The solution to Chip Kelly’s football problems spectacularly revealed itself on a chilly October evening in Northern California: Figure a way to schedule the Cal Bears 12 times each season.
The person(s) authorizing the USC-Utah game on the Pac-12 Networks should be sentenced to watching the Bruins the rest of the season.
Game 5 was the best game I’ve seen the Dodgers play in years. Instead of four or five one-run homers, we saw base stealing, moving runners over and, most importantly, timely hitting with guys swinging for singles or doubles instead of home runs. It was throwback baseball. If they keep playing like this we might finally see a World Series win.
With their myriad of moves and strategizing, Dave Roberts and Craig Counsell, not alone among major league managers, are morphing into Gene Mauch, whose overmanaging cost the Phillies and the Angels World Series appearances, I’m not sure what game I’m actually watching in these playoffs, but it’s not the game of my youth.
I only know, to quote the late, great Groucho Marx song from the movie “Horse Feathers,” “No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it.”
If the Dodgers should, somehow, miraculously win the World Series this year, it will be in spite of the “musical chairs” rotation of the lineup and mismanagement of the pitching staff by either Dave Roberts, the front office or both.
Kent M. Paul
My memories of Manny Machado as a Dodger:
1. Doesn’t always run hard on groundouts;
2. When asked if the Dodger hitters need to shorten their swings with runners on base, Manny said, “ Let’s not overthink this. Just swing away.”
3. Intentionally trying to injure Jesus Aguilar of the Brewers.
No mas, Manny. Oh, and did I mention the haircut?
You’d think that there would have been good karma working in the Dodgers’ favor on Monday night, 30 years after Kirk Gibson’s magical home run. The only thing similar from Oct. 15,1988 to this past Monday was the vision of cars in the parking lot leaving with disgruntled fans in the ninth inning.
To misquote Vin Scully, “After an improbable year, the impossibility of winning the World Series will happen.”
Enrique Hernandez called out fans for “no energy” following the Game 3 loss. During Game 4, some fans showed their “energy” by launching beach balls. Seriously? Beach balls during the late innings of a playoff game, with the score tied? I understand Hernandez’s point.
As Dodgers fans we love to cheer our team on especially after paying $100 for one ticket, waiting two hours for $40 parking, $20 beers, $43 T-shirts, waiting another two hours to leave the parking lot with no assistance. All in good fun after watching our team fall flat on their faces.
I’m not sure who has more greed. Disneyland or Dodgerland.
The Smoltz factor
We have a Hall of Famer who probably knows more about baseball than all the people reading this sports section and we are being critical. John Smoltz is telling us how baseball should be played. In a season where there were more strikeouts than hits and learning about launch angles took the place of learning how to get hits, maybe we should listen to him.
Tom Hoffarth has got it all wrong — Smoltz delivers a visceral account of each playoff game, and delves down into the very essence of key situations that make or break a game, instead of catering to fans weaned on instant gratification of tape-measure home runs and redundant stats like launch angles, mph on line drives, and sabermetrics. He is right about the importance of beating shifts, which is the reason why Kansas City, Houston and San Francisco have won World series without an abundance of home runs.
As for replacing Smoltz with an over-animated front man like Dontrelle Willis, or the smarmy, narcissistic A-Rod, who is trying to weasel his way into the Hall of Fame by being Mister Good Guy, shame on you. Playoff baseball is not about a chocolate sundae with a cherry on top, it’s about players like Chase Utley busting up a double play — with impunity.
John Smoltz is what all true baseball fans should want at any time of year. Three cheers for him pointing out that “the shift” in baseball should be an embarrassment to any major league hitter. Imagine any other professional athlete not learning to take advantage of such a ridiculous defense. It’s like football teams not learning to use the forward pass against a run defense. Or in tennis not learning to lob against net-rushers or to use the drop shot for baseline huggers.
Hitting to the opposite field should be a part of every ballplayer’s capabilities. Thanks, John, for pointing it out.
Yanks say thanks
Although the fan interference call on Jose Altuve’s would-be home run favored the rival Red Sox, I suspect that Derek Jeter and Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier each opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate Maier’s catch of Jeter’s deep fly in the 1996 ALCS that was ruled a home run.
A tragic story
My heart goes out to Kevin Ellison and his family [ “He had no safety net,” Oct. 14]. We are so saddened by this happening, and so inspired by a family and siblings and parents who tried to do everything possible to save their loved one.
I agree with his mother, that more needs to be done to protect athletes in contact sports, to have greater regulation and ongoing examinations of athletes in such sports. Finally, the protocols and treatment for mental health in United States needs to be as with any other illness: with immediacy and effectiveness. America seems to be a rich enough country to do so.
If Mayor Tom Tait and the city of Anaheim would offer a fraction of the incentives and tax breaks that they continue to give Disneyland, Angels fans would be attending games at the most up-to-date stadium in America. The citizens and fans of the Angels that live in Anaheim might just prefer to have their tax dollars spent somewhere they can afford to get in.
In this latest case of extortion, maybe the Angels will move and become the Los Angeles Angels of Las Vegas. Fingers crossed.
I do quite a bit of deep sea fishing and as a result I see a lot of big tuna pulled from the sea and start flipping and flopping all over the deck in an effort to avoid their demise.
The effort is truly impressive but nothing when compared to Mssrs. Plaschke, McCullough and Hernandez, who are the biggest flip-floppers I have ever read on any subject.
Jim B. Parsons
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
2300 E. Imperial Hwy.
El Segundo, CA 90245