It Ain’t Baseball ’til There’s A Damn Screw Up …………
By tophatal ………
Well with the Spring Training Schedule within MLB off to its usual customary start it will be interesting to see how a number of teams acquit themselves during the month of March before baseball’s official opening day. Granted, we do know that the Seattle Mariners will be taking on the Oakland A’s in a two game series that will actually be played at the Tokyo Dome in , Tokyo Japan . This being an exercise viewed by Major League Baseball as part of its exercise in broadening the global appeal of the game especially within the Asian Pacific Basin . Bud Selig as the commissioner along with the league hierarchy and mlb team owners have long sought to broaden the game on the international landscape.
Slide show for your perusal .
Baseball’s World Baseball Classic a tournament instigated by MLB in conjunction with the International Baseball Federation still seems to be a work in progress . And though it hasn’t helped that with the quadrennial tournament in full swing Team USA has had limited success in the international team competition . It now makes me wonder with the dominance of teams such as Cuba and Japan , it now appears that the long held thought that North America and its players were the dominant force on the international landscape . The World Series being what it is doesn’t translate across international borders that well , other than the fact that as a television event to the uninitiated , it gives those viewing the showcase event something of an idea as to how special baseball is amongst the fans domestically and within confines of Latin America .
I’m not one for prognostications at this point of the season to begin with , other than to suggest that the teams seeking to gain some semblance of consistency will use the preseason schedule of gaining confidence while assessing their new assignees ! With the number of free agents who were on the move this off-season and the increases and decreasing of team payrolls what else can now actually be said about the state of the game ? Not much I might hazard , as I seriously doubt that Bud Selig has ever gotten handle on the financial morass that the game continually faces . I mean who else but the commissioner could be in complete denial as to the mess that engulfed the Los Angeles Dodgers and now the New York Mets ? Even Stevie Wonder could have seen this fucking mess coming to the fore but somehow the league hierarchy were either in complete denial or felt that Frank McCourt , Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon had a complete handle on their respective ball-club’s problems .
If anything came as a surprise to the vast majority of fans during the final month of the season . Then it had to be the seismic meltdown by the Boston Red Sox and what that told you about the team and its complete lack of accountability and leadership. I mean how many half-assed Red Sox fans are there who actually felt that the Sox could go 7-21 in the month of September and still make to obtain the wildcard berth and get to the playoffs , much less win the AL East . Say nothing of which , the front office under the leadership of Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino then sought to make Terry Francona a scapegoat for the gutless overpaid players on the roster who simply underperformed when it mattered most .
With the departures of Epstein and Francona respectively , the Boston Red Sox starts afresh as they embark upon their 2012 preseason with a new manager and coaching staff in tow led by Bobby Valentine . And with Ben Cherington succeeding Theo Epstein as the general manager , personnel decisions will be entrusted to the young executive under the watchful eye of team President Larry Lucchino . Not all content with those upheaval the team roster was overhauled with some noted players being jettisoned by the organization . Most notably , there was Johnathan Papelbon who has found a new home with the Philadelphia Phillies with a richly rewarding four year contract . Some may think somewhat overly generous given the player’s failings for his former team last season .
This season for the Boston Red Sox certain players on the current roster will be closely scrutinized by the media and fans alike . Certainly Josh Beckett , David Ortiz , Jacoby Ellsbury , Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia have a great deal to prove . Most notably, the pitching staff whose woes were heightened during that final month of the regular season in 2011.
From an offensive standpoint the Red Sox should still be productive would be predicated upon the players being able to produce the form that they showed in the early part of last season . And amongst the teams within the AL East and baseball as a whole there’s a belief that the Red Sox will still have some issues that they haven’t clearly addressed during the off-season .
If the final month of 2011 proved anything , then it has to be that Joe Maddon is a damn genius ! What he was able to achieve with a staff highly motivated players who simply in terms of financial reward were of no match for the big market teams such as the Red Sox , New York Yankees , Philadelphia Phillies , Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels .
Tampa Bay Rays’ owner Stuart Sternberg has made the decision to raise the team’s payroll from $42 million to $67 million this upcoming season . Team GM Andrew Friedman has used his time judiciously in assembling a roster that he believes to be competitive and enough of a challenge to the potential contenders within the AL East.
If there was one move that I felt that the Rays’ organization may well have made a mistake in , well that was in choosing to off-load veteran outfielder Johnny Damon . Not only losing the player’s productivity but the Rays not only also lost a vocal leader but also someone who commanded the respect of the young players on the roster .. And Damon was someone who led by example . If there’s something that I am looking forward to this season with regard to the Rays then it has to be that formidable starting rotation spearheaded by pitchers James Shields , David Price , Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Davis . If they can produce anywhere the productivity I believe them to be capable of then the AL East this season will be come real suspenseful in ways completely unimaginable .
I’ve not placed a great deal of faith in the Justice System as it relates to the ongoing issues concerning baseball ! We have had a dumb ass lab technician completely throw a monkey- wrench in the hierarchy’s case against NL MVP …. Ryan Braun . Only for an idiot like Bud Selig and his subordinate Rob Manfred would choose to question the veracity of the arbitrator’s (Shyam Das) ruling in favor of the player’s appeal of his 50 game mandated suspension in testing positive for a banned substance . . Never mind the fact that the US Justice Department has spent in excess of $20 million of taxpayers’ monies investigating the BALCO ” scandal” and then bringing about subsequent cases against Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens . Bonds having been found guilty on seven lesser counts still awaits sentencing . Clemens on the other hand , still awaits trial but has an ongoing case against his former personal trainer Brian McNamee for slander , defamation of character and libel . Good luck with that “Rocket” as you have thrown almost every member of your immediate family under the bus simply trying to prove your innocence . Andy Pettite sends “his love “ by the way .
Is there nothing that Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy can do right without shoveling themselves ever deeper into a ditch filled with fecal matter ? And please don’t have the temerity to suggest that the playoff expansion (10 team playoff format) will be good for the game when baseball refuses to deal with the most acute issue it faces ? If the financial imbalance of the teams as it relates to their finances and payroll doesn’t need addressing then it shows the complete stupidity of the hierarchy , team owners and the union (MLBPA) itself ! Ever increasing salaries and the mere fact that many of the top MLB agents in the sport have the owners and general managers and managers cowering like a virgin in a corner on prom-night knowing that her “cherry” is about to get “popped ” ! And the guy doing the “popping” just happens to be the eponymous sports’ agents . I don’t think that I can put it anymore succinctly than that !
It now looks as if the New York Mets are on the brink of being sunk without a damn trace . Yipee ! About damn time ! With a judgment now going against the organization it may force co-owners Saul Katz , Fred Wilpon and the Wilpon family in order to stave off financial ruin , as owners they may well now have to take baseball organization into bankruptcy proceedings (Chapter 11) within US Federal Bankruptcy Court . Federal Court Bankruptcy Judge Jed S. Rakoff has sided with the plaintiffs’ attorney Irving H Picard in a ruling that states the Mets owe $86 million of the initial $386 million sought after first rejecting the original …….. $1 billion claimed by Picard on the plaintiffs’ behalf that is believed to be ill-gotten gains received by the baseball organization over the past decade and a half from the billions of dollars (est. $57 billion [$57,000,000,000]) that are said to have been bilked from clients by former New York financier Bernard Madoff as part of his multi-billion dollar Ponzi Scheme .
Courtesy of The Mercury in conjunction with AP
By Larry Neumeister , Associated Press
NEW YORK — The New York Mets’ owners must pay up to $83 million to the trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff investors, a judge said Monday, though he expressed doubt that the trustee will succeed in proving at a trial this month that he’s entitled to as much as $300 million more .
U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued his four-page ruling to narrow the subject of a March 19 trial in Manhattan that results from Trustee Irving Picard’s effort to force the club’s owners to pay as much as $1 billion into a fund established to repay thousands of investors cheated of billions of dollars during Madoff’s decades-long fraud.
Last year, Rakoff had ruled that the team’s owners wouldn’t owe more than $386 million to other Madoff investors. He made it clear then that they would likely owe up to $83 million but said the trustee must prove that the Mets’ owners “willfully blinded” themselves to Madoff’s fraud to get more.
His ruling Monday determined that the exact amount up to $83 million won’t be left to the jury but will be decided by him in a future written decision, likely after he hears more from lawyers on both sides.
Rakoff rejected a request by lawyers for the Mets’ owners to say Picard wasn’t entitled to more money, a ruling that would have eliminated the need for the trial.
But he said he “remains skeptical that the trustee can ultimately rebut the defendants’ showing of good faith.”
Click on link shown to read the article in full.
I’ve long held the position that Katz , Wlipon and the team’s COO Jeff Wilpon have been economical with the truth as it relates to this whole fiasco concerning the Mets and their dealings with Bernie Madoff ! Even when the rumblings as to the egregious actions of the financier were being laid bare , all three executives denied any culpability, even when there was evidence to the contrary . Now come full circle , and it appears that Radoff’s initial ruling as a precursor to the 19th March trial will go a long way in assisting Picard’s case as the trustee of the victims of Madoff’s fraudulent act . Never mind , suggesting the denials by Saul Katz , Fred Wilpon and Jeff Wilpon were built on falsehoods . In the midst of this all , Bud Selig has been nowhere to be found , simply insisting that he has been closely monitoring the situation in conjunction with baseball’s own in-house legal counsel . If that means he has been monitoring this all in the same he has held contention of his stewardship of the Dodgers’ fiasco while Frank McCourt was pillaging the coffers of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Then it would suggest that the commissioner has about as much common sense as someone juggling multiple incendiary devices , namely several grenades ! Well , Selig has always been a dumb ass to begin with so this would be something I could envisage him actually doing ! Kaboom ! Let the mother-##cker blow himself up and do us all a damn favor ! Word !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
As a precursor to the official start of the regular season with Opening Day on the 4th April , are you making a keen observation of the Spring Training Schedule of your favorite team as a way of gauging their progress ? Also what do you hope to see from that ball-club ? With the ongoing issue of the New York Mets do you feel that the commissioner’s handling of the situation and that of the Los Angeles Dodgers has been dealt with , with due diligence ? By all means do take time to leave a comment as you see fit . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Picture and slide show details for your perusal .
(1) Oakland Athletics’ Jemile Weeks tosses out Los Angeles Angels’ Erick Aybar during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 5, 2012, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Darron Cummings …
(2) Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia watches during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Monday, March 5, 2012, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Darron Cummings …..
(3) St. Louis Cardinals’ Shane Robinson , bottom, is out at second base as New York Mets shortstop Ronny Cedeno turns the double play during the first inning of a spring training baseball game , Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker was out at first. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson … ….
(4) New York Mets introduce Sandy Alderson as the team’s new General Manager on Friday Oct. 29, 2010 in N.Y. Seated in the audience at the formal announcement are from left to right , Mets’ COO Jeff Wilpon , Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon , senior managing partners who also happen to be co-owners of the baseball organization as well the investment firm also embroiled in a plaintiffs’ civil suit filed against the Mets and Sterling Equities Inc. AP Photo /Kathy Kmonicek …
(5) Boston Red Sox pitcher Clayton Mortensen , left, throws a strike to Baltimore Orioles’ Taylor Teagarden during the sixth inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Fort Myers, Fla. Boston won 5-4 . AP Photo/David Goldman …
(6) Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine , second from right, joins hands with team management during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. From left to right are Red Sox President Larry Lucchino , General Manager Ben Cherington , Valentine, and majority owner John Henry . AP Photo/Charles Krupa ….
(7) Baltimore Orioles’ Xavier Avery , left, scores off a walk with bases loaded by Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Alex Cobb as Rays catcher Jose Molina , right, heads to the mound in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 5, 2012, in Port Charlotte, Fla. Baltimore won 3-1 . AP Photo/David Goldman …….
(8) Tampa Bay Rays’ Reid Brignac dives back to first base to beat the throw from Baltimore Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen to Baltimore Orioles first baseman Wilson Betemit, left, during the third inning of a spring training baseball game Monday, March 5, 2012, in Port Charlotte, Fla. Baltimore won 3-1. AP Photo/David Goldman …….
(9) Manager Joe Maddon (70) of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait at the Charlotte Sports Park on February 29, 2012 in Port Charlotte, Florida . Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images ……
MLB schedule 6th March 2012
======================================================================== ================ =========
Kanye West ………… “Monster”