Take It For What It Is
By tophatal ………..
As exhilarating as this NFL season has been I would have to say that in spite of the stellar play of a number of teams and the belief that there is parity within the NFL . I have come to the conclusion that parity being what we allegedly believe it to be , this so called ” equality” we seek simply isn’t there ! We simply have a number of good teams , one or two who are able to raise the level of their play and remain consistent. But what we do have is a drop in talent and the fact that there are a number of coaches in the NFL who simply are not as good as advertized . Over the past two seasons that NFL Draft has given us a plethora of talent , a number of which have been stellar, while a number of these players have failed to live up to expectations. This season Cam Newton has proven to be everything and great deal more , albeit that the Carolina Panthers (2-7) have struggled to remain relevant within their division as well as the rest of the league .
Slide show for your perusal .
And while the praise has been lavished upon Cam Newton , several of the other rookies taken alongside him this season have performed extremely well . Andy Dalton , Vonn Miller , A J Green and Julio Jones are proving that if you have the ability then you can be a success within the NFL . The teams afforded the privilege of taking those players in the draft have profited greatly from the performances of the aforementioned rookies . It is likely we will see one or two of these players in the postseason should their teams prove to be adept in battling their way to the latter stages.
If it is not enough to see the march of the Green Bay Packers (9-0) through the league as they have laid siege to each opponent that they have faced . Unbeaten and with Aaron Rodgers intent on rewriting the single season record books for the Packers one has to begin questioning which team in the NFL is up to the challenge of taking down Mike McCarthy and his legion , never-mind the vociferous Green Bay Packers’ fans. This Sunday — Lambeau Field , Green Bay , Wisconsin , will be the venue where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as guests are seeking to be the first team to defeat the NFL’s best unit .
This season for the Buccaneers has been one of inconsistency for this young team . And Raheem Morris , his coaching staff , specifically the front office led by GM Mark Dominik what they have witnessed this season has to have been an extremely disappointing . from every standpoint imaginable. It was felt that the this team would be fighting amongst the thick of things within the NFC South but this hasn’t been borne out by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ record of 4-5 .
The Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman perhaps the team’s best offensive player is having a down season and surely has not helped that the Morris’ players have become so ill disciplined needlessly in games where the results could have gone either way . Inexperience , youthful zest on the part of LeGarrette Blount , Preston Parker , Adrian Clayborne and Mason Foster . But what might be even more troubling has been that seasoned veterans such as Ronde Barber , Kellen Winslow and Jeff Faine have done little to curb the ill discipline of their young teammates . If this team is to stand any chance of resurrecting their season be thought of as a legitimate contender within the NFC South .
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ situation isn’t helped by the fact that divisional leader the New Orleans Saints (7-3) and the Atlanta Falcons (5-4) are firmly seated above them holding respectively a two and three game lead. From my own perspective the Buccaneers will be hard pressed to muster even 15 points against the Packers’ defense , never-mind the prolific efficiency of the team’s offense . Anyone who witnessed the Green Bay Packers’ clinical annihilation of the Minnesota Vikings (2-7) — 45-7 will know that the Vikings offered very little resistance to a totally ravenous team. At no time could anyone be convinced that Leslie Frazier’s players were up to the task and like the Packers’ eight previous opponents the Minnesota Vikings simply fell by the wayside left like roadkill on the side of a highway or suburban road. Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers meet the same fate ? Well that remains to be seen and it certainly will be intriguing to find out what the end result is likely to be .
It is hard to say who might be the most despised person in sports may well be . Beyond your typical narcissistic athlete outside of that realm I firmly believe that MLB agent Scott Boras might just stand head and shoulders above everyone else , perhaps with the exception of his NFL counterpart Drew Rosenhaus ! Along with the plethora of unrestricted free agents now on the market Boras’ biggest high profiled client just happens to be none other than Prince Fielder a likely contender for the NL MVP . Now while there is no denying that the Milwaukee Brewers’ player was amongst the most productive players in baseball this past season and it is now becoming increasingly clear that Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio might not be able to compete with the asking price that is bound to be desired by Scott Boras on behalf of his client.
Fielder like his fellow NL counterpart Albert Pujols are seeking to be compensated as they feel that they rightfully should amongst the top players within the game if not at the position of first base . The Brewers’ first baseman is all about baseball but he thinks little about the financial rewards beyond that environment . However , Scott Boras knows that if his client is to be richly rewarded then it he might just have to consider one of the more high profiled and big money market teams in terms of seeking a lucrative offer.
In the the nine years years that Prince Fielder has been in baseball each season from 2005 onward his productivity has gradually increased as a player . His drafting by the Milwaukee Brewers six years ago has proven to be a boost for the organization and his coupling with that of Ryan Braun has proven to be fortuitous for the team this season as their collective production has shown . Braun is amongst the highest paid players on the Brewers’ roster this past season and it is this distinction that I feel that Boras would seemingly like to address for his client !
Now there is no denying that this would come as a tremendous disappointment to the Milwaukee Brewers’ fans in attendance at Miller Park , Milwaukee , seeing the considerable change of events within this ballclub in recent years were Prince Fielder not to be re-signed by the organization. I am sure that GM Gord Ash , manager Ron Roenicke and his coaching staff would like nothing better than to have both Braun and Fielder back on this team next season . But much of that now rests in the hands of Mark Attanasio , the front office and the decision that they are prepared to make .
ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 7: Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals stand on first base at Busch Stadium on September 7, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 2-0 . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath ………
Scott Boras for his part has lost no time in essentially using his considerable skills to sell the virtues of his client. The uber-agent has produced an eighteen page glossary on Prince Fielder with numerous color pictures of the player undoubtedly at his best , there also his stats , a biography of the player detailing his likes and dislikes and what he envisions for himself in the future as a baseball player. Boras has been to project figures that he feels are within his clients reach within the next five years given his age . …….27. Whether or not the player can reach those goals remains to be seen but the targets annotated within the glossary make for interesting reading , home runs , walks , RBI’s and an average of would place fielder amongst the active leaders within the game today . And undoubtedly , Scott Boras must be of the opinion that he sees his client as a future of Hall of Fame inductee in Cooperstown , New York .
If the Milwaukee Brewers should make the decision not re-sign Prince Fielder then to my mind there would be no more than perhaps 5 or six teams prepared to acquire the player ! Certainly Theo Epstein as the head of Baseball Operations with the Chicago Cubs and his newly installed general manager Jed Hoyer would like nothing more than to make a considerable splash in showing the loyal Cubs’ fan that they mean to turn things around . For team owner Tom Ricketts money is of no option but I do believe that he will seek the advice of Epstein before coming to a decision of this magnitude . As it is , the Cubs’ roster is filled a number of players who are vastly overpaid and who have produced absolutely nothing for the organization this past season that would have given you the impression that they were competitive .
Certainly given the interest that there is bound to be in not only Prince Fielder but also Albert Pujols any proposed decision made by any prospective bidder for either of the duo has to be undertaken with due diligence . The type of money being bandied about and the perceived length of the contract in question would be enough to make most baseball fans shudder . But this is baseball , where many sensible options at times have simply been thrown out of the window by a number of general managers and team owners as they seek success and the perceived financial windfall that tends to come along with it. Are either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols worth in excess of $25 million a year ? Conceivably when you go down the list of players in baseball exceeding that sum annually and you certainly might have to question the veracity that can be claimed as to both sides of that argument .
Other than the possible interest of the Chicago Cubs and the fact that the organization simply just wants to remain relevant in the eyes of the fans in general . I am not so sure that there will be any major takers for Prince Fielder beyond quite possibly one of the big money market teams making an outlandish splash for the player. Granted , with the Winter Meetings now taking place (in Milwaukee , Wisconsin) wherein the general managers , owners and league hierarchy get together along with many of the most influential agents within the game , all seeking to attain the best possible deal for their client. Bud Selig , apart from wanting to finalize the sale of the Houston Astros to Houston businesman Jim Crane also has to deal with the ratifying of a new collective bargaining agreement . That asides there is still is the ongoing matter as how best obtain a quick sale of the beleaguered Los Angeles Dodgers . God knows , the seven years of Frank McCourt’s ownership of the organization has to be considered an unmitigated disaster ! With the league hierarchy in conjunction of the presiding judge in the bankruptcy hearings deciding to bring an investment firm (The Blackstone Group ) to organize an auction of the baseball team , it remains to be seen how quickly this will be expedited . If there is no new ownership group in place by Spring Training 2012 then quite possibly MLB will have to assume control of the team until a new owner is found.
There may well be possible suitors for Los Angeles Dodgers but I doubt that they might want to pay as steep an asking price as is as likely to be sought required by the league hierarchy and the courts . I am sure that Judge Kevin Gross who presided over the the bankruptcy hearings in the state of Delaware , was glad to see the back of Frank McCourt and his attorneys ! Based on the premise of his case the now disgraced owner simply tried to apportion blame everywhere else but upon himself for many of the egregious acts he perpetrated upon the team . What might be even more intolerable is the very fact that GM Ned Colletti and Chief Financial Officer Peter Wilhelm at no time sought to question many of the decisions that Frank McCourt took . And one wonders why the team has been a catastrophic disaster as a viable concern within the game from a competitive and financial standpoint ? There was not one iota of intelligence being shown by any executive within the Los Angeles Dodgers from its upper echelons , on down ! I would place far more trust in a child running a lemonade stand , selling cookies and the aforementioned beverage than any of the damn as_#oles within the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers !
Picture gallery for your perusal.
Concerning the points raised within this piece do you believe that either Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols will remain with their current teams ? Furthermore , do you also believe that either player is worth in excess of $25 million a year based upon the salaries of the highest paid players in baseball and their productivity ? Of the weekend’s NFL games which if ones will you be most keen to observe ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support !
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) CHARLOTTE, NC – NOVEMBER 13: Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers points out a defender as he scrambles out of the pocket against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Titans defeated the Panthers 30-3 . Photo by Brian A. Westerholt/Getty Images …..
(2) Steve Smith (89) of the Carolina Panthers watches on from the sidelines dejected during their game against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images . …
(3) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball during their game against the Tennessee Titans at Bank of America Stadium on November 13, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images ….
(4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Arrelious Benn (17) reacts on the bench late in their 37-9 loss to the Houston Texans during an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
(5) TAMPA, FL – NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield against the Houston Texans November 13, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images ……
(6) Running back Arian Foster (23) of the Houston Texans tumbles over Buccaneers’ defensive player Aqib Talib after a run in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 13, 2011 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images …. …
(7) Sports agent Scott Boras is one the premiere leaders within the field of baseball in having one of the largest clientele within the game through his company Boras Corporation Inc . a multi faceted sports agency representing a select group of baseball players . AP Photo / Steve Marshall ……
(8) ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 7: Prince Fielder (28) of the Milwaukee Brewers and Albert Pujols (5) of the St. Louis Cardinals stand on first base at Busch Stadium on September 7, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Brewers 2-0 . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath ………
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