Letters: Rams have just about run out of time

Cartoonist Jim Thompson illustrates USC coach Clay Helton following the start of college football's early signing period.
(Jim Thompson / For the Times)

In the postgame news conference after the loss to Cowboys, Sean McVay said he needs to “find a formula” that would allow the Rams to win consistently. Well, here it is: Todd Gurley has to carry the ball at least 17 times. Over the past 2 seasons, when Gurley gets 17 carries or more, the Rams are undefeated. TG x 17 = W. How about that formula?

Christopher Grisanti


I hope we will soon be referring to Jared Goff as former Cal Bears and former L.A. Rams quarterback.

Paul Kessler

Los Angeles

Blue by you


Since the Nationals recorded the last out of the World Series, the Dodgers have been linked to the cream of the free agent crop and linked to trades for at least two superstars. Judging by the results, it would seem that Andrew Friedman, in the parlance of a Texas rancher, is “all hat and no cattle.”

Bud Chapman


Can you imagine Tommy Lasorda or Bruce Bochy, who have five world championships between them, feeling as chipper as Dave “I’m having a blast” Roberts, if their teams had lost two championships and a division title in three consecutive seasons? Inconceivable!

Mario Valvo


The good news: The Dodgers will win the NL West in 2020. The bad news: Dr. Heimlich will still be the team doctor. Free agency strikes out as LA whiffs on Strasburg, Cole, and now Bumgarner. Madbum was affordable, but no, the bums decided to stick with Mr. April instead of signing Mr. October. Not only have the Dodgers never won a championship in Kershaw’s lifetime, the front office made sure they never will.

Craig A. Nelson

Solana Beach

The Dodgers are strongly criticized for not signing top free agents. Player statistics are no guarantee of future performance. The top free agents of 2018, Machado and Harper, netted $32,000,000 and $27,500,000 annually from 2020 through 2028. They repaid that treasure by hitting .256 and .260. Based on 2019, Gerrit Cole’s contract will pay him an absurd $10,700 per pitch.

By smart drafting and trading, effective training, and promoting from within, Dodger management pays pitchers Buehler and May, position players Lux, Smith, and Verdugo, and backups Beaty and Rios, a reasonable $583,500.

With the exception of Pollock, the Dodgers have made very smart investments. They find quality through performance analytics and not media hype. They retain money to pay their own players future extended contracts before free agency.


Fans should be patient and give management a chance. There is outstanding talent still remaining on the market. Great trades take time.

Russ Goodenough

Thousand Oaks

In last week’s letters, a number complained about the Dodgers not signing free agents, including Gerrit Cole who signed with the Yankees. These are probably the same fans who complained vociferously last year when the Dodgers didn’t sign Bryce Harper.

The irony of ironies: The Phillies, who signed Harper, didn’t even make the playoffs, while the Nationals, who lost Harper, knocked out the Dodgers and won the World Series over Cole and the Astros.

Even though the Dodgers fell short they gave us a great season with so many exciting walkoff wins and the best record in the NL. With their promising young arms they could go all the way next year without signing Cole or any other over -priced free agent.

Gary M. Schneider

Los Angeles


My fellow Dodgers fans and the media need to relax. We finished nine games ahead of the rest of the National League last year and came within inches of knocking out the eventual champions. Why is everyone so desperate to make wholesale changes and toss around $300-million contracts?

Rob Osborne

Manhattan Beach


Anthony Rendon signed with the Angels because he didn’t like the “Hollywood” lifestyle. If Rendon is referring to the City of Los Angeles, he needs some geography lessons. If he is referring to the Dodgers, it might be instructive to advise him that the club he just signed with has a recent and tragic association with a “lifestyle” that is outlawed by MLB and potentially fatal, as we have seen.

Skip Nevell

Los Angeles
Bad signs for USC?

Now that Clay Helton called USC’s early signing recruiting class “a very good day,” that ranked last in the Pac-12 and 78th in the country (behind Bowling Green), we finally have complete clarity on his baseline for success. And, for a little more clarity and context, in the last 16 years, no team has won a national championship with a recruiting class ranked lower than No. 13.

Based on recent history, if USC can get the recruiting rankings into the 60s, we can obviously expect Dr. Folt and AD Bohn to give Helton a 10-year extension.

Jack Saltzberg

Valley Village

Bill Plaschke seems, again, to be submerged in the vortex caused by a relatively small number of overly vocal USC alumni who simply have it in for Clay Helton, “a massively unpopular head coach.”

I challenge Plaschke to try writing a more positive article written from the perspective of those fans of Helton who look to the good and not knee jerk, automatically super negative, objective viewpoint.

He might be surprised at what he learns, but I’m not so sure he will acknowledge it.

Jim B. Parsons



Bill Plaschke intentionally omitted coach Orgeron’s failure at Mississippi because it showed USC’s decision to find someone else was the correct one at that point in time. Orgeron had to learn how to be a good head coach. He did it, but at the expense of another school.

Bob Bishop



Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of the whole Ed Orgeron love fest from my fellow so-called USC football fans. Indeed, he went 6-2 in his short stint as interim head coach. What all these people seem to have forgotten is those two loses were to Notre Dame and a blowout loss at home against UCLA. There wasn’t one person calling for his hiring after losing 35-14 to the Bruins. His records over his first three years at LSU weren’t exactly Hall of Fame making either.

He finally catches lightning in a bottle with a transfer QB and a down year for Alabama and suddenly he’s a coaching legend? Puh-leese! Enough already!

Geno Apicella

Marina del Rey

The Times could save tons of newsprint and help save the environment at the same time by resisting the urge to continue to criticize coach Helton and the USC football program. Thursday the paper printed not one but two large color photos of high schoolers who have chosen schools other than USC to pursue their dreams. There are only two persons in Los Angeles who like those photos, their subjects. If you are going to insist on wasting ink, print some nice pictures of the bullet train.

Kevin Park

Mission Hills

Court is in session

Does Doc Rivers realize his players make more money in one season, playing a game then any of us fans will make in a lifetime while actually having real jobs? Oh boohoo we have to play back to back games in less then 22 hours. Does he realize service men and woman, police officers, firefighters and all first responders sometimes don’t even sleep for 22 hours at a time? Besides ESPN is giving you exposure in this Laker Town, so quit your sniveling and coach your team!

Phillip Trujillo



After an injury-plagued season, it would make sense for LeBron James to cut back his playing time. He says he feels “obligated “ to play . Here is another way to look at it . Could the king feel his crown slipping, with Harden throwing up 50 on a regular basis and the kid in Dallas a triple-double machine? Maybe James is feeling the need to be seen.

Bert Bergen

La Canada

Fast times

It was disappointing to see just a paragraph devoted to the passing of one of the greatest track athletes in history, the legendary Peter Snell. I remember, as a high schooler, attending the 1962 Coliseum Relays to watch this super athlete compete. We were not disappointed as he decimated the competition, who happened to be the best milers in the world. They included the cream of the crop, Jim Grelle, Dyrol Burleson, Jim Beatty and European champ Michel Jazy. among others. I also was fortunate enough to witness him dominating the field at the Times indoor meet. As a retired news photo-journalist I consider watching him compete a highlight of my life. He truly left his mark on the track.

Henk Friezer

Eagle Rock

Out of bounds

A great golf tournament, the Presidents Cup, was flawed by the live telecast competing with split-screen commercials. A golfer standing over a crucial putt with viewers looking on, were distracted by split-screen TV commercials competing for viewers attention. Tiger putting to win a hole while simultaneously splitting the screen to show a commercial. Are you kidding me?

Note to the Golf Channel: That was bad programming.

Donald Peppars


Teach your children well

Interesting article on the Sierra Canyon High basketball team that has the children of present and former NBA players on the team traveling all over the country to play against the best teams in America. I didn’t notice anything in the article about any of them attending classes or indeed if they actually have classes at the school. The coach certainly didn’t seem to concern himself about their education. Perhaps that was an oversight, but I would think that even if the school has classes, these kids probably wouldn’t have the time to attend them anyway in light of their heavy road schedule. Pretty sad commentary on the over importance of athletics in some educational institutions.

Alvin S. Michaelson

Marina del Rey


I think it may be time for a Walton family intervention. Big Bill has become such a blabbering distraction on game telecasts that even a savvy old pro like Digger Phelps couldn’t salvage the Notre Dame-UCLA game broadcast last Saturday. Walton is so intent on asking his broadcast partner if he has read some obscure philosophy book, hiked the Oregon Trail, met the Dahli Lama, etc., that he is many times not even aware of what is going on during the game.

I agree with Coach Wooden when he stated that “when healthy” Bill Walton was the best college basketball player he had ever seen play. I for one would like to remember him that way and not as a broadcaster who has become an unwelcome distraction for those of us who actually want to watch the game and hear some meaningful insight from the expert analyst.

Steve Briseno

Mission Viejo

Thanks for the bikes

Magic Johnson has no regrets. I wish I could say the same for all of us Dodgers and Lakers fans who face the choice of an ever-escalating Spectrum bill or watching almost none of our favorite teams’ games on TV.

Yeah, he’s magic all right; he made our local sports teams disappear.

Barry Davis

Agoura Hills


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