Letters: Saying goodbye to Hammerin’ Hank Aaron
Henry Aaron was hitting 40 home runs a year before I knew what baseball was and was still doing it when I was in college some 15 years later. In my mind, he remains the greatest home run hitter in baseball history.
RIP Hank Aaron! My most vivid memory as a youth was watching Hank hit No. 715 at Atlanta in 1974. And who was that left fielder climbing the wall chasing the shot! Bill Buckner of all people!
755 > 762
Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record in 1974 despite enduring racism and went on to hit 755 homers in a 23-year career.
Advice for Rams
Sean McVay has insinuated much about moving on from Jared Goff. I have a better idea. Why don’t we move on from Sean McVay?
McVay called a horrible Super Bowl that the Rams played not to lose. McVay has now broken Goff’s confidence; he won’t release him to seek his potential.
So how about we release McVay instead?
After reading Sean McVay’s “ringing” endorsement of his quarterback I have a few questions for The Boy Genius Coach.
Was Goff lined up with the defensive line while they recorded zero sacks of the opposing quarterback? No? OK, was Goff one of the line guys who could not chase down a 37-year-old Aaron Rodgers? No? Then it must have been Jared Goff in the secondary who dropped not one but two potential interceptions to close out the first half and go into the locker room six points down.
Coach, your QB completed all but six of his passes, had zero turnovers and threw a strike for a TD in icebox weather with a surgically repaired thumb. Goff was thrown under the bus by his coach not once but several times this season. He did NOT cost them the game against Green Bay. He has handled all this static in the press by his coach like a pro. He deserves better.
Raheem Morris is named defensive coordinator by the Rams, replacing Brandon Staley, who left after one season to become coach of the Chargers.
The question is, did the Rams build a team around a lumbering, stand-up, pocket passer or did Sean McVay create the surrendering QB with pies de piedra? Jared Goff has never looked comfortable in the Rams’ scheme.
Going into last weekend’s conference semifinal playoff games, every NFC and AFC team had a top-10 quarterback except the Rams with Jared Goff at number 23. A declining offensive line and poor play calling figure into that, but for the most part Goff earned that bottom third ranking.
That being said, the Rams defense stepped up this season and if Aaron Donald hadn’t gotten hurt we might have had a chance in Green Bay. I wonder if DeShaun Watson would waive his no-trade clause to come to Hollywood!
Now that the Rams’ season is over, can we put an end to the experiment that is the off-white pajama uniforms? The Rams had it right with the Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen classic uniforms in 2018. And can we please fix the broken horns on the helmet? Somebody’s going to get hurt.
Well, it’s clear the Rams’ defense was outsmarted by the super sophisticated Packers offense. Here’s the actual huddle play call on the Rodgers-to-Lazard touchdown: “Go long.”
Sam Farmer, The Times NFL writer is 9-1 in NFL playoffs. Here’s his picks for Sunday’s conference championship games.
The way to play
The best play of the Saints-Buccaneers playoff game came after the game was over. Drew Brees joined Tom Brady in the center of the field and exchanged appreciation for each other. Team members from both sides mingled, patting each other on the shoulder. They call that sportsmanship.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Major League Baseball took the hint. I tire of the TV cameras focused on the winning team doing a pileup at the mound after the victory, mixed with shots of the losers sitting in their dugout, head down, sulking. If just one or two of the losing team walked out and congratulated the winners, it would make a play more profound than the longest homer. Who will be the first to step up?
Old college try
So USC athletic director Mike Bohn thinks that the USC football team improved in all areas under the guidance of Clay Helton in 2020. One has to ponder if Mike watched the Pac-12 championship game against Oregon. Multiple turnovers, 38 total yards on the ground, another undisciplined performance against an inferior team.
Mike, I’m not sure they “improved” in all areas, if any…
I had to laugh at Mark S. Roth’s letter last week, arguing that Ohio State was an unworthy participant in the championship and punctuating it with “Does anyone believe that Clemson would have been beaten by four touchdowns against Alabama?” Well, given that Ohio State beat Clemson by three TDs 10 days before, my guess is that it would have been seven had the teams met.
Larry Scott’s exit from the Pac-12 was long overdue. He led the conference into irrelevancy years ago! One could argue he was simply doing his job under the direction of Pac-12 presidents. Nonsense. A strong, legitimate leader would have secured a deal with DirecTV and would have fought for media rights deals that promoted Pac-12 sports nationally, especially football and basketball.
USC safety Isaiah Pola-Mao, a team captain in 2020, announced Friday he will play for the Trojans again next season.
Ring it out
Sure, a nice read about the Lakers and the $20,000 rings they received from winning the NBA championship. It’s mentioned that they struggled to earn the ring during the pandemic.
I’m sure it was a struggle; but let’s not forget the people who are truly struggling to pay their rent (20K would sure help out), put a roof over their head or looking for a job to take care of family, etc. Bottom line, true struggling is surviving all the issues we face each and every day.
That’s the ticket
There’s an old adage that baseball is a simple sport: You throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch the ball. The Angels forever haven’t thought that throwing the ball is important as they keep on dreaming of making the World Series with no pitching. Trevor Bauer would be their E-ticket to move from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland.
Within the past year, this city has lost three of it most celebrated sports icons: Kobe Bryant, Rafer Johnson and Tommy Lasorda.
All three exemplified a spirit to excel and to soar above the raised bar of success. With the world now in a dark place, perhaps we can all take solace in striving to better ourselves in our everyday lives.
Sad to read about Jon Arnett’s passing in your paper. I’ll always remember his 105-yard kickoff return, which is still a Rams record. Your paper published photos of different stages of Arnett’s kickoff return, which involved a lot of zigging and zagging. Arnett wasn’t called “Jaguar Jon” for nothing. RIP.
One early morning more than 30 years ago I entered Junior’s delicatessen on Westwood Boulevard for a business meeting. I spotted Don Sutton seated alone in a booth reading The Times.
I stopped, said hello, and identified myself as a fan. He invited me to join him. In our brief conversation he told me he was being interviewed that morning for a job as broadcaster for the Atlantic Braves. He said he was more nervous than he had ever been on the mound.
Barry Bonds, Magic Johnson, Stacey Abrams, Barack Obama, Vin Scully and Mike Trout are among those remembering baseball great Hank Aaron, who has died at 86.
Bolt it down
Some franchises will just never get it. The Chargers have the quarterback of the decade fall into their laps. So, after a coaching change, what do they do? They hire a defensive specialist.
Brandon Staley’s introductory news conference revealed little about the man whose rise into the Chargers’ head coaching job remains a bit of a mystery.
Wondering out loud if the Chargers’ hiring of new head coach Brandon Staley had anything to do with the fact they would probably not need to pay a relocation fee?
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