“Monday Morning Memos”
If I were king, I’d be writing and distributing memos on Monday morning.
PADRES….Final week of Cactus League and your rotation is no clearer than it was 5-weeks ago when camp opened. Offer Dallas Keuchel a 1-year plus an option contract and get him into the rotation. He turned down (17.9M) qualifying offer from the Astros. The Padres can afford an 18M pitcher on a year deal. The draft pick compensation comes as a comp pick between the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the June draft, and it’s not a Padres pick, it’s an MLB awarded pick. You cannot open the season with what you have right now can you? I trust Joey Lucchessi and Eric Lauer. Chris Paddack has been impressive (2.18-ERA) but coming off that elbow surgery two years ago-he must be on a pitch count and innings limit this season. Matt Strahm has looked good, but can he go more than 4-innings. There were 9-arms battling for the final 3-slots in the rotation. Poor outings, 6-hurlers with health issues, and pitchers getting overwhelmed, have pretty much discounted everyone else. The Padres don’t have enough starting pitching, and opening day is a week from Thursday.
AZTECS….Jekyyl-Hyde team is typical San Diego State…rotten game vs UNLV…man up and punch Nevada in the mouth….then wilt against Utah State. Brian Dutcher needs to convince Jalen McDaniels to stay in school another year. He is 1-bad decision away from going to the NBA-G League. 1st round draft pick-I doubt it. Devin Watson finished career with tremendous displays of leadership-grit-tenacity-skill, when virtually the rest of the team was fading away. Side note-Marvin Menzies gets taken out after 3-years of (48-48) basketball at UNLV..fired hours after team was beaten by SDSU. If Dutcher has opening on his staff, bring Menzies back as assistant head coach.
CHARGERS…GM-Tom Tolesco gets contract extension after going (48-48) over five years on the job, but his team is less now than it was at end of the season. Should have released Travis Benjamin and given the money to keep Tyrell Williams at wide receiver. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Tyrell might have been best big play pass catching combo in NFL. Still problems at right tackle. Signing aging Thomas Davis good short term rental-giving you smarts-leadership-toughness in the middle. They believe Brandon Mebane still has gas left in the tank at defensive tackle. More work to be done though, likely in the draft..
FLEET….Wild game Sunday night, the (32-29) last second loss to Birmingham Iron…Mike Martz team can move the ball and that defense can chase the quarterback, but pass coverage in the league is leaky….Fans who attend, and I am surprised at the low turnouts this year at the Stadium, are having a good time….Great story about Birmingham QB-Luis Perez, the Chula Vista player-who never played hi school ball, but wound up going to Division II-West Texas AM-Commerece…he comes off the bench and throws for (359Y) being chased all over the field, to get his team the win….He and Mike Bercovici put on a passing show…between them 6-TDs-4 interceptions and and 670-yards passing…Entertaining football for sure.
AZTECS…Football coach Rocky Long wants to return toughness to his team in spring ball, but at what price? 3-season ending surges and multiple concussions already in a couple fo weeks of workouts. Putting new spread formation into offense will take time, as witnessed by 4-interceptions and 2-fumbles in last Saturday scrimmage.
GULLS…GM-Bob Ferguson needs to get on the phone and make the call to the parent NHL-Anaheim Ducks. When their season ends in a couple of weeks, get the Ducks to send down all those top draft picks, so they can be on the Gulls playoff roster in the AHL. Adding Troy Terry-Max Jones-Jacob Larsson and others could push the Gulls deep into the AHL playoff run. There won’t be any April playoff games in Anaheim..why not San Diego?
LAKERS…What a disaster of a finish to the season. LeBron James now with minutes limit in a lost season. Brandon Ingram undergoes blood clot surgery in shoulder. Lonzo Ball gone for rest of season with 5-major injuries in two seasons in LA. Kyle Kuzma in and out of lineup with nagging injuries. Failing to make the playoffs 3rd time in last years. Bigger question, will any marquee free agent want to come play with LeBron this coming summer.
USC…Lynn Swann, under fire with the Trojans, says he won’t quit despite almost daily column criticism from LA Times. But athletic program has failed from grace, and so has university image with this latest academic entrance crisis triggered by rich parents buying their kids way into schools with forged documents-transcripts, bios. This looks like the tip of the iceberg in college academics.
PHIL MICKELSON….He admits he used the Newport Beach academic firm to help his daughter get into Brown Unversity. I hope it was just academic preparation, now academic fraud. He didn’t know-he says. He didn’t know about ‘insider trading issue’ with a gambling friend a couple of years ago.
JIMMIE JOHNSON….Hard to believe, it’s been 64-races since he won a race in NASCAR. Driver or car? Hard to believe a legendary driver wakes up one morning and can no longer compete in the sport he dominated.