Home Run Machine Albert Pujols and Ace Pitcher C.J. Wilson are going to the Angels, Bruin sharpshooter Jason Kapono is going to the Lakers, Jim Mora jr. is going to UCLA as Head Coach, and Reeves Nelson is gone from the Bruins, for good
All the Right Moves.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim just became instant World Series contenders, by spending $331 Million to bring in the best player in Baseball, Albert Pujols, and an elite Starting Pitcher, C.J. Wilson. Angel Owner Arte Moreno opened up his wallet to outbid the Marlins and Cardinals, by paying more than he did for the entire Angel franchise. Pujols gets $254 Million for 10 years, which is the second-highest contract in History, after A-Rod’s $275 MIllion, and Wilson gets $77.5 Million for 5 years. 3-time N.L. MVP Pujols just led St. Louis to the 2011 World Championship, and Wilson just led Texas to two consecutive American League Pennants. Sure, Pujols won’t be worth what they’ll be paying him when he’s 40 and still under contract, but a Ring or two NOW will make that a worthy sacrifice.
The Angels now have the best rotation in the A.L., hands down, not to mention THREE 1st Basemen who could start for almost every team in the Majors. Mike Scioscia will have to find room for Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo, not to mention Bobby Abreu, when Pujols takes over 1st Base next year. But oh, what a sweet problem to have.
The Lakers have had a problem for many years: No pure shooter on whom they could rely to knock down three-pointers with regularity. And in walks Jason Kapono. The former star for UCLA has a career percentage of 43 from behind the arc, and with Kobe getting double-teamed most of the time, Kapono will get the easiest, most wide-open looks he’s ever seen — He’s likely to hit 50% this season, on his way to a deep run into the Playoffs. The Lakers are the Vegas 2nd choice (behind Miami) to win it all this year, at odds of 5-to-1.
The Lakers TRIED to pull off another coup this week, offering to give up Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in order to get Point Guard Chris Paul, aka CP3. This move was SO awesome, that the NBA nixed the deal. As the current Owner of the Charlotte Hornets, the League decided that losing Paul would be too devastating for the Hornets to overcome. The Lakers are currently trying to re-work the deal, and the Players’ Union is threatening to sue, in order to allow Paul the chance to play for the Lakers, which is the team he WANTS to play for.
After the deal was nixed, it was reported that Gasol and Odom were the devastated ones. Odom whined like a baby (where’s Chloe to console him?), saying that the Lakers didn’t give him any head’s ups about it, and why should he report to the Lakers now, if they really don’t WANT him on the team? I say that Odom should SACK UP, now that he maybe doesn’t have to pack up. This is a business, and this is how things work. Trades happen all the time, and he should know it — He came to the Lakers when they had to trade away Shaq. Just because the Lakers couldn’t pass up a shot at CP3 doesn’t mean that they don’t value Odom — It just means that Paul is worth more to the team, WHICH HE IS, and which is a no-brainer. L.A., with a Point Guard like Paul, setting up Kobe, would be virtually unstoppable. Odom needs to grow up. If he remains a Laker, which is no sure thing, he should just consider himself lucky, and try to play better and be more consistent, to make himself indispensable.
Speaking of indispensable, Reeves Nelson just found out that he WASN’T. Ben Howland has DISMISSED Nelson from the UCLA Basketball team, permanently. Nelson just couldn’t get his shit together, and had become a distraction to the rest of the team. I HATE to see this happen, and I wish they could have worked out their differences. Nelson was potentially the BEST player on the team, and the Bruins will NOT be as good as they COULD have been WITH him. But now at least they can move on, and gameplan for the rest of the year based on a Nelson-less rotation. It’s hard to pass judgement on this move without knowing more details as to how bad the behavior was, but if the team turns it around, Howland will deserve credit for making the tough call. If the team tanks, then Howland will get blamed for making a decision that did not fix the situation. As long as next year’s recruiting class is top notch, I will cut Howland some slack, and give him another year to prove he is still capable of Coaching/Recruiting the Bruins back up to Elite status.
And speaking of capable Coaching, the Bruins have just hired Jim Mora “jr.” to be the new Head Coach of the Football team. Sorry for what looks like “burying the lead,” but this hiring happened AFTER most of this article was already written. So I just added Mora into the mix. Just like with Nelson, it’s too early to say if this is really a GOOD move or not. Mora has NFL connections and a good pedigree, but no college-level experience, so my jury’s still out. But at least I don’t think it’s a horrible hire, as a lot of other poeple do. I will definitely give him a chance, to bring in a good recruiting class, and good assistant coaches, before I criticize the choice. There were some rumors that Jim Tressel would be brought in as an advisor, but I think, and hope, that they turn out to be bogus — His blatant lying to the NCAA is a black mark that is enough to keep UCLA at arm’s length from him. The Bruins need to exhibit Integrity, and respect for the NCAA, in order to maintain their clean image, and to differentiate themselves from their cheating rivals, and hiring a guy who has truly acted like a trojan, would not be the best direction to take.
To follow further developments, use the internet, ala www.uscharterservice.com/internet.