Morning Links:Wizards Win, Pujols Can’t Reach Agreement With Cardinals

Steve O Speak

Wizards Win on the Road:

In a battle for ineptitude the Washington Wizards knocked off the Cleveland Cavaliers 115-100 last night in Cleveland. The Cavs who are now  1 for their last 27 games, couldn’t continue the Wizards streak of losing on the road. Washington had lost 25 straight road contests before last night, and if not for the Cavaliers would be recognized as the most embarrassing team in the NBA. While I’m sure the Wizards are happy to get that monkey off their back, they didn’t exactly overcome ‘Goliath’ last night and should be hesitant to celebrate. Washington is still among the worst teams in the NBA this season, and have yet to find their winning formula. The Wizards did come out on fire last night, and if they had showed that fundamental basketball earlier in the season, there would be no story here. It will be interesting to see if, they were only able to play that good because it was the Cavs or if they have turned the corner. Both teams will have to make some tough decisions these next two weeks as the trade deadline is fast approaching. One thing that is clear, neither team is anywhere close to competing in this league, and will need a lot of help to get there.

Pujols Rejects Contract Offer, Puts Negotiations On Hold:

Wow, I really never thought it would get to this point, but apparently no movement has been made in the last couple of weeks, and the two sides are far apart. I thought an extension by this point was a foregone conclusion. At the very least I figured they’d be close enough that Pujols would announce that he would continue negotiations through February, or even through Spring Training. I understand not wanting to have negotiations during the season, but that is still 6 weeks away. And while the Cardinals could maybe make an offer during that window, it better be pretty close to what Pujols wants or you will now have offended him by breaking his anti-negotiation stance. With Pujols holding firm on this, and also making it clear he won’t accept any trade this season, the Cardinals will need to do everything they can to convince their star they can contend this year. Their negotiation window after the season will be short, and if he hits the open market it could spiral out of control. Lets face it the Cardinals will have to significantly increase their offer to Pujols’ range, as there is no way they can risk losing him this offseason. The fans in St. Louis will simply stop showing up if that is the case, and this team would go into a tailspin. This is quickly becoming a major story and will be interesting to keep an eye on as this season progresses. Just how happy is Albert in St. Louis and where might he look to play if he leaves the Cardinals.

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