The weather has changed up here in the Pacific Northwest. And judging by my out-of-the-blue sickness the past few weeks, it’s none for the better. Oh, and a new grandson was born, so yeah, Sunny’s Side has been on hiatus.
*cough, cough, cough*
On the positive side, I’ve been able to pay more attention to sports. Here’s to the “sickness recap” in today’s Sunny’s Side.
AND A BORICUA SHALL LEAD THEM: Ho hum. The Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
Money does win championships. As do great players. BUT…spending money and having great players combine don’t always guarantee a title. Thankfully for this year’s version of the Red Sox they had a steady hand guiding the ship. And his name is Alex Cora.
The first Puerto Rican manager to win a championship.
U.S. Soccer – Mexican Soccer: Has either Federation hired a new coach yet? Mexico has been without a coach since the federation announced in July that Juan Carlos Osorio wouldn’t return as head coach.
The U.S., meanwhile, has been without a (hired) coach since last year.
Both teams will finish up the friendly seasons later this month. Rumors are swirling that Atlanta United FC’s Tata Martino will be named El Tri’s coach once Atlanta’s season ends, but given the federation’s penchant for quick triggers, that’s no guarantee. And Tata’s team is still in contention for the MLS Cup.
LATINA HALL OF FAMER: I first met Jessica Mendoza several years ago working the sidelines of an FCS season opener. She was as professional, courteous and genuine as you would expect. But, she was watching pregame warm-ups in preparation for her coverage of the Eastern Washington Eagles season opener on ESPN.
Mendoza has risen through the ESPN ranks to Sunday Night Baseball analyst. Just like her time on the college football sidelines, Mendoza’s preparedness, professionalism and knowledge have shown through her three seasons on the broadcast.
Before she came to be known as a baseball analyst, she shone on the softball diamond first. Olympic and World champ with Team USA. Multiple national and Pac-10 conference accolades and one of the all-time greats in Stanford Cardinal history. For her exploits on the diamond, Mendoza will be inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame next year.
THE DREADED DENIAL: Heading into the 2018-19 season, the biggest story was LeBron James in the Laker purple and gold. Departing his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron decided to take his exploits to L.A. and a team that with its current make-up did not look set up for a run to the playoffs this season.
Lakers fans, to say the least, were excited. The greatest player of his generation was heading to their team. Championship!
Not so fast. Currently, the Lakers are 7-6, eighth in the Western Conference. Only five wins in six games has them where they are.
But, it’s still early in the season, Sunny!!! Tyronn Lue has already been fired by the Cavaliers. Enough said.
Rumors are already swirling around Lakers head coach Luke Walton. The expectations are high after LeBron’s arrival. Lakers fans want championships. They’ve seen the rise of their division rival, the Golden State Warriors, to what used to be the Lakers’ status atop the conference.
The leash that team president Magic Johnson has with Walton isn’t long, despite comments to the contrary. Johnson can deny it all he wants. But Walton has to keep winning, or Magic won’t wait to give Walton a stocking-full-of-coal goodbye for Christmas.
MARYLAND’S PRICE OF LIFE: Jordan McNair was 19 years old when he died this past June due to heatstroke after a Maryland Terrapins summer workout. His head coach, D.J. Durkin, is 40 years old and out of a job.
Durkin was fired this past week by the school after internal and external pressure criticizing the move. Two assistants have also since been fired.
Football culture, such that it is, dictates that Durkin will get another chance to coach. He will get a second chance at life that McNair will never get.
How much is college football worth?
The price of life?
Sunny’s Side Notes
- Scrutinizing Liga MX (via ESPN)
- Another Latino in MLB manager ranks (via Toronto Sun)
- NHL in Seattle Reality (via NHL Seattle)
- Blackhawks oust Q. Say what? (via USA Today)