Monthly Archives: April 2019

Monday Morning Coffee

April 29, 2019

You didn’t really think we’d go another week without another embarrassing story coming from the Lakers did you? The latest is requesting that Ty Lue or Monty Williams add Kurt Rambis to their staff as an Associate Coach if they are hired. If that’s their attitude, imagine how limited they will be trying to find a President of Basketball Operations when they insist that Rob Pelinka will remain in the front office. I’m not sure how long Jeanie will continue this ridiculous friends and family approach, but it’s getting annoying. Plus, the real irony in all this is that her most qualified friends and family, Ryan West and Jesse Buss, are actually not involved enough in front office decisions. It doesn’t matter whether the coach is Lue or Williams, the problems are much bigger than that. However, if Lue is hired, with Lebron stepping all over him, it won’t be the first time he’s been stepped all over at Staples Center.

The Clippers impressive season came to an end on Friday after losing to the Warriors. Look, I will give the Clips their due. They play hard, they have likable players you can get behind, two good young players, and they have finally stabilized the organization. However, let’s pump the brakes on a couple of things. The idea that the Clippers are a great free agent destination is a false narrative. Why is Kawhi Leonard the only free agent we’ve linked to them? Besides, if Kawhi stays in Toronto, is there actually a plan B? Plan B might not even put this team back in the playoffs. Also, for those of you who suggest the Clippers are going to take the town from the Lakers, the Clips have been better than the Lakers for six years, yet they aren’t even close to making it a “Clipper Town”.

To baseball, where I’m not sure what’s gotten into the NL West, but everybody is suddenly winning, including the 1st place Dodgers. I think it’s fair to say that the best pitcher on the Dodgers is still Clayton Kershaw, despite peoples hopes and dreams that Walker Buehler and Julio Urias were ready for prime time. Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are still great, but not what they once were. That being the case, since the Dodgers are so reliant on their bullpen, I have no idea why they won’t add more reinforcements to their pen like Craig Kimbrel. He’s only a 7 time all-star, and at this point would probably accept an inflated one year deal. Andrew Friedman has shown about as much interest as I have in dating Rosie O’Donnell. The pitching is good, but probably not good enough to win a World Series. That’s not good enough.

At some point, the Angels are going to get some reinforcements back in their lineup like Shohei Ohtani, Justin Upton, and Jo Adell. However, at that point they will be trying to climb out of a hole that is bigger than the Grand Canyon, since they are already in last place and 6 games out of 1st place. That also won’t fix their pitching. The Angels have decided to play copy cat and using the “opener strategy” several teams around the league have been adopting. However, by letting a reliever open the game, then letting your “starter” pitch a few innings, that seems like nothing more than patchwork for a team with a crummy rotation. It also seems like a sure way to exhaust your bullpen over the course of 162 games. The strategy worked for the Rays last season, but they also had a great bullpen. The Halos don’t. Billy Eppler was clearly that kid in school that just looked at everyone else’s paper to pass his exams.

The NFL Draft was highlighted by some great laughs provided by the Cardinals, Raiders, and Giants. The Cardinals gave up on the 10th pick in the draft after one season, traded him for a 5’10 receiver, and replaced him with a 5’10 quarterback who might be playing professional baseball in a few years. Josh Rosen will get good laughs watching Ryan Fitzpatrick throw interceptions in South Beach next year. The Raiders used the #4 pick on a guy who was rated #32 by Mel Kiper, and drafted two other players who weren’t even projected to be 1st rounders. Gruden probably picked Colin Ferrell because he thought he was related to Will Ferrell. Then the Giants, drafted a QB at #6 who they could have gotten at least 10 picks later. They had as many 1st round picks as they will have wins next year.

Meanwhile, the Rams had a pretty good draft by all accounts, trading down to acquire more assets several times. It was also hard not to notice the three separate trades they made with the Patriots, who just defeated them in the Super Bowl. Note to all you super insecure and incompetent NFL executives: not everybody is afraid to trade with Bill Belichick. Some executives like Les Snead actually have confidence in what they are doing. More than anything though, the Rams actually picking a running back as early as they did makes me question the health of Todd Gurley even more.

Finally, an amazing episode of Game of Thrones went down on HBO last night. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. That was a highly intense and stressful 90 minutes of television. All things considered though, we didn’t really lose any characters that devastated you, but seeing the Night King die was absolutely shocking, and even more shocking at the hands of Arya. That kill was like a Damian Lillard walk-off 37-foot game winner. Jon Snow and Daeny were fairly useless in this episode. Not sure what Daeny was doing the whole time not spitting fire on the the entire Army of The Dead when they broke into the castle. Jon might “know nothing”, but he also did nothing in this episode as far as killing the Night King. It was all Arya. Not sure what the Army of The Dead was doing while Arya snuck up and “Bruce Lee’d” the Night King. I still think before it’s over we’ll lose a Stark or two, and maybe even Daeny. Nevertheless, the last three episodes are going to be epic! Tremendous writing.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 22, 2019

The Lakers have definitely hit rock bottom. Rob Pelinka is now taking potential coaching candidates like Ty Lue to the Cheesecake Factory during coaching interviews. I might feel slightly better about Pelinka’s judgement if he had ordered the avocado egg rolls, but even so, there’s about 1,000 better restaurants in Newport Beach to take a coaching candidate to. In all seriousness though, this is just a small sample size of the stupidity going on with the Lakers. The idea of hiring a coach before hiring a President makes no sense. Then again, the idea of taking basketball advice from Linda Rambis is equally puzzling. I always criticized Jim Buss for not maximizing the resources available to him, but now it’s fair to say that Jeanie is just as guilty of that.

Look guys, it was a cute story for a little but the Clippers will be done playing basketball this season on Wednesday. I do find it pretty comical that some of you folks thought that that one bad quarter from the Warriors suddenly meant the Clippers might actually beat them in a seven game series. The Warriors are like a Lion that is playing with its food before devouring it. That couldn’t have been any more evident from Kevin Durant’s attitude toward Patrick Beverley before dropping 38 points on him in game 3, and pulling away at the end of yesterday’s game. Give the Clips credit for playing hard, I’m sure it was a fun ride for them, I’m just not sure it was worth it considering they lost their 1st round pick. I guess this summer will determine that. Here’s a look at Danilo Gallinari’s shooting in yesterday’s game.

I sure wish everyday was Joc Pederson’s birthday. In typical “all or nothing” Joc fashion, he blasted a pair of home runs, helping the Dodgers take 3 of 4 from the Brewers. The real story is Cody Bellinger though who is doing it all. He made a game saving catch and hit the go-ahead home run in yesterday’s win. I’m not sure why everybody keeps making a big deal out of Clayton Kershaw’s drop in velocity. Greg Maddux was one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, and he never overpowered hitters. Kershaw has looked great in his first two starts, and as long as he continues to change speeds effectively, there’s no reason he can’t still be an elite starting pitcher. On the other hand, what isn’t elite is the Dodgers’ slogan “LA Bleeds Blue”. I think there’s been enough bleeding from the Dodgers and their fans the last few postseasons at Chavez Ravine. No more bleeding you marketing geniuses! Here’s a look at Bellinger making an early case for MVP.

Speaking of bleeding, the Angels are just hemorrhaging losses in the early going, despite yesterday’s win. Even Magic Johnson’s Twitter account would be able to tell you that it’s hard to win baseball games when half your lineup is hitting under .230, and 3 of your 5 starting pitchers are hurt. Brad Ausmus is also looking more and more like Billy Eppler’s puppet, just reading off in-game instructions from the spreadsheet he’s handed. This couldn’t be more obvious with the continuous pulling of his starting pitchers before 5 complete innings. Hey nerd boys….I love analytics, but if you overuse your bullpen, it no longer becomes a strength.

UCLA may have lucked out with the hiring of Mick Cronin, but the embarrassment for the athletic department isn’t stopping. The latest debacle is Tennessee Head Coach Rick Barnes claiming that had UCLA paid for his buyout, he would be their head coach by now. If nothing else, this entire exercise has done nothing to end the public perception that the Bruin basketball program is still cheap, and not willing to pay for top coaching talent. Plus, how disappointed is the UCLA fan base going to be if Billy Donovan gets fired by the OKC Thunder in the next week or two? I know I’ll be a little disappointed.

Since the Super Bowl ended, it’s felt like the Rams have put Todd Gurley in a witness protection program, preventing him from talking about his knee injury. However, he finally spoke about it, but didn’t reassure anybody that he’ll be ok long-term. Gurley indicated that he’s feeling great “right now” but doesn’t know how he’ll feel six months from now. That’s not exactly making me feel great about the fact the Rams just signed him to a long-term contract. It’s also not making me feel great about the Rams’ chances of winning a Super Bowl since he’s such a focal point of their success. While all this is going on, Sean McVay is being more evasive about Gurley’s status than someone trying to ghost you on a dating site. That’s not good at all, but the one nice piece of news for the Rams is they just learned they’ll have one of the easiest schedules in the league next year.

The concept of 4/20 is very symbolic for the LA Kings. Their General Manager, Rob Blake wore #4, and their President of Hockey ops, Luc Robitaille wore #20. Considering the moves they have been made in the last two years, it seems fair to say both these two have smoking a lot of weed. The latest is the unimaginative and uninspiring coaching hire of Todd McClellan. This is the same coach that blew a 3-0 series lead to the Kings in 2014. When I watch the NHL playoffs it’s also become very clear that the Kings demise have nothing to do with their style, considering all the upsets in the postseason that have occurred. Their demise has everything to do with an aging roster and a farm system devoid of elite talent. Robitaille and Blake have been in complete denial about this fact.

Finally, episode 2 of the final season of Game of Thrones went down last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if that is the case. I think it’s safe to say that Arya just added to her “body count”. Everyone is preparing to fight while Arya and Gendry were preparing to get freaky with each other. That was one sex scene I did not need to see before the show ended. I guess Winter was not the only thing that came last night. Frankly, that whole thing distracted you from the fact that Tormund sucked on giant boobs for three months to become as strong as he is. That was basically all we accomplished in one more hour, as well as Jon trying to explain to Daeny that he is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. It felt like this episode was used as nothing more than to make us feel good before our favorite characters get slaughtered next week. There’s no way we make it through next week without losing at least a couple of people we really like. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that part of it. However, at least the last four episodes will be nearly 90 minutes each.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 15, 2019

Remember when I said the optics on the Lakers were worse than they are? Nope, things are actually worse than the optics. Magic Johnson is a complete embarrassment. Now we know that they call him Magic because he disappeared on the job like Houdini. He quit like he was working at Walmart for a couple of weeks. This man beat HIV, but when things got a little rough he quit, and it came at the 11th hour of a plan that was 2 years in the making, which included sacrificing promising young talent. Meanwhile, Rob Pelinka is the exact equivalent of Littlefinger on Game of Thrones. You can’t trust him and he’s doing everything to gain more power. However, this is all on Jeanie Buss, who has nobody left to blame but herself. Now she’s looking even worse by not doing the sensible thing and hiring a President to clean house and build the organization the right way. This whole thing could be turned around in five minutes, but instead we’re in for more years of dysfunction.

Meanwhile, that was a cute little effort by the Clippers in game 1 against the Warriors. This team can start booking their flights to Cancun because they’ll be done playing basketball this season in just a couple of days. On the bright side for the players, Steve Ballmer probably rewarded them with Microsoft Office Suite upgrades. Congrats to Ralph Lawler though on a fantastic career. The man who has spent the last 40 years as the Clippers’ play-by-play man is easily the best thing to ever happen to the franchise.

To College Hoops where UCLA finally ended weeks of embarrassment and hired Mick Cronin as their new basketball coach. To his credit, Cronin already seems very likeable, and you can be sure his team’s are going to play very hard nosed defense. However, the spotlight should be on just how bad of a job Dan Guerrero has done with both the Football and Basketball program, and the embarrassment continued during last week’s press conference introducing Cronin. Guerrero said there was never going to be a consensus among fans about anything. That’s just silly because every UCLA fan knows he’s doing a terrible job. Too bad the Chancellor can’t see this because he’s already working on an extension with him. If only Guerrero would be one to pay the price for some of the “cash-for-admission” scandal. The University would only be so lucky.

Looks like things are going exactly according to plan for the Dodgers. Beat up on all the crummy teams in the NL West, and then pretend like you can hang against the rest of the NL. That’s exactly how it has looked after getting dismantled by the Cardinals and Brewers in the past week. I’m sure if you ask Andrew “Small Market” Friedman, or Stan “I won 14 Division Titles but only 1 World Series” Kasten, they won’t be worried at all. With Clayton Kershaw coming back tonight, the Dodgers better hope he looks like an ace, because their entire pitching staff has been beaten like a drum lately.

Meanwhile, Mike Trout needs to get back in the lineup fast to keep the Angels from being eliminated from the postseason just a few weeks into the season. Imagine how much easier this would be if half the Halos’ lineup weren’t hitting like they were swinging blindfolded at a Pinata. Most of these guys aren’t even hitting above the Mendoza Line. This feels like it’s going to be a very long season.

We’ve been waiting about a decade, but now we can finally say it. Tiger is back! He finally won another major. It was wonderful to see. Golf needed it badly. As talented as many of the PGA’s up and comers are, none of them are must watch like Tiger. It was greatness on display yesterday, and that’s why we watch sports. Also, for the guy that wants to dislike Tiger because he cheated on his wife, you probably need to stop watching sports if you can’t separate the performance from the person. I have come to grips with this concept. For example, Kevin Durant the basketball player is a bitch. However, Kevin Durant the person is also a bitch.

Finally, the final season of Game of Thrones premiered last night on HBO. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. That dragon waking up reminded me of what I look like trying to wake up for work on Monday morning. Not sure who would win a staring contest between Bran and that dragon since neither blink. You may not have put it together, but Bran said he was “waiting for an old friend” and knew that it was Jamie. I think that dragon also recognized who the true King was the moment Jon rode him. Jon was doing some serious incest math when he found out that he was the true King. It’s great to have the show back, but I’m shocked that it was only 1 hour, and that not that much happened. I expected some rapid plot development, and I sure hope it will pick up next week, as it did last season.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 8, 2019

It turns out the South Bay Lakers are a lot more interested in winning games than the Los Angeles Lakers. Alex Caruso, who looks like a high school math teacher, is on fire. It will be great when Lebron gets healthy because Caruso can finally get the help he needs to win a title. In all seriousness though, I’m getting really sick of the fake and manufactured stories the media is coming up with on this team. They didn’t make the playoffs because of injuries, and to a lesser extent roster construction. Not because the front office was “misaligned”, not because “they don’t develop players well”, or because of some “instability”. This is exactly what the “reporting” of Adrian Wojnarowki, Chris Mannix, and others have become. It’s probably also because other insecure GM’s around the league with an inferiority complex are perpetuating this fake narrative.

Speaking of ESPN and their fake news, I feel bad for Paul Pierce, who was torn apart by the internet over the weekend. Pierce said he’s had a better career than Dwyane Wade when asked about it during ESPN’s NBA coverage. The idea that Pierce had a better career, or even that he’s a better player is preposterous. Wade is an 8-time All-NBA player and two time All-Defense Player, compared to Pierce’s 4-time All-NBA appearances. Wade also has three championships compared to Pierce’s one. However, he was asked a question by his colleagues and he gave them the answer the network wanted. He shouldn’t really be roasted the way he was, and on top of that, this tweet by Gabrielle Union, Wade’s wife, was totally unnecessary and misinformed. The internet is simply feeding the trolls.

This @paulpierce34 thing is wrong on many obvious levels but what I find most troublesome is this idea of a man trying to diminish another man that looks like him, was raised like him, in order to shine a tad brighter. Shit isnt entertaining, it’s sad. ❤ & 💡good people.— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) April 6, 2019

To College Basketball where the UCLA Basketball search is reaching new levels of embarrassment. The Bruins are like that guy walking around the bar writing his phone number on a napkin and giving it to every girl in hopes that one will call him. The Bruins went from talking to John Calipari and offering him $8 million a year, to suddenly chasing Jamie Dixon and Rick Barnes? It feels like there are a lot of candidates in between a Calipari, and Dixon or Barnes that would be much better than the latter two. Why am I not surprised this is going badly with Dan Guerrero leading the search? Maybe next time he talks to a good candidate like Calipari, he’ll be smart enough to offer him more than he’s actually making in his current gig. I thought the Bruins luckily dodged a bullet by not agreeing with Dixon, but the program and their fans probably won’t be as lucky when it comes to Barnes.

When Duke got eliminated from the Final Four, all you haters loved it but look what we were left with. A bunch of garbage we had no interest in. Had it not been for that Auburn fan that poured a beer on his head and got kicked out, or the woman in the bar that acted like Auburn won before fouling on the three-point shot, there wouldn’t have been many highlights from the two games to watch. This is exactly the problem with one-and-done. It can’t go away soon enough and is ruining the NBA and College Basketball.

The Dodgers are on fire! Right now it feels like the only thing that can stop them are Andrew Friedman and his analytics. Friedman is probably the Dodgers biggest rival considering how bad the rest of the NL West is. Cody Bellinger looks amazing and is playing like an MVP in the early going. I just hope he can play this well in October. I sure hope Joe Kelly can too, because he’s been awful so far. I guess it doesn’t matter who he plays for. Kelly’s best work always seems to come against the Dodgers.

I sure hope that Mike Trout is planning on being the entire Angels offense. He’s hit homers in four straight games, while the rest of the lineup couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat. The pitching hasn’t exactly been all that sharp either. I now see why they call Matt Harvey “the Dark Knight”, since he got beat up like Batman when Bane broke his back. Feels like this team is going to be eliminated from the postseason before the month is over.

Finally, for months all I heard from people is that the American Football Alliance was going to take off and be very viable during the NFL offseason. Here we are just a few months later and the league is announcing it’s folding. I’ve seen Kardashian relationships last longer than this league did. I’m really not sure why anybody thought this league would be viable. The NFL is already suffering from over-saturation by force feeding us Thursday Night Football, along with Sunday and Monday Night Football. Not to mention the fact that even people that live in crummy cities with crummy weather have lives too, outside of watching football. It’s only a matter of time before the XFL runs into a cash problem too.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 1, 2019

Oh so now the Lakers decided to start winning again? Of course it happens right after they get eliminated from the playoffs. Clearly Magic, Rob, and Luke don’t understand this whole tanking thing. Lebron should have been shut down weeks ago. Meanwhile, I love how Jason Kidd is publicly campaigning for the Laker job through the media. Kidd was a great player, but would not represent any kind of upgrade over Luke Walton. Then there’s Lonzo Ball, who is finally taking control of his life while Big Baller Brand is collapsing. BBB lasted about as long as the rap career of Vanilla Ice. For those of you that actually bought shoes from them, did you actually receive them?

Only the Clippers would pop champagne after clinching a playoff spot. What’s next….building a statue for Doc Rivers if they win a playoff game? This is simply embarrassing. We get it. You did better than all of us predicted. But I thought athletes and executives never paid attention to what we say anyway? I guess Doc does deserve a lot of credit for getting the team this far, and should get consideration for Coach Of The Year. I mean it’s pretty hard to coach with the broadcast team swinging from your nuts all season.

To baseball where the Dodgers are off to a nice start to the season, taking 3 out of 4 against the D’Backs. However, I can’t help but poke fun of the analytical stupidity that they are continuing to use. Look, I love analytics and I’m an analytics guy. However, when a starter like Ross Stripling is throwing a shutout in the 6th inning and thrown only 76 pitches, you let him keep going! You know why the Dodger bullpen sucks in the playoffs? Because they overuse it. Analytics will tell you that. The Dodgers should have swept that series against a crummy Arizona team were it not for that.

Then there’s the Angels, who struggled against the A’s over the weekend. After the Halos won their only game of the series, Brad Ausmus said “I didn’t think we’d go scoreless the whole year.” Well Brad, after scoring one run off a starter in 24 innings, I’ m surprised you aren’t going scoreless for the year. Four of their everyday players are hitting like little leaguers. The Halos pitching is sketchy enough, but if they aren’t going to score runs, they might as well pack it in and spend their summer at Disneyland. Better find the win column fast or else it will be another season that ends before Memorial Day.

United Airlines decided to pull out of a negotiation with USC for naming rights to the Coliseum. They made this move after being criticized by veterans who believed the sponsorship disrespected those who fought in World War I. This is actually very surprising because it seemed like a modern day match made in heaven. The airline that hands over paid seats to their employees, then drags their customers off their planes partnering with one of the most corrupt universities in the country. There wouldn’t be a more iconic duo in history. Too bad isn’t not happening now. Looks like top UAL executives will have to find another way to get their kids into USC.

On to College Basketball where you bracket is busted and the Final Four is set. Texas Tech, Auburn, Virginia, and Michigan State. If you had all that just buy a lottery ticket. Yesterday was a sad day for Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish. They’re now officially college dropouts so keep your thoughts and prayers with them. Stay positive Kentucky Fans! You still have chewing tobacco and RV’s. With the way Bruce Pearl sweats I think he’s going to need a few extra shirts for the Final Four. At least Magic Johnson finally got to see some postseason basketball yesterday. I’m sure he’ll tell you he was there just for scouting.

Finally, the Season Finale of The Walking Dead went down last on AMC. Spoiler alert for those of you who have yet to see it, so read no further if you plan on watching it later. The finale was actually a rather lame episode, but I can’t say it wasn’t unexpected. They walked for an hour in the snow for nothing but radio static. But the show couldn’t kill anybody after the carnage of the week before. Negan’s got jokes and I loved seeing Eugene try not to laugh when he was ripping Father Gabriel. This episode was nothing but a weak attempt to make you feel like you were watching Game of Thrones. Nice try AMC! I get the real thing in two weeks! However, overall Season 9 of TWD was better than I thought it would be.