Dr. Les received letters lately from his home about the problems they are experiencing, and they want answers. He has some answers, and there are some he simply can’t solve since it’s a lost cause. Without further ado, let’s get after it.
Dear Dr. Les: I have done next to nothing in the postseason, and my body hurts to the point I did not play in Tuesday’s Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. I received boos in the ALCS introductions at Yankee Stadium prior to the game on Tuesday. I am wondering if it’s worth playing if I am not appreciated enough to play hurt.
G. Stanton, Miami, Florida
Dear Mr. Stanton: This season turned out to be a lost season. You never were healthy, and your timing at the plate never worked. I don’t see how useful you can be if you are hurt. Not only are you hurt physically, but mentally you are not in a good place.
My suggestion would be to collect the money, enjoy the postseason and take the rest of the year off by being done for the year. The Yankees showed they can win without you.
Dear Dr. Les: I am surprised the Devils are 0-4-2. I am frustrated with my players blowing leads that result into losses like the season opener against the Winnipeg Jets and Monday afternoon in a Canadian Thanksgiving Day game against the Florida Panthers. My job is going to be on the line, and the chants of “FIRE HYNES” at the Prudential Center and on Twitter are not helping. How can I get this team to start winning?
J. Hynes, Westfield, NJ
Dear Mr. Hynes: Honestly, I don’t have an answer for you. Yes, it takes time for new players to come together and click, but you don’t have that luxury since you need to start winning soon as you noted.
The problem with you is you can’t coach defense. It’s been obvious from the four years you coached the Devils. Yes, the personnel gives you nothing to work with, but you know what? Islanders coach Barry Trotz transformed the Islanders from the worst defensive team in hockey to the best defensive team in hockey last season, which was why the Islanders made the playoffs. It can be done with the right coach that has credibility.
You, my friend, don’t have that. I don’t think your players take you seriously as a head coach in a sense there won’t be accountability if they mess up on the ice. You just don’t have that presence as a coach. You are more of an associate coach at this time. Maybe you will be a good head coach one day. You showed that in leading the Devils to the playoffs in your third season, but right now, you need seasoning.
You are a lost cause. The only thing that is saving you right now is that there are not many good coaches out there to replace you. Now if the Minnesota Wild comes to firing Bruce Boudreau as head coach this season, he could take your job.
Dear Dr. Les: I can’t watch the NFL. It’s a terrible product. The refs throw the flag for every football play. They have no idea what they are doing when it comes to making calls. I know high school refs that are much better than the current refs. I rolled my eyes the other day when the refs called a foul on Trey Flowers a couple of times, even though the evidence showed he did not touch another player’s body. Also, do refs know what pass interference is?
R. Goodell, Bronxville, NY
You summed up what everyone in America says about the NFL refs. It’s terrible. I don’t know what solutions can be had other than maybe it’s time to have robots make calls. They can’t be any worse than the refs.
If we can’t get robots, it’s time to get pragmatic by realizing caste system exists in sports, which the marquee teams with great players get all the calls and the rest of the teams fight for scraps. It stood the test of time, and it likely will never end.
Might as well learn it, love it and live it.
Dear Dr. Les: I scoff at critics who say the Yankees need that difference maker ace to win the World Series. So far, the Yankees are doing just fine. Their starters performed efficiently, and the bullpen pitched lights out. Their hitters ain’t shabby.
B. Cashman, Norwalk, CT
Not so fast there, kiddo. The Yankees trail 2-1 in the American League Championship Series after taking a 4-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
In Game 2, the Yankees could not do anything against the red-hot Gerrit Cole, who won his 19th straight decision going back to May.
In this game, it came down to their starter could not match Cole. Luis Severino was mediocre at best, and that’s not good enough to win postseason games. To count on Severino to be the difference maker was foolish since he has yet to show he is that guy, not to mention he came off a lat injury this season. It was a bad estimate by the Yankees.
Maybe the Yankees can get by, but going up against Justin Verlander and Cole won’t be easy, and that’s why they needed a starter that can match them. Only guy on the starting rotation that can be trusted is Masahiro Tanaka, and that’s it.
I always believed a dominant starting rotation can make a team a World Series champion. The Royals bullpen according to a championship a few years ago turned out to be the exception, not the norm. BTW, the Yankees vaunted bullpen is struggling.
Even if the Yankees get by against the Astros, does anyone really trust this rotation to go against the Washington Nationals’ nasty trio of Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg and Patrick Corbin in the World Series?
Speaking of Corbin, he would look nice in a Yankee uniform right about now instead of J.A. Happ, right? He struck out 12 Cardinals Wednesday night in the Nationals’ four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dear Dr. Les: Don’t you agree that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey should be educated about issues that are going on in China?
L. James, Akron, OH
No. Morey has a right to his opinion, and he did not even tweet his opinion. He retweeted his support for freedom for Hong Kong on Twitter. For him to be crucified and criticized for it from his boss (Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta) was a joke. Part of living in America is expressing free speech as long as it’s appropriate. This is one of those times.
BTW, LeBron James comes off as a hypocrite when he condemns Morey for expressing his rights. James does this all the time with social issues, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but what gets me is he basically told Morey to shut up and be a general manager the way Fox News’ Laura Ingraham told him to shut up and dribble. That’s not right, and that’s why he earned criticism.