Savor The Moment ……….. Baseball Is Here

Savor The Moment Baseball Is Here

It could take time but there’s the distinct feeling that this baseball season could be one to savor given the uncertainty that now surrounds both the NFL and NBA . MLB Commissioner Bud Selig knows that with the advent of the NFL quite possibly shutting down for the upcoming season and the uncertainty of the NBA but no firm commitment shown by either the league hierarchy and that of the NBPA led by Executive Director Billy Hunter , its President Derek Fisher , its executive committee and player representatives . The NBA has indeed been working continuously with the union to avert any possibility of their own labor dispute .


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Slide show for your perusal .

The NBA itself no doubt wants remain relevant and if anything given the grave financial problems concerning a number of teams around the league the last thing they now need is a stoppage at this juncture.

Inasmuch I hate to say this, I do feel that the big market teams will once again prevail as the season progresses . The success achieved by the likes of the New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox , St Louis Cardinals , Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies has in part more to do with not only the talent assembled on the field of play but more to do with the financial resources at these teams’ disposal . Granted we’ve seen the Washington Nationals delve into the free agency market to acquire Jayson Werth but in reality the seven year $119 million contract signed by the player I believe had more to do with making a splash by the organization than that of them actually being able to contend within the NL East .

The Nationals haven’t been a force to be reckoned with in eons and I seriously doubt that this season things are liable to change albeit that they’ll have both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg there to lure the fans back to Nationals Ballpark . If the Washington Nationals are to prevail then they will have to contend with the likes of the Atlanta Braves , defending divisional champions the Philadelphia Phillies as well as the New York Mets and Florida Marlins . I’m not so sure that the Nationals are capable of making the jump from an also ran to a contender !

With no team to support and the mere fact that I no longer have any faith in the ownership group of the Florida Marlins I find myself merely now observing the game as a fan of the sport showing no real passion for any team in particular ! The local team within this locale are the Tampa Bay Rays and as the defending AL East champions I think that this will be a season of highs and lows for the team . We’re all no doubt aware of the of the upheaval within the organization as it relates to the departures of Carl Crawford , Rafael Soriano , Carlos Pena and , Matt Garza to name but a few as part of the cost cutting exercise by the front office led by GM Andrew Friedman . Principal managing partner Stuart Sternberg apart from being in the midst of a financial expediency plan merely for the franchise to survive , now has to deal with the city of St Petersburg and the city’s intent to hold the Rays to their lease agreement at Tropicana Field .

The organization is looking for a new venue but they and the municipality can’t agree on how best to come to an amicable arrangement that would be mutually beneficial for all of the parties concerned.

A new facility would be no guarantee for a team that struggles to have an element of tangible following . Anyone who’s of the belief that a fanbase of 15,000 hardcore fans will legitimately guarantee competitive and financial success really needs to take a look at what’s happening within the game of baseball . Having won two divisional titles within the AL East , an appearance in the World Series the recent success of the Rays has been heartwarming for the loyal fans of the organization.

I do believe that they can compete but I believe their season will be predicated upon the coaching talents of the coaches and in particular manager Joe Maddon . As astute a manager as he is , his work this season will be his toughest yet as he now has to coach a young team albeit that he the additions of seasoned veterans Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez on this roster I simply believe that they will struggle in large part to contend with the likes of Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees , Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays within their division.

While I’m under no illusion that the game itself is all about the consistency of the players and how they’ll fare over the course of the regular season . Whereas last season the team’s strengths were in its pitching and in particular their defense . And if they’re to replicate that success then they’ll have to replicate that success and play to their inherent strengths. If anything it will be these situations that will test the fortitude of the Rays and in particular that of Joe Maddon because this most definitely will be the sternest test that he’s faced over the course of professional managing career. Having won an AL pennant and an appearance in the World Series with the subsequent loss the Philadelphia Phillies , success this season for the Rays will be measured by posting a winning record during the season. Anything less than that I believe would be considered to be a failure !

As to the season itself what can we expect of the San Francisco Giants as they look to make a successful defense of their title ? Will they be able to regain that form can it through the regular season and into the postseason ? Or will we merely see a team that struggles in that endeavor to repeat ?

Of the teams that I believe will be amongst the contenders this season I look to the Philadelphia Phillies and that pitching rotation which on the face of it just might be the best there is the game of baseball . Clearly GM Rueben Amaro and Charlie Manuel felt that this was the best way possible for the team to make another successful run with a view to repeating their success of 2009 . The New York Yankees for their part with their payroll and talent that on appearance ought to be good enough to make the postseason may well have their problems because there’s serious question as it regards their pitching , as it remains their Achilles’ heel . If they can’t turn things around on that score then I can’t see this simply relying on their offense alone to see them through.

Amongst the other AL teams that I view as contenders unless the Texas Rangers are able to prove that last season wasn’t a fluke then it could well be one and done . There may well be others contenders within the AL but much of that will be predicated upon their wish to play with real determination. The Minnesota Twins have simply proven that once they get to the postseason they become like a deer caught in headlights and I don’t believe that I could put it anymore succinctly than that !

Now while Spring Training is now upon us and many fans will be pursuing to see their teams as they are at play in the Citrus and Grapefruit League. The preseason itself may well not be much of an indicator as to what we’re expect during the regular season but it should give us something of a way to gauge the teams and their quest to make the postseason . If nothing else it’ll be interesting to see how the players that’ve been acquired by new teams will fare and acclimatize in a new environment . How they fare may well also go a great way in telling us how their respective teams will ultimately do . This season within the game of baseball will certainly be one to savor and the expectations there will undoubtedly be high.



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the MLB season and how do you view problems that many of the teams face ? Also in light of the fact that there appears to be lingering rumors that there could very well be team contraction within the game do you believe that it will be ultimately beneficial to the game as a whole ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topic raised and other thoughts that you might have on the upcoming MLB season.

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

Picture gallery and slide show details

(1) Washington Nationals second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr., right, greets Washington Nationals Jeff Frazier (72) after Frazier hit a third inning solo home run off New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia in the Nationals 10-8 victory over the Yankees in their spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, March 5, 2011. AP Photo/Kathy Willens …..

(2) Washington Nationals Bryce Harper is shown at the plate in the seventh inning of the Nationals 10-8 victory over the New York Yankees in their spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Saturday, March 5, 2011. Harper was one for two in the game. He had an eighth inning single. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ……

(3) Clearwater , Fl : of the Philadelphia Phillies of the Tampa Bay Rays during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Bright House Field on March 6, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……..

(4) Jimmy of the Philadelphia Phillies of the Tampa Bay Rays during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Bright House Field on March 6, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ……

<p (5) Pitcher Wade Davis (40) of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at Bright House Field on March 6, 2011 in Sarasota, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ………..


MLB News

Tampa Bays history

Tampa Bay Rays’ front office

Tampa Bay Rays’ coaching staff

Tampa Bay Rays roster …… active roster & depth chart

Rays’ team statistics

Tampa Bay Rays’ schedule

Transaction moves made by the Tamp Bay Rays —– transactions


Eye candy …………………… Polish model Ewa Sonnet

An eyeful of Ewa is better than a handful of nuts don’t you think ?


Titillating Ewa and her play things .


Method Man feat’g ……. Mary J Blige ………….. “I’ll Be There For You /You’re All I Need ”

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

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

16 thoughts on “Savor The Moment ……….. Baseball Is Here”

    1. al clements

      I thought you’d be cheering on the Phillies and then throwing some half hearted support behind the Pirates ? But that might all in vain considering the plight of the Pirates though !

      So here’s something to cheer you up ………. throw some of your support behind Ewa Sonnet and whatever else you’d most definitely like to throw in her direction . I know that she’d definitely appreciate the support !

      If you can reach third base you’ll definitely get more than a handful with Ewa !


      tophatal ………………….


    2. al clements

      At least you have an alternative ……….. there’s the Steelers , Flyers , Phillies , Pitt Panthers football , basketball and Penguins within the state of Pennsylvania . Here in Central Florida all we have are the Rays , Lightning , Bucs , Magic and UCF football & basketball. Beyond that your allegiances go down the line of are your a Gator or a ‘nole as in FSU (Noles) .

      It’s not really for the skittish or the squeamish and as of yet I haven’t taken a blood oath in order to be sworn into either of those esteemed bodies . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      Is there a doctor in the house ? Or should we simply look to adult entertainment star Gianna Michaels to provide the necessary assistance ?

      tophatal ………………….


    1. Chris Humpherys

      I don’t really take that much out of the Spring Training Ball as it’s really about the players attuning themselves for the regular season . Hopefully however the Rays don’t sustain any injuries in the runup to the start of the season .

      Like two peas in a pod .

      Look stay off the booze as we’ve seen what it’s done for Charlie Sheen ! Does he know what damn time of the day it is much less the year ? He and his goddesses need treatment and a great deal more and that’s even now with Mark Cuban offering Sheen his own reality show on Cuban’s little watched cable outlet HDNet . The two were made for each other ! Narcissistic , bumbling oafs who’ve as much intelligence as an invertebrate !

      tophatal …………


    2. Chris Humpherys

      Let’s hope the Rays’ bats and pitching find some oomph before the regular season starts because as of now things aren’t exactly looking bright on either front for the team .

      They’re 2-7 in Grapefruit League Standings and Maddon mightn’t be all that pleased with what he’s seeing given that the regular season is less than three weeks away. They’ve yet to his a groove at all.
      They have to find some consistency and momentum if they’re to do something meaningful this year.

      tophatal …………….


  1. The starting rotation for the Phillies will make it hard for any team in the National League to beat. In the American League I think the Red Sox will come out on top, they are loaded.


    1. aero

      That Phils’ starting rotation —- stacks up nicely against any of the teams in either the AL or NL for that matter . But as they say within the game anything can happen and if often does so it’ll be dependent upon that Phillies’ coaching staff to make sure that the team has its head screwed on right .

      Speaking of screwing I hear Charlie Sheen has been doin’ enough of that ? Screwing his goddesses as well as himself out of a well paid job .

      ‘Screw with me or my goddesses and I’m gonna f_ck you all up’ !

      My how the mighty have fallen ?

      The Red Sox I expect to make the playoffs along with the Yankees , Rangers and quite possibly the White Sox in the AL Central ! From the NL I’m looking at the Phils , Giants , Reds or Cardinals from the Central .

      I’d like to have Ewa drive me home and then I’d ride her like a bull in a rodeo show !

      tophatal ……………………


  2. I think like the guy above I got the Phillies and Red Sox matching up, but those are pretty obvious answers. Just look at this past year, who would have thought the Giants and the Rangers would have been the two teams at the end of October. I just think the Yankees rotation is too shitty for anything to matter, despite their great lineup. nevertheless, stoked for baseball season. Less than a month away!!!



    1. Chris Ross

      Beyond Hughes and Sabathia that Yankees’ rotation won’t put the fear of God in a child much less any of the teams in the AL or NL for that matter ! .

      The Phillies and Red Sox would be the presumptive favorites going in but til the playoffs and how it all pans out no one really knows what could happen. You tend to know that in final stretch run of the regular season and when the playoffs begin.

      All I know is I want the season to be a good one rather than being mundane and uneventful !

      Even adult entertainer Maria Swan agrees with me .

      tophatal ……………..



  3. Let’s go Oakland clap, clap, clap clap clap!

    I hope that Morneau comes back from his concussion, and can help that team when it matters. They would be a lot more scary in the playoffs with him in the lineup. If Liriano can be that ace they need, I could see them winning it all. There’s a lot of “ifs” this time of the year!


    1. chappy 81

      I can’t see the Twins doing anything in the postseason but as usual they’ll come out on top in the AL Central during the regular season . Come the postseason however , once again they’ll be like a deer caught in headlights !

      Got milk ? Want some ?

      Liriano and Morneau may well make ’em better but I’m not so how much more !

      In AL West I think it’ll be a toss up there between the teams . The loss of Lee has made the Rangers all the more susceptible in my opinion and it’s going to come down to who wants it more !

      The A’s on the other hand with their squad should be able to do something special this year if they really put their hearts into it .

      tophatal …………….


  4. shoot, not that big into baseball, but I am a huge Ichiro fan because I got to see him play whenever I lived overseas. Man U vs Arsenal this weekend tho, u ready?


    1. jgome

      Who isn’t a fan of Ichiro ? The guy has been on fire every year that he’s been in game unfortunately however he plays for a crappy team in the Mariners and ownership group who just simply just doesn’t want to win !


      I’m ready for the Man U — vs Arsenal game but the question is are the Gunners given their having return home with their tails having bowed out of the Champions League ?

      Should they lose to United then it hampers their hopes at the EPL title.

      tophatal …………..


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