Ladies and gentleman, the latest series of PSE’s new content drop is “Mooney’s Hit or Miss.” I am Jameus Mooney, and every Friday I will bring unto your screen the biggest news in sports for the week, and whether I think they’ll “hit like Judge” or “miss like Stanton.” This will cover all major sporting news and events. Think of it as a weekly round-up of sorts.
MLB: Manny Machado Signs With Padres, 10 years, 300M.
This is by far the biggest news in sports this week. After a seemingly frivolous trip to free agency, Manny Machado finally garnered the 300 million contract he set out for. He has agreed to move back to third base full time, and end the failed shortstop experiment. Nobody expected this, and it’s the largest free agent contract of all-time; any sport. This’ll likely, however, be broken very soon by Bryce Harper. There is an opt-out after the fourth year. One of my colleagues, Tristin McKinstry, wrote up an editorial on Manny earlier this week. The piece was extremely well written. Keep in mind that this was before news broke on Thursday that he’d play 3rd base over the course of the contract. Tristin does an excellent job taking an in-depth look at the team that will be around Machado long-term.
Hit or miss: With Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers locked up long-term, and top prospects such as Luis Urias and Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres certainly have a great core to put around Manny long-term. Manny, even with his controversies, was the best overall talent on the market and it’s a major reward for a sports city that just lost their football team. Also getting Ian Kinsler to man second base, it gives them a steady group of young and old for 2019. The Padres now have a chance to be the biggest tourist site in San Diego, and are running with it. Only time will tell, however, how they handle the long-term finances over 10 years. They currently only have $110M on the books for 2019, even with Manny. So, to shore up pitching, you could very well see a reunion with closer Craig Kimbrel or a deal with Dallas Keuchel. As for Manny, he set out to get $300M and his waiting paid off. It’s a hit for both sides, as of right now.
Bruce Bochy Set To Retire
In other Padres news, the man at the helm for the 1998 NL-Champion Padres has announced the 2019 will be his final season. Bochy, who won the 1996 Manager of the Year award with San Diego, left following the 2006 season. He went to the Giants, and led them to 3 different World Championships: 2010, 2012 and 2014 in baseball’s most recent dynasty. Heading into 2019, he has a .498 win pct as a manager (1,926-1,944). He has had a lot of health scares as of late.
Hit or miss: This is a definite miss, especially if you’re San Francisco. That said, Matt Williams is the odds on favorite to take over in 2020 and is a very smart baseball mind. Cooperstown will be waiting for Boch, and hopefully his deteriorating health starts to get better soon.
Spring Training This Weekend
The boys of Spring are back. Spring Training was supposed to begin Thursday with the Mariners and Athletics. It was, however, postponed due to rain. Baseball season is upon is, and it is almost as glorious as Bobby Roode’s theme music.
Hit or miss: With such a bland offseason where we still have free agents such as Harper, Keuchel, Kimbrel, Marwin Gonzalez and Martin Maldanado still unsigned, it’s glad to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Easy hit. Go Rays, go Braves. Next please.
NHL: Nikita Kucherov Breaks 100
I published a piece on Thursday regarding the brilliant season of Nikita Kucherov. At the time of publishing, he was sitting nicely at 99 points. After becoming only the second player in franchise history to score 100 points last season, he had a chance to be the first to do it twice as he chases the franchise record of Vincent Lecavelier (108) set in 2006. He scored the game tying goal in last night’s game, giving him 100. He capped it off by also scoring in OT shootout, sealing the 2-1 Lightning win over the Buffalo Sabres. He has to be the odds-on-favorite to win the Hart Trophy at this point in time.
Hit or miss: As a Lightning fan, this is an obvious hit. Kuch has been my favorite player since he came up, and I was super relieved when he took a bridge deal in the 2015 offseason to help the team out. The loyalty paid off when he signed the largest contract in team history late in 2018. Definite hit. We haven’t seen dominance like this in a good portion of time.
NHL Prepares For Trade Deadline
This Monday will be NHLs Trade Deadline. Teams will have until 3 P.M. to work on it. Pro Sports Extra is in the process of creating its deadline tracker. Where will Artemi Panarin of the Blue Jackets land?
Hit or miss: Definitely hit. Trade deadlines are absolutely fascinating and a joy to cover. I’d love to see what teams make a jump, and if a team like the Bruins can pull off a blockbuster to make the Eastern Conference more of a race. Make sure to join us here at PSE.
Nick Cafardo Passes Away
We here at Pro Sports Extra send our deepest condolences to the family of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The former beat writer for the Red Sox and Patriots passed away tragically on Thursday at the Red Sox Spring Training Camp. He was 62.
Definitely a miss. Dude’s was one of the most talented sports journalist on the planet, and inspired multiple of our staff writers. Rest easy, Nick.
NFL: Le’Veon Bell Becomes UFA
In an unsurprising turn of events, former Steelers runningback has been granted free agency after holding out for a 2018 contract he never received, costing himself millions in the process.
Hit or miss: For the sake of his goal at this specific time, it’s a hit. But, I have to think that it’s an overall miss considering he just sat out the whole season and teams are now hesitant to sign him. James Connor kind of exposed how systematic Bell is in 2018.
NCAA Basketball: Zion Williamson
18 year old superstar small forward Zion Williamson of Duke University had a recent scare as Duke steamrolls into March Madness. Duke was in a game against UNC, their biggest rival. Zion is expected to be the first overall draft pick in 2019 for the NBA, but this injury could potentially put a damper on any professional plans. Below is the injury, and it is not a sight for sore eyes. Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzFTGisNVXM
AEW: Double Or Nothing Sells Out
In major news, AEW has completely turned the world of sports and professional wrestling upside down. With Vince McMahon re-entering the football business, it only makes kayfabe sense for an upset football owner to want revenge. In all seriousness, with the Khan Family(owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars) financially backing AEW it was bound to be a rousing success. The minds of Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Adam Page, Kip Sopp, and most importantly, Cody Rhodes, are some of the best in the “biz” today. AEW sold out the MGM Grand for their first pay-per-view event in 4 minutes. Not only that, but it was the first time in the history of Nevada that a Pro Wrestling show has sold out within 24 hours of tickets being available. The show will be headlined by the second meeting between a current top 3 wrestler in the world (Kenny Omega) and the greatest of all-time (Chris Jericho).
Hit or miss: MAJOR hit. As a lifelong wrestling fan, we needed another mainstream alternative and such has now been provided for us. There’s always been a Pro Wrestling itch that hasn’t been satisfied by the WWE because they don’t cater to wrestling fans, which could prove to be a big mistake. NJPW and ROH are becoming household promotions, but not like this. AEW could be a better WCW, and that’s only a great thing for the sport. I’m super excited. The talent they’ve got (Neville/PAC, Lucha Bros, Britt Baker, Jimmy Havoc) is off the charts, and they can add to that pool with talents such as former WWE Champion Dean Ambrose and the recently released Kenta (formerly known as Hideo Itami).
WWE: D-Generation X Enters WWE HOF
You can read our in depth coverage of this here: https://prosportsextra.com/breaking-d-generation-x-headline-2019-wwe-hall-of-fame/
Hit or miss: I’m conflicted. Chyna and Sean Waltman should’ve been in awhile ago, but I don’t think DX should go in yet as a group. Triple H certainly is one of the biggest names in the history of the business, and warrants a headlining solo induction. The timing is especially interesting because Billy Gunn is a producer now for AEW. We’ll see, but I think it’ll be a hit. They’re all pretty entertaining guys. I just think there are others who should’ve been in before them (British Bulldogs, Brian Pillman, Bruiser Brody, Demolition, etc).
The Man Comes Around
For those who think they’re a human version of Patrick Starr and legitimately live under a rock, I’d like to take this moment and introduce you to Becky Lynch. Becky has been one of the most popular superstars in WWE since 2016, yet had barely been utilized until last year. When she did, the WWE Universe was so enthralled that Becky, as she so-aptly described it, was “the blip in the system they weren’t prepared for.” Ronda Rousey was supposed to face Charlotte Flair in a one on one match at WrestleMania, and Becky’s overwhelming popularity has forced their hand and it will likely be a triple threat match with Becky winning. She’s been WWEs hottest merch seller, and has gotten the loudest ovation every show since Summerslam last August. She has broken through pop culture and completely taken over. You even have sites like Business Insider saying she’s WWEs biggest superstar, male or female. That includes Brock Lesnar and that includes Ronda Rousey. As little as 2 weeks ago, Ronda was so pelted by the loud “WE WANT BECKY” chants during her segment, she started stuttering and could not even speak into a live mic. That’s how crazy popular Lynch has become. They’ve recently embarked on a suspension story where her former best friend, and the villain who is always annoyingly in the spotlight, took her spot. That video is now the most disliked video in the history of WWEs YouTube, with almost 80,000 dislikes. This past Sunday, Becky broke that suspension and beat the life out of both Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair. Rousey was bleeding from the head. That’s something we’ve only ever seen twice previously from women in the WWE (Lita at Survivor Series 2000 and Becky Lynch last November).
Hit or miss: Easy hit. If you check out Tristin and I’s podcast (The Twin Killing Podcast) from this past week for a more in depth reasoning, you’re in for a treat. She IS the WWEs star and she will beat Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. She’s the most over wrestler since Steve Austin at his peak. She’s the most over woman in Pro Wrestling history and the women will main event WrestleMania for the first time thanks to a large part Becky Lynch. WWEs next mega-star fell right into their lap by happenstance. I’ve been a huge Becky fan since her match with Sasha Banks at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable. There’s no doubt she was always a commodity.
Roman Reigns Returns Monday
Vince McMahon tweeted today that former multi-time WWE Champion and Shield member Roman Reigns will be on Raw Monday to give us an update on his condition. We don’t know how far into treatment his Leukemia is, or what the reason for the update is. But, we’ll make sure to follow up on that.
Hit or miss: neutral. If it’s a return, hit because I’m glad the man can resume his career. If it’s retirement, miss because the dude is hanging it up in his prime. We don’t know.
Hemsworth To Star In Hogan Biopic
In our final piece of news for the week, I redirect you to my report from Wednesday.
Hit or miss: I’m hesitant, but hit. I’m worried about how they’ll get around the recent light Hogan’s been “shaded under.” I’m also worried about Hemsworth’s accent doing Hogan. But, it’s got my interest peaked and I’ll certainly check it out.
That concludes our first weeks’ edition of “Mooney’s Hit or Miss”. I’m Jameus Mooney (@TheJameus) and this is @ProSportsExtra. Same time next Friday.