Sidelines: this week in sports

Photo Credit: Sportsnet

Photo Credit: Sportsnet

Marner finally signs … Leafs’ fans rejoice?

Well it’s finally over. The Mitch Marner contract saga came to an end on Friday, when the 22 year old winger signed a six-year, $65 million contract with an AAV of $10.893 million. This whole scenario was all too familiar for both Leafs fans and management, who were in the same situation with William Nylander this time last year. Unlike Nylander, however, Marner was able to come to an agreement before the season started. No doubt Nylander’s slow start last year was a big factor as to why all parties were anxious to agree on a deal before the season. But all that’s in the past now, as Leafs’ GM and SPMA Hall-of-Famer Kyle Dubas officially locked up the Leafs’ core, with Auston Matthews and his glorious mustache, John Tavares, William Nylander and now Marner all under contract until at least 2024. Now I’m not a hockey expert by any means, so I won’t try to speculate on the fairness of Marner’s new deal (I would also be exiled from my program if I were to speak poorly of Dubas), but as a Leafs fan who watched Vesa Toskala flop around in net for two years, I will say this: the Boston Red Sox just fired their President not even a year after winning the World Series, and the general reaction from Red Sox fans has pretty much been, ‘eh, that’s a shame.’ The Red Sox went 86 years without a championship, and then all of a sudden won four in the past 15 years. Are they indefinitely screwed for the foreseeable future? Probably. But no Red Sox fan should get too torn up about that (emphasis on should — they probably will, they’re Boston fans), because they can just look at those four banners every time they go to Fenway. The Leafs’ Cup drought is older than my parents, and I’m all in for overpaying players if it means ending it. Good to have you back Mitchy, now go score 100 points please.


Injuries cut season short for likely MVPs

It’s been a busy week for MLB doctors, as the whole league seemingly went down with injuries at the same time. Mike Trout, who is almost certainly going to win his third A.L. MVP award, was ruled out for the season after undergoing surgery to fix a nerve issue in his right foot. The likely N.L. MVP, Christian Yelich, broke his kneecap after fouling a ball off of it on Tuesday. Yelich is now done for the season, and without Milwaukee’s best player in the lineup everyday, the chances of a Brewers’ Wild Card berth just took a big hit. Speaking of taking a big hit, there was a scary scene in Atlanta on Saturday when Charlie Culberson was hit square in the nose by a fastball while attempting to bunt. He was immediately given multiple towels to cover the mess, and left the game to go right to the hospital. Even more so, the home plate umpire called a strike on the play, as Culberson technically never pulled his bat away in time. Braves manager Brian Snitker blew up in the ump’s face and was ejected moments later. In Blue Jays land, left-handed reliever Tim Mayza tore his UCL during the first game of a series with New York, and will require Tommy John surgery while missing the rest of 2019, and the entire 2020 season. It was tough to watch Mayza go down, as after throwing a wild pitch that missed the plate by about 20 feet, Mayza immediately reached for his elbow and fell to his knees in tears. While relief pitchers seem to change teams on a yearly basis, you never want to see anyone go down like that; hopefully the Jays will do the right thing and bring him back next year to rehab with the team. Not to take a page out of Kawhi Leonard’s book, but Mayza made just 37 appearances with the club in 2018, compared to a team leading 68 this year. Now of course hindsight is 20/20, but perhaps manager Charlie Montoyo should’ve looked elsewhere considering the Jays are eliminated from playoff contention and have an enlarged September roster. If Trout’s injury wasn’t enough, the Angels’ two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani will need season-ending knee surgery to fix a rare knee condition called a bipartite patella — essentially his kneecap was made up of two bones (instead of one) as they never fused as an infant. Weird, but a bit concerning considering that in each of his two MLB seasons he was shut down early with a season-ending surgery (he underwent Tommy John last year). Hopefully he can bounce back and help lead the Angels to another fourth place finish next year.

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