Letters to Sports: The madness of March to the sadness of Dodgers’ moves
I think Mick Cronin is a very good coach. UCLA has done well under him. But can he explain what his offense is? Four players stand around while one player goes one-on-one. No one cutting to the basket, no give-and-go and no pick-and-roll. This occurs frequently and is the hardest way to score.
The team could do much better on offense with a plan that includes strategy other than standing around.
There are so many things to like about what coach Cronin has brought to UCLA basketball. That said, there is one thing he must stop: The routine trashing of his players after losses and even close wins in his postgame interviews. Losing to a very talented Arizona team brought no shame to his players and yet his focus was on their supposed lack of toughness, bad decisions and what “they” had to learn. His first reaction after beating USC last week was how disappointed he was that “his players” let SC make it close at the end. He offers little about the possibility it was his decision making, rotations, or offensive/defensive sets that were responsible. More to the point is that coach Wooden very rarely, if ever, publicly uttered such criticisms of his players. The old saying “praise publicly/criticize privately” has great value.
The UCLA Bruins used elite defense to defeat seasoned Saint Mary’s in the NCAA tournament Saturday, punching their ticket to the Sweet 16.
Turnovers in sports are more times than not caused due to arrogance and disrespect. The USC basketball team needs to respect their opponents and play like it. They cannot just show up and feel the scoreboard cares who has more talent. Eighteen turnovers from a team with that much talent, they deserved to take their egos and disrespect with them and go home and let teams with respect and less talent keep playing
Now that USC’s basketball season is over, what does coach Andy Enfield do for an encore? He hired the Mobley brothers’ father as assistant coach to get the sons to play for him. Now that they are both gone, who’s the next Enfield hire? He got a nice big contract but his recruitment methods are suspect. Shouldn’t expect too much in the future from Enfield and USC.
After rallying from a double-digit deficit, seventh-seeded USC is unable to overcome a late surge by No. 10 Miami in a 68-66 NCAA tournament loss.
Surely I must’ve missed the article in your fine newspaper, so please reveal exactly when did the NCAA tournament selection committee become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Big Ten Conference?
What’s the deal?
This is the saddest I’ve ever been about a big Dodgers acquisition.
I’m in awe of Freddie Freeman’s talent and I’m sure he’ll be worth every penny the Dodgers pay him, but Freeman leaving the Braves is like Kershaw leaving the Dodgers.
It’s just not right.
Don’t much care about the Freddie Freeman acquisition, however I am sorely disappointed with the Kenley Jansen deportation.
An inside look at how the Dodgers signed All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman, including an impromptu call from Mookie Betts’ wedding.
Wow! The Dodgers sign Freeman for $162 million and the Angels sign Matt Duffy for $1 million. What a contrast in organizations. The Dodgers try to win every year while the Angels try to make money. I’m a Mike Trout fan, but he made the biggest mistake of his career re-signing with the Angels — unless he is also in it for the money and not the ring. It gets harder and harder to be an Angel fan when Mr. Moreno only cares about making money. Spend some money like the Dodgers and you too may get to play in October. Try it, you may like it.
The acquisition of Freddie Freeman by the Dodgers is cause for celebration in my household. Unfortunately, as the Angels have proven for decades, a team can’t outhit weak pitching.
San Luis Obispo
Freddie Freeman says he felt hurt by how the Braves didn’t make a big effort to keep him. Kenley Jansen could probably say the same about the Dodgers.
Anybody see a pattern here? Dodgers lose World Series to Red Sox, trade for Mookie Betts; Dodgers lose in playoffs to Nationals, trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner; Dodgers lose in playoffs to Braves, sign Freddie Freeman. Andrew Friedman evidently subscribes to Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s philosophy: If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em!
Mark S. Roth
New Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager will step onto the center stage in a role he didn’t have during his time with the Dodgers.
The Lakers played the Phoenix Suns last Sunday. The Suns played like a professional organized machine, an energized, fast, coordinated, well-coached team.
The Lakers played like they drove by some L.A. parks, picked up a couple of guys playing pickup ball, LeBron anointed them NBA players, put them in Laker uniforms, and played with them against the Suns. Heartbreaking to watch.
The Lakers bought four of the top 75 NBA players of all time but are still under .500?
Lakers star LeBron James has 36 points in defeat of Toronto, moving him within 19 points of Karl Malone for second place among NBA all-time scorers.
I always have a laugh when the media pundits suggest the Lakers have a “puncher’s chance” of winning the NBA title once they get into the play-in tournament. Stop it. The only chance the Lakers have of winning a championship is if they figure out a way to get into the NCAA tournament. Even then I doubt they’d make the Sweet 16.
No crying in baseball?
My takeaway from the article about Jason Gill and the USC baseball program was another example of entitled crybabies and their overbearing parents trying to intimidate a new coach.
Who cares what happened 2-3 years ago? No one! It’s 2022 and coach Gill and the Trojans are winning. ‘Nuff said.
The article “Dynasty to Dysfunction” sounded like a few players with bad attitudes, poor work ethic and lesser skills are no longer being tolerated at USC. That is what happens when a program needs a turnaround — coach Enfield made the right changes, coach Gill is doing it and coach Lincoln Riley is cleaning house. Change is not easy, but clearly USC athletics is committed to excellence.
Inside USC baseball’s long road back to prominence amid investigations and discontent
USC baseball was once the NCAA’s gold standard. Jason Gill, the latest coach to try to resurrect it, has faced challenges, many of them his own making.
Your recent article about the USC baseball program and its new coach seemed more focused on taking petty shots at a reputable coach with a highly successful track record than it did on telling an interesting story. The Times focused on weak complaints from a few entitled individuals, the same individuals who were responsible for the continued failure of the program. When turning around a failed sports program, change is inevitable if success is to be achieved and that change is uncomfortable and creates unhappiness. Complaints will follow. The absence of complaints would have been a bigger story than the one that was printed.
The Stadium Court at Indian Wells seats 16,100 for tennis. If one person yelling one heckling comment at Naomi Osaka (no swear word, no racial slur, no sexist comment) makes her burst into tears and lose her match, I would offer that pro sports is no place for someone this sensitive. I hope she can work through it, but this seems to be an ongoing issue for her.
I am outraged that athletes have to endure heckling, especially young ones. I’m referring to Naomi Osaka being told “You suck!” by a spectator in the stands at the Indian Wells tennis tournament. The chair umpire should have had him ejected immediately. We’ve had our problems as well in Orange County where a Black basketball player in an Irvine game was insulted with racist obscenities and no one did anything for a while, not a referee, not a coach, not a principal, not a parent, until finally one of his friends stopped him. Both of these instances should be dealt with immediately if parents have not taught their offspring how to behave in public.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka was brought to tears Saturday night by a heckler at Indian Wells. It’s important to understand why she was so upset.
For those fans who launch personal insults, this should be the consequence of their actions: cut out their tongue. No more insults anywhere.
I was in awe watching the Paralympics. The heart and accomplishments of all the athletes was more than inspiring. As amazing as the athletes’ skill was their camaraderie, even between competitors from different countries. Learning of the challenges that these athletes have faced and overcome, despite all odds, was beyond humbling. They come from diverse backgrounds and each athlete has a unique story. My question to you, L.A. Times, is why was there no coverage of the Paralympics in the Sports section? To name just one example, the U.S. men’s sled hockey team, with three Purple Heart recipients, won the gold medal. Surely that was worthy of a mention. I am baffled and disappointed by your lack of attention.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford, fresh off a Super Bowl win, agrees to a new four-year contract that includes $135 million in guarantees.
The sports section should be covering NCAA women’s softball. UCLA is 22-3 and ranked No. 3 in the nation. They even have had some perfect games pitched. Since this is a major sport with many Pac-12 teams involved, softball needs to be covered in the sports section.
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