Thrill , Spills And Whatever Else Befalls The Game of Baseball Down The Stretch ……

Thrill , Spills And Whatever Else Befalls The Game of Baseball Down The Stretch ……

It’s now extremely hard what to make of the baseball season and how things seem to playing out . There now seems to be only one divisional race of real intrigue or interest . And that would appear to be the AL East , although there’s still a great deal to be said about the intrigue and suspense taking place within the NL West where a mere two games separate the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks (70-59) from the San Francisco Giants (68-61).


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Slide show for your perusal .

With the always competitive AL East we have come to expect seeing both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees fight for divisional supremacy. So much so , that it comes a surprise when neither team sits atop of the division at season’s end. At this point last season the races were somewhat different in terms of the teams vying for a divisional title as well as a wildcard berth and one would expect it to be the same for this year .

Within the NL Central it would appear that the St Louis Cardinals may well be out of the running for the division as they now sit some ten games behind the Milwaukee Brewers . And as with any ball-club around the league injuries and team inconsistency has played its part in the problems for Tony La Russa’s team . Certainly the manager and his coaching staff have tried to get the best out of this team but if anything it has been the dominant and overpowering play of the Milwaukee Brewers that has simply bewildered the Cardinals throughout the month of August . And with the Brewers now intent on making a postseason run it will be interesting to see what Ryan Braun , Prince Fielder and their teammates are able to achieve over the remainder of the season .

To say that I am surprised by the play of Arizona Diamondbacks this season would be an understatement ! If anything I felt that the NL West would be a division where the duel would be between the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers . If anything there’s more drama to be had off the field concerning the Dodgers than there is to seen on the field in terms of their play . And even if Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw are said to be having exemplary seasons for the team , it has been the odious behavior and idiocy of the organization’s front office executives that has shone more light on the Dodgers that is unfavorable than the ball club would prefer to have. Team owner Frank McCourt has hamstrung the Los Angeles Dodgers in such a way that it would seem impossible that anyone could look upon this organization favorably in terms of it being a viable takeover target . The ball-club’s situation hasn’t been helped by the complete ineptitude shown by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and the league hierarchy . Selig’s own lack of real action has to come into question concerning this matter. If anything , it has been all too little , and all too late !

I am not so sure what to make of the Cleveland Indians this season , as they’ve simply lured their fans the public alike into thinking that this was a resurgent team once again. Nothing could be further from the truth as their play or should one lack of play , has led them to simply fall from grace within the AL Central . I’ve no doubt that Manny Acta and his coaching staff have to be disappointed with the effort put forth by this team but if anything I feel that a preponderance of the blame lies with the front office led by GM Chris Antonetti under the auspices of team owner Lawrence Dolan . The organization has sought to pare down salary but at the same time the moves made this season during the trade deadline haven’t at all panned out . The team’s biggest acquisition Ubaldo Jiminez has simply been average this season and in particular during his spell with the Cleveland Indians . But to suggest that it has simply been the pitching that has let the team down would be remiss because from an offensive standpoint , here too ball-club has been nondescript .


Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (30) of the Cleveland Indians sits on the bench after being taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images ………….

Now as we approach the final month of the season with there still be a number of teams still vying for some semblance of consistency as their year winds down. Most definitely within the AL and NL we have seen the teams give the best of themselves by way of their play. But at the same time I am very sure that a great many fans have at times been disappointed with their respective ball-clubs and their lackluster effort .

There’s a great deal to be said also for the players in contention for the major individual awards this season. The usual suspects are front and center wherein we could well see one or two surprises amongst the claimants for the Cy Young Award , Rookie of The Year , MVP Awards within both divisions as well as the Manager of The Year . Last season those winners offered up a mirror image on the year as a whole in terms of the performances and that of the divisional winners .



Picture gallery for your perusal .

What are your impressions of the MLB season and how do you view things panning out given the fact the waiver deadline will soon be upon us ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and always thanks for the continued support !

Alan aka tophatal ………………..

Contact tophatal via these social media services ………. ……….


(1) New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi , left, talks to starting pitcher CC Sabathia during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The Athletics won 6-4 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II ….

(2) Ryan Roberts (14) and Chris Young (24) of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate after a 4-2 victory against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 24, 2011 in Washington, DC. Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images ……..

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Juan Rivera , right, scores ahead of the tag from St. Louis Cardinals catcher Gerald Laird during the third inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011, in St. Louis. The Dodgers won 9-4 . AP Photo/Jeff Roberson …….

(4) CLEVELAND, OH – AUGUST 24: Catcher Miguel Olivo (30) and closing pitcher Josh Lueke (31) of the Seattle Mariners celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 9-2 to take the series 3-1 at Progressive Field on August 24, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images ……

(5) Starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez (30) of the Cleveland Indians sits on the bench after being taken out of the game during the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on August 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images ………….

(6) From left to right , GM Chris Antonetti , alongside Cleveland Indians’ owner Larry Dolan and minority stake owner Mark Shapiro , far right . Shapiro remains with the ball-club serving in a role as its President . AP Photo/ Mark Sturridge ……


MLB news

MLB Standings as of 24th August 2011

MLB Wildcard standings

MLB Schedule 3 days at a glance

MLB results 23rd August 2011

MLB results 24th August 2011

MLB probable starters 25th August 2011

ML team stats : Overall

American League

National League

MLB Team salaries 2011

NB: Written as of 08/24/11 but set for publishing 08/25/11

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

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

11 thoughts on “Thrill , Spills And Whatever Else Befalls The Game of Baseball Down The Stretch ……”

  1. Kirk Gibson has really turned the Diamondback’s season around. My vote for N.L. Manager of the year.
    The Yankees or Red Sox should win the A.L., but it will be hard for any team to beat the Phillies.
    Verlander should win the Cy Young in the A.L. and Jeremy Hellickson should get Rookie of the Year consideration.
    Have a good weekend my friend!


    1. aero

      It’s true with regard to Kirk Gibson and I feel that he’s rightfully due NL Manager of the Year consideration . They’ve (Diamondbacks) come out of nowhere to upset the applecart within the NL West , albeit that there are some are trying to use the Giants’ injury issues for their malaise but it has gone way beyond that as the team has been annoyingly inconsistent throughout much of the season .

      Verlander should win the AL Cy Young and in terms of the ROY Award I think they Hellickson should get the nod amongst the AL aspirants . In the NL it remains to see how things will pan out . I simply can’t wait for the postseason to begin !

      Stay safe and have a great weekend !

      Mallory Dylan …..femme fatale and erstwhile Playboy model


      tophatal …………… 😛


  2. The Indians seem to be fading. I was rooting for them, but they’ve had so many injuries to important bats in that lineup it will probably end up being too much to overcome. This is the best time of year for baseball, well unless your team is out of it. In that case, I guess the year was over by the all-star break 🙂


    1. chappy

      The acquisition of Jiminez not withstanding there has been being done by this team that suggested to me that they’ve a chance of passing the Detroit Tigers within the NL Central . And them now getting Thome to my mind is simply another way to gather some euphoria for the fans rather than the team looking to be competitive within the division . Unless there’s a complete meltdown by the Tigers during the month of September then the Cleveland Indians haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of a berth in the postseason . They’re now 13 games out of a wildcard berth and given their results in August and their schedule in September what do you make of their chances ?

      And given their recent history and postseason travails I think it’s safe to say that the Indians have shot their load like a guy who’s suffering from ED !

      Not even this pic could now lift the Indians out of their doldrums !



      tophatal ………….

      tophatal ……………..


  3. The indians are pretty much dead unless Jim Thome can ignate them. the Cards are dead in the water. In the NL West- This will be nut cutting time. San Fran is hurting-their closer is out. the AL East is a race between the Yanks and Red Sox. The loser has the wild card. In the AL west- Texas and the Angels are battling it out. Two games are separatingt them with a huge weekend series beginning tonight. My pick is the Angels in the west.


    1. al clements

      The Pirates’ misfortunes came from injuries , lack of veteran leadership and really poor coaching from the staff when it mattered most . Never mind the fact they’ve been negligent where it matter most and that’s seeking to improve the roster through meaningful acquisitions . Huntington is a cheap bastard ! They’ve no hope in hell of anything this season even quite possibly of ending up with a winning record .

      Karina Hart says she’ll bare all if Bob Nutting and the entire front office of the Pirates simply sell the organization and rides off into the sunset .

      If Nutting as team owner is willing to sell immediate then Hart and her pal Ashley Ellison will provide the fans with a show .

      tophatal …………


  4. The Rays, as we both knew, are likely going to miss the playoffs, despite a relatively successful season.

    I’m wondering how close Major League Baseball is to expanding the wild card. The Rays are a franchise that will definitely benefit from that happening.


    1. Chris Humpherys

      Miss the playoffs ? Hell , not only have they missed the target but one could have sworn that Stevie Wonder were guiding this team . Lack of run support , inconsistent pitching and simply put a front office that’s hamstrung because of lack of financial resources . Keep on with that , hope of an expanded playoff system to cure what ails the Rays because that won’t be it . It won’t assist the organization in becoming any better at all . That’s simply Selig’s idea of putting a Band Aid on an abdominal gunshot wound that’s hemorrhaging blood violently . Get real, ’til they’ve (Rays) enough money to play with the big boys they’re simply going to be viewed as an organization being viewed as on the next rung down from the elite teams ( AL stats ) within the game.

      An expanded playoff system won’t help at all without the league hierarchy , team owners and union addressing the real issues that the game faces . It’s all pie in the sky bulls#it now coming from the fans and the league rather than looking at the matter intelligently .

      Look at Rays’ position not only within the AL East but also in terms of a wildcard berth and you’re telling me that even with two additional berths you could see them making a difference ? In what way ? Clue me in .

      tophatal ……….


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