Tag Archives: Los Angeles Dodgers

Food for Thought 5-29-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Manu Ginobli (pictured above) stole the show in Game 1. Will OKC slow down the streaking Spurs tonight?

By Josh Kramer

Continue to doubt the Spurs.  I know that I have.  19 victories in a row is no fluke.  Not to mention that nine of them have occurred during playoff basketball.  Through three quarters on Sunday night, it looked as if the Thunder were on their way to making a major statement, and negating San Antonio’s home-court advantage.  Instead, San Antonio came out firing on all cylinders in the fourth court, denying OKC a major opportunity.  Sunday was as prime example of why no game is every over until the final horn sounds.  Now history is against the Thunder who lost in the conference finals last year as well.

First of all, winners of Game 1 in the conference finals have gone on to win the series 80% of the time.  Secondly, San Antonio became the fourth team in NBA history to start the playoffs with nine straight victories.  All of the previous three advanced to the NBA finals with two taking home the championship.  Thirdly, the Thunder outplayed the Spurs for well over three/fourths of the game and still lost.  Scott Brooks has to be scratching his head still as to what happened late Sunday night.

Manu Ginobli was the difference maker as he has been for the better part of a decade now.  How many players can come off the bench and influence a playoff basketball game the way he can?  Not many, though James Harden, OKC’s bench star, can really play.  Also, OKC has to find a way to get some point production out of their bigs.  The Spurs cleaned up in the paint, outscoring the Thunder 50 to 26.

Despite all of my rambling, I still like the Thunder to take this series in the end.  There is something about this young and exciting group out of OKC that has really caught my eye.  The “Big Three” of Durant, Westbrook, and Harden will not be denied two years in a row.  They are far too good and determined to let that happen.  Look for an inspired effort tonight from Russell Westbrook after a less than stellar Game 1 performance.  The majority of the country wants a Thunder versus Heat finals matchup.  With a victory tonight, the Thunder will really increase the likelihood of this dream matchup coming to fruition. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-21-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Due to rain, we are getting some bonus tennis today. Can Novak Djokovic (pictured above) handle Nadal on the clay in Rome?

By Josh Kramer

Saturday was not the best of days for the city of  Los Angeles to say the least.  As I have said before, people will soon stop calling Los Angeles “Lob City,” and start calling it “Heartbreak City,” if they haven’t already.   On Saturday, both of their basketball teams blew double-digit point leads. At least they have the Dodgers and the Kings. The NBA and NHL playoffs have been outstanding and the best part is there is still plenty to go.  In addition, I’ll Have Another would love “another” win at the Belmont to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1978.  Last week was great, but this week should be even better.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bonus tennis.  What could be better?  Due to massive amounts of rainfall, the Rome Masters final showdown between the world’s top two players (Djokovic/Nadal) was postponed today.  I by no means am complaining.  The clay-court season has been a bundle of fun as usual as we get ready to head down the home stretch. Roland Garros is just six days away.  Get excited. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-15-2012

Photo courtesy of clippers.topbuzz.com. Chris Paul (left) and Blake Griffin (right) are two of the main reasons why the Clippers currently find themselves in the Western Conference Semifinals. Can they advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history?

By Josh Kramer

The opening round brought the city of Los Angeles to a fever pitch.  Round two will bring heartbreak.  In a little over a week, people will be referring to Los Angeles as “Heartbreak City,” rather than “Basketball Central.”  Even if you are not a fan of the Lakers or the Clippers, you have to admit that an all LA Western Conference Finals showdown would be special.  “Lob City” versus the Kobe Bryant Show.  What could be better than that?

Unfortunately, I am going to go out on a limb and say that it isn’t going to happen.  This is not the same Lakers team that made three consecutive finals appearances from 2008 to 2010.  They are full of flaws, lacking the effort and determination to lay it all on the line every night. The Clippers are not only tired and injury riddled, they are overmatched against a very experienced and well coached San Antonio team.  Gregg Popovich is arguably the best in the business for a reason.

Kobe Bryant will have to play out of this world for LA to stretch this series more than five games.  The Nuggets made the Lakers look like they were standing still at times during the opening round.  What do you think the Thunder are going to do?  Not to mention the Thunder are much bigger inside than the Nuggets with Ibaka and a now healthy Perkins.  I tip my hat to the Clippers on taking down a very good Grizzlies team.  But the Spurs are even better than Memphis.  Plus, both of the star players on the Clippers are currently struggling with various injuries.

It has been a great year for Los Angeles in terms of NBA basketball.  As a consolation prize though, the Kings appear unstoppable in terms of the NHL and the Dodgers currently boast the best record in the National League.  In terms of basketball though, Los Angeles should start thinking about the 2012/2013 season. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-8-2012

Photo coutesy of zimbio.com. Albert Pujols (pictured above) and the Los Angeles Angels have not had much to celebrate during the early going of the 2012 season. Will the Angels turn things around and begin to live up to expectations?

By Josh Kramer

Is it me or has the MLB been turned upside down?  Derek Jeter is batting over 400 at age 37.  Albert Pujols has one home run (he finally hit one on Sunday).  And Ryan Dempster leads the National League in ERA (all of these stats were heading into play yesterday).  How about the current standings though?

Cellar Dwellers:

-Philadelphia “We are the cream of the crop in the NL East” Phillies

-Chicago “We have fun at Wrigleyville” Cubs

-San Diego “This is not a shocker” Padres

-Boston “We are always a contender” Red Sox

-Minnesota “Ron Gardenhire is a savior” Twins

-Los Angeles “World Series Favorite” Angels

Divisional Leaders:

-Washington “Never gone over 500” Nationals

-St. Louis “Albert Pujols-less” Cardinals

-Los Angeles “Divorced” Dodgers

-Baltimore “We play in the same division as New York and Boston” Orioles

-Cleveland “We are more famous for a movie” Indians

-Texas “Going for a three-peat” Rangers Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 5-7-2012

Photo courtesy of thenewsportsguru.com. Robert Griffin III (pictured above) and other rookies are getting their first reps with their new employers already.

By Josh Kramer

The word “playoffs” is the best way to describe the wide world of sports over the past week.  And guess what.  “Playoffs” will continue to be the heart of the sporting world this week. Here are the main events to keep an eye on.

5.  Wednesday was one of the most wild days in recent memory regarding the NFL.  It even topped the Manning/Tebow bonanzaThere was some good, some bad, and some sad.  Well rookies like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and others are getting their first real workouts in with their new employees.  Keep an eye out as rookie minicamp finishes. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-30-2012

Photo courtesy of mutualuniversity.blogspot.com. People received a heavy dose of Todd McShay (left) and Mel Kiper (right) this weekend. There is still plenty more to come.

By Josh Kramer

How many times this weekend did you hear the following lines? “That’s a reach.”  “The sky is the limit for this guy.”  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am all NFL Drafted out.  It is a great event. But on to the next one.  What a great time in sports right now.  Major League Baseball is just getting going.  The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing.  Here are the events to keep an eye on this week.

5.  Have you had enough of the NFL Draft yet?  Well guess what, the coverage is not over.  Despite the insane amount of attention that the NFL’s marquee off-season event received, there is still plenty more to come as the experts try to tell you how good or bad your team did in the war room.  Here are a few interesting statistics in regards to the 2012 NFL Draft.

-55% of the drafted players (142 of 253) came out of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12.

-Alabama has turned into the new NFL U (8 players selected).  Plus, the Crimson Tide became only the second school ever to have multiple underclassmen selected in the first round of the draft in three consecutive years (Miami is the other).

-Times are changing.  The Sunshine State was not smiling on Thursday night.  No players from Miami, Florida, or Florida State were selected in the first round for the first time since 1980.

-A new record of 19 early entrants were selected in round one (the previous record was 17 in 2010).

-Boise State had six players drafted this year.  Only Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia had more taken.  I am sure people will blame this on the “easy” schedule though. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andre Ethier (pictured above) was a main reason for the Dodgers solid start in 2011. The real cause for LA's mild success though by the end of the season was Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp.

By Josh Kramer

We have hit the 15th week of “Throwback Saturdays.”  It has been fun taking a trip down memory lane every Saturday.  What was happening on April 28, 2011? How about on April 28, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Loan Bright Spot in Dodgertown

Here is a snippet..

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not exactly had a story book season thus far.  Really not much has gone right on or off the field.  Surprisingly though, the team has not completely flopped.  Or at least not yet.  Sitting at 13 and 13, they are still in 2nd in the NL West. With a run differential of -16, they are not exactly competitive every night.  They either win big.  Or they lose big.  A weak run differential normally catches up with a team as they get a couple of months into the season.  So the odds do not look to be in LA’s favor.

But there has been one lone bright spot in Dodgertown. That bright spot is not Kobe Bryant, though his courage and amazing toughness is a shining light in that city.  Say hello to Los Angeles Dodger’s star right fielder, Andre Ethier.  Ethier has been simply phenomenal this season, and is a main reason why the Dodgers are currently playing 500 baseball.  Without him, the entire ship may have already sunk on this season even just 26 games in (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-17-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Kemp (pictured above) is playing out of this world right now. He has been the "Magic" that has the Dodgers sitting atop the baseball world.

By Josh Kramer

“Magic”  in LA?

No athlete has meant more to his or her respective city than Magic Johnson.  Ten games into the 2012 MLB season, it appears “Magic” has struck again in Los Angeles.  No team is playing better baseball than the Los Angeles Dodgers at the moment.  Yes, the same team that the villainous Frank McCourt owned until recently.  What is the difference between the 2011 and the 2012 edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Earvin “Magic” Johnson.

After the days of Bill Russell and before the days of “His Airness,” there was Magic Johnson.  Magic and the Lakers were synonymous with the word “Winning” in the 1980s.  Though it is still very early, it seems that the new ownership has revived the winning mentality in a once very proud Dodgers organization.

Okay, I realize this is totally a stretch.  Magic and his partners bought the troubled franchise for around two billion dollars on March 27th.  There is no way they could have done much to completely transform this team into one of the MLB’s elite in just a few weeks.  I believe in the power of pep talks.  But ownership has to make baseball moves as well to lead a franchise to greatness.  Magic and Co. have not really had an opportunity to make any baseball moves.  The real “Magic” lies in the play of star center fielder Matt Kemp. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-16-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rafael Nadal (pictured above) took home the title in Monaco last year. He hopes to repeat this week.

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to mid-April.  NHL Playoff action is in full swing.  The NBA regular season is wrapping up.  And the MLB is part of the daily sports routine.  There is so much going on in the sporting world.  I hope you enjoyed the last week.  This week will be a good one in its own right though.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Let’s go to Monaco.  We all wish right?  Well the ATP is heading to Monaco for the 106th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.  And though this is a non-mandatory event for the tour’s top players, the majority of the world’s elite will be there.   This includes Rafael Nadal, who would love to defend his title in Monaco. Things in the tennis world are ready to heat up as players prep for the year’s second Grand Slam in Paris (French Open).  Make sure to keep an eye on this always highly competitive and entertaining event. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and spring is here.  Come April,  it’s time for baseball season.  There are few minor changes this year to the playoff system, but have no fear, the excitement will … Continue reading