Don't Bury the Lead
MLS Knockout, Opening Day, Mookie's Deal and 40 other links from sports in the Pacific Standard Time Zone.
Dear Friend, Sorry for this is late. Over the past few weeks, I’ll admit I buried the lead. This newsletter is my weekly conversation about sports from the West Coast. It’s hard to talk about sports with addressing the latest details on COVID and the return.
However, regurgitating this info is exhausting for me and you both. With sports back, I can focus less on Bubble content, testing numbers and social justice pledges. Bubbles seem to be working and seven leagues will be in process by the time we talk next week.
It’s not that those things aren’t important but there are many outlets for that. Not enough focus on the West Coast which is the goal of this newsletter and soon to be media brand.
Speaking of which, you can download our sports calendar featuring all the MLS, MLB, NHL, NBA, WNBA and NWSL game times and kickoffs in pacific standard time. I bet that you’d rather watch or stream these events in your region over whatever broadcasters spoon feed you.
Please also don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this email. Hit the show full email which should show you the full email. You can also view it in your browser. You want to do this so you don’t miss any ICYMI links or jobs which usually fall outside the body of this long-ass email.
Those of you who have been reading might also notice I didn’t cover much on the Deadskins, Mets or Jets. This is on purpose. We don’t need that burying West Coast sports content more than it already does on your favorite national sports website.
Nonetheless, shoutout to the ten new subscribers who tapped in this week. Also thank you to everyone who continues retweeting me on Twitter. I recently shared what I’ve learned throughout my short tenure on substack.
The best way to support this newsletter is by forwarding to a sports fan in the PST who might enjoy feeding their West Coast State of Mind every Wednesday.
Pete D. Camarillo aka a dude who needs live baseball with a Michelada ASAP
P.S. There’s no jobs this week. I was running late publishing due to stomach issues. Those should be back next week and I’m also rolling out the Linkedin group soon.
The Best from the West
West Coast angles on national sports news dug up for your convenience.
Take Me Out To The Stream
Opening Day is here even without fans in attendance. One writer detailed the weirdness behind watching a game with no fans as several teams took the field for exhibitions. This included the Dodgers versus the Angels and Giants versus the A’s.
Here’s some headlines to get you right for Thursday’s Opening Day.
Anaheim could be without key acquisition and third baseman Anthony Rendon as well as infield player Luis Rengifo for their season-opening Friday.
A’s pitcher A.J. Puk will be out a while with a shoulder strain.
Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw may utilize a new pitch this year.
L.A. will start the year without top prospect Gavin Lux on the roster.
The Giants will open the season without Evan Longoria.
San Diego added to their bullpen with another trade.
GO DEEPER: NBC Sports dove into projected rosters as well as schedule highlights and homestands. Check out the Angels, Mariners, A’s, Giants, Dodgers and Padres reads for yourself. B/R updated power rankings too.
MLS Knocking it out
The latest with the MLS is back Tournament includes the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders securing bids to the knockout round.
Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers clinched their spot on Saturday Night with a win over Houston. They face LAFC Thursday.
HOWEVER: Timelines for MLS expansion took a year delay, including Sacramento’s MLS debut.
Grown Man AAU to L.A. Fitness: NBA Quick Hits
Here’s what else happened to West Coast teams in the Bubble this week:
De’Aaron Fox is set to return but Sacramento still has a king-sized issue with Marvin Bagley III set to miss the rest of the bubble with a foot injury.
Pat Beverly left the bubble for a family emergency. Montrezl Harrell had to leave for a similar reason. The Clippers have four players out the bubble.
West Coast Sports Reads
Must-reads from sports in the PST so your small talk connects better on your next Zoom call or group chat.
Sports Are Back Before the People Who Shot Breonna Taylor were Arrested
Sports return but Pacific North West hoops want you to remember that justice hasn’t been served for Breonna Taylor. Storm star Breanna Stewart shared her jersey with Taylor’s name which will be worn for opening weekend.
Kudos also go to Blazers guard C.J. McCollum who went on record about Taylor from the Bubble. He said the Kentucky Attorney General is in a position to arrest the police who fired 20 bullets into Taylor’s apartment.
The 25-year-old EMT died from eight shots on March 13th. McCollum and other NBA players including Carmelo Anthony jumped on a zoom call with Taylor’s mom.
San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler knelt before the national anthem which made him the first MLB manager to do that. Players like Giants outfielder Jaylin Davis also knelt to keep the conversation about racial justice going.
Otherwise, the Giants also made history fielding the first female on-field coach. Alyssa Nakken became the first woman in the 150-year history to step out to the first base.
The 30-year-old former softball player started her journey as an intern in 2014. She worked her way to the first woman with a full-time coaching position in January.
Ironically, his all happened on the same field where former Oakland A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell began taking a knee at the end of the 2017 season. He received criticism for the move at the time.
Nonetheless, players like Angels’ reliever Keynan Middleton also took a knee and rose his fist during Anaheim’s exhibition.
YES, BUT: Social media storms about boycotting the MLB surfaced after the social justice protests. Already, Franchises across the board could lose around 20 percent of their value with a shortened season and empty stadiums. Currently, the Mets are selling and their bids already went down half a billion from earlier this year.
Angel’s City Adds Another One
L.A. already features nine professional sports teams and two adjacent neighbors but they’ll add a new NWLS team. Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Garner and many more headline the 32-member initial ownership group.
The team, sans an official name, is being called Angel City after Los Angeles. It is the NWSL's third West Coast team as the OL Reign and Portland Thorns currently play in the Pacific NorthWest.
Los Angeles packed out the Galaxy’s home stadium each time the U.S. Women’s Team appeared. Thus, strong demand for Women’s Soccer is expected in Los Angeles.
OTHER NWSL NEWS: After drawing three games along with a loss, the Thorns pulled a major upset over two-time defending champion Courage in the first round of the Challenge Cup. Portland Midfielder Rocky Rodrigues found forward Morgan Weaver for a score and they held onto a 1-0 upset over the tournament’s top seed.
Still, the Thorns run ended with a 1-0 loss to the Houston Dash in the semi-round today. The Dash beat the Tacoma based OL Reign in the first elimination match.
P.S. Check out this read on NWSL coverage or lack thereof.
Only a few weeks after saying he wasn’t worried about an extension, Mookie Betts is reportedly closing in on a new contract with the Dodgers. It is expected to be worth more than $380 million over 13 years, including $27 million already owed this year.
The 2018 AL MVP holds a .301/.374/.519 slash line with 139 home runs, 126 stolen bases and 470 RBI in 794 career games. Betts, 27, will get the second-largest contract in MLB history behind Mike Trout. This country boy is ready to help the Dodgers finally close a title.
SORRY L.A.: Still, no news on Anthony Davis’ extension. The Lakers 2019 offseason acquisition said the Pandemic didn’t make him reconsider his potential expiring contract before the completion of the year. However, at least a title remains the Brow’s greatest focus.
Madden Ratings Flop
All Madden 21 ratings finally released in a drawn-out release of ratings by position over a few weeks.
Who are the five best players on the West Coast?
The Rams (DT Aaron Donald and CB Jalen Ramsey) and Seahawks (QB Russell Wilson and LB Bobby Wagner) feature two top-5 players each.
The Raiders’ highest-ranked player, center Rodney Hudson, was sixth with a 93 overall while 49ers tight end George Kittle was the third-best player in the time zone with a 98 overall rating.
Edge Joey Bosa and receiver Keenan Allen tied for the highest Chargers rating at 91 overall.
Check out the full ratings here. You can also filter by your favorite team or position.
WHY IT MATTERS: Football fans grow tired of Madden exclusives. 2k Sports is hush-hush on a simulation-style game to drop next week. Think NFL Street, Blitz or Backyard Football.
Meanwhile, a recent poll showed gamers want NCAA football back. ME TOO. The game retired in 2013 due to legal issues.
Bennett is Outta Here
Former Legion of Boom star Michael Bennett officially retires with three Pro Bowls, 69.5 sacks and one Super Bowl.
Still, the former Seahawk inspired players across the league to open up.
DON’T FORGET: Players will wear decals for social injustice victims but would that have happened without Bennett and others taking a stance a few years ago?
West Coast Sports Links
Idols, rivals and anything else you might have missed from your favorite regions this week.
MEDIA and More
West Coast Sports Careers
The best Sports Jobs posted this week for those making their living in West Coast Sports
No Jobs this week due to my upset stomach this A.M. Tap into West Coast Media Jobs in the meantime.
They share jobs from the West Coast, mainly in media, every single week. The founder, Mallory, also dropped job threads so job seekers can advocate for themselves.
Maybe I should do something similar where users can drop their best work or favorite news from the week? Just an idea…
More West Coast Vibes
Song recommendations to promote your West Coast State of Mind.
West Coast Friday last week featured something dropping for every ear.
Kyle, formerly Super Duper Kyle which I had to look up, dropped his See You When I am Famous!!!!!! album. The Reseda product features all kinds of features, iconic samples and feel-good sounds.
You also can’t forget L.A. legends Blu & Exile who linked for something a little more underground and rappity-rap. #Respect for their album Miles.
Which album do you mess with the most?
Let me know by replying to this email.
Thanks again for everyone who made it to the end of this email. If this is your first time reading please subscribe for free with your email so your West Coast State of Mind is fed in the context of sports every Wednesday.