Mike Pizza began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a long shot. The Dodgers drafted him with the 1,390th pick in the 1988 draft. He was truly a diamond in the rough. By 1992 he made his Major League debut. He was named the 1993 rookie of the year. When his career ended in 2007 he had a lifetime batting average of .308, hit 427 home runs and batted in 1,335 runs. A 12 time All Star, Mike Piazza was one of the most popular and talented catchers of the 1990s. One part of his career many people over look or don’t even know about is his time with the Florida Marlins.
On May 15th, 1998 after playing 6 seasons with the Dodgers he was included in a blockbuster trade to the Marlins. The Marlins still trying to dump player from their World Series team traded 5 players including Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. The deal was a strange one that no one saw coming. Many were excited to see Piazza play for the Marlins. His addition gave the fans of Florida a chance for hope after almost all of their players had been sent packing in the infamous 1997 fire sale.
Mike Piazza as a Florida Marlin (Getty Images)
Mike Piazza’s Marlins career would be short lived. Piazza was traded 8 days later to the New York Mets after just 5 games with the Fish. During this stint Piazza batted .278, scored 1 run, batted in 5 runs and even landed a triple. Sure it was not the most exciting run but that only because it was so short lived. While it is just a small part of his baseball career it will remain an unusual situation and always be a cool trivial fact you can stump your friends with.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1988 draft, 5 games, 8 days, batting average, bobby bonilla, catcher, dodgers, fire sale, Florida, gary sheffield, marlins, met, mets, mike piazza, MLB, todd zeile, trade
After playing eight seasons for the Orlando Magic, Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade had been rumored since yesterday became a reality on Friday. The trade involved The Lakers, Magic, Nuggets and 76ers. The Lakers ended up with Howard and sent Andrew Bynum to the 76ers who also recieved Jason Richardson from the Magic. The Nuggest landed Andre Iguodala from the 76ers while the Magic received Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, three 1st round picks and a second round pick for 2013. It was the mega trade we had been expecting almost the entire summer.
Dwight Howard is leaving Orlando as a villain. He skipped out on a charity event recently in Orlando, that wasn’t going to win him any fans. Howard has been playing hardball with the team since the season ended. Yet the team still tried anything they could to make him happy enough to stay. The Magic fired coach Stan Van Gundy in May and the previous GM to appease Howard. Howard did not care he still wanted to leave as a free agent. The Magic had been that road before with Shaq in 1996 and were not about to let that happen this time around.
When trade rumors started Howard demanded going to the Brooklyn Nets and nowhere else. Howard put the team in a rough situation by lowering his trade value. He stated that he would not resign with any team other than the Nets or Mavericks when his contract is up after this season. A lot of interested teams quickly ran away not wanting to lose a lot for a one year stand with Dwight. Luckily for the Magic they were able to put together a deal that they can build a team for the future with. The team is ready to get on with life and with Dwight Howard out of the picture will be able to.
Dwight Howards legacy with the Magic will be a tarnished one. A story of feuding with his coach, stirring up trouble for the team and alienating himself from the fans of Orlando. The City of Orlando had been waiting for a star when they drafted Dwight in 2004. The team wanted to win a championship with Howard and the closest they came was the 2009 NBA Finals. The Lakers squashed the Magic in that year and the team never returned to the championship game since. The Magic should have realized earlier that Howard was not the man that could take them to a title.
Howard is now officially the most hated man in the NBA and it will not change anytime soon. He cares not about the team but himself. Howard has made his bed and no he has to sleep in it. Good riddance Dwight Howard.
Posted in NBA, sports
Tagged 2004 draft, 2009, 2013, 4 team trade, 76ers, Al Harrington, Andre Iguodala, andrew bynum, Arron Afflalo, championship, charity event, city, coach, contract, deal, Denver, draft picks, drama, Dwight Howard, gm, good riddance, lakers, land, los angeles, magic, mega trade, Moe Harkless, most hated player, nba finals, nba title, Nikola Vucevic, nuggets, orlando magic, stan van gundy, star, trade, tv, villain, where did he go
Dwight Howard is not playing nice with the Magic.
(Jonathan Daniel/Getty images)
A few weeks ago it looked like the drama that is Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic was coming to an end, but here we are with Howard still on a team he no longer wants to be on. The Magic want Howard to give the new management a chance but he wants a trade and wants one now. There is one problem though, there are no teams that for one want to have Howard for one season only to see him leave or a team with assets worthy of him.
The Houston Rockets were pushing hard for Howard going into the draft. Howard’s management even warned the team that if he were traded to Houston he would leave as a free agent next summer. Still the Rockets pursued Howard feeling that their legacy and how they would perform as a team with him would sway his decision to leave in 2013. The Magic were not offered a package of players that fit what they wanted.
Then came along the Brooklyn Nets, the team which Howard wants to ultimately end up with. The Magic were offered a deal that would involve the Nets and 2 other teams that would send the Magic Center Brook Lopez and a handful of other players. That deal was never accepted by the Magic and the Nets spent big money on Daron Williams and Lopez signed a contract extension with the team. The extension makes Lopez untradable until January. So the Magic will have to wait if they do in fact want Lopez. Lopez would be the only star player the Nets could include in a trade that would be a good deal for the Magic.
The Lakers are the latest team to be in talks with the Magic for Howard. The Lakers already traded away 2 future 1st round draft picks so that is off the table in a possible deal. The star player that could be involved in a deal between the Magic and Lakers would be Andrew Bynum. The problem with that scenario is two fold. The first problem is that Bynum is a free agent in 2013 and would have to sign if the Magic would acquire him and he has shown strong interest in being a free agent next year. The second issue is the Magic also want to unload a lot of their team and clean out some cap space. The Lakers cannot help them there. So the Magic stand with a player that is not looking to be going anywhere soon.
The Magic have been getting the rough end of this Howard situation. They are not finding any great deals but at the same time can’t afford for him to leave as a free agent and get nothing for him. Howard is really being tough with the team. The team has new management and is wanting to work something out with Howard. Howard does need to go but for the right price. The Magic should wait this out a little longer until they get a deal they can live with. The team will be set back many years if they don’t get players of value for Howard. This is a bad situation and a bad summer for the team and things don’t look to be getting better anytime soon.
Posted in NBA
Tagged 2004 draft, 2013, andrew bynum, arena, BASKETBALL, brook lopez, brooklyn nets, cavs, center, daron williams, drama, Dwight Howard, dwight howard traded, free gent, houston rockets, kobe, lakers, los angeles, money, multiple team trade, orlando magic, sports, still with the magic, summer, trade, tv, update, where will howard end up, why would he want to leave
This season has been very disappointing for the Miami Marlins. They showed that they are essentially giving up on hopes for the playoffs this season by trading some of their top stars. Rebuilding mode has already started when this team was supposed to be ready to contend this year. They have a strong focus on pitching in their trades this week, that is a spot they definitely need help in.
The first trade came on Tuesday when the Marlins sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Detroit Tigers. Infante has had a decent season thus far and had led the team to numerous victories. Sanchez has been with the club for a few years and been a reliable starter at times. Sanchez had a rough start to the season but leveled out towards the summer. The Marlins received top-rated pitching prospect Jacob Turner from the Tigers in the deal.
On Wednesday the Marlins traded away a star they coveted very heavily just a couple of years ago. Going into this season no one suspected that the Marlins would not finish the season with Hanley Ramirez. The rumors started floating around last week that the team was looking at offers for the former N.L. batting champion and multiple time All Star. The Marlins made a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to send Ramirez and pitcher Randy Choate to California. The Marlins received pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer in the deal.
Hanley Ramirez will never be forgotten by the franchise. He was acquired from the Boston Redsox in the 2005 trade that sent Josh Beckett to Boston. The Marlins had coveted and groomed Ramirez as their big star of the future. He had a few season where he played really well and even one a batting title. But the last couple of years has seen Ramirez numbers drop significantly. The Marlins owe a lot of credit to Ramirez for helping them get a new stadium built in Miami for the club. The team signed Ramirez to a 6 year deal a few years ago to show the city of Miami tax payers that they were committed to building a contender. A lot has changed in the last few years and Ramirez is no longer a Miami Marlin.
The Marlins have got to start building a team built for the future. The team has been out of contention for too long. A lot of the blame falls on pitching but really its everything. The Marlins franchise should have been contenders this year but have shown themselves not to be a team that can contend. The decision to trade some of their top talent is questionably but at least they are receiving top young pitching talent for the future. The city of Miami will lose their patience with the team really quickly if they don’t get a team on the field that not only looks like contenders but play like contenders.
Posted in MLB
Tagged 2005 trade, 2012, anibal sanchez, baseball, batting champion, boston red sox, Detroit Tigers, dismantle, florida marlins, franchise, future, Hanley Ramirez, jacob turner, josh beckett, july 31st, L.A., los angeles dodgers, marlins, marlins park, Miami, MLB, national league, omar infante, playoffs, pro sports, prospect, randy choate, rebuilding, reliever, short stop, south florida, third baseman, trade, trade deadline, trade off, who did they get, why did they trade
The NBA Draft is coming up this week and that means many story lines for many teams will take a twist through trades and picks. The biggest possible trade story leading up to the Draft is will the Magic trade Dwight Howard away for some great picks or even top level players. I have no faith that the Magic will take advantage of teams wanting Howard and wanting him now. Teams like the Houston Rockets are trading players and moving up in the 1st round with 3 picks in the top 20 as of Tuesday. Howard’s contract is up in 2013 and the Rockets want him prior to his contract expiring. The Magic might have a good opportunity to do something about their “Dwight Drama”.
Dwight Howard on draft day 2004 after being selected with the 1st overall pick by the Magic.
The Story of Dwight Howard and the Magic has been a complicated one. The Magic drafted Howard out of high school in 2004 with the 1st overall pick. Howard over the years has developed into one of the best big men in the game and has had some success with the team. Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games. The Magic have been contenders in the Eastern Conference for the last few years in large part to Howard. Dwight Howard has however also brought a lot of controversy to Orlando with his talent. He had a very public feud with the Magic’s former Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. It got really ugly during last season and Van Gundy was fired earlier this summer. Howard also brought drama near the trade deadline when he was not signing his clause to come back for his final year of his contract. He ended up signing hours before the deadline and the Magic did not trade him. It was a smart move for the Magic to put the pressure on Howard and to not trade him at the time when a trade for him would not yield enough in return for the Magic.
I say the time to pull the trigger is on draft night. The Magic could possibly be offered some really good deals and should strongly consider every one they receive. The Magic need not look to far into their past to be reminded why they should get rid of Howard before his contract expires.
In 1996 Shaq left the Magic for the Lakers in a similar situation where the team was not willing to give him exactly what he wanted and headed elsewhere. Shaq left and the Magic had nothing to show for it, they would have gotten a mega trade if they would have just looked around instead of fooling themselves that they could resign him.
Dwight Howard has made it no secret that he would like to play for the soon to be Nets of Brooklyn or for the Dallas Mavericks. The relationship between the Magic and Howard is just too volatile for it to continue. The Magic for a long time have been fooling themselves again that like Shaq that they can resign the star. I think there is no way he would sign with the Magic again even if the money was right. Howard is an awesome talent but he is just not going to stay with the team any longer than he needs to. The Magic cannot afford to have Howard leave and get nothing in return. He is too good of a talent and a player of his caliber could yield players that could build this team for the future. The Magic owe it to the city of Orlando and their fans to send Howard packing. So as the saying goes “THE TIME IS NOW!”
Posted in NBA
Tagged 1996, 1st overall pick, 2004 draft, 2009, 2012 draft, arena, BASKETBALL, brooklyn nets, dallas mavericks, deadline, drama, Dwight Howard, heat schedule, houston rockets, live sports, los angeles lakers, magic schedule, magic tickets, miami heat, mvp, nba draft, nba finals, nba tickets, orlando magic, schedule, shaq, sports schedule, tickets, trade, tv, www.sport
Its official Howard has formally waived his rights to free agency at the end of this season and will remain on contract through the 2012-2013 season. The Drama has ended for now. We will have to see whether he signs a longer term deal in the next year or if this will happen all over again next year. For the Magics sake I hope this gets resolved on a longer term basis soon.
The Magic can for now focus on the rest of the season. They are strong contenders in the Eastern Conference and will remain so going into next season regardless how this season ends. It is unknown if they will be able to acquire a NBA title this year but is still a strong possibility. How they end up ending this season would have to be a major factor on whether Dwight will want to stay in Orlando for the future. The team might still need to address the depth issue that Howard has long had a problem with though.
I will be reporting on the Magic and other teams around the NBA going into and through the playoffs so keep checking back for more news.
The year is 1996 and the Orlando Magic are coming off 2 incredible post seasons, the later of which they lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Championship. Heading into the off season the Magic were certain that the services of free agent Shaq would be obtainable yet again. Hence the reason they did not trade him in the final year of his deal during the 1995-1996 season. Little did they know he would get swept away by Los Angeles Lakers who that same summer acquired rookie Kobe Bryant in the first round of the draft. That Lakers Team would go on to win three NBA titles.
Now flash forward to the present day Orlando Magic and there star player Dwight Howard. Going into this season one that could be his last with the season depending on if he opts into his contract that would have if stay until the end of next season, he made it clear he would like to go somewhere else. Possibly to Dallas or the team from New Jersey that will be in Brooklyn next season. He claims the team has done nothing in terms of acquiring new players for him to win a championship with. He has handled this contract situation worse than Lebron handled leaving Cleveland and that is saying a lot.
He has been flip flopping over the last 24 hours. Saying he would on his final year on his contract then retracted his statement and realized he did not want to give up that control. The Magic at that point told him that if he does not opt in he is going elsewhere and would be doing so on Thursday the last day of the trade deadline at 3pm EST. The Magic have the disaster of losing Shaq while getting nothing in return fresh in their minds still and will not let that go down again. In the last few hours it has been reported that he is in fact willing to opt in and stay with the team but as I write this we are 2 and 1/2 hours from the deadline and nothing is yet done.
We will be finding out really soon what the fate of Dwight Howard and the Magic will be. If he stays it is possible there could be a Championship banner hanging up at the venue formerly known as the “Orena” next year. There also could be no Dwight Howard and the drama and distraction he has brought to the Orland Magic this season. Regardless of what happens today it is safe to say this is a event that will not only effect the future of a star player but a franchise as well.