Angry Ward Wednesday: Baseball Chatter About Juan Soto, the Orioles, and Other Stuff

Angry Ward, Anthony Volpe, Juan Soto, San Diego Padres, San Diego Chicken, Meet-The-Matts, Ward Calhoun, #GoogleAlerts

NEW YORK, NY – Happy Wednesday, everyone! Major League Baseball is in full swing (see what I did there?) and right off the bat (and there?) there are some early-season storylines and situations worth following. The Rays’ scorching start got mentioned yesterday, so we’ll leave them out of it. Let’s take a quick look at some other stuff.

Juan Soto. The Mets are currently hosting the PadPeople, so I was reminded how San Diego has been throwing cash around lately like a Texas oil billionaire with off-the-charts dementia. Not only do they have 14 years and $330 million invested in a guy coming off an 80-day drug suspension, but they have this fella named Juan Soto, who’s currently earning $23 million in arbitration dollars and slated to become a free agent after the 2024 season. The Padres clearly want to get a long-term deal done with him but the question is: Do they really? In 2021 at age 22, Soto, then playing for the Nationals, hit .313, smacked 29 homers, and led the league in on-base percentage. Last year Washington offered him a 15-year deal worth a guaranteed $440 million and he said something along the lines of, “nah.” He was traded to San Diego and finished the year hitting a combined .246 between the two clubs, while only driving in 62. He’s off to a bit of a slow start this year, currently hitting .205, though he continues to draw a lot of walks. But you don’t pay someone half a billion dollars for walks. It’s going to be really interesting to see how things go for him this year as he heads into his walk year. The pressure’s going to start mounting, and not everyone is Aaron Judge.

Baltimore Orioles. I’m going on over-a-decade-tired of the Baltimore Orioles being the New York Yankees‘ security blanket. This past weekend they dropped two of three at home to the Bombers, which falls under the “Nothing to New to See Here” umbrella. When is this team gonna nut-up already and play the Yankees tough? Sure, the Yankees are a better team, but the Orioles are young and shouldn’t know any better. Isn’t this world made for stupid young people? Late last season it looked like Baltimore was turning a corner of sorts with guys like Cedric Mullins and Adley Rutschman, but they still can’t seem to get motivated to take it out on the Yankees. They’re currently playing .500 ball, which is encouraging… for them. But they need to take the next step this year and stop being the AL East doormat. That’s a role the Red Sox seem ready to fill.

Who’s Your Manager? OK, we’ve all got favorite baseball teams but, if you had your choice, who would you like managing yours? I’m not talking about bringing skippers like Mack and McGraw back from the grave, but anyone your team could hire now. I know Yankees fans are plenty satisfied with the genius that is Aaron Boone, so I assume they’re gonna excuse themselves from this exercise. On the two teams I pull for, the Mets and Mariners, I personally like both Buck Showalter and Scott Servais. Both are lightyears better than Art Howe, Luis Rojas, and other rub-a-dubs who got to manage professional baseball teams. Right now, I think I’d take Terry Francona above almost anyone else. I base this on nothing more than his teams really seem to consistently present a significant roadblock when playing against my teams. On the flip side of that coin…

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They have Mike Trout, they have Shohei Ohtani, and almost every year baseball writers seem to predict that the Angels are ready to finally break out. DO. NOT. BELIEVE. IT. EVER. The Angels are going nowhere but… um… nowhere. Book it. The 1927 Yankees could walk out of a cornfield and all decide to play for the Angels and they’d still lose. Mark my words, the Angels will only have a shot the day they decide to go back to being the California Angels.

All right, I’m done. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who I don’t think is related to umpire Laz Diaz. But, you never know.

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About Angry Ward 742 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.