Brief But Not Breaking Sports Stories …………..

Brief But Not Breaking Sports Stories …………..

Well I’m not about to bore you all with my thoughts on the ongoing NFL labor dispute because I think for the most part the majority of us are fed up with the lack of any form of compromise having not been met or agreed upon as of yet. Inasmuch as with each passing second ESPN and Foxsports tries to keep us all abreast of the latest developments as if it’s going to be breaking news , merely the mention of either Roger Goodell or DeMaurice Smith’s name in essence simply makes me want to puke ! Suffice to say , even with the NFL coming out with a 2011-12 schedule and wherein they’ve essentially leaked the fact that they’ve a contingency plan in place that would have the season start at Week 3 and all teams playing that week would then have a bye-week later on in the calendar of the season’s schedule . Of what comfort that will be to the fans in question I can’t at present tell you . My bone of contention is that the NFL in spite of itself , in terms of PR, they continue to make the situation worse knowing full well each snippet information leaked won’t in fact undo the damage that has already been done. At the same all of the hoopla that one would come to expect has been created with the hyperbole surrounding the upcoming NFL Draft . What, the fact that a season as the fans had hoped for but yet the NFL wants to lure us all into that false sense of security with three days of the dumb diatribe and where the likes of John Clayton , Mel Kiper and Chris Mortensen will induce us all into wanting to throw something at our tv sets because of their self absorbed overblown analysis ! Simply inform the viewer that’s all we want , nothing more nothing less , it’s as simple as that .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Three weeks into the MLB season and it seems the fans are abuzz with the play of the teams and the very fact that the divisions are playing themselves out rather nicely . And while the talk of now seems to be the fact that the MLB hierarchy has seen fit to take over the day to day running of the Los Angeles Dodgers , wherein team owner Frank McCourt has been forced to relinquish control of his debt laden organization. I can’t help but wonder why it has taken Bud Selig so long to come to making this decision . I can only surmise that he sought counsel not only from the league’s legal representative but also in large part many of the most prominent team owners within the game . I surely cannot believe that they would have agreed to this action unless they felt that it was imperative that something needed to be done. With the facts being laid bare that McCourt had sought a loan from the local Fox tv affiliate of some $30 million merely to pay primarily the players’ salaries and meet other budgetary expenses for the month of April . I can’t see how Frank McCourt can still believe that the organization isn’t in dire financial straits . Good God almighty we’re barely a month into the Dodgers’ season and the Dodgers couldn’t afford to pay the salaries of its employees ? If you don’t think that’s strange then tell me what is ?

The further we delve into this sordid mess the more murky it becomes because it’s becoming abundantly clear that many of the Dodgers’ front office executives were either simply powerless to stop McCourt in his tracks or they completely suborned his actions without taking into account what could go wrong should things begin to fall apart . Certainly GM Ned Colletti now seems perplexed because in giving a public statement when asked if he was in control of the organization as its senior most executive outside of the owner , Frank McCourt , his reply was ‘ …… I’m not so sure what I can really tell you at the moment ‘ . If you’re an ardent Los Angeles Dodgers’ fan how must you feel at the moment ?

The Dodgers’ as a team hasn’t really let the off the field problems get in the way of their on field efforts . And in their game against the Atlanta Braves we saw them give a heroic effort defeating the Braves 5-3 at Dodgers’ Stadium with walk off 2 run home run from Matt Kemp in extra innings . If that didn’t lift the spirits of the players and the fans in attendance then nothing else may well have done , other than knowing that McCourt is no longer in charge of the team for the time being. Frank McCourt has however said that he is quite prepared to challenge the league’s authority by legal means , in filing a restraining order in the US Federal Court in Los Angeles , California . That legal recourse could either be swift or it could well be a battle of wills between the embattled owner and that of the league hierarchy. Either way, no one actually wins because the damage has already been done to the game’s credibility and that of the Dodgers themselves .

With that in mind I can’t help but wonder if Bud Selig will now challenge the authority of New York Mets’ ownership group and their financial situation as it now stands . One can’t but help notice that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz as lead managing partner and team president are carefully trying to portray themselves as victims of the Bernard Madoff ‘Ponzi’ scheme and scandal. Suffice to say, with the duo and their company Sterling Equities as well as the Mets’ organization being named as defendants in a civil lawsuit claiming that they profited greatly from the scheme which defrauded clients of an alleged $59 billion ($59,000,000,000 ) . The plaintiffs represented by lawyer Irving Picard are seeking the return of a sum believed to be anywhere between $450 – $750 million that the duo is said to have received over the years by the defendants and their business entities, while Madoff’s scheme was said to be ongoing . What that says about the claims of both Katz and Wilpon that they unaware that the monies received was in fact due to fraud , has to be questioned , given the exorbitant rates of return at the time on their own then alleged investment in the scheme . Both as co-founders of Sterling Equities either had to be completely naive and ignorant or they in fact weren’t duped into believing that their gains were legal _____ they knew all along that something was awry and just simply didn’t care how they derived of this monetary gain.

Personally , I’m of the opinion that Katz and Wilpon knew exactly what was going on but thought that they were never in any danger of being seen as crooked should the scenario play itself out for the press’ and public’s consumption. The fact of the matter may well have been they viewed themselves as bastions of ownership hierarchy within baseball , where as such , the owners there are viewed as captains of industry or self made multi millionaires and not white collar criminals . My feeling is , if you’re involved within the inner workings of Wall St you’re a crook because who else but high ranking executives have profited so greatly from this economic blight wrought upon the nation ?

As the NBA postseason plays itself out we’re beginning to see a number of players come into their own during the playoffs . Dwight Howard has been playing at a high caliber and if anything has been the primary force on the Orlando Magic as they’ve leveled their series (1-1) against the Atlanta Hawks . That being said watching the Altanta Hawks waste a golden opportunity in this series only further emphasizes what I’ve always thought about this team , they’re gunshy and literally scared of their own shadow . If Larry Drew and his coaching staff can’t get this team to play any better than they’re now said to be doing then this series will be closed out on its return to the Amway Center in Orlando , Florida . This much I am certain off , teams cannot afford to waste opportunities when given to them in the playoffs because there’s no looking back and saying ……’ what might have happened if only we’d done that ‘ ?

If the Hawks are to stand any chance of actually winning this series then Joe Johnson will have to step up to the plate and show that he’s indeed the leader of this team rather than an overpaid and less than compelling athlete . How he was able persuade the Hawks’ front office into offering him a 6 year $96 million contract for his less than stellar figures is way beyond anything that I for one can imagine ! I can only surmise that because there weren’t any serious takers for his talents during the trade deadline he saw fit to dupe the Hawks’ management into thinking he as their primary role player on this team would be their best chance of success and a shot at the NBA title .

As the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference the Hawks are a vastly different team from last season if anything they’ve tailed off somewhat but then again this in essence is the same team that was so convincingly swept in the first round by the Orlando Magic last season in the of the NBA Playoffs . That 4-0 series drubbing had to have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the players and the Hawks’ fans . Are we about to see history repeat itself once again this series with only a slight change somewhat in the outcome ? It remains to be seen whether or not the Atlanta Hawks can acquit themselves and redeem some honor as the rest of this series unfolds .

Is a team as good as the coach they’re playing under or does it happen to be , the players or a marquee player that in essence makes the coach’s name ? Could one as such affix that moniker to the likes of Phil Jackson , Gregg Popovich or Red Auerbach for that matter in terms of their unprecedented success ? The reason I say this is because there are those who believe that the Chicago Bulls aren’t genuinely a legitimate contender because of their youth , inexperience and the fact that they’ve a first time coach in Tom Thibodeau . But there has to be a reason why this team was so successful this season and easily ran away with their division and in becoming the number one seed in the Eastern Conference . It solely wasn’t down to the heroics of Derrick Rose and his sensational season because he was ably assisted by his teammates who all bought into Thibodeau’s coaching philosophy , strategies and the lessons of his coaching staff .

The Bulls in the first round have had their struggles against the Frank Vogel coached Indiana Pacers . But in essence if the Bulls are being viewed as inexperienced then how should one judge the Pacers as a team overall …………… over achievers having made it into the playoffs with a 41-41 record ? Last night’s victory by the Bulls in game three essentially sowed up the series with a hard fought victory and all but insurmountable 3-0 series lead . The Pacers’ best player Danny Granger had a chance of winning the game in the dying moments but his three point attempt was a belated and off target effort . TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley was succinct as ever in describing the effort as ‘ garbage’. But if anything Granger wasn’t at all to blame because on close inspection were it not for the harassing defensive play and effort by the Bulls’ Luol Deng the shot may well have been a game ending winner for the Pacers. Instead they now face a series saving game four on Saturday against their conference rivals . Staving off defeat, elimination and living to fight another day is what both Vogel and his team are looking to achieve. But given the effort that has been put forth by this team and the fact that they seem to be their own undoing at the most inopportune of moments I for one can’t see them having the wherewithal or temerity to pull off the win and then trying to win the series outright ! They simply haven’t played consistently enough to convince me that they’re anywhere near the equal of the Chicago Bulls as a team.

As to the chances of Tom Thibodeau as a first year coach taking his team to the NBA Finals , well those chances seem to have improved greatly based upon his team’s efforts so far. One more win and the Bulls make the Eastern Conference Semi Finals where they would meet the winners of the series between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks . And that series at the moment favors the Celtics with Doc Rivers’ team now up 2-0 in the best of seven series . Game two at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston , Massachusetts , saw the Celtics eke out a hard fought 96-93 victory over the Knicks . But for the heroic efforts of Carmelo Anthony and his 40 plus points in the game the Knicks would surely now be looking even demoralized . But instead they may well be even more galvanized knowing that the the next three games of the series are to be played at their home venue of Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York.

Though Tom Thibodeau may well be viewed as a first year coach, his coaching background and pedigree has proven to be invaluable. If anything the experience of having been assistant to both Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers gives him something of an advantage over the other coaches left in the Eastern Conference playoffs other than Rivers and the Magic’s Stan Van Gundy. His presence having been an assistant to a duo of coaches (Rivers and Popovich) who have won 5 NBA titles between has to be an asset rather than a disadvantage but yet I hear the naysayers out there stating that the Bulls simply aren’t good enough. If they’ve been good enough to essentially stroll their way to the conference’s best record with a series of notable team highs in terms of season success then why are they not good enough to win it all ? If their record isn’t an indictment of how good they are and that of their coach and his resume’ then what is ? It may well be the one thing that could stop the Bulls is simply that they don’t believe that they’re capable of winning it all which would be a given but would you really be willing to bet against a team who’ve proven to be hard to beat on their homecourt at the United Center and are just as difficult to beat away from home as their season schedule has undoubtedly shown us ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the topics raised within this piece and as such as the NBA Playoffs unfold what if anything so far has been of great interest you ? Simply chime in with your own comments and anything else that you may well feel pertinent to this piece .

Alan aka tophatal …………………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Indianapolis Colts Vice President and General Manager Chris Polian responds to a question during a news conference in Indianapolis, Friday, April 22, 2011. Polian talked about the 2011 NFL Draft that will be held next week in New York. AP Photo Darron Cummings ……

(2) NFL lawyer Jeff Pash speaks to members of the media after leaving court ordered mediation presided over by Judge Arthur Boylan at the U.S. Courthouse on April 20, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was order after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images ……

(3) NFL lawyer Bob Batterman and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell leave court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 20, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was order after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images …….

(4) Catcher Brian McCann(16) of the Atlanta Braves drops the ball as Jamey Carroll(14) of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides safely into home to tie the game in the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Braves 5-3 in twelve innings. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images ……..

(5) Matt Kemp(27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a game winning two-run home run in the 12th inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Braves 5-3 in twelve innings. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …….

(6) Matt Kemp, center , (27) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is mobbed by his teammates after hitting a two-run home run to win the game in the 12th inning against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images …….

(7) Dwight Howard(12) of the Orlando Magic shoots over Zaza Pachulia(27) of the Atlanta Hawks during game two Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..

(8) Joe Johnson(2) of the Atlanta Hawks rebounds against the Orlando Magic during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2011 at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Magic would defeat the Hawks 88-82 to level the series at one game (1-1) apiece . Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(9) Derrick Rose(1) of the Chicago Bulls shoots the ball while defended by Jeff Foster (50) of the Indiana Pacers in Game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 21, 2011 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Bulls won 88-84 to take a 3-0 lead in their best of seven series . Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ……

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MLB News

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Results 20 th April 2011

NFL News

NBA News

NBA Playoffs 2011

NBA Results from 21st April 2011

NBA Games scheduled for 22nd April 2011

Boston Celtics vs New York Knicks

Orlando Magic vs Atlanta Hawks

Los Angeles Lakers vs New Orleans Hornets

NBA scheduled games Saturday 23rd April

NBA scheduled games Sunday 24th April

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

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

15 thoughts on “Brief But Not Breaking Sports Stories …………..”

  1. This just in folks Mike DAntoni has begun to realize that not only does his job stink ……….. but so does his whole friggin team . Now down 3-0 in the series ….. the only way isn’t up for the Knicks it’s actually down ! . Don’t kid yourselves that they’re not about to swept and they were never that good to begin with ! Relevant ? They’re about as relevant as a used condom would be to a hooker or a female would be to a homosexual in a room filled with males of his own sexual preference .

    Look I don’t know where I went wrong or why this team isn’t as good as Spike Lee , Denzel and Chris Rock think that they are !

    tophatal ……………..

    Like

    1. al clements

      Will you be engrossed by the events surrounding the NFL Draft ?

      It’s getting ridiculous to think that the league believes that the vast majority of fans will actually be interested ? I think not !

      tophatal ……..

      Like

  2. In the end the fans can’t wind up hating the players. This is bad for PR. The owners have the up hand. Why? they are the owners. The owners can’t afford to have us not paying the freight and watching the games. Let the Dodgers go broke and get soemone to buy them out. Bud Selig is an idiot. Baseball is a business. Business’s go broke all the time.
    MCCourt is an idiot too.

    Like

  3. Happy Easter, man.

    Who’s crying more today? Brandon Roy for not getting enough PT then hitting yesterday’s game-winner or Mike D’Antoni demanding Charles Barkley apologize for saying he’ll eventually get fired?

    Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      Roy’s crying because he now knows he’s going to get paid because of his heroics . I mean if the Blazers let him go there’s going to be a slew of teams after him . As for D’Antoni he really needs to change his mindset as it relates to coaching and his defensive strategies or lack of ’em as the case maybe !

      Chris the gestation period for a pregnant female pachyderm is a work in progress ! The Knicks are a fu_king mess from top to bottom ! Who the hell puts together a team that has no cohesion whatsoever ? And idiots out there were trying to suggest that they’re relevant once again because they made the playoffs ? What a joke !

      Barkley is right he will eventually get fired once those buffoons Dolan and Walsh pull their heads from out of each others’ ass !

      D’Antoni couldn’t find his way out of a mineshaft if he’d been handed a flashlight and a map as an assist . He’s no coach merely someone playing the role of one !

      tophatal …………..

      Like

    2. Chris

      SVG needs to read the business bible ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ ! But in his case I don’t believe he’s intelligent enough !

      tophatal ……………

      Like

    1. chappy

      Kemp as well as the rest of this Dodgers’ team may well have something to prove . Because if things get much worse this team and organization could very well be folded because of the mess that McCourt got them into ! .

      Eli Broad

      Local Los Angeleean billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad says he ….. has no interest in buying the team whatsoever .
      Can you blame him ?

      Enjoyed the Easter however got into it at a sports bar with some idiots who were belittling a young vet that’d lost right arm and leg below the knee to an IED in Iraq . I told ’em they could either shut the f_ck up leave the kid alone or have me beat the shit out of them for good measure as it was their choice . The kid was there with some other vets who also happen to be slightly or seriously injured to some degree . As a former a active service military member (Royal Marine) I can’t stand shit like that when these guys have sacrificed so much and then essentially get spat upon when they return home ! The two guys in question left but not after throwing some racial epithets my way . Which I in turn replied …” I’d be glad to make sure that the next time I saw their mothers I’d make sure t o pay them both for services rendered of the sexually and orally explicit kind ” ! To which the whole bar burst out laughing when I said it out loud .

      tophatal …………..

      Like

    2. chappy

      That’s about the only positive thing one can say about the Dodgers and that’s that they’re actually winning where it matters and that’s on the field of play. Because off it they’re a god damn mess ! How can the likes of Colletti and LaSorda keep a straight face knowing that they’ve in part contributed to this fuc_king mess ?

      It certainly hasn’t been McCourt alone suborning this crap as they must’ve known what was going on . It’s like watching the CEO and main executives of a company actually pillage it for their own personal gain . My question is however what the hell and where has Selig been in all of this ? It takes a team to actually crumble before his fuc_ing ass steps into the fray ?

      Baseball’s hierarchy and owners collectively are a bunch of fuc_ing as_holes !

      tophatal …………….

      Like

  4. There’s no way the Dodgers are going to be folded. If that were to happen, then MLB gets stuck with a big chunk, if not all of the team’s debt. Essentially what MLB is doing now is the same thing Jamie McCourt did; divorce Frank. Once the financial Gordian knot the Dodgers became is cut, there are simply too many tangible assets that make the Dodger franchise too valuable, even if MLB may be forced to sell it cheap.

    Like

    1. JW

      Don’t be so sure . Look at how close both the Cubs and Rangers were before a buyer was found for both organizations . Each team had been placed into bankkruptcy protection within the Federal Bankruptcy Courts . So don’t count that out given the fact that there are no takers for the team . It could very well be the same for the Mets as well as simply nothing is off the table at this juncture . Banks aren’t going to provide funding the to league not in this climate without there being assured guarantees . So as of now it’ll be the owners in part assuring that the Dodgers remain in tact along with the league hierarchy .

      They can’t afford to sell it cheap and not be able to cover the team’s debt . So that’s out of the question or the league will be on the wrong end of a major legal litigation and a major lawsuit .

      The creditors will want their money as it (Dodgers) is now in Selig’s hands they’ll want to go after the league rather than McCourt .

      Pray do tell what tangible assets the Dodgers possess at the moment ? Dodgers Stadium ? You’re kiddin’ right ?

      If billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad says he doesn’t want or have an interest in buying the team that should tell you something .

      tophatal ……………….

      tophatal ……………

      Like

    2. JW

      The Dodgers have no tangible assets at all . The stadium isn’t prime real estate and no creditor would want to hang unto it for the long term. So the only thing that might be left for the league is to actually go to their creditors and try to work something out . Because if it goes to Federal Bankruptcy Court then absolutely no one wins under those circumstances .

      tophatal …..

      Like

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