Monthly Archives: July 2023

Monday Morning Coffee

July 31st, 2023

Although we knew this was happening, we got confirmation of it last week: the Angels aren’t trading Shohei Ohtani by Tuesday’s trade deadline. They also confirmed the team is run by complete buffoons. They decided to be trade deadline buyers, and in the past few days have acquired pitcher Lucas Giolito, reliever Reynaldo Lopez, infielder CJ Cron, and outfielder Randal Grichuk. While I somewhat respect Arte Moreno for being a buyer and trying to make a playoff push now, Ohtani should have been traded a year ago. This is the worst trade deadline to be a buyer because all the players available are complete garbage. Giolito is probably the best pitcher available, and he’s so unbelievably average. Arte fooled himself and the team into thinking they were turning the corner, when they just played a couple of struggling and crummy teams, in the Yankees and Pirates. They lost 2 of 3 over the weekend to the Blue Jays, and now they are 4 games out of the wild card, and 5 games out of the division. They also have 3 teams to climb over just to get to the playoffs. The Halos might be the first team to be a buyer at the trade deadline, then finish double digit games out of a playoff spot. But hey, At least Arte can make some money in the last two months Ohtani is on the team.

Then there’s the Dodgers, who got bombed over the weekend by the Reds. The Boys in Blue still have a 2 game lead on the Giants for 1st place in the NL West, but they have some serious pitching problems, that just keep getting worse. Right now, there isn’t one reliable starter they can send to the mound. Even if Clayton Kershaw comes back in a week or two and looks good, that’s just one. Julio Urias looks nothing like the elite pitcher we’ve seen the last few years, and since he’s about to be a free agent, he’s losing money faster than spending a weekend at the Black Jack table in Vegas. Tony Gonsolin has been pretty mediocre as well. As I mentioned previously, this trade deadline is hot garbage, and there really isn’t one or two guys available that can help the Dodger pitching. Justin Verlander is old, expensive, and isn’t worth nearly the $40 million or so he’s getting paid this year and next. I also wonder how he would fit in the clubhouse since he was part of the 2017 Astros that cheated the Dodgers out of a World Series championship. Even the trades to get Kike and Ahmed Rosario don’t exactly move the needle much with both of them struggling for much of the year. I haven’t even mentioned the need for bullpen and outfield help either. That’s because there’s just too much for this team to overcome, and not enough help available to solve their issues.

You may have heard, last week Paul George criticized Stephen A Smith on his podcast, saying Stephen A shouldn’t be talking basketball because he never played the game. Whenever a pro athlete says this, that’s basically the only defense they have, because they know the criticism they are receiving is valid. Paul George is obviously just sticking up for Kawhi, and the reasons for all the games he’s missed. However, what George fails to realize is that it’s not about the games they are missing for injury. It’s about the games they are missing for load management. Games in which they are seemingly healthy, but sit out, and we know there are plenty of them. If George thinks Stephen A is wrong, as well as the rest of us, then he should listen to all the former NBA players that think this era is soft as well for their load management practices. Also, if he thinks none of us that played basketball at a high level should be talking basketball, then I’m not sure why he has Jackie Long on his podcast either.

To College Football, where USC is just weeks away from starting the season. The Trojans should easily be a top 10 team in the preseason rankings, a favorite to win the PAC 12, and a good shot at the College Football playoff. The least of the Trojan worries is quarterback Caleb Williams, who is one of the best players in College Football. However, the Trojans will only go as far as their defense takes them. Their defense has supposedly made improvements, on the defensive line in particular, but we’ll find out soon enough if that’s the case. The only problem with this theory is that Lincoln Riley’s teams have historically been terrible defensively.

As for the Bruins, they were predicted to finish 6th in the PAC-12 pre-season media poll. UCLA took advantage of a very soft schedule last year, and put together a halfway decent season. However, they lost a lot of talent in Dorian Thompson Robinson and Zach Charbonnet, among others. Dante Moore is a very promising quarterback, but he’s only projected as a 3rd stringer to begin the year. The PAC-12 is stacked with QB talent, so this last year in the conference just may not be the year for the Bruins.

Speaking of The PAC 12, this conference is toast. They have no media rights deal, Colorado just left, San Diego State isn’t coming, and the Trojans and Bruins have already declared they are leaving. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff has inherited a mess left by Larry Scott, who should be working as a greeter at Costco instead of running an athletic conference. I don’t see how they survive without some form of consolidation of conferences in the sports. Why would anyone sign a media rights deal with them when teams are leaving the conference in droves? Total disaster for what was once a great conference.

I was really hoping the Rams would sign one of the big name veteran backs like ‘Zeke Elliott after Sony Michel announced his retirement. However, they settled for Royce Freeman. This tells me that veteran running backs are still seeking money that the Rams just don’t have, and that they are saving most of their cap space for next springs free agency.

And finally, Justin Herbert signed a massive contract extension with the Chargers last week. The contract is very well deserved, but the heat is now really on coach Brandon Staley. This guy is known for making terrible in-game decisions, blowing leads, and late-game implosions. It’s so bad, I don’t even know that the great Justin Herbert can overcome that. Nevertheless, the spotlight will really be on Staley now if the results aren’t there with all the talent this group has. Similar to the Clippers, we’ve been hearing about that talent for years, with nothing to show for it.

Monday Morning Coffee

Freddie Freeman connects on a two-run home run in the fourth inning of the Dodgers' 16-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

July 24, 2023

Remember when I said let’s talk about where the Dodgers are in a month? It didn’t even take a month. The Boys in Blue have reeled off 7 wins in their last 10 games, which included a challenging road trip against the Rangers and Orioles. They’ve opened up a 4-game lead in the NL West. However, they are going to have to hit elite pitching, and get elite pitching come playoff time, and the latter of which I’m not so confident they are going to get anytime soon. Although the bullpen is looking better, giving up just three runs in the last 7 games. the starting pitching is still highly questionable. Julio Urias is still wildly inconsistent, and Clayton Kershaw is still on the injured list. We’ve heard all the trade rumors about Shohei Ohtani, but the Dodgers should be focused on Lucas Giolito, Marcus Stroman, and David Robertson for help. Those are much more realistic trade targets that can stabilize their rotation, and fortify their pen for the postseason.

Then there’s the Angels who beat up the Yankees, then took two out of three from the Pirates. They are still 4 games out of a playoff spot with three teams to climb over to get there. However, my gut says they probably did enough to foolishly convince themselves they are still in the hunt, so they won’t trade Shohei Ohtani. With that being said, the next 6 games against the Tigers are Blue Jays will probably be the final deciding point if they have any motivation to be buyers at the deadline on August 1st. Anthony Rendon however, will not be playing by then, as he is still recovering from a bruised shin. Don’t worry though, his party planning skills are still on point, as he and his wife threw an Alphabet party on the teams off day last Thursday. Of course every day is an off day for this bum, doing nothing on the field, off the field, and just making stupid ass comments, while costing the team a whopping $38 million for the next three seasons.

In case you have not heard, Southern Californians are up in arms over the fact that the LA Times is making some cuts. Those cuts in staffing mean they will not be producing box scores, game stories, or showing TV schedules anymore, while also raising the costs of their subscription. Look people, I get that some of you still like your printed newspaper, your box scores and TV listings, but this is 2023. There are plenty of other ways in this day and age to get the info you’re looking for. I don’t remember the last time I looked at the LA Times for that kind of info. I still enjoy their sports columns, but the reality of it is they are still a business that needs to not only make money, but evolve with the way media is done in 2023. Those of you readers complaining about this have clearly never run a business, or don’t have much of an understanding of how it needs to continuously evolve.

So nobody wants to pay NFL Running Backs anymore. It’s ironic isn’t it? Everybody needs a running game to put them over the top, but they don’t want to pay for it. I can understand this to some degree, but not when you’re paying Quarterbacks like Daniel Jones $44 million. Jones can’t function without Saquon Barkley, who is a huge part of the Giants offense. The same can be said for the likes of Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, and free agents like Dalvin Cook and Zeke Elliott. One guy to blame? Todd Gurley. The Rams gave him all that money, they went to a Super Bowl with him, and he was a shell of himself since he was injured. They cut him, and a few years later they went back to the Super Bowl and won it. Running backs have become replaceable in the minds of most NFL GM’s. Still, $10 million on a one year franchise tag deal still isn’t something they should turn down.

Who has interest in the women’s World Cup? This team is wildly successful, but I’ll be honest, I won’t until we get into at least the quarterfinal. Don’t be shocked because to be honest, my interest in the men’s World Cup isn’t that much higher. I realize that world wide soccer is a tremendous sport, and it’s even growing to an extent in the US. However, the MLS is still probably no better than the 3rd best league in the world, and if the men won the World Cup tomorrow, most people in the US would probably celebrate for a day or two and then forget about it. There’s just too many other sports that command our attention in the US, and namely American football.

Finally, James Harden says he’s about to make things really uncomfortable with the 76ers. He is essentially demanding a trade to the Clippers, and only the Clippers. He should ask Dame Lillard how his demand is going, when Lillard has for more trade value than Harden right now. Harden has now demanded a trade from three different teams in the last three years. He also disappears like Hodini in the playoffs, a tradition unlike any other. Somehow, he believes there is a market for him, but even the Clippers don’t even want to give up a lot for him. Nor should they. They are smart for waiting this out to see if Daryl Morey gets sick of him and unloads him, but if not, nothing changes for the Clips. It still comes down to the health of Kawhi and PG13.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 17, 2023

The Angels managed to salvage an exciting comeback win on Saturday against the Astros, but they still lost 2 of 3 and their season is spiraling downward. Their schedule over the next few weeks is like trying to make it through a field of land mines. More importantly, the obnoxious question that keeps getting asked on a daily basis is whether or not they will trade Shohei Ohtani. We’ve exhausted the fact that they should trade him and despite the fact that they will now reportedly listen to offers, Arte Moreno isn’t going to allow it to happen. I don’t understand the mentality though. Moreno is worried that trading him will impact his legacy. You mean he’s worried about his legacy NOW, and not with how he’s handled this franchise over the last decade plus? That’s like being wanted for murder, but concerned you’re gonna get busted for smoking pot. Plus the reality of it is by trading Ohtani, the Angels could still bring back some high quality talent in their farm system, which they desperately need. There is a financial component though to this that Arte might not want to give up. Even if he only has Ohtani for two more months, that is revenue he’s not getting back if he’s traded. They also desperately need to send Anthony Rendon and his contract to another planet. The only thing worse than his contract is all the stupid comments he makes and complete lack of self-awareness that makes you think he just doesn’t give a crap and is only here to collect a paycheck. That has easily become the worst contract in team history.

As for the Dodgers, they took 2 of 3 from the lowly Mets over the weekend, and have taken control of 1st place in the NL West. Can we just take a moment though to appreciate the likes of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and JD Martinez? I have no idea how the Dodgers were lucky enough to end up with Mookie and Freddie. They easily should have finished their careers with their respective franchises. Instead, they now have two franchise cornerstones that are not just amazing players, but amazing leaders, that are going to be anchoring their team for the next decade. Then there’s JD Martinez, who was a great get by Andrew Friedman, and has produced at a level that I did not think was possible for his age and injury history. Nevertheless, he’s been wildly productive, and a huge force behind the Dodgers with the 2nd best record in the big leagues. For all the flaws this team has with bullpen, starting pitching, and bench depth, it’s really not all that bad.

To to NBA, where the Lakers wrapped up summer league with a win over the Clippers yesterday. While I don’t think we should draw any ridiculous over the top conclusions about Summer League, I will say the the Lakers have some really nice young players they can develop. Max Christie is very capable of being an excellent rotation player this season. But beyond that, Jalen Hood-Shifino can be productive if he improves his shooting, and Collin Castleton and Maxwell Lewis can also turn into something with some time in the G-League. If you aren’t convinced of that, perhaps I should introduce you to Austin Reaves, who is now the third best player on the Lakers after just two years in the league. However, the Lakers will have an interesting decision to make in August: should they give Anthony Davis a contract extension? On one hand, it will be cheaper than giving him a max when he’s potentially a free agent next summer, and you don’t run the risk of losing him for nothing. On the other hand though, do you want to tie yourself to an injury prone player who may not be the best player on a championship team, well into his mid-30’s when Lebron James will likely have moved on? My initial feeling is they should extend him, but something that gives them protection if he misses games, or higher bonuses if he’s All-NBA, MVP, etc. When AD is healthy, there probably aren’t many players in the league better than him. That’s value that should be retained one way or the other.

I’m sure you all saw Lebron stand up at the ESPY’s last week and clarify that he’s not retiring and coming back to play next year. Of course this led to a ton of criticism from the likes of Dan Patrick and others, who thought this was a “look at me” and unnecessary moment. However, I think he was probably over-criticized for his comments. When we last heard from Lebron, he told us he had a lot of thinking to do about his future. So if he just showed up a training camp and said nothing about it, wouldn’t he be criticized for that as well? Yes none of us truly expected him to retire and the moment might have been a bit over the top. However, it’s Lebron James and he’s a big enough star to warrant that.

Speaking of extension decisions, the Clippers will have a couple of difficult ones to make coming up. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. These dudes have each missed even more time than Anthony Davis has with the Lakers. Plus, the real issue is that Kawhi’s people protect him and want him to be load managed even more than most players. Unfortunately, in the NBA, historically, teams have just rolled over and given max extensions or max contracts without much hardball negotiations, especially for players who have been All-NBA caliber. However, If I were the Clippers, I wouldn’t roll over that easily. In fact, the Knicks, Blazers, and Raptors all reportedly turned down a trade for Paul George this off-season, and a big part of that is that he was seeking an extension. Even for Kawhi Leonard, as great as he was when he’s healthy, he’s not available enough to command a longer commitment from the team. How you go about negotiations with stars like this without offending them is tricky. Just ask the 76ers who have an unhappy James Harden on their team, with nobody that wants to trade anything of value for him. Even the Clippers, who he really wants to play for. Steve Ballmer is definitely a forward thinker, so how he handles this situation with his stars is one to keep a very close eye on.

It was interesting to learn last week that the Rams actually spent a good portion of the off-season shopping Matt Stafford. It’s not surprising though that there weren’t any takers for his massive contract, especially coming off the injuries he had, as well as the rumors that he may be closer than we think to retirement. The fact that actually happened though tells you that the Rams are already looking to rebuild their team, if it wasn’t obvious already. Yes they still have Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald, but they will also have 40 new players on their team. More than anything though, they need to find a way to acquire more draft capital so they can figure out who their QB of the future is going to be. Stetson Bennett is an interesting name to watch, but the expectations are low for him. Something tells me that QB of the future is still a couple of year away from even being on the roster.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 10, 2023

We’ve reached the all-star break and the Dodgers are looking a bit better than a few weeks ago. They hit the break winners of 4 straight and 5 of their last 6 games. They are tied with the D’Backs for 1st place in the NL West. This is definitely a playoff team, but does it have a realistic chance to win a World Series? If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last few postseasons it’s that October is a crapshoot, and it’s about peaking at the right time. However, peaking at the right time usually means being able to plug the holes on your team, and I’m not sure how the Dodgers will be able to do this between now and the postseason. They desperately need a #3 starter, and that’s assuming Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw get healthy and in good form again. They also need another high leverage bullpen arm, and a reliable bat off the bench that can play the infield. That’s a lot of holes to fill, and if you look at who could be available at the trade deadline, that kind of help just isn’t out there. Instead, the Dodgers will have to hope for health from the likes of Walker Buehler as a reliever, Ryan Pepiot, Chris Taylor, and Trayce Thompson to plug their holes. That doesn’t sound promising to think that group could suddenly peak, but stranger things have happened.

As for the Angels, they have had an absolutely miserable last two weeks. They’ve lost 5 straight and 9 of their last 10 games. They are 7 games out of 1st place in the AL West, and they’ve slipped to 5 games out of the AL Wild Card with 5 teams to jump over. The worst part about it is the injuries. Mike Trout is down for the next 8 weeks with a broken hand, Taylor Ward pulled his groin, Jo Adell strained his oblique, Anthony Rendon bruised his shin even though he stinks anyway, and Brandon Drury has shoulder issues. Right now, the Halos look like they would rather be in Cancun than playing baseball, and most of them probably will this week. However, the dark cloud is rearing it’s ugly head as we approach the trade deadline: should the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani? It’s clear even the average fan is more sensible than Arte Moreno and knows he should be traded to get something of value. Instead, Arte Moreno is caught up in public perception. He doesn’t want to be the owner that traded Ohtani. This is really about lack of self-awarness. He’s never thought of himself as a small market, but in reality he is. He’s never thought he needed to rebuild because he had Trout and Ohtani. But his team has been mediocre with them because he refuses to rebuild. He thinks he doesn’t need to invest in scouting and development, because that’s what a small market would do. This is such a small minded way of operating a baseball team. Unfortunately, nobody around him will tell him otherwise, and he has a bunch of “yes men” surrounding him. Sadly, the Ohtani situation is the only reason people are talking about the Angels. Even Stephen A Smith was right.

I found it interesting that Facebook decided to launch Threads, and everybody on Instagram just opened an account. One-third of Instagram users are college students, 48% of them are female. Nearly 60% of Twitter users are between 25-49 years old, and 68% of them are male. In other words, the user base is completely different. Mark Zuckerberg did a great job of creating short-term hype, especially at a time when he knew Twitter users were frustrated with Elon Musk. I’m one of them, and I probably will never forgive Elon for the limitations he put on the platform right in the middle of NBA Free Agency. Ultimately, it remains to be seen if the major Twitter base will carry over to Instagram, and become real users. I have my doubts. Nevertheless, this at least gets us closer to a cage match between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.

It sure didn’t take long for Victor Wembenyamba to have his first controversy. Can’t say I thought it would be with Britney Spears. The situation is so ridiculous though. She tried to chase him down to congratulate him, and his security team pushed her away. The kid has absolutely no idea who she is, being that he’s a teenager and hasn’t been in the country that long. However, the situation could be resolved in 5 minutes if he had smart people advising him. Call her and apologize, then offer to take her and her husband to dinner, and even create and Instagrammable moment around it. Also, for those of you saying “Britney Spears is crazy”, that really has nothing to do with this situation. I did really enjoy all the Britney stans trolling Wemby’s summer league performance on Twitter.

Speaking of Summer League, I don’t like to overanalyze these games as many people do, but there’s definitely a few things to take note of. Max Christie has absolutely been putting the work in, and is clearly dominating Summer League. He looks like he can be an excellent rotation player for the Lakers this coming season, and provide them with the 3-D presence they really need. Jalen Hood-Schifino has some potential, but will need to work on his shooting. Colin Castelton also looks like he could be an effective big man after he puts on some weight and spends some time in the G-League. However, speaking of bigs, the Lakers will probably need to sign one more with some girth, and ability to defend and rebound. Bismack Biyombo, Tristan Thompson, or even Dwight Howard come to mind as reasonable fits, and good locker room fits as well. Dwight even said the Lakers are like “the girl that got away” recently. Look Dwight we get it, you want to come back, but why do you have to get personal?

NFL Training Camps are just around the corner and the talk around the Rams is interesting. Jason McIntyre from Fox Sports threw out some bold predictions, which caused a stir. He thinks the Rams will be bad, and a 1-5 start will prompt them to trade Aaron Donald. That of course, resulted in lots of talk on who could trade for him on Twitter. This is how trade rumors in sports get started these days, when many times there is nothing to them. McIntyre was asked to give “bold predictions”. If they are bold they are actually not likely to happen. I realize the Rams weren’t great last year, but that’s also because they were injured. They do have 40 1st year players on their team, but they also still have Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and Matt Stafford. Other than the Eagles, the NFC really doesn’t have any sure fire great teams. We think San Francisco might be good, but they don’t even know who will be playing quarterback for them. My point is, as long as the Rams have those three stars, they will be in the mix for a playoff spot in an NFC with a lot of parity. Aaron Donald is going nowhere.

Monday Morning Coffee

July 3,2023

Sometimes the best moves are the simplest and most straight forward. This past weekend, the Lakers completed a fast, efficient, and smart off-season. Rob Pelinka re-signed Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell, while adding Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and Jaxton Hayes. Not only are the Lakers running it back and keeping the continuity of a roster that made it to the West Finals, they are arguably younger, more athletic, with even better shooting. With the exception of that disastrous Russell Westbrook trade, Rob Pelinka has done an exceptional job of building out a balanced roster in almost every year he’s been here. That’s also remarkable when the entire league hates you because they wanted your job. NBA GM’s are that petty and are like that high school girl that hates the popular girl because she’s so pretty. I will say that it was a bummer to lose Dennis Schroeder, but Gabe Vincent is a pretty good point guard to have alongside Lebron, assuming he performs at the level he did in the playoffs. As for the final roster spots, I’d really like to see Malik Beasley back for the minimum. Law of averages tells you he should shoot better like he has his whole career, and maybe even Mo Bamba or Christian Wood for the other spot. In any case, this team should be right back in the mix to contend for an NBA Championship next season, and that’s all you can ask for.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have made a couple of moves but the rumors surrounding them are much bigger than those. They brought back Russell Westbrook on a deal that is so cheap, he might as well be on NBA welfare. They also traded a couple of 2nd round picks to Houston for Kenyan Martin Jr, which is a nice move. However, the big question is if they can and should acquire James Harden. Let’s be honest, the market for Harden is not great. He’s about to be 34 years old, and although he can still ball, he spends more time in the strip club than on the basketball court these days. The Clippers realize this, so they seem to be interested, but only for their expiring contracts like Marcus Morris, Nic Batum, and Robert Covington. I’m sure the 76ers would much rather have the likes of Terrance Mann, Norman Powell, or Ivica Zubac. However, James Harden probably isn’t worth that much at this point, and even Daryl Morey knows this, after he gave up a ton to get him from the Nets. The big question is what exactly the Clipper front office is thinking. They went into the off-season seemingly just trying to run it back and hope for better health. Then there were some Paul George trade rumors, suggesting they might be willing to blow it up, and now they look like they want to double down on their star players and try to add another. For all James Harden’s flaws, if you can get him for your expiring contracts and a pick, it’s probably worth it. If not, the Clippers should just move on. The Clips may also be feeling pressure to do something seeing that the Lakers and Suns fortified their roster, while they haven’t done much. We may find out soon.

Elsewhere around the association’s offseason, Dame Lillard finally requested a trade from the Blazers. He probably should have done this two seasons ago. The market for him is probably going to be very limited though since he seems to be focused only on the Miami Heat. Savvy move by the Rockets to outbid all those Chinese teams for the services of Dillon Brooks. 4 years and $80 million? I haven’t seen anything that ridiculous since they decided to pay Fred VanVleet over $40 million a year hours early. The Warriors have Steph Curry and Klay Thompson: the Splash Brothers. The Wizards now have Jordan Poole and Kyle Kuzma: the Cash Brothers. The Bulls have clearly decided their goal is to be a mediocre as possible after extending Nikola Vucevic for three more years. Where was I when these teams were handing out money?

I feel bad for all the big names at ESPN who were let go last week. These are incredible superstar talents in the sports broadcasting industry. However, it just goes to show you how far ESPN has fallen. They overspent on broadcasting rights to all their major sports leagues, at a time when subscribers were cutting the cord left and right. The good news for most of these folks though, especially the NBA folks, is that there will likely be jobs opening up for them if NBC wins the NBA broadcasting contract in another year. I’ve been waiting 20 years for this, just so we can bring back the classic NBA on NBC themed music from John Tesh!

To the ice, where the LA Kings didn’t listen to most of us. General Manager, Rob Blake decided to pull the trigger on that stupid Pierre Luc-Dubois trade, completely trashing his forward depth, while not upgrading his defense or goaltending. The Kings are now going to be relying on a 35-year old Cam Talbot, and a very average Phoenix Copley to help them achieve their Stanley Cup aspirations. This is one case where I hope I’m wrong, but Ijust don’t see it. The Kings are at best a playoff team, and certainly no more equipped to advance past the 1st or 2nd round than they were before. I will say this though: the only positive is that it potentially gives the Kings three most important prospects the opportunity to develop much faster. Those three are Quintin Byfield, Brandt Clark, and Arthur Kaliyev. If those three turn into the stars we expect, we are probably having a different conversation. In any case though, they still need a goalie that can stop the puck!

In baseball, the Dodger pitching is still in rough shape. They lost 2 of 3 over the weekend to the lowly Kansas City Royals, and Tony Gonsolin and Julio Urias struggled on the mound. I can give Urias a little slack because he’s coming of the injured list, but what’s Gonsolin’s excuse? I also think that the smart thing to do right now is put Clayton Kershaw on the injured list, and have him sit out the all-star game. Yes, I realize that Kershaw is a strong candidate for the Cy Young right now, but he’s already got three of them an an MVP. Would you rather have him healthy in October, or would you rather see him win a Cy Young and flame out in the post season? I’m sure even Kershaw would tell you he’d rather be healthy and successful in October. Unfortunately though, there appears to be too many problems in the rotation and bullpen though for this team to do much damage come October. On a brighter note, congratulations to Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Will Smith, and Kershaw, on being named NL All-Stars.

Then there’s the Angels, who had a rough weekend against the D’Backs, losing 2 of 3. They are now 2 games back of a Wild Card playoff spot, and 6 games out of 1st place in the division. The Halos depth is definitely being test in the past couple of weeks, and when guys have gone down, you would expect things to remain stable. However, the depth just isn’t what we thought it was. One guy goes down, and another guy replaces him that will be delivering pizza in 2024. As you would expect, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were named to the All-Star team. Other than that, not much to be optimistic about for the middling Halos.