“Bucket Full of Thoughts on Sports”
LEFTY IS NOT RIGHT…The heartache is pretty significant because of what he said, and what he said in his apology. Phil Mickelson, the Fan’s Man on the PGA Tour, has enormous problems at this hour for all he has said about the PGA Tour and the newly formed Said-International tour idea. His game has gone to hell, and his reputation is taking hits. Now he says he needs time away from the tour. His combative criticism of the PGA leadership was pretty harsh. His rude condemnation of Saudi Arabia, the country that is offering golfers huge money guarantees makes no sense, especially since he was one of the ones offered 7-figure guarantees. Calling them obscene murderers is his right, but coming on the heels of the offers to top PGA players, was off track. And to couch his apology that he was looking out for the best interests of golf seems like a shallow excuse. Is he driven by ego, by gambling habits, by alchol consumption, by personal problems, by the collapse of the game? But what is stunning is what he is saying, how he is acting and how he is playing. He needs help, direction, guidance. All he’s getting right now is a ton of criticism. All is not right with Lefty.
BOB BAFFERT..He has been expelled from horse racing for 90-days, his reputation is blemished, his Kentucky Derby win taken away and his beloved 3-year old horse Medina Spirit died of a heart attack. And now all the states will honor the ban of the Kentucky Racing Commission, finding him guilty of applying an ointment to his horse the morning of the Derby, an ointment for inflammation that contained an illegal stimulant. He has tried to hide beneath the shield that it. was an ointment, not an injection, and that it was not something that would impact the horses’ ability to run. They don’t believe him, considering there have been 5-drug testing violations in a calendar year and 30-over the past seven years. In the media we always liked hearing what Baffert had to say-the issue, can we believe him any longer?
AZTECS….Backs to the wall the final two weeks of the season. Road games at Boise-Wyoming-Nevada, and then the Mountain West Conference tourney. All this before we find out whether San Diego State can even get invited to March Madness. It’s been a struggle to score, these anemic offensive nights. It has been vintage tough guy defense but is it enough? It was almost enough last night, down 12..got the lead…lost on free throws in the final minute in another loss to Boise State. Yes that is a decent record (17-7)..but 6-losses against the best teams on the schedule. Matt Bradley can’t do it by himself and finding consistent offensive help has evaded Brian Dutcher virtually all year.
LAKERS..LeBron James’ team is in disarray. You name it, it is a problem. Anthony Davis sprained foot, his 7th injury in two years. Which do you get next game, good Westbrook or bad Russell? Anyone seen Carmelo Anthony lately? No one is taking the blame for this mess, but probably lots of heat to turn around. And here’s the question, Jeannie Buss has let this fall apart. Can’t blame Jim Buss can you? What happens if they don’t make the playoffs? What happens if they get bounced in the play-in game?
USD..Will say this, maybe the surprise team in the WCC and the rebuild job by Sam Scholl, bringing this program back from the dead, and doing it with transfers. They’re obviously not Gonzaga nor BYU or St-Mary’s but this has been alot better than we have seen in years.
PADRES…As the CBA talks just grind on, spring training has been delayed, Cactus League games have been canceled, and the amount of time to get ready is growing shorter. Big concern for the Padres, who have half their starting rotation with surgeries in their backgrounds. That starting staff needs 6-weeks of spring training. Less than 4-moves them into a danger zone for their health.
PADRES FREE AGENTS…The Friars have holes in left field, and likely DH. They have dealt away so much of their farm system, I don’t know how much more they can use a trade chips. And with a payroll now at (199M), how much more can they take on? The Japanese star free agent corner outfielder Seiya Suzuki will be out there at likely 10M per season. He could be an addition and a solution.
PADRES HEALTH..The biggest question of all, health, whether it is Chris Paddack, Danilson Lamet and most importantly Mike Clevinger can stay healthy. Add in the on going health question of Drew Pomeranz, who is supposed to be the closer in place of Mark Melancon and the Friars need all the spring training days they can get.
CHARGERS…NFL free agency is upon us. The Bolts have 24-free agents they must make decisions on. The key one is WR-Mike Williams, coming off a 76-reception season. If they franchise tag him, it means he gets nearly 19M next year on a one year deal. Can they afford to pay Keean Allen and Williams a combined (39M) next season> They could free up 18M if they let go Linval Joseph and Bryan Bulaga.
RAMS…They have the same question marks as the Chargers. Bunch of free agents , including Odell Beckham and Von Miller. You can’t pay everyone 23M a year, the kind of money all their stars are making.
AZTECS FOOTBALL….Rolling out spring football within a week, and a full scale battle for the starting QB position. Virginia Tech transfer Braxton Burmeister against redshirt freshman Will Haskell. Shall be interesting, now that Mississippi State transfer Jalen Mayben has asked to go to the defensive side of the ball, where his size could make him an exceptional strong safety. If not, let him be a tight end.
GULLS…What a disappointment, the losing, the record, the lack of goal scoring and the small crowds. The Ducks have taken a number of their players, so continuity has been a problem for fiery coach Joel Bouchard. The Covid shutdown, 20-got sick, and practices were shutdown. Jacob Perrault and Branden Tracey scored alot early and have since disappeared. And the fans have disappeared too. Crowds of 6,000, and at one point 4494, have replaced what were typical crowds of 11-12,000 in post Christmas turnouts. Tough year in more ways than one.
SOCKERS…They’re good, really good but no one knows about them. They don’t market the team. They have no broadcast contract. They play in an indoor league that has had more franchises fold than join in recent years. It’s too bad considering the explosion of soccer interest in our community, with the Loyal or the arrival of the Wave. Kraig Childs and company are like soccer orphans in a pretty good soccer city. Ownership needs to evaluate how they operate this team.