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Wilson relishing role as the face of Aces and WNBA
While A'ja Wilson has lived up to her role for the Las Vegas Aces both on and off the court, she's also embraced becoming the face of the WNBA.
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1. Wilson relishing role as the face of Aces and WNBA
While A'ja Wilson has lived up to her role for the Las Vegas Aces both on and off the court, she's also embraced becoming the face of the WNBA, writes The Sporting Tribune’s W.G. Ramirez.
A'ja Wilson slowly panned the crowd and marked her target.
Wearing her trademark ear-to-ear grin, she autographed a balled-up T-shirt and hand-delivered it to an adoring little fan jumping gleefully while awaiting Wilson's arrival.
Who was more excited, the little one or the parents, is entirely another discussion.
Then again, it might have been Wilson.
"Oh man, I'm having tons of fun, honestly," said the two-time WNBA MVP on Sunday, after scoring 21 points in the Las Vegas Aces' 94-73 win over the Minnesota Lynx.
Through the Aces' 4-0 start, the reigning MVP is averaging 19 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and has Las Vegas looking every bit like the league favorite.
2. Dodgers defeat Nationals, 9-3, behind Freeman, Martinez homers
The Dodgers have already won the three-game series against the Nationals and will be going for the sweep on Wednesday, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Brandon Deutsch.
Freddie Freeman already has 77 hits this season (second in the MLB behind Bo Bichette of the Toronto Blue Jays, who has 78), and 4 of them came against the Nationals on Tuesday night, including a solo shot in the 8th inning. Overall, Freeman is now hitting .343 with an OPS of 1.006, both of which rank in top 3 in all of baseball, and he has already launched 10 homers, almost half of last year’s total of 21.
Though the Dodgers have raked at the plate most of this season already, lineup staples Mookie Betts and Max Muncy haven’t been that consistent. Betts is hitting just .249 with 11 home runs and 2 stolen bases, while Muncy is hitting .214 with 17 home runs and 39 RBI’s. Betts has been the spark-plug of the Dodgers lineup the last few years and has had trouble getting into a consistent groove at the plate. Despite the impressive 17 home runs, Muncy is still striking out at an alarming rate and his .214 average is not ideal for a clean-up hitter (even though Martinez has been moved up to 4 because of his hot streak).
3. LA Galaxy part ways with Chris Klein
LA Galaxy parted ways with former president Chris Klein after he served in the role for 11 years, the club announced Tuesday. The Sporting Tribune’s Anthony Bautista has more on the announcement.
The LA Galaxy announced Tuesday that they have officially parted ways with former club President Chris Klein.
The decision was announced in a statement by Dan Beckerman, President and CEO of AEG, the parent company of LA Galaxy. Greg Vanney, the Head Coach and Sporting Director of the LA Galaxy, will assume responsibility for all soccer operations and will report to Beckerman. The decision to part ways with Klein comes as a result of the club’s failure to achieve their goals and meet the standards set for the LA Galaxy, according to Beckerman.
“We believe it is in the best interest of the Club to make a change and begin a comprehensive process to seek new leadership that will return the Club to the level that our fans and partners expect,” said Beckerman.
Beckerman expressed gratitude towards Klein for his years of dedication and commitment to the LA Galaxy, both as a player and an executive. Klein’s association with the club spans a total of 16 years, during which he served in various roles.
4. LAFC visits León in Leg 1 of CCL Final
LAFC visits Club León in Leg One of the CONCACAF Champions League Final on Wednesday and The Sporting Tribune’s Chandrima Chatterjee wonders if they can win the trophy for the second time.
The 2-leg 2023 Concacaf Champions League Final series begins Wednesday as Liga MX side Club León hosts LAFC. Afterwards, LAFC will host Leon at BMO Stadium on June 4. While being 8-time champions of Liga MX, León are in their first CCL Final. LAFC are in their second.
Karmic cycles are regularly occurring phenomena in sports. LAFC is about to attempt to end one that goes back to 2020 with their first CCL competition. In that foray into the world of CCL, they became the first team in MLS history to eliminate three Mexican clubs, and the fourth to reach the championship match since 2011.
In fact, one of those three Mexican club was the one standing in the way of the coveted North American soccer title now. But in 2020, LAFC were unable to defeat the fourth Liga MX opponent, Tigres UANL who, in search of their own first CCL title after finishing as runners-up three times, won 2-1 on neutral ground in Orlando City’s Exploria Stadium.
5. Chargers look to address several holes on the roster
The Chargers still have some roster holes they need to fill before the team opens training camp, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Fernando Ramirez.
The Chargers added two players via free agency while drafting seven players. That doesn't mean their roster is complete.
They still have some holes on the roster. Head coach Brandon Staley was asked how comfortable he felt with the roster and if he thinks they need to add players.
"There's a lot of time between now and the first game," Staley said. "There's a window now; there will be a window during training camp. We'll look at both of those windows before the season starts to take advantage of our team because there is just so much that is going to happen. We're excited to coach this group."
6. Angels turn up bullpen heat with reliever Ben Joyce
Known for his triple-digit velocity, the former Double-A reliever joined the Angels on Sunday after Matt Moore was placed on the IL with an oblique strain, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Taylor Arrey.
Less than a year after he was drafted by the Angels out of college, right-handed reliever Ben Joyce got the call inviting him to the major league show.
“It means everything. It’s what I've been working for since I was three years old, playing baseball, dreaming of making it to the big leagues,” said Joyce. “It's all the hard work that you put in, and it's paying off. It's awesome to be here.”
Joyce, 22, will step in to replace Matt Moore, who was diagnosed with a Grade 2 oblique strain on his right side and placed on the 15-day IL. Moore said he first felt the injury on Friday after warming up in the bullpen, and an MRI confirmed the diagnosis.
Manager Phil Nevin said before Sunday’s game against the Miami Marlins that Moore will not be traveling with the team to Chicago and will instead stay in Anaheim to receive treatment. Before this injury, Moore was a dominant force in the bullpen, posting a 1.44 ERA with 21 strikeouts over 25 innings pitched.
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by TickPick
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today.
1:00 p.m. – Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers – $12
9. On the Air presented by The D Las Vegas
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today.
11:00 a.m. – Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox – Bally Sports West
1:00 p.m. – Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers – SportsNet LA
6:30 p.m. – LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake – Apple TV
7:00 p.m. – LAFC at Leon – FS1
7:30 p.m. – Angel City at Portland Thorns – Paramount+
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
The Sporting Tribune’s Arash Markazi is joined by Brandon Deustch and Grant Mona to discuss the Miami Heat advancing to play the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals and the Vegas Golden Knights advancing to face the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup Final. They also talk about the future of the Boston Celtics after they came back from 0-3 down in the series to force a Game 7 only to get blown out by Miami.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Bet in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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