Winners Are Often Made But The Again They Can Be Born

Winners Are Often Made But Then Again They Can
Be Born

All of a sudden it appears that Joe Maddon and his coaching staff has a winning team on his hands with the Tampa Bays Rays having won five straight games and now making their presence felt in the AL East . Now I’m not about to pronounce the Rays as the surprise team of the season as of yet because we’re but a few weeks into an arduous 162 game regular season schedule , where as we know anything can happen.

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Slide show for your perusal .

As some of you may know I’m fan without a team to support having abandoned the Florida Marlins at the end of last season . I felt I could no longer support an organization where the team owner Jeffrey Loria was simply more about himself , his needs and wants rather than what was in the best interests of the team and the fans in general . It goes without saying that Loria like many of his peers within the game are of the same mindset and that is especially applicable to the owners amongst the small market teams around MLB . They’ll do whatever it takes to make money even if it’s to be done illegally !

The Rays this season having lost Manny Ramirez with his abrupt retirement rather than face the league mandated 100 game suspension after a second failed consecutive drug test thereby breaking the league’s steroid policy , essentially showed himself to be nothing more than a coward ! The heroes of the moment for the Tampa Bay Rays has to be Johnny Damon and Sam Fulds who has proven to be just the impetus needed to turn things around for the team and now make themselves the talk of the town at present as it regards their play. That being said it would be naive to even suggest or think that because of the team’s play they’re ready to contend within their division once again and make a successful defense of their AL East divisional title . Stranger things are known to have happened but then again who know as it concerns the vagaries of this team ?

I’m sorry but anyone of the belief that the New York Mets with their payroll of over bloated stars can contend within the NL East much less the rest of baseball has to be either delirious or still on some form of prescriptive medication . This team much less the organization has no idea what it takes to win much how to go about it with any degree of certainty or authority. I know that manager Terry Collins , his coaching staff will have the assist wherewithal of GM’s Sandy Alderson and assistant general manager J P Ricciardi providing their input as it relates to the personnel decisions but simply put the Mets’ window of opportunity to even be viewed as contenders much less win a World Series title has long gone !

The New York Mets has become a comical caricature of all that is wrong with the game of baseball ! Team President Saul Katz , team owner , senior general partner Fred Wilpon have plunged the team into an abyss of mediocrity and now it also appears the team’s immediate future could very well be at stake . Both Katz and Wilpon as well as the organization has been named as defendants in a civil suit that looks to reclaim $500 million that Wilpon and Katz were in receipt of as part of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Both defendants claim that they were unaware that the sums they’d been in receipt of was from fraudulent means . But yet somehow both Katz and Wilpon divested much of the $ 500 million into various entities including a company that both had co- founded —– Sterling Equities . What now awaits both defendants as well as the team remains to be seen .

Well the NBA postseaon has begun and we’ve already seen that what the expectations are meant to be about . Those doubters of the Chicago Bulls after their unexpected 60 plus win season shows why it is that you simply don’t gloss over the achievements of this team and its coach Tom Thibodeau . I’ve read it where some have said because of the inexperience of this team they could very well struggle throughout these the playoffs and that because Tom Thibodeau doesn’t have much of a coaching pedigree it could prove to be an impediment for this team. I simply wish when people make such asinine claims that they simply did a little research than simply speaking out their rear end ! Thibodeau has been the assistant coach on two NBA title winning organizations that collectively have won 5 titles in the last decade and a half . A fact that simply has been overlooked by individuals who’ve chosen not to look at the coach’s resume’ . Being an assistant to such noted coaches as Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich may seem slight but consider this , Thibodeau was the architect of the defensive strategies that has molded the face we see of both the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs .

Game one of the Bulls’ opening round series against Doug Collins’ Philadelphia 76ers . The United Center was packed to the rafters to see the Chicago Bulls play their first postseason game and series at the venue since the heyday of Jordan , Pippen and Phil Jackson . And though I didn’t think that series would be a cakewalk for the Bulls I knew that game one would be a stern test for the team and in particular the leadership qualities of Derrick Rose a potential league MVP candidate . And if anyone is in any doubt why Rose shouldn’t be the league MVP then yesterday’s play in which he blocked Darren Collison’s shot , then in transition dribbled the ball upcourt and then carved his way through the Sixers’ defense for the layup score . Need I anymore on the matter ?

For the better part of three quarters the Sixers had the Bulls on the rack but somehow you simply knew that this team wasn’t about to disappoint their fans and in particular a national tv audience watching. Rose for his part has led this team with authority throughout the season and in doing so we’ve seen both the maturation of Luol Deng , Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah as players . And with the team having acquired Carlos Boozer in the offseason as a free agent we saw the Chicago Bulls rise to the occasion surprising many of their contemporaries within the Eastern Conference .

The Bulls eked out a comfortable victory and will look to resume the series and increase their lead have a 2-0 margin before the resumption of the series in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center ( formerly the Comcast/ Spectrum Arena) . If anything Doug Collins would like nothing more than to even this series at one game apiece before his team’s return its home venue. I know that the Sixers’ coach had to have been disappointed to see his team give up a lead and then see it completely erased with less than 3 and a half minutes to go in the game . From being on the cusp of a surprise upset win the Bulls simply placed a dagger in the hearts of their first round opponents . That’s the way a game ought to be closed out , with complete authority and the mind of a cold boodied assassin !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As a sport’s fan how do you define winning and what it means to you as a fan and no I’m not talking about the ‘term’ now being coined by actor Charlie Sheen ! If anything over this sport’s weekend what result if anything either came as a surprise or met with your expectation ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on the topics raised within this piece . .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com ……..

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(1) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon looks on from the dugout during the ninth inning of a Major League Baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, April 17, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays would go on to lose 4-2 to the Twins . AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……

(2) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – APRIL 17: of the Tampa Bay Rays of the Minnesota Twins during the game at Tropicana Field on April 17, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ………..

(3) New York Mets’ Josh Thole is caught stealing second base as Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, left, makes the tag for an out in the fifth inning of a major league baseball game Sunday, April 17, 2011 in Atlanta. The Mets won 3-2 . AP Photo/David Goldman …..

(4) New York Mets’ Josh Thole, left, beats the tag of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann to score on an Ike Davis single in the first inning of a major league baseball game Sunday, April 17, 2011 in Atlanta. AP Photo/David Goldman ………….

(5) Fred Wilpon, General Manager Sandy Alderson, New York Mets new manager Terry Collins, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz pose for pictures during a press conference at Citi Field on November 23, 2010 in New York, New York. Getty Images North America / Chris McGrath ……….

(6) Carlos Boozer (5) of the Chicago Bulls and Tyler Hansbrough (50) of the Indiana Pacers battle for position on a free-throw in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 104-99 . Johnathan Daniels /Getty Images …….

(7) Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls of the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 104-99. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images . ……..

(8) CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 16: Joakim Noah (13) of the Chicago Bulls celebrates two blocked shots in the final seconds against the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 104-99. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

(9) Derrick Rose(1) of the Chicago Bulls leaps to pass the ball around Paul George (24) of the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 104-99. Johnathan Daniel / Getty Images ……

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Jon Connor ………… feat’g ………. Elite …………. ‘Keep Your Head Up’

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

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

20 thoughts on “Winners Are Often Made But The Again They Can Be Born”

  1. Go Magic ! Only a team like that could literally bolt out of the stalls and still come up lame in the end like a gelding !

    The same can be said also of the Spurs and Lakers this past weekend ! What a pitiful display by the teams in question !

    Can you feel my pain ? I guess not ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal …………………

    Like

  2. Derrick Rose is MVP without question. And it really was awesome to see the 1 & 2 seeds in the Western Conference crash and burn yesterday.

    Like

    1. smurfed

      ESPN contributor Mike Hollinger was trying to make the case where to his mind Dwight Howard has a more valid case of being named league MVP candidate than Rose ! That’s why the four letter network has about as much credibility as a piece of sh_t on the sole of a person’s shoe !

      “Did you say spooning Mel ? I can’t say that I’m interested but if you’ve got nothing better to do then I’m in ………….. literally that is ” !

      There’s a reason why at times you simply can’t take their analysis seriously or their journalistic integrity for that matter ! It’s become a fu_king circus act literally being performed by clowns and dwarfs !

      tophatal ……..

      Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      There are 162 games in the season Chris and I doubt that Damon will be able to play in the majority of them much less keep up this sort of momentum . So don’t count your all of your eggs before they’ve even hatched a chick !

      And if you think that the Rays will have found any justification in paying Damon that sort of money merely to play at best 100 games if that and bat below .300 with say 20 HR’s and no more 60 rbi’s then you must be on something .

      Who’ll be the most productive player on this team in terms of productivity do you believe ? They’ve lost so much offense from last season that it simply doesn’t bear thinking about !

      Damon’s stats for last season G 145 , 81R (runs scored), 8HR’s , 51 RBI’s, BA .271 , 5 3B & 36 2B, TB 216 with the Tigers .

      tophatal ………..

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      1. Al…

        I believe it was you who said not long ago, it’s not always about the numbers.

        Within a short period of time, Damon has two walk-off, game winners to get this team back on track.

        This young team was looking for someone to look up to in Longo’s absence. Damon so far, has stepped into that role.

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    1. chappy 81

      There’s more chance of me picking to spend the night with Joan Rivers and having hot passionate sex with her ol’ ass than picking the Rays ! nough said ! But on the other hand the way that the Rays are playing present they mightn’t be that bad !

      I think that Joan to begin with likes her men like she likes her coffee , with plenty of milk in it . So it leaves me out of the race thankfully ! And you know as they say ….’ once you go black you never go back ‘ .

      And besides I like my women considerably younger and with great deal more spark and intelligence to ’em !

      I pledge my allegiance to……. ah sh_t who the hell am I kidding I’d like to nail this piece of tail ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      But given the choice ultimately I think that I’ll end up choosing an NL team to pledge my allegiance to . It’s not as if I’m taking the pledge of allegiance to become a US citizen is it ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      It’s like he can’t come to a decision that tophatal ! Pity ’cause I hear he really likes baseball .

      tophatal ……………..

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  3. Ahh well..still good many games to go…I believe it is not how you play anymore…it’s if you win in the end

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  4. Pacers have been unlucky thus far. Shouldn’t have blown game 1 and some tacky calls in game 2. It’s gonna be interesting when it shifts to Indy. Even tho Tyler had an off shooting night in game 2, he’s been stepping his game up so far. He was a beast in game 1. As for Chicago, Rose has had to score 30 plus in both wins, Deng needs to get it together cuz him scoring 30 every game in the postseason isn’t gonna last.

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    1. jgome

      If you’re the Pacers’ Danny Granger how must you feel after a game like that ? Two games where the Pacers played the Bulls close but yet they still come up short .

      Now up 2-0 I do believe that the Bulls will close out this series quite easily and they’ve got the Pacers now on the run . I don’t think that Bird much less the Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel and the coaching staff can really do to change the outcome of the series ! And the series itself may well be beyond their reach with the possibility that Collison could be out having injured himself in game two .

      Not even a hot tottie can help the Pacers at this juncture !

      tophatal ……….

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  5. Chris Humpherys

    He may well have assumed that role but once he tails off who steps into that role on this team ?

    What the team needs is a consistent performer over the course of the season and not simply in short stretches .

    The season is one of 162 games and not about what’s happening as part of the microcosm of the season . A five or six game hitting streak doesn’t a season make in terms of a team or a player . Remember that .

    tophatal ……………..

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  6. The Rays will get even better when Longoria and Howell rejoin the team. Fuld is hittting close to .400 and Upton is driving the ball. All good signs. It’s a long season, but I like the Rays chances.

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  7. Dwight has a case for MVP as well, he has virtually carried his team. Hedo blows now. Richardson’s been sucking ever since he impregnated Nash’s wife. It’s just Dwight w/ flashes of Jameer.

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    1. jgome

      Of that there’s no denying but I simply don’t look at it being about solely one player but what he also does to make those better around him ?

      In reality without Howard they’d be woefully inept and at the same time who’d you say other than Howard actually plays with any consistency ?

      We know what the likes of Jordan , Nash , James have done having won League MVP as their respective teams were actually better with the players in question and the supporting cast actually stepped up to the plate . Can you honestly say that about anyone on the Magic team ? Jameer Nelson is nowhere near as consistent as he needs to be to even be considers one of the premiere players at his position in the league !

      Jason Richardson and Gilbert Arenas are sucking the life blood out of this team and are being paid handsomely to do it . I feel no sympathy for the Magic’s front office or for that matter an oaf like Otis Smith ! What the hell was he thinking in making some of those trades for the Magic ?

      I’ve no problem with Howard winning Defensive Player of the Year as he is by far the best defensive player in the league .

      tophatal ……….

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