PADRES…Quite a start to the season…huge crowds…dazzling pitching performances by the Kiddie Korps starting rotation….In the first 4-games of the season, Eric Lauer-Joey Lucchesi-Nick Margevicius-Chris Paddack combined for a (0.85-ERA)…(21-inn-2R-12H-22K).. in the Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday starts….Add in the Chris Paddack start on Sunday, and the average age of the Padres rotation (23.2) years old….Like I said Kiddie Korps.
IAN KINSLER…Superb glue guy….plays hard…knows how to win…has gone from awful teams in Detroit-Texas and wound up on World Series Red Sox team..now in San Diego.
PETCO PARK….Hey Dean Spanos, you should have been there for the Padres-Giants series…Electricity in the stands…sellouts…real buzz…just like NFL playoff games you used to have in San Diego, but don’t now with the Chargers in futbol stadium you play football in.
CHARGERS QUARTERBACK…Rumors out of New York-Giants and Chargers talking about a trade for QB-Josh Rosen as heir apparent to Philip Rivers…Would cost the Bolts their 2nd round pick….Might be worth locking down the future for the day when Rivers completes his Hall of Fame career.
SAN DIEGO FLEET…Despite having the 2nd best passing game in the AAF-Mike Martz team is sinking because of turnovers by his quarterbacks. Mike Bercovici (5TD-9 Int) this year as a starter, and the Fleet’s 3-QBs have combined for 13-picks in this (3-5) season..now looking at missing playoffs.
STRIKE FORCE…Indoor football league team has had a horrid start, now (0-5) under Burt Grossman as coach. Have fired GM, Player Personnel Director, both coordinators, and a chunk of the roster…Grossman getting some of his type of players on the roster so there is still hope they will win some games before this is done, but his QB-Derek Bernard has turnover issues too, 11-picks in first 5-games.
MARCH MADNESS…Pt Loma Nazarene got to the finals of the Division II-tourney but wound up losing in the final 2-minutes to (38-0) Northwest Missouri State….Tremendous season for 6’8-transfer F-Daulton Hommes from Western Washington…hoping he comes back for another year.
AZTECS ERA OVER….Jalen McDaniels is going to the NBA draft, leaving behind a very young roster without a lot of game breakers…You hate to say it, but the SDSU program right now is not what it was under Steve Fisher, and this is now Brian Dutcher’s teams.
USD…A fine couple of years for the Toreros thanks to the transfers who came in, Isaiah Pineiro and Isaiah Wright and the veteran recruit Ollin Carter. But where do they go now that those careers are over?
GULLS…Hoping we don’t have a repeat of last spring, when the Gulls faded so badly at the end of the season, they missed a sure playoff spot. They have gone from 2nd to 4th now, and may have to fight to stay in that final playoff spot. Anaheim Ducks roster callups have really hampered the team chemistry. Get ready to say goodbye to coach Dallas Eakins. I believe he deserves the Anaheim Ducks coaching job this summer, teacher-mentor-leader.
KINGS-DUCKS…Cut from the same cloth…Lots of injuries…Lots of age….Lots of bad contracts…though the Ducks have a good crop of bumper draft picks who appear close to becoming regulars in the NHL. The two teams this year have won 62-of a combined 158-games (62-77-19).
LAKERS….The season is over despite two weeks left in the schedule…LeBron James is taking his game (injured groin) to the bench for the rest of the season. His stats (27PPG) seem solid, but everything else is wrong with his team. His demeanor, his attitude, his shrugs, his distancing from the coach is a bad look for the team.
SCOREBOARD….The Lakers with LeBron James went (28-27)….(7-15) in games missed. Since his Christmas Day injury (15-28).
BLAME GAME…Finishing the year crippled, without LeBron-Brandon Ingram-Lonzo Ball-Josh Hart, all knocked out by surgeries and injuries destroyed the potential of the team. A bench bunch that was poor falls to the front door of Magic Johnson-Rob Pelinka as the decision makers. So will the likely coaching change in two weeks.
LUKE-LOSER….I wrote in September in training camp, we would see whose team it was this year, Luke Walton’s or LeBron James’. Now with insinuations LeBron wants his former Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue hired, guess we have the answer.
BIG PICTURE…It takes time to put a team together. LeBron’s first year in Cleveland, first year in Miami, and now this first year in LA have all been rocky. Bigger question, can they lure a name free agent to come play with LeBron this offseason? Does Kevin Durant want to be part of this? Kawhi Leonard? I doubt it. The Lakers are (34-43) and for all the money spent and the arrival of King James, they are just 1-game better in the standings than the garbage they put on the floor last year.
ACROSS THE HALL…The LA Clippers, in rebuild mode, with 2-max contracts to give this summer, are headed to the playoffs. Doc Rivers team, with maybe the best scoring bench in the NBA, has won 12-of-14 sprinting into spring. What if they wind up with Kawhi-and-KD?
PARENT FROM HELL…So how’s it all working out for LaVar Ball and his sons, and his Baller Brand Business.? Nice due diligence, hiring a friend to be CEO of your shoe company, and now having your son fire him after the CEO was questioned about 1.5M in missing funds from Baller Brand. LaVar didn’t know his friend had done 7-years in prison for pilfering 4M from other investors a decade ago? LaVar-‘Stay in yo lane’.
INNOCENT VICTIM…It’s been a hard two years for Lonzo Ball. His last game with UCLA, that NCAA tourney game, he scored all of 5-points and had the audacity in the lockeroom, minutes after the loss to say he was going to the NBA. Now in two seasons, four significant injuries and as much time on the NBA injured list as on the active roster. Lonzo still has time to grow and get healthy. He needs to be away from his father for sure.
THE STADIUM…Lost in the opening of baseball and March Madness, the power struggle between the Mayor and his City Council over the land sale price for San Diego State’s purchase of the 132-acres at SDCCU in Mission Valley….Mayor Kevin Faulconer has imposed a blackout, and signed a deal with the school and his negotiating team that no one will speak until the package is negotiated and put up for a City Council vote. And that means City Council is shutout from being part of the talks. Faulconer has always preached ‘in the best interest of the taxpayers’, so we shall see what the price tag per acre turns out to be. ‘In the best interest’ didn’t keep the Chargers here, though that was the doing of the selfish Spanos family more than anything.