Hello everyone, it's Shanna back to bring you the latest sports news heading into the weekend. I have off tomorrow, so I decided to take a mini trip down to Charleston, South Carolina for the weekend. My friend is considering moving there, so we're gonna check out the scene for a few days. If any of you lovely newsletter readers are from there or have been there, head to my Twitter to tell me where I should head.
I absolutely love to travel, I've been to 49 states, and I'm so happy to be back (safely) traveling a bit again. My favorite place is probably the Grand Canyon, though I love most of the places I've been. Let me know where you guys have loved traveling and I'll add it to my list.
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But enough about jetting off, let's get into the sports. We have what could be next for Albert Pujols after the Cardinals release him, the Rangers getting fined for criticizing the Head of Safety and much more.
Away we go!
📰 What you need to know
1. What the next move for Albert Pujols could be ⚾
In a somewhat surprising -- but kind of understandable -- move, the Los Angeles Angels released Albert Pujols on Thursday afternoon. The future Hall of Famer is in the final season of his 10-year, $240 million contract. Pujols is currently 41 and in his 92 plate appearances so far this year, he his hitting .198/.250/.372 with five home runs. Meanwhile, the Angels are sitting in last place in the AL West with a 13-16 record.
In the announcement of the move, the team commented on Pujols' incredible career both on and off the field.
Angels owner Arte Moreno said: "The Angels Organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honored that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall-of-Fame Career. Albert's historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true Superstar"
The three-time MVP has hit .298/.376/.545 and is fifth all time in home runs with 667. He is also 13th all-time in hits, with 3,253 in over 12,000 plat appearances. But enough about his past. What is next for Pujols?
- White Sox
It would be great for Pujols to end his career on a different note than a release -- especially if we get to see him back with the Cardinals -- but at 41 and with declining numbers since 2017, it feels like retirement is imminent.
2. Rangers fined $250K by NHL for comments about Head of Safety 🏒
If you haven't been keeping up with the big NHL drama, strap in, because there is a lot going on in the league right now.
NHL fans (well, except most Capitals fans) have been upset that Tom Wilson continues to get minor punishments for his actions on the ice and many have been critical of the league' splayer safety as a result. Wilson injured Rangers star Artemi Panarin and punched Pavel Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was down on the ice in a game on Monday night and was fined just $5,000 for his actions.
The Rangers then released a statement on the matter, saying Head of Player Safety George Parros was "unfit to continue in his current role." The NHL was not exactly thrilled with the comments, and fined the team $250,000 -- which is 50 times as much as they fined Wilson -- on Thursday.
Here's what the commish had to say about it all.
Commissioner Gary Bettman: "Public comments of the nature issued by the Rangers that were personal in nature and demeaning of a League executive will not be tolerated. While we don't expect our Clubs to agree with every decision rendered by the Department of Player Safety, the extent to which the Rangers expressed their disagreement was unacceptable. It is terribly unfair to question George Parros' professionalism and dedication to his role and the Department of Player Safety"
The two teams played each other on Wednesday and the game began with a brawl and six fights occurred within the first five minutes.
This is likely not the last we will be hearing of the situation, and it's even more clear now these teams do not like each other. For player safety purposes, the league may be forced to make some sort of change or statement if things continuing to go in the current direction.
3. Why the Bears may leave Soldier Field 🏈
DA BEARS have called Soldiers Field home since 1971, but the team could soon be packing up and finding a new place to play. They may be moving to Arlington Heights, 30 miles outside of the city from where the team is currently located.
A large spot of land, 326 acres to be exact, will soon be open as the race track there will likely be sold in the near future. They are expecting the buyer to re-develop the site and, according to the mayor of the city, Tom Hayes, the Bears could have their eyes on the land.
Hayes: "Certainly, the Arlington Park site is available and we would consider the Chicago Bears a great fit for that particular site. I think the Bears are seriously considering it because it's such a unique piece of property. It has so much going for it in terms of its location in the northwest suburbs where a lot of their audience is"
Leaving isn't as easy, as the team currently has a lease with Soldier Field for the next 13 seasons and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot pointed out the league does not let teams break their leases. When there's a will (money!) there's a way, however, and with the right people on board, Lightfoot admitted the Bears could find a way to leave their iconic spot before 2033.
Lightfoot said: "I know there's contracts involved and lease agreements. But a good attorney will tell you, you can always get out of those. There might be a significant price involved, but I would think if they wanted to make it happen, they could make it happen"
Fan experience and revenue are two elements that will be crucial in deciding whether or not to stay. Lightfoot said the current location can be difficult and their capacity will be nearly impossible to increase from the current 61,500 seats. Renovations could tempt the team to stay longer at Soldier Field, but as we all know, money wins, so I'm guessing the team heads to where the most money is.
4. Jake Paul steals Floyd Mayweather's hat, causes chaos at press event 🥊
I usually don't go around stealing people's hats right off their head, but I can tell you with confidence if I started, I would never do it to Floyd Mayweather. Jake Paul doesn't have this same line of thinking, and decided to get bold and snatch the cap off the legendary, and very strong, boxer.
While at the first press event for the upcoming fight between Mayweather and Logan Paul, Jake Paul, Logan's brother, unsurprisingly decided to cause a scene. Mayweather and Jake had some words in a scrum before he decided to grab his hat. Bold, and probably not the brightest idea.
As you can probably imagine, Mayweather didn't love the move and it made him want to fight Jake. He's scheduled to fight the other Paul brother, but when given the chance, he decided to lunge at the one he is not planning to get in the ring with.
Through his social media posts, it appears Jake got a black eye from Mayweather.
Mayweather and Logan are scheduled to fight in a special exhibition boxing match on June 6. There will probably be more viral moments between the two sides from now until then.
📝 Odds & Ends
- The Packers reportedly offered to make Aaron Rodgers the highest-paid quarterback in the league earlier in the offseason
- Take a look at our way too early frontrunners for MLB awards
- Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger -- the brother of Sam Ehlinger -- was found dead by police on Thursday
📺 What to watch this weekend
🏀 Lakers vs. Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. | LAL +235 | TV: ESPN
⚾ Padres vs. Giants, 9:45 p.m. | SFG +135 | TV: MLB.TV
⚾ Nationals vs. Yankees, 1:05 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
🏌 Wells Fargo Championship, 3 p.m. | TV: CBS
Best thing I saw on the internet 🏅
MLB players wished Willie Mays a happy 90th birthday and celebrated his career/what he did for the sport. It was a pretty cool moment for an iconic player.