Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as
an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25
years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach.
This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John
Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose
contributions Wooden ignored and tried to bury.
more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man
behind the coach. The players tell their stories in their own words.
Click the book to read the first chapter and for
ordering information. Also available on Kindle.
Dodgers in the World Series a Pipe Dream? 2 Oct 17
by Tony Medley
The 1954 Cleveland Indians set a then American league record of 111 wins
out of a 154 game schedule, eclipsing the 27 year old record of the 1927
Yankees, generally accepted as the best team of all time, who won 110
games. The Indians were odds on favorites to win the World Series
against the New York Giants. But after Willie Mays made his historic
catch in the eighth inning of the first game on a 480 fly ball hit by
Vic Wertz, and Dusty Rhodes singled in the winning run in the 10th
inning of the first game, the Giants swept the Indians 4-0 and
Cleveland’s golden season was forgotten.
This year the Dodgers
won more games than any other team in baseball, and more than any other
Los Angeles Dodgers team, thereby earning home field advantage for all
the playoff games, including the World Series, and much hoopla about
being the “best team ever.”
However, the idea of
the Dodgers playing in the World Series is a long shot. While Dodgers
manager Dave Roberts protects his precious starting pitchers arms by not
allowing them to throw more than 100 pitches in a game (a phony
statistic as previously pointed out in this column ad infinitum), he is
not equally solicitous of his relief pitchers whom he pitches every day,
either in the game or warming up in the bullpen. A pitcher cannot pitch
every day. This explains why his relief pitchers like Pedro Baez have
folded near the end of the season.
Talk of the Dodgers
being the “best team of all time” takes a shot when one considers that
while in 1927 Yankees were called the Bronx Bombers and had a team
batting average of .307, the 2017 Dodgers had a team batting average of
.249 and were ranked 22nd out of 30 teams. They were 23rd
in number of hits.
starting lineup for the playoffs includes:
Yasmani Grandal, who leads baseball in passed balls and has a
batting average of.247
Curtis Granderson, who has hit slightly over.100 since he joined the
team a month ago; despite this Roberts had him batting cleanup in
one game, go figure;
A starting second
baseman, Logan Forsythe, with a batting average of .224
starters, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Corey Seager, have been
battling horrible slumps for more than a month. Turner’s batting
average plunged from .390 at the All Star break to .322 at the end
of the season.
That leaves two
starters, rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger and right fielder
Yasiel Puig, both of whom are no better than .260 hitters.
Home-Run-or-no-count Bellinger leads the major leagues in swings and
misses and Taylor is right behind him in strikeouts, 146-142.
Forget pitching, is
this a championship team? The Dodgers get a break in the playoffs
because Arizona is forced to use its best pitcher, Zack Grienke, in the
one game playoff against Colorado, so if Arizona beats Colorado he won’t
be available to face Clayton Kershaw in the first game on Friday.
Counterbalanced against that is the fact that Kershaw has yet to show he
can bear up under playoff pressure. So far in his career he’s no Whitey
I think the Dodgers
will be lucky to survive the first round of the playoffs. They have
losing records against both Colorado (9-10) and Arizona (8-11), and if
they do survive the first round that they will be overmatched by
Washington or the Cubs. They only won one out of three games against
Washington but were 4-2 against the Cubs. I hope I’m wrong, but the
Dodgers look like a long shot to me.
The more things change the more they stay the same:
Just because UCLA beat Colorado by the width of a gnat’s eyelash doesn’t
mean that the inept coaching took a vacation. With one minute and 32
seconds left in the first half and UCLA leading 14 to 12. Colorado had
third and 2 on the UCLA 29 yard line. Someone took a timeout. When they
resumed play UCLA was then called for an illegal substitution giving
Colorado a first and 10 on the UCLA 24. Someone needs to explain to me
how a coach with a long term contract and an $11 million buyout can
retain his job when he has a timeout, discusses things, sends the team
back on the field, and then before the ball is snapped, makes an illegal