Mystic moves: Lacey out as coach, GM


Mystic moves: Lacey out as coach, GM

The Washington Mystics have fired coach and general manager Trudi Lacey, President and Managing Partner Sheila C. Johnson announced on Monday.In two seasons under Lacey's direction, the Mystics posted a combined 11-57 record, including a WNBA worst 5-29 mark in the just completed campaign. Washington ended the 2012 season Saturday with a loss at Chicago, the team's 13th consecutive defeat. In addition to establishing a franchise-worst losing streak, the Mystics had only one victory in 15 post-Olympic break games and just one win away from the Verizon Center this season."Everyone in our organization recognizes how frustrating the season has been and would like to thank our fans for their support," Johnson said. "We thank Trudi for her dedicated work and wish her well in her future endeavors. Lacey joined the Mystics initially as an assistant coach under Julie Plank in 2009 before taking over the head coaching reigns from Plank and the player personnel duties from Angela Taylor after the 2010 campaign. In two seasons with Plank on the sideline, the Mystics reached the postseason twice, including winning the Eastern Conference regular season title in 2010.After not renewing Taylor's contract, Mystics ownership attempted to have Plank take on both roles. When those talks broke down, out went Plank and in came Lacey, who previously served as the coach and general manager for the now-defunct Charlotte Sting.Washington overhauled the roster entering the 2012 season with seven newfaces joining the 11-player roster. Expect more changes during the offseason with the team needing an interior presence opposite forward and leading scorer Crystal Langhorne, a true pass-first point guard and additional perimeter shooting.The Mystics enter Wednesday's draft lottery with the best odds among the four non-playoff teams. Baylor's All-American enter Britney Griner is projected as the top overall pick in the 2013 draft.We are looking forward to a fresh start with our core returning players, a high draft pick that will yield an impact player and a new direction in basketball operations, Johnson said.In addition to Laceys departure, the Mystics also announced they would not retain the team's assistant coaches.

Quick Links

Tom Wilson, an experienced punch-thrower himself, approved of Bryce Harper's fight

Tom Wilson, an experienced punch-thrower himself, approved of Bryce Harper's fight

When Tom Wilson compliments your punching, it's not all that different from when Vince Carter compliments your dunking or LaVar Ball compliments your ability to annoy millions of people just by opening your mouth.

Therefore, Bryce Harper, who initiated a one-on-one fight not normally seen on MLB fields Monday in San Francisco, should feel very honored by this Wilson tweet:

Wilson had more than double the number of penalty minutes than the next closest Capital this past season, so he's familiar with what is and isn't worthy of a trip to the penalty box. He also knows what good fighting looks like, and judging by his hashtag, the Nationals star met Wilson's standards.

Unfortunately for Harper, his punches came on the diamond and not the ice, so he'll likely miss more time than a few minutes once the powers that be have a chance to review his actions. 


Quick Links

Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

Even after two-plus years, Hunter Strickland couldn't forget last meeting with Bryce Harper

965 days. That's the amount of time that separated the second time Bryce Harper and Hunter Strickland faced each other on an MLB diamond and the third one.

In that second matchup, which came back in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS, Harper launched a game-tying home run in the seventh inning off of Strickland. Harper also hit a blast off Strickland in Game 1 of the same series.

Well, apparently, the Giants reliever still hasn't gotten over his last time he saw the Nationals star, because on Monday, the right-hander plunked the MVP candidate with a fastball the first chance he had since their postseason encounters almost three years ago.

Ironically enough, after San Francisco beat Washington in the NLDS, Strickland told the SF Chronicle how he would have to "have a short memory" on the mound for the rest of the playoffs and keep his composure after the home runs. Judging by this video, however, it's clear that Strickland's had some issues moving on:


When you look back at that Game 4 meeting, you'll see Harper pause at home plate and watch his moonshot after sending it into the McCovey Cove, then glare at Strickland a few times as he rounds the bases. Some will call what No. 34 did a violation of baseball's unwritten rules, but it was a huge moment on a huge stage, which contributed to Harper's emotional reaction.

The fact of the matter is that plenty of pitchers have moved on from much more egregious things in much shorter time frames, but for whatever reason, Strickland just wasn't able to.

Afterward, Harper explained why he thinks the hit by pitch should've never happened.

But Ryan Zimmerman had the best quote of all when talking about the sequence:

The veteran is right on with that statement. Harper was better than Strickland back in 2014, so Strickland felt the need to tag Harper first before Harper had a chance to tag him again on Monday. Essentially, the pitcher followed the, "If you can't beat him, bean him" strategy.

965 days is a long time to get over a grudge. For Hunter Strickland, though, 965 days still wasn't enough.