When Push Comes To Shove …… Let ’em Eat Cake ………. !

When Push Comes To Shove …… Let ’em Eat Cake …… !

So the fallout has began in the aftermath of the Boston Red Sox’ s abrupt ending to their season . With that now has come the animus , finger pointing of course the blame game . From the front office on down there is plenty of blame to go around from the executives through to the coaching staff and the gluttony of high priced players on this roster .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Team President Larry Lucchino and the now departed general manager Theo Epstein had tried to apportion blame solely on former manager Terry Francona rather than the under achieving players such as Josh Beckett , John Lackey , Johnathan Papelbon and David Ortiz . Hints that Francona was going through marital problems , that he’d lost control of the team and the thought that Epstein and Lucchino had to sink to such levels merely to deflect the obvious that plainly put this whole mess was simply caused by their ostentatious spending in acquiring players who simply failed to deliver .

Principal partner John Henry , Tom Werner and their partners now have to deal with general manager search for a successor to Theo Epstein who accepted the offer fill the position vacated by former Chicago Cubs’ GM Jim Henry after he was fired team owner Tom Ricketts . The beleaguered organization having not won a World Series since 1908 and they haven’t won an NL pennant since 1945. That sort of ineptitude and lack of success has sorely embittered the long suffering Chicago Cubs’ fans .

This season was once again one filled with sheer ineptitude on the part of the team and Mike Quade and his coaching staff offered very little by way of their managerial acumen in stemming the tide of mediocrity shown on the field of play. Players such as Alfonso Soriano , Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez simply showed that they had nothing to offer the team . Therein lies the actual absurdity of the organization during Hendry’s tenure as they simply overpaid for the acquired talent .

If Theo Epstein is to prove to be the wunderkind that Tom Ricketts believes him to be then the organization can look forward to some semblance of success though not immediate by any stretch of the imagination . This is a roster that needs to be assessed by the general manager and I would dare say that the coaching staff will be summarily judged by him also ! I certainly don’t believe that Mike Quade has the wherewithal to make this team a serious and perennial contender for an NL pennant or for that matter the World Series ! The team’s prospects and farm system has what we are told is an abundance of talent but in debating as to whether or not patience amongst the fans will be further endured as Theo Epstein seeks to turn things around .

Wrigley Field may well be buzzing with excitement during the offseason as the fans , beat writers and local sports analysts debate and prognosticate what they expect to see in the future from the Chicago Cubs. From my own perspective I say let them do whatever it takes for them to feel at ease , after-all what’s another half a decade of ineptitude worth to this organization to begin with ? I mean it’s not as anyone truly believes that this time next season the Cubs could be part of baseball’s postseason showcase to begin with !

So after what we are now being told the NCAA and their exhaustive investigation of Auburn and their football program have found nothing untoward concerning the school’s recruitment of their Heisman Trophy award winning player Cam Newton . Auburn coach Gene Chizik no doubt relieved by those findings and the fact this season the coach and his staff will be looking to get this team up and going as they embark upon their schedule within the SEC .

I am not about to suggest that the NCAA simply whitewashed this investigation but clearly there seems to be something awry with this all . There’s a saying ………” where there’s smoke there is fire ” . And in the case of the Auburn Tigers as it relates to Cam Newton and the continued allegations as to how the player was seemingly recruited by the school has brought into question how a number of programs go about recruiting student athletes. Allegations being what they are when it has been widely reported that Newton’s father Cecil Newton sought to sell ….. his son’s talents to the highest bidder . The elder Newton , pastor of a church , was reticent in explaining the allegations when first raised, as to his actions concerning Cam Newton being shopped around like an illicit weapon on the “black market”.

Auburn’s AD Jay Jacobs after the NCAA’s findings states that he’s completely happy with there were no major transgressions by the program. As crazy as this may seem , if the athletics director believes that minor transgressions are good for the school then what should that indicate about Auburn as a place of academic and sporting excellence ?

If the school moves on from this episode then what I would like to know is how the NCAA handles the next such incident concerning the recruitment of a visibly high profiled athlete. Mark Emmert as the NCAA president has repeatedly seen the body he presided over severely criticized for their lack of authority , real transparency and even the credence to actually be impartial . I will continue to maintain the the institution is archaic , bureaucratically top heavy and seemingly at time out of touch with reality . If the Infractions Committee of the NCAA a de-facto agency of the institution can come up with this finding given the supposed facts and their own apparent in depth investigation I would like to know how it is this very same unit can be so out of touch with the events that are taking place across the entire collegiate athletics landscape . At some point in the future I am wondering what their findings will be concerning the University of Miami and the school’s football program . University president Donna Shalala and school AD Shawn Eichorst have continued to deflect their actions and association with now incarcerated felon Nev Shapiro and the very that the former Canes’ booster had simply flouted his association with the players and paying them surreptitiously . At this juncture should we now expect anything else from the NCAA concerning another charade about to be perpetrated by them ?

Image is everything and then it can mean absolutely but that clearly now seems to be the case for NBA Commissioner David Stern . The league hierarchy is now locked into a really contentious battle of wills with the NBPA (Players’ Association [union]). Stern and his union counterpart Billy Hunter the executive director of the union are at logger-heads in trying to reach an accord that would be beneficial to both parties .

Derek Fisher the union’s president and vice president Roger Mason Jr have been adamant that their union is not about to acquiesce to any of the demands from the league hierarchy and team owners for an equitable share in the league’s revenues . If neither party can come to a compromise then in all probability both sides will have to present their case to federal mediator . If that is to be the case and a court appointed mediator presides over a hearing , which now seems to be a certainty , then any sort of binding agreement could very well be to the detriment of both sides .

If NBA and NBPA seek jointly to present their case to the the FMCS (Federal Mediation & Conciliation Services ) before a mediator where the judgment would doesn’t necessarily have to be arbitrarily binding rather than going through litigation within the US Federal Courts then things could very well be to both parties’ liking . I am not so sure that anything at this juncture by way of any compromise will be truly vested in by either side. David Stern’s intransigence and the very fact that a number of franchise owners have not been entirely happy with his handling of these deliberations gives further credence that it may well be time for him to step down . With almost two decades plus as the league’s commissioner he seen the NBA’s revenues grow exponentially from being a minor blip on the sport’s landscape to where it now ranks second in revenues ($4.5 billion annually) attained of the four major professional sports.

The NBA would like to see an equitable share in revenues rather than the existing ratio of 53/47 in favor of the union . From the outset a case could be made that the owners wanted this all to be dealt with expeditiously but with the teams now said to be on course to lose approximately $ 30 million a month for each month that the league is inactive. Dan Gilbert , Rich DeVos , . Mikhail Prokhorov , Jerry Buss , Gavin_Maloof , Peter Holt , Mickey Arison and James Dolan over the course of time may well feel that the current situation as it now stands cannot go on in its present format . Clearly not when the very viability of the league and a number of franchises are clearly at risk . Some semblance of common sense and sanity now has to come into play at some point during this whole facade if there is to be a regular to season within the NBA .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Of the points raised within this topic which do you believe to be the most pertinent ? And what thoughts if any do you feel about the NCAA’s findings concerning Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

Alan aka tophatal ………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

http://facebook.com/tophatal

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http://twitter.com/#!/tophatal

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona pauses as he speaks to the media during a press conference, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011, in Boston. The Red Sox announced they will not pick up the option on Francona’s contract in the wake of the team’s September collapse. AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesfaye ….

(2) General manager Theo Epstein of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout before game two of the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays during the at Tropicana Field on October 10, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. According to reports October 12, 2011, Epstein, who has one-year left on his contract with the Red Sox, has agreed with the Chicago Cubs to a five-year $15 million contract to join their front office, but compensation for the deal has not been reached between the two teams. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images …..

(3) Theo Epstein is seen here alongside Terry Francona at Fenway Park , Boston , Massachusetts , home to the fabled ballclub . Getty Images / Matthew Sharpe …..

(4) Red Sox owners Tom Werner (left) and John Henry held up the 2007 World Series trophy for the fans who lined up outside Fenway Park . Boston Globe /Matthew J Lee ……

(5) Carlos Marmol (49) of the Chicago Cubs, right, is congratulated by Koyie Hill (55) after getting the final out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on September 27, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Cubs won 6-2 . Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images ……

(6) First baseman Carlos Pena (22) of the Chicago Cubs catches the ball as Jeremy Hermida (47) of the San Diego Padres dives back to the base during the game against at Petco Park on September 26, 2011 in San Diego, California. Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images …..

(7) Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry (left) is seen here with the team’s manager Mike Quade (center) and club owner Tom Ricketts. Hendry was relieved of his position as general manager by Ricketts in what as seen as an upheaval within team’s front office . Chicago Tribune/ Mark Salter ….

(8) Auburn coach Gene Chizik walks the sidelines during the first half of the NCAA college football game with Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011. Auburn would go on to lose the game to the Razorbacks 38-14 . AP Photo/Danny Johnston ……

(9) CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson (R) and head coach Gene Chizik look on as quarterback Cam Newton (2) of the Auburn Tigers accepts the MVP trophy after their 56-17 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2010 SEC Championship at Georgia Dome on December 4, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images /Kevin C . Cox ……

(10) Auburn head coach Gene Chizik is seen here the school’s athletics director Jay Jacobs at Chizik’s formal introduction as the new head coach of the football team. An outspoken opponent of Gene Chizik’s hiring at the time was none other than Auburn alum Charles Barkley . AP Photo / Jamie Martin …….

(11) Derek Fisher , president of the NBA players union, talks with reporters, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. NBA Commissioner David Stern canceled the first two weeks of the basketball season after players and owners were unable to reach a new labor deal to end the lockout. AP Photo/David Karp …….

(12) NBA Commissioner David Stern, right, and his Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver leave an NBA labor talk meeting, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. Stern canceled the first two weeks of the basketball season after players and owners were unable to reach a new labor deal to end the lockout. Opening night was scheduled for Nov. 1. AP Photo/David Karp ……

(13) Billy Hunter, executive director of the NBA players union, arrives for labor talks, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. Facing a Monday deadline to reach a deal or have regular-season games canceled, NBA owners and players have resumed talks toward ending the lockout. AP Photo/Louis Lanzano ……

(14) San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt arrives for labor talks, Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, in New York. Facing a Monday deadline to reach a deal or have regular-season games canceled, NBA owners and players have resumed talks toward ending the lockout. AP Photo/Louis Lanzano …….

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MLB news

Boston Red Sox news

Chicago Cubs’ news

MLB postseason schedule

MLB results 13rd October 2011

Game 5 ALCS

Texas Rangers Tigers —- @ —- Detroit Tigers

Starting pitchers —- C J Wilson — & — Justin Verlander

Game 4 NLCS

Milwaukee Brewers —- @ —- St Louis Cardinals

Starting pitchers Randy Wolf — & — Kyle Lohse

Scheduled game 14th October 2011

Milwaukee Brewers —- @ —- St Louis Cardinals

Schedule starters

Zach Greinke —– & —– Jaime Garcia

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NBA news

NCAA Football schedule

Auburn Tigers’ football

Miami Hurricanes’ football

13 thoughts on “When Push Comes To Shove …… Let ’em Eat Cake ………. !

  1. Tom Ricketts is well on the way to becoming the Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder of Major League Baseball !

    My dad loves me ! Cam & Cecil Newton

    My daddy loves me too when he’s not beating me , calling me a bitch and making me have sex multiple times during the day with different “Johns” . The ol’ chick to the left is way too old to be spreadin’ her wings for someone to plow her trough ! But too each his own .

    Only the NCAA could come up with this type of decision that completely speaks to their ineptitude . There was a reason that Auburn suspended Cam Newton prior to their postseason of 2010-11 . But somehow the Infraction’s Committee choose to ignore the decision made at the time by Jay Jacobs and the athletics department . Now Cecil Newton can take pride that his actions weren’t in vain, in “pimping out” his son to the highest bidder .

    Whoa is Stern as with each passing day he’s becoming more reviled by the owners . They may not be saying it but they have those feelings and are thinking along those lines !

    tophatal …………..

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  2. Someone remind me why it is the sport of boxing is still mean to resonate with fans ? That Dawson Hopkins bout was simply another reason fans should abandon the sports for good ! The ring side judges and referee were a complete fu##ing joke ! The bout should have ended in a no decision !

    Hopkins suffers a dislocated shoulder after melee between and Dawson during which the challenger sucker punched the lt heavyweight champion (Dawson) . The referee and judges awarded the bout to Dawson as TKO .

    tophatal ……………………..

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  3. The NCAA looks the other way when it comes to Auburn. The NCAA is a joke. It is the minior league of the NFL. Cut the scham it’s a joke. Boston blame it on the manager. What a bunch of clowns and drunks. This baseball. Fat, juiced up, drunk drug taking over paid slobs. Give me a break. Boston can blow it out their butts.

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    1. Bobby Gee

      It may not be totally Francona’s fault because the players are grown men not fucking kids in preschool ! For the likes of Epstein and Lucchino to disparage the guy publicly and privately with the statements attributed to them when they’re the ones who assembled the team just goes to show that they’re sycophants and fucking hypocrites !

      The NCAA has always been a joke and anyone who takes that body seriously as the custodian for collegiate athletics has to be an asshole !

      tophatal ……..

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    1. Chris Humpherys

      The Braves are doing a lot more than that ! But I firmly believe that over the next few years that is an organization that will contend in the NL and within baseball in general . GM Frank Wren has followed in Scheurholz’s footsteps by following his model of success and the same too with Fredi Gonzalez following in Bobby Cox’s managerial role.

      Dan Wheldon died age 33 , father , husband and beloved family member .

      Shame about the death of St / Pete – Clearwater resident and IRL driver Dan Wheldon ! A tragic and totally unbelievable loss for the sport and fans as a whole .

      tophatal ……………

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  4. I have to say I’m suprised that Auburn was found innocent of any major infractions. I guess you can’t believe everything you hear.
    Boston is going to pay for the way they treated Francona. Why would anyone want that job when they know they will get thrown under the bus at the first sign of trouble and that goes for free agent signings too.

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    1. aero

      It’s one thing to be surprised but for the NCAA to have the temerity to suggest that their investigation was in depth and above reproach is a joke !. They (NCAA) simply skimmed over a lot of the facts that were there , which were definitely clear cut. Auburn AD Jay Jacobs and the program got off extremely lightly !

      As for the Red Sox they’re completely deserving of their fate ! That’s a team and front office that became way too conceited for their own good . I hope that Epstein runs into even more trouble with the Cubs and in particular with team owner Tom Ricketts . Wunderkind or not what he did by suggesting the manager’s marital issues in the team’s demise lacks of class and integrity. Put the responsibility where it firmly belongs with the players he ( Theo Epstein) Larry Lucchino assembled on the team that underachieved and didn’t perform over the course of the regular season .

      tophatal …………….

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  5. I have a feeling there was some infractions, but they won’t find them for another three years, then the title will be vacated, but nobody will care because it had been four years since it happened! Sound reasonable!?!

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    1. chappy

      The NCAA fu_#ed up the moment they sought vacate the suspension levied by Auburn against Cam Newton prior to the end of the 2010-11 season , when much of the controversy came to light , with there being more than enough proof that not everything had been above board . I will continue to maintain that they (NCAA) will pick and choose who they wish to punish with impunity just as long as the programs in question are not big money makers !

      Terrelle Pryor’s actions and that of the players associated with Ohio St on the face of it weren’t as bad as what may well have taken place concerning Cam Newton in some instances . And look at what took place with the program and the player once he declared himself eligible for the NFL Draft .

      tophatal ……………

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