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?
Continue reading

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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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Jared Goff to the Rams – Will it Work?

A few days ago, I wrote about how neither of the top two quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft, Cal’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, were franchise-caliber players, capable of transforming a franchise and leading it to multiple Super Bowls. In fact, most of the top scouting and ranking authorities ranked neither player among the top ten available in the draft that began this evening, eastern time. Well, public relations, team needs, and marketing led the new Los Angeles Rams and the moribund Philadelphia Eagles to make one-sided, misguided trades, to move up to the number one and number two draft positions in the first round, and lo and behold, the Rams selected Goff number one, followed by the Eagles selection of Wentz at number two.

This is a major gamble for both teams, especially for the Rams, who as I wrote, have given away the franchise in order to move up, and if Goff does not become a miracle worker, Continue reading

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Dodgers Should be Embarrassed

At the so-far lowest point of the managerial career of new Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts, and as the vivid bright green hues of total embarrassment should be coloring every inch of Dodger Stadium, players’ faces included, we can rely on the talent and competitiveness of tonight’s starting pitcher to bring the team back and produce a victory in the third game of the current four-game series against Miami and former Dodger’s pretender-in-chief, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly. Oh, wait – tonight’s starter is Scott Kazmir.

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Scratch that thought. Even mattingly, especially as he is now being helped out by the suddenly red hot Giancarlo Stanton, should ease his team into a fourth straight win tonight. Recovering from his horrendous injury of mid-season 2015, Stanton had a slow start this season, but has now homered in three straight games, going six for twelve and raising his batting average 53 points. The Marlins are now 5-1 in games in which he has homered, 3-10 when he has not.

The $48-Million-Dollar-Man Kazmir has been remarkably consistent so far this season, Continue reading

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Phenom’s Misplay Makes Up for Dodgers’ Bullpen Woes

Just as I predicted, on Saturday Kenta Maeda pitched another great game and somehow Dodgers’ relievers snuck in five outs between and after three hits and a run to hand a lead over to Kenley Jansen, and the team won the game I knew they would against the Rockies, 4-1. And my analysis was again spot-on Sunday, when Alex Wood and two others from the

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arson squad, including its newest fire-starter, Luis Avilán, were absolutely horrid, and the Dodgers headed into the ninth inning down three runs, 10-7.

Wood, though in part a victim of bad breaks and bad weather, allowed five runs, all earned, over five innings, raising his season ERA to an even 6.00. He was followed to the mound by Pedro Baez and Adam Liberatore who did well, getting through two scoreless innings, despite
allowing three base runners. But then it was time for the arson squad. Continue reading

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Maeda is Dodgers’ One and Only Shot in Colorado

What I wrote yesterday prior to the Dodgers series opener in Colorado happened pretty much as I wrote it, first with Scott Kazmir again awful on the mound for LA, giving up an early lead after two first inning Dodgers’ home runs, but then still leaving the game with a lead, only to have the bullpen, this time in the personage of Yimi Garcia and Chris Hatcher, give the game away. While the bullpen will not have improved overnight, the

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Dodgers’ second most reliable starter, Kenta Maeda, starts today, and hopefully he’ll get enough run support and remain in the game long enough to record a win.

Another resurrection project will be the on the mound for the Rockies in Tyler Chatwood, who will be making his fourth start of 2016 after missing very close to two full seasons following Tommy John surgery. The 26-year-old came up to the majors in
2011 with the Angels, and after a less than overwhelming rookie season (6-11 in 25 starts, Continue reading

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