Cleaning out my notebook of headlines and opinions.
PADRES…Chris Paddack, who had the blazing hot rookie start, has hit a tough patch of road. His last 3-starts (15inn-11R-16H-5HRs). His ERA in those last 3-outings, against the Dodgers-Yankees-Arizona is (6.60). It’s called a learning curve.
TATIS…It’s been a month since Fernando Tatis went down with the scary hamstring injury, and he still does not look right, even in extended spring training games. He is not running with any explosion yet going up the baselines, and at times seems to be favoring a leg. This may take longer than first thought.
KID PITCHERS…Look for the Padres to try and give their young arms in the rotation an extra day off, by calling up Cal Quantrill, Logan Allen and Nick Margavicius for an occasional start, giving the young pitchers a 5th extra day off. So far Quantrill and Margavicius have held their own.
KEEP AN EYE OUT….Dinelson Lamet, 14-months removed from Tommy John surgery, made his first rehab start in Lake Elsinore last night. He could have 3-starts, and might be ready to join the team in late June. This would be a huge boost if he returns 100% ahead of schedule.
CHARGERS-RAMS…OTA workouts are underway in LA, and no one pays attention, especially so to the Bolts. The Rams made news by landing a 20M-a year naming rights deal for the new Hollywood Park Stadium.
PAY YOUR BILLS…The Chargers and Rams, both informed this past week, it is time to begin your territorial fee payments to the NFL office. They each owe the NFL league office 129M a year for the next 5-years. A total bill of 650M. Oh, all those NFL owners, who said they cared about the ‘home markets’, and then voted to allow the Chargers to leave San Diego, get 43M as their cut of the territorial pie.
NBA FINALS…What a year for Kawhi Leonard, as Golden State and his Toronto Raptors open the NBA finals. He’s averaging (31P-8R) a game in the playoffs, but that doesn’t really match the Warriors’ stars, Steph Curry (27P), Klay Thompson (19) and Draymond Green (13P). Of course the Warriors still don’t have Kevin Durant (31P) back from that calf injury. The key to the series, not how much Kawhi gets, but rather what kind of support he gets from is other starters, Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol, Serei Ibaka, Fred Van Fleet, Danny Green and Norm Powell. Toronto needs lots of guys to step up to go with the guy, who always steps up.
LAKERS MESS….So who wants to sign a free agent contract to play in this situation in Los Angeles? What a disgrace this proud franchise has become. Under Jerry Buss, there were superstars and their were egos, but you never saw the selfishness and the lack of trust that is on display now. The franchise is lost, leadership is lacking, and the stain of what has happened and what is being reported now is deadly. LeBron James arrival? Be careful what you wish for?
JUST ASKING…Here comes NBA free agency. What if both Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard come sign in LA? With the Clippers down the hallway at the Staples Center?
AZTECS…Little being said, but a lot being done in terms of getting this new Aztecs football stadium built. Quietly and effectively Athletic Director JD Wicker has lined up a refutal construction company, Clark Construction, a superb architect, and now linked the new project with the marketing genius of JMI-Legends Sports, run by ex Padres owner John Moore. Still waiting, the actual purchase price of the property the city will need for SDSU to acquire the land.
GULLS HOCKEY….Led the AHL in attendance again, over 9,000-fans a game, and this time went to the semi finals of the Calder Cup playoffs, before losing to the Chicago Wolves. Superb job by Coach Dallas Eakins, whom we may say goodbye too, shortly, when he is named coach of the Anaheim Ducks.
SOCCER CITY….They are off the radar, for the time being, after the November vote killed their stadium initiative. But I feel the MLS, which has two more expansion slots in its pocket, may hold one of them to see if the FS-Group resurfaces and does a possible deal in the Aztecs stadium and then goes after an expansion team.
MLS…Unique announcement on Wednesday of the “Leagues Cup”…an 8-team tourney matching four teams from MLS and Lisa-MX south of the border. Included in the tourney field, the LA Galaxy and Tijuana XOLOs, plus legendary Mexcican sides Club America and Cruz Azul. Bypassed in the field though, the very successful FC-LA expansion team, plus the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. Why?
BREEDERS CUP…The stories won’t go away, and now we really need definitive answers, about the on going tragedies at Santa Anita. 26-horses have died with injuries since December. Is it the track, the track surfaces? Is is Lasix? Is it overtraining in the sunshine? It’s not happening anywhere else in the nation. The bigger question, the Breeders Cup is coming here in November. Should it be run at Santa Anita, if this is a ‘track condition crisis’ causing all these injuries?