Oh The Tom Foolery ………..

Oh The Tom Foolery ……..

In the aftermath of the All Star Game and the shambles that we all witnessed was in essence a clear indication that the league hierarchy couldn’t sell donuts to a room filled with cops , much less have the fans wanting for more. Much of the idiocy stems from the mere fact that the team owners and hierarchy are bereft of creativity and ideas . Can we have a show of common sense from anyone within the game for merely a brief minute ? I was once told by a patron that my ideas as it relates to talking about sports economics were way off base. But herein lies the fact this individual’s idea is to opine about the young players and that the teams are building for the future and they will somehow garner success .. He simply works on supposition, rather than the realities in the midst of the game at present . It may well work within his own mind but in the real world that’s simply not the case .

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Slide show for your perusal .

There have been a number of suggestions to try and make the game more appealing to the fans , many of which are plausible but on the whole they would not necessarily cure what ails the game . Realignment of the divisions is simply placing a Band Aid on an open festering wound which in the end will do more harm than good . Not that I am not partial to a great deal of blood but that scenario simply creates false hope when there is none ! The one issue that the league hierarchy and owners refuse to get themselves involved in is that of the financial imbalances as it relates to the teams and the mere fact that they are unwilling to adopt a hard salary cap . They would rather simply continue to shoot themselves in the foot until they either end up crippled or paralyzed . And as we can see this is now being borne out by the ever growing problems for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets .

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New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson (14) is helped to first base by manager Joe Girardi after being hit by a pitch form Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price ) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Yankees won 4-0 . AP Photo / Joe Blanco …

New York Yankees’ out-fielder Curtis Granderson in a candid interview with the Ft Worth Star -Telegram stated that when he now looks up into the stands he finds it a rarity to see an African American face in attendance . The player then went on to suggest that with a dwindling of ethnic players from his own race leads him to believe that the league hierarchy is doing a poor job of luring the fans to the game . And that is in spite of baseball’s RBI (Reviving Baseball In The Inner Cities) initiative in the inner cities across the country . I wonder how that is actually working out , given the expense and working in conjunction with a number of organizations as well as various school systems ? According to the league hierarchy there are over 200,000 participants across the country involved in this (RBI) all but it is difficult to decipher what the findings have led to at the professional level. From my perspective this is simply another one of Bud Selig’s warped ideas that is akin to throwing up fecal matter against the wall and then going with what sticks ! The commissioner hasn’t had an insightful or succinct idea in two decades but if anything should their be an act of flatulence on his part you can’t be sure whether or not he’ll sneeze or his head might explode .

Courtesy of USA Today

Curtis Granderson: Where are all the black fans?

By Seth Livingstone USA Today

New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson isn’t telling Major League Baseball anything it doesn’t already know.

Baseball appears to lack appeal and access to some blacks , whether they are participants or fans. And Granderson wasn’t necessarily trying to stir the pot when he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Count the number of African-American fans.”

On a recent trip to Texas, Granderson said it was difficult to push the count to double digits.

“At first, it starts off as a joke (with teammates),” Granderson said. “As the game moves on, you’ll get to 10, or maybe 15. Depends on where you are, too. Places like Chicago or New York, other places it’s easy. (In Texas), it’s hard. So after a while it becomes, ‘Told you so.

As it was reported in April , the percentage of black players dropped to 8.5% on opening day this year, down from 10% at the start of last season and its lowest level since 2007, according to the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. More than 80% of NBA players are African-American and the percentage of black players in the NFL is more than 60%.

Possible reasons appear myriad for baseball’s drop in black players. The Star-Telegram cites costs for equipment and league participation as possible reasons for baseball’s lack of appeal, to say nothing of admission prices.

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Click on link to read this article in its entirety

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I’ve long held the contention that Branch Rickey’s social experiment to integrate the game by bringing Jackie Robinson and making him the first minority to play in MLB was simply done for business reasons and little else . Integrating the game was one thing but given the fact that those attending the games were separated along racial lines while at the same time the US military itself still had yet to be fully integrated shows that not only had the game along way to go socially but also the country as well . Robinson as a player was not only open to a torrent of racial abuse but also threats upon his life by racially intolerant fans as well as many of his fellow players and from the owners within the game .

Now I would like to think that the game of baseball has made enormous strides and it has in a number of areas but the game has yet to have an African American owner in the modern era . Though it can claim that it has had a select number of managers and executives holding the position of general manager of a ball-club. The game has yet to have an African American owner and at the highest level of the game where ownership of a team would be a sign of a real break through this has yet to happen. Baseball has a number of acute issues that it needs to address , their RBI initiative being one of them but I certainly don’t believe that Bud Selig is the man to be leading that charge ! What he lacks in outright candor he more than makes up for that with his asinine edicts and complete lack of intelligence ! That asides the team owners simply love the fact that his lips are placed so firmly on their sphincters as and when needed . At the same time Michael Weiner who succeeded Donald Fehr as the executive director of the MLBPA has shown little to suggest that his tenure will be any different from that of his predecessor . Suffice to say that the game of baseball is now being ran by a group of individuals who are akin to headless chickens running around in a chicken coop waiting to die as they bleed to death profusely.

Did I miss something ? The NBA hierarchy has seen fit to publicly release the 2011-12 NBA schedule while they are involved in the midst of what they claim to be a labor dispute . Last I looked this was simply about money and who was actually garnering the bigger slice of a multi billion dollar piece of the pie ! The NBPA guided by executive director Billy Hunter and their President Derek Fisher have all but said that they are not prepared to concede to any request or requests from the league unless they are prepared to make concessions themselves . This dispute has all the making of being a bitter contentious battle from which no side will come out of it unscathed . The union’s executive committee have kept their members abreast of the ongoing deliberations much of it behind closed doors with the press and public not really being informed of the meetings . But as usual we can rely on ESPN to inform us of the latest by their usual group of insiders.

David Stern may well have bitten off more than he can chew in seeking to institute a stoppage and no doubt his ego has taken a beating . The team owners may well be sticking behind him at this juncture but sooner or later the likes of Mikhail Prokhorov , Jerry Buss , Peter Holt , Mark Cuban and James Dolan will decide to voice their opinions as to the impasse between the two sides .

The NBA hierarchy and owners have been a law unto themselves showing their gullibility , naivete but above all sheer idiocy in thinking that they could spend money at will while seeing their revenues decline . The soft salary cap instituted by the league of $ 57 million but several teams have exceeded that figure as they chased winning an NBA title . The two finalists from this past season’s Finals between them had a combined salary exceeding $125 million , hardly a figure that David Stern would actually care to discuss .

I find it somewhat ironic while the teams are pleading poverty they’re spending money as if there’s no tomorrow . Leading the charge are the idiot general managers of the game who’ll do just about anything including selling their first born if it guarantees success . Perhaps a clear indication of such inanity were the trades made by the Orlando Magic and their GM Otis Smith as they sought a championship. One only has to look at the team’s roster and their salary implications to see that Smith simply encumbered the organization with so much dead weight that it was laughable to watch the team play .

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Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard sits after the Magic’s 84-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Atlanta. AP Photo/John Amis ….

For Bob Vanderweide the COO & President of the Orlando Magic and the other senior executives this will be a trying time for the club. Not only do they have to deal with the financial implications of the team commitment in salaries but there’s also the growing belief that Dwight Howard may well seek to opt out of the final year of his contract and seek to ply his trade elsewhere . There’s no denying that a player of Howard’s caliber would be the envy of the teams around the league willing to acquire the player. But what would the Magic be seeking in return for the player if a deal were to be made ? Given the stakes as they stand and what this could very well mean for the organization it is hard to see anything advantageous for the team coming out of such a transaction ! Dwight Howard may well now feel that the Orlando Magic are not capable of winning a championship and the best opportunity for him as a player lays with another team. That team could very well be the Los Angeles Lakers if the rumors circulating are to be believed .

There’s no doubt in my mind that Mitch Kupchak , Jim Buss and Jerry Buss would pull the trigger on such a deal to land Dwight Howard and then for all essence and purpose the Lakers would have their own equivalent of the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” of Chris Bosh , LeBron James and Dwyane Wade . The Lakers’ answer would be the teaming of Howard to play alongside Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant . And I’m sure for newly installed coach Mike Brown this would give him the added assurance that the teaming of the three along with the other players on the roster would be of benefit to the organization and fans . Whether or not such a scenario arises remains to be seen but there’s no denying that this would be an enticing situation for all of the parties involved should it start to foment within each of the front offices in question.

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NBA Commissioner David Stern, right, pictured with Deputy Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer Adam Silver , said in a news conference Thursday that the league is seeking to cut payroll and benefits for players by about a third. AP Photo/ Phil Reed …

As to David Stern’s own ego , it may well be plausible to make next season’s schedule public as a means of showing the fans the NBA ……. is still business as usual . But at present there is nothing at all to suggest that the league and the players are any closer to reaching a compromise much less the fact they are ready to actually get back to the courts . For a number of player who have sought to ply their trade overseas until the lockout ends they get the chance to hone their skills and take in some culture while pocketing a sizable amount in compensation. For others at the lower rungs of the food chain that are not so lucky there’s isn’t a great deal that they can do other than to sit , wait to be notified as to what is going on by their player representatives from the NBPA. Chances are that they too after a while will become fed up of the situation and voice their concerns but I’m guessing that’s a long way off if they now view the situation where they have both and Stern and the owners by the balls !

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Picture gallery for your perusal.

As to the points raised within this piece do you feel that Curtis Granderson’s claims are to an extent valid ? And what recommendations would you make in order to lure not just more minorities to take an interest in the game but also to make baseball more appealing for the fans ? And where do you see the NBA now going from here in terms of the ongoing dispute ? Please leave a comment as you would deem fit and thanks for the continued support !

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

Contact ……… rapptu@ gmail.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) A fan holds up a sign during the ninth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 20, 2011 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Rangers 9-8 . Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images ….

(2) Ryan Braun (8) of the Milwaukee Brewers celebrates with teammates in the dugout before umpires review instant reply on a possible home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on July 20, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The ball was called foul and the home run was taken back. The Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2 in 10 innings . Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …

(3) New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson (14) is helped to first base by manager Joe Girardi after being hit by a pitch form Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price ) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Yankees won 4-0 . AP Photo / Joe Blanco …

(4) ST. PETERSBURG, FL – JULY 20: Outfielder Curtis Granderson (14) of the New York Yankees scores on a first-inning home run against the Tampa Bay Rays July 20, 2011 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ….

(5) Branch Rickey (left) seen here with Jackie Robinson holding the plaque denoting his official enshrinement into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York . Also pictured is Robinson’s wife Rachel . Courtesy of White Archives …

(6) Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard sits after the Magic’s 84-81 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Atlanta. AP Photo/John Amis ….

(7) NBA Commissioner David Stern, right, pictured with Deputy Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer Adam Silver , said in a news conference Thursday that the league is seeking to cut payroll and benefits for players by about a third. AP Photo/ Phil Reed …

(8) From left to right Orlando Magic executives Alex Martins , Bob Vanderweide and Otis Grant take questions from the convened press at the team’s headquarters the Amway Center in downtown Orlando , Florida . Orlando Sentinel/ Michael Halloran ….

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15 thoughts on “Oh The Tom Foolery ………..

  1. I’m not saying that the league hierarchy and owners want a new initiative in place but segregating the fans along racial lines isn’t working and the attendance at games for teams is already on the decline. LOL,LOL,LOL !!! . Ah , Bud can point to the RBI ___ (returning baseball to the inner cities )initiative can’t he ? It’s not working Mr Selig can’t your dumb ass see that ? But there is a fun side to this all isn’t there the Pirates are actually winning and they could end with a winning season for the first time in almost two decades .

    She loves a curve ball but she also loves that “big stick” .

    Gum anyone ?

    Teach me how to hit this …… and you can definitely “hit this”.

    Perhaps one initiative that might work is to have fans like this interspersed in the stands ? That’d peak and create more interest in the game to be sure and it’d sure as hell have made the All Star Game a damn sight more eventful don’t you think ?

    Bud Selig couldn’t draw flies around a lump of shit even if he’d taken the dump himself !

    I’d rather see Dwight dress up in my wife’s panties and bra than see him wear purple and gold ” . Stan Van Gundy . “That’s not your wife told me as she says you’re the one who prances around the bedroom dressed in her clothes .” Otis Smith .

    Otis Smith come on down it’s time to have your testes removed and placed on a silver platter served to up to be ate by Stan Van Gundy .

    tophatal ……….

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  2. It is strange how baseball seems to be a white dominated sport. Maybe sports with sticks are meant for caucasians. Golf and baseball seem to be proof that they are.

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    1. chappy

      Nothing at all will be off the table for Lakers in terms of a major trade the only pieces untouchable on that team are Gasol and Bryant as all of the rest are fair game

      Bynum and Odom would be the obvious pieces to a trade given their salaries and that of Howard’s .

      I do believe that Howard will leave the Magic simply because the team isn’t good enough and their window of opportunity has been essentially shut . GM Otis Smith blundered seriously with the asinine trades this past season . Now in all likelihood his head as well Van Gundy’s will be on the chopping block this upcoming season if they can’t win . You simply have to look at the roster and the team stats to see how bad the team was .

      As for baseball being no longer alluring to the African American race well that’s simply not down to economics but the mere fact that the kids no longer find the game that appealing . There are now more kids playing soccer at the middle / high school and collegiate level than there are playing baseball . If anything however , look and identify more with the NBA and NFL more so than MLB . Never mind the fact that there isn’t really a prominent African American player that they can truly identify with . Torri Hunter is a damn ass, Ryan Howard simply isn’t there yet as being viewed the best among the African American players. Jimmy Rollins simply comes across as being too much of an introvert .

      All of the initiatives that baseball has brought in won’t work simply because they have lost track as to what brought them to where they are . They lost sight the moment they started to place profits before everything else and at the same time they have now actually begun to fuck up that situation wit the mess that now has engulfed the Dodgers and Mets . There are idiots within this forum like I said who’d rather opine on prospects than deal with what’s now happening in the game at present . Perhaps it’s because of their lack of insight as it relates to business ?

      Julri Water

      Selig simply is over rated in terms of the alleged contributions brought to the game . He had to be dragged kicking and screaming simply to adopt a drug policy and that’s still a damn joke . Furthermore it was because of him that baseball was actually dropped from the Summer Olympics . It had nothing to do with the game being unpopular at all as when asked by the IOC as whether or not MLB would adopt WADA's rules concerning testing he pointed to the MLBPA (union) as to the reason why. Who runs the fuc_king game the hierarchy or the god-damn union ?

      tophatal ….

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    2. So how would you explain the success of Vijay Singh , Lee Elder and Woods ? In the NHL there’s Jarome Iginla and Donald Brashear ?

      Jarome Iginla of the Flames


      Brashear who’s now involved with MMA

      Elder was the first African American to play a Major . Funny there’s always praise for the PGA amongst the likes of Nicklaus and Palmer but when there was outright racism and segregation in the game their voices were nowhere to be heard and they did little to show their outrage .
      Instead it was left to the South African Gary Player to show his disgust amongst the PGA . Kind of ironic don’t you think that a white South African would come to the defense of an African American and ask for his inclusion on the Tour but also to play in a Major ?

      tophatal ………

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  3. Oh and as for the Lakers pursuit of Dwight. I don’t see it happening for some reason. I have little faith in Jim Buss. I was shocked when they pretty much cleaned out the whole coaching staff and a lot of other positions in their front offices. Who knows though, the Lakers always find a way to make one of those lame blockbusters and set themselves up for another dynasty…

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    1. chappy

      It’s Jerry Buss show still and though the son , Jim had his input in the hiring of Mike Brown it all comes down to his say so in the end .

      Teams find it hard to develop talent merely because it’s now become win at all costs and the immediacy of the here and now . And that’s why see the teams making these kind of deals . The Heat in the advent of the Bosh and James’ acquisitions might just break even from a financial standpoint but Pat Riley would have preferred them winning the NBA title rather than being embarrassed by the Mavericks in the way that they were .

      Yanin Blanco-Breto

      tophatal ……

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  4. chappy

    The Lakers had to do something concerning the front office as it had become stale , lethargic and lackadaisical . Complacency had set in and it was also there on view for all to see with the players in the loss to the Mavericks . Sometimes it’s best to start afresh rather than continuing down the same path with the thought that things should remain the same . And that is what happened with the Lakers and I’d dare say that we could very well see some roster upheaval within the organization within the next few months . I see your boy is blowing his top once again about my comments concerning the Pirates ? Perhaps he ought to look and see how his Royals are doing at present as I’d rather not hurt his feelings !

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  5. Tophatal, I doubt there can be a hard salary cap. Seems like it would actually hurt the NBA not help. Interesting about the Granderson piece and never seeing a black face in the crowd. I mean baseball is predominantly a white sports although not entirely. Love Granderson, he’s really one of the great guys in the MLB

    Just put up a piece that I want to see if you could top. Your all-time embarrassing sports moment—>http://diehardsport.com/2011/07/21/diehardsport-moment/

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    1. If it is what the league hierarchy wants in conjunction with the owners then it can happen but much of that will take effect dependent upon the approach of David Stern as he looks to deliberate with the union . The people who hold sway in this all Derek Fisher as union president , his executive committee and the player representatives .

      Why do you believe that the NBA has pled poverty with regard to its finances ? Does it have more to do with them ( teams ) spending ostentatiously or more out of the players being overpaid for their talents ? Or do you believe that the players hold sway over the league and owners ?

      More than half the players in the league are now of minority descent with them coming from all of the globe that being said this is the very sport that trumpeted the entry of Robinson , Larry Doby and others from the African American background but it has little to show as of late in heightening the interest amongst that part of the racial group but somehow the teams are building multi million dollar facilities in the Caribbean and elsewhere to promote the game . But when was the last time you saw an ad promoting the game on national tv amongst the broadcast and cable networks ? The MLB league hierarchy couldn’t sell sand to the Arabs much less sell the sport to the masses .

      Robinson and Doby

      Granderson is having a sensational year as too is Teixeira , were it not for those two the Yankees’ offense would be anemic at best .

      tophatal …….

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    2. Diehard

      It has been the disregard of a salary cap that has led both baseball (MLB) and the NBA into the mess that they’re in at present . In the NFL it’s simply been the idiocy of the league hierarchy , owners and the NFLPA . Greed trumps everything it simply goes hand in hand with the stupidity being shown by the parties mentioned .

      If they’re not prepared to rein in costs but somehow think that they can continue raise prices thinking that the fans will continue to dole out their hard earned cash then they’re even bigger fools than first thought .

      tophatal ………

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  6. Why does it always become a racial thing?? Or then a money thing. Are there actually more whites in baseball? Same with hockey….seems to be mostly a white sport. what’s the percntage in football and roundball

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    1. al clements

      From my own perspective it’s not about money but what the governing body of the sport does to brand and market the game to its consumers . Baseball says that it has its RBI initiative in place but yet all they provide as information is that they 200,000 participants nationwide . They provide no stats as to the makeup of the attendees for game all they simply rejoice in is the legacy of Jackie Robinson . Less we forget the the stands were segregated and the player was subjected to a torrent of racial abuse from his own teammates initially as well as his peers and opponents , never mind the death threats from members of the public . If baseball wants to be seen as doing something fruitful here then they also ought to be seeking some productive input from the players , owners and the fans themselves instead of basking in their own limelight . Fuck it , it’s been years since Robinson retired and actually how far has the game really progressed not just socially but economically ?

      Bud Selig would rather see teams spending money abroad building baseball academies and still claim that those initiatives are for the betterment of the game here domestically .

      tophatal …..

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    2. al clements

      Granderson’s statement has more to do with the fact that there are now less African Americans now attending the games never mind the dwindling number of players of his own race involved in the game from the competitive standpoint. To me that’s something of an indictment and the hierarchy’s moves simply isn’t working . You have teams and the league itself building academies in the Caribbean and Latin America but here it’s simply a few mediocre tv ads and an asinine initiative ( RBI Returning baseball to the inner cities ) that hasn’t resonated at the grassroots’ level. 200, 000 alleged participants amongst millions of school kids is meaningless in terms of a return !

      tophatal ……

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      All of this could have been avoided with regard to the NBA but both sides simply underestimated the resolve of the opposing party.

      As for Dwight’s situation with all that he’s contributed to the Magic it’s now time for him to move on and even you have to admit that . I mean that team with him being surrounded by “busts” such as Arenas , Jason and Quentin Richardson won’t be anywhere close to winning an NBA title unless they all resort to having a sex change and play in the WNBA !

      Otis Smith fu_ked up royally with those dumb ass trades that simply made no sense whatsoever !

      The Magic’s front office simply needs to look over the roster and to assess both Van Gundy and Smith !

      tophatal ……….

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