“Sounding Off on Stories”
PENNANT RACE…We have one for sure, now we just have to see who can get healthy and then stay healthy in the NL West. Somehow the Giants are still in first place with a patchwork roster, but we have three fourth of the season to go.
PADRES…First the injuries to the pitching staff, then the Fernando Tatis shoulder scare, now the mini-Covid outbreak….MLB protocols have improved to much since a year ago this time, and now coupled with the fact alot of players have been vaccinated, and close contact testing works, the chance of a serious outbreak, like the Cardinals had last year, won’t likely happen. Within a week, expect Tatis and Wil Myers to be back…Sweeping St Louis is something considering the Red Birds were in first place…Going (5-1) since the Tatis-Myers outbreak pretty impressive too….And it may be Jayce Tingler has found a way to protect Ryan Weathers-Dinelson Lamet, by piggy-backing them pitching and limiting them to 3-to-4 innings…So far so good.
DODGERS…The hits keep coming (injury hits), and despite the horrors of losing 15-of-20, LA is right there in the pennant race. Think about this, they lose Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Dustin May and Mookie Betts has been banged up, and they are still just 2-games out of first place…By the way, getting Albert Pujols should help the lineup. He will hit with some of the people around him in the batting order, regardless of what the role is.
ANGELS…Just cursed by bad pitching….it never ends in Anaheim and that is why Mike Trout has no chance of being on a playoff team. Maybe I should correct it and say, bad pitching-bad contracts. The amount of money paid by Arte Moreno to Justin Upton, Pujols, Josh Hamilton and before that Mo Vaughn have just killed the club.
CHARGERS…They are excited about their first and 2nd round draft picks, OT-Rashawn Slater and CB-Asante Samuel, both likely opening day starters…Coach Brandon Staley was all amped after the rookie mini camp, but all first year coaches say that after the first three days…What the Bolts cannot be amped about is the NFL schedule, that has them facing Dallas-Chiefs-Arizona-Raiders-Browns-Ravens-Patriots-Washington in the first seven weeks of the season…Can you say (1-6) start…even with Justin Herbert as starting quarterback?
LAKERS..Heading towards the playoffs this week, the question is not how far the Purple & Gold can go, but rather how long they can keep LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the lineup before they get dinged again. King James has missed 26-games over two spurts on the injured list with the ankle sprain. AD has had 4-different injuries this year. Do they ever get to the second round of the playoffs?
CLIPPERS…If Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can stay on the floor, coupled with the bench they have, they could get to the Western Conference finals, but then again both stars have had nagging foot injuries the second half of the year.
AZTECS…Call them the ‘United Nations’….four transfer players join a pretty good returning frontline. Matt Mitchell replaced by the incoming shooting guard Matt Bradley. Adding 3-big forwards who can shoot, rebound and run the floor. And a roster that now has players from Africa, Japan, the Canary Islands and Spain. Unique mix.
GULLS…They open the AHL-Pacific Division playoffs at the end of the week, but sadly fans could not see the games for they played at the Ducks training facility in Irvine, but the team is loaded with a cross section of talent Anaheim has put on the roster, led by #1 picks Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale, plus a host of veteran AHL free agents they signed last off season. Coach Kevin Dineen has done a great job mixing and matching with an ever changing roster.
KINGS..Rebuilding is painful and slow, but LA looks like they could turn the corner next season, if Rob Blake finds the right mix of free agents to sign with the 20M in cap space he has.
DUCKS…A really tough season for ex Gulls coach Dallas Eakins, whose team staggered this year as young players failed to take the next step to become consistent goal scoring talent. Eakins job is safe for another year, and the Ducks have 22M in cap space to go get some veteran help…An interesting summer awaits.
DAVID MC NAB…Not a household name, but a San Diego native, who was VP-Hockey Operations for 28-years with the Ducks and has just retired…His dad was Max McNabb, who was GM-Coach of the original Gulls of the Western Hockey League, then went onto success with the Washington Caps and New Jersey Devils….David was born here, grew up here, and starred as a college goalie at Wisconsin…His forte, signing undrafted college free agents who became good players with the Ducks, starting with Steve Ruchin among others.
PHIL MICKELSON…Twilight of his career has not treated him well…Aside from a round of 64-a couple of weeks ago, he has finished far back in tourneys over the last year or so….He has been given an exemption by the PGA and will probably play one final time here in the US Open at Torrey Pines this summer….History should write of his great popularity, the duels with Tiger Woods, 5-Grand Slams and 6-runner ups in the US Open.
JIMMIE JOHNSON…It’s a new world for the 7-time NASCAR driving championship…You had to expect a steep learning curve for the El Cajon native making his move to Chip Ganassi’s Indy car team…In three starts, he qualified slow, started in the back of the pack, and has finished 19-22-24 in his three road course races…He won’t run in the Indy 500, but will work for NBC as an in-studio analyst.
SAN DIEGO LOYAL…Speaking of rough stars, the USL soccer side is (0-3) out of the gate after last season’s disappointments…Building takes time but you would have thought soccer legend Landon Donovan would have been able to find some goal-scorers for his roster…Not the case, at least not yet.