Angry Ward Wednesday: Cano, Wentz, Carmelo and other Examples of Sports Addition by Subtraction

BRONX, NY – In 2001 the Seattle Mariners turned Major League Baseball on its ear by winning 116 regular season games. They accomplished this feat without the benefit of Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr., and Alex Rodriguez, three of the franchise’s cornerstone players, who had all talked their way out of town. Though they didn’t go on to win the World Series (their steroid cheats weren’t as good as they Yankees steroid cheats), they proved that teams can survive and even thrive without their best players. I thought of this recently after Seattle’s Robinson Cano got suspended for 80 games. I immediately thought this might be one of those cases of addition by subtraction and, so far, it has been. So, let’s start there.

Robinson Cano. The Mariners will be better off without him. They never should have signed him in the first place, but they did. Brian Cashman knew Cano used, then backtracked. Mark Teixeira did not. What’s done is done. Still, Seattle, dealing with injuries like just about every other team, is somehow cobbling it together. As I write this they are only 2 behind Houston in the AL West, getting some very good pitching from James Paxton (threw a no-hitter, struck out 16 in one seven-inning start, and had an eagle land on him) and timely hits from different guys every night. Taking the spotlight off one guy and spreading it around, really works.

Carmelo. Has the rest of the NBA finally figured out what the Denver Nuggets did years ago? You’re better off without Carmelo Anthony. Look, Linsanity wasn’t going to last forever, but it was one of the few pockets of joy for Knicks fans over the past decade, and Melo effectively crushed it. It wasn’t all him, of course, but some “stars” just don’t care to do what’s good for the team and, by all accounts, Carmelo Anthony is one of those guys. He’s all yours now, Oklahoma City. Think of this as your punishment for stealing the Sonics.

Carson Wentz. I’m starting to detect a trend here with the letter “C.” First and foremost, Wentz was playing great for the Eagles when he went down last year, and they still may have won the Super Bowl had he stayed healthy. But he went down to injury and, somehow, the team rallied around friggin’ Nick Foles. Hard to see that one coming, but it happened. The Eagles won their first Super Bowl with a crappy backup QB.

Angry Ward. In the bio MTM Management penned for me for this site, they refer to me as “The Franchise.” Look where that’s gotten us? I think it’s high time they trade me to Deadspin or Sports Illustrated or the “failing” NY Times. Or just DFA me and take a bag of DJ Eberle’s filthy laundry or anything else they can get in return. Then, mark my words, this place will take off and Short Matt will be as famous as a Kardashian.

LeBron James. Just in case you were wondering, the Cleveland Cavaliers will indeed go back to sucking for eternity after they lose LeBron. Even the rules of addition by subtraction have their limits.

Dez Bryant. Of course the Cowboys will be better off without Dez, but they still won’t be any good.

Henrik Lundqvist. It’s just not in the cards for some beloved New York sports stars. Don’t believe me? See Mattingly, Don and Ewing, Patrick. King Hank seems like one of them as well. Played his guts out but never cashed in on a championship. It happens.

All right, enough of this crap. Come back tomorrow for the new face of the franchise, Buddy Diaz!


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About Angry Ward 662 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.