Angry Ward Wednesday: From Pignatano to Pickleball, All the Sports Stuff You Didn’t Ask For

NEW YORK, NY – It’s high time someone around here did a deep dive on French Open Tennis. And today, my friends, is unfortunately not going to be that day. What can I say? Clay isn’t really my surface. I’m more of a lawn tennis guy. It’s okay, there’s plenty of other stuff to talk about. For starters, someone can chime in on comments and ask why I didn’t cover last night’s Rangers game. Boom! There’s your opening. You’ll be off and running talking about the Rangers and Igor’s big win and how Rod Brind’Amour’s face sometimes looks like a Picasso painting. You really don’t need me, but I’ll write about some stuff anyway.

RIP Joe Pignatano. Legendary Mets Bullpen Coach Joe Pignatano passed away Monday at the ripe old age of 92. I use the word ripe because Pignatano was famous for growing tomatoes out in the Mets pen, starting in 1969. Both the tomato plants and Mets bore fruit that year. Pignatano was also a Brooklyn Dodger, making his debut the year before the team scrammed for the West Coast. Later he was on the infamous 1962 expansion Mets. In their final game that season, Pignatano had his final MLB at-bat and made it a memorable one, lining into a game-ending triple play. Rest in peace, and tomatoes, Joe. Glad you didn’t have to see Edwin Diaz blow that one in Frisco last night.

Joe Pignatano’s bullpen garden at Shea.

Golden State Worriers. I’m happily following my favorite basketball team as they make a push for another championship. After no one really putting them in the title-contender conversation this year (well, maybe very early on), all of a sudden people are talking about it like it’s a foregone conclusion. I don’t know about that. But, what I do hope is that this run of theirs is bothering the likes of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. I’d say the chances are more likely for the former rather than the latter. Irving can’t be bothered with anything that isn’t totally about him, but I bet Durant is at least a little annoyed that the Warriors have risen from the dead (seriously injured, anyway) in his absence. That’s good enough for me. Keep it going, guys!

Pickleball. Anyone out there played or playing pickleball? I kinda want in. Sounds fun. I already clumsily knock a tennis ball around every once in a while with a friend in my hood, but pickleball is apparently a mash-up of tennis, badminton, and tennis with a much smaller court to cover. Perfect for my aging-out a$$.

Back to the Rangers.… Good luck the rest of the way. I think the Canes are through… and I mean this series. Tampa Bay will be an entirely different story.

Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz who, I gotta say, is a very consistent contributor here. Shows up like clockwork every week.

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About Angry Ward 655 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.