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:
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Debut Week for the LA Rams – Expect Very Little

After the NFL abandoned Los Angeles following the 1994 season, with both the Anaheim Rams and the Los Angeles Raiders leaving Southern California for other, not necessarily greener, pastures, this area slowly became a football wasteland, with interest, at least among some of us, diminishing more and more, year by year, especially in light of the nefarious and simply disgusting activities of America’s “Favorite” League. As I’ve written about often, the NFL has spent millions and millions of dollars in recent years to deny ex-players their entitlement to ongoing medical care and disability benefits for the debilitating and life-shortening injuries that they suffered by virtue of their playing the NFL’s game, including, but not limited to successfully lobbying the California legislature to change the state’s Workers’ Compensation laws to deny disabled players access to the benefits of Workers’ Compensation laws that are rightfully provided virtually every other person who works at any time in the state and despite every NFL player who ever played

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even a single league game in the state having thus paid state income tax.

And, don’t forget that the NFL, with its billionaire owners who make tens of millions of dollars a year from broadcasting rights alone, before ever selling a single ticket, and that pays it commissioner in excess of $40 Million per year, is a NON-PROFIT organization EXCEPT from federal income tax.
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Making Sense of Dodgers’, Angels’ Giveaways, and Moore

Now that some of the dust has settled from the end of the non-waiver trade deadline period, one can look back at the some of the mysterious deals made, especially those made by the Dodgers and Angels, and a couple of others.

The most mystifying deal of all, totally impossible to comprehend, was the Angels dealing their number one healthy starter, Hector Santiago, plus prospect Alan Busenitz, for Ricky Nolasco, a third-rate at best journeyman starter who is five years older than Santiago, and a 26-year-old underachieving former prospect, Alex Meyer, who has now been traded

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twice without ever doing much of anything through five minor league seasons. Once a top-twenty prospect from all the respected services, he has now dropped out of the top 100, as he has been switched back and forth from the rotation to the pen, and back again.

True, the Angels outlook this year is horrid, and it’s no better for next season as their trio of top starters, Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano, all figure to not see a mound before 2018, with C.J. Wilson also a question mark for 2017. But if they’ve thrown in the towel and
decide to trade the number one remaining pitcher, GET SOMETHING OF VALUE IN RETURN. Continue reading

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Team of the Tommy John Surgery Finds a Survivor

I had great hopes for the Angels this season, and while their offense had a miserable start to the season, it has been dynamite for weeks now, and the consistent defense has lived up to its reputation. But, the Angels are mired in the AL West cellar due to an unbelievable string of serious injuries to their pitching staff, that for most of the season has seen four starting pitchers on the disabled list at any given time, and now with four starters out for

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not just this full season, but at least three of them to miss 2017 as well.

The culprit? The infamous torn elbow ligament and the necessity of Tommy John Surgery. While the surgery, now seemingly a given at one time or another for virtually every professional pitcher, has a 90% or so success rate, it also has a year-and-a-half recovery period. Thus, the Angels will be without both Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney until 2018, and while the jury is still out on ace
Garrett Richards, he likely will be facing a similar fate, Continue reading

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You’re Kidding, Right?

Let me get this straight, former yankees’ shortstop derek jeter, a hero to millions for his ability to hit and field and throw a baseball and who raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in income over a lengthy career, and a guy also just about as famous for dating one beautiful, and also sometimes rich and famous, woman after another, year after year, is

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supposed to be EXEMPT from US Military regulations concerning violation of restricted space? AND, his doing so results in a frigging APOLOGY from the United States Air Force?

What a country!

The story goes, that a couple of days ago, July 4, 2016 to be exact, jeter and his boat were stopped by security forces of the United
States Air Force after he had ignored warning signs Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Minor League Rotation Has Nowhere To Go

The Dodgers have hit the midway point of the 2016 season seven games above .500 at 44-37, and begin the second half today basing their hopes of a post season appearance on a minor league rotation, now that Clayton Kershaw has joined the likes of Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy on the disabled list. With Kershaw joining those other starters, the Dodgers now have passed the Angels as having the most talented disabled list rotation in baseball, sneaking past their neighbor’s injured group of Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson, Nick Tropeano, and Tyler Skaggs, who has

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now begun his return from 2014 Tommy John surgery and has pitched 14 minor league innings. Of course the Texas Rangers also have a say-so in just who tops that list of injured starters, with their group that includes Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Derek Holland, but they just do not have the numbers to compete with only three starters on the list.

The Dodgers' minor league rotation now includes Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Brock Stewart and Bud Norris. Seriously?
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Matt Shoemaker, Ace By Default

At the start of the season, I wrote about the Angels great young triumvirate of starting pitchers, which then included Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney and Hecto Santiago. Not on that list, but next in line, were Nick Tropeano, who only needed an opportunity, and Tyler Skaggs, not yet ready to to pitch as his lengthy recovery from Tommy John surgery continued.

Matt Shoemaker was merely an afterthought due to injuries to veteran starter C.J. Wilson

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and Skaggs, thought of as little more that a space filler at the bottom of a rotation that included the above three plus declining former ace Jered Weaver. As the runner up in the 2014 Rookie of the year balloting. Shoemaker had fallen far, from rookie stats that included a 16-4 won lost record and 3.04 ERA, to last season's 7-10 and 4.46.

Shoemaker began the season with a string of mostly horrid appearances, and on May 11 his record stood at 1-5 with an amazingly bad ERA of
9.12, even despite the six shutout innings he threw on April 13 Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Cuban Experiment a Dismal Failure

During the summer of 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban defector Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 Million contract, and the following year he blasted upon the major league scene, hitting .319 with 19 home runs in less than 400 at bats. He showed great speed, excellent defensive abilities in right field, and almost daily showed off one of the great throwing arms ever seen in a major league outfield. The Dodgers thought they had lightening in a bottle, and firmly believed that Puig was only one of many Cuban ballplayers with the bright neon sign of “Major League Star” blinking on their foreheads. The Dodgers

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then proceeded to commit assets, energy, and above all, millions and millions more US dollars, to signing the future of the team, from this seemingly endless pool of talent.

Three years later, this unmitigated disaster of a plan is an embarrassment to the organization and a major reason why the team has failed to achieve the level of success that has been so highly anticipated. As if one could not have seen this coming. Prior to the 2015 season on March 24,
2015, I wrote about how the plan was already a monster failure, and that was before Puig fell apart Continue reading

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Injuries Hit Angels Even Harder Than Dodgers

Sure, the Dodgers have had injuries, principally to their starting staff, though to the middle and bottom of the group, not to the top, and in left field, where the team has unusual depth. But imagine if the team had lost, for an extended period like up to a full year or more, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda, Kenley Jansen and Corey Seager. Well, that’s the spot the Angels are in, with their number one starter, Garrett Richards, out for one to one-and-one-half seasons, with their next best starter, Andrew Heanery, out for

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maybe the season or longer, with their star closer, Huston Street, out indefinitely, and with their shortstop, Andrelton Simmons, out a couple of months. Throw in veteran starter C.J. Wilson, out likely for the season, and their own injuries in left field, first to Daniel Nava, now back on the field, but now to Craig Gentry, plus to the guy who would have replaced Simmons, Cliff Pennington.

As the Angels’ injuries mounted, they began losing. On April 27, they were at .500 (which the Dodgers matched only two days later), Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Center Field Debate is OVER

So many pundits, and a lot of fans, looked at how bad Joc Pederson hit the last two months of last season, and totally discounted the great hitting he did in the first half of the season, his tremendous defense that never wavered despite his offensive problems, his

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great team spirit and dedication, and the fact that a year ago he was universally considered one of the top three or four prospects in all of baseball.

Compounding the problem was the Dodgers’ three way trade of the off season, bringing to the team second tier prospect Trayce Thompson, the son of local radio broadcaster and former LA Laker, Mychal Thompson, whose legion of friends in the broadcasting
world led a winter and spring campaign to dump Pederson and install Thompson junior as the team’s center fielder. Their constant and deceitful rhetoric ignored the facts Continue reading

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Dodgers .500 Record Still Good Enough in NL West

I’ve written repeatedly that the National League West is the worst division in baseball, and nothing that has happened within the division so far this young season has worked to dispel that truism. As the Dodgers, in first place in the division at 12-12, prepare for the second game of their three game series with San Diego, no team in the West is over .500, and the division, yet to play an interleague game, boasts a record of 5-11 against NL East teams and sits at 12-17 versus National League Central teams, for an overall record outside of its moribund domain of 17-28, a won-lost record befitting the 2015-2016 Los Angeles Lakers. It won’t get better anytime soon for the Dodgers, as once they finish the current

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series with the Padres, they meet their first taste of American League East teams, first with two in Tampa Bay to then be followed with a three game set in Toronto. And then, despite coming home, it gets really tough, with a four game set against the Mets followed by three with the Cardinals.

Unlike the high-flying Mets, neither the Rays nor
the Blue Jays nor the Cards have gotten off to stellar starts either, but they play in significantly tougher divisions than the Dodgers, Continue reading

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Dodgers Will Never Live it Down

I wrote how embarrassed the Dodgers were after losing the first two games of their early season series against the lowly Miami Marlins, now under the stewardship of their former empty uniform non-manager don mattingly, and since then, the world that use to be occupied by the Dodgers and their fans has exploded into a mass of unrecognizable rubble, never to be the same again, as the team and its legion of unbelieving followers wakes up

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this fine Friday morn to realize it was not a nightmare, but realty, that in fact, they had lost four straight games to Miami and mattingly, and were now the laughingstock of the baseball world.

The Marlins came from behind to beat the Dodgers and rookie starter Ross Stripling, and then they beat Clayton Kershaw, a once-in-a-millennium occurrence, and they beat Scott Kazmir as expected, though
Marlins’ starter Justin Nicolino and a group of nondescript relievers Continue reading

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