I was shocked and extremely disappointed to hear the USA lost to Trinidad and Tobago in the soccer World Cup qualifications. The question most Americans want know is, what is soccer?
What does the U.S. men's soccer team have in common with characters from "The Wizard Of Oz?" They're all looking for a heart, a brain, and courage.
Well, it looks like Bruce Arena has led the U.S. soccer team to their proper place in the World Cup — on the sofa watching from thousands of miles away. I would've loved to be a fly on the wall inside Jurgen Klinsmann's home when he fell over laughing at the powers that be that fired him and hired a dinosaur.
On Jan. 3, the U.S. men's soccer team faced off at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in the first game under Bruce Arena and achieved a scoreless tie against a bunch of college kids masquerading as the Serbian national team. Can anyone who attended that match be surprised with Tuesday's upset result? Yet Dylan Hernandez wrote on Nov. 16, 2016 "Taking a step back by replacing Jurgen Klinsmann with former U.S. manager Bruce Arena would count as two steps forward at this point." Can somebody offer Mr. Hernandez and fellow Times soccer writer Kevin Baxter the honorable sword now?
Karl Heinz Heim
Now I know what the Soviet Union hockey team felt like against us in Lake Placid in 1980.
Is it really so terrible that the United States will not be participating in glorifying the most corrupt governing body in sport (FIFA) in the most corrupt nation on the planet (Russia)?
Next step for Dodgers
The Dodger's late-season losing binge led many fans and pundits to question Dave Roberts' managerial chops. He shrugged off their panicky prattle, and instead calmly focused on securing MLB's top season record and preparing the team for playoff success.
Now, with L.A. needing just four more postseason wins to break its 29-year World Series drought, Roberts' managerial genius suddenly is dawning on all his critics. Amazing how much smarter he became after the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks.
If the Dodgers should need any extra help in the NLCS I offer the following ruse: Have Justin Turner employ the hidden-ball trick by sneaking it into his beard.
I like Clayton Kershaw too. What's not to like? Great role model, hard worker, one of best regular-season pitchers ever. But didn't Bill Plaschke and Dylan Hernandez go a little too far in their praise for him last Saturday, even for hometown writers? Especially following a less-than-stellar performance. (Four solo home runs, and not getting out of seventh inning for the umpteenth time in postseason play.).
Plaschke referred to him as the "new Sandy Koufax," while Hernandez praised his courage and "fearlessness" apparently for having the courage to actually go out to the mound and pitch again after so many poor postseason performances. What was his choice, to refuse to pitch? L.A. doesn't need a new Sandy Koufax; we just need a new Clayton Kershaw!
A friend of mine thinks that Clayton Kershaw is like Jerry West (great players with limited success in postseason.) I told him, no way! West averaged 29 points in playoffs, and 27 points in regular season. Kershaw's ERA is 4.63 in playoffs, and 2.36 in the regular season.
It's upsetting to me seeing the Dodgers (or any team) celebrate their winning the division series by popping (or rather "wasting") champagne as if they won the World Series. We all need to celebrate the good times in life, but do we really need to see this type of celebration in these early rounds of the playoffs?
While no one will begrudge them celebrating a victory, how about showing some sensitivity and consideration for those people who have recently lost their homes, entire life's belongings to a wild fire or hurricane, and barely have water to drink? Or lost their lives in a shooting massacre?
Save the "good stuff" for the World Series.
The Diamondbacks were more concerned with mounted police guarding their pool than with mounting an offense
I agree 100% with Dylan Hernandez's article regarding the Dodgers not matching the Diamondbacks' offer for Zack Greinke. Greinke took the money, which is his right, and his former teammates, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen, left money on the table to finish the job they started. Greinke had a bad 2016 with a bad team and this year he had a decent year with a good team, but they aren't the Dodgers, who eliminated his team Monday night. So Zack can go back home and count his money and watch his former teammates continue their drive to the World Series!
To Yasmani Grandal:
I don't worry about the players. Nothing against them, but they have no clue about what life is about. They go home to their million-dollar mansions and dine on road game per diem.
And I don't need some player suspended for 50 games for using performance-enhancing drugs in 2013 telling me anything about the game of baseball. I don't really worry about what he thinks.
Gary P. Taylor
Santa Ysabel, Calif.
I was under the impression Major League Baseball was trying to shorten the length of games. The average time of playoff games this year is almost four hours. Pitchers need to pitch, not stand out there looking at the catcher or the ball making sure it's round, let alone the amount of commercials.
I love this game and don't appreciate when people say it's boring and too long, but at times, especially the playoffs, I would have to agree.
With all of Dusty Baker's pitching mismanagement, can we now call him the modern-day Gene Mauch?
Joy in a snap
With the senseless tragedy in Las Vegas still fresh in our minds, as well as the polarizing protesting NFL players each week, and all the other criminal acts and tragedies that are so prevalent in newscasts each evening, it was such a welcome breath of fresh air to see such a selfless act for the second time while watching USC vs. Oregon State this past Saturday.
With Jake Olsen's perfect snap for an extra point, we were treated to a magnificent demonstration of sportsmanship and compassion by not only USC's Clay Helton, his assistant coaches and all the USC players, but also the coaches and players from Oregon State.
I can only hope that somewhere in the sports world, coaches and players will wake up and realize that while winning is the objective, it is also wonderful to see that "winning at all costs" isn't the only thing of great value in sporting competition.
"I can sense that defenses are focusing on tendencies of ours, so we've just gotta, I don't know, we've just gotta run different plays out of different formations and motion some guys and get away from our tendencies a little bit. And I think we'll be fine if we do that."
Sam Darnold said it. Many people feel it,
Rancho Palos Verdes
Quoting Jim Mora on targeting penalties: "We are hurting young men's ability to go out and play in games that are important to their future." Using your head to tackle instead of teaching to tackle with the arms is poor coaching. It all starts with tackling drills. Do you promote leading with your head and not using a shoulder and arms and aiming at the remaining 90% of the body?
Look at the brain injuries from head-to-head contact. A future with no brain function is no future.
What a bargain
Here's a fun idea for next year's MLB Players Weekend, where quirky nicknames are chosen. Based on his performance in the latter part of this regular season and in the playoffs — not to mention his penchant for cutting up uniforms — Boston Red Sox pitcher Mr. Sale could change his first name from Chris to Half-Off.
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