Why is L.A. so upset with Mike D'Antoni and Lakers management? We all knew this was a patchwork team that had no chance of actually winning anything this year. Myopic Lakers fans should cheer D'Antoni for not bailing on this squad, and praise Pau Gasol for soldiering on amid trade rumors all season.
Lakers fans have no idea how good they have it, and should take their medicine with some class when the wheels fall off with some class.
It's not what D'Antoni did this year, it's what he didn't do last year....
As we think about how Mike D'Antoni used Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman, one wonders whether D'Antoni would have stationed Kareem and Shaq near the free throw line had they been on the Lakers' roster this season.
The NBA lottery system is entirely flawed. When Lakers fans get upset when they win a game because it makes it less likely that the Lakers get the first pick in the draft, that's a problem.
It's unfortunate that the face of the franchise has gone missing, basically since February, when he hung in there for the dismal Grammy trip and clearly couldn't take it anymore. But let's hear it for the guys who have shown up. With all the losses and embarrassments, this group has set itself apart when it comes to camaraderie and pulling for one another. No whining, pointing fingers, or playing the blame game. Maybe they haven't accumulated Ws for the team, but their sportsmanship has done us proud.
It was interesting reading Mike Bresnahan's story on Gary Vitti. You get a gist of the mind-set of management. We all know that the failed Chris Paul trade was a game changer, and the trades for Dwight Howard and Steve Nash have been among the worst in Lakers history. But the common denominator of the injuries that Vitti searches for just may lie with Vitti himself. He has been unable to keep players in shape and healthy and then been unable to get them back on to the court. I have never heard of so many misdiagnoses and so many lengthy rehabs. Perhaps its time the Lakers go with a younger, more up to date training staff.
If Vitti wasn't prepared for the changes in the NBA, that in itself is a telling sign.
Mike D'Antoni's chances of returning to the Lakers next year are just slightly less than Smush Parker's chances of returning.
Craig P. Fagan
Bill Plaschke wrote an important and over-the-top column on how Yasiel Puig arrived in the U.S. and was signed by the Dodgers. Plaschke's suggestion that the lives of fans are being threatened every night at Dodger Stadium is certainly an exaggeration. The real lesson of Puig's story is that it is time for the U.S. to normalize relations with Cuba in all matters, from trade and tourism to signing ballplayers.
Ralph S. Brax
It now appears that Yasiel Puig isn't 100% responsible for some of his erratic behavior. For all we know, he might have been speeding away from some thugs or showing up late because he was afraid to walk out the door. The poor fellow went through hell and high water to get into the U.S. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and be happy that he's still breathing and wearing Dodger Blue.
Is it really a surprise that Yasiel Puig doesn't want to talk about the past considering his hitting coach is Mark McGwire?
Here's the most likely trajectory of Yasiel Puig's career with the Dodgers: 1) Rookie phenom; 2) Clubhouse distraction; 3) Trade bait.
Recently my beloved pooch — named Dodger after my favorite baseball team — wandered off. The sorrow of the loss was excruciating, but slowly the pain eased and I got a new dog. Named her Angel. I still sometimes flash back to the memory of Dodger, but life must go on. Out of sight, out of mind.
So we can view a lunar eclipse, but not Jackie Robinson Day from San Francisco?
If only Matt Kemp could catch, hit, and run the bases like Dee Gordon.
An open letter to Mr. Mattingly and most other major league managers: The traditional strategy of holding back your closer in a tie game on the road to preserve a potential lead you may never get makes no sense.
Keeping the game alive should be the first priority. Losing a game in the 12th inning with Brandon League pitching while Brian Wilson sits on the bench is idiocy.
The truth of the matter is that Ned Colletti's ridiculous signing of Brandon League was bad enough. Keeping him around, occupying a much-needed place on the roster in hope for some justification of that mistake and other terrible moves, is worse.
Light up the halo
Anyone more flexible than Mike Scioscia would not waste more than five seconds figuring out who to bat cleanup with Josh Hamilton out, but, rather, make the obvious move that should have been done a long time ago:
Mike Trout (best hitter in baseball, high batting average, power, speed) bats third.
Albert Pujols (still dangerous, power, a human double play machine) bats cleanup.
Add to the mix: Newly returned J. B Shuck bats leadoff (where he excelled last year), and Kole Calhoun, probably too aggressive a hitter to do well as leadoff, bats second.
When Hamilton returns, consider flip-flopping him and Pujols, depending on the opposing pitcher.
Seriously, shouldn't all of this be obvious to an experienced baseball man?
To all the teams that will face Angels this year. Don't worry if your team is down one, five, or even 10 runs in the ninth, Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, pitching coach Mike Butcher and Manager Mike Scioscia will make sure your team wins.
So Zack LaVine and Kyle Anderson are going to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft. At least Anderson was the best player on his team and a very good college player. LaVine did not even start for UCLA and now he is ready for the next level. I don't get it. Shouldn't a player dominate and prove himself in college before thinking he can play in the NBA? Who is telling LaVine he is ready for the NBA?
Matthew D. Kerster
What a jab
I was shocked to read the article about bars needing to pay the commercial fee to show fights, namely the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight. I didn't know anyone even watched boxing anymore.
And you were...?
They actually were able to run the Masters without Tiger Woods. And I loved it. No following Woods everywhere he went. No ignoring him throwing tantrums, clubs and obscenities or attributing these outbursts to his intense competitiveness. Those other players seemed pretty intense without the histrionics. Go Bubba!
I'm an L.A. native who spent the past five years living in New York after relocating for work. Now, I've come home — essentially trading places with Phil Jackson — to find the Clippers in the NBA playoffs but not the Lakers. The Galaxy on TV but not the Dodgers. The Bruins ranked in the preseason top-10 football but not the Trojans. Naming rights for a fictitious NFL stadium but, alas, without a team.
Quantum events as such would seem to signify the existence of a bizarre parallel universe. Please tell me, do we still have swimming pools, movie stars and the occasional earthquake?
Can you please return to your usual hockey coverage? I would much rather read about a Kings win on Page 8 than a loss on Page 1.
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