Angry Ward Wednesday: Big Name Busts In NY Sports

Big Name Busts In NY Sports?

NEW YORK, NY – They say if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. While this may be true, what about those that can’t make it here? Anyone who has lived in the Big Apple long enough has had their fair share of dizzying highs and gutter-crawling lows, but nowhere do those lows stand out as much as in those sports stars who have taken a crack at NYC only to have Gotham punch their teeth down their collective throats, pull their underwear up over their heads, and kick them squarely in the ass. Is there a reason a guy like LeBron James threw away a chance to live like a zillionaire in the greatest city in the world, never pick up a check for the rest of his life, and get laid like General Petraeus? You’re damn right there is. And please don’t get us started on Jason Bay. What follows are some cautionary tales of those who got chewed up and spit out by New York.

Kevin Maas. A slugging lefthanded first baseman, Maas exploded onto the scene back in 1990 blasting 10 home runs in his first 72 at-bats for the Yankees, finishing the year with 21 in just 79 games. He was Don Mattingly’s heir apparent and the toast of New York until some great baseball mind said, “Hey, maybe we should try throwing the kid some breaking balls.” Then he was just toast. He finished his sophomore campaign with 128 strikeouts and a .220 average. By the time 1993 came to a close both the Yankees and the city were saying “No Maas.” At last check he was working as a financial consultant for Charles Schwab and batting clean up for the company softball team.

Charles Schwab coverboy

Eric Lindros. The number one selection in the 1991 NHL draft was already kinda used goods when he joined the New York Rangers for three seasons (2001-2004). He did manage to score 66 goals. More impressively, Lindros collected his 8th career concussion with the Blueshirts, falling into a deeper haze while failing to lead the team out of its own. After that neither hockey fans nor Lindros himself really knows what happened to him.

Isiah Thomas. First he was the darling of Indiana. Then he was the Prince of Detroit. Then he singlehandedly murdered the Continental Basketball Association, which was pretty cool. Then, in 2003, Zeke was made President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks. He did such a good job spending loads of money and putting together the second worst team in the league that he was made head coach in 2006. After New York finally hit the lever on the trapped door he was perpetually perched atop, Thomas had an ill-fated short stint as a pitchman for Lunesta. He later coached Florida International University to a 26-65 record in three seasons. Today Isiah owns  a worm farm in Homosassa, Florida, a business where you need a guy who knows how to run things into the ground.

Mark Sanchez. Wait… he’s still playing??? Seriously??? In New York??? Isn’t it high time he calls it quits, heads back out west, and starts selling waterbeds in Arizona with fellow USC-bust Matt Leinart? Seems like a pretty good post-NY career arc for this guy.

Every High-Priced Mets Free Agent Signing Ever. There are three things in life that you can count on: death, taxes, and the Mets paying a ton of money for a guy that can’t hack it in New York. From George Foster to Bobby Bonilla to Jason Bay (hey we said not to get started on this guy) it’s been one stinker after another. Let’s not forget the last two big name pitching signings either. Seems like Pedro and Johan just stopped by Queens on their way to an assisted living facility in Jersey. Speaking of Jersey…

Short Matt. Prior to Sandy, the worst disaster to hit New York in over a century. In all fairness, he’s made it. That’s if “making it” includes making a public spectacle of yourself at sporting events, having every orthopedic surgeon in the city know you by name, and launching this site. Well done, sir.

Okay, these vagabond shoes are longing to stray. Come back Thursday for Cam and Lori.


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About Angry Ward 747 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for 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 Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.