Because Donnie Baseball has repeatedly shown that he requires an inordinate amount of time to recognize the obvious (Alex Guerrero is the flavor of the month — really?), and because the Giants are in town next week, and because Guggenheim has all that Time Warner Cable money, do you think they could commission Bruce Bochy to give Mattingly some lessons on what it means to recognize current form and play your best players?
Dylan Hernandez reported that Adrian Gonzalez's "23 hits equal Eric Karros' record for the most by a Dodgers player in the first 11 games of a season." Really? That's a "record?" No, it's just plain silly. Why not take it further and tell us the record for hits on the first 11 night games of a season? Or, the record for hits in the first 11 Sunday day games played on even days of the month? Just because the Dodgers or the Los Angeles Times have computers doesn't mean that every arcane fact becomes a "record."
In Wednesday's report on the Josh Hamilton situation, I was alarmed to learn that Hamilton may not be in a rehabilitation program after his relapse earlier this year. Huh? What has he been doing these last few months beyond his daily baseball-related activity? That an arbitrator ruled he couldn't be suspended is embarrassing enough, but if Hamilton hasn't been getting intense treatment since his relapse, it's a dereliction of duty by the Angels, the MLBPA, and Hamilton himself. Without such help, he would obviously be a prime candidate for yet another misstep.
Time to rebuild
The Lakers' decline began when the league unraveled the Chris Paul trade. It's been downhill ever since.
The silver lining has been a quiet and unheralded youth movement. If the Lakers can hold on to their lottery pick, that rookie will join Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle, two very talented young players. Such a nucleus should be a tantalizing draw for an established free agent.
The Lakers may still founder for another season but barring the injuries that have plagued them the last few seasons, including a less than fully healthy Dwight Howard while with the team, there's finally realistic hope that better times await.
Let's get the ball rolling in the right direction. Start the rebuilding process by extending Byron Scott's contract and using the amnesty clause on Kobe Bryant's.
Hands off Rajon Rondo, Lakers! Please don't sign a player who has the potential to quit on his team if he disagrees with the coach. Sorry, Kobe, but he also cannot shoot and could have a negative impact on the young players who will probably surround him as the team rebuilds.
If Magic Johnson wanted the Lakers to tank the rest of their season, for a favorable draft position, he should have rehired himself as head coach. As head coach for the final 16 games of the '93-94 season, he "led" the Lakers to a 5-11 record, including 10 straight losses to end the season. And did it while "trying."
Let's see, who are the former Lakers players now participating in the playoffs: Gasol, Howard, Ariza, Barnes, Sessions, enough for a team. Horrible management: case closed.
Two words not mentioned in Mike Bresnahan's April 19 article on the Lakers' fall can sum up this Lakers' season: Jim Buss.
DeAndre Jordan is a great rebounder and a relentless shot-blocking defender. If he could hit 60% of his free-throws, he'd be a leading candidate for MVP. Unfortunately, he doesn't hit anything close to that number and it's costing the Clippers dearly. Will someone please call up Rick Barry to help this guy before the Clippers get bounced out of the playoffs — again?
Dear Clippers fans,
Surely you were not thinking that this would be easy.
Tim Duncan is the natural replacement for Liam Neeson's character in the "Taken" series. Duncan has a "particular set of skills" that allows him to prevail over seemingly insurmountable odds. Duncan's athletic skills are mediocre at best — you probably could not get a quarter under his feet when he jumps, and his speed is somewhere between a snail and molasses. Notwithstanding that lack of athleticism, the Clippers are witnessing firsthand how Duncan continues to dominate the NBA at nearly 40 years old.
Mark S. Roth
The Big Fella
I never met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but I battled against him and his Bucks team on my parents' driveway with me in the role of Wilt Chamberlain. A few years later I was Kareem shooting skyhooks from the baseline near the plants with the sharp thorns. I laughed when a young Magic Johnson hugged him after winning the first game of Earvin's career. I cried when Cap retired after never missing a critical "swings left shoots right" skyhook while leading my Lakers to so many glorious victories.
And when I remember Kareem I think of a good man, a deep thinker, and a credit to the human race. A man whose conversion to Islam never entered my young mind, thus showing me that prejudice is learned over time. I don't know Kareem but I love him. Thanks for everything, Cap, and get well soon.
I asked the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar statue for an autograph, but it ignored me.
Gary H. Miller
Fast and furious
In response to Gerry Swider's letter on April 18, USC is playing Arkansas State only because mighty Texas A&M of the scaredy-cat SEC canceled a home-and-home series with USC, and Arkansas State is all that could be found to fill the spot so late in the process of scheduling.
If the Chargers want to play in the armpit of Southern California, let them.
The biggest hole to fill in the off-season for this batch of L.A. Kings is a good wingman.
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