Farhan Zaidi, and Dodgers fans in particular, would be better served if he applied all his analytic and data-drilling skills to illustrating to Spectrum TV that a larger viewing audience tunes into the game when it is available to everyone. Maybe he can channel what he puts into fantasy football into preventing an entire generation of would-be fans growing up rooting for the Angels, a team they can see.
Wow, five games from Spectrum and the Dodgers on Channel 5. That's fantastic! In baseball terms, it's five for 162, or a batting avg of .030. Sounds minor league to me.
Is Albert Pujols an Angel or a Cardinal? Who cares? Had he spent his career with St. Louis he would have been as revered a Cardinal as Stan Musial. Instead he went for the money. Same goes with Clayton Kershaw. Stay, be 1-2 with Koufax in Dodger lore. Grab the cash like Pujols, he's just another mercenary. Some things are worth more than money (easy for me to say!).
Why the doom and gloom when the Olympics are for comradeship, goodwill and the spirit of the Olympic truce? Say how happy you were that the two Koreas came together. Celebrate the wonderful things we saw: Chloe Kim's charisma, Sean White's amazing last run, Randall and Diggins giving us our first gold in cross-country skiing, the wonderful Shibutanis.
Remind us of the charming confusion on the face of Ester Ledecka, who could not believe the good news on the scoreboard. Be thrilled for the athletes and people of Norway for breaking medal records, then go to that beautiful country and find out how they did it with 1/60th of our population. That would build international friendship, which is what the Olympics are supposed to be about.
Really? You couldn't find any athletes to show on the front page of the Olympics section Sunday? The Olympics is about them, not the Trumps. You really blew it. Leave the politics to the front section of the paper.
Yep, a great women's hockey game and a true golden moment! But Bill Plaschke calling it another "miracle on ice" is an insult to the amateurs in 1980 who stunned the world. The U.S. and Canada are the only behemoths in the women's hockey arena. Any comparison with the "Miracle on Ice" team is pure hype.
Congratulations to the Russian men's Olympic hockey team. Despite having every possible obstacle placed in their way by the Western-dominated Olympic committee in its effort to immaturely and wrongly ban all Russians from the games, their hockey team still managed to win the most coveted gold medal of the Olympics.
Last week, several readers felt The Times' Olympics coverage had a negative slant, an attitude that looked down on all the activity. It made me want to speak up about what I consider to be wonderful coverage by Helene Elliott. Her reporting was first rate and she is informed and lays out a reasoned case for her opinions. When it comes to the Olympics, she wins the gold.
Handle the scandal
So it looks like NCAA basketball programs at Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Michigan State, Arizona, and USC have all been cheating by paying off recruits to join their programs. Funny how they are all winning programs except USC. And I guess we might have to change the nickname "Coach K" to "Coach $100K."
Who polices the NCAA? They seem to answer to nobody. Maybe the FBI should investigate the NCAA offices in Indianapolis. That might open up a real big can of worms.
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? The victims in the basketball corruption scandal are the players like De'Anthony Melton, who has been indicted of nothing but will lose an entire year of his young life not being able to play with his teammates or school and ultimately have to transfer from a cloud of innuendo to be able to play his sport and further his career.
The true guilty parties are the NCAA for not addressing this problem sooner, the agents who knowingly break the law, the FBI for leaking the names involved in their investigation and the media for their complicit use of this information knowing it could easily ruin the innocent lives of student athletes.
Like father, like son. Alonzo Ball shooting his big mouth off about the payments to college basketball recruits when he says " Everybody's being paid anyway, you might as well make it legal." Yes, every player on scholarship gets paid. For example USC players receive a scholarship with a value of at least $73,000 plus other benefits like free shoes, tutors, etc. each year they play as well as a chance for fame and an entry to a pro career. As Ball should know, just one year of college basketball lead to a multi-million-dollar income for him.
Lonzo, it is already legal and it has been for at least 90 years.
Steve Alford's response to Lonzo Ball that "not everybody's being paid," sounds like some players are being paid.
Bill Plaschke's scandalous call for coach Enfield to step down is just one more attempt at harming USC, for the benefit of his beloved Bruins. Enfield has not been accused of anything by any of the many entities investigating the current scandal. But he is already guilty of something in Plaschke's eyes.
Enfield should be celebrated for taking the Trojans from a Pac-12 bottom dweller to the top of the pack, at times head of UCLA. This is what frightens Plaschke. His and The Times' general bias toward UCLA are well documented.
Pulling out stops
Sometimes the basket looks as wide as the ocean and, other times, as small as a pin hole. Offense sometimes flows and sometimes stalls.
However, we always have control over defense. Lock-down defense reflects team unity and sacrifice. Teams that play great defense are inspired by their coaches. Those that play lackadaisical defense are uninspired and poorly coached.
Great defenses are great teams with great coaches. Right now, UCLA has neither.
Under Steve Alford the Bruins' defensive play has generally ranged from poor to utterly inept. Alford can hire a stable of assistant coaches. He can't find even one assistant who can teach smart, tough defense? Look harder, coach.
I have been a UCLA basketball fan since the Willie Naulls days. I was at UCLA during the glory days. Although I will be disappointed if they do not make the NCAA tournament this year, I am kind of hoping they don't get in. Due to their inconsistency, it would be an embarrassment to lose to a "play-in" opponent.
My message to coach Alford and the team: Be careful what you wish for (you might get your wish).
Ian M. Bardin
The Peters principle
The key sentence in the pre-announcement of the Rams' trade for Marcus Peters is the last: "But the Rams apparently are confident that their locker room culture will enable Peters to flourish."
Kicked off his college team and effectively kicked out of Kansas City, despite two all-pro years and with the youth and pedigree of a 2015 first-round pick? One parallel is to the Dodgers' ill-fated embrace of Milton Bradley. A more ominous risk is that a negative counterweight to good guy Goff will eat at the team's core.
A respectable stretch of games, and now an undefeated trip. Is it too early to proclaim this Lakers team sneaky average?
Anthony J. Moretti
Norway (5.2 million population) crushes the USA at the Winter Olympics. Trinidad and Tobago (1.4 million) knocks the USA out of the World Cup. But we can all take pride in the fact that the Eagles, Astros, and Warriors are "world champions," right?
The Times devotes two (!) stories to the unique design, look and function of the new LAFC uniform. I see a jersey with a big, obnoxious ad plastered on the front of it.
The Los Angeles Times welcomes expressions of all views. Letters should be brief and become the property of The Times. They may be edited and republished in any format. Each must include a valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms will not be used.
Mail: Sports Viewpoint
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Fax: (213) 237-4322