Letters: The reviews are in, and Lakers aren’t a hit
When I read about Kobe Bryant’s play lately, I’m reminded of Y.A. Tittle on his knees with blood on his face, Johnny Unitas’ passes fluttering to the feet of the receivers, Willie Mays stumbling in the outfield with the Mets. I’m afraid he will have to be carried off the court before calling it quits.
My wife would like to extend her sincerest thanks to the Lakers organization for completely freeing up my evenings and weekends for the next eight months.
Instead of the Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant has become somewhat of the White Elephant.
The Lakers are like a young fine wine: They need 2-3 years in the cellar to age properly.
If you thought last year was a rough ride, take in these stats. The combined winning percentage of the first four teams the Lakers lost to is barely 40%. We haven’t seen the powerhouses yet. And in Kobe’s personal NBA ranking, I’m gonna drop him to 205th-best player in the league.
Jim Buss, you, as architect of the Lakers demise, are gone. Your GM, for assembling another losing roster, gone. Your coach, gone. 132 points given up to Sacramento? 80 points in the paint? Gone. Your aging superstar who has always been an incredible player but has never embraced basketball as a team game, gone.
What’s with all the talk D’Angelo Russell wasn’t the player the Lakers should have picked? The guy is attempting to move into the most difficult position to play in basketball, point guard. Jahlil Okafor, whose name is brought up most often in discussion, has a piece of cake in comparison. All Okafor is being asked to do is score. His defense was suspect at Duke.
Give Russell some breathing room to learn how to run an offense. I’d say “the” offense, but as long as Kobe Bryant is still on the team, Russell’s role will be something other than that of a true point guard.
Even off in the off-season
The new Dodgers owners sign mega cable contract, which funds the entire payroll (by far highest in game) before a single seat or hot dog is sold. Due to said contract, access to Vin Scully and televised games is virtually nonexistent in Los Angeles. Said payroll leads to virtually no postseason success. And now ticket prices are raised?
Tell me why this is an improvement over the Frank McCourt years?
As a Dodgers fan, it pains me to say this, but Zack Greinke, if you want a championship ring, sign elsewhere. The nerds running the show now are more interested in statistics, sabermetrics and databases than winning games. There are plenty of fine organizations on the rise where you will find success. The Royals, Blue Jays, Cubs and Mets are poised for more deep runs into October. Alas, the Dodgers are poised for deep runs into fans’ pockets and meaningless statistical analyses.
Before the Dodgers’ front office makes a final decision whether to go all in and bring back Zack Greinke, they should consider this scenario: Greinke signs with the Giants, then he and Madison Bumgarner lead the Giants to the division title and another World Series title.
That nightmare alone should be enough to convince Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi that playing on the fringes this winter might not be a good idea.
I read how the Dodgers “included the opt-out provision as a compromise for their refusal to grant [Greinke] a no-trade clause.” My thought immediately was who was the Einstein that made that decision and cost the Dodgers either many millions of dollars or the services of one of the best pitchers in the game.
If Greinke had pitched well the first three years of their contract (as he did), the Dodgers certainly were not going to trade him. If he had not pitched well, it is unlikely that they would have gotten top talent for him, plus, as is their custom, they would have had to eat millions of his remaining contract anyway.
So the team in blue and white wins the World Series by stealing bases, playing hard at all positions, working the count, not striking out, moving runners to third base, taking the extra base, coming back late in games, hitting with runners in scoring position, and being managed by someone not waiting for a three-run home run.
Well, at least we wear blue and white.
Game 5 of the World Series was not decided because Matt Harvey pitched the ninth or Eric Hosmer was such a good baserunner. It was decided the same way three of the five games were decided. The Royals put the ball in play, and the Mets were unable to make those plays. End of story, end of World Series.
A New York Mets pitcher admits to intentionally throwing a ball aimed at a player’s head. His teammates, so vocal about an alleged “dirty” slide by Chase Utley a few weeks ago, support him. The mayor of New York, after publicly campaigning for Utley to be suspended, stays silent. The MLB commissioner, bullied into suspending Utley, said no action would be taken against the pitcher and commented that the play was “good, hard baseball. It really does not concern me.” Hypocrites.
To all those that believe Bill Plaschke is an inept evaluator of athletic talent, poor judge of leadership abilities, and ineffective arbiter of game-time decision making, see his Nov. 4 article recommending consideration of Dave Roberts as Dodgers manager. The man is brilliant, and Plaschke is actually OK.
Hire Bud Black as manager and Gabe Kapler as the bench coach. You don’t hire a semi-experienced manager or coach in a major market like Los Angeles ... unless you’re USC.
I was pleased to read the announcement that ticket prices have been raised by Dodgers management for the coming season. I was concerned that the owners might miss an opportunity to exploit or otherwise take advantage of supporters of the team known as “fans.” Greed is always good at Dodger Stadium.
So the Dodgers have raised the cost of some seats by 20% to 48%. Oh, good. I hope this means that the 11-year, $9-an-hour employee who injured himself last August while substituting for a “ball girl” will now be paid between $11.52 and $13.32 per hour. Oh, wait. That’s still far below a living wage in Los Angeles.
Patricia S. Jones
The Dodgers’ spokesperson claims that affordable seating options are the “utmost concern to our ownership.” At least their ownership group has a sense of humor.
So Donnie Baseball gets a four-year contract with the Marlins and hopes to do at least 10. Give me a million dollars on the unders.
New hitting coach for Angels, Dave Hansen, career batting average .260? He’s gonna show them how to go one for four?
American Pharoah has not only rejuvenated interest in horse racing. He also gave virtually every one of us something positive that we could cheer and feel pure joy at a time when we always seem to be inundated with bad and negative news.
Watching the backstretch, I actually got up out of my chair to honor, applaud and thank him. His achievements caused me to think of my teenage years and my Uncle Joe, who was a bookie. He rarely had words of praise for horses, but every now and then as we watched horses running, he would look down at me, smile and say, “Now, that’s a horse.” As American Pharoah crossed the finish line, I could hear him saying from above, “Now, that’s a horse!”
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