Dodgers Good, Angels No So Much, in Key Areas

The Dodgers and Angels each went into the off season with key infielders becoming free agents, and with several other needs that could be filled through a great farm system. As the 2016 season approaches, regarding these two areas, the Dodgers are rightfully smiling, while the Angels are looking, to say the least, embarrassed.

The Dodgers acquired Howie Kendrick a year ago knowing that he would become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, and as great a performance as he gave them, it seemed

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as if they never had any intention of re-signing him beyond that one year. Well, after praising prospect Jose Peraza as their second baseman of the futures, the future perhaps beginning with 2016, as the offseason began they seemed to sprint from his bandwagon, eventually trading him away, but in a deal for, among others, yet another young second baseman, Micah Johnson.

Johnson brings to the team something very
lacking on the 2015 Dodgers, and even more so for the projected 2016 version, speed and the ability to steal bases. Continue reading

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LA Celebrates NFL Return as Players Continue Death March

LA Rams StadiumThe big news of the past month for the NFL has been the approval of the move of the Cleveland Rams aka Los Angeles Rams aka St. Louis Rams back to Los Angeles and the reinstatement of the LA Rams’ name. With a new multi-billion-dollar stadium set to rise from the ashes of Hollywood Park in the suburb of Inglewood, football-deprived fans have forced millions of dollars into the hands of Walmart billionaire Stan Kroenke, who also happens to own the Rams, for the privilege of occupying seats in the decrepit LA Coliseum for the three years until his monument to opulence, greed and human suffering is completed. Continue reading

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Manfred Uses Political DoubleSpeak Rather Than Admit DH Faux Pas

Late last week, Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made one of the biggest mistakes of his professional career and one of the most grievous errors during his still short tenure as Commish when he announced to the world in no uncertain terms that the National League could adopt that aberration of baseball purity, the designated hitter, by the season after next. Talking of the next negotiation of baseball’s Collective Bargaining

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Agreement, which expires after this coming season, he explained that any such change had to be part of the CBA and that it “could happen” as part of the upcoming negotiation.

Well, many in the industry of baseball, and especially National Leaguers, viewed his statement as referring to basically a done deal, and apparently the outrage was fast and furious, and emulating a true politician rather than a career bureaucrat, Manfred chose to employ the type of political double speak fitting a four-term
Senator caught with his hand in the till Continue reading

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Seriously Joe Blanton? SERIOUSLY?

Over the last several seasons, the LA Dodgers have employed some of baseball’s greatest pitchers, and some of its worst. At one extreme, they’ve had as their ace Clayton Kershaw and other front line starters such as Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hiroki Kuroda and Chad Billingsley, while at the other end of the spectrum, they’ve also handed the ball to some of the absolute worst excuses for major league pitchers, including the likes of Kevin Correia
and Joe Blanton.

Following the disappointing 2015 post season, Dodgers' management knew that the primary, secondary, and tertiary needs of the team all revolved around pitching, with major holes to fill in both the starting rotation and in the bullpen. As the start of spring training looms less than a month from now, some of those
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8-Year Incentive-Laden Contract With Maeda Good Deal for LA

Over many years, through a series of various general managers, personnel directors and owners, the Dodgers have made devastatingly bad deals signing suspect pitchers to high value and long term contracts, from Dave Goltz to Kevin Brown to Jason Schmidt, and including numerous others. Despite the great performances he provided the Dodgers, including this past season, giving Zack Greinke a six year contract at age 32 would have

been another horrible error, as was giving Scott Kazmir the three-year, $48 Million deal they signed just last week. Long term and high priced contracts for pitchers are always a major gamble, and seldom work out to the benefit of the team. Ok, maybe for the first year or two, or even three, but after that, watch out.

But, I can also say that the eight-year contract signed with 27-year-old Japanese import Kenta Maeda is actually a very good deal for the Dodgers, for one
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simple reason: Continue reading

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Dodgers’ Pitching – One Giant Mess, or Not?

This off-season can be divided into two segments as far as the potential makeup of the Dodgers’ 2016 pitching staff is concerned, first one of exclusion, followed by one of inclusion.
That fateful first segment featured three highlights:
  1. The opt-out and eventual loss of Zack Greinke
  2. The ill-fated attempted signing of Hisashi Iwakuma
  3. The even ill-er-fated attempted trade for Aroldis Chapman
That hopefully ongoing second segment has so far featured three moves, each very open to speculation and needing years to fully evaluate. There are: Continue reading

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Teams Drooled Over Heyward While Writers Dismiss Edmonds

Jason Heyward is an oft-injured mediocre hitter, who has a reputation as a great defensive right fielder. Jim Edmonds was the single greatest defensive center fielder of his generation and an outstanding hitter who provided a rare combination of power, hitting for average and spectacular catches over a 17 year career than included numerous All-Star appearances and eight Gold Gloves. Edmonds was a career .284 hitter with 393 home

runs, 1,199 RBI and 1,949 hits, numbers that Heyward would drool over.

Over his six major league season, Heywood has been a .268 hitter and has hit more than 14 home runs in a season only once since his rookie year total of 18 and has averaged 59 RBI per season throughout his career. In 13 post season games, Heyward his hit .208 with two homers and six RBI, while Edmonds has
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starred in playoff action, hitting .274 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI. Continue reading

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Dodgers Change History As Character Now Key

The lowest point in the history of the Los Angeles Dodgers occurred in early 1975, when the team signed juan marichal. This was a spit in the face to every Dodgers’ player, employee and fan, who had for 18 seasons stood faithfully by the team, through horrid seasons and great seasons, supporting stars and mediocre players alike. But to bring this unindicted felon who committed the worst, most disgusting and criminal act to date ever occurring on a major league baseball field, and for 14 years one of the faces of the hated

San Francisco Giants, to the Dodgers, was unthinkable, despicable, and for those of us who watched the events of August 22, 1965, unimaginable.

For you youngsters who were not around in 1965 and for those of you who are not well-versed in Dodgers’, or major league baseball, history, this is what happened on that Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers played in San Francisco, with all of Los Angeles fandom watching on TV: Marichal was pitching for the Giants,
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NCAA Rewards Mediocrity

This coming College Football Bowl season will see fans rewarded with the Foster Farms Bowl, the Quick Lane Bowl and the Cure Bowl. Participants in those bowls include the University of Nebraska, the University of Minnesota and San Jose State University. Not one of those three teams compiled a .500 record this past season, and combined they stand at 15 wins, 21 loses.

Bowl games not only use to mean something, but they were rewards for outstanding seasons, with the nation’s best college football teams competing against each other. Today, with the number of bowl games expanding to the outrageous number of 40, bowl organizers have gone even below the magic .500 figure, which by itself shouts out mediocrity, and have scraped the bottom of the barrel of terribly bad
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teams, choosing schools such as Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State for post season play, and healthy paychecks. Continue reading

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In New Gig, Mattingly Gets His Number One: Barry Bonds

Through much of his tenure with the Dodgers, the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly had as his hitting coach the guy widely considered to be through the annals of baseball history perhaps the second worst abuser of performance enhancing drugs, Mark McGwire. As hitting coach, McGwire was unable to employ his secrets of success as a player – illegal steroids, testosterone compounds and human growth hormones – and thus Dodgers’ hitters over and over underachieved, especially young players who never progressed despite significant natural talent.

Well, when the parting of the ways came and mattingly moved southeast to his new gig with the Miami Marlins, McGwire said “ga-bye” to mattingly as he chose to remain in SoCal, with new employment in San Diego. So, where was mattingly to find a hitting coach for his new team, a hitting coach with credentials to match those of McGwire? Well, there’s Continue reading

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Dodgers’s Starting Rotation Up For Grabs

As of now, the Dodgers’ starting rotation is Clayton Kershaw, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood, Mike Boisinger and Carlos Frias. Seriously. A year ago as Andrew Friedman, knowing all too well of the fragile health state of then number three starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, went out and signed every other fragile, injured and questionable starter on the market, including Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Beachy, Erik Bedard, and Chad Gaudin. Well, Anderson got through the season relatively unscathed, started 31 games, and now stands as the staff’s number two guy, by default. McCarthy got into the season and made four starts before the usual McCarthy injury ended his season before the end of April. Beachy was not ready to pitch until July and made two starts and was out. None of those others

made it through spring training. During the season, guys like Max Latos (five starts), David Huff (one start) and Bronson Arroyo (zero starts) were acquired and quickly found wanting, as were prospects Joe Wieland and Zach Lee. Young veterans Wood and Boisinger came in and filled out the rotation, showing occasional flashes of promise, and when not injured, Carlos Frias also managed to start a dozen plus one games.
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Kobe Bryant Retirement – Better Now Than Later

Willie Mays, honored this past week as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was quite possibly one of the ten greatest baseball players ever, and during much of his career was widely regarded as the game’s greatest active player. The same platitudes apply to Kobe Bryant, and the similarity does not end there. Mays stayed too long, and his final season was a total embarrassment to himself and to the sport of baseball. Unfortunately, the same is true of Kobe’s final season, as he continues to play for the Lakers, embarrassing himself, harming the memory of his past greatness, and for the future of the Lakers, in conjunction with the ineptitude and total on court mismanagement being done

by coach Byron Scott, he is making a mockery of the team’s supposed rebuilding process,

Kobe needs to retire not on April 13, 2016, but rather now, and if that were to happen, he needs to take Scott with him.

16 games into the 2015-2016 NBA season, several things regarding the Los Angeles Lakers, all describe and/or predicted here long ago, seem abundantly clear:
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