The Angels, fresh off a three game sweep of the Tigers, a series in which they outscored the defending American League champs 22 to four, tonight face their biggest nemesis in their fight to extend that streak to four games. No, not the oppositon Texas Rangers; I’m referring to an Angel, the guy in the middle of the diamond, with the ball.
Right, tonight an Angels’ fourth straight win would have to come despite the start, for the Angels, going to Joe Blanton. Blanton, who came into the game with an 8.59 ERA, is only 0-3, but that’s only because he’s only been in three games. Continue reading
As “The Best Team Money Can Buy”, in other words, the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers, was preparing to play the Baltimore Orioles, the empty uniform of a manager, don mattingly, submitted a lineup that included five, count them, five, batters hitting UNDER .200.
One of the five is slumping star Matt Kemp, but the others sort of defy logic. They include new back-up catcher Ramon Hernandez, who was acquired in last week’s horrible trade of Aaron Harang. As the Dodgers struggle now to find capable starting pitching, the solid, dependable Harang now toils for Seattle. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have the soon to be 37-year-old Hernandez, who so far since the trade has appeared in three games and has one hit. Continue reading
After vehemently saying all season that the “Old and Slow” Lakers would not earn themselves a playoff spot, low and behold, they find themselves seventh-seeded, and off to play the San Antonio Spurs, a team that just a month ago looked like a great bet to get to the NBA Finals, but who now look vulnerable to, of all teams, the Lakers, and who start the playoffs with a three-game losing streak. In fact, I think the Lakers will win the series.
Actually, the Lakers may have won that series last Sunday, when they saw first hand that the Spurs are in as bad a physical shape as they are, with Tony Parker a shell of himself, and with no Manu Ginobili. Continue reading
A couple of days ago, after a great, come-from-behind win, I wrote about how the Angels [Were] “Primed for [a] Winning Streak”. They followed that up with another great team effort, behind the pitching of C.J. Wilson and Ernesto Frieri and the hitting of Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton, and were looking like a real major league contender. Then, tonight, up stepped Joe.
I’ve made a pretty good case over the past several months, since the Dodgers acquired him for last season’s stretch drive, that Joe Blanton is NOT a major league caliber starting pitcher, Continue reading
April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day; a day when baseball reflects on the birth of its modern, true history, April 15, 1947.
Also a day when the San Diego Padres, without Carlos Quentin and his slap-in-the-face eight game suspension, open a series in Dodger Stadium, where one can expect animosities to immediately rekindle, and new acts of stupidity to prevail. Hopefully not, but expected, yes. We can only hope for no injuries, and no further suspensions.
Majestic Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers Cooperstown Baseball Jersey #42
|But in Boston, on a day of yearly celebration, the really, really stupid have prevailed, at least for today. There is no explanation for such an act of violence and desperation, with the numbers of innocent victims growing by the hour.
A desperate man of modest intelligence, meager education, and who lived and died a life of violence, is famous for saying “Can’t we all just get along?” History tells us no, emphatically NO, in politics, in sports, in life, a clear NO. And we are sent constant reminders. from Carlos Quentin, forgetting everything he ever learned about baseball strategy
and rushing the mound to break the shoulder of Zack Greinke, to a presently anonymous person or persons who take pride in killing and maiming random individuals eight to 80, at a moment of jubilation, fearing only that the race and the holiday was coming to an end. Not the end about which they ever gave a thought.
And tomorrow is another day. We can hope for better, but then we face reality.
Last night’s come-from-behind victory was just what the Angels needed to shake them out of their early-season team slump and start a winning streak.
Albert Pujols’ bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off double scoring the tying and winning runs, Josh Hamilton’s first home run of the season, two infield hits from lighting-fast Mike Trout, and a lights-out performance from Mike Roth in his major league debut all were the types of things the team could not count on over the first 10 games. Continue reading
In his first two games of the season, Clayton Keshaw was magnificent, pitching 16 shutout innings, allowing six hits and one walk, while striking out 16. That all ended when the Dodgers and Kershaw faced Arizona last night, or so it would seem. The box score says the Dodgers were shut out, and that Kershaw gave up three runs, all earned, in only 7-1/3 innings. But what did he really give up? Very close to nothing. He pitched well enough to have escaped unscathed, with his scoreless streak intact. But, alas, it was not meant to be.
The D’Backs scored in two innings in the game. They scored one run in the fourth, that should never had happened. Continue reading
Anyone watching the Lakers closely over the past few weeks has seen an overmatched, out-of-sync team, being virtually willed to one victory after another, by the play and by the inspiration of Kobe Bryant. The team is composed of a small group of immensely talented players who most of the time need individual basketballs to co-exist on the same court, and a larger group of has-beens, wanna-bees, and never-will-bees, taking up roster and court space, and contributing nothing worthwhile to the team. The “new” coach has installed a “Kobe runs it” offense and has done absolutely, positively nothing to even attempt to improve the defense. His use of personnel has also been very questionable, but hey, other than the front-liners, what has he got to work with? Continue reading
So Carlos Quentin is the modern-day Ron Hunt: He has been hit by pitches more times than any other major leaguer over the past five years, and he owns the single season hit-by-pitch records for both the White Sox and the Padres. So, he gets hit a lot.
Last night in San Diego, the Dodgers were leading the Padres 2-1 when Quentin came up to lead off the bottom of the sixth, and he drew a 3-2 count off the $147 Million Man, Dodgers’ righty Zack Greinke. The next pitch plunked Quentin in the shoulder. The stupid idiot Quentin, failing to realize that there was NO WAY IN HELL that Greinke would have intentionally hit him in that situation, charged the mound, and slammed Greinke, Continue reading
Today, UCLA Basketball Head Coach Steve Alford, and AD Dan Guerrero, responded to the revelations about a 2002 incident that occurred when Alford was coaching at the University of Iowa, which we discussed last week (“Steve Alford, Andy Enfield, and What Does It All Mean?”).
||The incident involved Alford jumping to conclusions and defending the innocence of a player accused of sexual assault, before knowing the true facts. There were unsubstantiated allegations that Alford went so far as to request a third party to intervene and attempt to influence the victim to not proceed with the criminal prosecution.
Alford has now apologized for his conduct back in 2002, including apologizing to the victim, and he has assured the community that should any such incident occur now, that he “…would handle the situation much differently, with the appropriate regard and respect for the investigative process and those impacted by it.” You can see his full statement, and the follow-up from Guerrero, here.
The 2012 Los Angeles Angels entered the season loaded for bear, with new acquisitions C.J. Wilson, Chris Iannetta, and Luis Pujols. Wilson had a fast start, but as summer approached, he hit the skids, at one point going almost two full months without a win. Iannetta also started strong, but missed almost three months with an injury. And Pujols began the season in the worst slump of his career, and put up the worst numbers of his career. As a whole, the team had a disastrous start from which it never recovered, and finished the season by missing the playoffs by four games.
This off-season, the team parted ways with several veteran players who had played key roles, some for many seasons. Gone were Continue reading
Sunday’s final 2012-2013 match-up between LA’s two NBA teams looked just like the early games from the start of the season, when the high-flying Clippers brought “showtime” back to Los Angeles basketball, running and jumping the “Old and Slow” Lakers off the court. After several months of ups and downs, but mostly “ups” for the Clippers, and ups and downs and mostly “downs” for the Lakers, the reality should now sink in for even the most ardent Lakers’ fans – the team has no direction, cohesiveness, or athleticism (with only a couple of exceptions), and a total inability to play defense and the worst bench in the NBA mean the last five regular season games will be their last five games. Continue reading