Stress Test Baseball And See Where That Takes You ?

Stress Test Baseball And See Where That Takes You ?

By tophatal ………

Well the idiocy of the government and in particular the Federal Reserve no longer surprises me ! Chairman Ben Bernanke and his counterpart within the Treasury Department overseen by Tim Geithner now have in place what happens to be a second set of “Stress Tests” which will supposedly test the 20 largest financial institutions in the nation , in order to gauge their preparedness should the US economy be once again be beset by a volatile economic environment . Pardon me for saying this , but weren’t Bernanke and Geithner the ones who in 2009 , stated that the travails and unevenness we were seeing within the economy was merely a minor hiccup that we shouldn’t at all be worried about ? Chairman Bernanke , would further go on to state that the housing meltdown should not be something to be at all overly concerned with . Given the fact that in 2011 the nation would witness in excess of 1.88 million home foreclosures adding to an already stagnant housing market it begs the question why the hell are the duo still in retention of their present positions within the government ? The nation is still very much pissed at the fact that so far of the $ 1.2 trillion dollars ($1,200,000,000,000) that has been spent to prop up the major financial institutions, automotive industry and a number of pet projects of President Barack Obama and a number Senate and House members on sides of the political aisle . It has me wondering , are the two sides of the political divide really that different from one another at all ? Ideology asides, the only thing that separates the two just happens to be a name because avarice has no boundaries and takes whatever shape that just happens to be placed in-front of it .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Obama’s ratings are close to an all-time low, while the chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives might as well be occupied by 535 anally retentive individuals , for all of the good that it’d do ! Their poll ratings might make you feel somewhat more amenable towards the President dependent upon your political ideology. Oh sorry , many of us probably are already under the impression that is now the case ? ! So what the fu#k have we really to look forward to ? In all likelihood the candidate who happens to win the 2012 Republican candidacy seeking to challenge President Barack Obama in the November presidential elections won’t be that much different from the incumbent when it’s all said and done ! I’m no admirer of either of political party to begin with ! So make of it what you will .

I liken the idiocy of both Bernanke and Geithner , to the now damn near lunacy we have come to see from Bud Selig in the last eighteen months at least ! If the Ryan Braun episode wasn’t enough of an indication of that wherein the commissioner and one of his most senior subordinates Rob Manfred questioned the veracity of the ruling rendered by arbitrator Shyam Das , after it was discovered that the chain of custody had been broken by a senior laboratory technician when he saw fit to send samples of the players test specimens to his home rather than to the testing facility specifically used by the league because of a bureaucratic delay . If that wasn’t so bad , this was not relayed to anyone in authority at the laboratory or within the MLB hierarchy . Somehow , Bud Selig and Rob Manfred felt that Das’ decision was solely from his (arbitrator’s) lack of understanding of the protocols set in place by MLB (baseball) . It makes me now wonder what in God’s name were the owners thinking when they saw fit to extend Bud Selig’s contract for an additional four years , after Selig had in implied in late 2010 that he would step down in his role as the game’s highest ranking executive in 2012 ? Instead fans of the game of baseball will have to endure a further four years of Selig’s buffoonery and nonsense .

Under Selig’s watch in the past eighteen months we have seen Frank McCourt plunder the coffers of the Los Angeles Dodgers solely to keep himself and his then ex-wife (Jamie McCourt) in the lap of luxury to which they’d both become accustomed . And at no time did it occur to anyone within the Dodgers’ front office to question the owner’s actions , which contravened many of the rules of the game as it relates to an organization’s finances . But you’d have been hard pressed to tell that to some individuals who claim to have an insight as to the economics of the game of baseball . Well I say to those assholes who still stand in support of Selig , you now have what you deserve ! An ignoramus presiding over the game ! And if that wasn’t enough under the commissioner’s watch we now have the yet unfolding morass that just happens to be the New York Mets and their ongoing financial strife . I can guarantee you this , before the season’s end , this Mets’ team in its current guise will certainly change in its complete makeup !. We have already seen that with the front office’s willingness to let Jose Reyes depart , but that came about from financial concerns in terms of the payroll issues that a number of teams now face. Wouldn’t it be nice to see what is likely to happen were Selig to apply a so-called “stress test” now as to financial viability of the ball-clubs within baseball with there being an in-depth audit of all 30 franchises ? Care to answer the question as to who you’d feel would come out on top and who’d definitely be at the bottom of the list ?

Granted, unlike the idiotic bureaucratic bean-counters who presided over the tests of the financial industry that has now allowed the likes of Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley , Citigroup , Bank of America , GE Capital/ Financial to still re-enter the same audacious and riskiest financial and practices without there being any oversight and transparency as to their practices . That being said I’m not so sure that there’s anyone within baseball’s hierarchy with a clear insight as to the acute issues that the game faces. It’s not as if Selig , Manfred or anyone from within the commissioner’s office has ever addressed this matter but they’ve had the temerity to address two congressional committees ( House Energy &Commerce Committee House Govt’ Oversight & Reform Committee ) as to the fact that the game now has the strictest testing drug testing protocols of the four major sports . If only that were true ! If memory serves me correctly the reason why baseball and softball were thrown out of the Olympics came about primarily because of the MLB hierarchy’s unwillingness to adopt a strict drug testing policy in line with the criteria set by the IOC in conjunction with WADA . Bud Selig’s stance , was that it would be an invasion of the players’ privacy but truth be known , the commissioner had no stomach for a confrontation with the MLBPA or its Executive Director at the time Donald Fehr , who now holds a similar position with the NHLPA . I’d dare say that IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge laughed at the MLB commissioner , his antics and that of the senior executives of the game’s international governing body the IBAF who sought to plead the case for baseball remaining part of the Summer Olympics schedule . That became unlikely when the IOC Executive Committee voted overwhelmingly to exclude baseball and softball from the Summer Games . Unfortunately , in spite of the pleas of IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari the intransigence shown by Bud Selig shows him to be an individual whose self serving and simply interested in his self-preservation and that of his legacy . A legacy to my mind that is tarnished by his ambiguity and sheer stupidity !

Both Baseball and Softball are making a push for their respective sport’s reintroduction at the 2020 Summer Olympics . As to whether or not this will be a joint effort between the IBAF and that of the International Softball Federation remains to be seen . I would like to think that if the ISF had any common sense, then they would choose to plead their case alone, rather than jointly with the IBAF , especially with a pompous ass such as Bud Selig in tow with the US delegation led by Paul Seiler of USA Baseball ! That would be akin to trying bringing two incompetent lawyers to plead a clemency case for a defendant who after years of being incarcerated has yet to comprehend the complexities of their crime in light of the serious ramifications. Bud Selig clearly doesn’t understand the international landscape of international sports on a global scale . And that is even in spite of the introduction of the World Baseball Classic . Not quite the resounding success that he hoped it would be , but it still serves something of a purpose in the overall grand scale of things , it by no means has the exposure created , were the sport still part of the Summer Olympics. There’s a difference between 300 million people watching globally and 1.35 billion but you’d be hard pressed to convince the commissioner of that , I believe !

Now we can all opine as to the said imbalances “ within the game of baseball” from a financial standpoint . The h New York Yankees remain atop of the heap in terms of the payroll structure of the teams within the game. And then when one takes into account of the salaries of the highest paid players it begs the question when the front office executives and team owners will choose to address the situation , rather than completely ignoring it . It’s not as if anyone within the hierarchy of baseball has the intestinal fortitude to make a statement on the issue . Besides it would appear that the MLBPA (union) only has to “bark” and Bud Selig , and his subordinates simply cower in the corner like a child who has just been frightened by that sound ! Never mind the fact that there’s the unquenchable thirst of the major sports agents within the game such as Scott Boras , Arn Tellem and ‘” Leigh Steinberg simply eviscerating general managers such as Brian Cashman , Sandy Alderson , Theo Epstein , Kenny Williams , Ned Colletti , Ben Cherington , Reuben Amaro Jr , Jerry Dipoto , John Mozeliak , Mike Rizzo , Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill . Thereby making these senior front office executives with years of experience in their chosen profession seem like novices when it comes to contract negotiations with the aforementioned agents .

Now in the aftermath of last season and final standings within the divisions and the wildcard entrants you’d be hard pressed to convince me that the likes of the Seattle Mariners , Minnesota Twins , Baltimore Orioles , Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals will improve to the extent where they’ll make in-roads within the AL ! And the same would go for the following teams within the NL , namely the Houston Astros , Washington Nationals , San Diego Padres , New York Mets , Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs . I’m not saying that the ball-clubs in question are completely bereft of talent but what has been abundantly clear to me , is that the front office executives of those teams are grossly incompetent by way of their dealings in terms of personnel decisions made during the past few seasons and also during this off-season . But then again what’s new ? It’s not as if the Nationals offering Jayson Werth a 7 yr $126 million contract proved to be intuitive or productive for the organization last season at all . And those under the impression that the IQ quotient gets slightly higher once you depart from steps of Capitol Hill , in Washington , DC to the inside of the front office of Washington Nationals , then you’d be sorely mistaken on that score .

GM Mike Rizzo is like no other general manager I have come across recently within the game of baseball ! The team’s payroll though light in comparison to other major market teams light but when one considers the largess of Rizzo the in terms of the contracts offered to Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper . It does make you wonder common sense much intelligence is to be found within the game , much less from within this particular organization . By comparison another of Rizzo’s former peers was Jim Hendry . Anyone who has witnessed the woes of the Chicago Cubs in the past few seasons by way of their record , draft choices , trades and wayward spending will surely understand the premise of my statement .

Both the Cubs and Nationals face and arduous task in terms of competing within the NL Central and NL East respectively this season . The Chicago Cubs embark upon their regular season schedule in their home opener when they two teams face each other at Wrigley Field , Chicago , in what’s sure to be in-front of a sold-out crowd yearning to see Dale Sveum’s and his team get off to an impromptu seasonal opening victory . On th flip side of this coin , manager Davey Johnson , his coaching staff and players are no doubt hoping that this will be a season where they can no doubt make themselves be heard within the NL . There’s going to be a cacophony of differing sounds in within the National League this year but I seriously doubt that the loudest of the sounds in question will be coming from either the Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals ! . But their long-suffering fans no doubt live in hope .

Now in spite of the buildup to this season and the off-season moves that took place , with a number of high profiled players changing teams and leagues . All of the hyperbole being created will not change what we have seen over the past seasons within the game . The status quo remains the same in terms of the financial balance amongst the teams . The minnows of baseball (small market teams) continue to remain where they always have been and that’s trying to swim upstream trying to catch up the bigger flow of fishes looking for new feeding grounds . Unfortunately , for Selig , his minions, owners and general managers they are simply doing a piss poor job of trying to curtail what is most certainly now on view in-front of them and that’s even with the now transparent events that have taken place . Needless to say , as with all views the various factions the commissioner will have his supporters and detractors. From my own perspective , it may well taking the demise of one of the teams within the game ( simply monitor the ongoing problems of the New York Mets to realize how precarious their situation still remains) before some proactive action is taken by the hierarchy simply for the well-being of the game .

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Picture gallery for your perusal . ( By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size. )

As a fan of baseball would you like to see more oversight from baseball’s hierarchy with demands be made at the end of the season , that all of the teams’ finances are closely scrutinized and audited either by the league’s own in-house financial operatives or by an independent outside source , with their findings being directed to the commissioner’s office and also for the public’s view ? Simply chime in with your own thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter in question and points raised within this piece .

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(1) From left to right Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner , President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke seen here at the White House speaking with the convened press concerning the issues facing the US economy . AP Photo/ Tom Richardson ….

(2) At the Women in Sports and Events Women of the Year luncheon June 8 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City (from left): Presenter Jonathan Mariner , MLB CFO and EVP, with honoree Wendy Lewis, MLB SVP of diversity and strategic alliances; Sue Rodin, WISE founder and national president; honoree Stacey Allaster , WTA chairman and CEO, with presenter Ari Fleischer , head of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications; and honoree Lisa Baird, USOC -CMO, with presenter Paul Tagliabue , former NFL commissioner. AFP/Getty Images / Mark Gillies ……….

(3) Rob Manfred (left) and Bud Selig are seen here being interviewed by the press prior to the MLB All Star Game in 2011 . Both senior executives were unhappy with the ruling rendered by Shyam Das during the arbitrator’s presiding over the Ryan Braun mediation case . Das sided with the player after it was shown that the testing facility hired by the league failed to follow the proper protocols in its chain of custody in handling Braun’s test samples . AP / Ian Shaw …….

(4) Seattle Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis talks to starting pitcher Felix Hernandez after Hernandez’s four-inning outing against the San Francisco Giants in a spring training baseball game , Sunday, March 11, 2012, in Scottsdale, Ariz. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(5) Chicago Cubs’ Starlin Castro , right, celebrates his home run with Geovany Soto during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix on Saturday, March 10, 2012. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …..

(6) Chicago Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair can’t get a glove on a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers’ Logan Schafer as second baseman Darwin Barney looks on during the second inning of a MLB spring training baseball game in Phoenix, Saturday, March 10, 2012. AP Photo/Chris Carlson ….

(7) Bryce Harper (34) of the Washington Nationals poses during photo day at Space Coast Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Viera, Florida. Getty Images / Mike Ehrmann …..

(8) Stephen Strasburg (L), the overall first pick in the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft , arrives for a press conference where he was introduced at Nationals Park August 21, 2009 in Washington, DC. Strasburg, a right-handed pitcher from San Diego State University, signed with the Nationals earlier this week with a record contract for an amateur player. Also pictured are Stan Kasten (C) Nationals Team President, and Strasburg’s agent Scott Boras . Getty Images / Win McNamee ……

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MLB news

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MLB results 12th March 2012

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19 thoughts on “Stress Test Baseball And See Where That Takes You ?

  1. For all these baseball purists who espouse the financial health of baseball let them actually prove it succinctly by stating where it happens to be the case ? More than 60 % of the teams within the game can barely eke out a real profit . And those at the bottom rung in terms of the team payroll have to rely on the league hierarchy in terms of the tax sharing revenue scheme . And I’m suppose to believe that Selig has been the best thing to happen to the game having succeeded Faye Vincent . He may well have added a somewhat superfluous effect in the revenue increase but overall his performance as commissioner has been outweighed by the disadvantages rather than the advantages . Inter-league play and the wildcard format while creating some excitement .

    Selig as commissioner has been negligent in addressing the issue of a hard salary cap and the reining of cost . But he has been front and center in cajoling , coercing state and municipalities to use taxpayers’ funds in building venues that the vast majority of the time are not actually sold out . See Citi-Field as proof of that very fact and it’ll be the same with the Marlins’ ballpark within two years . Less we forget also that the city of Miami still remains under investigation by the US Justice Dept concerning the financing for the venue .

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      1. And the small market teams who simply wait for the handout courtesy if the tax sharing scheme have no damn ambition whatsoever ! If Bud Selig really wanted to show his concern in making things somewhat equitable for all of the teams then he’d sit down with the owners , and union to try get a meaningful salary cap in place that would set something of a balance within the game. Instead it’s his constant idiocy that the fans have to put up with ! Both Selig and David Stern shouldn’t be entrusted to do anything at all as it relates to the current positions that they hold !

        tophatal ………..

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          1. Sam’s Sports Brief

            How so because a coddled superstar didn’t get his way ? Remember the Hornets are now league owned . David Stern doesn’t appear to be actively seeking out a new owner for the franchise in spite of the statements forthcoming from league office . The roster has been depleted to the extent they’re now unrecognizable from last season’s team . Also they’re now so uncompetitive that their home games are sparsely attended , not that they were a big draw league-wide to begin with .

            NBA team attendances in the following years .

            2011

            2010

            2009

            2008

            2007

            I don’t know about you but were I a potential suitor for an NBA franchise based on those figures , I wouldn’t at all be interested in pursuing the Hornets , unless the league threw in some real favorable incentives ! A Deep discount in the asking price and the possibility of relocating the franchise altogether ! And that’s something that Stern and his subordinates are at not willing to allow . So make of it what you will .

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  2. Stupid is as stupid does. Selig needs to get out. baseball is a joke. Why don’t have everyone involved in the playoffs. the morons who run the game let McCourt buy the dodgers. Ryan Braum is a joke.

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    1. Bobby Gee

      It’s the anally retentive supporters of Selig who simply see the glass as being full when it’s actually god damn empty ! Bud Selig has been a piss poor commissioner from day one ! Anyone who believes to the contrary knows fu$k all about business and Selig s failure to truly address the acute issues the game faces with any real resolve shows how out of touch he just happens to be ! Instead he fills the room with platitudes and so much rhetorical bull#hit that it simply doesn’t bear thinking about !

      Ryan Braun says he feels vindicated by the arbitrator’s ( Shyam Das’) decision ? He got off on a damn technicality not because his lawyer had any real veracity to his case .

      tophatal ……………

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  3. I think baseball fans have a right to expect that the management of the team they support are giving their best effort and resources to field a winning team. If the ownership of a team has an ulterior motive other than building a winning team then the league should definitly look closely at their finances.

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    1. aero

      You’ve obviously not read the statements attributed to Marlins’ COO Dave Sansom who described the Miami residents as being ingrates and not appreciative of what’s now within their midst in terms of the new 37,000 seat stadium built using public financing ( est. cost $465 million ) .

      Less we forget also that the city of Miami is now under investigation by the US Justice Dept as to how the municipality went about in raising the financing and that of the actions of the Marlins’ front office as well as the MLB hierarchy . It’s widely believed that senior officials on the city’s council were bribed in exchange for changing their original decision in opposing the building of the new venue . Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has remained extremely quiet choosing not to answer any questions and referring all questions to the city attorney and the municipality’s legal representatives .

      tophatal ……………

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  4. Tophatal, we have a real rivalry brewing in Philadelphia between the Phils and the Washington Nationals. We originally had Nats management disallowing folks from PA to buy tickets to Phillies games there out of shame for how Philly fanatics traveled down to DC last season and just “owned” their stadium when the Phillies played there. One night in particular was memorable when most of the crowd was standing and cheering as Washington made their final out. They are trying to force PA fans to go through secondary ticket avenues to get to their park. Pathetic. Then, Brad Lidge joined the Nats after the Phils decided he’s a shot fighter…and he was just quoted as saying this year’s Washington club is the BEST CLUB HE’S EVER PLAYED FOR. I am sure when that message is delivered to the Philadelphia locker room they’ll get a big chuckle…and then look to beat his brains out if he ever actually takes the mound against them. Finally, Davey Johnson (who apparently is still alive…?) said the Nats’ top three pitchers match up with the Phillies’ three aces. I don’t know what they are drinking or smoking in DC but if they want to “poke the bear” that is the Philadelphia Phillies…game on!

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    1. sportsattitudes

      I’m pretty certain that former Washington DC Mayor and former councilman Marion Barry doesn’t have any sphere of influence as it concerns the Nationals but I may well be wrong ! I can only surmise that he (Barry) may well shared a few joints and smoked some “crack” with members of the Nats’ roster , specifically Brad Lidge ! WTF !

      “;Crack is whack . Whitney told me so ” .

      Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine ? What is there left to say about both of these managers ? Other than the fact they’re both past their prime ! I can’t see of the duo doing that much with their respective organizations this season !

      tophatal ………..

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    2. sportsattitudes

      It will certainly be interesting this season to see whether or not the Phillies will continue to out-draw the Pirates in terms of attendance . I think that Charlie Manuel’s players have something to prove .

      Another disappointment this year and that team will have to be gutted to its core . Because there’s no way in hell that principal managing partner David Montgomery and the front office will continue to overpay and get little tangible in return .

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  5. I want to get excited about baseball, but then I wake up to reality and realize that the Mets are not going to be as good. Regardless if the Mets wanted to keep Reyes or not, Reyes would’ve left anyway. It was a good move for the franchise “money wise” being that the team is still trying to get over its financial woes.

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    1. Blog Surface / CDR

      And both Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon as co-owners of the Mets need to be #u$king castrated for the damage done to the franchise through their undoubted malfeasance ! Only an idiot would believe that over the course of two decades they were unaware that the monies received from the Ponzi Scheme devised by Bernie Madoff wasn’t from elicit gains ! .

      The team in its present guise won’t be contending within the NL much less the NL East this upcoming season ! They’re not good enough and they’re suspect all-round !

      Everything that Wilpon Sr and his son Jeff has said concerning the issue has been deceitful and filled with lies . They moved monies between the Mets and family owned investment company Sterling Equities Inc .

      “I’m tellin’ you Saul if we have to share a prison cell together you’re going to be the bitch in the relationship ” ! Fred Wilpon (right) on & Saul Katz .

      And while this has all been happening , Bud Selig’s ass has been as docile and as quiet as a ##cking church mouse ! Some commissioner he’s been as he’s presided over this god-damn mess as well the Dodger’s cluster-fu#k ! Only anally retentive individuals would actually believe he’s been good for baseball !

      😉

      tophatal ……..

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    1. Chris Humpherys (@SportsChump)

      This just in , it has been extended until 2016 . Now what ? Picket sign , my ass ! I’ll head up to the MLB headquarters in lower Manhattan , NYC and torch the ##cking place !

      How in f#@k’s name can the league hierarchy and team owners approve an extension of Selig’s contract with all of the idiocy perpetrated during his tenure ? It’s bad enough having to see assholes like Amex’ s (American Express) current CEO Ken Chenault being paid a king’s ransom for basically fu##ing up that financial concern !

      tophatal ……….

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  6. al clements

    I’ll stop picking on Bud when Congress and the Senate stops picking on the working class ! And we know that sh_t is not going to happen anytime soon don’t we ?

    tophatal ……………….

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