Dodgers, Lakers, Patriots & Kraft

LA SPORTS WATCHDOG--Once again, we are hoping for the Dodgers to end its 30-year World Series drought.  And in that quest, many believed that the team should have signed Bryce Harper, a 26-year old wunderkind who was the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and the 2015 NL MVP. 

But Dodger management made the right decision in passing on Harper, demonstrating patience and sound judgement, not showing what behavioral economists call “present bias” which often results in bad, long term decisions. 

The Phillies signed Harper to a record 13-year, $330 million contract.  Maybe the Phillies will have a winning record this year, win the National League East, the National League, and even the World Series. While the odds that the Phillies will win the World Series are 9 to 1, behind the Yankees, Red Sox, Astros, and Dodgers, they are 100% certain to be stuck with Harper’s $25 million annual salary, much like the Anaheim Angeles and Albert Pujols. 

Lakers 

There were two fools in the room when the Lakers offered the New Orleans Pelicans two first round draft picks and four starters in return for Anthony Davis. Davis, a 6’10” center / power forward, is considered to one of the best players in the NBA. 

Fool Number One is New Orleans who turned down the deal, especially given that Davis will be become a free agent in July 2020 and has already indicated no interest in staying in NOLA despite being offered the maximum contract allowed in the NBA.  Without doubt, the Pelicans would be a better team next year if they completed the trade. 

Fool Number Two is Los Angeles who offered to trade two very valuable first round draft choices for one player in the hopes that Davis and out of his prime LeBron James (photo above) would lead the Lakers back into the playoffs and an eventual NBA championship.  But without a supporting cast, it is not going to happen. 

Unlike the Dodgers, the Lakers were showing “present bias,” trading away the future for instant gratification.  

Patriots 

Bob Kraft, the diminutive owner of the Boston Patriots, has been charged with soliciting prostitution at Orchids of Asia Spa, a massage parlor and salon located in Jupiter, Florida, about a half an hour north of his Palm Beach mansion.  According to published reports, Kraft was caught on film with his pants down with a young Chinese lady, not once, but twice on consecutive days, a true feat for this 77-year-old man. 

While Kraft could face a year in the clink, more than likely the courts will go easy on him if he pleads guilty to a misdemeanor.  But the billionaire Kraft, concerned about his standing in NFL owners circle, has hired two high powered lawyers and pleaded not guilty.  This could result in a public trial and the introduction of the incriminating tapes, a potential source of real embarrassment for Kraft and the National Football League.  

But if you ask Councilwoman Nury Martinez to sentence Kraft, she would toss the john into the slammer for a year, and rightfully so.  Kraft should not be allowed to skate but be harshly punished as an example that is not OK to solicit prostitution, especially when it involves human trafficking of young undocumented Asian sex slaves. 

Even if Kraft gets off, Roger Goodell may not be so lenient because he must protect the NFL’s already damaged public image, especially given previous incidents of players slapping around wives and girlfriends.  

Unfortunately, this does not alleviate the pain of losing to the Pats in the Super Bowl. 

 

 (Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and is the Budget and DWP representative for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council.  He is a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate.  He can be reached at:  lajack@gmail.com.)

-cw