dodgers logoExpectations have been running high in Los Angeles since before the Cactus League ever even got started this year.  After winning two straight National League pennants, only to fall late in the World Series each year, this years’ Dodgers team has a lot to live up to.  So far, they are doing just that.

In the opening four game home stand series against their arch rival Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers put up 42 runs and won 3 of the 4 games.  Their only loss came by one run at the end of a long extra innings game.

On opening day, the Los Angeles Dodgers managed to hit 8 home runs during the very first game of the season.  Impressive.  More impressive still when we learned that they had just broken the all time Major League Baseball record for home runs hit on opening day. No MLB team had ever done that before in the whole long history of professional baseball.

Then, on Saturday, in their third meeting with the DBacks, the Dodgers scored 18 runs on 19 hits.  It looks like their offense at least is ready to make another serious run at the World Series.  Perhaps ‘the third time’s the charm’ will prevail this year for LA.

The Dodgers surely didn’t get off to such a blazing start last season.  When mid May rolled around, LA found themselves in a 16 win, 26 loss hole with manager Dave Roberts wondering what it was going to take to get his guys in gear.  What it took came from the most unexpected place.

Young Max Muncy was called up from AAA when third baseman Justin Turner went down to injury, and what Mr. Muncy did was nothing short of miraculous.  Behind his ‘can do’ attitude and his positive prowess at bat, Max was the much needed catalyst to get the Dodgers rolling toward their second World Series appearance in as many years. Muncy ended appearing in the MLB Home Run Derby.

The year before that also saw the Dodgers off to a rather slow start before the emergence of rookies Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor to kick start the team and propel them toward a 104 win season and another National League Pennant.

Enrique Hernandez, now four years with the Dodgers but in his first starting role at the everyday second baseman said, “A big thing for us is how we get out of the gates”. Previous springtime production from the Dodgers lineup has not always been stellar, but, somehow, they keep on winning.  The team hopes that a strong start in 2019 will give them some of those elusive special powers that it takes to win a MLB World Series, finally.


aaf dundonIt appears that the fledgling Alliance of American Football League may be in danger of folding operations before they really ever got off the ground.  Or at least that what appears to be happening.  It could very well be just another nationwide pageant to mislead the public while pursuing a completely different agenda.

As per reports by Pro Football Talk, the AAF has suspended operations until further notice with the ominous quote ‘at least for the day, and probably indefinitely’, which sounds a lot like nobody really knows for sure what the hell is going on.

Except perhaps for Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon, who, after investing $70 million in the new football enterprise and promising to come up with another $180 million or so to keep the league alive, has decided to shut it down.

Dundon’s actions leave a lot of people scratching their heads, not the least of whom is AAF co-founder Bill Polian who told reporters, “I am extremely disappointed to learn Tom Dundon has decided to suspend all football operations of the Alliance of American Football”.

So apparently the two original principals in the AAF were kept out of the loop then the decision was made to shut the league down, which seems a bit strange.  The other co-founder Charlie Ebersol was equally baffled.

So what happened?  Did Mr. Dundon suddenly pull out a spread sheet and didn’t like the numbers?  It seems like he would have run those numbers before forking across $70,000,000.  Now he is ready to blow off that tidy sum.  What could have happened in the interim for him to accept such a loss?

But forget for a moment about the money.  The real losers in this little pageant are the players and coaches whose hopes and dreams are invested in the new league. They weren’t making all that much money, but they were participating in the sport that they love and had invested so much time and energy for so many years.

So, the AAF, its founders, coaches and players, and even the mighty NFL itself remain perplexed by Dundon’s abrupt actions.  The controversy seems to be the inability of the AAF to come to terms with the NFLPA, the National Football League Players Association, concerning the use of NFL practice squad players by the new league.

Surely this would mean more work for more football players.  Surely the two sides can get together on such a small point holding up such a large enterprise.  In the meantime, sportsbooks all across the country have taken down their odds on AAF futures.

Of course the possibility exists that Tom Dundon is simply making a power play on the NFLPA and using his own $70 million to back his bluff. One popular speculation is that Dundon bought into the league simply to acquire the gambling app technology being developed by the AAF.

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