Angry Ward Wednesday: In NYC Baseball is King

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NEW YORK, NY – Football season is over, but here in Metropolitan New York it ended a long time ago. Some might even argue that it concluded way back on January 8, 2017, during the Giants’ last playoff appearance. Whatever the case, New York fans enjoy all sports, and follow them all year long, but lately there haven’t been many opportunities to reasonably turn root-root-rooting for the home team into a 365-day proposition. Take a look around at local football, basketball, and hockey teams and you see a whole lot of rejects, rebuilds, and outright rubbish. Suddenly, as it was in the late 1940s and well into the 1950s, the Big Apple is a baseball town.

Before you jump down my throat, I know there are plenty of diehards out there who follow their teams religiously, no matter how putrid they are. But, there’s a big difference between not quitting on your team and being realistic about their actual chances. Very quickly, Joe Judge can promise punching noses for 60 minutes and Adam Gase can do whatever weird-a$$ shit he’s gonna do, but we all know that both the Giants and Jets are going nowhere next year. If James Dolan keeps firing people, maybe he’ll eventually get around to himself, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. A winning Knicks team could take the city over in a heartbeat, but it will take a seance AND Dr. Frankenstein to bring them back from the dead. The Nets? Please. No one cares, and even if Durant is back next year there are no guarantees and a whole lot of questions.

Hockey? Rangers are in transition, the Islanders could make the playoffs but are like visiting divorced parents — Dad in Brooklyn trying to recapture his youth and Mom out on the Island drinking Pinot Grigio and coming up with reasons to bring her car to the mechanic (not you, Christie, you’re too good for that kinda scene)— and the Devils suck. But again, if you squint really hard, you can see baseball on the horizon.

 

I’m all for tearing band aids off as quickly as possible, so let’s tackle the New York Yankees first. The Yanks won 103 games last year, more than anyone in baseball except the Trashtros and the Dodgers. That’s a great year, especially considering almost everyone on the team came down with Bronx Leprosy. Reason for Hope: The Yankees have to be healthier than last year, right? Plus, they added Gerrit Cole! Even though they lost Didi Gregorious, their starting lineup is solid top to bottom and their bullpen is strong, even without Betances, who is guaranteed to suck now that he’s a Met.

Reason for Doubt: You can only be savages in the box for so long before you start chafing “down there.” Aaron Boone coming up with a new motivational rant could be an absolute disaster. “My pitchers are rigorous on the rubber!” and “My DH’s have big d!ck energy!” just won’t cut it. How will Cole pitch under the pressure of the biggest pitcher’s contract ever and New York fans and media critiquing every pitch? How will they survive without Greg Bird? Will Hank Steinbrenner try Chantix? So many pointless-yet-hilarious questions.

As for the Mets, they are coming off a typical winter where they hired a manager and then had to fire him before he managed a single game AND did their usual bit of player shopping at the MLB consignment shop.

Reason for Hope: Steve Cohen is becoming majority owner of the Mets, finally getting rid of the Wilpon scourge. They also have the best pitcher in baseball and the reigning rookie of the year/home run king. Finally, they signed Paul Rudd this offseason to add a little homespun awkward levity to the clubhouse.

Reason for Doubt: It’s being reported that Steve Cohen taking control of the Mets is NOT happening. All is f**king lost if this is true. Their new manager is a guy whose name I can’t remember without googling. And it looks as though they DIDN’T sign Paul Rudd… turns out it’s Michael Wacha. Should be a fun year.

Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who also loves baseball. Seriously, people, it’s the only game in town.

 

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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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