Is This the Puig We Saw in 2013-2014?

Who is this guy? I thought, only three weeks ago, that Yasiel Puig had played his last game in an LA Dodgers’ uniform. But, necessity triumphed, and the extreme need for a healthy right-hand-hitting outfielder took precedence over any lurking animosity that management might have been harboring, and Puig was brought back. And what a few days he’s had! Well, sort of.

While Puig has been magnificent in the outfield, with a succession of great defensive plays including more of the mind-boggling throws that have so far been the apogee of his career,

while his speed and base-running have been excellent, and while he has hit some big home runs, including the three-run first-inning home run off of the Giants’ Matt Moore last night, overall he really has not hit much since his return from the oblivion of Oklahoma City. In his 14 September games since his return, he’s batted only .206, with a paltry seven hits in 34 at bats, Continue reading

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Donald Escapes Suspension as Evil NFL Has No Concept of Justice

I’ve written often about the evil NFL, from their spending millions of dollars to lobby state legislatures to change state Workers’ Compensation laws to prohibit injured and disabled players from recovering state disability and medical benefits to their absurd offers of minimal benefit packages to former players suffering post-conclusive and other debilitating permanent injuries to their status as a tax-exempt non-profit organization.

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This week shows a new chapter in the league’s total lack of understanding of any concept whatsoever of justice and morality.

During a week where a $6,000 fine was imposed on Houston Texans’ wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for wearing the wrong shoes during a game, the league also fined Denver Broncos’ safety Darian Stewart and linebacker Brandon Marshall the disgustingly low sums of $18,231 and $24,309 for intentional and blood-curdling blows to the head of Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton. Continue reading

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Rams, Aaron Donald are Total Embarrassments in Opener

Are the San Francisco 49ers a newly re-built machine, about to steamroll through the NFL on their way to a championship?

The LA Rams sure hope so, because if not, then last night they were totally crushed on both offense and defense by an average at best, and likely below average team also on its way to nowhere this season.

I’ve taken a lot of criticism the past few days for writing about how bad the “New” LA Rams appeared to be, but I gave them some credit and predicted a likely opening game

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win over an even worse 49ers’ team. Boy, did I get that wrong.

I also wrote that the Rams would then be primed to lose their next eight games for a season start of 1-8. That now looks pretty assured to be an 0-9 start. Continue reading

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LA Rams 2016: Carson Wentz vs the Clipboard Caddy

As the “New” LA Rams prepare for the season opener tonight against the San Francisco 49ers, they do so with a team that will be quarterbacked by an underachieving journeyman who in 16 game appearances over the last three seasons has thrown 15 touchdown passes and has been intercepted nine times and who has fumbled ten times, while compiling a QB rating of 79.8.

I’ve written over and over about the fallacy of trading a fortune in draft choices in order to obtain the number one spot in a draft devoid of any single player who could become a franchise player, a quarterback for the ages, a Johnny Unitas, a Roger Staubach, a John Elway.

But they did it and once done, they were then faced with a choice of two picks, Continue reading

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Pac-12 Network Still Screwing Fans, Students and the Community

With college football now in full swing and with basketball coming soon, an amazingly little-discussed travesty continues to mar the otherwise great play of Pacific-12 schools – the inability of fans across the conference to watch their school’s teams play.

In Los Angeles, the fact that the LA Dodgers’ games on SportsNetLA are unavailable to 60-70% of the area’s residents due to continuing battles between Time Warner Cable and various cable and satellite providers, in particular DirectTV, is a constant source of discussion and outrage. But, little is said about the continuing issue with the Pac-12

Network, now in its fifth year of operation, and dealing with even more widespread unavailability than the Dodgers’ network. Continue reading

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mattingly’s Monumental Mess in Miami is Magnificent

The Miami Marlins, 57-48 on July 31 and a very likely wild-card team, have gone 12-23 since, including losing ten of heir last 12, and have fallen out of contention. The only question is how in the world could they have been 57-48 at the end of July? In a year when the LA Dodgers have replaced the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly with the very likely Manager of the Year in Dave Roberts, the lunatics in Miami scooped up the

empty uniform and put him in charge of a team not devoid of talent, and his ability and expertise has shown through, leading their horrid nose dive into oblivion.

Who would have guessed?

Back before the start of the season, I wrote “So Many reasons to HATE the Marlins” documenting not just the folly of hiring the empty uniform, but the pervasive interference Continue reading

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On the Eve of the Season, Expect Little from the LA Rams

As the “new” LA Rams prepare for their season opener this coming Monday night, the disastrous trade giving away a fortune in draft choices for the right to draft as the number one pick an average stiff who plays quarterback, the folly of the trade and of the draft pick are magnified ten-fold by the facts that, first, the Eagles with the second pick choose another quarterback, Carson Wentz, who is talented and advanced enough to win the starting spot for their season opener, while the Rams’ Jared Goff will be the Clipboard Caddy as he stands around watching Case Keenum and Sean Mannion handle game action, and second, local pundits and “guys in the know” continue to say that incompetent head coach Jeff Fisher and overmatched GM Les Snead will both soon be awarded contract extensions.

What a travesty.

Oh, and another thing to consider – the Rams may well have the single least-talented receiving corp in the entire league. Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Starting Pitching Finally on Right Track – Don’t Screw It Up

After season after season for what seems like a decade, Dodgers’ starting staffs were replete with names like super-stiff over-the-hill has-beens or never-weres such as Roberto (Fausto Carmon) Hernandez, Ted Lilly, Jon Garland, Vicente Padilla, John Ely, Eric Milton, Aaron Harang, Brett Tomko, Eric Bedard, and the worst of them all Kevin Correia, and over the past couple of seasons, with such always-injured super-risks in the best spirit of Jason Schmidt, such as Brandon McCarthy, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, Brandon Beachy, and yes, Rich Hill.

Well, today, with the likes of McCarthy, Anderson, Wood, Scott Kazmir, Hyun-Jin Ryu all unable to pitch for extended periods, and Hill having been well enough to start exactly two games over the 39 days since his August 1 acquisition, as has been the pattern throughout his 12 year career (his 16 startes this season ties his second highest total ever and his 88 innings pitched this season is his third highest total ever and only once has he exceeded 100 innings pitched in a season), The Dodgers actually do have what looks like a potentially outstanding starting staff going forward Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Sluggers

Slugger No. 1 has been vilified as being too old and no longer productive, and that has resonated across baseball because, despite an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame career, he is in the middle of one of MLB’s biggest contracts ever, a deal that covers ten seasons for the sum of $254 Million. True, the last few seasons, including those under this massive contract, have not been as productive as was season after season before the mammoth contract. I have always considered a season with 40 home runs, 100 RBI and a .300 average to be the magic numbers for a slugger to reach, numbers that can happen maybe a couple of times for a Hall-of-Fame caliber player. Prior to his 10-year contract, Slugger No. 1 achieved these numbers in six of his first 11 major league seasons, including four in a row. Before the contract, besides hitting over 40 home runs in six seasons, he drove in over 100 in ten seasons, missing the 11th by a single RBI. His .299 average that last season was the only year he failed to hit .300, hitting well over that number every season with a

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high of .359. His OPS numbers were generally 1.000 to 1.100 and higher each season before the contract, and his WAR was in the eights and nines for seven consecutive seasons. He seldom strikes out, and year after years has figures such as in2004 when in 592 at bats he struck out only 52 times. For his career he has struck out about once every nine at bats. Continue reading

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Ellis v Ruiz [v Grandal]? Hard to Fathom

Don’t get me wrong – Carlos Ruiz has been a standout player for the Philadelphia Phillies for a decade. and even at 37 years of age, remains a valuable asset to any major league team. But so was A.J. Ellis a valuable asset to the Dodgers.

In support of the trade of Ellis plus prospects to the Phillies for Ruiz the first and really only argument is that yea, Ellis is hitting .194 and Ruiz is a better hitter. How superficial, not to mention slightly inaccurate. What is missing is the fact that throughout his career Ellis has been a slow starter and a fast finisher, on almost a yearly basis saving his best


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hitting for his team’s stretch run and for the postseason. Yes, he is currently batting .194, but his track record shows it’s time for him to get hot. One other point of importance is that Ellis’ lifetime batting average, while an undistinguished .237 is a mere two points lower than than starting cather Yasmani Grandal’s lifetime .239 mark.

But for the real respective values of the three catchers, how about looking at post season play and at last season’s stretch drive. Caveat - Ruiz, then with the last place Phillies had little to play for
and no prospect of a post season, Continue reading

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Jerry Jones Hits New Levels of Hypocrisy

Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, who has a long history of outrageous self promotion and public distortions of fact, perhaps second only to donald trump, has totally embarrassed himself once again with his just plain stupid criticism of Cowboys’ number one draft choice Ezekiel Elliott, on whom the team is counting to immediately produce big numbers at the running back position.

In today’s sport news, the story of Jones’ reaction to Elliott’s having been filmed in front of a Seattle marijuana dispensary, apparently a few hours before the team was to play the Seahawks in the preseason game that was to be his debut in the NFL, has made headlines

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across the country. There is no suggestion that Elliott made a purchase at Herban Legends, a legal medical dispensary in the state of Washington where recreational marijuana is also legal, but the fact that he was filmed there resulted in public statements from Jones, decrying the “optics” of the event, and saying it was “not good”.

Really, Jerry, really? Continue reading

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Rams’ Hard Knocks Number 1 – What a Waste of Time

Following yesterday’s article, “Debut Week for the LA Rams – Expect Very Little”, I felt compelled to watch the initial episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” featuring the “New-Old” LA Rams, and there was a wasted hour of time I’ll never get back. It seems the highlight of the show was incompetent trojan scum head coach Jeff Fisher doing a Captain Bligh impression (or is it more correctly Captain Queeg?), showing everyone who’s boss by cutting a less than fringe player, wide receiver Deon Long, for a stupid rule’s violation, no visitors in their dorm rooms. The unstated question there is, of course, what would have been the punishment if the infraction had been committed by a star, or perhaps by their number one draft pick, quarterback Jarod Goff, who, by the way, came off during the show as a doofus of the first degree, showing a lack of intelligence and and a real lack of


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common sense, not to mention demonstrating over and over the unescapable fact that in no way, shape or form is he ready to be the starting quarterback on an NFL team.

Throwing Long to the wolves was an easy move for Fisher. Long was a journeyman college player, having actually attended four different universities (wonder if any or all of them had “no visitor” rules). Long has already had a similar NFL history:
Continue reading

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