10 Thoughts For the Week of September 13, 2020

1. 9/11

After 19 years, it is pretty amazing how 9/11 feels as fresh as yesterday. I still remember when I first heard about the planes hitting the tower. I remember going to work and being sent home. It was confusing and slowly developing for someone living in California. I guess that is what they mean when they say “We Will Never Forget”.

2. MILWAUKEE BUCKS

For the second year in a row, the Bucks have had the best record, the best defense, and the best player in the league. For the second year in a row, they didn’t get to the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat played inspired basketball and Giannis got hurt. Outside of Game 4, it didn’t appear the Bucks had the next gear that championship teams have to make it to the next level.

When I look at comparisons, I think of Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers. They were both teams that had spent two or three years to get over the hump.

3. DANUEL HOUSE

When I heard about Danuel House being expelled from the NBA Bubble because he was entertaining one of the on-site testers, I thought of the Morris Day song “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. The players were in the bubble for two and a half months and I guess it was too much for House; or was it love at first sight?

4. LAKERS ARE BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Due to Danuel House’s indiscretions, the Lakers destroyed the Rockets en route to the Western Conference Finals. This is the first time the Lakers have been in the playoffs since Kobe hobbled off with an Achilles injury. I would like to think of them as the favorites but their play has not inspired me they will steamroll the rest of the competition. Truth be told, they are a Dame Lillard injury and a Danuel House expulsion from being in two tough playoff series.

5. R.I.P. TOOTS HIBBERT

The music world lost a legend this week when Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals passed away. Their music was so joyful and Pressure Drop is a classic.

6. BLACK REPUBLICANS

This week, I listened to an interesting podcast about Black Republicans. It was a great conversation about the movement of African Americans from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the last half of the twentieth century. 

What I found most interesting is that as a people African Americans are conservative. They have conservative views, but they have zero tolerance for racism.

7. A COMPETENT PRESIDENT

Last week, I mentioned the challenging opinions of how many people in the United States would have died of COVID. Well German Lopez, of Vox, claims if the US had the same response to COVD that Canada did, 100,000 would still be alive.

8. THE NFL IS BACK

The NFL is back at a time that does not feel as strange as baseball and basketball. After watching the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, I think they are the favorites by a lot. Tom Brady lost his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Bill Belichick looked like he didn’t miss Tom Brady. It’s only Week 1.

9. DOG MAN

Dog Man is a family favorite at my house. The latest installment of the Dog Man saga Dog Man: Grime & Punishment has been the best selling book in North America for the last three weeks.

10. SOCIAL MEDIA & POLITICS

A recent poll from the Pew Research Center asked Americans their opinions about social media platforms’ ability for raising awareness was very surprising to me.

10 Thoughts for the Week of September 6, 2020

1. R.I.P. JOHN THOMPSON

Basketball lost a great man on Monday. Black America lost a great man on Monday. John Thompson took a little school and made it a national powerhouse for two decades. He did it his way and he did not compromise. As a kid, I thought Georgetown was an HBCU and John Thompson was the epitome of a strong black man. When I was in middle school and high school, you were either a Georgetown or a UNC or Duke fan.

2. TORONTO v BOSTON

Speaking of basketball…let’s talk NBA Playoffs. This series went from almost 3-0 to the best series of the second round. It’s even at 2-2. The next three games are going to be straight war. That’s right…it’s going 7 games. Kyle Lowery is the type of player you love when he is on your team and hate when he is on the other team. It is fun to see him in the same game with Marcus Smart

3. MILWAUKEE v MIAMI

There is a very good chance that Milwaukee is going to get swept. The team that seems to have most benefited from four and a half months off (besides the Phoenix Suns) is the Miami Heat. They play hard and they are getting inspired play from Jae Crowder. Crowder has been nailing three-pointers in a heartbreaking manner if you are a Bucks fan. Giannis is the two-time MVP and Defensive Player of the Year has played hard and has sprained his ankle twice. Miami has neutralized the MVP and the rest of the Bucks have not stepped up. For the last three years or so, everyone has said,  once Giannis gets a jump shot, it is game over. My question is that day may not come.

4. CLIPPERS v NUGGETS

Both teams have each won a game very convincingly. We will see if there are adjustments that make a difference. Game 1 was all Clippers…Game 2 not so much.  Patrick Beverly losing his mind was out of character. Maybe it was a sign of the frustration the Clippers felt as they were outplayed all night. These guys still are the Clippers I guess.

5. LAKERS v ROCKETS

The Rockets stunned the Lakers in Game 1. This is the most curious series of the round. The big men of the Lakers against the small lineups of the Rockets. Lebron and AD should dominate, but it looks like the Rockets pulled out a zone and dared someone else on the Lakers to beat them. This could be a long series or the Lakers could impose their will the next four games.

6. TRUMP AND THE MILITARY

Jeffrey Goldberg’s article about Trump and his habit to denigrate the military has become a big deal this week. Calling people who get captured or die in war “losers” and “suckers” does not sound all that surprising after Trump disrespected John McCain. The only person Trump has shown any respect to is Vladimir Putin.

7. DODGERS ON CRUISE CONTROL

With the best record in baseball, the Dodgers continue to dominate the MLB. They have found their flow and now it is a matter of keeping everyone healthy. With the trade deadline last week, the Padres made moves to show they are going all in. This may be their first postseason in a very long time.

8. BROOKLYN NETS HIRE STEVE NASH AS HEAD COACH

The two-time MVP has all the bonafide to be a great coach. He was a good/not great athlete who dominated the game with vision and skill. I think it is a good move for a team that needs some swagger. It may help keep Kyrie Irving in check as well. My first thought was I hope he doesn’t end up like Jason Kidd. Then I thought about how Steve Kerr was hired for the Warriors where Nash did an apprenticeship.

Byron Scott complained the black coaches don’t get to coach a contender for their first job. Nash and Kerr are bad hiring to make that call on. They have two MVPs and three championships as players between the two of them. Although, it is sad Patrick Ewing was never a head coach after being an assistant coach for a long time.

9. HOW MANY LIVES WOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED BY A COMPETENT PRESIDENT SAVED

The editorial department of the New York Times has been writing about the number of lives saved in this time of COVID-19 if we had a competent president. David Leonhardt argues that 145,000 of the 189,000 death would have been prevented by a competent president. Ross Douthat argues that 22,000 deaths would have been prevented. Either way, there are a lot of people who did not need to die.

10. MESSI TO STAY IN BARCA

The three-week drama regarding Leonel Messi was resolved this week. Messi will stay at the place that has been his home in Barcelona.

10 Thoughts for the Week of August 22, 2020

1. UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Last Sunday I watched Barcelona and Leonel Messi, arguably the best soccer player in the world, get completely destroyed by Bayern Munich 8-2. It was a straight-up beat down in any language. Soccer is the sort of game where a scoring a goal is equivalent of ten points in American football.

Soccer, much like football, is a game for one single player to dominate. Malcolm Gladwell has a great podcast about it. So much pressure falls on players like Messi and Ronaldo. The board of FC Barcelona was so disappointed, they considered making Messi available for transfer.

Bayern Munich was on collision course with high scoring PSG for the final which resulted in a 1-0 championship win.

2. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

My attention for the DNC was on and off. I didn’t need to be convinced Biden is a better pick than Trump. I uneasily appreciated how the other candidates rallied around Biden. There was a strange was the number Anti-Trump Republicans endorsements also.

3. THE OBAMAS

Seeing the Obamas on Tuesday and Wednesday nights reminded me of what a real President and First Lady look like.

4. AOC

What is up with giving AOC less than five minutes to speak? She is controversial but she needs some shine.

5. KANYE FOR PRESIDENT

Kanye West is getting help from the Trump Campaign to get on the ballot. They believe a vote for Kanye is a vote taken away from Biden.

I love Kanye’s music but I would never consider voting for him to be president. I would think twice about Lebron James long before I would think about Kanye

6. NBA PLAYOFFS – 1st ROUND

When it comes to the NBA playoffs, the matchups make the games interesting.

The Lakers and the Clippers find themselves in tough series because they don’t matchup all that well with Damien Lillard and Luka Donicic.

Denver is an offensive juggernaut but it got matched up with the defensive minded Jazz and Donovan Mitchell.

7. #1 SEEDS

For the first time in 30 years, both #1 seeds lost Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. Both have bounced back to take control of their respective series.

8. THE DODGERS

With 20 wins in this strange 60-game season, the Dodgers have assumed the top spot in the NL West. Mookie Betts is well worth whatever money he is making this year. Cody Bellinger had a slow start, but he has found his stroke. Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are shaping into form.

9. NFL TRAINING CAMPS HAVE STARTED

The NFL season is still three weeks away. It is hard to pay too much attention because there is 8 hours of basketball on everyday. I can barely keep track of MLB.

10. KEEP IT 100

A interesting tidbit from the NFL…Leonard Fournette is pinning $100 bills to his practice jerseys. He says it is a reminder that he needs 100 yards a game to be successful. That is an expensive reminder.

Who Makes a Difference – The X-Factors – Part 2 – 10 Thoughts on the NBA Conference Finals

Who Makes a Difference Part 2 (The X-Factors) – 10 Thoughts on the NBA Conference Finals

 

With the Conference Finals here, I thought I’d make another stab at ten players who have the ability to turn series for their team.

  1. Steph Curry – With Kevin Durant out for at least Game 1, the Warriors will go as far as Steph takes them. He needs to put up at least 30 for a win. He has a history of being streaky in the playoffs. Golden State cannot have a bad Steph Curry day.
  2. Kris Middleton – A remnant from my last list. Middleton is the key to their offense and I imagine he is going to spend some time guarding Kawhi Leonard. Middleton needs to provide the shooting that opens up the lane for Giannis. He also had to do the best he can to slow down the hottest player in the playoffs.
  3. Draymond Green – Guarding Dame Lillard and CJ McCollum is a daunting task. It cannot be done by one person. Steph and Klay are going to need the support that Draymond provides defensively and keeping Enis Kanter off the glass.
  4. Eric Bledsoe – When Bledsoe is hot, Milwaukee is unbeatable. He needs to be more than hot. He has to be smart. Kyle Lowry, who is not as athletic as Bledsoe, knows how to play intelligent defense. Bledsoe has to make smart plays and timely three-pointers.
  5. Kyle Lowry – The Raptors cannot be dragged to the Finals by Kawhi the way he dragged them to the Conference Finals. Lowry needs to take and make big shots. The rest of the team struggled through the second round and Lowry cannot be passing up shots if the Raptors are going to make it to the Finals.
  6. Andrew Bogut – The Warriors weakness is rebounding. Enis Kanter has dominated the glass in the playoffs. If the Blazers have any chance to dethrone the Warriors, they need Kanter to change the game by dominating the glass. Bogut is tougher than Nikola Jokic and he needs to physically dominate Kanter.
  7. Rodney Hood – Hood showed he can swing a game in playoff series. The Blazers probably need him to swing at least two. He has found his confidence and that makes him dangerous. His size and skill make him difficult to guard. If he commits to playing defense, he is a tenacious defender. Will his confidence wane when he is face to face with the defending champions?
  8. George Hill – Since he is healthy, Hill is the kind of point guard the Bucks need leading their bench. Hill was a surprise game-changer against the Celtics. I almost forgot that he was the point guard on those Indiana Pacer teams that made it to the conference finals. A healthy George Hill makes the Bucks such a deep team. They may be able to wear down the Raptors.
  9. Pascal Siakam – Siakam is not a second scorer on a championship team, but he is a third scorer and he can cause problems on defense with his length and athleticism. He needs to make his mark on the series or the Raptors are going home.
  10. Zach Collins – Collins showed in Game 7 against the Nuggets the effect he can have on a game. He is the type of player that could give the Warriors trouble. He could also spend a lot of time on the bench with foul trouble. We will see which Zach Collins comes to play.

 

All the Favorites Won: 10 Thoughts On The First Round of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs

With Round 2 of the NBA Playoffs getting started, I wanted to drop some thoughts on Round 1. The Eastern conference was the most interesting for Round 1(well to me maybe). 

 

  • Pound for pound – The Milwaukee Bucks look like the pound for pound best team in the East. Detroit had no answer for the Greek Freak. The Bucks as a team has so much depth and they look like they can play any style of basketball.
  • Most Improved Player – Pascal Siakam should be the NBA’s Most Improved Player. He was the most valuable player of the round for his team. Orlando put up a good fight, but Siakim always made the momentum changing plays.
  • Rocky 3 – Philadelphia needs the Eye of the Tiger. An undermatched Brooklyn team gave them all they wanted for four games. This team is hanging on by Joel Embiid’s bum knee. I think Jimmy Butler is the key to the next round.
  • Kyrie Time – This is Kyrie Irving’s time of the year. He is the winningest player in playoff history and he showed it in this series. He played like a man no one could guard and he made the shots as well. Jaylen Brown also picked the right time to take his game to another level. As good as Kyrie and Jaylen played, the team did not look the same without Marcus Smart. They are going to need him if they expect to play with Milwaukee.
  • No Victory Without Victor – Indiana battled and played as hard as they could with Darren Collison and Wes Matthews. In the end, they were not Victor Oladipo. Even with Tyreke Evans and Bojan Bogdanovic shooting their minds out, Indiana needed a closer. Myles Turner was a force on defense and will continue to be for the next couple of years.
  • Kudos #1 – The Nets get a serious pat on the back. They are a bad call away from taking the Sixers to maybe seven games. D’Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert did some major damage to the Sixers defense. If they had any size, they would have given the Sixers fits.
  • Kudos #2 – The Orlando Magic made it back to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. I was ready to see a young team that stumbled into the playoffs. However Steve Clifford coached these guys so that were efficient on offense and tenacious on defense. I know D.J. Augustin made the game winning shot in Game 1, but they are a point guard away from doing damage in the Eastern Conference. Hint – Kemba Walker is a free agent this summer.
  • You Got In…Now What? – Well Detroit made it to the playoffs. It had been three years since the Pistons had been in the playoffs. The Pistons had not won a playoff series since 2008. I am glad they got something from last year’s Blake Griffin trade…but now what? It will be interesting to see what Dwayne Casey gets out of this roster next year.
  • Boston v. Milwaukee – I am picking the Bucks in 6. While I think the Bucks can slow down Kyrie, I am not sure the Celtics can slow down Giannis.
  • Philadelphia v. Toronto – I am picking Toronto in 5. The Sixers don’t have the firepower to overcome a Raptor defense that is just plain nasty. The Sixers could not stop the Nets. Now how are they going to stop the Raptors.

 

 

10 THOUGHTS ON TIGER WOODS WINNING THE 2019 MASTERS

  1. Caddyshack – When I was in high school, I worked as a caddy at a private golf club. A majority of the caddies were African-American kids trying to make some pocket change. The club had zero African-American members. The members were nice, but we were always treated like the “help”. Working there I never imagined a golf player like Eldredge Tiger Woods.
  2. Poetic Justice – Tiger won his first Masters at age 22. He then dominated golf for the next nine years. This old caddie felt like justice was served.
  3. The Heavyweight Champion of the World – I see a lot of similarities between Tiger and Jack Johnson. They were two black men who dominated what was a white man’s sport with a swagger that enthralled and angered the masses. Both men were taken down by their sexual indiscretions. You can also include Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in that narrative.
  4. Last year at this time – I was hoping for redemption for Tiger. He was in the hunt and then things fell apart again. Things had been falling apart for the last nine years. He suffered many injuries and appeared to have lost his edge. I still remember his comments about getting his buttocks to engage in his swing. I wondered if a day like today was going to come.
  5. The Day Came – It was Tiger’s first win at a major tournament in more than ten years. I remember the last time he won was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines beating Rocco Mediate on one leg.
  6. 15 & 3It was Tiger’s 15th major win. He needs three more to tie Jack Nicklaus.
  7. Five Green Jackets – It was Tiger’s 5th victory at the Masters. Fourteen years after his fourth.
  8. There is a First Time for Everything – It was the first time in his career to win a major championship when he was not winning after 54 holes. He had been close in the past, but never closed the deal until last week.
  9. A Family Affair – I remember Tiger winning the Masters and hugging his father. I also remember when Tiger won the Masters shortly after his father passed. Those were touching moments. Seeing Tiger hug his kids after winning on Sunday brought tears to my eyes.
  10. Implicit Bias Sucks – Earlier last weekend while I was leaving my son’s baseball game, I saw a black man taking his son to a lacrosse match. Ironically, I had all sorts of thoughts about this guy and his son playing a white man’s game. I had to put my implicit bias in check and say maybe this kid will be the Tiger Woods of lacrosse.

10 THOUGHTS ON TIGER WOODS WINNING THE 2019 MASTERS

  1. Caddyshack – When I was in high school, I worked as a caddy at a private golf club. A majority of the caddies were African-American kids trying to make some pocket change. The club had zero African-American members. The members were nice, but we were always treated like the “help”. Working there I never imagined a golf player like Eldredge Tiger Woods.
  2. Poetic Justice – Tiger won his first Masters at age 22. He then dominated golf for the next nine years. This old caddie felt like justice was served.
  3. The Heavyweight Champion of the World – I see a lot of similarities between Tiger and Jack Johnson. They were two black men who dominated what was a white man’s sport with a swagger that enthralled and angered the masses. Both men were taken down by their sexual indiscretions. You can also include Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson in that narrative.
  4. Last year at this time – I was hoping for redemption for Tiger. He was in the hunt and then things fell apart again. Things had been falling apart for the last nine years. He suffered many injuries and appeared to have lost his edge. I still remember his comments about getting his buttocks to engage in his swing. I wondered if a day like today was going to come.
  5. The Day Came – It was Tiger’s first win at a major tournament in more than ten years. I remember the last time he won was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines beating Rocco Mediate on one leg.
  6. 15 & 3It was Tiger’s 15th major win. He needs three more to tie Jack Nicklaus.
  7. Five Green Jackets – It was Tiger’s 5th victory at the Masters. Fourteen years after his fourth.
  8. There is a First Time for Everything – It was the first time in his career to win a major championship when he was not winning after 54 holes. He had been close in the past, but never closed the deal until last week.
  9. A Family Affair – I remember Tiger winning the Masters and hugging his father. I also remember when Tiger won the Masters shortly after his father passed. Those were touching moments. Seeing Tiger hug his kids after winning on Sunday brought tears to my eyes.
  10. Implicit Bias Sucks – Earlier last weekend while I was leaving my son’s baseball game, I saw a black man taking his son to a lacrosse match. Ironically, I had all sorts of thoughts about this guy and his son playing a white man’s game. I had to put my implicit bias in check and say maybe this kid will be the Tiger Woods of lacrosse.

10 Thoughts on How It Feels to be Colored Like Me: Hurston and Confronting Race and Racism 90 Years Later

Recently I How It Feels to be Colored Like Me by Zora Neal Hurston in an essay anthology I am reading. I struck by all the different dimensions Hurston addresses being colored in 1928. The essay inspired me to come up with 10 Thoughts on How It Feels to be Colored Like Me. Off we go:


  1. Why I am Colored – I can trace my lineage to slaves and Holocaust survivors. While I am proud of both lineages of my family, I carry the mantle of being black. If I were in an elevator with you, you would not think I was white. I do not operate with the caucasity of white privilege. I operate with a sense of defiance. 
  2. Speaking of Lineage – Hurston wrote, \”I am the only Negro in the United States whose grandfather on the mother’s side was not an Indian chief.\” I have always been amazed at black peoples\’ affinity for their Native American heritage. It made me wonder if Native Americans have a similar affinity for multiculturalism. Are there Native Americans on a reservation in North Dakota claiming lineage from Malcolm X, Nat Turner or Frederick Douglass?
  3. What Are You? – People often ask me “what are you?” like they are trying to figure out whether I am the lemur or the meerkat at the zoo. I have heard the question so many times that I know what is really being asked. Still, I would prefer if these people said “what is ethnicity?” or “what is your racial background?”.
  4. Day One – When it comes to being colored, we all have a Day One. \”I remember the very day I became colored,\” Hurston wrote. My Day One occurred on some playground in the third grade when some ignorant kid called me the n-word.
  5. Tragically Colored? – While she has jumped on the mantle of being colored, Hurston wants you to know she is not tragically colored. \”There is no great sorrow damned up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes.\” I love how this description goes against the grain of how black people are characterized and depicted. 
  6. No Race – Something I can relate to from the essay is when Hurston writes “At certain times, I have no race. I am me.” It is not often enough I feel this way; but when I do, it is pure bliss.
  7. White Backgrounds – Something else I can relate to is when Hurston writes I feel most colored when I am thrown against a sharp white background.” I have always felt most colored in, a good and a bad way when I have been thrust against a sharp white background. 
  8. Scary Smile – I  operate under the assumption that a majority of the white people I deal with are scared of me. Check the pic…am I all that intimidating?   always try to smile and be friendly to put them at ease. I also know I have the intimidation card if I want to play it. 
  9. Strength Overcomes – Racism or not, Hurston believed in the strength of a person and so do I. \”I have seen that the world is to the strong regardless of a little pigmentation more or less.\” There are some that are going to discriminate and fight you no matter what. However, there is a lot to be gained by exercising one\’s strength.

  10. Discrimination – When it came to discrimination, Hurston wrote “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.” Well said, Ms. Hurston!

10 Thoughts on the Remainder of the 2018 World Series

It has taken me a good week to figure out what I want to say about the 2018 World Series. I felt like the Dodgers went from being up 4-0 in Game 4 to having the whole Series fall apart. Congrats to the Red Sox. The balled out and their bullpen was just straight nasty.

Here are my 10 Thoughts:
  1. The Red Sox were terrors throughout the playoffs when hitting with two outs. This season, the Red Sox had five of the top fifty hitters with two outs. There is nothing more heartbreaking than giving up runs after you have battled to get two outs in an inning.
  2. The Red Sox bullpen was lights out. Going into the Series, I thought the Dodgers had the better bullpen. However, the Sox bullpen, with the addition of Nathan Eovaldi, was flat dominant.
  3. David Price got the playoffs monkey off of his back. He went 2-0 in the Series with a 2.12 ERA. Price was 1-8 in the ALDS in his career.
  4. I predicted that Mookie Betts or Yasiel Puig would be the MVP of the Series. Steve Pearce was the Series MVP and his timely and game-winning home runs are just another product of Boston\’s clutch hitting with two outs.
  5. One of the most surprising things to me was the Red Sox won the Series without a dominant outing from Chris Sale. He pitched five innings and had a 5.40 ERA. He was their ace all season and he really didn\’t have the impact I was expecting him to have.
  6. While the Red Sox bullpen shortened the game, the Dodgers bullpen was good and not great. The question coming into the beginning of the season was whether the Dodgers had made any moves to strengthen their bullpen. They let Tony Watson and Brando Morrow go in free agency. Then they signed Tom Koehler and he immediately got injured. They tried to bring in Ryan Madsen but he was no replacement for Brandon Morrow. The Dodgers\’ lack of addressing this problem didn\’t really expose itself until the Series. The bullpen was good enough during the playoffs that I forgot it was the weak link. A weak bullpen and a team that is super clutch with two outs is a bad combination.
  7. Walker Buehler was outstanding in his one and only appearance in the World Series. He should have had the win. Buehler and Julio Arias make me excited for the Dodgers starting rotation next year.
  8. Rich Hill was amazing in Game 4 as well. Too bad there was some kind misunderstanding between Hill and Dave Roberts. Essentially, Hill took himself out of the game.
  9. I am not sure what this Series means for the legacy of Clayton Kershaw. He was 0-2 with 7.36 ERA in the Series. He was 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA in the playoffs. Now that David Price has the monkey off of his back, Kershaw\’s lack of playoff success has only been magnified.
  10.  Before the Series, I predicted the Dodgers depth would be the deciding factor. That depth could not overcome the bullpen errors and the Red Sox bullpen dominance.

10 Thoughts on Games 1 & 2 of the 2018 World Series

Boston dominated the first two games of the Series. Some of the things I discussed in preparation for the Series played themselves out. The games were personified by clutch hitting and a dominant bullpen. Here are 10 thoughts as we get ready for Game 3.

  1. My Correct Predictions – As I look back, I was right about quite a few things.
    1. Mookie Betts is playing like the AL MVP and maybe the World Series MVP. He was 3 for 4 in Game 2. Yasiel Puig had a clutch hit and one walk. He could explode in Games 3 thru 5.
    2. J.D. Martinez is a Dodger-killer. He is ridiculously successful against the boys in blue.
  2. My Wrong Predictions – There were also some predictions that did not play out so far in the Series.
    1. Kershaw v. Sale was not the pitcher\’s duel I suspected it would be. Kershaw was tormented by his nemesis, J.D. Martinez and gave up two runs in the first inning. Sale got a lot of swings and misses; but a high pitch count was his undoing. I think there is still a chance for Game 5 for all the marbles being the pitcher\’s duel we all dream of. 
    2. The MVPs from League Championship Series have not made an impact on the Series yet. Maybe we can call this one a push.
    3. The Dodgers depth has not had the impact I thought it would. The Red Sox bullpen has been better than I expected.
  3. Andrew Benintendi May Be the MVP – All he has done is get hits and make amazing plays in the field. His four hits in Game 1 and his leaping catch in Game 2 were daggers to the hearts of Dodger fans.
  4. The All Right-Handed Batter Lineup – The Dodgers unveiled their all right-handed batting lineup for Games 1 & 2. A new lineup is not surprising, the Dodgers had 112 different lineups during the season. What is weird is all their power hitters are left-handed. I was not that concerned because of the Sale pitch count and the Dodgers\’ ability to get into the Red Sox bullpen and bring the lefties off the bench. In Game 2, David Price kept his pitch count under control and went six innings, it took much time to get these guys off the bench.
  5. Game 2 Pitcher\’s Duel – David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu started the game off by keeping things under control for the first four innings. That is the closest we have gotten to a pitcher\’s duel so far this series.
  6. RISP – The Red Sox have been amazing hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position. Half of their runs in the playoffs have been driven in with two outs. The achilles heel for the Dodgers during the regular season was hitting with runners in scoring position. However, the Dodgers have been good, not great, with runners in scoring position. Their problem has been getting runners in scoring position late in the game.
  7. I Am Concerned About Chris Taylor – Taylor is 0 for 5 in the two games he has started in left field. He looks lost at the plate. He doesn\’t look like he has a plan. He also misplayed a ball that resulted in a run. I would like to see Bellinger in center and Kike in left field.
  8. Both Bullpens Have Been Good – The Red Sox bullpen has been outstanding. Going into the Series, I thought the Dodger bullpen had the advantage. The Red Sox bullpen has been lights out so far. The Dodger bullpen has been good also; with the exception of an Alex Wood  and Ryan Madson meltdowns.
  9. Urias Makes Me Smile – Julio Urias has looked great and makes me think he should get the Game 5 or 6 start. I am also excited for the starting rotation next year with Kershaw, Buehler, Urias and Hill.
  10. Dodgers in 6 is Still Possible – It would take the Dodgers being dominant for the next four games. They would need to gain some super momentum with their 3 home games.