The summer historically has been littered with colossal flops, from “The Lone Ranger” to “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” to this year’s “The Flash.”
While the blockbuster big-screen success of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have saved the summertime box-office outlook, which local team (or teams) will rescue New York sports from a brutal summer filled with disastrous results, particularly from the overpriced Mets, the middling Yankees and, on a national scale, the premature World Cup elimination of the U.S. women’s soccer team.
In that regard, you certainly can extend the summer slog back a couple of months to the dismantling of the superteam Nets and the first-round playoff exits of the Rangers and the Islanders.
So, which team is most likely to pull New York out of the sweltering doldrums?
There are absolutely no sure things in this group, but let’s take a quick look at the possibilities.
A woebegone franchise with no playoff appearances since the 2010 season and zero trips to the Super Bowl in the past 54 years ordinarily wouldn’t top a list such as this, but yes, we are in desperation mode.
The Jets tried bringing in a legendary championship-winning quarterback from Green Bay once before, and it didn’t result in a playoff berth in 2008, Brett Favre’s lone season with the franchise.
How quickly 39-year-old Aaron Rodgers can transform the Jets into contenders also largely will depend on continued improvement by a defense that finished last season ranked fourth in the league in yards and points allowed per game.
Jets fans need to look no further than the Mets as a reminder that high-priced and aging hired guns can backfire spectacularly.
Let’s be honest, Aaron Boone’s club has shown little reason to believe it is capable of the kind of closing run that will be necessary even to overcome its 4.5-game deficit in the AL wild-card standings (after Tuesday night’s Clarke Schmidt-led 7-1 win over the White Sox), especially with Carlos Rodon back on the injured list, Domingo German receiving treatment for alcohol abuse and Luis Severino struggling so badly.
Reigning AL MVP Aaron Judge likely would have to carry the team over the final eight weeks: On Tuesday, he hit just his second home run in 11 games since returning from a nearly two-month absence due to a toe injury.
Daniel Jones got paid handsomely off of last year’s 9-7-1 season and wild-card-round playoff victory over the Vikings.
Saquon Barkley did not, but returns anyway as second-year coach Brian Daboll and the Giants look to reach the postseason in successive years for the first time since the 2007 and 2008 seasons under Tom Coughlin.
All of the talk about the Knicks pursuing a star this summer following their first postseason series victory in a decade has resulted only in some tinkering at the back end of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation — wing Donte DiVincenzo essentially replacing little-used former lottery pick Obi Toppin, who was traded to the Pacers.
With key role players Josh Hart and Immanuel Quickley eligible for contract extensions later this month, we will find out if team president Leon Rose’s plan truly is to stick with the same core around Jalen Brunson and All-Star forward Julius Randle.
Among the WNBA’s original franchises, the Liberty still are seeking the first championship in their 26-year history.
But with Breanna Stewart, Sabrina Ionescu, Courtney Vandersloot and Jonquel Jones, they have posted a 22-6 record, tops in the Eastern Conference and second-best in the league.
The Rangers brought in veteran coach Peter Laviolette after firing Gerard Gallant following a first-round playoff loss to the upstart Devils.
Laviolette has a history of winning early in his tenures with several previous teams, including the Islanders, the Hurricanes (a Stanley Cup championship), the Flyers and the Predators.
Today’s back page
And Boone goes the dynamite…
Boone usually gets his money’s worth when he gets himself tossed for arguing balls and strikes, and Monday’s ejection in Chicago certainly qualified under that heading.
Boone’s mocking of home-plate ump Laz Diaz’s punchout call came after his MLB-high sixth ejection of the season — or barely halfway to the single-season record of 11 (shared by four managers).
“All I know is Laz was telling me — I feel like he, in a way, egged me on to go make a fool of [myself],” Boone said Tuesday. “I guess I obliged.”
While Boone’s famous “savages in the box” rant from 2019 came amid a 103-win regular season, his latest meltdown is more off-putting to me because of the mediocre Yankees’ barely .500 record.
That is not to suggest that Boone’s issues with Diaz’s strike zone were unfounded, however.
Umpire Auditor tweeted following the loss to the White Sox that Diaz “missed 21 calls” in the game with 14 going against the Yankees.
Tomorrow, the world
The USWNT got booted from the FIFA World Cup knockout round with a shootout loss to Sweden, but the Team USA men’s hoops squad got off to a strong start Monday night in a tuneup game victory against Puerto Rico ahead of the FIBA World Championships later this month.
It looks as if head coach Steve Kerr plans to lean on Brunson as his starting point guard, and the Knicks star posted an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double in the blowout victory.
Fellow Knick and former Villanova teammate Josh Hart also is on the squad, though he didn’t play in the game, as are Nets wings Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson.
Tournament games will take place in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, from Aug. 25-Sept 10, with the U.S. opener slated for Aug. 26 against New Zealand.