Angry Ward: NBA Free Agency, MLB Trade Deadline and Women’s World Cup

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NEW YORK, NY – It’s getting a little desperate out there in world of sports. The NBA season just ended with a rash of crippling injuries and a title for a team from Canada. The Blues dispatched the Bruins in an entertaining Stanley Cup, but there’s not much left to cover besides who threw up during the victory parade. Baseball has a few tight races as we head towards the All-Star break, but the Twins, Dodgers and Astros are all well clear of second place teams in their divisions. That’s half the league right there. Meanwhile, football is still a couple of months away from any kind of relevance and things like golf and tennis only make headlines only when the names Tiger and Serena are involved. That leaves us with soccer’s Women’s World Cup (which I am into), NBA free agency, and MLB’s Trade Deadline speculation. Let me try to cobble something together here.

With all the player movement in the NBA these days, and guys trying to play with their buds on “Superteams,” the NBA has gone from Air Jordan to Airbnb. This off-season was shaping up to be a doozy, with some of the biggest names in the game set to turn the league on its ear by “taking their talents” to new locales. But then Kevin Durant got hurt, and everybody stopped in their tracks. The guy was strongly rumored to be going to the Knicks, but now it’s anybody’s guess what happens, and the Knicks’ tagline for this season should be the famed Caddyshack quote from Maggie, the Irish waitress: TANKS FER NUTTIN’! Anyway, the biggest name out there, and biggest mystery, is Kawhi Leonard. Let’s face it, the guy is not only maybe the best all-around player in the game, he’s also definitely the coolest. He just crushed my team in the Finals and I still can’t help but be a fan. He could end up anywhere from back in Toronto to the LA Clippers to… NO, not you New York! As for Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn is the clubhouse leader but he and the Knicks seem destined for each other. Two malcontents in a loveless marriage. Kemba Walker could go to the Lakers. Does anyone want Boogie Cousins? It should get interesting come July 1st.

Major League Baseball isn’t nearly as interesting when it comes to possible player movement. Many teams have already stripped themselves of any tradable commodities (*cough* Seattle *cough*). Pitching is always a need, but most of the teams willing to trade are garbage because they have no pitching. The one guy that everyone keeps mentioning is Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. Latest rumors have him going to the Twins, but I think the Mets should trade for him and hit him cleanup. Just kidding. He’s not going to the Mets, but don’t be surprised if Zack Wheeler finally leaves the Mets. As for the Yankees, they will likely keep looking for guys who hit dingers and bargain-bin pitchers. Maybe this is the year they finally get that Boyd guy from the Tigers, who has mediocre written all over him.

This is already running long, but I want to say a little something about the Women’s World Cup and the US Women’s National Team. If the #USWNT can beat or draw with Sweden tomorrow they will win their group and meet France in the knockout stage in Paris. This needs to happen, because I have tickets for that quarterfinal game and it would be awesome to see that match-up. Whatever the case, I think that these games should be followed and celebrated a whole lot more than they are globally. Germany, reportedly, barely pays any mind at all to its women’s squad. Just watching Chilean goalie Christiane Endler put up a superhuman effort to literally SAVE her team from being embarrassed by the U.S., convinced me that these games deserve a lot more attention. These women can play.

OK, I’m done and off next week. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz who is off figuring out get-well-soon scenarios for the Knicks or whether they should spend another year in the tank.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.

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