Big Ben Tuesday: Sports are Almost Back – Weirdness in the NBA Bubble, NHL August Insanity, Short MLB Season with Quirks

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The Bubble with Ugly Anna, Undisclosed Location: Don’t look now folks, but we are a mere two days from baseball and a little over a week away from basketball and hockey. Giddy effin up. Our national nightmare of no team sports is nearly over. NBA players didn’t hesitate to start whining about the torturous conditions and bad food in their Disney bubble. MLB is going with a short season with some quirky new rules. Hockey is throwing together a summer madness tournament with all but the seven bottom feeders in it to win it. I’m embracing it all.

We’re back!

NBA

There have been some great stories coming out of the NBA bubble already. JR Smith complained about Velveeta for dinner. “You can’t run a Ferrari on that Crysler shite,” he lamented. LeBron James said it was “like going to prison” and Rajon Rondo compared the luxury accommodations to a Motel 6. They play golf and fish and have activities available 24/7. It really sounds rough. This just in, Kraft, Crystler, and Motel 6 will be pulling their ads on the side of the bubble. 

An unnamed player supposedly tried to sneak someone named “Ugly Anna” into the bubble on about day one. I guess it’s one of those reverse nicknames, like calling a fat guy “slim.” I’m pretty sure that was JR Smith or Rondo. No one has used the Virus Snitch Hotline yet though, sadly.

I’d just like to give a shot out to these players playing golf all day and eating prison mac & cheese slop for our entertainment. They’re the real heroes. 

A bubble packed with NBA prima donnas has the potential for awesome weirdness. The New York Knickerbockers seem to be satisfied with their accommodations as none of them have complained. 

Can I show you my bubble?

NHL

Hockey is set to blow it out NCAA tournament style with six games a day. I’m gonna go ahead and call it August Absurdity. TradeMark. Crap, that trademark hogging jerk in DC already took that one too. 

The Rangers open in Toronto with a play-in series vs the Carolina Hurricanes, a team they roughed up in the regular season. The series features old friend Brady Skjei playing on the other side.

More than other sports, the range of outcomes are all over the map here. I don’t think there will be much carryover from what happened four months ago. Anyone can get hot. With young stud Igor in the pipes, Kreider back from injury, and Breadman and Mika carrying the offensive load, this team has a puncher’s chance. But the lack of depth in the bottom six forwards will likely hurt them.

Prediction: Bombs

MLB

The Yankees and Mets are set up for a short season with top heavy pitching staffs. The season is a middle distance race and not the usual marathon. Managers will have to play more games to win.

The new rule where relief pitchers will have to face three batters or finish an inning should be fun. RIP the lefty specialist. If a manager goes to a left to try to get a tough lefty out to the end the inning and he fails, he’ll have to face a least one more guy. I wonder if they’ll start faking injuries so the managers can bring in a different pitcher. That’s what Bill Belichick would do. Expect to see a lot of lineups alternating righties and lefties.

National League fans will slowly realize the DH might not be the end of the world. And maybe Cespedes can make it through a mere 60 games as a DH. The Yankees will probably try to play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield too much so Miguel Andujar can DH. So Stanton is unlikely to pull that off. I’m surprised more Mets fans haven’t embraced the DH since they have about four regulars who can’t really play D.

That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow a guy for who rarely misses a start due to injury, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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