“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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Duplicitous, Incompetent Fisher Picks Goff to Save His Job

There is no question but that Jeff Fisher wants to see Jared Goff fail today.

Three interesting things occurred this past week in LA Rams’ football:

  • Monday afternoon – Fisher tells the media that Case Keenum is the LA Rams’ quarterback and that the team’s continued miserable offensive performance is not the fault of the quarterback;
  • Tuesday morning – Fisher announces that Keenum is out and Jared Goff will start the Ram’s next game, Sunday afternoon against the Miami Dolphins at the Coliseum;
  • Thursday morning – every political bigwig in the Los Angeles area gathered in Inglewood on the site of the late, lamented, iconic Hollywood Park to see the billionaire Ram’s ownership break ground for construction of the largest, most expensive sport’s stadium ever to be built, which the Rams, with or without Fisher, will call home beginning, they hope, in 2019.

Fisher, who as I’ve repeatedly written, should never have kept his head coaching job past

his last year in St. Louis before the Rams’ moved west, Continue reading

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PLEASE Let the Horrid Ram’s Season Mean the End of Jeff Fisher!

At the halfway point of the 2016 NFL season, the horrid LA Rams are only slightly better off than I predicted before the start of the season. I felt that the Rams would begin their “homecoming” by losing eight of their first nine games, but they surprised me with wins against Seattle and Tampa Bay. However, since, they have clearly rounded into form, with four straight losses including today’s home loss to a struggling Carolina Panther’s team.

The easy part of the Ram’s schedule is next week, when they play the dead-in-the-water New York Jets (whose off-season expectations led me then to think would be a clear loss for the Rams) and they may well get their fourth, and quite possibly last, win of the season. After the Jets’ game, the Rams then play a series of teams against whom they have absolutely positively NO chance of beating: Miami, New Orleans, New England, Atlanta and then the rematch against Seattle. Following that stretch, they play their second game

against the 49ers, who have now discovered if not winning ways at least an offense, behind Colin Kaepernick. That game is at best a tossup for LA, but after that they close out the season on New Years Day against Arizona. Whether or not the Rams have a chance in that one will depend on whether or not the Cardinals are in or out of a playoff race and on who is playing quarterback for Arizona. At this point, I’d say their second half record will be 1-7, Continue reading

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Despite the Fast Start, Did the Clippers Do Enough in Offseason?

The LA Clippers had their most impressive victory of the young season in a record-setting game last night in San Antonio, defeating the Spurs by 24 points, 116 to 92, behind the continued great play of Blake Griffin and a sterling performance from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who had by far his best game of the season. The start of the game provided little indication of what was to transpire, though, as the Spurs scored the games’ first eight points. But after that, Clippers’ defense reigned, and the offense was not far behind. Those

first eight Spurs’ points were soon followed by eight consecutive defensive stops, and a 8-0 deficit quickly became an 18-10 LA lead.

For the Spurs, who recorded a 40-1 home record last season, it was the second consecutive home loss of the 2016-2017 season, and the first time they have suffered back-to-back home loses in close to two full years. For the Clippers, it was the largest margin of victory against a Spurs team in their last 160 meetings. Continue reading

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Collusion and Deceit In Sports Broadcasting Faces Legal Scrutiny

The fiasco that has been SportsNetLA and the stealing of LA Dodgers’ baseball broadcasts from the airwaves for three seasons has now finally been given the scrutiny it has long needed, and the result is a federal lawsuit brought by the United States Dept. of Justice against DirectTV and additional industry giants AT&T, Cox Communications and Charter Communications for collusion and other illegal conduct in refusing to carry the TimeWarner/LA Dodgers’ joint broadcasting venture.

For three seasons, few Southern California residents – for the first one and two-thirds seasons well over 70% of the potential viewing audience – who did not live within the City

of Los Angeles had any access to the new network. Within the City of LA, joint venturer Time Warner Cable has had a monopoly on cable TV service, but outside of the City, virtually no one had access to their system. Then in late 2015, Charter Cable announced it’s intention to purchase TIme Warner Cable, and added SprotsNetLA to its system, Continue reading

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Angels Make The First Trade of The Offseason – Why?

It never ceases to astound me how a ballplayer, and not just a baseball player, but one in any professional sport, can have a mediocre career of several years, and then out of the blue have one good season, and suddenly years of bad performance are forgotten as teams clamor over the guy, either trading for him or throwing baskets of free agent money his way. Don’t they look back a few season? Don’t they suspect something when his current team is so willing to trade him, sometimes for relatively little in return? This is what happened with the Angels’ deal for Cameron Maybin, a one-time big-time prospect that never was much good, until 2016 and a solid half-season of success. Will he ever duplicate that? Doubtful, very, very doubtful.

A year ago the Angels tried to piecemeal their vast crevice in left field with the likes of

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Daniel Nava, Craig Gentry, Rafael Ortega, Shane Robinson and even Rule 5 first baseman Ji-Man Choi. How did that work out? COMBINED they hit .208 with seven home runs and 44 RBI, but Continue reading

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Heyward Rain Delay Speech Mere Hyperbole, Still Worst 2016 Free Agent Signing

On March 9, 2016, I wrote “2016’s Worst Free-Agent Signings” and number one on the list was the absurd signing of and repugnant contract negotiated that brought Jason Heyward to the Chicago Cubs for eight seasons, in exchange for the tidy sum of $184 Million. I wrote:

“It’s a good thing that the Cubs eventually re-signed Dexter Fowler, because until then the plan seemed to be to move Heyward to center, which would have become a total disaster. As it is, as I wrote months ago, this guy is no way, no how a $184 M player. Heyward is a good defensive right fielder who’s a .268 lifetime hitter and who doesn’t drive in runs (52 average RBI over the last three seasons). Eight years at $23 mil a year? Stupid is the only word that comes to mind.”

Linked to that, was this from an earlier article:

“Jason Heyward is an oft-injured mediocre hitter, who has a reputation as a great defensive right fielder… Yet, for reasons that defy logic, Heyward was the number one sought after non-pitcher free agent this off season, eventually garnering a massively overpriced eight-year, $184 million deal from the Cubs…”

Now, as the 2016 season has come to an end with the Cubs crowned World Champs – NO thanks to the mediocre Heyward – the deal can be more closely examined, and the numbers do not lie: Continue reading

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40-Minute Lakers Need to Finish Strong

For the second game in a row, the LA Lakers played well, for about 40 minutes. Unfortunately, they are not a college basketball team, but rather play in the NBA, which requires its games last for 48 minutes. On Sunday, the Lakers were only four down with eight minutes to play, but then were outscored 18 to five by Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, losing 113 to 96. Last Night in Indiana, it was the Pacers and Paul George who

took over at the end. Leading by a point with a couple of minutes to go, George scored the Pacer’s final 12 points and the game’s last eight points for a 115 to 108 Indiana win.

The Lakers played far from a great game up to that point, but they did have some big moments, such as retaking the lead after earlier falling behind by as many as 16. Also, their abysmal three-pointing shooting sunk down to 21.4% on six of 28. There were a couple of bright spots for LA: With center Timofey Mozgov playing the role of punching bag for the Pacers, Tarik Black saw more playing time and produced well, with six points, eight boards plus a block and a steal in 19 minutes. Jose Calderon hit three of four and in 17 minutes scored nine points, his first points of the season, and Lou Williams was the team’s high scorer with 19 off the bench. Williams, though, was responsible for one of the most embarrassing and idiotic plays I’ve ever seen in a pro game Continue reading

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Will the Lakers Turn Around the Road Trip Against HIll-Less Pacers?

The Lakers are in Indiana to face a new-look Pacers team, after their disappointing late blow-out loss to the Thunder Sunday night. I thought the game would be a lot closer, as it was until the eight minute mark or so in the fourth quarter when the Lakers were down by only four, 95 to 91. But, thereafter the Lakers were outscored 18 to five to end the game with their third straight loss, 113-96.

One thing in the game that to me was very obvious was that four minutes of playing time was more than enough to show decisively that ron psycho meta tag artest has absolutely had it as an NBA player. Those were four of the worst minutes ever seen on a pro court as he displayed a total inability to keep up with younger, talented players. It’s time to give that roster spot to a young player who has a future, not to the decrepit psycho unindicted felon.

And speaking of that, it is apropos that the Lakers tonight play the Pacers, the psycho’s

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former team for whom he displayed the most embarrassing conduct ever to have taken place in an NBA arena, Continue reading

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A Big, Early-Season Test for the Lakers

The 1-1 Lakers take on the 2-0 Oklahoma City Thunder later this afternoon, and it’s a big, early-season test for Los Angeles, and for Oklahoma City. After the Lakers’ season-opening win at home against Houston, they lost their road opener in Utah. Observers generally are loath to give the Jazz much credit for improvement or see a potential playoff team, but Utah has improved from 38-44 in 2014-2015 to 40-42 last season, and I can see another similar gain this year, and a potential playoff spot. The Lakers’, though, disappointing on Friday with a decidedly poorer performance than in their opener, with their shooting percentage dropping to 38.1% from 50.6% in the opener, while assists were also down and personal fouls up. And, the injury to Brandon Ingram had to have an effect not just on the

court, but also psychologically, to a team thaw saw it’s top draft choice of just two seasons ago, Julius Randle, suffer a season-ending injury in the team’s opener.

But I still have faith that the Lakers are a significantly better squad that last year, talent-wise and in their coaching staff, and that they will rebound against the Thunder, who have their own set of problems, beginning with the free-agent loss of Kevin Durant. Continue reading

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Hard to Find An Upgrade to Clippers’ Roster

The 2015-2016 season was a major disappointment for the LA Clippers, but much of that was due to injury, in particular the injuries that kept Blake Griffin out for much of the season and then that knocked Chris Paul out of the playoffs. But also for much of the season, while featuring a solid front line and a couple of fine players coming off the bench, overall depth of talent just was missing. The early season injury to Spencer Hawes, from which he never fully recovered, and the putrid decisions to bring in guys like Lance Stephenson, Jeff Green and Josh Smith played a big part in the team’s demise. But the question now is whether or not new additions like Brandon Bass, Raymond Felton and Alan Anderson really step up?

One even has to wonder about Marreese Speights, who was a contributor to the Warriors for several seasons, but whose playing time and production fell during last season’s playoffs. But having a guy who can score coming off the bench to spell DeAndre Jordan is

a luxury the team has never really had, though Speights is far, far from being the rebounder or shot blocker that is Jordan. But seeing his lifetime 79% free shooting – almost double Jordan’s 42% – makes it a move worth the gamble, especially at his very affordable salary of $1.4 M. Continue reading

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Finally, Lakers Are On the Right Track, Mostly

Two years ago today, the worst LA Lakers’ team in history (prior to 2015-2016) tipped off the 2014-2015 season with the first of five straight loses to start the season on the way to a 21-61 record. That first loss was by 18 points against the Houston Rockets’, against whom the 2016-2017 Lakers began this season two nights ago, and the stark contrast could not be more overwhelming.

The Lakers of two years ago were led by:

  • A totally incompetent politically-appointed head coach in Bryon Scott, whose inability to instruct, strategize or motivate was as much the cause of that 21-61 record as the talentless team roster;
  • A 36-year-old Kobe Bryant coming off a 2013-2014 season totally lost to injury, and beginning a 2014-2015 season in which he would perform horribly through all of 35 game appearances;
  • A roster of minor-league caliber, over-the-hill, and never-would-be players, featuring the worst guard to play regularly in the NBA in several generations in Ronnie Price, one-dimensional ego-driven non-team players like nick young and Carlos Boozer, and a slew of journeymen, hopefuls and hangers-on who when not injured played like they were.

Continue reading

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