Angry Ward Wednesday: Training, Trades and Alf

cubs-fansNEW YORK, NY – “Darkness warshed over The Dude.” So goes the line from The Big Lebowski when our protagonist gets slipped a mickey by one Jackie Treehorn. As I sit here writing this after a week in Rhode Island in a house chock full o’ family followed by a weekend in the same house equally chock full o’ Newport Folk Fest fiends led by Grote2DMax and Cheesy Bruin, I can feel the darkness warshing over me. I could easily turn this into a vacation recap, but West Coast Craig absolutely owns that milieu. Instead I’ll focus on, what else, sports.

Breaking Training. The NFL’s version of a chain gang is currently underway, where two- to three-hundred-plus pound “athletes” and potential felons compete daily under excruciating summer heat in training camp for a chance to play pro football and then live the rest of their lives as cripples. Though we’re barely through the first week, already you’re hearing of troubling injuries to such stars as Seattle’s Percy Harvin (heh), Cincy’s A.J. Green, and a season-ending ACL tear for Denver’s starting center, Dan Koppen. (Hope I’m not the first to tell you this, Cookie). Prior to this year there has been a call to cut down the number of pre-season games, but after this start Roger Goodell should start thinking about reducing training camp to nothing more than some light prancercising, followed by dormitory beer pong, followed by one pre-season, round-robin, league-wide, swimming pool belly flop contest.

Traded. Fake Sandy Alderson hit on Major League Baseball’s trading deadline yesterday. It’s that truly fascinating time of year when rich white millionaires have drinks and deal marginal players, overwhelming contracts, and go-nowhere prospects for some smiles and slaps on the back. Jim "The Toy Cannon" WynnPersonally, I’ll always remember this time of year from when I’d get my Topps baseball cards the following season and see the horribly “artistically-altered” (think caveman photoshop) “Traded” cards featuring the likes of Jim “The Toy Cannon” Wynn, Diego Segui, and classic Oscar Gamble. OK, maybe some of  those trades happened after the season, but still…. In any event, the Yankees made a semi-big splash recently.

blago cubsAlf. We wish this entry concerned a certain fuzzy space alien who moved in with a middle-class American family and uttered the catch phrase, “Ha!, No problem”… but it isn’t. The New York Yankees recently acquired long-lost Bomber Alfonso Soriano from the Chicago Cubs for Single A pitcher Corey Black. But the bigger part of the story is that the Cubs are picking up a staggering $17.7 million of his remaining contract while the Yankees are on the hook for a measly $6.6 mill, five of which is due next year. Look, Soriano hasn’t exactly been a world-beater the last five years or so but, this is still a very good deal for the Yanks. Thus far Alf has hit 17 dingers for the Cubbies and already one in the even more friendly confines of Billy Crystal’s Brand-Spanking-New Whore Emporium. In fact, the thought of him and Jeter flicking lazy fly ball homers over that ridiculous short porch in right makes one wonder whether the Yankees (hang on a second I just threw up in my mouth a bit) might still make a run at the playoffs. God help us.

OK, that’s it for me. I’m getting the folk out of here before someone starts playing The Eagles, man. Come back tomorrow for a heaping helping of Cam James.

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About Angry Ward 755 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.