Tag Archives: summer

The Dwight Howard Headache Continues For Orlando

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.

Can David Wright Finish Above .400?

The baseball season is about to complete its second month.  There is a potential story brewing that could dominate the sports media this summer.  David Wright and the possibility that he could end the season with an above .400 batting average.  While the New York Mets have been average this season and have not had a great season in a couple of years,  David Wright could vault the team into the sports media mainstream for the next few months.

New York Mets Third Baseman David Wright
(Marc Serota/Getty Images North America)

Wright has played in 38 games as the Third Baseman for the Mets this year, and  as of May 22nd is batting .415.  Wright has been incredibly hot and extremely valuable for a Mets team that has fallen down a bit over the last couple of years.

The Mets are currently 22-20 and are 3.5 games back in the very tough N.L. East.  Whether the Mets will contend this year is hard to say but based on the recent past looks unlikely.  The Mets caught a lot of flack last season after it was found out the their new stadium might have been paid for by many people who’s live were ruined by the fraudulent financial scams of Bernie Madoff.  Wright could help the team move on and put that in their past this season.  The New York Mets need a player like David Wright at this point and need him to do well and that is exactly what he is doing.

The .400 single season batting average is one of the most elusive marks in all of sports.  The last man to hit above .400 in one season was Boston Red Sox legend and Hall of Famer Ted Williams.  Williams hit .406 in 1941.  Since then no one else has done it,  Tony Gwynn did come close in 1994 when he finish with .394 in 1994 but that is a mute point given the fact it was a strike shortened season.  Royal’s Hall of Famer George Brett finished with a .390 batting average in 1980.

Wright will have to continue to be hot through what is  a very long and grueling baseball season.  As Wright continues toward the .400 mark and the season gets further along the media pressure will heat up.  That could be and has been something that has affected many players going towards not only this mark but all records in baseball.  The Mets are positioned in one of the biggest sports markets in the country and you have to know it will be like a zoo towards August if Wright can still be close to the mark by then

Not very many players have had a batting average this high at this point in the season.  So it is definitely time to start watching the Mets and David Wright to see how this progresses.  David Wright is an amazing player and really deserves to reach such a mark.  His stock has already risen and we are not even half way through this season.  So as the season moves along into the summer keep an eye out for David Wright he might just shock the sports world.

Baseball’s Real Opening Day

Baseball season has finally started but not really.  On Wednesday and Thursday the first two games of the season took place in Tokyo, Japan, between the Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners.  Seattle took the first game in extra innings with a final score of 3-1, Ichiro was the star of that game in his home country going 4 for 5 with an RBI.  The A’s won the second game 4-1 with their high paid Cuban acquisition Yoenis Cespedes who homered after having just a one hit game with two strike outs in the first game.  Now the two teams head back to the US to play…exhibition games!

I find it pretty ridicuous that MLB takes the first  official games of the season to Japan, which they have done for the last few years.  Its even more ridiculous that the two teams that started the season still have to play games that don’t count.  I agree its a nice thing to bring Ichiro back to his home country where they broadcast every game he plays in during the season, but its hardly a reason to make such a decision to bring regular season games there.  One could argue that its to expand the game’s reach around the world,  but they already have baseball and very competitive leagues.  There is also the situation of the smaller ballpark which inflates stats for only two games. Then reality will set back in, here in the U.S., when they play in roomier parks.  I know it won’t stop anytime soon but I wish it would.

The real opening day takes place on Thursday when  all of the teams start a new and aim for the World Series.  The first set of games will start at 1pm eastern time and go through the night.  I like the fact that the opening day in the U.S. is starting on a Thursday and carrying on into the weekend.  In years past the season started in the middle of the week and it took some of the special feel away.  The ballparks will be packed and ready to rock.

This season holds a lot of questions. With a new incredible ballpark in Miami where they have stocked up the team with high paid free agents Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and new manager Ozzie Guillen.  Over in L.A. you have the power house Albert Pujols who will look to capture another World Series title and cement his legacy as one of the best players baseball has ever seen.  Detroit picked up Prince Fielder and brought him back to the city where his father Cecil played for years. He will undoubtedly make them strong contenders for the World Series title.  There are many other story lines, but those are by far the main one to follow as the season begins.

Baseball is still America’s sport. No matter how popular the game of football becomes in the U.S., baseball will always hold a place in the history of this great country.  With such a rich history it is hard to not get excited and interested in the beginning of every season.  For some fans, depending on how your team does, by July it can be hard to stay interested.  It’s going to be a great season and I can’t wait for it to start on Thursday. Anything can happen when the season starts and that’s what I love about baseball.