They Did What ….. And Against Who ?
By tophatal …………………….
So what am I missing here ? The Orlando Magic in a game against the lowly Charlotte Bobcats who yielded Paul Silas and the team their first victory after a win-less streak lasted 23 consecutive games . Now if I’m Stan Van Gundy and the Magic’s players I would now hang my head in shame after such an embarrassing loss (100-84) ! . Never mind the fact that at one point in this game the Magic had a 20 point lead that they duly surrendered in the team’s defeat.
Slide show for your perusal .
I’ll continue to maintain that Stan Van Gundy while being a very good regular season coach but when it comes to the postseason he is like listless vessel at sea. He’s simply aimlessly going nowhere , without any direction or right of mind to change as and when necessary ! But seriously how bad were the Magic to simply allow the Bobcats back into this game ? A team with a season low 4-31 record within the Eastern Conference , and who are still firmly rooted at the bottom of the Central Division within the East .
Corey Maggette was allowed to run wild over the Magic , whose defense was nowhere to be seen . Gerald Henderson , Bismack Biyombo , Kemba Walker and the other cast of characters on the Bobcats’ roster celebrated boisterously after this unexpected of victories . I don’t believe that the Time Warner Cable Arena in , Charlotte , North Carolina has seen or been apart of this much excitement in years !
As to the impending future of the Orlando Magic I think it’s pretty much safe to say that this could be a sad indictment of the team and the very fact that complacency and uncertainty has set in . With the ever-increasing speculation that the team’s center Dwight Howard may well be placed on the auction block . Howard can opt out of the final year of his contract and it appears clear that the player well come to a decision himself and once again demand a trade . Otis Smith and Magic COO Alec Martins now have to make a decision that best benefits the Orlando Magic as an organization . Certainly the Magic can ill afford to lose a player of Howard’s caliber but there comes a time where you either choose to cut your losses or simply carry on down the same road as you meander nowhere .
Well as we all know this season futility within the NBA has been duly represented by the Charlotte Bobcats . And for the Bobcats’ front office represented by owner Michael Jordan , it now has me now wondering how the hell can this one time NBA great be so accepting of the futility being shown by the franchise ? I am sure that Commissioner David Stern never envisioned having to witness such a situation twice ! We should not forget Jordan’s previous experience as a front office executive held the position as the GM and de-facto Head of Basketball Operations with the Washington Wizards . Then owner Abe Pollin gladly accepted Jordan within the franchise’s hierarchy believing that beyond providing a great deal of excitement and as lure for the fans at the Verizon Center in Washington , DC just simply having the star would prove to be an economic boost for the Wizards . Well Michael Jordan proved that he was no front office executive and to this day the Washington Wizards are providing their fans a reason to seek their discretionary entertainment elsewhere . His drafting of Kwame Brown in as the #1 pick in the 2001 NBA Draft . And one only has to see the players who Jordan at the time passed over in order to acquire Brown . What more can be said at this juncture ? I know , is Kwame Brown still playing in the NBA and how much is he now actually earning ? F_#k that !
If the Charlotte Bobcats and Washington Wizards the representatives of futility and mediocrity within the NBA this season . Then within baseball (MLB) that would have to be the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates ! I’ve simply given up on trying to talk sense with fans who try to tell me that the Royals happen to have the good nucleus of a team that’s on the verge of doing something special ! I look at this way the organization’s record has been reflective of their best efforts over the past eight seasons and beyond ! Simply look , and then tell me where , how and when you believe that this franchise will ascend to become a legitimate contender within the AL Central much less being appraised as being good enough to actually win the World Series ? When you can actually do that succinctly then perhaps we can have a serious debate as to the merits of the Kansas City Royals and not before then !
I’ll say this for manager Ned Yost and GM Dayton Moore they may well have their work cut out for them this season as they seek to make the Kansas City Royals relevant within the AL ! With a projected lineup ….. led by Eric Hosmer , Mike Moustakas , Alex Gordon , Jeff Francouer , Luke Hochevar , Bruce Chen , Felipe Paulino , Johnathan Sanchez and closer Joakim Soria .
From thereon-in it will then be down to Yost’s players to prove their worth with their pitching and offense to try to accentuate the premise of the Royals can contend with the best that baseball has to offer . I’d like to think that team owner David Glass is as ambitious as many of the fans believes him to be . For myself were I seated on jury adjudging Glass then I’d still be in the jury room judging the owner’s intent and ambition !
The Pittsburgh Pirates if anything have been just as moribund an organization as the Kansas City Royals , if not more so . It’s been pretty safe to say that with a front office led by GM Neal Huntington and Pirates’ owner Bob Nutting . They wanted to make a big splash and what better way to do that than make it known they have just signed the team’s best player Andrew McCutchen and signing him to a six-year $51 million deal that sees the player get incremental increases throughout the life of the contract until it expiration in 2017 . Now it’d be remiss not to laugh at this juncture but this is the very same organization that has repeatedly pled poverty over years , either repeatedly by paring down and then increasing payroll .
Small market team or not , Nutting and his minions within the Pirates’ front office have profited greatly at the largess of the MLB hierarchy by way of baseball’s governing body and their asinine tax sharing revenue scheme ! Think of it , as baseball’s answer to TARP (TARP Program) and the auto industry bailout initiated by former President George Bush and further enhanced by Bush’s successor Barack Obama . The President’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner who in the second round of bailouts that saw $185 billion ($185,000,000,000) of taxpayers’ monies given to failed insurance giant AIG . And as of February m 2012 the taxpayer was still owed in excess of $143 billion of which we’re told by the Treasury Dept that the monies will be repaid by the insurance company in full without any major loss to the taxpayer. Geithner , inexplicably has not issued a statement that would suggest that his agency is closely monitoring AIG with any real oversight . It’s the same way with the MLB hierarchy and their oversight with revenues that’s split amongst the small market teams who are recipients of the tax sharing revenue scheme. Perhaps at some point we could have Bud Selig advise of the benefits to the teams who have profited from this scheme because of yet to anything come to fruition from this idiocy ? Or perhaps there’s a patron who at this juncture who could explain that to me succinctly ? Too many bleeding hearts complaining about their teams being in small markets but they simply do not question the fact that the general managers and team owners in large part have shown little if any damn business acumen in growing the brand of their teams ! Granted , there are some exceptions with the likes of the Texas Rangers , Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees , Philadelphia Phillies , St Louis Cardinals .
For myself , I find it somewhat asinine that we have sports’ fans who bitch and whine about so many issues on the social and political level but rarely do I hear them complain when a multi-billionaire owner through the largess of a municipality allows them to basically coerce them into using their resources , that ought to be used for their (cities’) infrastructure but instead it’s used to build grandiose sports’ venues for these franchises . I wonder how New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg might now be feeling about a half filled Citi-Field , home to the New York Mets and built at a cost of $775 million using public financing ! Well , given the present financial situation and the hardship of the organization ______ the stadium might now becomes the white elephant within the city of Flushing that no one ever envisioned it would be . A piss poor team with a piss poor organizational structure and ownership group that at best can be described as larcenous and without any moral compass whatsoever ! Let’s just say that the sooner Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon are shown the door the better off the franchise and the game will be . Unfortunately, Bud Selig doesn’t possess the intelligence much less the wherewithal to do what’s right at this juncture . Hasn’t Frank McCourt provided us with a prime example as how fu#king stupid so many of the team owners are within the game of baseball ?
Now as a proviso I’d like to think that the Pirates will be able to provide their fans with some excitement not just within their preseason schedule but also once the regular season commences ! At the same time is there a remote possibility that this team can actually have a better showing than not only in 2011 (72-90) but also from previous years . And having to contend in a division (NL Central) that in recent years has become fairly competitive , it doesn’t necessarily augur well for the franchise .
Andrew McCutchen is one of the few bright sparks on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ roster . But it is the player’s productivity and now emerging leadership qualities and maturity that manager Clint Hurdle and his assistant coaches will look to rely upon from their All Star center-fielder .
Starved of real productivity from an offensive standpoint the likes of Neal Walker , Garrett Jones , Lyle Overbay and Chris Snyder will have to be at their leveled best . And in terms of the pitching rotation then it is expected that Kevin Correia will lead the ensemble of Charlie Morton , Jeff Karstens , James Donald and Paul Maholm are expected to bear the brunt of the responsibilities for the pitching staff.
PNC Park in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , has had its share of excitement since it came into existence but the one thing that Nutting and his fellow executives no doubt long for ______ would be for the team to be of relevance this season , with the chance of even being part of the new formatted make in terms of the postseason . Changes (playoff format) envisaged and approved by the hierarchy , owners and union may well add to the excitement but from my own perspective it simply hasn’t addressed the underlying and acute issues that the game of baseball now faces . This is simply Bud Selig’s idea of using a Band-Aid to cover a gunshot wound , when the victim just also happens to suffering from septicemia while hemorrhaging a great deal of blood !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the Orlando Magic’s recent misstep what do you see ultimately happening concerning the franchise’s impending fate with regard to Dwight Howard ? Bear in mind that the NBA’s trade deadline is on the 15th March , 2012. Also in terms of both the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates do you feel that they will fare better in 2012 than they were able to in 2011 ? Both teams finished with sub.500 records within their respective divisions . By all means chime in with a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Charlotte Bobcats’ Kemba Walker (1) screams in celebration after hitting a critical basket against the Orlando Magic in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. The Bobcats won 100-84 . AP Photo/Bob Leverone ..
(2) Charlotte Bobcats’ Gerald Henderson (15) get past Orlando Magic’s Jason Richardson (23) to score in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone …
(3) Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy points his team in the right direction against the Charlotte Bobcats in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. AP Photo/Bob Leverone … </p
(4) Charlotte Bobcats’ Corey Maggette (50) flies to the basket past Orlando Magic’s Jason Richardson (23) and Dwight Howard (12) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, March 6, 2012. Maggette scored a season-high 29 points in the Bobcats’ 100-84 win . AP Photo/Bob Leverone ……
(5) Pittsburgh Pirates chairman of the board Bob Nutting, left, shakes hands with center fielder Andrew McCutchen during a news conference before a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates and McCutchen agreed on Tuesday to a six-year, $51.5 million deal. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …
(6) Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen smiles during a news conference before a spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees, Tuesday, March 6, 2012, in Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates and McCutchen agreed on Tuesday to a six-year, $51.5 million deal. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …
(7) Kansas City Royals second baseman Irving Falu , top, turns a double play over Colorado Rockies’ Jonathan Herrera on a ground ball from Jordan Pacheco during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez …
(8) Kansas City Royals’ Lorenzo Cain , left, is tagged out by Colorado Rockies first baseman Jordan Pacheco during a rundown between first and second base during the second inning of a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 8, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
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