A Little Snow Brightens An Unusual Christmas
December 30, 2019

Let's face it. All of my adult life, Christmas has been more than just a little awkward. Most people my age have spouses and kids, and maybe even grandchildren. I've never married, no children, let alone grandchildren, and to go with that, I'm an only child. No complaints, just the facts. My dad died when I was 17, so Christmas was always just me and my mother. This is my first one without her...(continued)

Christmas and Sports Are an Odd Mix
December 23, 2019

Thanksgiving and football seem to go together. You know these families, and maybe you are in one, where before gorging yourself on a feast with loved ones, you go out and throw the pigskin around for a little while. You also know the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions will be playing home games. It's an NFL tradition. But how many people do you know that have to get up and open the presents, and get all of that over with before basketball comes on? It happens...(continued)

Boras' Baseball Boys to Bank a Billion
December 16, 2019

Ah, the life of a super sports agent. You've seen Jerry Maguire, right? Show me the money! Tom Cruise's Maguire wanted to change the industry with his mission statement, but still had to bring the 'Quan' to Cuba Gooding, Junior. All real-life icon Scott Boras had to do, it seems, is just go to work in San Diego for a few days...(continued)

Three Letters We Aren't Missing This Season: B-C-S
December 9, 2019

College football's four-team playoff system isn't perfect. Heck, we've seen this with the NCAA basketball tournament, where, with a 68-team field, there are still teams who feel snubbed. It's difficult to say that this season, though, with virtually everyone agreeing on the four best teams in America. Now, ranking them in order, and who should play whom, is a different matter...(continued)

Thanksgiving Weekend Served Up Some Good Football
December 2, 2019

I've always thought that Thanksgiving should not be about football, and for most of us, it isn't. If catching part of the game while socializing and waiting for dinner is part of a family tradition, great. If dinner is always served after the Dallas game, okay. Obviously some families go to those games as part of their tradition. Nothing wrong with that, either. But if the games are going to be on, they might as well be good. Right?...(continued)

Football's Over in LA This Year (That Includes USC)
November 25, 2019

While the Baltimore Ravens are finishing up their shellacking of the Rams on Monday Night Football (leading 45-6 in the fourth quarter), it's time to realize none of LA's pigskin teams are worth a darn in 2019. Neither the Rams nor Chargers are going to make the playoffs, UCLA got clobbered by USC and have a has-been as a coach, and the Trojans? Well, who cares about them anyway?...(continued)

Bellinger MVP; Giants Managerial Pick Controvesial
November 18, 2019

In southern California, it's been 31 years and counting since the Los Angeles Dodgers won a World Series. With a third straight trip to the Fall Classic thwarted this year by the eventual champion Washington Nationals, the Dodgers can at least celebrate some individual achievements. Meanwhile, up north in San Francisco, the Giants have a new manager for only the fifth time in 35 years, but the choice is not exactly getting a ringing endorsement from the cable cars on the street...(continued)

Welcome To Football. Now's a Good Time To Join
November 11, 2019

We admit this column is a little baseball-centric. With the MLB season over now (and not much really to talk about on TV last weekend, honestly), the time of the year turns to football. Seattle has just handed the Niners their first loss of the year, a top-three showdown between LSU and Alabama was a scorefest, and there was even a Big 10 game with neither team being Ohio State or Michigan that was worth watching...(continued)

Road Field Advantage—Nationals Win World Series
November 4, 2019

It's always something when you can witness something that have never been done before. No, Washington D.C. has won a World Series. It came in 1924 and Calvin Coolidge was president, but it has been done. What hasn't been done is in a seven game series, in any sport, the team on the road won all seven games. In basketball, hockey, and baseball, there have been over 14-hundred series, and not once has that happened...(continued)

Power Shutoffs to Prevent Wildfires? Yeah, Right
October 28, 2019

A giant wildfire is burning in Sonoma County that has thousands of people evacuated from their homes. Several fires are burning in Los Angeles County. Spot fires have been seen up and down the state this weekend as a result of high winds, and meanwhile 2.7 million people don't have electricity in their homes...(continued)

Nevada Union Gets First League Win in Seven Years
October 21, 2019

I seem to recall that when I was in high school, our football team only won one league game during the four years I was there. I don't have immediate access to the facts to back it up, but I do know the league win was over our hated rival, which was cause for great celebration. That's nothing, though, compared to what Nevada Union High School has gone through...(continued)

Dodgers Done In By Nats In Five Games
October 14, 2019

Welcome to Press Your Luck. The game show where you manage the Los Angeles Dodgers and see how long you can leave your pitchers in the game without giving up home runs. Tonight's contestant is Dave Roberts. Roberts will be presented with different pitchers in different scenarios during the decisive Game Five of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals, and we'll see how long he leaves those pitchers in the game before they give up homers. Ready to play? Okay. Here we go... (continued)

Nats Take Dodgers To All-Hands-On-Deck Game Five
October 7, 2019

How about this idea for Major League Baseball's post season? Instead of having the team with the best record in each league play the wild card winner, the team with the best record gets to choose which team they play in the first round. In the American League, Houston would probably still choose to play Tampa Bay, but in the NL, you have to think the Dodgers would pass on playing the Washington Nationals...(continued)

TBS Blows Baseball's Final Day, MLB Playoffs Set
September 30, 2019

There will be no tiebreaker games this year, but for those who were interested to watch how the final day of the regular season would play out, television viewers were vastly disappointed. There were only two games that mattered on Sunday, but TBS, which has exclusive national rights on the final day, didn't show either of them...(continued)

Baseball's Final Week Not Without Some Drama
September 23, 2019

Just a week ago, there was a column on Major League Baseball's website about how a six-way tie for the National League's two wild card spots could be broken. It was an admitted long shot at the time, but with just a handful of days remaining in the regular season now, it's officially not going to happen. Things, as they almost always do, have a way of sorting themselves out...(continued)

Miner Magic Returns In 73-0 Road Win
September 16, 2019

Nevada Union is a legendary football school. That is, if you are familiar with the area and old enough to remember. The high school in tiny Grass Valley used to win section championships in the 1980s and 90s, and were even quite formidable in the early 2000s. But even in those days when they were clashing with behemoths fron Sacramento and beyond, never did they win 73-0...(continued)

Let's Hear It (Boo!) For Antonio Brown
September 9, 2019

Arrrgh! It's one of the worst things about professional sports today, and it seems to happen a lot. A mega-talented player throws a tantrum, has no respect toward his teammates, coaches, or fans, acts like an imbecile, demands to be traded, and then profits from it. You shouldn't teach your kids to be like that, unless, of course, he or she can make millions of dollars by acting like a total jerk (feel free to add stronger word here)...(continued)

Dodgers Nearing Clinch, But Pitching Shaky
September 2, 2019

Chicken Little may not be screaming just yet, but he's warming up in the bull pen. Just yesterday morning, it looked like the sky might be falling for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but then they pulled a couple of wins out a hat. Yesterday (Sunday), they avoided a four-game sweep in Arizona by the Diamondbacks, and tonight they won in a rout over Colorado 16-9, but some glaring weaknesses have come out....(continued)

Yankees Return to Dodger Stadium, and So Do I
August 26, 2019

PALMDALE- Clayton Kershaw on the hill. Dodgers and Yankees during the regular season. Deciding game of a three game series. This seems like a game to see in person. Especially if you used to go to Dodger Stadium all the time, but hadn't been in a few years. It might cost a few extra bucks, but as they used to say in the TV commercials, I'm worth it...(continued)

Six More Weeks of Baseball, and Tons of Home Runs
August 19, 2019

It wasn't in the papers because it only happened for a couple of hours, but if the Dodgers management stops messing around, it will happen again soon enough. For a short time on Friday, LA's lead in the Western Division of the National League reached 20 games...(continued)

Pictures At An Exhibition: The Nevada County Fair
August 12, 2019

The theme this year for the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley, California was 'Farms, Food, and Fun'. When I was a kid going to the Antelope Valley Fair in Lancaster, California, as far as I was concerned, the theme was 'If You've Seen One Fair, You've Seen Them All'...(continued)

Dodgers Don't Do Diddly at Deadline
August 5, 2019

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been to the World Series the last two years. They have the best record in baseball. Fans of the boys in blue should be sitting on Cloud Nine. The view is pretty nice, but looking down, one can't help but notice potential problems...(continued)

Do More Playoff Contenders Make For More Trades?
July 29, 2019

Just a few weeks ago, it was a forgone conclusion that the San Francisco Giants would trade pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray would be on their way out of Arizona, too, and the Washington Nationals would be dangling closer Sean Doolittle for prospects. Baseball's only trade deadline of the year is Wednesday, but now these teams are back in the race again, and may decide to hang on to their better players...(continued)

This Loss Really Hurts
July 22, 2019

As a friend wrote on her Facebook page, the world got a little dimmer this weekend. Kelly Keigwin passed away on Friday, just over a week shy of her 52nd birthday. She impacted all she knew, and in a positive way. A caring person, who fought for what she believed in, and the closest thing to a sister I would ever have....(continued)

Stars Align and Shine For Angels Tribute
July 15, 2019

Sometimes you just have to shake your head in wonder and amazement. Not at the incredible highlights that sports can provide sometimes, but at the way human beings can behave sometimes. Not because of a throw, or catch, or hit, but from situations that life deals them, even the tragic and unfair loss of a 27 year-old kid that was a good person, and did nothing wrong...(continued)

Ridgecrest Was The Big One, Right? Let's Hope So
July 8, 2019

PALMDALE—All my life I've been hearing about 'The Big One'. If you grew up in California, specifically southern California, or more specifically the Antelope Valley, you have too. In 1971, we were told Sylmar wasn't the Big One. The 1989 Loma Prieta quake in the Bay Area wasn't it either, even though bridges pancaked and the World Series was stopped. When Northridge came in 1994, we were told there were bigger quakes to come. How big does the Big One have to be anyway?...(continued)

Brits Host Yanks, Redcoats Welcome Red Sox
July 1, 2019

Blimey! Many of those English across the pond were likely saying that after perhaps witnessing that weird American sport called baseball for the first time. The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox just completed a two-game series in London—although even experts of the game would have a hard time explaining what happened...(continued)

The 'Great Race' Rolls Through Grass Valley
June 24, 2019

In 1965, there was a movie starring Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, and Natalie Wood. It was about a 1908 road rally from New York to Paris. In 1983, a group of vintage car lovers took that idea and turned it into what has become an annual event. The movie, and the annual event that followed, is called the Great Race...(continued)

Two In One Day: Giants, A's Sweep Hometown DH
June 17, 2019

It can now be crossed off the bucket list. Admittedly, it wasn't at the top of the bucket list, and such bucket list doesn't really exist, at least not in written form. It was still cool, though to attend two major league baseball games in one day, separated only by a few hours, and a mile or so of bay water...(continued)

Warriors Still Breathing; Hockey Final Goes Seven
June 10, 2019

Fans of the Golden State Warriors got two wishes granted tonight, although one of them may not have gone the way they had hoped. Kevin Durant returned from a calf injury, but lasted just more than a quarter before getting injured again. He left the game and didn't return, but the Warriors won, meaning they are still alive in the NBA Finals...(continued)

Dodgers (41-19) Best In Baseball Rolling Into June
June 3, 2019

Sixty games is a little more than a third of a major league season. While there are still over hundred games remaining after getting to the 60-game mark, it's a benchmark to tell you it's not early anymore. Baseball folks will tell you that Memorial Day is the first real measuring stick. A week beyond that, the Los Angeles Dodgers are doing more than just measuring up...(continued)

My First Favorite Player: Bill Buckner Dies at 69
May 27, 2019

It's a sad legacy, and one that he had a hard time dealing with for almost two decades of his adult life. Still, to this day, if someone says the name Bill Buckner, most baseball fans (if they are old enough) will immediately hear Vin Scully's voice in their head... “A little dribbler up along first. Behind the bag. It gets through Buckner! Here comes [Ray] Knight and the Mets win it!”...(continued)

Warriors Sweep Their Way to Fifth Straight Finals
May 20, 2019

It's okay to use it now. Even sports types like writers and broadcasters and other types of pundits who are quick with hyperbole are slow to bring out the 'D Word'. It's reserved for teams like the New England Patriots, Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers, the Oakland A's of the early 1970s, the New York Yankees multiple times in their history, and Red Auerbach's Boston Celtics. The Golden State Warriors are a sports dynasty...(continued)

Son Of A...!: Our All Sons-Of-Major-Leaguers Team
May 13, 2019

It seems like there are a lot of ball players whose dads also played in the big leagues. Guys like Ken Griffey, Jr. and Barry Bonds have retired, but spending one evening thinking about it, there weren't as many current players as I thought. I did come up with a list of one current player at each position who is the son of a major leaguer. I didn't do a Google search, so I may have missed some. I do wish I had one more hitter so I could have a team with a DH, but since I don't, we'll do this national league style, even complete with a batting order. I even came up with a manager and two broadcasters, so they are included. I also noticed several players with a Dodger connection...(continued)

Sandler Triggers Memories in Return to SNL
May 6, 2019

Okay. Maybe it wasn't the best cast in the 44-year run of Saturday Night Live, but Adam Sandler's return to the show this weekend took you back in time to the early 1990s, at least when it came to watching the iconic late night comedy...(continued)

Let the Kids Play: Guerrero Jr., Others, Arrive
April 29, 2019

It was played up as the biggest arrival since the latest royal baby. The greatest thing since sliced bread. Seriously though, Vladimir Guerrero, Junior's call-up to the big leagues on Friday has been the most hyped since, maybe Bryce Harper's. The 20 year-old son of a Hall-of-Famer, who looks like his dad, and swings like him, is in The Show...(continued)

Pick a Sport, Any Sport. It's Making News Right Now
April 22, 2019

If you had to pick the best sports month of the year (and we tried in a previous column), October would probably be the winner. The World Series, NFL Football, and the NBA and NHL gearing up. April, though, would have to be high on the list. March could be second with the NCAA Tournament, but the Final Four is in April. If you're not watching baseball, there are playoffs in other sports going on...(continued)

Great For Golf? Tiger Wins the Masters
April 15, 2019

To paraphrase Jim Nantz (and maybe he actually said it), It's a comeback for the ages. Eldrick “Tiger” Woods, at the age of 43, won the Masters for the fifth time in his career. It had also been 11 years since he won a major, and 14 years since he won at Augusta...(continued)

Embarrassment to Riches; Virginia Wins In Overtime
April 8, 2019

They call it the Road to the Final Four. For this year's Virginia Cavaliers, the road was narrow, windy, and bumpy—that is at least for a team that was one of the best in college basketball for the entire year. They won the ACC, earned a number one seed in the tournament, and survived some close ones, but all with what happened to them last year on their minds...(continued)

MLB Clashes With NCAAs on Opening Weekend
April 1, 2019

This new baseball schedule is a little sad. It's understandable though—players wanted more off days, and rather than play the World Series in November, they are starting the season in March. It's just that the old system used to time out perfectly, especially when it came to the end of college basketball...(continued)

Baseball Starts on Thursday. Dare We Predict?
March 25, 2019

The NCAA Basketball Tournament is through it's first weekend. The Sweet 16 Round begins on Thursday, but so does the 2019 Major League Baseball season. With no 16-seeds beating ones this year, or much in the way of any upsets, let's get out the crystal baseball instead. I've never written (or don't remember writing) a predictions column before, but rather than go down the lisr division by division, I thought I'd take a different approach, and answer some of the key questions about the season, and maybe hide some division and World Series forecasts in there. So, let's ask and answer eleven questions about 2019...(continued)

A Word on Baseball's New Rule Changes
March 18, 2019

It's the middle of March. Offices around the United States are losing productivity because workers are in their cubicles filling out their NCAA brackets. But while they are trying to figure out if Duke or Gonzaga could possibly go all the way, radio sports talk hosts are pontificating which number 12 seed will beat a five this year, and UCLA and USC are wondering if the NIT will call (they didn't), major league baseball has decided to sneak some rule changes by you like a 100 mile-an-hour fastball...(continued)

For UCLA and USC, Tournament Time is Now
March 11, 2019

This has not been a great season for major college sports in Los Angeles. Certainly for the mighty UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans, the last six months have been utterly forgettable. Neither team was bowl eligible in football. It was the first time in this millennium (since 1999) that neither school had a winning record. The basketball teams this year, have been just about as bad...(continued)

Bryce and Manny Finally Sign; Get Their Money, Years
March 4, 2019

If you are in a fantasy baseball league (I am), or if you ads just an ardent fan of the sport (I am), or maybe if you're just wondering what the heck is going on (uh huh), you may have noticed that spring training started with some of the game's biggest stars without a contract. Two have finally signed, but what they got mens this practice is likely going to continue for years to come...(continued)

Hostless, No-Frills Oscars Still Provide Surprises
February 25, 2019

Seth MacFarlane, Ellen Degeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Rock, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel again, and then no none. These are the hosts of the Oscars since 2012—the last time Billy Crystal hosted. Crystal has to be considered the modern gold standard of hosts, but because of various circumstances, the annual ABC extravaganza was without a host this time around, which, only at a few certain times, was a little weird...(continued)

Spring Training Underway Without Bryce, Manny
February 18, 2019

I'm having a love-hate relationship with my baseball app. Spring training has started, pitchers and catchers reported last week, full squad workouts have begun, and there are still about a hundred or so free agents that haven't signed a contract yet. Some fans and writers are complaining that the system is broken, others say the players are expecting too much money. Both may be true, but all I'm getting from my 'baseball news source' is a bunch of hooey...(continued)

New Football League Kicks Off Without Kickoffs
February 11, 2019

Spring football. It's not a new idea. It's been tried, and has failed many times. Even an NFL-supported second league has been done before. But this is different. Or is it? We'll find out over time. The Alliance of American Football is here. At least for the next ten weeks...(continued)

Yawwwn. Patriots Win Another Super Bowl
February 4, 2019

There's a relatively new term in the world of sports that I'm already sick of. It may have started in the NBA with LeBron James. It's now spreading to football with Tom Brady. Yeah, he's now been to nine Super Bowls and won six of them. He didn't really play like it this year, but then again, the Rams didn't do much either. The word is GOAT—an acronym really. James likely bestowed it upon himself, but now they're saying it about Brady. GOAT equals the Greatest Of All Time...(continued)

Enough With 'No Call' Already
January 28, 2019

One week after the fact, they are still talking about it. There's even a lawsuit by some fans to try to overturn it. Some sportswriters are even going as far to say that the Super Bowl is now tainted, and some say they won't watch. Yes, the National Football League blew a call, but the Los Angeles Rams are still conference champions, and participating in Super Bowl LIII...(continued)

Two Funerals in Two Weeks is Two Too Many
January 21, 2019

I've never thrown a funeral before. I had never really thought about it. Yes, my mother was in her nineties, and yes, I am an only child, but I honestly never thought about that aspect. My mother passed away on Wednesday January 9, and, this past Wednesday, she was buried in a cemetery plot next to my dad...(continued)

My Mother, Carole Flynn (1926-2019)
January 14, 2019

I'm an orphan. At least I had the privilege of not be parentless for almost 55 years, but not having Mom or Dad around still really hurts. My mother passed away this past week at the age of 92, but did have a long, mostly healthy, life...(continued)

Clemson, Philly, Bohemian Rhapsody All Pull Upsets
January 7, 2019

This wasn't a good weekend to be a favorite. Three of the four home teams lost in the NFL playoffs, the University of Alabama just got clobbered by Clemson 44-16 in the college football national championship game, and Bohemian Rhapsody beat out A Star is Born for Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Considering that it rained all weekend in northern California, at least we had some good TV to watch while staying inside...(continued)

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