The problem with these last two weeks is it has been all politics, all the time. It’s truly difficult to find other things to talk about.
Thank you, Major League Baseball.
So here goes. Let’s take a look at the Southland…
Dodgers: While the team has, in fact, climbed to within 2 1/2 games of the National League West lead after being down by at least seven, I don’t see much reason for optimism yet. First, this rally has been more to do with Giants ineptitude rather than Dodgers competence. San Francisco’s record since the end of the All-Star break has been 2-9, worst in the majors. Do you think San Francisco is going to remain the worst team in baseball for the rest of the year? I don’t.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers still have major problems in their rotation — with no timetable for Clayton Kershaw’s return — and their lineup — the outfield stinks. The nonwaiver trade deadline is Monday afternoon. LA has been linked to at least three front-line starting pitchers (including a starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, Chris Sale), a handful of power hitters and today, a top-notch closer. The latter rumor is curious. There’s nothing wrong with Kenley Jansen.
The Dodgers are going to have to prove me wrong. I don’t accept any of it until it happens. The alleged smartest front office in baseball was in a similar situation last year and did nothing. It also struck out on free agency and trades last offseason. As previously reported, this franchise has six current and former general managers on the payroll and it strikes me that they are micromanaging the team into the ground.
Clippers: Yesterday, news broke the franchise was considering sites on the west side of town for its own arena. … Dude, maybe all this political crap has me too pessimistic but I just don’t see it happening. I think this is posturing for a better deal with Staples Center.
Here’s why: True, the Clippers would generate more income by concessions and parking in their own arena. True, it could possibly revitalize an area the same way L.A. Live sprung up around Staples Center. Triple true, they could recoup some of the money by selling off naming rights to the arena. Quadruple true, the Clippers would control their own scheduling as opposed to being a third wheel behind the Lakers and Kings.
But arenas in a metropolis can cost close to $1 billion now, such as Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Heck, even Amway Center in Orlando cost more than $400 million. You’re telling me that’s going to be paid off in hot dogs and parking vouchers?
Lakers: Let’s just ignore “trade rumors” for a few months, shall we? I mention this because the blogosphere is losing its grip again over Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.
What we can talk about is that ESPN projects the Lakers to be the worst team in the NBA Western Conference again. Oh, better than the 17 wins from last year, it claims, but still an awful 25. Sigh… I actually think they’ll pass 30, but that still means they’d stink.
Rams: They did the right thing last night by clipping last year’s starting quarterback Nick Foles from the roster. I can’t imagine the guy being a mentor to top draft pick Jared Goff. Having said that, the team released its preseason depth chart. If the season started today, your starting quarterback is Case Keenum and the best thing I can say about him is he doesn’t suck.
Ever notice how the Dallas Cowboys get linked to every “name” that becomes a free agent? Not that Foles is a big name, but if I were the Cowboys I’d take a flier on the guy. Dallas can’t afford another lost season if Tony Romo gets hurt. And Foles cut his teeth in the NFC East.
Galaxy: Last week, the lads dropped two thunderbolts in the first 12 minutes of the game and held on to knock off the defending champion Timbers 2-1 in Portland. The team is starting to look like one focused on winning a sixth title, playing like it deserved the hype when it acquired Giovani Dos Santos and Steven Gerrard last year. And they play defense, to boot, which was sorely lacking last year.
Kings: Hey, you can’t expect a hockey team to make news in July. Still, if you’re an Angelino, I dare you to look at this and not smile a little.