“Teams & Topics on Table”
PADRES….They limp home after another long road trip. They are clinging to the fringe of the NL-West pennant race, but the schedule has been harshly unfair. 20-games in a row. 31-games in 33-days. All these 10-game road trip. Very few off days the first half of the season. it has all taken a toll. The trading deadline is Friday, and GM AJ Preller pulled off the Sunday night deal to get All Star multi position player Adam Frazier from the Pirates. That could be the front end of another deal that might send Will Myers or Eric Hosmer to a team for an arm. I would assume there will be a starting pitcher added to this worn out rotation. Yu Darvish has not been the same since the hip issue. Blake Snell has had more disappointing outings than good ones. Joe Musgrove seems to fighting fatigue. Can you trust Chris Paddack from start to start. Ryan Weathers must be handled with kid gloves. Dinelson Lamet is not coming back to the rotation. Early season promise has given way to mid-summer struggles.
DODGERS…Not the team we have seen over the last 8-years of winning. A (1-10) record in extra inning games. In middle of a 3rd losing streak of the season. Credibility problems with the 103M-contract they gave to Trevor Bauer in addition to his MLB suspension. Injuries that just won’t go away. No Corey Seager, an of-injured Mookie Betts. A substandard Cody Bellinger. a fading reliever in Kenley Jansen. They’ve got real issues.
ANGELS…One man does not make a team, but Shohei Ohtani is a 1-man gang carrying the Halos, or at least keeping them at the .500 mark in a lost season. Mike Trout has been out since May with this calf injury and has yet to start a rehab assignment. The starting pitching is thin. A chunk of the bullpen cannot get people out. And this scandalous weekend story directed at a non-caring Angels owner about owner Arte Moreno not caring about his minor league players and the conditions that have been put in in A-AA ball.
CHARGERS..The NFL training camps are opening, and the Bolts are one of the four lowest teams in terms of vaccinations around the league. How can we be in this virus crisis for 14-months and players not taking it seriously enough to gather information on vaccinations. On the field, they show lots of promise with 2nd year quarterback Justin Herbert, but have lots of defensive questions to answer. Off the field, the ownership issues of the Dean Spanos-vs-Dea Spanos lawsuit will be winding its way thru the courts.
RAMS…A loss before they ever play a game. Cam Akers finished on a fast track late last season and in the playoffs, and now the running back is gone with a torn Achilles. Big setback in an area where they have hardly any depth nor experience. Would the Rams make a frun at unsigned free agents Le’Veon Bell..Adrian Peterson…Frank Gore? They have six weeks to figure out if they have the right mix at running back. The rest of the team should be dynamic.
AZTECS..Is the program slipping up Brady Hoke? Around the league they must feel it is. Picked to finish third in its division in the MWC, and only 3-players on the preseason conference all MWC list. Hoke has alot to disprove going forward, including backing up his statement he will have a great starting QB by September.
TROJANS….Is this the year they take the next step forward and become a power again in the Pac 12. A returning QB, Kedon Slovis, a strong running game, and some strong recruiting classes for always positive coach Kim Helton. Time to take the next step.
BRUINS…It’s time for Chip Kelly to win. He returns a 3rd year starter at QB. These are all his players-recruits. His recruiting is better. Surely not the same coach he was at Oregon. surely no one can be happy with what Bruins football (10-21) has become. It’s the worst 3-year record for the Bruins since the 1920s.
LAKERS….A quiet off season is now about to get busy. Finding the right players to put around LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be huge. Do they want Dennis Schroeder back? Has the time with Kyle Kuzma run its course? What happens to Marc Gasol and Montrzl Harrell? Is there a way to rent Russell Westrook or Chris Paul? Some August ahead of us.
CLIPPERS….They traded away the future and what they got, got hurt. Kawhi Leonard will miss the start of the season with the partial tear of that knee ligament. Will he opt out? Is there a way to find more front line scoring talent to take the workload off Paul George? Is chemistry still an iissue. It shur feels like age and injury are catching up to this team. If Leonard were to leave, it would be like crashing back to square one in trhing to build a consistent winner. Like the Lakers, some August ahead of us.
GULLS…New coach in Joel Bouchard, who has won in the Quebec Junior League and then in the American Hockey League. Another good draft this weekend, getting size and another good defenseman. The big challenge, how many of the young Gulls can make the Anaheim Ducks roster, and who will replace them. Interesting fall and winter ahead.
LOYAL..The USL soccer team has really come together under 2nd year head coach Landon Donovan. the 9-match unbeaten streak shows his power to attract young players and the mold them together.
DELMAR….The Bob Baffert issue is still there. The Kentucky Derby disqualification. The NY Racing Authrority suspension of him, his trainders, his horses. The unresolved appeal of the Medina Spirit blood doping issue. And the cloud of his reputation hanging over Delmar’s summer season.
JIMMIE JOHNSON…His jump to Indy car racing has been very hard. Yes a learning curve season, but virtually no success, and no growth. Six road races in, has finished from 20th to 25th in the road courses. He has not qualified better than 19th in those races. A tougher learning season than I expected. He hopes to spend the off season practicing on ovals with thoughts of the Indy 500-next May. This must be culture shock for him.