1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Friday “Sports-Here-There-Everywhere”

Posted by on October 23rd, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Here There Everywhere”

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WORLD SERIES….Just wondering if MLB made a serious mistake trying to jam so many playoff games into the calendar without any off days.  I think they wrecked pitching staffs with 3-games in 3-days…5-in-5…and then 7-in-7 leading up to the Fall Classic. Look what happened to the Padres, Braves and nearly the Dodgers, having to create so many bullpen days, at the most important time of the season, the post-season because there were no off days.

PADRES…Poor decisions by Luis Campusano, busted on felony drug possession and distribution charges in Georgia last weekend.  Hot prospect, about to make the big team, which means big money contract, and he wants to do weed with friends.  As stupid as Tommy Pham getting stabbed outside a strip bar right after the San Diego season ends.

NFL…Nice crisis the Raiders created for the league.  This latest Covid outbreak after the starting offensive line broke protocols multiple times.  Not wearing masks in the facility.  Tossing away their tracing mechanism.  Going to a gathering with no masks or social distancing.  This on a ream already fined three times by the league office.

RICH AND FAMOUS….The Covid outbreak at Alabama, with Nick Saban, shows the difference between the rich and poor in college football.  Saban gets a positive test and leaves the team.  They do a followup test, but because it would take too much time to get another result, they borrow a lear jet from a booster, fly the test to Mobile to a clinic, get a result, and then let Saban coach without sitting out the quarantine days.

AZTECS…A season opener in what could be an undefeated season with the return of Brady Hoke as head coach.  Talent loaded roster.  Better crop of athletes.  Downgraded schedule.  Rocky Long went (81-38).  Hoke should win this year with Long’s recruits.  Too bad the home games are in Carson, and no fans….Projecting (7-0) conference record and likely ranking inside top 25.

HOLIDAY BOWL….Such a special event, so sad to see it cancelled for one year, but the Bowl could not operate without fans in the stands, and that source of revenue.  The payout to the Pac 12-ACC teams, plus the cost of operation of putting on the game would have dwarfed the rights fee they would have gotten from Fox TV.  The Bowl could not afford to go 7M in debt to put the game on.

NBA…So Tyronn Lue takes over as Clippers head coach, amid allegations players stopped listening to Coach Doc Rivers, as the team fell apart one inside the bubble in Orlando.  Insinuations that Rivers let Kawhi Leonard show up late for practice and meetings.  Lue will have to work hard not to have players walk all over him next year, after these same players cost this team a chance to go to the NBA finals.

COLLEGE HOOPS…Hold your breath with San Diego State getting medical clearance to put 6’10-Nathan Mensah back on the floor after missing last year with a blood clot issue.  Medications, including blood thinners, have helped him heal.  Now the goal, not to have any type of relapse.

UCSD…Waiting to see how this move to Division 1-works out for the Tritons, as they embark on play in the Big West Conference.  But they have yet to be given permission for full practices, and don’t have a non-conference schedule yet.  The season is supposed to start November 25th.

HOCKEY HOT LINE…The Gulls, the very successful AHL-affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks are hoping to get back on the ice in December, when the league starts.  But now the AHL says because of the renewed virus outbreaks nationwide, they may not start up in December, and might have to postpone their winter launch.  The NHL says it wants to go in January.  Real fear, no minor league hockey at all, anywhere.  Baseball cancelled its minor league seasons.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Thursday “Chargers–Never Ending Nightmare”

Posted by on October 22nd, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Chargers–The Nightmare Never Ends”

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They are coming off their bye week.

Things should be getting better, but at first glance, they are not.

Will they ever?

The Chargers are (1-4), the lone win could have been a loss on opening day to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Now because of the juggling of the schedule, they had a bye week.

Very badly banged up, I think the bye week fell into their lap at the right time, with virtually all their key defensive players  ailing …offensive lineman in and out of the lineup, and a group of skill guys banged up.

So much for wishing and hoping things would break their way.  No luck at all.

The last time they played, the loss against Tampa Bay and then the Saints, they finished the game with 8-to-9 starters out of the lineup with injuries.

The bye week did not solve much of the mess.

The only thing in their favor, the next segment of the schedule.

Woeful Jacksonville, with a 5-game losing streak comes to town.  They then get the chance to play the Miami Dolphins, breaking in rookie QB-Tua Tagovailoa.  Still to come, Denver, in a slow rebuild program.  And the lowly New York Jets, on track to go (0-16).

So the Bolts might be able to turn the corner, if they were healthy.  Don’t see it happening.

Yes they have the kid QB-Justin Herbert, who has been sparking while walking down the learning curve.

But now the bad news,  the hamstring injury to do-everything RB-Austin Ekeler is worse than feared, and he is a long ways away.  His replacement, young RB-Justin Jackson has a knee issue, his third different nagging injury since camp.

It’s been 9-days since WR-Keenan Allen injured his back.  He has done limited work in practice.  How is he going to hold up?  His running mate Mike Williams, makes plays, then gets hurt.

RT-Bryan Bulaga still has back issues and is limited, meaning he might miss his 3rd straight game, and if he plays, how long does he hold up?

RG-Trai Turner is not practicing, with on-going groin issues.  A likely third game in a row on the sidelines.

Now wide body NT-Linval Joseph is ailing with elbow problems, something that plagued him in Minnesota for years.

Joey Bosa has soldiered on with 3-different injury issues, the latest an ankle and a bicep which has limited him.

His running mate DE-Melvin Ingram just got off the IR, but no one knows if he will be on the active roster Sunday coming off the knee injury.

They have never replaced safety Derwin James, the lost CB-Chris Harris, and were already without LB-Drue Tranquill.

It’s ridiculous.  One year the offensive line is wiped out devastating then QB-Philip Rivers.  Another year they lose virtually all their RBs, leaving Rivers with his arm alone to try to win games.

Injured kickers, battered linebackers.

They just cannot find a solution to this ongoing crisis.

Coach Anthony Lynn is coming under fire.  He is (6-15) since the Chargers last playoff game.  The franchise is spiralling down like it did after Mike McCoy’s quick start.

Coaching takes you only so far.  Healthy players can take you farther.

Maybe the Bolts put a win string together against the garbage that is coming up on the schedule.  But I caution you, this is the same franchise that lost to an (0-13) Browns team four years ago, just before McCoy was blown out.

Part of me feels bad for good people still working for that team.  I think Herbert is a star in the making.

But part of me thinks back to what Dean Spanos did to the city of San Diego, and 55-years of loyal fan support in America’s Finest City, and feel like yelling “Sucks to be You”.

Chargers football, in LA, where the fans don’t care, and now the team is failing again.

“The Nightmare never ends”.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Wednesday “Aztecs Football–A Strange Season Starts”

Posted by on October 21st, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“Aztecs Football–A Strange Season Starts”

 

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San Diego State is headed to its 8-game football season.

They open the year against UNLV, in their ‘home away from home’, playing in Carson because of the pandemic.

Brady Hoke returns to take over the head coaching job.  He brings with him two new coordinators in Jeff Hecklinski and Kurt Maddix.

SDSU returns a young veteran quarterback, 6-running backs, two tight ends, and a host of quality players on the back seven on defense.

Hoke replaces Rocky Long, who retired after going (65-31) with a host of bowl games appearances and wins over Power 5-schools.  Oddly Long, a month after retiring, decided to go back to his alma mater,New Mexico, not as head coach, but defensive coordinator.

Training camp is nearly complete.  The season awaits.  A year of uncertainty is still part of our lives.

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Brady Hoke comments:

Pleased where we are at, considering where we were this spring…./we are ready to play

New offense-need to clean things up with new coordinators
It’s not what we know, it’s what they know in formulating game plan for UNLV

We practice and compete hard here and bring our own energy to the game.

QB..Carson Baker had good camp-picked up nuances to offense..higly competititve..felt he was the leader to start us off.

Backup QB…Lucas Johnson-Georgia Tech will be the backup..we may have packages for him because he gives us something different running the ball…quarterback counter play…Baker gives us different things.

RB…Greg Bell…Chance Bell…Kaegun Williams…Jordan Byrd all do good things
Not ready to name a starting RB..we have alot of good options
We have 6-backs…alot of guys back there…all have pluses..our job to have right guy in the play at right time
Byrd on perimiter…Chase-Chance physical…Bell is an unknown to us-really good fall.

How Baker played in BYU game speaks volume about his readiness and composure…showed savvy and made great throws..

Offense did not score alot last year.  We have alot of confidence we will move the ball and score points

We are still in virtual meetings…but will are able to have face-to-face meetings.

Zoom is a fine way to learn but guys have done a nice job staying together…and now practicing what they learned.

We must do what we do well….run the ball…get after it defensively.

Delayed start is benefit for us…we had all the Zoom meetings…it’s still not teaching learning on the field and playing the game.  We have gone out and scrimmaged alot…alot of fundamentals for us.

We are always worried about accountability and making great decisions…staying in your bubbles…we have been very vigilant about all this…we hope to get thrtu this thing.

We won’t have any freshman starting this season…it is a talented class.  The one thing you know ‘got to be ready to play young guys’ if the virus breaks out.  We have given alot of reps to young guys.

Great leadership from Kyle Spalding and Zach Thomas have been special.

These 115 young me have been thru ups and downs….being paused…limited practices…this is not a normal senior year for lots of these kids…they have handled. it all.

We feel we are prepared.  What we have accomplished is amazing.  Adam Hall-strength coach-we have been lifting outside since March with different groups.  What he’s done to help these guys get ready.  Strength and medical staff have been spectacular.

Biggest challenge….UNLV..new coach….will be it Oregon’s offense or Stanford’s defense…with new Rebels staff..

There are some unknowns out there.  Marcus Arroyo came from Oregon..his coordiantor came from Baylor…we looked at alot of their films.  Can we stretch the perimiter…can we knock them off the ball.

From a defensive stand point, put a plan together.  It’s not what we know..it’s what they know.  We may be a bit more streamlined in our packages.

A couple of players have opted out, including Zedane Thomas-RB….we have been pretty clean…players had concerns….I could not imagine being 18-years of age and making that decision.

They have not named a quarterback, though Oblad likely we will be a starter….we cross the white lines, its football.  Hopefully our guys are ready to handle dual threat QBs, and pocket QBs.

New Mexico-Colorado State cancelled because of virus.  I am concerned about our team.  Be around our bubble of people.  Wear your mask all the time.  If one of your friends has been at a party, then it’s like you were at the party…must be safe.

Mountain West Conference may have schedule issues to deal with cancelled games and the Air Force situation….I have to worry about the Aztecs.

History of Aztecs…when I took over the first time…I met Chuck Long…told him he recruited good kids but team was not tough…The staff we hired did a great job setting us in the right direction and Rocky added to that.

This will be different for us.  We are stayig at Chargers hotel in Orange County that has all the experience of working with a team….food facilities.  We went up there October 10th and we prepared that trip like a road trip so we have stayed in that mode.

My coordinators will be up in the booth for the game.  I let Jeff-Kurt (coordinators) make the choice.

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Carson Baker-starting QB

Grew up in San Diego..family had season tickets..went to Helix…awesome lead hometown team.

Jeff Horton recruited me…wasn’t heavily recruited…

Coach Hoke told me ‘we expect alot of you’

Confidence…not arrogance…confidence I can make throws anywhere on the field…

Think I will be a distributor to our guys…be accuarate

QB room is a great group of guys-we all competed hard.

Getting start against BYU end of last season…live game reps helped alot…feel speed-contact.

Gotten alot of reps in practice-feel very confident…alot of time in the system to be comfortable

Will bring energy without any fans in Carson

We had so much time to meet on Zoom to perfect the offense…very comfortable  in all things we have to do.

Football is football…it’s 11-on-11… …with fans or no fans in stands.

 

Prediction…..Aztecs go (7-0) in the Conference.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Tuesday “World Series Storylines–Who Wins–Why”

Posted by on October 20th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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“World Series–Big Bats-Big Arms”

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It’s the big money Dodgers vs the small market Tampa Bay Rays.

1-franchise that would draw 4M in a regular season to historic Chavez Ravine.  The other lucky they draw 17,000 fans to Tropicana Field, an erector set of a poorly constructed domed stadium.

A Dodgers team that plays in the entertainment Capitol of the World, all things Hollywood against a Rays team that draws big TV ratings but virtually no fans because they don’t want to drive over the bridge from St-Petersburg to Tampa.

The Dodgers with the second highest payroll in baseball this season, at (108M) against a Rays team that cost (28.3M) this year on the field.

LA with all its heritage and royalty, dating back to Drysdale-Kourfax….Hershiser-Garvey-Cey-Lopes and La Sorda.

Tampa’s legacy is Joe Madden-since departed as manager, and a bunch of no names on the roster.

They start on Tuesday night in the Best of 7-Fall Classic.

It’s Tampa’s elite starting pitching, against the Dodgers elite bats.
It’s the LA starters against a group of unknowns wearing Rays colors.

There’s no doubt Tampa has frontline starters.

..Tyler Glasnow (7-2) with a 4.05-ERA and a 98mph fastball.
..Blake Snell (6-4) and a 3.24-ERA and a former Cy Young Award
..Charley Morton (3-0) with a 0.57-ERA in this postseason and a (7-2) career playoff mark.

The Dodgers scare you, because anyone can take you deep anytime.

..Corey Seager (.298-6HRs) and an amazing (.1142 OPS) mark this fall
..Mookie Betts (.311) with the bat and all those Gold Glove plays
..Cody Bellinger (.250) with home runs and big catches
..Joe Pederson (.375) when he plays
..Justin Turner…all time Dodgers RBI post season leader
..Max Muncie with power hitting swings.

Lost in the conversation about the 98-to-100mph Tampa Bay fastball arms is the fact the Dodgers batting order can wear you out.  In the postseason, LA is hitting (.256)…they lead baseball with 18-postseason homers…that’s a (.456) slugging percentage.  The new number says an (.812) OPS figure.  They have 58-walks.  They have 42-extra base hits in these 12-postseason games.

That’s a batting order the Rays will have to work thru for 9-innings every game.

Yes Tampa Bay took apart the big money Yankees to get to the Classic.  Yes the Dodgers went (43-17) in the regular season, swept Milwaukee, wiped out the Padres, and came from a (3-1) deficit to eliminate Atlanta.

The Dodgers have World Series proven leadership in the lineup and in the dugout.  The Rays have Manny Margot, Ji Man-Choi, Hunter Renfroe and a host of young players just glad to be there.

Shall be fun to see what the likes of Kershaw-Jansen and their kid pitchers do.

Color this World Series …Dodgers Blue……LA in five games.

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1-Man’s Opinion on Sports–Monday “Dodgers–The World Series–A Trip Earned”

Posted by on October 19th, 2020  •  0 Comments  • 

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The Dodgers Way–To the World Series”

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It wasn’t easy, but they are going back there, there being the World Series.

In the new era of analytics, the Dodgers got timely hits from unexpected people, and cobbled together a bullpen dayi, to close out the Atlanta Braves, win the NLCS and earned the ticket to the World Series.

It was not easy, and it never seems easy for the Dodgers of Manager Dave Roberts.

Never easy either for GM-Andrew Friedman and all his analysts, who spend more time with charts and graphics than you can believe.

Unsung heroes everywhere.  Start with the MVP type outfielder.  Superstar Mookie Betts goes over the rightfield wall to pull back what looked like a home run ball in mid game.  His fourth big catch of the postseason.

The Dodgers left the bases loaded mid-game when it looked like they were ready to blow it open.

Hot young pitcher Dustin May was told he was going to get the ball at 1:30pm, but he was gone after struggling thru the first inning.  He looked like he had stage fright early, giving up a run.

Tony Gonsolin was asked to give them innings but he gave up runs and hits that put the Blue behind early.

But the Braves were dealing with same situation.  Starting pitcher Ian Anderson looked gassed and gave way early, as Atlanta faced the prospect of a bullpen day too.

Atlanta hurt itself, running into a double play when they had 2nd and 3rd and none out, only to get one guy thrown out at home plate in a rundown and the trailing running nailed at third.

Enter hero two in the game.  Keke Hernandez pinch hit home run tied the game in the 7th..

The third hero, who had won prior games with his bat and glove, changed everything.  Cody Bellinger polled a long home run in the 7th to get the lead.

Julio Urias came out of the bullpen and gave them quality innings in a long relief  outing.

All this entering the 9th and LA still had Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly, Aaron Karolek and even Clayton Kershaw if they needed in the bullpen.

Urias retired 9-in a row coming out of the bullpen.  Atlanta’s big batting order got one base runner in the final 6-innings of the game.

Atlanta had not been to the World Series since 1999.  That streak continues.

The Dodgers haven’t won the World Series since 1988.  Now they get a chance facing Tampa Bay.

Flashback pictures of the series will also include that 11-run first inning against Atlanta.  The multiple days of second guessing of the manager’s use-misue of the bullpen too.  But in the end, look who’s playing in the Fall Classic.

They did it with big innings, big home runs, sparkling defensive plays, and a bullpen day in the most important game of the World Series.  They did it coming from a 3-1 deficit in roaring back to beat the Braves.

Going back for the 3rd time in four years.  A pretty good run.  Now we see if they can finally win a World Series ring and complete the mission..

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