Despite the enormous amount of hype after signing with Los Angeles, LeBron James has proven he is not the key to success the Lakers had hoped for. Coming into this season, the prevailing thought was that LeBron would be capable of leading the young, untested Laker squad from the cellar of the Western Conference to the playoff mix. However, those lofty goals have not come to fruition with Laker nation’s optimism quickly shifting to hopes for next year as their postseason aspirations have all but been squashed. The team’s performance this season has led to questions about Lebron’s positive effect, or lack thereof, on the team and how they should proceed moving forward.
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Major League Baseball has recently been at the top of the sports headlines with massive contracts being signed by three of the sport’s biggest stars: Nolan Arenado, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. These deals are, in total, worth about $1 billion dollars — a sum unrivaled by any of the other other major American professional sports organizations. In an era of astronomical television deals being signed by just about every team, franchises have more cash to spend on free-agents and contract extensions to retain current players. These television deals have increased revenue for the sport by 257 percent from the period between 1995 to 2013. Whether or not these contracts are justified is a matter of debate, but what is clear are the new expectations that the market has created, as explained in a 2013 sabr.org article.
The Seattle Mariners and New York Mets have recently finalized a blockbuster trade, encompassing the two very different tracks each team is on. The Mets believe they still have an opportunity to win now, whereas the Mariners are cutting costs and focusing on the future. The Mets division, the National League East, is proving to be one of the most exciting and rapidly improving league in baseball, with all teams, besides for the Marlins, looking to compete for top spot. This trade will dramatically change the look of the Mets roster, with Robinson Cano taking over second base and being placed in the middle of the lineup, and Edwin Diaz becoming the everyday closer. Recently, the Philadelphia Phillies have traded for shortstop Jean Segura, and the Nationals have signed starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to counter the Mets’ activities. The Mets general manager has made it clear that there will be more moves on the horizon, saying, “We did not make this move to have this be the last move... We want to bolster the team, improve our production next season and add more players around this.” To add to the competitive nature of the offseason moves for National League East, Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, admitted he made the trade for Diaz partially to block him from going to the rival, Phillies. This flurry of moves is good for the division and the sport as a whole, bringing excitement back to New York and other large markets.
The Boston Red Sox took home their ninth championship as the Major League Baseball postseason comes to a close. The baseball community is left with a parting gift in the form of the annual award announcements, recognizing the top rookie, pitcher and overall player in the American and National Leagues. Every winner, by season’s end, had cemented his case as the favorite to take home the hardware. So, without further ado, here are this year’s award winners:
After a dominant playoff run, the Boston Red Sox took home their first World Series win since 2013. This season, the team amassed 108 wins and was the top team of the stacked American League East division. Their sworn rivals, the New York Yankees, won 100 games this year, which ordinarily would have easily gotten them the division crown, but only earned them a wild card spot. This just goes to show how historic this year’s Sox squad was.
On Sept. 8, the U.S. Open women’s singles final took place — the last of the four grand slams of tennis that occur every year. Within the tournament, hundreds compete against top-ranked competition on the world’s biggest stage, New York City. This year, however, the women’s finals was overshadowed by drama that took place away from the action on the court. The match featured longtime American icon Serena Williams versus an ultra-talented 20-year-old, Naomi Osaka. The contest was set to be a great battle: the present against the future, a Japanese-Haitian newcomer playing her idol, a woman of color who took over the sport. Yet everything changed during the second set.
Despite the massive hype surrounding the world series favorite New York Yankees coming into the season, the city’s other baseball team, the New York Mets, have quietly taken their place as talk of the town. Although the Mets didn’t make sexy, headline-grabbing free agent signings during the offseason, they seem to have put last season’s woes behind them. On the back of a recent 10-game winning streak, they have secured the best record in their division, as well as the entire National League. This development may be seen as shocking to the casual baseball fan, but die hard Mets fans have seen this coming for years — it was all a matter of health. For years, the Mets have dealt with devastating injuries to their starting pitching rotation at one point or another, as well as extended stints on the disabled list for key players such as Michael Conforto. Finally, with the exception of their injuries at catcher, the team has been virtually injury- free. Meanwhile, in the Bronx, the Yankees are barely scratching .500 and are clinging to third place in the American League East. Although the season it is still in its infancy and the Yankees are still an excellent team, there is increasing room to be optimistic in Queens.