself that someone made Sharknado 6. It was a nice 6-year run.

Monday Morning Coffee

August 13, 2018

Since Lebron signed with the Lakers, I’ve heard nothing but hypocrisy and and hate from the national media regarding the teams outlook.  Apparently prior to signing with the Lakers, Lebron James was viewed as being able to take any team he’s on to the finals.  Now that he’s on the Lakers, the media says he might not even make the playoffs.  The media also seems to think that every other group of young players in the league are going to improve, most notably in Boston and Philadelphia, yet that couldn’t possibly happen in LA.  Every team also improved themselves in free agency according to the media, except for the Lakers, who added the best player in basketball.  And to think that all this time I thought it was just the people that work in the NBA that weren’t very smart.  It’s the folks that cover the NBA that are equally as dumb.

You’re now seeing just how bad the Dodger bullpen is now that Kenley Jansen is out for a month with an irregular heartbeat.  I’ve been telling you just how flawed the bullpen is for years, but now you can actually witness it.  They couldn’t close a game in Colorado over the weekend, and they probably couldn’t even close a hot dog stand.  It also doesn’t help that for all the power in their lineup, the team can’t advance a runner, hit and run, steal a base, or do anything that resembles small ball.  The irony of all this is that Dave Roberts was probably the ultimate small ball player, yet Andrew Friedman and his front office of nerds have handed him a bullpen that is a dumpster fire, and a lineup that doesn’t play to the Manager’s strengths.  I guess that doesn’t matter to Friedman anyway, since he’s the one actually dictating who is in the lineup everyday, and how quickly his starters are removed.  I’m beginning to wonder if the Dodgers are even going to win the NL West.

You’ve gotta wonder who it was that leaked the rumor that Mike Scioscia was stepping down at the end of the season.  I’m thinking it was somebody in the Angels’ front office, and that the front office doesn’t really want him back.  Scioscia claims he’s not stepping down, but with with no playoff wins in almost a decade, it’s safe to say he already has.  For just a moment it looked like the Halos might be making a charge back into the pennant race.  However, after coming up short in Oakland over the weekend, and 24 of their last 36 games against teams with a winning record, my odds of winning the Powerball are better than the Angels making the postseason.

Rams General Manager Les Snead told the media on Saturday that contract talks with Aaron Donald were “in the same zip code”.  Anybody that lives in LA knows that even though you are in the same zip code, you are actually really far apart because with traffic it takes forever to get there.  You can’t blame Donald at all, but if the man wants quarterback money, I don’t see this ending anytime soon.  Unfortunately for Donald, the Rams have all the leverage here.  They have his rights, they aren’t going to trade him, they already have a great team, and 3 very winnable games to start the season.

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of college football season, and Clay Helton has a dilemma on his hands at quarterback for USC.  The obvious choice seems like JT Daniels, but he needs both Jack Sears and Matt Fink in case things don’t work out with Daniels.  It’s sort of like making sure you still have a side piece or two, hedging your bet in case things don’t work out with your girlfriend.  This is exactly what happened with Max Browne and Sam Darnold.  The Trojans had to keep Browne on the bench for a while and make him think he had a shot in case things didn’t work out with Darnold.  The quarterback business in college football is brutal.

Yesterday was unbelievable at the PGA Championship.  Tiger came in second and the crowd went nuts. Brooks Koepka  won it all and I’ve heard louder hand shakes after Sunday service than cheers for him.  3,709 days since Tiger won a major. 3 different Presidents, 3 different Spider-Men, 11 different iPhones, every team in the AL except for the Mariners has won their division at least once, including the Astros, who joined the AL in 2013. It’s a really long time.  Still, the man has incredible star power.  It’s going to be a long winter without seeing him back on the course, but hopefully he can build off of it for the sake of the sport, and our excitement.  Not hard to understand why Tiger has so many back problems when he’s been carrying an entire sport for 20 years.

Finally, I had the pleasure of attending the taping of The Final Rose last Monday on ABC for the season finale of The Bachelorette.  For a season that frankly wasn’t all that good, I have to say that the experience at the taping was phenomenal.  This was a 3-hour show, yet during the commercial breaks they keep the energy going by getting you to dance, interact with the MC, and Chris Harrison himself keeps you entertained.  Harrison comes up into various portions of the crowd and interacts with as many people as he can to keep that energy going.  They don’t lie, you will be on camera, as they do a lot of audience shots.  As for the finale itself, couldn’t somebody have handed Blake a towel or tissue so he didn’t have to blow his nose and wipe his tears in his suit?  Of course Becca ended up with Garrett because ABC loves racists and homophobes.  Nevertheless, Blake couldn’t keep it together when he met her family.  He was more nervous than Dwight Howard on Fathers Day.  You’ve also gotta love the fact that Becca is a publicist and completely crafted Garrett’s statement on the show in response to his homophobic social media behavior.  Don’t feel bad Blake, you’re about to have about 10,000 girls slide into your DM’s on IG.  As usual, the show ended for most people in disappointing fashion, yet you’ll all be back in a few months watching this train wreck again, if you’re not already watching The Bachelor in Paradise.


Monday Morning Coffee

August 6, 2018

There i was just minding my own business on a Friday until the President of the United States took down Don Lemon and Lebron James, and then somehow Jock Talk LA got dragged into the battle.  There’s a lot of folks in the wrong here.  If Lebron wants to make political and social statements that’s his right, but he’d probably be a lot more effective if he didn’t take shots at the President every time he spoke about him.  Then there’s President Trump, who apparently has nothing better to do with his time than blast the intelligence of Don Lemon and Lebron on social media.  It’s not like he has a country to run or anything.  It’s all just very unnecessary.  The Lakers did make the savvy move though by coming out and supporting Lebron publicly, which is something that Dan Gilbert hardly did in Cleveland.

I can’t believe some of you actually believed these ridiculous rumors started by Shaq that Kobe was coming out of retirement.  It was fun to talk about for a few days, even for most of us that knew it wasn’t going to happen.  However, his wife, Vanessa Bryant, had to come in and ruin all the fun by posting a very serious message on Instagram telling everybody that he is definitely not coming back. Thanks Vanessa.  You completely ruined the joke.

Lou Williams actually believes that the Clippers are still better than the Lakers. Lou also thinks that the earth is flat, Kim Kardashian is a virgin, and that people on the The Bachelorette are actually going to have successful marriages.  I’m thinking he spent his summer on Mars and didn’t get the memo that the Lakers signed the best player in basketball.  By the way, by season’s end, the Lakers were arguably better than the Clippers when they were healthy, even before adding Lebron.  Little does Lou also know that the Clippers front office isn’t trying to win this year.

The Dodgers just finished a brutal 17-game stretch after getting slaughtered by the Astros over the weekend.  I think it’s safe to say that this team is definitely not ready for prime time.  Andrew Friedman’s strength was supposed to be building bullpens.  Not only has he not done that, he’s built a lineup that either hits solo home runs or strikes out.  This team is going to be prone to some serious slumps against good pitching in October, similar to what we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks.  Brian Dozier is more of the same.  A player with lots of power, but this season has looked like he can’t hit little league pitching.  That 14-0 loss to the Astros felt like Pedro Baez was pitching the entire game. This team has some serious flaws, and apparently Siri couldn’t figure out a way to help Friedman spent $197 million more effectively.

Rumors began to leak out over the weekend that Mike Scioscia was going to step down as skipper of the Halos when the season ends.  Scioscia described the rumors as “poppycock”.  They are clearly true because who uses the word “poppycock” other than Christopher Walken?  This needs to happen.  Scioscia is the greatest Manager in club history, but it’s time for a new voice and a new approach for the Angels to try and turn their franchise around.  In a much more analytically driven league, the Halos should probably think outside the box for their next hire, and also have somebody who sees more eye-to-eye with the front office.

The Chargers haven’t even played a game yet and their season is already looking very Charger like. They just lost Pro Bowl cornerback Jason Verrett to an ACL injury for the season.  I’m assuming that this is going to be the first of a number of devastating injuries to some Charger players because that seems to be how their season always goes.  More than anything though, I just don’t trust this team to win the games that really matter and come through in critical moments.  They always seem to have the talent, but not the intestinal fortitude to get it done.  That’s why I’m shocked at the number of analysts that think the Chargers are going to win the AFC West.

How do you know it’s college football season? There’s a scandal at a big program. This time it’s Urban Meyer, who looks like another scum bag who only cares about winning. Ohio State is ranked #3 in the the Preseason Coach’s Poll. When asked to comment on his team’s ranking Urban Meyer stated: “I have zero knowledge about this and was never told about this.” Urban knew he had a domestic abuser on his coaching staff, and a number of other incidents that went down at OSU and even Florida. This is just the only incident we know about. If Michigan State can keep a large majority of their staff employed after the total loss of control there, I’m sure OSU will find any reason to keep Urban around if they can.  It’s college football where programs pretend like character actually means something.

Finally, the season finale of The Bachelorette is going down tonight and I’m fortunate enough to be able to attend the live show. Before I get to my thoughts last week, can we talk about why everybody keeps using the phrase “living their best life”? We are now almost two full seasons removed from that annoying finish to Rachel’s season, which was when she coined that phrase. What does that even mean? I don’t think anybody actually knows, which makes it even more ridiculous. As for this season and last week’s “Men Tell All”, the one-liners were epic. Jean-Blanc: “Colton you act like a bitch but you’ve never been inside one”. I nearly fell out of my chair. Not nearly enough time was dedicated to Venmo John’s masterful Tinder breakdown. Jean Blanc is literally those Mall employees that shove perfume at you when you’re trying to walk through Macy’s real fast. If you think that I’m going to waste 2 hours of my life watching grown ass men embarrass themselves on national television then you are absolutely right. Looking forward to seeing the season finale of that embarrassment tonight.