Sports Report: Who to Root for in NHL, NBA Playoffs

Sports Report: Who to Root for in NHL, NBA Playoffs

Image via Shutterstock

The L.A. Clippers

There are a lot of reasons San Diegans should be rooting for the Los Angeles Clippers. I’ve also been known to encourage San Diegans to root for the Anaheim Ducks. These seem like healthier alternatives than ignoring all professional sports leagues that don’t have a team in San Diego County.

If you’ve adopted the Clippers and Ducks as your NBA and NHL teams, you’re in luck! Both are in the playoffs and neither is losing their first-round series. The Clippers lead the Warriors 2-1 in their series, while the Ducks are tied 2-2 with the Dallas Stars.

For all of the times that I’ve complained about San Diego’s sports “dead zone” and wished for an NBA and/or NHL team to come to town to save us from it, this is a great time of year to adopt your nearest professional basketball or hockey team and enjoy all of the fun and excitement of the playoffs (and dream about the San Diego Surfers, which is the name we’ve all agreed on for San Diego’s next professional sports franchise, right?).

You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.

The Padres Will Never Be Healthy

I have some good news! Well, kind of. The Padres are only one game under .500! By time the sun comes up tomorrow morning, that could be a cool 12-12 after 24 games. That’s not that bad!

The bad news is that the Padres are in fourth place in the NL West and the never-ending run of season-crippling injuries continues …

• Josh Johnson, expected to be the #1 or #2 starting pitcher in a rotation meant to carry the Padres to success this year, will undergo Tommy John surgery before ever throwing a pitch for San Diego. It will be his second time getting the procedure done on his throwing arm.

• Chase Headley, desperate to prove that he can stay healthy and perform at a superstar level, is once again injured and headed to the 15-day DL with a strained calf.

• Seth Smith, who has been admirably filling in at LF for the injured Carlos Quentin, will miss a few games with a strained groin muscle.

• Padres manager Bud Black is aggressively trying to injured his one healthy and effective starting pitcher, regularly pinch-running Andrew Cashner and even putting him in left field for a batter.

No matter how hard they try, the Padres either struggle to hit the baseball, stay healthy, or both. This could be the start of another long year for Bud Black.

Who Will the Chargers Take in the Draft?

• If you listen to the experts, the Chargers are dying for Notre Dame’s DT Louis Nix in the first round but will settle for the best CB available if he doesn’t.

• Ten years ago, the Chargers franchise was forever changed when the team used its No. 1 overall draft pick on Eli Manning before trading him to the New York Giants.

• The entire 2014 NFL regular season schedule was released. We already knew who the Chargers were playing and where, and now we know when.

• Voluntary workouts have started for the Chargers, meaning lots of players are getting together, working out and beginning to focus on the upcoming season.

• The push for a new Chargers stadium is heating up — again. Most economists don’t think a stadium is a good investment of public money — including the ones who want a new stadium.

Stories You May Have Missed

• San Diego’s Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon.

• Longtime NBA sideline reporter Craig Sager is battling leukemia. In recent years, Sager has tirelessly battled to try and get good answers out of notoriously grumpy Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Popovich, in the first Spurs game since Sager’s announcement, insisted on being interviewed by Craig’s son, Craig Sager Jr., and sent a message to his sparring partner that will leave you in tears.

• NFL teams continue to show that they are hilariously overmatched for the simple task of employing women and/or treating them like they’re equals.

• GIF of the Week: Billy Hamilton, OF for the Cincinnati Reds, is a very fast person.

(Want to recommend this sports newsletter to someone? Share this sign-up link.)

I’m John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or e-mail me directly at boltsfromtheblue@gmail.com.

Voice of San Diego is a nonprofit that depends on you, our readers. Please donate to keep the service strong. Click here to find out more about our supporters and how we operate independently.


John Gennaro

John Gennaro

I'm John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or email me directly at boltsfromtheblue@gmail.com.

  • 119 Posts
  • 11
    Followers

Show comments
Before you comment, read these simple guidelines on what is not allowed.

7 comments
Dale Peterson
Dale Peterson subscribermember

I have become upset and very frustrated with critical sports writing and analysis from San Diego sports journalists.  Similar to many other professions, sport writers seem to "circle the wagons" and protect their own.  So,  I know that my criticisms (where I name names) will probably motivate the brothers and sisters of the profession to become defensive.


Bill Center covered the Padres for a number of years for the U-T.  He retired.  He is now employed by the Padres.  Serious question:  As a reader, should I wonder why a writer that was assigned to cover the Padres, is now employed by the Padres?  And, did he give the readership (while at the U-T) an enlightened and critical perspective that was independent, fully analytical of the Padres performance?  I think that is a fair question.  I don't have a personal axe to grind with Mr. Center.  By all reports from the media, he seems to be a helluva a guy.  However, my perspective is that he was "soft" on the Padres for years.  His analysis always seemed to give the any Padres player, or executive, the Pollyanna treatment for their performance. 


The Padres have been  a mediocre (at best) team for years.  And, I think that calling the Padres a sub-standard organization would be factually more accurate.  If they were members of the English Premier Football League, the Padres would probably have been relegated to a lower league and out of the "Majors" all together.  For years this team has had a bunch of players that strike-out often (frequently without swinging at the third strike).  These players have awful on base percentages.  And, along with those miserable offensive traits, there is very little power.  Yet, year after year, the roster remains essentially unchanged.  In fact, at the beginning of Spring training, multiple sports stories (all complimentary) broadcast that the Padres roster was already set for Opening Day.  I would strongly suggest that the tone of those "stories" should have been chiding the Padres for sticking with the "continuity roster."  But, not in San Diego.  The same people that believed Norv Turner and AJ Smith deserved more time, represented that the Padres were ready to go and they could be the surprise franchise in MLB for 2014. 


Well, to all those press member of the San Diego "continuity corps," I politely call BS.  You (as a group) are far too congenial with the teams that you cover.  The Padres roster should have been dumped and turned over two years ago.  AJ and Norv should have been canned earlier, before they were able to do any more damage.  And, some of you even believed that Chuck Long deserved more time as the head coach of football at SDSU.  Really, how high has the demand been for Mr. Chuck Long, head football coach, been from anywhere?


Go ahead sport journalist and defend a friend.  Go ahead and point out that news reporters sometimes work for government officials that they once covered (Craig Gustafson).  Yes, I get that you and yours can work either side of the fence depending upon who is writing the employment contract.  Still, in my readers and layman's opinion, I would have more respect for your work product if the sport team that you are covering, considered you someone to be concerned with, rather than someone to hire for a job.



Robert Cohen
Robert Cohen subscriber

Considering today's breaking news, can anyone seriously root for a team owned by  Donald Sterling.  I realize the team itself is not Sterling, but their success becomes his success and right now no one is less deserving of success than him.  Having said that, another issue that bothers me about this revelation is that it appears to be a private conversation between significant others.  This wasn't a speech, or an overheard restaurant conversation or some other public place.  Are we to the point now that all of our private conversations, regardless if we are prominent people or just your ordinary Joe or Jane, are going to be recorded for public consumption.  While I find the comments disturbing, the right to privacy really is under attack.

Bill Bradshaw
Bill Bradshaw subscribermember

John, I think your constant, sneaky campaign to get Bud Black fired, as though he is the cause of a Padres’ team that can’t hit and can’t stay healthy, is a waste of time.  Do you really think he would have used Cashner in the field last night without the pitcher’s eager consent?  Cashner is obviously, like Babe Ruth or Stan Musial, a lot more than just a pitcher.  He’s a real athlete (e.g., a competent slider) and so far at least looks very durable.  He loves to hit. 

Why don’t you turn your ire on an upper management group that can’t seem to develop talent in a farm system that many rate as one of the best in baseball, or even trade for good prospects?  They perpetually hype people (remember, e.g., Ben Tate) who turn out to be busts and/or so fragile they spend most of their time on the D.L. (e.g., Cameron Maybin).  And, it seems the minute they give someone a long term contract they implode (Right now, I’m waiting for Jedd Gyorko to either go down or get sent down).  Where is our Mike Trout?   

I’ll tell you this:  Just like Bruce Bochy, if they let Black walk or fire him, teams will be lining up to hire the guy.

David Crossley
David Crossley subscriber

I will never root for the Clippers as long as Donald Sterling owns them.  And I will never root for the Ducks since they dropped the Gulls (remember them?) as a minor league affiliate many years ago.  Go Kings!!

David Cohen
David Cohen subscriber

If the a Padres catch a few big breaks this year, they have a shot at a .500 season. Today they started three position players batting under the Mendoza Line (.200) and a fourth--Venable--hitting .205.

John Gennaro
John Gennaro author

@Bill Bradshaw  An inability to develop young talent isn't the fault of the coaching staff? I'm confused.