What’s Happening In The World of Sports … ?

What’s Happening In The World of Sports … ?

Well now that the MLB season is slowly progressing towards its halfway point and with the league’s midseason showcase event due in July with the All Star Game being hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field , in Phoenix , Arizona. It well be interesting to see how the teams come into the break in terms of their overall form .


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Slide show for your perusal .

The standings at present reflect that Philadelphia Phillies seem to be intent on running away with the NL East . They currently hold a 5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves within the division and though it’s way too early to suggest that they will be playing for the NLCS during the postseason but it would appear that the only thing that can derail the Phillies’ season would be their own complacency . Within the NL Central and NL West it would appear the races there are too close to call between the top two teams within each division . Tight races tend to add a great deal more excitement to the season and there’s no doubt in my mind that’s what the fans really yearn . And that is liable to be the case at present within both of the divisions in question .

Within the AL it’s business as usual within the AL East where the Boston Red Sox are now prepared to show that their recent form isn’t merely an aberration. On a two game winning streak and winners of nine of their last ten games the Red Sox now look as if they’re look distance themselves from the rest of the division. Their 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field was certainly a hard fought win but that’s simply the mindset of what now is the most competitive division within baseball. This division to my mind will most certainly provide the wildcard entrant for AL without a doubt unless there’s a monumental meltdown by the runner up to the winner of the AL East.

As was the premise with the NL Central and NL West well once again here too the races may well be too close to call within the AL Central and AL West . What we can be certain of within both divisions is that the teams won’t be giving up until the divisions are mathematically out of their reach in terms of winning or possibly attaining that lone wildcard berth .

Now as much as I know that Commissioner Bud Selig the league hierarchy in conjunction with the team owners have proposed expanding the playoffs’ format by adding two more teams within each league . I certainly believe that the hierarchy’s biggest issue is to deal with the financial problems now engulfing a number of teams within the league rather than adding to the playoffs and further elongating the season far more than it needs to be. I mean it’s not as if Selig has actually shown the propensity for being proactive on any issue unless he’s dragged kicking and screaming , then being forced to make a decision. Simply look at the morass created by Frank McCourt with the Los Angeles Dodgers ? If that’s not enough of an indication to show mind numbingly slow Selig was in acting , given the fact that it had been widely reported that the franchise was financially troubled . Then clearly Bud Selig along with the owners and league hierarchy were in fact so naive but perhaps even more so , too damn stupid for their own good .

I’m not about to try understand the fascination with Ricky Rubio and the fact that the player now says he’s ready to play in the NBA . Granted , having been drafted in 2009 by the Minnesota Timberwolves , the player sought to forgo joining the organization and play an additional two years in Europe where the financial inducement there was far greater than the front office could have offered with a rookie contract. Team owner Glen Taylor and GM David Kahn now feel that the player having made the decision to join the team can provide them with the form and maturity that simply belies his age.

In the aftermath of a horrendous season the Timberwolves now have to deal with the disatisfaction of their incumbent coach Kurt Rambis and the mere fact that neither Glen Taylor or David Kahn have assured their beleaguered coach that he’ll be asked to return next season. With there not being a plethora of viable candidates out there to succeed Rambis should he be relieved of his duties . I would have thought that the the general manager and team owner would want to reassure the coach that his job is safe. Furthermore , with the NBA Draft due to take place on 23rd June I certainly would have thought that a coaching upheaval would be the last things that this franchise now needs . But herein lies the idiocy of how the Timberwolves have simply acted , as if in a vacuum and perhaps one of the reasons why they’ve simply had little success over the last five years. Beset by rather asinine personnel decisions made not only by Kahn but also his predecessor Kevin McHale this organization has never gained any traction in terms of success .

With the Minnesota Timberwolves having the number # 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft it will be interesting to see the decision made by the organization. As such there isn’t a genuine consensus number one pick but the thought is that the two most desirable players could well be Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams . From there , it’s anyone’s guess as to what format will be then taken in terms of the players taken in this Draft .

As the NFL work stoppage has already entered its ninetieth day I can’t help but wonder what the optimism amongst the team owners , league hierarchy and players appears to be about ! Hell, both sides have already alienated the vast majority of fans to begin with . And no amount of public statements coming from both sides concerning the progress now being made can simply hide the fact that what we have are two groups of greedy fucking bastards ! The average salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million per year with the median salary $770,000 and the average career span being approximately three and a half years . I understand that the players are entitled the highest possible salary available to them given the inherent risks of the game . But herein lies my question do they try and identify themselves with the fan out there ? I’ve heard a number of players during this stoppage state their issues are no different from that of any employee in the work place . Personally, I seriously doubt that the working fan who attends an NFL game can actually identify with the likes of Tom Brady , Peyton Manning or even Reggie Bush for that matter when their salaries run into the millions each season . Whereas as the average salary nationwide is approximately $44,000 per year , one can well understand that fan can hardly identify with a player who’s compensation package , endorsements notwithstanding can easily exceed $15 million a year.

From a fan’s standpoint , at this moment in time I couldn’t really care if the NFL starts on schedule as planned on the 8th September 2011 . Once this dispute came into being with a stoppage the NFL simply lost me and many others as long term fans . I’m of no doubt that they will however do their utmost to lure us all back with some form of inducement that we might too unbelievable to turn down . It has already began with a number of teams around the NFL in many cases offering deep discounts on for the purchase of season tickets and game day tickets in a number of instances .

So the US Open golf tournament is underway and all of this without the game’s biggest draw in Tiger Woods . The stage is set at Congressional Golf Club in Bethseda , Maryland for any one of a number of players to step into Woods’ shoes and show the fans they can become the main draw for the event . From my own standpoint the moment made the announcement that he wouldn’t be participating in the second Major of the season I simply knew that the tournament could either become a monumental disaster from spectators yearning for excitement . As it now stands the leaderboard for the tournament midway through two rounds isn’t exactly awe inspiring . Rory McIlroy leads the event with an eight stroke lead at -11 (11 under par). And to think that a patron stated that the player’s meltdown in the year’s first Major The Masters was simply because he wasn’t good enough . I guess when your knowledge of the game borders on the level of Palin’s knowledge of jurisprudence and the number of members seated on the US Supreme Court I guess you simply have to take that for all it’s worth ? Sitting solely in second place is Y. E. Yang at -3 , in third place is Robert Garrigus at .-2.

There is still two more rounds to be played in this tournament but if McIlroy is able to keep his composure with the pressure bearing down on him then it is my belief that he can win this tournament and cement his credentials as one of the best young players on the PGA Tour . Having already established himself on the European Tour as well as a member of a winning European Ryder Cup team the future bodes well for the young Irishman . In an earlier article I had intimated that I firmly believe that the US Open could be won by a foreigner as I felt that the US born players have now simply become too disinterested in their national championship and in large , the Majors themselves . With there being vast sums at stake on the Tour schedule and total prize money in excess of $ 225 million it begs the question are they actually interested in winning or merely cashing a check for a top twenty finish ?



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ………….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show for your perusal .


(1) Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard (6) celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run against the Florida Marlins in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Philadelphia. The Phillies won 3-0 . AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr ….

(2) PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 16: PHILADELPHIA, PA – JUNE 16: during the game against the at Citizens Bank Park on June 16, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 3-0. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images ….

(3) Outfielder B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays steals second base as shortstop Marco Scutaro (10) of the Boston Red Sox is late with the tag during the game at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(4) Pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with pitcher David Price (14) during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on June 16, 2011 in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Rays 4-2 Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(5) Spanish basketball player Ricky Rubio gives a press conference on June 17, 2011, at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, to announce that he was leaving the Catalan team to make his debut in the NBA next season at Minnesota Timberwolves.
AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGO /Getty Images …

(6) Head coach Kurt Rambis of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a play against the Houston Rockets during a game on April 13, 2011 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images …

(7) T’wolves’ GM David Kahn (foreground) and the team’s owner Glen Taylor answer questions from the convened press at a team press conference. picture appears courtesy of espn.com/ ap/photo/ Martin Geshell ……………….

(8) Tom Brady and Peyton Manning shake hands after an NFL game . The two celebrated quarterbacks are amongst the highest paid players in the NFL . Getty Images/ Jim Rogash ……

(9) BETHESDA, MD – JUNE 17: The handwritten scores of Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the press room during the second round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images ……

(10) Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland swings from the bunker on the ninth hole during the second round of the 111th US Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011, in Bethesda, Maryland. TOPSHOTS/AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON ….

(11) Y. E. Yang, of South Korea, watches his drive from the fourth tee during the second round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Bethesda, Md., Friday, June 17, 2011. AP Photo/Eric Gay …..


Sports News in general

MLB News

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB Scoreboard

MLB Results 16th June

MLB Probable starters

MLB Standings

MLB Standings wildcard

NBA News

NBA Draft

NBA Draft Order 2011

Minnesota Timberwolves history

Minnesota Timberwolves news

Minnesota Timberwolves front office

Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster

Minnesota Timberwolves team stats

Coach Kurt Rambis

NFL News

PGA Tour news

2011 US Open Leaderboard

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

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

16 thoughts on “What’s Happening In The World of Sports … ?”

    1. And now that McIIroy has laid to rest that myth of his being simply not good enough can we now all agree that he’s the best thing to happen in the game since Woods emerged in the latter part of the nineties ?

      The kid was insane posting four consecutive rounds in the 60’s !

      As for football I can’t say which’ll be more enticing to watch this upcoming season ! The NFL or College Football ? Each at present have their own inherent problems !


  1. The way it looks now the Rays and Yankees are playing for a chance at the wild card berth. The Red Sox look dominant, but one never knows, do one.
    The Phillies seem to be the class of the senior circuit with their four aces. It will be interesting to see if there’s a team in their league that can pull off an upset.


    1. aero

      The saying is ….” it ain’t over ’til it’s over ” ! A claim for that as now can’t really be made but I do feel that there’s still a great deal to be played for ! After the All Star break and barring major injuries we will see what the remainder of the season holds in store for the teams within the AL East . The only thing that can derail the Phillies now is their own complacency .

      tophatal ……..


  2. Rory had a big weekend. Looks like he learned a lot after choking at Augusta!
    Tough for me to figure out Rubio, because he wasn’t even starting in Barcelona how’s he going to do in the NBA if he was a back up overseas…


    1. Given the ad nauseum pieces written within this forum about McIlroy by individuals whose knowledge of golf borders on their knowledge of Quantum Physics it’s easy to understand the backdown now taking place . Ricky Rubio can perhaps now spend his time alongside Sebastian Telfair trading stories about their glamorous careers as professional basketball players ? Stranger things have been known to have happened wouldn’t you say ?

      tophatal ………….


  3. Not a huge golf guy, but it was good seeing Rory win. Perhaps his youth can regenerate excitement in the sport, since Tiger has fallen off the map.

    I too am curious to see what Ricky Rubio can do, if he indeed does come states side. Ive watched a few of his euro games , and he may not be the best scorer but he definitely can run a fastbreak. We tend to forget, the kids still young and raw. I don’t think anyone can be as big a bust as Telfair tho lol. He claimed be could be an all star in 3 yrs lol. I remember I saw Telfair play in the USA under 21s vs the All Euro team here in SA, and Telfair thought he was soo good that he couldn’t give us autographs. What a d bag.

    Anyone watching the sorry Gold Cup?
    I’ve been so bored I’ve had to resort to that.
    USA looks like shit as usual. Their offensive attack is soo dull and predictable. Resigning Bradley was the wrost decision for US soccer. I would not be surprised if we lost to Panama.

    NBA Draft coming up….which is the first Euro Player to be drafted????


    1. Well considering that for the second year in succession that the national title has been won by a foreigner I am surprised that it hasn’t begun to piss off a number executives within the USGA ! Tiger didn’t exactly fall off the map per say but you can understand what eating way too much pu##y can do for you on an empty stomach ? LOL,LOL ,LOL !!!

      Rubio can do no wrong in the eyes of David Kahn or team owner Glen Taylor . The jury will be out on this kid ’til he actually proves his worth in the NBA .

      Well given that Telfair is the cousin of Stephon Marbury what else would you have expected ? The apple doesn’t fall far from the proverbial familial tree at all !

      Joan or

      Rosie ?

      Oh yeah the CONCACAF Gold Cup elicits almost as much excitement as seeing nude pictures of either Joan Rivers or Rosie O’Donnell ! Take your pick between the two ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! I hear that Bob Bradley wants to join Anthony Weiner and take a leave of absence from team USA ?

      If the GM’s in the NBA could get a piece of Nowitzki’s DANA then a genetic off-spring of his would be the first European to be drafted .


  4. The Phillies are still struggling. Sure they have the best record in MLB but the bums will find a way to screw it up. The Phillies always do. I have been watching this crap since i was born in 1952. What average can afford to buy season tickets? Not me. A grand a pop is out of my league. Get real folks.


    1. Bobby Gee

      The only thing that can hurt the Phillies is their own over confidence and complacency . I don’t expect them to run away with the NL East but I do expect them to win it quite comfortably ! In the playoffs then it’s everyman for themselves . They’ll no doubt have success in the postseason and perhaps win it all as in many eyes they’re viewed as the presumptive favorites .

      Attendances are dwindling at a number of ballparks around the league not solely because of the economic climate but also because a number of teams are now said to be and viewed as being uncompetitive .

      Make of it what you will .

      tophatal ……….


  5. My latest piece begging us all to stop the Rory/Tiger and LeBron/Michael comparisons is up on the Chump.

    I will say this though. The kid did keep the crowd, and the viewing public, tuned in, which is impressive considering how big a lead he had.


    1. Chris

      You’ve got Kev saying that the kid give us a reason to watch the game but here’s my thing the same shit was being said about Ty Tryon , Dustin Johnson and a slew of others who’ve simply fell by the wayside . McIlroy may well pan out and he may not . And you’re right it’s way too soon to make even the slightest of comparison between the likes of McIlroy and Woods. I doubt that Kev would be able to tell you which player apart from Woods in the last five years have won multiple Grand Slam tournaments . What is it with these so called prognosticators out there ?

      What was impressive was the very fact that through each round his level play simply increased rather than simply slip up with multiple mistakes ! And that was what so telling about McIlroy over the course of the entire event !

      Four consecutive rounds in the sixties and the kid made it all look so friggin’ easy !

      tophatal ……….


    2. Chris

      I hear that Kareem is understandably pi#sed because his name is no longer used as a comparison in these debates ? Who’s better Kobe , MJ or LBJ ? I wonder why ?

      Nicholson’s idea of dealing with the management and Dodgers organization as a whole ! Here’s Johnny .

      So if Jack Nicholson does get a consortium together to buy the Dodgers will it at least peek your interest in the team ? I hear that we may well get to see nubile young cheerleaders as part of the entertainment as Dodgers Ballpark were that to happen along with Dyan Cannon showing off her melons ? Wouldn’t they as such look like wrinkled prunes ?

      Mom I don’t know that Bynum has ever had sex with a white woman but can we find out as a pair of groupies ?


    1. al clements

      Don’t know about you but after the bitching and whining of LeBron James and some members of the Miami Heat I’d be more inclined to watch porn than an NBA game involving specifically that team (the Heat that is ) !

      I simply touch myself just to feel happy ! Porn star Tera Patrick

      Mr President I think I gotta pee ! McKeon of the Marlins with then President Bush after the team had just won their second WS title .

      What does it suggest to you when an organization goes out and rehires an octogenarian who now ought to be spending his twilight years around his grand kids ? Jack McKeon may well have led the team to a title but man that was years ago .


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