The Ecstasy , The Pride , The Agony And The Madness !

The Ecstasy , The Pride , The Agony And The Madness !

By tophatal ……..

Just when you think it safe to dip your toe back into the water or in this case with feeling that we live in a world of sanity somehow something is done to derail that mindset . Low and behold , barely a year into his tenure Hue Jackson was summarily dismissed by the Oakland Raiders’ …. organization . I know that the loss of Raiders’ owner Al Davis was indeed an emotional one to the franchise but the inherent stupidity now seems to know no bounds as the revolving door once again is spinning with a great deal of swiftness . The Oakland Raiders’ fans will either be completely taken aback by this all or they will simply be apathetic to this latest turmoil within their midst . And given the inane irrationality of the fans of the team I sometimes think that they simply don’t give a shit what happens just as long as they can regale us with tales of the past rather than what is currently happening within this organization .


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Slide show for your perusal .

Coming off an 8-8 season where they gifted the division (AFC West) to the Denver Broncos in spite of the heroics of Tim Tebow . It has to be said that the team was a complete disappointment throughout much of the season . Injuries or not Hue Jackson and his coaching staff are not entirely to blame for the malaise that the franchise now finds itself in .

The coaching carousel this season has been a turbulent one with embattled coaches dropping like ailing sufferers from a highly communicable disease. Jackson is merely another statistic and byline to be adjudged in which a team owners or general managers have deemed it fit that the coach be fired . It’s shaping up to be a suspenseful off-season as the teams seeking new coaches do the rounds . As to which of the current crop of available candidates might be interested in pursuing the Raiders’ vacancy remains to be seen . But from my own perspective one name that immediately jumps to the front of the queue will be current ESPN on air NFL analyst Jon Gruden , who at one time was a head coach with the Oakland Raiders. Seems out of the realms of being possible ? Well if the Raiders can make what I believe to be a monumental mistake in firing Hue Jackson then what would make anyone think that they would not rehire Jon Gruden to return as a “prodigal son” to assume the reins of coaching the organization ? Stranger things have been known to happen and nothing that the Oakland Raiders have done concerning the head coaches hired and fired in recent years has always made any damn sense !

As the search and interview process begins it will be interesting to see which names are currently called for that prospective sit down, to gauge an applicant’s interest and wherewithal concerning the team’s future aspirations.

For those of us who witnessed the excitement of the final day of the MLB season and the fascinating runs made by the St Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays as they claimed the wild-card berths within the NL and AL respectively . It has to be said the thrills and spills of the postseason far exceeded that of anything many of us might have expected . The St Louis Cardinals came away with another World Series triumph and with the loss of All Star first baseman Albert Pujols the organization starts a new chapter .

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig in what was said to be his final season as the league’s highest ranking official has suddenly been given a contract extension for a further two years that will expire in 2014 . Pardon me for saying this , but Selig simply isn’t worthy of a two-year extension to his tenure . Somehow the idiot team owners are of the opinion that the incumbent provides stability and credibility for the league. That is akin to stating that the commissioner has been of great service to the game in spite of the vast majority of the teams’ financial difficulties . This being the same executive who has sat idly by as the game was once again engulfed by controversy both and off the field . Less we forget also, Bud Selig has somehow been in complete denial as to the financial mismanagement of the Los Angeles Dodgers by then beleaguered owner Frank McCourt . If there seems to be no accountability by the team owners much less by their executives in terms of the Chief Financial Officers , then what else should we expect when many of those individuals simply wouldn’t know the difference between an accounts’ balance sheet and a baking sheet !

To say I am surprised by this all would be stunning , as I wholeheartedly had been looking forward to seeing Bud Selig ride off into the sunset but instead he remains a to plague the game while hoping to place one last legacy within our midst _______ with divisional realignment alongside the extending of the MLB postseason schedule by adding another wildcard team to each league. If that truly creates anything that would be truly beneficial to the game then Selig should now think about running for political office at the federal level. The need of a few more numbskulls within either legislative chamber to continue the ruination of the country would be greatly assisted by the addition of Bud Selig ! This being a commissioner who simply is unwilling to confront the one issue that stands head and shoulders above all else within the game and that just happens to be financial imbalances within the game as it relates to the teams and their unwillingness to have a rigid pay structure . Half “assed ” fixes , simply do nothing for the game of baseball , especially when the commissioner has become even more delusional than ever before . Simply look at the situation wherein former Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa stated that the front office of the organization having been offered a hometown discount by Albert Pujols through his agent Dan Lozano were unwilling to meet the player’s demands . As we know the player would sign a 10 year $254 million contract offered to him by Los Angeles Angels’ team owner Arte Moreno . Anyone of the belief that the Cardinals’ signing of Carlos Beltran will make up for the productivity of Pujols this past season must be in need of some serious medication . Beltran is a very good player when healthy but his own offensive output in recent years has been sporadic at best . Can someone remind me why the DeWitt family are so highly thought of in St Louis , Missouri ?

Two more years of Bud Selig as commissioner is far more than any avid baseball fan should really have to endure ! But somehow we are being forced to grin and bear this _____ do we really have to is my question at this juncture ? .

At long last Barry Larkin makes it as an inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York. Now an analyst with the MLB Network as well as being a frequent guest on ESPN’s baseball coverage the player has always provided a keen insight into the game for the viewer. For me however , it has always been the guile of Larkin as a player during his career with the Cincinnati Reds . Joining a long and distinguished list of Reds’ Hall of Famers it has to be said that this in an honor long overdue for the former short-stop.

Alongside Barry Larkin amongst the list of prospective candidates , many of whom were holdovers from last season were Jack Morris , Lee Smith , Tim Raines , Alan Trammell , Dale Murphy , Rafael Palmeiro , Mark McGwire and Don Mattingly . The fact that McGwire and Palmeiro were on the list did not come as a surprise , only the fact that several anally retentive writers actually had the temerity to vote for the now infamous duo has me wondering what the hell takes place when the baseball writers of the BBWAA convene to cast their ballots ? But then again many of these very same journalists who cover the game in large part ignored the ” steroid era” when there was growing evidence to suggest that numerous players were actually cheating by taking illicit substances .

Jack Morris a finished second in the balloting with Bagwell finishing third followed by Lee Smith . The criteria for the nominees of the vote is to get 75 % of the ballots cast . The holdovers from this year’s ballot be on the list of nominees once again in 2013 alongside future candidates eligible next year , which will include Barry Bonds , Roger Clemens , Mike Piazza , Sammy Sosa , Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio . Somehow a number of the aforementioned players may well meet the same fate as Palmeiro and McGwire when those particular votes are cast . Simply my own thoughts mind , simply my own thoughts !

So it would appear that another consortium now seems intent in pursuing a bid for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The estate of the late Roy E Disney , nephew er of Disney founder Walt Disney through the family’s holding company Shamrock Holdings Inc. is intent on pursuing the ownership of the baseball team . Far be it for me to suggest but the ” House that Walt Built” t now towering over the Dodgers seems like one of the fantasies that the studio is famous for . Shamrock’s CEO Stanley Gold said the group will be posting their bid to Bankruptcy Courts in Delaware where it will sifted through by the presiding judge along with the Blackstone Group whose advice the league hierarchy has sought in obtaining a credible candidate to succeed Frank McCourt as the Dodgers’ owner. So far there are said to five interested parties thought to be pursuant in purchasing the team at a price yet to be determined.

Courtesy of The Washington Post in conjunction with the Associated Press (AP)

Roy Disney family mulling bid for Dodgers; consortium includes Shamrock, local investors

LOS ANGELES — The family of the late Roy E. Disney is in talks with other investors about making a bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers out of bankruptcy.

The talks were confirmed Monday by Clifford Miller, managing director of the Disney family’s investment vehicle, Shamrock Holdings.

Roy Disney was the nephew of Walt Disney, but the family’s investments are not directly tied to the operation of The Walt Disney Co., which controlled the Angels from 1998-03.

Miller said Stanley Gold, the chief executive officer of Shamrock, is seriously exploring investing in the team along with the Disney family and other investors, including several in the Los Angeles area.

Gold has gone through the process of qualifying the investor group to make an initial bid by the Jan. 23 deadline, and the group is examining the team’s financial records.


By clicking on the above link you can read this article in its entirety.

The deadline for the bids to be placed is 23rd January 2011 and it will be interesting to see which of the consortium’s will be triumphant in their endeavor . This whole charade concerning the Los Angeles Dodgers and the very fact that the ball-club has been mired in this financial maelstrom , I am still trying to figure out how it is that an organization which has such a storied history has fallen so deep on hard times ? The utter and sheer audacity that Frank McCourt and the front office executives along with McCourt’s now ex-wife Jamie McCourt actually had this team’s best interests at heart while rifling through its resere smacks of incompetence and sheer greed . I certainly hope that whoever takes over this ball-club sees fit to get rid of such ” dead weights” as Tommy La Sorda , CFO Peter Wilhelm and that ” stiff ” of a general manager …. Ned Colletti !

Throughout much of last season the Los Angeles Dodgers simply were a team that struggled to remain relevant within the NL West . And as I have repeatedly said the NL West and AL West much like their counterparts within the NFL does have some terrible teams . Doubt my word then simply peruse the records of those teams over the past five years as to their overall consistency and their postseason forays ? That should give you the answer that you seek albeit that the fans the teams in question may well question the premise of my argument .



( By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size .)

Are you at all surprised by the termination of Hue Jackson by the Oakland Raiders’ as the team’s head coach ? As to the other salient points within this piece what scenarios would you like see arise ? Chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Reggie McKenzie , right, stands next to Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis during his introduction as the team’s new general manager during an NFL football news conference in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …

(2) Reggie McKenzie answers questions next to owner Mark Davis, at left, during his introduction as the general manager of the Oakland Raiders NFL football team, during a news conference in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …..

(3) FILE – In this Jan. 1, 2012 file photo, Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson walks on the sidelines during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers in Oakland, Calif. A person with knowledge of the situation says the Raiders have fired coach Jackson after one season and a disappointing 8-8 record. ESPN first reported Jackson’s firing. The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, because the move had not yet been announced ahead of the Raiders’ scheduled 2 p.m. PST news conference to introduce new general manager Reggie McKenzie. AP Photo/Tony Avelar ….

(4) Bud you’re killing me ! Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig speaks before Game 4 of baseball’s World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, in Arlington, Texas. Baseball owners say Selig will be offered a contract extension at this week’s meetings in Phoenix. first reported that Selig will be offered an additional term when owners meet Wednesday and Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. Two owners, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to attract criticism from Selig, told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, that a new term will be proposed. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….

(5) Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, center, speaks to reporters during a news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 in New York. Larkin was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in voting announced Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer ……

(6) Jane Forbes Clark , left, Chairman of the Board of Directors of The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and Jeff Idelson , President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, flank former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin during a news conference, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 in New York. Larkin was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in voting announced Monday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer ….

(7) In this Sept. 22, 2002 file photo, current and former Cincinnati Reds players from left, Tony Perez , Barry Larkin, Sparky Anderson , and Johnny Bench , speak at a news conference in Cincinnati prior to the final game to be played at Cinergy Field . Larkin was chosen on 495 of 573 ballots (86 percent) in voting announced Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, well above the necessary 75 percent, to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. AP Photo/Al Behrman ….. …..

(8) The late Roy Disney is seen here with Shamrock Holdings’ CEO Stanley Gold , right, the holding company of the Disney family is now said to be actively pursuing the purchase of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers . Shamrock is said to be part of what now appears to be six interested parties all vying for the National League organization. Courtesy of the LA Times/ Ricardo Aratanha ……..


MLB news .

Cincinnati Reds’ news

Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Famers

Barry Larkin’s bio & stats can be reviewed here …. Player’s stats Larkin’s comparable stats to other short-stops

Los Angeles Dodgers news


NFL news

Oakland Raiders’ news


If at all interested do take time to participate in the above poll .


Mariza Prinze/

Hot chic pic of the day Russian model Mariza Prinze

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

14 thoughts on “The Ecstasy , The Pride , The Agony And The Madness !”

  1. I wasn’t all that impressed with Larkin in general. He was very good, but I never thought of him as GREAT. I’m still hoping that Tim Raines makes it in one day, he definitely deserves it imo.

    It’s funny now that I’ve seen a few press confrences with Hue after he was let go I liked him more than when he was our coach the last four weeks of the year. If they didn’t have two complete no shows during the year, I bet he’s still around and they are in the playoffs…


    1. chappy

      There’s not much more that can be said ’bout the Raiders and this latest maneuver that hasn’t already been said succinctly. Suffice to say gerontologists and neuorsurgeons wouldn’t mind seeing Mark Davis’ cranium through an MRI just to make sure that there’s actually something there .

      Tim Raines may well make it in but most likely it’ll either come posthumously or because with the likes Clemens and other embroiled in the ‘roids’ era the BBWAA will have to do something to make themselves look altruistic and well intentioned .

      tophatal ………..


    2. chappy

      At this juncture I don’t believe that anyone can take anything that the Raiders do as being an act of competency. It’s asinine to think that the front office can be this naive and still think that the fans will find this as being totally acceptable .

      In your opinion what should be the criteria for being an inductee into the Hall of Fame ?

      tophatal ……………


  2. With the Raiders what you see is what you get ! I’ll let you all be the judge of what the organization has been serving up to their long suffering fans as recipients . It has to be said this move cannot be excused wherein the front office truly believes that Hue Jackson was that bad a coach . They obviously be in complete denial . It’s clear that for Mark Davis U senility has already set in having succeeded his father Al Davis . Man oh man what the hell has team GM Reggie McKenzie been imbibing ? Formaldehyde isn’t good for one’s internal organs much less the brain . But you’d be hard pressed to tell McKenzie that . an

    And if the estate of the late Roy Disney has the winning bid for the Dodgers then expect some of Disney’s most famous animated characters to be “doing the rounds” at Dodgers’ Ballpark as a way of luring a younger demographic along with their parents to see the Los Angeles Dodgers play . Minny , Mickey , Goofy , Pluto , Jimminy Cricket , Dumbo and dare I say both Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty ?

    ” God this coffee is god damn awful I should gone to Starbucks ! But wait I don’t need to go as I can now afford to send someone there to get my grand mocha latte’s for me each morning as I’ll be in the money ” Selig’s two year contract extension will net him in excess of $45 million thru to 2014. Personally , I firmly believe his ass is way overpaid !

    Two more years of Bud Selig ? What the hell have the fans done to deserve that ? That’s cruel and unusual punishment by any stretch of the imagination given the commissioner’s gross stupidity over the past decade ! Dumb team owners but even dumber league executives !

    So Barry Larkin is in but look at the trend that’ll be set in the ensuing years when the names of Bonds, Clemens , Palmeiro and others of that ilk start to crop on the so called “list of eligible nominees” for Baseball’s Hall of Fame ? And people think it’s a dubious distinction for Larkin to now be inducted ? Ah well that’s the game of baseball for you …… apathetic fans and custodians of the game !

    Marzia Prinze can wash and wax “my tools “ anytime she wants .

    tophatal …………….


  3. Al,

    Larkin was the epidome of class, on and off the field. HOF material? I don’t think so. Jack Morris is pretty much in next year. He developed a nasty splitter that elevated him to the top.


    1. Ronbets

      The BBWAA are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of the Hall of Fame …. nominees . Look at the guys who are now in , many of them have stats that simply aren’t that great . So who are we detract from Larkin’s …. credentials ?

      Here’s the link to the 2012 nominees and their stats . What do you think as to their credentials and the reason why Larkin was the only inductee ?

      1 Barry Larkin 3rd 495 86.4% 120 47 19 68.9 2180 7937 1329 2340 198 960 379 939 .295 .371 .444 .815 116 *6/4D
      2 Jack Morris 13th 382 66.7% 122 39 18 39.3 568 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100 254 186 3.90 105 1.296 549 527 0 3824.0 3567 389 1390 2478 *1
      3 Jeff Bagwell 2nd 321 56.0% 150 59 15 79.9 2150 7797 1517 2314 449 1529 202 1401 .297 .408 .540 .948 149 *3/D9
      4 Lee Smith 10th 290 50.6% 135 13 18 29.7 1023 64 2 3 1 2 0 3 .047 .090 .094 .183 -50 71 92 3.03 132 1.256 1022 6 478 1289.1 1133 89 486 1251 *1
      5 Tim Raines 5th 279 48.7% 90 47 23 64.6 2502 8872 1571 2605 170 980 808 1330 .294 .385 .425 .810 123 *78D4/9
      6 Alan Trammell 11th 211 36.8% 118 40 20 66.9 2293 8288 1231 2365 185 1003 236 850 .285 .352 .415 .767 110 *6D5/478
      7 Edgar Martinez 3rd 209 36.5% 132 50 18 67.2 2055 7213 1219 2247 309 1261 49 1283 .312 .418 .515 .933 147 *D*5/3
      8 Fred McGriff 3rd 137 23.9% 100 48 19 50.5 2460 8757 1349 2490 493 1550 72 1305 .284 .377 .509 .886 134 *3D
      9 Larry Walker 2nd 131 22.9% 147 58 17 67.3 1988 6907 1355 2160 383 1311 230 913 .313 .400 .565 .965 140 *9387/D45
      10 Mark McGwire 6th 112 19.5% 170 42 16 63.1 1874 6187 1167 1626 583 1414 12 1317 .263 .394 .588 .982 162 *3D/597
      11 Don Mattingly 12th 102 17.8% 134 34 14 39.8 1785 7003 1007 2153 222 1099 14 588 .307 .358 .471 .830 127

      2012 Hall of Fame nominees

      The guys who are due up for 2013 read of the names ( Bonds, Clemens , Sosa , McGwire and Palmeiro ) in some cases who are closely associated with the ” ‘roids era ” . So what then ? You tell me ? From my own perspective I believe the adjudication for the Hall of Fame should be at the sole discretion of the current players playing in the league with adjudicators from the BBWAA and their Veterans’ Committee casting their ballots for the old timers !

      The BBWAA has no damn credibility to begin with as these oafs simply shut their eyes when there was clear evidence out there as to the gross cheating by the players. And the for the idiot proponents for the use of steroids within the game they need to get a fu##ing clue !

      tophatal …………..


  4. Epitome…….sorry Barry.

    BTW Al, you can make Wendy a late scratch. A pit boss at her favorite resort here relayed to me that her husband of many years could play strong forward for the Denver Nuggets. I can’t compete. LOL That Russian ain’t bad but………..


    1. Ronbets

      Late scratch for Wendy ? Whatever brought that on ? Like I said Mariza Prinze can wax and polish my tools anytime she wants ’cause I ain’t scared !

      Simply look at Mariza’s assets ? Ain’t nothin’ wrong with those at all !

      Her “taters” are well worth the taste !

      Prinze is well worth the playtime !

      tophatal …….


  5. Wow, not too much love for Larkin.

    As we’ve discussed over at the Chump, I look forward to the 365 days until the NEXT induction which should be a doozy.

    I wonder if that’s why Major League Baseball wanted to keep Selig around. So he can clean up the mess he started.


    1. Chris Humpherys(@SportsChump)

      If Selig is sticking around the the vast mess he’s created then it’s obvious that he’s got the stomach for a great deal of fecal matter !

      Larkin is a deserving inductee into the Hall of Fame . His stats may not be eye popping but when compared to others who’ve been inducted that have played the position it is favorable .

      Ozzie Smith and Cal Ripken come to my mind, albeit , that they are perhaps more beloved by the fans . But Larkin as a player made purists rethink the position because of his size and athleticism as a defensive player

      Also see my comments to Ronbets as to the guys who’ll be on the ballot for 2013 ? It read likes the ” who’s who ” of the ‘roids era !

      tophatal ………


    1. brief 22

      A healthy McFadden means nothing if this team hasn’t a coach . And ’til the idiots within the front office stop with their insanity of this revolving door policy this organization will continue to be viewed as a joke !

      Do you actually believe that Mark Davis or Reggie McKenzie actually has a definitive plan moving forward ? These two idiots are blowing smoke up the Raiders’ fans ass !

      tophatal …………


  6. I nominate the eye candy containe in this missive. Raiders anin’t going anywhere ’til they understand it takes time to generate a great team.
    AND a team does need continuity all the way around


    1. al clements

      You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink . The Raiders in that sense if you led them into the light the idiot owner Mark Davis would swear that you’re misleading him .

      “Pardon me while I whip this out but a ##gga has to do what he has to do” ! Reggie McKenzie (GM of the Raiders -right) and team owner Mark Davis

      tophatal ………………….


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