Is Byron Scott Panicking Already?

With his Los Angeles Lakers putting on one display of ineptitude after another through the preseason, new coach Byron Scott decided to try to win a game last night, and while his team did respond well and won, don’t think that by outscoring the Utah Jazz by 10 points in the fourth quarter that things are better and that the club’s fortunes are improving as the regular season approaches. The big fourth quarter and the win were products of different coaching approaches to the game, which was practically handed to the Lakers by Jazz coach Quin Snyder. Continue reading

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A Tale of Two Lefties

National League Champion San Francisco Giants’ ace lefty Madison Bumgarner and league also-ran Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace lefty Clayton Kershaw are a little more than a year apart in age, and Keshaw, the older of the two, has been a major league starter slightly longer and has started 51 more games, winning 31 more than Bumgarner during regular league seasons. Kershaw also has a significantly lower ERA and WHIP numbers, 2.48 and 1.06 to 3.06 and 1.13. Kershaw is favored to win his third Cy Young Award to none for Bumgarner, and Kershaw has a stack of league ERA, wins and strikeout titles. Kershaw took home $19 million dollars this season, compared to Bumgarner’s paltry $3.9 million. Continue reading

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Lakers Problems Mounting – More Than Just Injuries

As most NBA teams are rounding into shape, with coaches developing rotations, rookies showing whether or not they can play against professional competition, and with fringe players winning or losing roster spots, the Lakers are failing in every aspect of preparation, and it falls clearly at the feet of the new coach, Byron Scott, and the people who assembled the team’s woefully sub-par roster.

After a season where the team’s hopes were dashed by an unprecedented rash of injuries, one would think that management would put together for the next season a roster deep in experience, potential, and talent. Continue reading

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Friedman to Dodgers a Great Move, But Do They Have Too Many Chiefs?

It was a great move on the part of the best team money can buy to bring in now former Tampa Bay General Manager Andrew Friedman to the front office, but shouldn’t he have been named the new general manager, and not “President of Baseball Operations”, with a new general manager working under him? Doesn’t “President of Baseball Operations” resemble the position that part-owner Stan Kasten has with the organization? No, wait, Kasten is CEO, not President.

But who will be doing what, and aren’t there way too many competing positions at the top of the baseball operations part of the organization? Continue reading

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Lakers Go From Bad to Major Embarrassment

A bad as the Lakers’ looked in their exhibition game last Thursday against the Golden State Warriors, it was far, far worse last night. With Stephen Curry scoring 12 points in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the game, the Warriors built a 24-5 lead by the seven minute mark, and the Lakers gave up 39 first-quarter points in total, and never looked up as they lost by 41. With Steve Nash paying all of 12 minutes – and going 0-5 from the field – and with now both Jeremy Lin and Jordan Clarkson injured, the rest of the point guard time was relegated to borderline journeyman Ronnie Price, and he provided one of the legendary franchises’ most embarrassing moments ever seen throughout its long and storied history. Continue reading

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Mattingly’s Statements After Playoff Blowout Show Why He Must Go

After the Best Team Money Can Buy, the $240 Million per year Los Angeles Dodgers, failed to win even a National League Division Series, let alone get to and maybe win the World Series, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly has now said, in effect, that the season cannot be seen as unsuccessful, and that he was proud of what he and the team accomplished this season. Tell that to the fans paying out big bucks to finance that payroll, and who closely followed the lack of understanding of team and baseball dynamics on mattingly’s part, and who watched his mistakes pile up, one on top of another. He has said that he feels that he will be returning next season, and that despite talk to the contrary, that General Manager Ned Colletti will also return. Don’t be so sure on either account, don. Continue reading

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Injuries and Bad Defense Still Present as Lakers’ New Season Approaches

A year ago, the LA Lakers had assembled an almost totally rebuilt roster, loaded with talent, but led by the wrong coach, and, as it turned out, minus Kobe Bryant for virtually the entire season. Their undoing, however, was a pervasive raft of injuries, depriving the team of the on-court presence of the most talented of the newcomers, and key veterans, for extended periods, as well as keeping Bryant and Steve Nash from making any contribution at all. Along with the coach, many of those players are now gone, but the injury bugaboo is still present, and early training camp injuries to key players such as Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly, and to worthless, overpaid, one dimensional jerks like nick young, struck even before the first exhibition game. Then, in last night’s second exhibition game, rookie guard Jordan Clarkson, impressive during the summer and in line to play significant minutes behind the oft injured Nash and new primary point guard Jeremy Lin, suffered an injury Continue reading

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Little Optimism After Laker’s First Two Exhibition Games

As the start of the NBA season nears, the Lakers have now played two exhibition games, beating Denver on Tuesday, and losing last night to the Golden State Warriors. Though it is early, there are several observations about the team than can be made, some good, most not so good.

Looking at their overall play and the talent that has been on the court, though some of the people occupying space in Lakers’ uniforms will never, ever see a real, regular season NBA game, it is pretty bad. New coach Byron Scott, the wrong guy for the job as I have frequently said, and who will never produce a championship team with the Lakers Continue reading

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The Dodgers’ Last Stand

Prior to yesterday’s National League Division Series game in St. Louis, former Cardinals catcher and long-time TV analyst TIm McCarver threw out the first ball, with former St. Louis pitching great and Hall-of-Famer Bob Gibson serving as his catcher. In 1964, fifty years ago, the Cardinals won the World Series over the yankees, behind the pitching of Gibson, Ray Sadecki, and Curt Simmons. The three won 19, 20 and 18 games, respectively, and they started 102 of the teams 162 games, completing 36 of them. This season, you needed to add the complete game totals of the NL’s top 12 leaders in complete games to get to 36. Gibson alone went on to complete 20 or more games in seven of his next eight seasons, twice reaching a high of 28 in a season. In those days, as I have written about many times, starting pitchers were in four-man rotations pitching every fourth day, and they were still supposed to complete their starts. Top starters like Gibson would pitch 280 to 320 innings each season, and they went on, year after year, doing so. Gibson pitched until he was 39, threw 3,884 innings over his career, making 482 starts and completing 255 of them. He averaged 17 complete games per season.

Clayton Kershaw has now started 209 regular season games in his career, and has competed 17 of them, total. Continue reading

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Game Three in St. Louis – Really Big for Dodgers

Tied one-one with St. Louis, thanks to strong pitching and Matt Kemp eighth-inning home run in Saturday’s game, the Dodgers return to Busch Stadium this evening, where memories of last year’s zero-of-three performance at the hands of the Cardinals will likely linger in the minds of everyone in Dodgers’ blue. The Dodgers opened the 2013 Championship series in St. Louis by losing a 13-inning game, 3-2, followed by a 1-0 shutout at the hands of the Cardinals and Michael Wacha. After winning game three and two of the three in Los Angeles, they then returned to Busch, only to be shut out once more, again by Wacha. Continue reading

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Angels’ 2014 Fate Rest in the Hands of C.J. Wilson

Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia made a decision a couple of days ago to start Matt Shoemaker in game two at home in the Division Series against the Royals, and to hold off on using C.J. Wilson until game three in Kansas City. Showmaker was great, but as in game one, a single bad pay in the outfield led to a KC run that meant a tie game in regulation, and an extra-inning loss. Friday with Shoemaker pitching, Kole Calhoun’s error meant a second-inning run, and a one-one tie until Eric Hosmer homered in the 11th. This strangely mirrored Thursday’s series opener, when in the third, Mike Trout lost a ball in the lights, resulting in an Alcides Escobar RBI double, and a two-two tie after nine, followed by a Mike Moustakas 11th-inning home for the first Royals series win. Continue reading

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Dodgers and Cardinals Late Afternoon Start? TV Rules!

What could possibly be worse than starting an October game at Dodgers’ Stadium in the late afternoon? It will be the hottest part of the day, likely about 95º, and the shadows will be just beginning to wreck havoc with balls hit in the air and the fielders trying to find them. But, as we have seen so well demonstrated this season more than most, TELEVISION RULES and when the network guys want a game to start, damn, that game will start then! Continue reading

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