Genie of the Lamp

Genie of the Lamp

I am not the genie of the lamp nor will I be providing any outright prognostications but will however say this concerning the reminder of the baseball season. Many things are expected of the Tampa Bay Rays and their dispassionate fans will be hoping that the team can really make it to their second World Series in three years and perhaps win their first title.

This Joe Maddon managed team is playing some great baseball and though the fans haven’t turned out in droves to support the team there’s still a hardcore base there that comes out to see the home team when they play at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida. We can attest to the fact that this team is very good it cannot be hidden that the Rays are no longer team that is easily intimidated. What we do know however is , if the support isn’t forthcoming from the community at large then this may well be the last hoo-rah for baseball within the community and Tampa Bay area as a whole. The front office of the organization have tried as they might to make it a going concern within the area but it all now seems to be for nought. Furthermore , the political and economic uncertainty still doesn’t make it a foregone conclusion that a new ballpark will be built for the team at some time in the future. And most certainly no one at this juncture is prepared to state who will end up financing such an endeavor . All we’ve tended to hear have been the sound bytes and not much else.

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Slideshow for your perusal .

Courtesy of St Petersburg Times


New stadium talks will wait until after the season ends

By Micheal Van Sickler , Time Staff Writer

ST. Petersburg — The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Petersburg officials have scrapped negotiations for a new stadium until after the last pitch of the World Series, sometime in November.

From the way negotiations have unfolded so far, they don’t agree on much.

Mayor Bill Foster said Wednesday that his offer last week to permit the Rays to leave Tropicana Field for a stadium anywhere in St. Petersburg and the greater Gateway area “was my best and final.”

Yet on Tuesday, Rays president Matt Silverman rejected this offer and said the club needs to consider all sites in the region, including Hillsborough County — which Foster said is off-limits.

“We’re really in uncharted territory,” said Rick Eckstein, co-author of the 2003 book Public Dollars, Private Stadiums. “If there’s going to be a standoff, it would be unprecedented.”

When it comes to Major League Baseball, cities cave and let teams out of iron-clad leases all the time, Eckstein said.

“The politicians see teams as huge trophies,” said Eckstein, a Villanova University sociology professor. “They don’t want to be associated with losing one. So if (St. Petersburg) holds to this, it would be revolutionary.”

Foster and City Attorney John Wolfe are relying on the city’s contract with the Rays, signed in 1995, to settle the conflict. The contract keeps the Rays at Tropicana Field through the 2027 season . If the Rays leave early, the contract says the city would be compensated for the economic loss.

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Now as we come down to the trade deadline __ 31st Julythere’s no sign that the team will be involved in any trades and at the same time they’re financially constrained by a budget that is meager the to say the very least. So much of what the fans will expect will come about from the resilience shown by the team on the field of play. Here’s hoping the Tampa Bay Rays can attain some success in the postseason .

Perhaps we’re all under the impression that having both TO and Ochocinco on the same team is a bad idea ? Now pardon me for saying this but Marvin Lewis and Carson Palmer are either in need of psychiatric help or they my well be unto something , with the combination of the two productive but lugubrious wide receivers. My guess and question would be , will there be enough balls on the field for two of the most bombastic and self promoting characters in the NFL ? Question who’s balls are actually bigger ? TO’s or Chad Ochocinco ?

To say that the Cincinnati Bengals have underperformed over the last few seasons certainly wouldn’t be stretching the truth. More to the point would be ,how it that Lewis is still an NFL coach is simply beyond me ! Let’s just say his idea of success when measured against the failures of his peers has me wondering what indeed is wrong the Bengalis’ hierarchy (front office) to begin with ? I can only surmise that team President Mike Brown woke from the midst of a nightmare and thought to himself what else can we as an organization can do to bring fans back to Paul Brown Stadium ? Hell if signing Owens was “his first” and “only option” then I’ve got several thousand acres of prime real estate in the Middle East that I’d like to sell to him …….. Kabul , Afghanistan to be more precise.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

T.O. misses flight to Bengals camp

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Georgetown, Ky. (AP)—Terrell Owens missed his flight but got his number.

When he finally makes it to town—a little late—he’ll be wearing his familiar 81.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ latest addition missed his overnight flight from the West Coast and had to take a later one on Thursday, delaying his debut at training camp.

The Bengals had planned on him arriving early in the day, taking his physical and signing his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout. They scheduled an introductory news conference after the morning practice.

The news conference had to be rescheduled for after the evening session. Coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t sure whether the 36-year-old receiver would arrive in time to work out.

On his Twitter account, Owens posted a note Wednesday night saying he was headed to see a movie. He didn’t explain why he missed his flight on Thursday, but confirmed that his news conference had to be rescheduled.

“My Press conf about my “Decision” 2 take my talents 2 Cincy will b held 2nite after 7pm practice!!” he tweeted, playing off LeBron James’ one-hour television show announcing his decision to leave Cleveland.

Owens also misspelled Cincinnati in one of his tweets and was quickly corrected by a follower.

“Okayyyyyy I got it now, 2 n’s & 1 t! CINCINNATI!! LOL!” he tweeted.

He’ll have to make a donation to keep his favorite uniform number.

Receiver Antonio Bryant got No. 81 when the Bengals chose him over Owens in the offseason, giving him a four-year deal. Bryant said after the morning practice that he had already talked to Owens and agreed to give up his number.
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The upcoming season with regard to the Cincinnati Bengals should go a long way in telling us about the team and the mindset of its management. Failure at this juncture and both Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens’ days in the NFL could very well be numbered.

Having worked in the field of high finance within the city of London , the “Square Mile” often known as the financial heartbeat of the world, as there are more trades done there than any other financial center across the globe. Two trillion dollars ($2,000,000,000,000) a day wouldn’t be beyond the stretch of one’s imagination concerning the volumes of the trades being worked through each day. Specialists in those fields were highly sought after and their expertise was richly rewarded. There was a gentleman’s agreement that when seeking to hire from beyond one’s domain common courtesy was sought in approaching a perspective hire by first seeking the approval of that person’s employer for making an approach. The same such situation now applies to the NFL . But it’d appear that USC’s __ Lane Kiffin doesn’t believe that such rules apply to him when it comes to the hiring of his coaching staff .

Kiffin in hiring the Tennessee Titans former assistant running backs’ coach Kennedy Pola did so without first seeking the team’s permission with an approach to an initial interview . At the time of his hiring Pola was still in contract negotiations with the Titans. Now we could make a case for the argument that with Pola’s negotiations were not going to well with the organization and it led to his leaving the Tennessee Titans. But what might prove to be more unacceptable was that while Pola was still in negotiation with the Titans , he was talking through back channels with Kiffin and the Trojans. This doesn’t stretch the credibility of Kiffin’s stance that this was merely an unfortunate turn of events as it only muddy’s the waters in trying to ascertain the real truth as to what went on. And clearly at this juncture no one from within the Trojans’ athletic department is prepared to make a public statement on the matter. Most certainly Kiffin, himself, has now become somewhat docile in giving a taciturn response. Whereas, within the Titans’ front office and that of the team’s coach Jeff Fisher there is a great deal of anger and disgust by Lane Kiffin’s actions and that of Kennedy Pola. With there being no outright action that can be taken the NFL , the Titans have seen fit to seek their right of recourse through the legal system.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

USC’s Kiffin irks Titans’ Fisher with Pola hire

By Greg Beacham , AP Sports Writer

Los Angeles (AP)—Add Titans coach Jeff Fisher to the list of people Lane Kiffin had ticked off in Tennessee.

Kiffin hired Titans assistant coach Kennedy Pola on Saturday to be his offensive coordinator and running backs coach at Southern California, irking Fisher by failing to follow the usual protocol in courting another team’s assistant.

Fisher voiced his displeasure with his alma mater’s new head coach to the Tennessean newspaper, saying Kiffin hadn’t made the customary contact to tell the NFL team he was interested in Pola, a former USC player and assistant coach who joined the Titans after last season ended.

The move also left the Titans without a running backs coach one week before training camp opens.

“I am very disappointed in Lane Kiffin’s approach to this,” Fisher told the newspaper. “Typically speaking when coaches are interested in hiring or discussing potential employment from coaches on respective staffs there is a courtesy call made from the head coach or athletic director indicating there is an interest in talking to the assistant.

“So I am very disappointed in the lack of professionalism on behalf of Lane, to call me and leave me a voice mail after Kennedy had informed me he had taken the job. It is just a lack of professionalism.”

Kiffin attempted to rectify the damage later Saturday, finally reaching Fisher and discussing the abrupt move. Kiffin then issued a statement that didn’t exactly deny he had breached protocol, saying he first spoke to Pola on Friday, and then called Fisher on Saturday after Pola called him back, apparently to accept the job.

“I have spoken with Coach Fisher and he now has an accurate understanding of the timeline of events,” Kiffin said. “We realize the timing of this isn’t perfect for all parties, but this is a great opportunity and promotion for Kennedy.”

The state of Tennessee hardly needs another reason to dislike Kiffin, who infamously bolted from the Volunteers last January after just 14 months to take his self-described dream job at USC, leaving an angry mob in Knoxville.

Kiffin’s brief head coaching stints with the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee have been filled with minor missteps and conflicts, including an ugly feud with Raiders owner Al Davis and twice being reprimanded by the Southeastern Conference while he was with the Volunteers.

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Monetary compensation may well be the only satisfactory compensation that the Titans may well find from this all should there be an adjudication in their favor. As for Lane Kiffin and the USC Trojans , given the unwarranted publicity garnered from the sanctions brought down by the NCAA upon their heads. One would’ve thought that this would be last type of adverse publicity that they would want at this juncture. And Kiffin , given his predilection for being less than forthright when it comes to his honesty. I can only surmise that USC’s newly appointed athletics’ director Patrick Haden along with University President-elect C. L. Max Nikias will be looking to sit down with Kiffin for a somewhat prolonged tete-a-tete with the coach. Given the recent upheaval within the athletics department the last thing the university now needs is more egg on its face. But given the maneuvers of Lane Kiffin since his hiring by USC what other conclusions can one draw from this all at this juncture ? It’s not as Kiffin has gone out of his way to do everything by the book to begin with. He’s become more of a one man wrecking crew with his asinine remarks and his gung-ho attitude. And supposedly this is the guy the school actually sought out to succeed Pete Carroll ? Let’s just hope that he only brings along only half the controversy created by his predecessor for the university’s sake . If not then they could be in for a bumpy and unpleasant ride once again.


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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the various subject matters raised within this piece ? By all means chime on in with a comment and I’ll look forward to responding in due course. Once again thanks as usual for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan Parkins aka tophatal …………………… 🙂

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

21 thoughts on “Genie of the Lamp”

  1. You got quit a bit going on in this one Al. I hope the Rays make it to the WS. It’s too bad more fans don’t go to the games, but you can’t force people… I guess it’s just not a baseball city…

    For the duo of 85 and TO, I think they will do pretty well. I really want to see some compilation celebrations this year. Entertain us guys!

    It’s kind of funny watching Kiffin kill USC. I’m surprised that Tennesee was even sad to see him go. They should be thankful he ran off!

    Like

    1. chappy 81

      I try to hit on the salient topics of the day as a way of eliciting wortwhile responses. As with regard to the Rays theirs is a situation that’s changing from one moment to the next. Merely looking at the stadium issue alone indicates the nonesense that’s going on. It’s not so much that the city isn’t a baseball one but more the fact that the fans don’t turn out for the games. They only come out to see the likes of the Red Sox and Yankees . It’s as if their world only evolves around those two teams .

      TO and Ocho’ like I said will have to step up to the plate or they could very well both become the laughing stock of the NFL .

      I say this for Kiffin , his wife is worth bangin’ ! I’d tap that ass in a heartbeat . Once she’s had the “black meat ” put inside here she’d never go back that’s for sure !

      Kiffin is more of a danger to the athletics’ programs of USC than he is to anyone else. I’ve seen or heard of someone bring or reek this much havoc upon a program before they’ve even coached a god-damn game there. The Vols much like the Raiders knew exactly what they were doing when they got rid of his dumb ass !

      tophatal ……………… 🙂

      Like

    1. al clements

      And damn you too ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!! What were you expecting to see Sheherazade ?

      TO and Ochocinco are hoping to entertain us all this season in the NFL . So be on the lookout to have some fun and laughs along the way.

      Lucy Liu

      Lane Kiffin is definitely just as dangerous as a pandemic of the ebola virus ! I mean look at the destruction he’s already wreaked with the Raiders , Vols and now the Trojans . Not even BP hashad this much bad PR .

      Before this is all said and done Kiffin will want more than his life back as he’ll be asking why the hell he was ever born to begin with ?

      tophatal ……… 🙂

      Like

  2. The Rays are doing very well in the local television ratings. The numbers they have posted are among the top in the league. That leads me to believe it is indeed the location of the stadium that is the cause of their poor attendance. Don’t be suprised to see Rocco Baldelli back in a Rays uniform before the end of the regular season.
    I think the Bengals have the right idea. I’m not sure how T.O and Ocho are going to coexist on the same roster.
    Lane Kiffin is a schmuck.

    Like

    1. aero

      Local tv ratings means nothing in the bigger picture.It’s the national exposure that counts and a half empty ballpark does nothing for the Rays when that’s on view for viewing public on a national scale.

      Baldelli won’t be in a Rays’ uniform playing anytime soon as he’s got nothing to offer. There are far better players than him on this Rays’ roster at present ! . I think you’re merely pining for the nostalgia more than anything else !

      “You feelin’ me bro I says we do what we do just like LeBron , Bosh and D Wade. We can ignite the league and show ’em all how to play this game” . TO Man I’m hearin’ ya let’s do this s_it and turn this pimpin’ bitch out ” ! Ochocinco .

      Of course TO is a schmuck that’s just the way he likes it as it gets him noticed. It’s the same way with Ochocinco .

      Like

  3. Thing is with the Rays, they are going to be really good for years to come… because they have great defense, young players, solid managing and a ton of depth in the minors – so when they can’t afford and lose the guys like Carl Crawford, there are already prospects in place to replace them. They are going to be a tough out for years… just making the AL East that much tougher for Toronto and Baltimore to gain ground considering how much cash Boston and New York drop on players yearly.

    Like

    1. KP

      Years to come ? Please the team in its present format may well be as close as they’ll ever come to winning a World Series . If they’re unable to increase payroll then there’s no way in hell that they’ll remain viable much less a profitable concern. They’re living from hand to mouth each passing day in the league .

      If they fail to win the World Series then look for the team to be broken up and for the front office to start all over again .

      Boston and New York have their respective cash cows in the sports cable programmong outlets that way it allows them to right off operational losses unlike other teams in the league.

      NB Yankees w ith the YES Network and the Red Sox with NESN

      🙂

      tophatal ……….

      .

      Like

    1. Ravenation LLC

      Kiffin isn’t just shady the guy is also an imbecile ! We’ll see how good he and this team are in the Pac 10 this season. Bowl appearances or not anything less than a winning season and he’ll be considered to be something of a bust .

      “Son I’m looking for you to save my ass this season”. Lane Kiffin to qb Matt Barkley.

      tophatal …………. 🙂

      Like

  4. As for the TO / Ochocinco show, I’m not really worried about the results, because once the playoffs start Baltimore is going to crush everyone anyway. I was SO disappointed with the way the Bengals folded in week 17 and then the first week of the playoffs. The Jets were great, but Cincy made them look like a polished dyansty

    Thanks,

    Meehan

    Like

    1. Ravenation LLC

      The TO Ocho show should be almost as entertaining as watching an episode of Jersey Shore. In TO and Ocho you’ve got the NFL’s answer to Mike The Situation and Pauly D combined . IQ’s barely above the minimal acceptance rate of what’s said to be normal.

      MTV’s answer to TO & Ocho .

      For the last time Chad and I aren’t lovers we’re just friends who happen to like sharing a sleeping bag together !

      tophatal …… 🙂

      Like

  5. Tophatal:

    Re: Tampa.

    I’m not sure the Rays fans will ever be excited as they were a couple of years ago. So much for that no hitter, only 18,000 in attendance to witness it. Part of it has a lot to do with the fact that Tampa houses a lot of snowbirds that aren’t particularly interested in sports.

    and it’s too bad they have a great manager who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

    What did you think about his comments about A-Roid?

    Meehan

    Like

    1. Ravenation LLC

      Rays’ fans in large part aren’t all that bright to begin with. They don’t come out and support the team on a regular basis and when they do it’s only because the likes of the Yankees or Red Sox are in town. This now has nothing to do with it be a generational thing but more to do with ignirance and simple band wagon jumping. It’s systematic and syptomatic of sports and the fans within the area as a whole .

      A-Rod is an ass and nothing he has to say interests me at all whether it’s on baseball or any other subject. He’s like fecal matter I’m only concerned when I step in it as I don’t like my kicks being messed up and that’s how I essentially view A-Rod . He’s like fecal matter on the sole of my shoes that I immediately must clean off from the soles of my shoes.

      This guy is a prick and is such a wanker and Gammons even more so for being used as a lap dog ! This sh_t was so contrived and a joke that you’re either an ass or just completely stupid to believe it all ! He and his cousin were lying all the way up to and after this contrived apology !

      🙂

      tophatal …… 🙂

      Like

    1. Chris Humpeherys

      All this talk of a new ballpark who’s paying for it by the way ? Residents within both Hillsborough and Pinellas counties ? Cause it sure as hell ain’t gonna be coming out of the pockets of anyone within the Rays’ organization that’s for sure. And please don’t say that the state legislature will raise the money through the hotel room taxes . As it is tourism here is on the decline. So pray do tell where’s this optimism coming from ? Will the economy be that buoyant five years from now ?

      🙂

      tophatal ….. 🙂

      Like

  6. I agree with all those points, Al. I’m not sure where the funding will come from. As you mention, options are limited.

    I just have a feeling some sort of deal will get done to ensure the team doesn’t leave the area.

    Like

    1. Chrs Humpherys

      Not entirely happy that taxpayers’ monies are being used to fund the building of stadium for group of millionaires who’ve thus far haven’t shown good faith by even entering into an act wherein they’re prepared to share some of the expense in the project. Meanwhile schools and first response unit services are being cut and absolutely no one from Hillsborough or Pinellas County government has been prepared to issue a public statement . They’re all full of s_t !

      Briana Banks Porn star

      🙂

      tophatal ……….. 🙂

      Like

  7. Meehan

    Lane Kiffin is the college version of the NFL’s Matt Millen and Charlie Weis all rolled into one happy idiotic bundle of inane and sheer stupidity !

    🙂

    tophatal ……….. 🙂

    Like

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