Looking Deeper Into the Boogie Cousins Trade

Consensus opinion among the “experts” was that the Sacramento Kings got the very short end of the deal that sent the team’s one star player, DeMarcus Cousins, to the New Orleans Pelicans for draft choices and a trio of underachieving shooting guards. Look a little deeper and look at the first games played by the players in their new surroundings, and maybe one should not be so fast to judge.

There had been speculation for a couple of years that the Lakers had serious interest in Boogie and that when he was the subject of real trade talk or when he became a free agent,

they were the team that would be out there making the best offers. As to that actual trade talk this past week, the Lakers, now with Magic Johnson in charge and with Mitch Kupchak gone, not so much. Reports were that Sacramento wanted Brandon Ingram and others, and that the Lakers refused to discuss any deal that included him. For the wrong reasons, this may well have been the right decision. I’m no fan of Ingram’s and I do not think that he will be the player some in the Lakers’ organization (apparently in the Kings’ organization as well) think that he can become, but not making such a deal was the correct move because Continue reading

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End of Jered Weaver Era Leaves Behind a Pitching Disaster

In the aftermath of 2016’s injury devastation of the Los Angeles Angels’ starting pitching staff, little optimism can be found among the team’s fans upon looking at the likely composition of the 2017 staff. Last season, the team lost four of its top six starters to career-threatening, long term injuries, and with three of the four not expected to see any action in 2017, and with the non-signing of long time ace Jered Weaver, there is little to choose from in selecting arms to man the rotation that will begin pitching in earnest in six weeks.

The new anointed ace of the staff, Garrett Richards, made only six starts before going down to a torn elbow ligament. Disdaining Tommy John surgery, he appears to have recovered through rehab and stem cell therapy, but whether his elbow will hold up to the

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rigors of the coming season is a total unknown. Fellow starters Andrew Heaney and Nick Tropeano also succumbed to the same injury last season, and each underwent the knife and will miss all of 2017 Continue reading

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SURPRISE! Neither Hair Ban Nor Bonds Get Second Year in Miami

After the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly was hired to take over the Miami Marlins for the 2016 season, he did two things that defied not just logic, but sanity:

  • He told his cadre of millionaire ball players, from the youngest rookies to the ten-plus year grizzled veterans, that they were prohibited from making their own personal grooming decisions. Rather, he, the dictator of southern Florida, would make those decisions for them, and that included above all else, his royal edict that no Marlins’ player DARE show up to work sporting any version whatsoever of facial hair – yes, in the second decade of the 21st century, Common Era, the non-manager would be imposing his will on his players, outlawing beards, mustaches and too long sideburns.
  • He rescued major league baseball’s all-time greatest ….. cheater, one Barry Bonds, from the scrap-heap of unemployable former players, and handed him the keys to the Marlins offense, making his their batting coach.

The surly Bonds, never a friend of the third estate nor to the fans, who outside of San

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Francisco were not so in awe as to fail to see his true persona, was a legion of problems waiting to happen, and while no international incidents Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Biggest Question Mark is Now Again the Bullpen

With second base now a settled issue with new regular Logan Forsyth in tow, plus the returning Chase Utley as his back-up, It takes little expertise to realize that once again it is now the bullpen that is the Dodgers’ and manager Dave Roberts’ area of biggest concern, despite the off season re-signing of lights-out closer Kenley Jansen and the addition this month of veteran Sergio Romo.

Gone from last year are veteran lefty J.P. Howell and righties Joe Blanton, Jesse Chavez, Louis Coleman and Casey Fien. Howell was the Dodgers’ number one situational lefty for three-plus seasons until he slipped badly during 2016 and was replaced first by Adam Liberatore and then by Grant Dayton, who likely will be in that role entering 2017. The 33-year-old Howell was a free agent for most of the off season after his poor performance last

year and with zero interest from the Dodgers, but he did recently sign with Toronto. The Dodgers could have three or more lefties in the pen with Luis Avilan (and others – see below) having a chance to join Dayton and Liberatore, who is said to be fully recovered from October elbow surgery.

The Dodgers do appear to be solid from the left side and with Jansen the returning closer, but as far as righty long men and set up men, the jury is again out, and the prospects are at best, scary. Continue reading

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Will Spring Training Invitee Cody Bellinger Have a Spot in 2017?

The two best prospects as position players that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system produced over the past several seasons, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson, were brought along slowly. Pederson, who will turn 25 three weeks into the 2017 season which will be his third full year in the majors, played full seasons in A+ Ball, AA Ball and Triple-A before his 2014 late season call-up. Corey Seager, the 2016 National League Rookie of the Year and whose birthday is the same week as Pederson’s, turning 23, spent almost two full years playing Rookie league and low-A ball before the equivalent of a full season at A+, then parts of two season in AA, and just about a full year in Triple-A before his 2015 late

season call up. This is a pattern that has worked well for these two, and for the Dodgers. But will they break the pattern, and soon?

The next position player in line for regular duty in the majors, and potential stardom, is 21-year-old first baseman Cody Bellinger. While Bellinger has spent some time in the Rookie league and has had full seasons since in A+ and Double-A, his Triple-A experience consists of three games and 12 late season 2016 at bats. Continue reading

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Was Logan Forsyth Trade the Right Move For Dodgers?

While there is not too much for which 2016 Manager of the Year Dave Roberts can be criticized, one area regarding which he was frequently second-guessed last season was over his personnel moves at second base. The Dodgers re-signed Howie Kendrick just before the start of the season, and it figured to most fans and observers that the then 32-year-old, nine-year veteran, coming off a great first season with the Dodgers in which he hit .295, would be the everyday automatic write-in at second. Alas, injuries and other problems in the outfield arose, and lo-and-behold, Howie played in only 32 games at second, as he became pretty much the regular starter in left field. Overall he appeared in

146 games, but the late start to spring training and the frequent moving around between not just second base and left field, but also to first and third base, took its toll, as his average fell to a career low .255, almost 40 points under his lifetime average.

The starter most of the time at second was Chase Utley, who at 37, did a fine job for most of the season, but he had been a longshot to return in 2016, and seemingly a no shot for 2017. Playing some at second against lefties, as well as in numerous other spots around the infield and outfield, was a Roberts’ favorite, the no-hitting Kike Hernandez Continue reading

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Same Old Pete Carroll

The most disgusting, immoral, crooked, vile and deceitful person in sports, Seattle Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll, known to us who endured his years running a criminal enterprise in Los Angeles as “Uncle Petey”, has struck again, and again the powers that be, this time the NFL, let him off with a slap on his reddened though unbroken wrist.

Uncle Petey, following the team’s elimination from this year’s postseason, announced one has to assume unwittingly in trying to defend the below avenge performance of star

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cornerback Richard Sherman, that Sherman had played the second half of the season with what he described as a “significant” MCL injury to a knee.

In direct violation of NFL rules, this was never disclosed in injury reports regularly released throughout the season. In fact, injury reports blatantly lied about Sherman’s status, Continue reading

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Boy Was I Wrong Yesterday About the Rams – They’re Even Worse Than I Thought

With only ten-and-one-half minutes left to play, one much maligned and underachieving quarterback playing on a bad team whose coach had been rightly criticized throughout a blisteringly horrid season saw his team down by 14 points, took control, passing and rushing and completing key passes and scoring himself, and brought his team back with not just two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but also carrying the ball across the goal line for a game-winning two-point conversion.

The other much maligned and underachieving quarterback playing on a bad team whose coach had been rightly criticized throughout a blisteringly horrid season, after seeing his

team’s lead disappear in the closing minutes, returned to the field with little time – less then a minute on the clock – but in decent field position, needing only 20 yards to put his excellent place kicker in position for a game-winning field goal attempt. This second much maligned quarterback threw on incomplete pass, and followed that with a very poorly thrown second pass, right into the hands of a rookie defensive back, for all intents and purposes, a game-ending interception.

Thus is the story of the 2016 Los Angeles Rams and quarterback Jared Goff, Continue reading

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No Joke, The Hapless LA Rams Could Win a Game Today

Only because they play the San Francisco 49ers, a team that has not won since they outplayed and outclassed the LA Rams in week one of the season, smashing to bits Jeff Fisher’s pack of talentless underachievers, 28-0.

But Fisher is gone and the Rams have now had a few days to learn NFL football from interim head coach John Fassel (as if THAT mattered). NO, the 49ers have fallen on the worst of times, possessing both the worst of run defenses and pass offenses seen in ages

around pro football, and any kind of effort today could well result in the first W for the overrated future journeyman QB of the new-look Rams, Mr. Goff.

Let me digress a moment. Who among us saw the fabulously talented Carson Wentz play so brilliantly Thursday night against the Giants, puling off one of the biggest upsets of the season? Continue reading

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Are Angels Planning Left Field Platoon With Two New Question Marks?

Back on November 4, after the Angels had traded for Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Cameron Maybin, I wrote “Angels Make The First Trade of The Offseason – Why?”. In the post I wrote about the vast wasteland that was left field for the 2016 Los Angeles Angels and predicted that a left field entrusted to Maybin would be no better in 2017. Well, today the team acquired what appears to be the left-handed half of a very potential platoon with Maybin, 28-year-old free agent and lefty hitting Ben Revere. In looking at the careers of

the two, they appear to be absolute mirror images of each other, and not just because they hit from opposite sides of the plate.

As I wrote last month, the 29-year-old right-hand hitting Mabyin, once a super-prospect, had suffered through a horrid nine-year major league career as an underachieving journeyman, Continue reading

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Fisher Gone, But Rams Remain a Disaster

The LA Rams took a gigantic step forward this past week with the firing of incompetent trojan scum Jeff Fisher, replacing him for the last three games of this season with placekeeper John Fassel as interim head coach, but it’s still those same Rams on the field, with much the same schemes to screw up and overrated personnel to misuse all over and over, despite a couple of new wrinkles from the temporary head coach.

Former Special Teams Coordinator Fassel showed quite a bit in his first game in charge, and it was not pretty. I had commented somewhere earlier this week that the Rams’ Special Teams were the single most effective element of the team, producing far better results than the offense or the defense, inferring that Fassel might have had a bit to do

with that. However, in a effort to show that he might have some good ideas as a head coach, Fassel even screwed up the special teams, adding a fake punt/punter pass play that was, well, shall we say ineffective? Or is laughable a more accurate description? Continue reading

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“Insanity” in Los Angeles as Jeff Fisher Gets Extension

What a week for LA Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher. Following the Rams’ embarrassingly horrid wipe-out by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, 49-21, Fisher took to the airwaves to continue his pattern of lying to the LA and national media and to fans everywhere. As I previously wrote about, two weeks earlier he stated explicitly on Monday that Case Keenum would continue as the team’s starting quarterback, only to announce a few hours later the next morning that Keenum had lost his job to first round draft disaster Jared Goff. This time, he began an ugly and continuing feud with Rams legend and perhaps the

franchise’s greatest player ever, Eric Dickerson, by lying to the public by saying that he never told Dickerson that he was not welcome on the sidelines at Rams’ games.

Dickerson was outraged at this blatant lie, Continue reading

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