“Great Sports Weekend–What I Saw-What I Think”
KENTUCKY DERBY…Some Run for the Roses…Amazing story of dedication to the sport, from Rich Strike storming from 12th place to blow by Epicenter and Zandon to win with a run up the inside rail. Add in the perseverance of ownership, who nearly shutdown their stables after a fire killed 23-horses in a terrible tragedy.
NO RACE TODAY…Or for two years for Bob Baffert. How strange for him not to be at Churchill Downs, beginning serving the 2-year Kenturcky Racing Commission from last year’s Medina Spirit tragedy. Baffert’s wars are not over, with the New York Racing Commission considering a similar 2-year suspension. Can California be far behind for equal sanctions. Just worth asking, how could Baffert allow this to happen.
PADRES START…No one is going to take away these 19-wins, but this has been a really unimpressive start for the Friars considering the bullpen has an ERA over (5.00)…the team batting average is (.225)..they have a batting order that sends out 7-guys hitting under (.225) most nights. Thank goodness for Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. Thank goodness for a really soft schedule of bad teams early. But alot of work to be done by GM-AJ Preller to find another bad.
TROUBLES EARLY…The Padres may have some tough decisions to make on a struggling Dinelson Lamet and what to do with an overwhelmed CJ Abrams. The off season last minute deals with Luke Voit and Matt Beaty have not panned out, one hitting (.089) the other in the minors with a (.143) average. And top pitching prospect Ryan Weathers has had one good outing in El Paso wrapped around his (5.63-EERA)
DODGER DOINGS…They have just started a road haul that could knock them out of first place….31-games in a 32-day span, with a pitching staff with injury problems and Covid issues. Yes the lineup can carry them, but there does not seem to be much pitching depth and with Blake Treinen on DL and with another setback, the bullpen looks very thin. David Price’s re-emergence and Dustin May’s return from elbow surgery could be critical to keep the team in first place. Trouble on the horizon for LA-could be.
DECISION WEEK…The ugly Trevor Bauer appeal could be heard by the end of the week and LA will know whether they will have to pay any of the remaining 62M on his contract. And then the decision whether they release him. As equally big an issue, is the fact the LA payroll could go from 290M down to 255M this year, which would mean less of a luxury tax hit, which would be steep. The 324-game suspension is the most severe ever handed down in the MLB Domestic Abuse program.,
ANGELS..Not sure how they are doing this, being in first place, but no names like Jarrod Walsh and Taylor Ward have come up hot and have taken some pressure off Mike Trout-Anthony Rendon-Shohei Ohtani. The starting pitching, long a troubling spot, has been better than advertised and the bullpen looks deep. And keep in mind, half the big names have yet to start hitting. Yes they have a (19-11) record, nothing wrong with your vision.
CHARGERS CAN DO…The roster building continues, and the Bolts have won the off season player acquisition derby. The trade for Khail Mack, the free agent signings of KC Jackson and others, The drafting of OG-Zion Johnson. And now the signing of trust worthy veterans in Kyle VanNoy and Bryce Callahan, this team looks like it is ready to roll.
GULLS..A disastrous end to the season, losing 12-of-14 to finish a struggle of a season. Too many young players, some injuries, callups to the Ducks that hurt, and the covid issue mid season. The team had one win streak and did nothing else. Could not score. Way too much pressure on goaltender Luka Dostal, just a huge disappointment of a season. You wonder why new coach Joel Bouchard could not bring the team together. By the way last year’s coach Kevin Dineen, pile dup 42-wins for the Utica Comets. Add in a lot of smaller crowds, no where’s near the 12,000 they have drawn in past years. What a tough winter.
SOCKERS SEASON…Superbe year, storming thru the MASL enroute to a (23-0-1) regular season and then blazing thru the playoffs to get their 16th title in the Ron Newman Cup. Superb coaching job by Sean Bowers to mix, match, and find speed and skill and get them to play together infront of solid goaltending. The Florida Tropics-Sockers game was see-saw back and forth.
AZTECS…Still waiting for the final decision from four year starter Nathan Mensah whether he comes back for his final year of eligibility, as a super senior under the NCAA covid rules. SDSU has picked up a quality transfer guard and a shooting wing man from the transfer portal.
USD…Steve Lavin has brought in 3-transfers but still needs more firepower to fix the Toreros basketball fortunes. Such a late start in recruiting means no high school players are left to go get, so it has to come from the transfer portal.