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Whicker: Lakers fall victim to Joel Embiid’s history lesson

LOS ANGELES — It rhymes with indeed, or friend in need.

The NBA has enough under-25 stars to fill up several red carpets. Maybe the league can loan Joel Embiid to the NFL, or some other distressed business that seeks a savior.

On Wednesday night, in a building that has celebrated two NBA championships, two Stanley Cups, Adele and Taylor Swift, Embiid stapled a new page in league history. He also punched a hole in the Lakers, or at least in their delusions that they’re anywhere close to catching up to the times.

Ordinarily you’d need a whole frontcourt to put together

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/15/whicker-lakers-fall-victim-to-joel-embiids-history-lesson/
Date: 1510827827

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Whicker: Astros leave Dodgers offense stranded in space

LOS ANGELES — You can send a good-riddance bouquet to Yu Darvish if you wish.

You can build the weirdest Erector set of reasons why Dave Roberts bollixed up the pitching.

In lieu of recognizing that the Dodgers lost the World Series to a better team.

You can wonder all winter why manifest destiny died in the glove of Yuli Gurriel, who took the final throw from Jose Altuve and disbelievingly put his hands on his head as the Houston Astros, who first were named the Colt .45s and played on a snake-infested field with mosquitos the size of backpacks, won

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/01/whicker-astros-leave-dodgers-offense-stranded-in-space/
Date: 1509609959

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Whicker: Alex Wood turns a red-letter day Dodger blue

HOUSTON — His parents got engaged on Oct. 28. His fiancee Suze was born on Oct. 28.

His friend Chance Veazey, his roommate at Georgia who was supposed to walk on baseball fields with him forever, lost those dreams on Oct. 28, eight years ago.

Alex Wood woke up Saturday with the date imprinted deep inside his head. He would pitch the essential game of his life on this Oct. 28, with one start under his belt since Sept. 26 and with his Dodgers a step behind the Astros in the World Series, and with Game 4 and 5 in a

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/28/whicker-alex-wood-turns-a-red-letter-day-dodger-blue/
Date: 1509261704

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Whicker: With a game in their pocket, Dodgers’ bullpen explodes

LOS ANGELES — Justin Verlander called it an instant classic. But it lasted 4 hours and 19 minutes.

Some games defy words. Some games just mock them. When both teams slug six home runs in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, and when Justin Verlander’s Houston Astros score twice in the 10th and twice in the 11th and still have a tying run at the plate to deal with, this game you’re watching has escaped its moorings.

Maybe a World Series has, too.

Houston won Game 2, 7-6, in 11 innings. By then both closers had been devoured. The Dodgers were trying

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/25/whicker-with-a-game-in-their-pocket-dodgers-bullpen-explodes/
Date: 1509000691

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Whicker: Diamondbacks’ Jeff Mathis still a pitcher’s best friend

LOS ANGELES — Those who find truth in formulas never understood Jeff Mathis, or his continued employment.

How can you hold down a baseball job when you don’t hit? And why is he playing when nobody wants him on a fantasy team?

Mathis has just put in his 11th major league season. His career OPS is .565, several rungs below the Mendoza Line for that statistical amalgam.

Yet he started the National League wild-card game in Phoenix on Wednesday, and he started Game 1 of the Division Series on Friday.

In a game gone drunk on offense, Mathis has created a one-man niche.

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/06/whicker-diamondbacks-jeff-mathis-still-a-pitchers-best-friend/
Date: 1507347145

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Whicker: Confederacy of dunces: What was ESPN thinking by reassigning announcer Robert Lee?

One should avoid using “crazy” as a pejorative term. Those with mental illness should be spared ridicule, just like cancer patients.

So we sit here and wait, in vain, for another term that sums up what ESPN did on Tuesday.

It was reported that ESPN was removing play-by-play man Robert Lee from Virginia’s season opener with William & Mary on Sept. 2.

With all the controversy over Gen. Robert E. Lee’s statue in Charlottesville, the network felt it would be inappropriate and maybe even confusing to have someone of that name in Scott Stadium.

So Lee would handle Pittsburgh’s opener with Youngstown State

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/08/23/whicker-confederacy-of-dunces-what-was-espn-thinking/
Date: 1503518613

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Whicker: If the cars don’t matter anymore, does NASCAR?

Whicker: Strikeout power lifts Dodgers again

LOS ANGELES — This was back in 1980, when Chrysler and Plymouth were putting out ground-breaking economy vehicles, or were trying to.

Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals hit .154 with 12 strikeouts, and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News said that if Mike Schmidt deserved the luxury car for World Series MVP, Wilson deserved the “K” car, one of those Reliants and Arises that were quickly swept off to the junkyards.

But Wilson at least needed six games to pile up those 12 strikeouts. He would be known as a contact hitter today.

Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/06/whicker-strikeout-power-lifts-dodgers-again/
Date: 1499341609

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Whicker: Alex Wood opens the gate, Dodgers run free again

LOS ANGELES — The pitchers have been fine these days. It’s not like they have to be. They are pretty much a trigger mechanism. Get everything started, sit back and let the Dodgers’ hitters make it rain.

Alex Wood was the starter Friday night against Colorado, which was leading the Dodgers by 2½ games on June 9. He couldn’t pull the trigger immediately. Charlie Blackmon took him through an eight-pitch at-bat and dumped a single into center-field, and Wood wasn’t getting much leeway from home umpire Fieldin Culbreth. After that, defending NL batting champ David LeMahieu walked on four pitches.

That’s

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/06/24/whicker-alex-wood-opens-the-gate-dodgers-run-free-again/
Date: 1498297079

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Whicker: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s fans are thinking with their hearts vs. Canelo Alvarez