In one day - in the span of just a few hours, in fact - we found out that the Mavericks would lose Tyson Chandler to New York, Caron Butler to LA, that the other LA would be gifted Chris Paul, and that C.J Wilson would leave the Rangers to join Albert Pujols in LA. Worst (non-game) sports day ever?
Having spent my life as a fan of each of the pro teams in DFW, there have been some dark sports days off the field. The day Jason Kidd was dealt by Jim Cleamons and a real estate guy named Frank Zachinelli was probably my lowest. The day Alex Rodriguez was dealt - because the terms were so disagreeable for the Rangers - was up there as well. Jimmy Johnson's retirement, Steve Nash's departure, the various days when we found out just how increasingly miserable Tom Hicks' financial situation was. Those were all bad days, some certainly more damaging than today, but they all came in isolated instances.
Today, it all caved in at once. I am among those who can't see a way for the Mavericks to be contenders again in Dirk Nowitzki's prime without Tyson Chandler by his side. Gone to New York. Ok, you had six free agents. If you lose Tyson, at least bring back the second best of them, Caron Butler. Nope, gone to LA. Well, at least everyone's in the same boat in this new agreement and if the Mavs feel the pinch so will other teams with budget issues, like the Lakers. What's that, you say the Lakers removed some of those problems AND added Chris Paul in one move?
That's okay, we all know that the NBA is not a system designed so that franchises like the Mavericks are supposed to sustain success. Be thankful for their one shining moment, chalk this up to the mess of a sport that is pro basketball and worry about a team that really has a shot at winning something moving forward. Yeah, it's even worse over there in Rangers Land, thanks to C.J. Wilson, Albert Pujols, Jerry DiPoto and Arte Moreno.
The fact is that both the Rangers and Mavericks have lost players and seen their rivals add legendary talents because they are trying to run their franchises responsibly. In the case of the Angels, it's hard to see how this is going to end well and it's a little hard to see how they're going to avoid Moreno losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Some will be able to take solace in that.
The Mavericks' lack of ability to retain Chandler aside, I can understand why the two teams let their players get away and why they couldn't reel in the likes of Paul and Pujols. And I'm certainly not surprised by how things happened, after the smoke behind these deals over the past few days. Collectively, though, I feel like today has sent the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks back to mid-low seed territory and the two-time defending AL Champion Rangers back to a position of chasing the Angels once again. That is collectively as bad of an offseason day as I've experienced.
Yes, in Albert's final years when Jerry DiPoto is already infamous as the man who gave away Dan Haren only to inherit him, then literally sent Arte Moreno to the poor house to achieve Doug Melvin caliber results for a few years, the Angels will be in a bad spot. Jerry DiPoto makes the Marlins look borderline responsible. But, he's going to have a good team for a few years here before it all falls apart, and these few years coincides with the known window for the my Rangers. Sure, Jurickson Profar, Alexi Ogando, Ronald Guzman, Neftali Feliz, Jorge Alfaro and Derek Holland could have them in the playoff hunt in 2019, but who in the world knows? Jerry freaking DiPoto may have made the Angels just good enough to hinder the Rangers when I do know they'll be really good, and that's the extent to which I give a rip about the Angels.
Both of these franchises have resources to bounce back from this day almost immediately. We can be certain that they've already been working on that for weeks now. For now, though, today shall be known to me as Black Thursday.