Monday Morning Coffee

May 6, 2024

The Lakers were eliminated by the Denver Nuggets last week, which shouldn’t surprise anybody, and neither should the firing of Darvin Ham just a few days later. The Laker front office saw what the rest of us did for months. Ham burned half the season screwing with the lineups, and it cost the team playoff positioning. Now what? Unfortunately, if the Lakers truly valued coaches, they would pick up the phone and at least try to get Greg Popovich or Steve Kerr to coach this team, and pony up the $20 million or so to get them. Instead, they will hire some coach that Lebron signs off on, will not cost them a lot, and who will be running to Dick’s Sporting Goods to figure out what equipment he needs for the job. Let’s be real, Ty Lue isn’t leaving the Clippers, especially since they know the Lakers are interested. As for Lebron, he’s not going anywhere, and nor should he. However, do we really need to sign up for a 3-year deal? Can’t we just call it one year with an option? The challenge now for this team is that the West has stars and teams that are ascending, like the Wolves and Thunder. Sure the Lakers can be a playoff team and hope things bounce their way, but unless they get a transcendent 3rd star, it’s unlikely they’ll win another championship in the Lebron era. A third star like that just isn’t out there, despite the names people are suggesting.

As for the Clippers they were also eliminated last week, this time by the Dallas Mavericks. This is everything about Kawhi Leonard. In 5 seasons with the Clips, Kawhi has only been able able to finish a season healthy in 2020, the year they blew a 3-1 to the Nuggets. He’s great when he’s healthy, but he never is when it matters most. The Clippers tried to place a greater emphasis on the regular season this year, but this is just what happens when your franchise player has a degenerative knee condition. However, the Clips have already committed to 4 more years of this. They saw two months of a healthy Kawhi, and apparently that was enough. But since they are moving to the Intuit Dome next season, they can’t go halfway with their commitment. They have to try and re-sign Paul George and James Harden. It’s going to hurt if they are over that 2nd tax apron, but they don’t have much of a choice. The question is whether or not George is going to hold it against them for trying to trade him, and if he cares more about the money he could get in Philly or Orlando, than staying at home with the Clips. My guess is that he will want to stay here for slightly less if Kawhi did. James Harden will probably stay too because he knows the strip clubs in LA are amazing.

Continuing our theme of elimination, the Kings got bounced by the Oilers for the third straight year in the playoffs. We told you this was going to happen back in October. This team needs more talent to get back to real Stanley Cup Contention. The only way they can get it is by playing their young players, and for some reason, Rob Blake, Luc Robitaille, and the million coaches they have gone through don’t want to give them that chance. The real madness though is that Rob Blake is going to be addressing the media today, which makes it seem highly unlikely he is going to be replaced as General Manager. Also madness would be not buying out Pierre Luc Dubois and his ugly contract. If they do, while letting Viktor Arvidsson and Matt Roy go, they might actually have some real money to go get a goalie and also re-sign Quinton Byfield. Of course this plan seems way too sensible, and since Luc Robitaille has a strong relationship with Dubois’s agent, he will likely be back to torment Kings fans next year.

To baseball, where the Dodgers are rolling. They swept the Braves over the weekend, and have now won 4 straight and 8 of 10 overall. That was the first series of the season where both teams were looking across the dugout from each other skeptical that their best was going to be better than their opponents. It sure looks like the Dodgers best is better than the Braves at this point. Although, I’m not sure that matters much until October, because sometimes you’re at your best and sometimes you aren’t in that small window of games. The really exciting news though is that Walker Buehler will make his return to the mound tonight, for the first time in two years. Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller threw off a mound as well in their return from injury. With Kershaw, I’d like to see him come back closer to August where he just gives the Dodgers three really good months of healthy pitching. They still need to figure out the bottom of their lineup, but putting Andy Pages there helps solve some of those problems for the time being. Of course when Shohei Ohtani is killing the ball like he did over the weekend, it’s easily to live with Chris Taylor in your lineup.

Meanwhile, the Angels are circling the drain, and it’s only May. They’ve lost 8 of 10 games after losing a series to the Guardians over the weekend. They’ve got the 4th worst record in baseball, and are tied for last place in the American League West. As if that’s not bad enough, Mike Trout is going to be out indefinitely with a meniscus injury he’ll need surgery for. The Halos say his season may not be over, but if it keeps going this way, why the heck would he come back and play again? The real unfortunate part of all this is that this is the 4th straight year Trout has suffered significant injuries. If the Halos tried to trade him now, they would likely get no good prospects in return, due to his massive contract another team would have to pay for. However, if they assumed most of that contract, they might actually get some decent players back. We’re talking about the best player in franchise history people! That’s how bad things are for the Angels. Why can’t this team just admit they are rebuilding and rebuild the right way?

Finally, Rams GM Les Snead was on a podcast with Rich Eisen, and he gave quite a bit of information about Aaron Donald. Snead said he expected Donald to retire, but also suggested that they would welcome him back if he decided around playoff time that he could put the Rams over the top. That would mean the Rams going to need to be pretty good without him, in order for him to want to come back for a short run. But the fact Snead mentioned all of that makes me think there’s a possibility that it could happen. In any case, I do think the Rams are still going to be pretty good next season.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 29, 2024

Let this be a lesson to everyone: NOBODY BEATS THE LAKERS 12 TIMES IN A ROW! The Lakers staved off elimination on Saturday night against the Nuggets, but let’s be real, this probably isn’t sustainable. They are coached by Darvin Ham, who can’t get out of his own way with every terrible decision he makes. The Lakers were reportedly upset with the fact Anthony Davis called out the coaching staff after game 2, saying there are moments on the floor the team has no idea what they are doing. Sorry you don’t like the fact the truth hurts. That’s the difference right now between the Lakers being a true championship team and what they are now. I have to say though, Lebron James is still amazing for being able to do what he does at nearly 40 years of age, and Anthony Davis is not only great, but now one of the more underrated players in the game. Aside from coaching, the Lakers need Rui, Austin, and D-Lo to deliver on a consistent basis, and they just haven’t in this series. I know the Lakers have had the lead for the majority of these games, but you are what the series says you are, and that’s down 3-1. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers got blown out tonight, but here’s to hoping I’m wrong.

As for the Clippers, they narrowly avoid complete embarrassment of blowing a 30 point lead, and managed to beat the Mavs in game 4. It was like Darvin Ham was coaching them yesterday, just forking over that lead. The series is tied 2-2 but they are in a very tough spot because it’s clear they are going to have to do this without Kawhi Leonard. He just wasn’t himself in the last two games he attempted to play, and it caused Paul George and James Harden to defer to him too much and throw off their games as well. Actually, playoff Harden no longer looks like a bad thing in this series, as The Beard has actually played pretty well. George had a huge first half yesterday as well, and made a clutch 3 late in the 4th to seal it. However, it’s hard to imagine the Clippers winning the series at this point without Kawhi, given all the fire power the Mavericks have. It’s disappointing for the Clippers and their fans, but this is simply what you have to live with when you sign a player with a degenerative knee condition.

Then there’s the debacle on the ice with the LA Kings, against the Oilers. Edmonton now has a 3-1 series lead after the Kings continued all their special teams miscues last night. LA finally tightened the screws defensively and got some good goaltending from David Rittich, but they forgot they actually have to score to win. This is a series between one deeply flawed mentally weak roster with no superstars, vs a mentally weak team with two superstars. That’s why the Oilers will always get the better of this matchup, but in the long run, neither team will win the Cup this year. Kings center PL Dubois should be completely embarrassed. This guy is making $8.5 million this year and is currently on the 3rd line, while going up against 3rd line players in this series. Even with those favorable matchups, he’s had very little impact. It’s bad enough the Kings hate their young players and won’t give them a chance to make an impact in this series, but they have no chance if guys like Dubois don’t show up.

Things have been looking better for the Dodgers over the past week. They took 2 of 3 against the Blue Jays over the weekend, and 6 of their last 7 overall. Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto are looking great as starters. Things are looking up for the bottom of the order too. Andy Pages has now hijacked playing time for the completely unproductive Chris Taylor, while Gavin Lux is even showing signs of life at the plate. The jury is still out on James Outman, who is now sitting against lefties, but let’s solve one problem at at time. The Dodgers have a showdown with the D’Backs, so they can start to build a bigger lead in the NL West if they handle their business.

Arte Moreno is HIM. The Angels now have the 4th worst record in baseball, yet the man is selling out a game for “Star Wars Night”. This guys greatness as a business man will be studied for generations. On the other hand, his incompetence as a baseball owner will also be studies forever. The Halos have lost 9 of their last 10 games, and things are spiraling downward each and every day. Anthony Rendon is now on the DL with his annual injury that’s going to keep him out for months. Not that he really cares about baseball. All of a sudden Mike Trout is struggling, which makes you wonder if the injuries have caught up to him and he’s in decline, hitting just .226. The Halos had 6 guys in their lineup hitting less than .230 on Saturday, and I haven’t even talked about how bad the pitching is. Why bother? This team is becoming more irrelevant in SoCal by the day.

The NFL Draft went down over the weekend, and the Rams had a very nice roster re-load. There was so much talk about drafting a QB, trading up for a big name, or drafting an offensive skilled player. None of that happened, and instead, the Rams made very sensible moves. They drafted 10 players over 7 rounds. 4 of them were on the defensive front, headlined by 1st round pick Edge Rusher, Jared Verse from Florida State. Losing Aaron Donald is tough, but a defense line of Verse, Kobie Turner, and Byron Young is a great young core to move forward with. It was also really cool to see FSU teammates Verse and Braden Fiske reunited, and the way Sean McVay and Les Snead made that phone call to Fiske, while Verse was pulling up to Fiske’s house.

Verse and Fisk Rams

Meanwhile, the Chargers did exactly what we thought Jim Harbaugh would do. They went with Joe Alt, an elite offensive tackle from Notre Dame, with the 5th pick in the draft. I realize many of you are screaming from the mountain tops that the Bolts need wide receivers and running backs. However, Harbaugh is trying to implement an entire change of identity with this football team, and it’s going to take time. That means beefing up on both the offensive and defensive line to become a much nastier and physical team. Alt is an elite lineman who is actually going to protect an even bigger asset they have invested in: Justin Herbert. The Bolts still did get Wide Receivers Ladd McConkey, Brenden Rice, Cornelius Johnson, and running back Kimani Vidal later in the draft. However, it’s much easier to find wide receivers and running backs than elite players at other positions. Trust in Harbaugh. He knows what he’s doing.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 22, 2024

Well here we are in the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs, and the Lakers are playing the Nuggets. It only took one game, but this already feels like a bad sequel to the horror movie. The Lakers had the Nuggets on the ropes in the 1st game, up by 12, then Denver came storming back in the 3rd quarter and put the game away. There’s no way the Lakers are going to beat the Nuggets playing with that undisciplined nonsense they were in the 3rd quarter. The shot selection was so poor, and Anthony Davis didn’t even touch the ball on so many possessions. If the Lakers have any chance, D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and Rui Hachimura are going to have to play way better than what they did on Saturday. There’s a huge psychological piece to this series though that is of utmost importance. The Nuggets have beaten the Lakers 9 straight times. If the Lakers win one game in this series it will feel like an accomplishment. If they win two games it’s a miracle, any more than that and they should have a parade. Even Austin Reaves said it’s tough to play against a team that is so disciplined, and knows exactly what they want to run every time down the floor. In other words what he’s really telling you is that it’s tough to win when you have a coach that is a total buffoon.

Meanwhile, the Clippers beat up the Mavs yesterday in Game 1 of their 1st round series. The good news for the Clips is that not only are they up 1-0, but Paul George, James Harden, and Ivica Zubac all played really well. Russell Westbrook also had some nice contributions off the bench. The bad news though is that Kawhi Leonard did not play, and the comments from the coaching staff about his injury and availability are very vague. As long as Paul George and James Harden don’t revert back to their annual playoff disasters, they might actually win this series. I expect the Mavs to fight back and for their role players to play much better. However, the Clippers showed yesterday that they do have enough talent on their roster to win this series, even with Kawhi probably moonlighting with another job during the playoffs.

To baseball, where the Dodgers finally showed up and played baseball yesterday, blowing out the Mets 10-0 to get back in the win column. It was much needed because the Boys in Blue have just 3 wins in their last 10 games. The starting pitching is just fine, but the middle relief still stinks, and their offense is already in playoff form. They’ve struck out 63 times with runners in scoring position, which is more than anybody else in baseball. They’ve also gone 2-17 with the bases loaded this season. We’ve seen this over and over again. This team just sits back and waits for the 3-run homer, rather than figures out ways to manufacture runs when they are struggling to score. I also don’t expect the likes of James Outman, Gavin Lux, and Chris Taylor to hit .300 and be all stars, but I do expect them to hit like capable major leaguers. None of them have. Hopefully Andy Pages can solve some of that, and he gave us a flash of that yesterday afternoon.

As for the Angels, tough weekend for them getting swept by the Reds, and falling to 4 games under .500. Anthony Rendon suffered a hamstring injury, and knowing him, that probably means he’ll be out until August. Mike Trout is suddenly down to hitting .244, and there’s not much other production happening consistently in the lineup. Luis Rengifo seems to be allergic to playing defense, and the pitching is as bad as it usually is, with the exception of Reid Detmers. I know many of you are going to say don’t go to Angel games so you don’t put money in Arte Moreno’s pocket. Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t work so well in Oakland, where the team is now going to be moving to Vegas.

The NFL Draft is on Thursday night and I have no idea what the Rams are going to do. I think most people feel like they desperately need an edge rusher, especially after the retirement of Aaron Donald. However, Les Snead has a tendency to make some very splashy moves. I wouldn’t be surprised if he either made a trade to move up and get somebody he really likes to help his defense, or trade the pick for an impact defensive player and use some more of their cap space. I’m anxiously awaiting to see what goes down!

The LA Kings will begin their playoff series with the Edmonton Oilers tonight for the 3rd year in a row. Similar to the Lakers vs Denver series in the NBA, the Oilers have a total psychological edge on the Kings, knowing that they’ve beaten them the last two postseason. The Kings haven’t shown me anything this season that makes me think they are good enough to meet the moment and beat the Oilers at those critical points of a series. If the Kings have any hopes of winning the series, Quinton Byfield has to look more like the player he did for the first 3/4ths of the season, and Pierre Luc-Dubois will have to start looking a lot more like the elite center man he was expected to be, rather than the 4th line scrub level he has produced at. The Kings wanted the Oilers so they can exercise their demons of the past, and they are going to get what they want. I just have my doubts the results will be any different, and that will spell doom for the front office.

The Kings' Viktor Arvidsson celebrates with Quinton Byfield after scoring the tying goal in the third period Thursday.

If you’re a USC Football fan, you probably have very mixed feelings about the spring game. Miller Moss doesn’t look all that great. He threw two interceptions, and didn’t look elite. He gave you some hope in the Holiday Bowl, but now he just looks like “a guy” holding down a scholarship that you hope can just manage games. However, the defense looks much better, which Lincoln Riley hasn’t exactly been known for. Keep in mind that there’s 12 teams that make the College Football Playoff starting next year, so perhaps the Trojans have a tad more margin for error, despite playing in the much tougher Big 10.

Finally, the UCLA Bruin Basketball team has done a very nice job of rebuilding their squad. The Bruins added Oregon State transfer Tyler Bilodeau, adding more offense to their front court. This comes after the team previously announced the signings of small forward Kobe Johnson (formerly of USC), combo guard Skyy Clark (Louisville) and power forward Eric Dailey Jr. (Oklahoma State). All four newcomers averaged double figures in scoring for their previous teams and are considered tough, physical players who should fit Mick Cronin’s preferred style of play. I have no idea what this means in terms of just how good UCLA could be next year. However, what I do know is that this team will be much older and more experienced, than the youth they had on the team last year. That’s a smart move because the experienced teams have done well in the NCAA Tournament of late. Hopefully that experience is combined with good chemistry though to get the Bruins back where they belong.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 15, 2024

I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking it too. But don’t let your mind go there. The Lakers aren’t going to tank Tuesdays play-in game against the Pelicans for the 7th seed, just so they can avoid the Denver Nuggets in the 1st round of the playoffs. It’s way too risky. They would face a one-game do-or-die game against either the Warriors or Kings at home, and both could easily defeat them and end their season. They would probably also be much more fatigued going into round 1. Look if they lose on Tuesday, it’s a small silver lining, but they need to win. The Lakers have a tremendous matchup advantage against the Pelicans, as they showed yesterday. I expect a much closer game, but the Lakers should win that game. Assuming that Darvin Ham doesn’t do anything stupid. He must have Googled how to use a timeout prior to yesterday, because I was shocked he used one early when the Pelicans cut into their lead. His rotations were a little improved, but I still don’t understand how Max Christie can’t see the floor when he’s one of the best defenders and three-point shooters on the team. I’d rather see more of him than Gabe Vincent, who’s played 3 months of good basketball in the last few years.

Meanwhile, the Clippers wrapped up the regular season by resting a lot of player in their last three games, and they’ll face the Mavericks in round 1. This time, the Clippers have to be nervous. Not only are the Mavs a much better team than before with Luke and Kyrie, but the Clips health is in serious question. Kawhi Leonard hasn’t played in three weeks due to knee inflammation, and Ty Lue sounds extremely uncertain that he will be available. This is the exact nightmare scenario the Clips thought they were going to avoid this year. James Harden hasn’t exactly been super healthy of late either, but the Clips have to hope that 5 or 6 full days of rest and no travel will help them. If Kawhi isn’t available though, I think that’s going to be too much for the Clips to overcome this time.

To baseball, where the Dodgers dropped 2 out of 3 against the Padres over the weekend. The Dodgers still have the most wins in the NL, but they are still looking for more consistency from the bottom of their lineup with Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, and James Outman. Lux and Outman are showing sporadic signs of life, while Chris Taylor still doesn’t have a pulse yet. I’m curious to see how long the Dodgers put up with this minimal production. On the pitching front, they did lose Bobby Miller to a shoulder injury for a period of time, which fortunately does not sound serious . This of course brings up the topic of injuries to pitchers around baseball. It’s simple to me: the human arm isn’t built to throw a baseball at over 90 miles per hour, and with the type of spin the pitchers are throwing with. In the 70’s and 80’s arm injuries were not as common in baseball, and we conditioned pitchers to throw well over 100 pitches. Today, they are told to throw as hard as you can for as long as you can, and then team will use tons of relievers to back them up. As long as that philosophy continues, pitchers will always get hurt.

After the details of the investigation around Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter and his gambling scandal were released last week, maybe now we can finally put this story to rest. For weeks, all we did was hear from those Junior FBI Agent Keyboard Conspiracy Theorists on Twitter, suggesting Ohtani was doing the gambling himself. Suddenly, those people don’t really have much to say anymore. The FBI has basically exonerated Ohtani after their investigation, and concluded that he is a victim of theft in this situation. Since we always seem to think the court of public opinion matters in these situations, Ohtani’s history should give you no reason to question his character, or to think he’s lying. It certainly didn’t seem to impact Ohtani on the field, since he’s been playing great baseball. However, I’m sure it’s a relief for him to have it behind him.

As for the Angels, they dropped 2 of 3 to the Red Sox over the weekend, and are now a game under .500 in the early going. The good news is that nobody in the AL West is tearing it up, and only the Rangers are a 1/2 game in front of them for 1st place. There are in fact a few positive things that are happening. They play good defense. Reid Detmers is emerging as a reliable starting pitcher. Mike Trout is doing Mike Trout things, and Taylor Ward and Logan O’Hoppe look good as well. The rest of their lineup however, has a lot of inconsistencies, and they don’t have a whole lot of pitching depth. It’s early and the Halos have a history of giving people high hopes in the month of April. However, if the Halos can find a couple of more reliable players, they might find a way to sneak into a wild card spot. Of course that means the ROI has to be there for Arte Moreno, who probably won’t see the value though, considering he didn’t see the value in Blake Snell.

Angels reliever José Suarez reacts after giving up a two-run home run to Boston's Masataka Yoshida at Fenway Park.

As many of you are aware, OJ Simpson passed away last week after battling cancer. I realize that the initial reaction of a lot of people was somewhat of a celebratory. However, the idea of thinking that way just seems weird to me. Yes, it totally obvious that OJ got away with murder. However, to say “he got what he deserved” or “I hope it was painful”, just feels like we’re turning ourselves into animals like OJ himself, if we take that approach. He was clearly ostracized from society after the murder trial, and while that’s not true justice for what happened to Nicole and Ron, it’s the punishment he got.

Congratulations to Scottie Scheffler on winning the Masters for the second time in his career! He was dominant from start to finish, and showed why he is the number one golfer in the world. It was also really good to see Tiger Woods finish the full round of 72 holes in a major, after coming off major ankle surgery. Just making the cut for Tiger is an accomplishment in itself, considering the guy can probably barely practice at this point. We definitely saw some flashes of brilliance from him the first two days, and then he struggled as the weekend came. Nevertheless, hopefully we can see him play in the PGA Championship, the US Open, and the Open Championship.

Scheffler toasts another triumph at Augusta National.

Finally, the LA Kings clinched a playoff spot last week with a win over the Flames. However, now comes the part we’ve all been waiting for. Who will they play in the playoffs? Who are we kidding though? They are going to play the Oilers for the 3rd year in a row. They will probably also be eliminated for the 3rd year in a row by them, given their inconsistencies. This feels like the 1980’s when the Oilers absolutely owned the Kings in the playoffs before the Kings traded for Wayne Gretzky. Here’s to hoping I’m wrong, but it’s hard to imagine them pulling this off.

Monday Morning Coffee


April 8, 2024

I think maybe it’s time for Anthony Davis to wear some googles. If he doesn’t, the next time he gets wacked in the eye, he’s going to look like The Terminator. The Lakers were getting healthy and rolling, and then suffered a big loss last night against the Wolves. That was largely due to the fact that Lebron was out with the flu and Anthony Davis got poked in the eye again and had to leave the game. The Lakers could conceivably still get the 6th seed, but moving up there will be much tougher after last nights loss. You can also kiss those hopes goodbye if Anthony Davis is missing any games with that eye injury. Sure they’ve given us reason for optimism the last two months, but as I said before, poor coaching has put this team is an unfortunate, no margin for error situation. Also unfortunate is this idea that Bronny James could enter the NBA Draft this summer. Lebron, please don’t ruin your sons career just because you want to play with him. You know damn well that Bronny has no business being on an NBA Basketball roster right now. Could it happen one day? Sure, but why damage his development by trying to force him into the league, just so you can play with him? Hopefully Bronny stays in college to play ball for another year, which is where he belongs right now.

The Clippers found the win column yesterday with a dramatic comeback win against the Cavaliers. However, the Clips should be getting very nervous right now about their health. All of a sudden, Kawhi Leonard has missed 4 straight games with a sore knee, and as usual this time of year, there’s complete mystery about when he could be available next. For a guy who told everyone he was determined to play a ton, which also got him an extension recently, this is not promising at all. Maybe it’s nothing and he’ll be back this week. However, Ty Lue said he was concerned, but hopeful he could return on Thursday. Yet, here we are a week later with no Kawhi. To make matters worse, James Harden is banged up too. There has to be some part of the Clippers that are saying “This isn’t really happening again is it?” I guess we’ll find out shortly if it really is.

That was a tough weekend for the Dodgers in Chicago. They dropped two of three to the Cubs. Bobby Miller had the worst birthday of his life on Friday, and the Dodgers defense let them down yesterday. The infield can’t field in good conditions, so you expect them to defend capably in bad conditions? Gavin Stone might be better than last year, but he’s still not quite ready for prime time. The good news is that Yoshinobu Yamamoto continued to look like an ace on Saturday, and Shohei Ohtani is now on fire at the plate. I’m curious to see how long the Dodgers roll with the James Outman, Gavin Lux, and Chris Taylor at the bottom of their lineup. The three of them collectively couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat right now. Outman seems very replaceable with another young prospect like Andy Pages in the organization. However, Lux and Taylor are expected to perform much better. and moving off them won’t be easy without a trade, or eating money.

Then there’s the Angels who dropped 2 of 3 to the Red Sox at the Big A over the weekend. Chase Silseth is complete garbage, and should only be on a Big League mound if he’s throwing the All-Star home run derby at this point. Griffin Canning is also not exactly developing into John Lackey for this franchise. The Halos are 4-3, but the pitching is trash, and their lineup is filled with scrubs hitting .150 or less, including Anthony Rendon and Nolan Schanuel. Who gives a damn about your on-base streak that got snapped when you can’t even hit .100 at the plate? Here come the Rays in to town for a 3-game set.

Although my bracket has been obliterated, I’m really lookin forward to seeing Purdue and UCONN tonight in the NCAA Championship game. Zach Edey vs Donovan Clingan is going to be like watching two Titans go at it. Meanwhile, congratulations to Caitlin Clark on a fantastic NCAA career. Despite South Carolina winning the NCAA Championship, people tuned in to see Clark play. I know everyone wants to point out what’s wrong with the men’s game with NIL and the transfer portal, but the women’s tournament had better ratings than tons of sports, so let’s not focus on what’s wrong with those sports but rather how great the women’s game is becoming. Also, smooth move by John Calipari coming to a deal with Arkansas on the day of the title game, so more people will be talking about that than tonight’s game.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark pumps both fists during an NCAA tournament game against West Virginia

Finally, there’s now rumors that the Rams could trade up into the top 10 of this years draft. Looking at the Top 10, there’s two players that fit the bill: either Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt, or Alabama Outside Linebacker Dallas Turner. Both would be fascinating selections. Turner seems like the most needed target, but he isn’t necessarily a franchise changer. The problem is after the 1st round, there’s a huge drop off in talent at that position. Since the Rams aren’t shy about making big moves and since they just lost Aaron Donald to retirement, sooner or later you would expect them to make a splashy move on defense. We’ll see when that comes though.

Monday Morning Coffee

April 1, 2024

The Dodgers took 3 of 4 with Cardinals to open their home schedule this weekend. That’s pretty good, but the really good news is their starting pitching. Yoshinobu Yamamoto had a really nice bounce back outing on Saturday. I don’t really know if he’s going to be elite yet, but he’s showing signs of a guy who is capable of making adjustments, and has a very high ceiling at only 25 years old. That’s a relief given the investment they made in him. Tyler Glasnow has looked great so far in his first two starts, and Bobby Miller was excellent as well. You put a healthy and effective Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw in this rotation later in the year, and this is going to be a very tough rotation come October. However, this is not a flawless team. Their infield defense outside of Freddy Freeman is questionable at every position. Not having Mookie Betts in their outfield severely weakens their defense there. They are also lacking some lefty options in their bullpen middle relief as well, which was exposed Saturday night. Nevertheless, there’s time to sort these problems out one at a time. As for the Shohei betting scandal, let it die until the MLB finishes their investigation. But in the meantime, I’d like to know who he’s taking in the Final Four next week.

Then there’s the Angels, who lost 2 out of 3 to the Orioles over the weekend. This has an extremely predictable feel to it. Mike Trout looks like the only capable dude in the lineup. Anthony Rendon can’t hit his way out of a paper bag, and the starting pitchers look like they should be serving In-N-Out Burgers instead of starting an MLB game. We’ve always known the pitching wasn’t good, but everyone wrongly assumes that the Halos will score runs. That would be assuming that Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel, and Logan O’Hoppe all develop into productive Major Leaguers. However, betting on player development with the Halos is like betting on the lottery. There’s very little reason for optimism after just three games.

To the NBA, where the Lakers dominated the Nets yesterday. Lebron was making three-pointers like he was Larry Bird, and poured in a career-high 40 points and the Lake Show has now won 6 of 7. They are feverishly trying to catch the Kings or Suns for the 7th or 8th seed to make their play-in tournament path slightly easier. With 8 games left and Darvin “hands in his pockets” Ham still coaching them, I’m skeptical they can get there. Nice to see Gabe Vincent back in the lineup yesterday though. Not sure he is going to contribute much, but he can play defense when he’s in shape. As long he doesn’t bang his knee on another coffee table.

As for the Clippers they’ve righted the ship for the time being by beating up on bad teams. The latest was Charlotte yesterday. However, if you look at the standings, here come the Mavs, who are now tied for the 5th seed with the Pelicans. They are also 2 games back of the Clips for 4th. Part III of Clippers vs Mavs in a playoff series would be compelling, but given how the Clips are playing, might not be a series you would feel so great about if you’re a Clippers fan. There’s also continuous rumors now about whether or not Paul George will work out an extension with the Clippers. It’s taking an awful long time, and the Philadelphia 76ers are practically screaming from the mountain top that they are ready to pounce, like a dude courting a girl who has had a long-term boyfriend. However, I still can’t imagine PG-13 leaving LA, where he is from, for Philadelphia. I think this is a leverage play.

How is March Madness going for you? NC State, Alabama, UCONN, and Purdue. I’m sure that’s how we all predicted it right? UCONN and Purdue would be a great final, and NC State and Alabama are obviously massive surprises. However, I’m sure everyone is more delighted to see Duke lose to anybody than they would be to see ISIS lose any war. Zach Edey is a complete beast and looks like he’s just playing volleyball out there and not basketball. I’d love to see him go up again UCONN Center Donovan Clingan.

Finally, the LA Kings have 9 games left. They’ve lost their last two critical road games against division rivals, and they are hanging on to dear life to the last playoff spot. However, I for the life of me cannot figure out why this team absolutely hates young players. You cannot possibly tell me that this team wouldn’t be better off and with a higher ceiling with Brandt Clarke, Arthur Kaliev, and Alex Turcotte in the lineup every night instead of Andreas England, Alex Laferriere, and Trevor Lewis. This is the reason why the Kings can’t get any closer to Stanley Cup contention. It’s because their franchise is being run by foolish coaches and a foolish front office. Unless they somehow get Vancouver in the 1st round of the playoffs, they’ve got no shot of advancing in the playoffs, and that’s if they are lucky enough to get there.

CALGARY, ALBERTA - MARCH 30: Jonathan Huberdeau #10 of the Calgary Flames skates.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 25, 2024

Ok let’s get into this Shohei Ohtani gambling mess. You have to admit that the story is suspicious. For his translator, Ippei Mizuhara, to change his story to ESPN by saying he did have knowledge he was gambling, and then he didn’t have knowledge he was gambling is very questionable. Hopefully this story aligns with what Ohtani plans to say to the media today, when he is scheduled to address this subject. However, in my opinion, if Ohtani bet on something other than baseball and gets in trouble for it, I will give the guy a hug. Who cares if he decided to bet on some EPL soccer game last year? And who cares if he paid some bookie in California, where our state is run by idiots that couldn’t run a hot dog stand, and have yet to legalize gambling. Ultimately, I can’t imagine that Ohtani will get suspended, unless the FBI finds something highly illegal, since he’s basically a Golden Goose for the League. Meanwhile, don’t let all this distract you from the fact that Yoshinobu Yamamoto was complete garbage in his first game, and after a rough spring. Since he’s supposed to be their ace who is signed for the next 12 years, I’d say they should be concerned. Hopefully the guy can find his game immediately, otherwise he’s basically the Japanese version of Lance Lynn.

As for the Angels, I’m sure Arte Moreno wants to see Ohtani go down with a hard punishment from the gambling controversy. However, I’m sure Angels fans want to see that as well as Arte get punished for not signing Blake Snell, who signed with the Giants. Snell got a 2 year deal for $66 million, with a player option on year 2. The Angels were $37 million under the competitive balance tax and they desperately need pitching. They claim they want to win. Yet Arte is being stingy. Even more disappointing though is someone like Michael Lorenzen, a useful starting pitcher, signed for $4.5 million with the Rangers. The Halos couldn’t have done that either? I realize that Perry Minasian is extremely handcuffed by Arte, but if he thought they only had $30 million to spend, why would he spend it all on relievers? Still , Arte is the problem, and until that changes, it’s hard to see things getting any better for this franchise.

How is your March Madness Bracket going? I’m sure you’re probably losing in your office pool to the girl that picked winners by who had the cutest mascot, your mom, and some dude that made 12 different brackets. I’m sure John Calipari is going to punish all of his players by taking away their cell phones and BMW’s after they lost in the first round. If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that the one and done doesn’t work anymore if you want to win in the NCAA Tournament. You need good players that have played together for a long time. That’s why there’s actually hope for these mid major programs all of a sudden. Enjoy the ride and try not to take your brackets too seriously!

The Lakers took down the Pacers last night for their 3rd straight win. The good news for the LA is that they are now 7 games over .500 and putting further distance between themselves and the Warriors for 9th place. With that being said, they probably won’t catch the Mavs or Kings for 7th or 8th place. That’s a problem because they really need to stay on the opposite side of the bracket as the Nuggets, Kings, and Clippers. Why the Clippers? Because the Clippers matchup very well with the Nuggets, and actually have a chance to beat them when they are on their game. The Nuggets are currently in 1st place in the West, so that doesn’t help the Lakers chances of that scenario playing out, as it stands now.

As for the Clippers, there’s some cause for concern. They’ve lost 5 of 8 games and they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record in the last 3 weeks. Some of that includes game without Kawhi and PG13, but the concern is how they are losing games. In fact, when Paul George says “I don’t think we have an identity”, at this stage of the season, that’s problematic. I’m not sure it matters at this point who the Clippers play in the playoffs for their sake, but they need to start regaining some momentum quickly, or what was once a promising season will be lost.

I think when Aaron Donald retired about a week ago, we all kind of thought there was a chance he might return at some point. When I listened to him address the media for the first time a couple of days ago, I now believe there is no chance he is coming back. Donald said he simply doesn’t have the desire to do the work anymore that it requires to be an NFL player, let alone one as great as he is. I think it’s hard for most normal people to understand this when you are in your early 30’s, but the reality is being a professional athlete means you are in the top 1% or even less of what you do. It takes a tremendous amount of effort and preparation to be at that level year in and year out, and when you don’t want to put the work in anymore, it’s easy to see how one can get burnt out. At least the Rams should be able to look at this with some closure, and be able to move on from it and make plans.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 18, 2024

I’ve gotta start with the Rams. Aaron Donald surprised many of us by announcing his retirement last week. Look, it’s not like I expected this guy to play another 5 years, after he hinted he was considering retirement after the Super Bowl victory. However, I did think he was going to play for a couple of more seasons after he received a big contract. That’s a huge blow to the Rams Super Bowl chances next year after they re-loaded in free agency, and were poised to do the same in April’s draft. Now it’s imperative they take an edge rusher with their 1st round pick in the draft. However, it’s safe to say there will never be another Aaron Donald. He played for 10 years with the Rams, the only team he ever played for, won a Super Bowl, went to another, and was a Pro-Bowler every year he played. He’s 28th on the all-time sacks list, some might argue the best defensive player ever, and a sure first ballot Hall of Famer. There is definitely no replacing that, but he was definitely a privilege to watch. This also totally overshadowed the Jimmy G move as well, who will be a nice backup to Matt Stafford, and the other big moves they made for the offensive line and defense. At least that will make for good entertainment knowing about all the porn stars Jimmy G hangs out with off the field.

There’s a lot a lot of shakeups happening with the Chargers. Austin Ekeler is gone, signing with the Commanders. Mike Williams was released, and Keenan Allen was traded for a ham sandwich. They did bring in Gus Edwards and Will Dissly to help the offense. However, they only needed to release Mike Williams to get cap compliant, so it’s a little bit of a head scratching move. Justin Herbert can’t be happy because as of right now, he’s going to be throwing to Door Dash Drivers all season long. The Bolts seem like a really good candidate to trade their #5 pick for multiple picks, because they now have a lot of needs to fill. Nevertheless, we’re talking about Jim Harbaugh here, so you’ve gotta trust him.

NFL Free agency has been wild though. Kirk Cousins is living the American Dream, continuing to find teams to pay him huge money. Don’t you just love this country? The Ravens added Derrick Henry, which would be an awesome move if this were 2021. The Steelers signed Russell Wilson and trade for Justin Fields, and told Fields that Wilson will be the starter. That’s hilarious. It’s like when your mom and dad tell you that “you better be on your best behavior or so God help me I’m going to turn this car around and go home.” Good one guys, no way Fields doesn’t beat out Wilson for the job at some point. Has anybody informed the Cowboys that free agency started? I’m assuming no, since Jerry Jones claimed he was “all-in this off-season.”

Let’s get to College Basketball where we have to start with the ending to UCLA’s season last week. The Bruins put up a good fight against Oregon in the quarterfinals of the PAC-12 Tournament, but as usual, the offense was atrocious. Dylan Andrews, Lazar Stefanovic, and Jane Vide claim they are coming back next season. Nobody is certain about the rest. Adem Bona’s draft stock has dropped so much, he may end up coming back to school. Ultimately though, the most important question is if Mick Cronin is coming back. His name has been thrown around in the Louisville coaching search, as well as the Michigan search. Of course he has to rebuild the program at UCLA after all the departures, but there’s no reason to think he can’t. It might take another couple of years though because next years recruiting class looks rough, and UCLA is still figuring out how to get into the NIL game. UCLA should do everything they can to keep Cronin if he’s considering walking, including signing him to an extension. He’s the perfect coach for a transition into the Big 10 where they will have to grind things out both on and off the court to rebuild. As far as I’m concerned though, other than Bona and Andrews, every other player on this roster should be considered for replacement.

As for March Madness, good luck to everyone that has watched about 30 seconds of College Basketball this year and trying to fill out brackets. I’m sure the girl in your office who picks teams based on the cutest mascot will likely win your office pool, so why bother doing real homework? With that being said, UCONN seems like head and shoulders the best and most consistent team in the country. Houston, Purdue, and UNC were the other number 1 seeds, and seems highly unlikely all of them get to the Final Four. You’ve gotta love how Long Beach State announced last week they were firing their coach Dan Monson, then led his team to its first NCAA Tournament birth by winning the Big West Tournament. That’s really sticking it to your boss!

To the NBA, where let’s be honest: The Lakers are toast. They are now 3 games back of the 6th, 7th, and 8th seeds, so with 14 games left, there’s no way they will make up that ground. That means they will have to win two must win elimination games, most likely both of them on the road, just to get into the playoffs. I can’t say I like the Lakers chances in two road games, especially with Darvin Ham coaching them, who has completely botched this season, and may be the biggest issue with this team. They would be better off with Bozo The Clown behind the bench at this point, instead of the Bozo that’s already there. There’s now also the concern over Anthony Davis’ health, after he was poked in the eye over the weekend. Hopefully he’s only out for a few days if that.

Meanwhile, the Clippers have started to come back to the pack a little bit. They are now 4.5 games out of 1st place in the West, so getting the top seed seems out of the question now. However, the bigger concern is health. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but Kawhi had missed a few games recently with back spasms, and James Harden has been suffering from a shoulder ailment. There’s also a bit of concern that the Pelicans are breathing down their neck for the 4th seed, which would give them home court advantage in a potential 1st round showdown with the Clips. Considering the Pelicans won the season series 3-1, and bullied LA in the paint, that doesn’t really bode too well for them.

Believe it or not, the baseball season is upon us! The Dodgers get their season underway vs the Padres in Korea on Wednesday. Set your alarms, because first pitch will be at around 3:05 am Wednesday morning. Tyler Glasnow will get the ball for LA against Yu Darvish, and the following day it will be Yoshinobu Yamamoto vs Joe Musgrove. That brings us to the question of whether or not the Dodgers should be concerned about Yamamoto’s spring performance, where he sported an ERA over 10. My initial reaction is somewhat concerned. He’s signed to a 10 year deal, so you can’t not be concerned this early. He had a great first start, was a strikeout machine, and seemed to shutout teams easily first time through the order. However, his command and hard hit rate weren’t very good in his latter starts, which has to raise some eyebrows. Nevertheless, only time will tell how this guy will adjust and continues to craft his game against a whole new type of hitter than the league he’s been in previously. It also wouldn’t hurt to have Blake Snell’s phone number handy too.

Finally, as I said before, I will believe the Angels will sign Blake Snell when I see it. If you know anything about Arte Moreno, you know he’s a cheapskate. Ken Rosenthal reminded us of this on the “Foul Territory” podcast earlier in the week, saying his sources told him GM Perry Minasian has been lobbying Moreno all winter to sign Snell and JD Martinez. However, Moreno has told him “we’re not doing that” to this point. For a guy who started the off-season $70 million below last season’s luxury tax, he sure doesn’t seem to have much interest in winning. As if that’s not bad enough, Mike Trout is having one of the worst spring training’s of his career. He’s hitting .212 which is the second worst of his career, has a .270 OBP, the worst of his career, and 15 strikeouts, which is also the worst of his career. I’m not saying to put a lot of stock into spring training games, but considering how short this team is becoming on talent, his performance is a little worrisome.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 11th, 2024

Not bad Lake Show. The Lakers took down the Minnesota Timberwolves last night at, and are now 5-2 in their last 7 games. The insertion of Rui Hachimura into the starting lineup has been great, and I’ll try not to focus on how stupid Darvin Ham is for playing Taurean Prince over Rui the entire 4th quarter. Anthony Davis really had a video game stat line last night. If D-Lo can look as reliable as he has in the past few weeks during the postseason, the Lakers can recapture the magic they had towards the end of last season. With 16 games left, the Lakers are just two games out of the 6th spot, and 1.5 out of the 7th spot. It just so happens they’ll get another shot against Sacramento on Tuesday, who sits in 7th right now. Let’s be honest though. The Lakers and their fans probably don’t care who they play in the playoffs, as long as they can avoid the Denver Nuggets for as long as possible.

The Clippers lost to the Bucks yesterday, but they have still been winning games, coming out on the right side of 4 of their last 6. However, they are now on the wrong side of the standings, 3.5 games back in the battle for 1st place in the West. I don’t know if the matchups really matter at this point in the West, because everyone will be tough 1-10, but they do need to hope their stars are healthy. They weren’t yesterday, but that’s also because they were likely keeping Kawhi and PG-13 in bubble wrap on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. After all, these days NBA players heads will fall off if they are forced to play in a back-to-back game. They also need to try and finish as high as possible in the standings, because in these playoffs, not having home court advantage in multiple rounds can be a problem.

NFL free agency is upon us. The Rams checked off one of their major to-do’s by re-signing offensive lineman Kevin Dotson. Dotson received a 3 year $48 million deal, which gives the Rams around $29 million of cap space left. Now they have 11 picks in next months draft, which creates all kinds of possibilities. There are plenty of stud running backs on the market, but they really don’t need one because they have Karen Williams, nor do they need much offensive skill position help. However, they do need beef up edge rusher, cornerback, and more offensive and defensive line depth. In the NFL, most guys that make out it to outright free agency aren’t like other sports. There’s an element of “reject” to them, that have flaws. For that reason, they should take their chances in the draft, especially since they’ve done well there recently.

As for the Chargers, the rumors have started that they are listening to offer for Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. Other sources are saying that other teams are waiting for the Bolts to cut those players so they can pounce. I think this is simply a case of the Chargers gauging the value on two high salaried players who could help them clear cap room. I don’t think they are going to cut them, and for those of you that think there is a Harbaugh issue here, there is no reason to think they can’t buy in to Harbaugh’s tough style. For all their salary cap problems, if the Bolts just cut Mike Williams, they’ll be in much better position to clean up their salary cap.

One week after thinking that Gavin Lux was going to cut it at shortstop, the Dodgers had seen enough, and announced Lux was moving to 2nd base and Mookie Betts was going to shortstop. This move seems very shortsighted. Mookie was a 6-time gold glover as an outfielder. We only saw 6-games of Gavin Lux at shortstop in spring training. Isn’t this the time to let him get his confidence up playing the position? They obviously like his bat and want to keep him in the lineup, so why can’t they utilize Miguel Rojas, who is a fine defensive shortstop, when they need the defense? The whole move seems very unnecessary to me, and even jeopardizes the health and effectiveness of one of their best players in Mookie.

How many more hints do the Angels need? Blake Snell is practically begging for the Halos to sign him. His camp is leaking to the media that he prefers to sign with them. Mike Trout is pleading with Arte Moreno to improve the team. Jock Talk LA is reminding them on a weekly basis how idiotic they look right now. Snell would be the ace of the team, and they have the money to do it. Yet somehow, Arte Moreno won’t do it. Nice to see Anthony Rendon back in the lineup yesterday though after sitting it out for about a week. Also glad his other job isn’t getting in the way of him showing up for work.

Well here we are, the PAC-12 Tournament. UCLA will have to win 4 straight games from Wednesday through Saturday if they want to get into the NCAA Tournament. The chances of that happening are like the chances of Jennifer Aniston going out on a date with me this week. Sure the Bruins have beaten Oregon State, Oregon, USC, Washington, and were competitive against Arizona at one point this year. However, this team looks like they have been mailing it in for the past three weeks. Do they have enough talent? Maybe. However, the idea that this team will suddenly gain the motivation and confidence to string together 4 straight wins this week seems just preposterous to imagine. Mick Cronin has been talking about life lessons to his team in the huddle the past couple of weeks, and now you expect me to believe he’s going to change those discussions to working toward getting into the NCAA Tournament? He would truly be the Wizard of Westwood if that happened.

I don’t really understand LA Kings fans. The trade deadline approached last week, and every fan in the week before didn’t want Rob Blake to make a move because they thought he would do something stupid. Then they started seeing other teams make moves, and they started screaming on Twitter that Rob Blake is asleep at the wheel. So which is it? The correct answer is the former. The Kings didn’t really have any cap space to do anything significant. Unless there was an elite goaltender available, which there wasn’t, trading more draft capital for a marginal upgrade would have been pointless. The reality of it is the Kings made their big move in the summer for Pierre-Luc Dubois, and it’s working out terribly. If they are eliminated early in the playoffs, or don’t make it there, they will need a new GM, a new coach, and some re-tooling of the roster.

Finally, why do we keep letting these older people present at Award ceremonies? Don’t get me wrong. I love Al Pacino, but he’s 83 years old. When he announced that Oppenheimer won “Best Picture” at the Oscars last night, I could barely understand what he was saying. These people should probably have to pass some basic test with their cognitive abilities to do this. Otherwise, just let them sit in the crowd and be pretty faces.

Monday Morning Coffee

March 4th, 2024

The Lakers have a Darvin Ham problem, and it reared it’s ugly head again on Saturday night. Finally, the Lakers get a great performance from D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura against the Nuggets, yet Ham can’t get out of his own way and benches them both in the 4th quarter. Instead he went with Cam Reddish and Spencer Dinwiddie, neither of which stood a chance guarding a Nuggets player. This team is definitely not as bad as it’s played under Ham with all his weird lineups, but it certainly will never reach it’s ceiling with him making the lineup decisions. I wish Rob Pelinka would go full on Andrew Friedman on him and tell him the lineups he needs to play. Somehow, despite these continuously dumb decisions by Ham, the Lakers are just 2.5 games out of 7th place, and 3.5 games out of 5th place in the West. Their schedule is tough as hell, but if they can lock Ham out of the building for the next few weeks, maybe they have a chance to move up.

There’s good news for the Clippers. Yesterday, they won a tough, physical battle with the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was low scoring, and it was the type of game they haven’t been able to win recently, with that exact length and physicality causing them problems. The bad news however, is that history is suddenly not on their side. Phil Jackson always said there was a rule that you had to win 40 before you lose 20 to be considered an elite team. In fact, 27 of the last 30 NBA Champions have won 40 before they lost 20 games in that season. This season, only the Celtics, Nuggets, Timberwolves, and Thunder have won 40 before they lost 20 this year, which means the NBA Champion will most likely come from that group of teams.

To baseball where the Dodgers have been rolling in Spring Training. winning 9 of their first 11 games. As I’ve mentioned before, nobody cares about the spring training record because it’s meaningless. However, there’s a few key takeaways here. First of all Gavin Lux and Max Muncy are looking like very capable defensive players on the left side of the infield. It’s early, but they appear to be in excellent shape, and been putting the work in for improving defensively there. I’m confident their offense will be there. To nobody’s surprise Shohei Ohtani is already putting on a show, and looks like he will fit in perfectly with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. Now hear me out on this one. I realize that the Dodgers do not need Blake Snell, but they should seriously consider signing him given that his price tag is coming way down. I really want this to happen, mostly because I’m just dying to see everyone complain again that the Dodgers are ruining baseball. Still, they really could use him since Yoshinobu Yammamoto is used to a 6-man rotation, Tyler Glasnow has injury history, while Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May will not be available for a while since they are rehabbing from injury. I am completely aware how ridiculous this is, but if the guy is taking $25 million a year with a few opt outs, you have to consider it.

On the other hand, I have no idea what the Angels are doing not signing Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery. Their price is way down, and either one of them would instantly slide into their rotation as the #1 starter. On the bright side though, Anthony Rendon hasn’t said anything stupid in the past week though, which is always nice to see for the PR department. It’s really hard for me to imagine this team winning more than 70 games this season, unless of course they sign one of those front line starters.

What a completely pathetic showing by UCLA Basketball over the weekend. They lost a couple of more games to Washington and Washington State. Their only hope to get in the NCAA Tournament remains to win the Pac-12 Tournament, but your chances of winning the Powerball are higher than that. At this point the season has gone so badly, even Adem Bona might not even be drafted in the 2nd round of the upcoming NBA draft. He may very well need to stay in school for another year, which probably wouldn’t be bad for the Bruins. Ultimately though, other than Bona and Dylan Andrews, I think Mick Cronin can safely try and clean house and recruit heavily in the transfer portal. Unfortunately though, they don’t currently have a class of 2024 recruit that is ranked in the top 100 of the class. I’m not sure the transfer portal can fix this in one year.

It’s very cool, but also kind of surprising to see how much interest Caitlin Clark has created in women’s basketball, and women’s college basketball in particular. The hype around her is real, and not to take away anything from her, but in terms of accomplishments, even Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, and Cheryl Miller accomplished equally as much if not more in college. In Stewart’s case, she even played in the era of social media. However, Clark has created buzz because she is the Steph Curry of women’s basketball, or even the Taylor Swift of the game. She’s more approachable, exciting, and easy to get behind for the average person because she feels relatable. In any case, she’s going to have a great finish to her college career, and I’m sure do great things in the pros as well.

It’s super sad to hear about the passing of NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen. Mortensen was 72 years old, and diagnosed with throat cancer in 2016. He was truly someone that I would almost consider part of my childhood knowing how respected he was covering the NFL for ESPN, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution before that. He was an award-winning journalist and actually a native of Torrance, CA. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family including his wife, Micki, and son, Alex.