Can’t Fuss Or Fight ……… It Is What It Is …….. Any Questions ?

Can’t Fuss Or Fight ……… It Is What It Is …….. Any Questions ?

By tophatal

Strange as it may seem the craziness of the NFL over the past 72 hours hasn’t surprised me at all ! The carnage has begun with the team literally cutting the “fat” from their rosters . Granted , the money saved by the franchises will be used to sign the talent necessary to improve their chances of success this upcoming season . The NFL Draft this upcoming April will tell us great deal as to the direction that will be taken by the Indianapolis Colts , Washington Redskins , Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers . And given the respective records of the teams who fell flat this past season it has to be said that a great that will be expected of those teams as well as the defending Superbowl ….. champions the New York Giants .

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Slide show for your perusal .

In the aftermath the postseason and now the drama of the off-season with the Colts simply gutting their team with the jettisoning of Peyton Manning , Gary Brackett , Joseph Addai as well as several other starters . It would appear that head coach Chuck Pagano , his coaching staff , GM Ryan Grigson and in particular team owner Jim Irsay seem intent on starting afresh with a new chapter in the franchise’s history .

I know they say that the NFL is primarily a business but for me I simply see it as nothing more than act of barbarism and cannibalism amongst the league hierarchy and the owners ! . The players are the “young cubs” who as prey in the end get devoured by their own ! Now many will agree that the NFL player is highly overpaid , given the tenure of their careers and in some cases what one might deem real lack of productivity . Don’t get me wrong if it’s warranted , then rightfully so they deserve to get paid ! In comparison to the players within the NBA , NHL , MLB I’d say that they’re (NFL) not being paid anywhere near what they deserve !

As much I am looking forward to the upcoming NFL Draft I don’t know that I’ll be taking an in-depth study of the machinations and moves that will be made by the general managers and team owners ! Let them live and die by the choices that they will ultimately make ! I mean what’s about to change when it’s all said and done ? There’ll be winners and losers , the real issue will be deciphering who actually fits into those categories . Certainly , I don’t need the likes of Adam Schefter , Chris Mortensen , Todd McShay or that pompous ass Mel Kiper and another partner in crime Mike Florio to be telling me how things will pan out ! But then again there’s a reason why ESPN and NBC Sports pays these individuals for their opinions , as asinine they at times tend to be !

As the speculation and conjecture tends to grow as what will be the final destination of Peyton Manning , the mere fact that the player recently visited the Denver Broncos would suggest to me that John Elway and the team’s GM Brian Xanders will make a hard push to sell the franchise as the right place for him to end his career. As to what that might imply concerning the future of the team’s incumbent quarterback Tim Tebow . Well , let’s just say that might now seem as dim as a none too energy sufficient light bulb ! So much for the player being viewed as the face of the franchise and its future . I’m not saying it’s bleak but if you were a passenger on the Titanic on its maiden voyage you’d now be having more luck than what might be perceived in Tebow’s future with the Denver Broncos !

Manning also , has recently had a visit with the Arizona Cardinals where he met and was greeted by Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald , GM Rod Graves , head coach Ken Whisenhunt , team President Michael Bildwill , William V . Bidwill Jr . Suffice to say , everyone has to be happy with the exception of Kevin Kolb , who awaits a $7 million roster bonus from the organization which is due , mid March . Kolb may well have to take a back-seat should the four-time league MVP join the Cardinals like another former league MVP Kurt Warner whose tenure with the organization is well chronicled in terms of the franchise’s success and that of the player’s during his association with the Arizona Cardinals .

Well if wasn’t clear this past regular season and in the postseason , teams used a two running back tandem as part of their offensive strategy . But somehow the New York Giants and running back Brandon Jacobs couldn’t come to an amenable agreement with regard to the restructuring of the player’s contract . As productive as Bradshaw was for the team during their regular and postseason run it is clear that something was clearly awry between the player and the front office . The decision was made to release the often troubled running back who in tandem with Ahmad Bradshaw were one of the primary reasons behind the Giants’ success. Now the thought now appears to be , can the New York Giants now go on and become this decade’s New England Patriots , simply adding the Giants’ luster ? And that as they say my fiends , is now what awaits the NFL fans this upcoming season , as well seeing how Peyton Manning acquits himself for his new team .

I am not so sure that this upcoming season within Major League Baseball (MLB) will be able to live up the exploits during that final day of the regular season and the postseason itself !

The St Louis Cardinals ‘ ……. David Freese became the hometown hero in leading the team to the World Series , having also won the World Series MVP . Freese and all of his heroics in the NLCS was one of the primary reasons why the Cardinals came out of nowhere and turned the last month of the regular season on its ear , never mind his contributions as I alluded to during the entire postseason sojourn of the St Louis Cardinals .

With the departure of Albert Pujols and the retirement of Tony La Russa , the organization starts afresh with a new manager in Mike Matheny , along with the semblance of a new coaching staff and a revamped roster . I’m still perplexed how it is that the Cardinals couldn’t retain Pujols , given the organization’s history and alleged resources ! But then again it could well be that Bill De Witt and the team’s general manager simply felt that the asking price was too high . I’d say look again given the productivity that the first baseman contributed to the Cardinals during his tenure . I am not about to suggest that Matheny and the team will be at a loss but herein lies the caveat to this all . Who now steps up to the plate amongst the players on the roster ? Does anyone believe that Freese , Carlos Beltran , Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman , collectively, can bring all of the productivity and intangibles that Albert Pujols brought to the Cardinals ? Maybe , maybe not . That’s a question that will be asked and answered this upcoming season with the St Louis Cardinals . Although we may well be able to get an indication of that during the team’s preseason schedule .

The NL Central could prove to be interesting this year , as we are about to see how the Milwaukee Brewers , St Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds acquit themselves during this season . I’d like to place the Houston Astros in amongst the mix as part of the overall picture within the division but somehow I can’t ! And that is with due respect to the change in ownership , with Houston businessman Jim Crane having assumed control , buying the ball-club for a reputed $ 675 million ! The less said about the organization and their lack of recent success on and off the field of play speaks volumes as to the problems within baseball as a whole . Is it really lack of ambition from the owners , or perhaps the fact that the general managers simply are not good enough in handling the economic side of baseball as well as dealing with the personnel issues ? I’ll let you be the judge of that !

Given what we now know as to in essence what was proven to be the weakness of the league hierarchy’s case against Ryan Baun’s mandated suspension being overturned . It will be interesting to see how the player is now treated by the fans throughout the remainder of the Milwaukee Brewers’ Spring Training schedule before the team embarks upon their opening day game on the 4th April , 2012 , along with the rest of baseball . Braun may well feel vindicated having avoided a 50 game suspension on a technicality . Shyam Das’ ruling speaks volumes as to the inanity of the league’s stance ___ that they were disappointed when they should have been in fact been irate with the idiocy shown by a senior lab technician for the testing facility who saw fit not to follow the “chain of custody ” concerning the safe-keeping of the player’s test samples . Obviously Bud Selig and Rob Manfred are under the impression that rules of jurisprudence aren’t to be followed under their fiefdom or they’re of the opinion that the rule of law as it applies to baseball are not applicable under any circumstances even when they know that they’ve nothing substantive to back their stance . My thinking , who provided the legal counsel to Selig and the league during this whole damn episode ? It’s pretty safe to suggest that it wasn’t anyone with an actual law degree from any of the major educational establishments who are known for their esteemed law programs .

Now as many of you know I’ve never been enamored with Bud Selig as the commissioner of baseball ! Highly overpaid at $20 million a year not including incentives , someone truly explain to me what he has actually done that has proven to be in the best interests of the game ? And to suggest that the league’s drug testing policy and wildcard playoff format has actually produced real excitement when Selig , league hierarchy and owners and union simply choose not to rein in their costs . The hierarchy of the game has about as much business insight as the idiots who brought down Enron Inc , World Comm and US Steel Inc and American Airlines …..___ all three companies have declared bankruptcy or bankruptcy protection due to mismanagement . ! Need I really say anymore on the matter at this juncture ? Needless to say when you have the financial issues that the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets have chosen to place themselves in , then someone suggest to me how anyone can try to plead Selig’s case as being a good commissioner ? Bud Selig couldn’t tell the difference between a “balance sheet ” and a baking sheet , much less a sheet of Charmin’ tissue paper at best ! Even then he’s bound to have trouble wiping his own ass ! Need I say anymore on the matter ?

Frank McCourt having taken the Dodgers into Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings after his own misdeeds but yet somehow the commissioner chose to ignore all of the evidence , rumors and reports that were surfacing as to McCourt’s egregious actions and that of a number of executives within the organization . How can the fans be so dumb and apathetic to the situation but yet choose to berate the politicians within the Senate and House as to not lowering their taxes ? Am I missing something here , when each season these very same baseball teams raise admission prices or for that matter cajole and coerce the cities where they reside to either build them new stadiums ( Citi-Field , Yankees Stadium & Marlins’ Stadium [built at a combined cost of $ 2.775 billion ] ) or simply pay for their upgrades at the taxpayers’ expense , when those much-needed resources could actually be used more productively elsewhere ? Somehow , this is all overlooked by the baseball fans in general ! But then again who ever said or who would think that the vast majority of baseball fans are that intelligent to begin with ? And if you simply took into account the perceived IQ and business acumen of Bud Selig , then where would that suggest to you that it now leaves the game ?

The MLB commissioner now has to watch the soon to be unfolding drama that will play itself out when the New York Mets , co-owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon and the duo’s joint investment vehicle Sterling Equities Inc . will become the subject of a trial in the US District Court that will start on the 19th March 2012 , as the aforementioned parties are the defendants in a civil suit that seeks to recoup as much as $775 million that the ball-club (baseball team) is said to have received over the past two decades as part what Katz and Wilpon claim to be profits their investments in many of now the disgraced financier Bernie Madoff’s ….. notorious Ponzi Scheme that defrauded investors of $57 billion . All of this has happened on Bud Selig’s watch but there are fans still leaping to his defense like lemmings diving off a cliff . They might as well be drinking the Kool-Aid of former the infamous religious zealot, Reverend Jim Jones who along with his followers (2,500) either chose to commit suicide or as was the case , many were murdered by Jones’ henchmen in Jones-town , Guyana . Who can forget that ” whack job ” and his followers ?

The commissioner has presided over two of baseball’s most prestigious franchises having been or are on the brink of financial ruin during the tenure of his reign . There’s no need to use the economy as a crux as some idiots have tried to suggest but this all comes down to the gross negligence of the owners and the lack of complete oversight coming from anyone within the league hierarchy . Supporters of Bud Selig are simply too damn stupid for their own good and at this juncture there’s simply nothing left to be said ! Anyone who believes the commissioner’s tenure has been good for the game , wherein the course of two decades it has been embroiled in some of the most unsavory controversies within sports over the last two decades. Many of the games’ most illustrious records are now tarnished beyond repair and there’s no likelihood that even if surpassed they will be looked upon with any reverence at all ! Does anyone truly believe that if Alex Rodriguez should surpass the all-time home run record of which he’s now the active leader . Do you honestly believe that Rodriguez in spite of his undoubted talents will be looked upon with any veracity as being a player with any type of integrity ? This being the same Alex Rodriguez , the highest paid professional athlete in North America , other than Tiger Woods but within the game of baseball his career earnings will have exceeded $525 million at its culmination , from having signed the two largest contracts in baseball history . And now as the game’s highest paid player in baseball it does beg the question have either the Seattle Mariners , Texas Rangers or New York Yankees really gotten value for money from A-Rod ? Your thoughts ? A three-time AL MVP , multiple All Star but yet the one thing Rodriguez lacks , has been leadership skills and it appears that his aloofness from his teammates alienates him even more in terms of the fans’ perception of the player.

It is expected when Yankees’ short-stop Derek Jeter retires from the organization whenever that should be , then the common belief that Rodriguez would assume the role as being the leader of this team . Jeter’s career has been an illustrious one and in many respects he has become one of the most revered players in the New York Yankees’ history . And when one considers the Hall of Famers enshrined in Cooperstown that have donned the Yankees’ Pinstripes , that is a pretty impressive group to be associated with indeed . Does Rodriguez in your honest opinion possess the talent deemed necessary to succeed Jeter in any capacity as a leader of the New York Yankees ?

Hal Steinbrenner having assumed control in the day-to-day running of the Yankees in conjunction with his siblings Hank Steinbrenner and Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindahl have stated that they wish to rein in costs as it relates to team salary in comparison to previous seasons ( 2011 , 2010 , 2009 & 2008 ) . As to how this may well sit with the GM Brian Cashman remains to be seen being as the front office wasn’t overly active in the off-season in terms of their free agency acquisitions and none roster invitees in assembling the team for this upcoming season .

Given the mishaps for the Yankees in the 2011 postseason it was abundantly clear that the team’s pitching was their Achilles’ Heel as it was throughout much of the regular season in 2011 . It will be interesting to see what the addition of Michael Pineda will make to the starting rotation that will be spearheaded by CC Sabathia . Team manager Joe Girardi is under a great deal of pressure to make sure that the New York Yankees will be competitive this season and it will be no easy task given the competitiveness of the AL East and the very fact that the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will be looking to make the division a truly competitive one . All three teams at one time another in recent years have won the AL East by the slimmest of margins . And last year was no different with Yankees winning the division and the Rays being the wildcard representative for the AL during the postseason. The division is anyone’s for the taking as I firmly believe that the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays should not be overlooked should either team get off to a fast start and maintain that momentum over the course of the season .

From an offensive standpoint I certainly do believe that the Yankees will show the signs that they are one of the more capable teams within the AL . And leading the charge in that respect I’ve no doubt that Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano will fully acquit themselves as they did last season .

As a post-note, for those still thinking that Jeremy Lin can still save the New York Knicks ? Then think again because until the player and his teammates learn to play defense then that team won’t be going anywhere much less have a sniff of the NBA playoffs . The Knicks simply are not good enough by any stretch of the imagination . Another loss by the Knicks to the Lou Williams’ led Philadelphia Sixers in a game that was simply an embarrassment for anyone watching who just happened to be a New York Knicks’ supporter and particular a ” Lin-sanity ” appeasers ! The moment that the coaching staff of the Knicks gets this kid to ” take care of the rock ” ( another six turnovers ) , thereby honing his craft rather than suggesting that it’s all down to Lin , then the better off this Knicks’ team might be ! Not much more can be said on the matter !

You can dress a sow up as a pig but that doesn’t necessarily make it a pig and that’s what fans are now trying to do not just with the New York Knicks but also Jeremy Lin ! Unfortunately , pigs and sows just happen to be messy animals who have been known at times to eat some of their own defecation as well as that of other farm-yard animals . Get the same feeling about the Knicks at this juncture in terms of their most recent games ? Anything to take the smile off the face of Spike Lee and that of the self-absorbed and obnoxious Knicks’ fans is as always a damn good thing ! Nothing more , nothing less !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit .

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Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Quarterback Peyton Manning pays a visit to the Arizona Cardinals Training Facility in Tempe, Ariz., Sunday March 11, 2012. Manning is searching for a new team. AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Cheryl Evans …

(2) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald leaves the team’s football training facility where NFL quarterback Peyton Manning had visited with coaches and front office staff, Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Cheryl Evans …

(3) NFL quarterback Peyton Manning leaves with Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt after meeting with coaches and front office staff at the team’s football training facility, Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Cheryl Evans …..

(4) St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese reacts after striking out in the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla., Saturday, March 10, 2012. Miami won 3-1. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(5) Teammates, including Derek Jeter , (2), and Alex Rodriguez (13), congratulate New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (42) after Rivera pitched in the fourth inning of the Yankees 3-0 shutout of the split squad Philadelphia Phillies during their spring training baseball game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Sunday, March 11, 2012. AP Photo/Kathy Willens ….

(6) New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, left, listens to Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson during a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Kissimmee, Fla. AP Photo/Paul Sancya ….

(7) (L-R) New York Yankee Manager Joe Girardi, Randy Levine , President of the New York Yankees, Lonn A. Trost , COO of the New York Yankees and Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner / Co-Chairperson of the New York Yankees attend Jorge Posada’s press conference to announce his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Getty Images North America /Mike Strobe …..

(8) The family of late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner poses in front of the newly unveiled monument prior to game against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 20, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Seen are (L-R) daughters Jennifer Steinbrenner-Swindahl, Jessica Steinbrenner , wife Joan Steinbrenner , and sons, Hal and Hank Steinbrenner . Getty Images North America / Jim McIsaacs …….

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Wale … feat’g …. Gucci Mane & , Weensey of Backyard Band ………” Pretty Girls ”

10 thoughts on “Can’t Fuss Or Fight ……… It Is What It Is …….. Any Questions ?

  1. So the games have begun as it relates to the Manning ” sweepstakes ” chase . Wow ! Who knew that the Colts could sink without a trace as they’re now hoping that Luck simply lights up the league as Cam Newton did in his ” rookie season “ .

    As for the Yankees I can only hope that A Rod lives up to that $30 million plus salary he’ll get from the Yankees this season . Otherwise it makes a complete mockery of Hal Steinbrenner’s talk about paring down payroll !

    tophatal ………..

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        1. Sam’s Sports Brief

          That’s something that I don’t believe a number of NFL analysts , fans or prognosticators actually appreciate at this moment in time . That’s why I feel that the Broncos’ use of Elway is the real key to this all ! That’s a major bargaining chip unlike the other teams vying for the player’s services . Team owner Pat Bowlen and GM Brian Xanders know this and that’s why he’s become such a big bonus and invaluable as a front office executive with the organization .

          From left to right , Xanders , Elway and Bowlen .

          The only thing one might now be concerned with , is how Tebow might view this all , as John Elway had thrown his support behind the young QB after his heroic efforts in the regular and postseason for the organization . 🙂

          tophatal …………………

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  2. It’s this time of year where the eventual Executive of the Year makes his mark, Al.

    The Bucs are among those making moves, mostly because they have an entirely new regime but also because they have a lot of money to spend. Let’s see if they actually do that.

    This will eventually be a whole new look team, i.e., Faine gone (maybe), Barber in likely his last year, Talib hopefully gone… and let’s hope, a whole bunch of new free agents and a talented draft pick and number five that can make an immediate impact on the field.

    Like

    1. Chris Humpherys (@SportsChump)

      They’ll (NFL GM’s) live and die by the decisions made be it through the NFL Draft or via free agency . How ’bout them Bucs ? Vincent Jackson …. signed to a 5yr $55.5 million deal ? Who knew that the Glazers would be willing to open up their now squeaking pocket books ?

      The Bucs simply need to get rid of the “dead weight ” on the roster after last season’s mishaps and woes that’s for sure !

      tophatal ………….

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  3. Since we’re talking about fussing about the NFL… what about that contract extension to Mark Sanchez… Now, I understand the Jets needed to make Sanchez happy, but an extension? Hmm… Good deal or bad deal in your opinion.

    Like

    1. Blog Surface (CDR)

      Explain to me anything that the Jets’ front office have done recently by way of free agency and their signing of players that actually makes any sense ? They’re on the hook for Santonio Holmes’ for the bulk of the player’s contract as it’s being rumored they want to “shop him” around the league ?

      As to the extension given to Mark Sanchez , I guess that Ryan and the front office simply didn’t want to lose a player they believe to be a “franchise quarterback” within the AFC and specifically the NFL as a whole .

      Given the regression of that Jets’ team and a complete lack of leadership I’m not so sure that they’re good enough to be considered a legitimate contender within the NFL . Rex Ryan is simply delusional as to what he believes to be the ” greatness “ of the New York Jets under his tenure !

      Could she be a friend with “fringe benefits ” ? Your thoughts ?

      tophatal ……………

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    2. Blog Surface/CDR

      The real ” extension” that Mark Sanchez might’ve needed may well have been a few extras inches that way he could’ve kept actress Jamie Lynn-Sigler truly satisfied ? Your thoughts ?

      If Sanchez can’t keep a hot chic like this (Jamie Lynn Sigler ) happy then what friggin’ hope is there for the Jets ?

      Apparently the Jets’ qb likes to visit ” Broadway ” and take in musicals and he loves show tunes . Well , that certainly explains a lot now doesn’t it ?

      tophatal ……………..

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