Fitting A Square Peg Into A Round Hole Courtesy of Bud Selig … So What’s New ? ….
By tophatal ……….
A number of records are due to be impacted this season within baseball and all eyes will be on power hitters such as Prince Fielder , Jose Bautista and Albert Pujols . Now much has been made about Ryan Braun’s somewhat asinine case of the misuse of a banned substance . One can only surmise that even with Bud Selig’s continued idiocy _____ can things actually get any worse this year ? The final month of the 2011 season offered the fans enough excitement that the postseason delivered greatly , much to the satisfaction of the fans and the watching global audience of tens of millions. Now while the league hierarchy has stated that there was an overall increase in attendance over previous .. years . One of the many stark contrasts were the very facts that while the game still resonates as America’s pass-time there seems to be a downturn in participants amongst high school and collegiate level students . Also the game now seems to be struggling for recognition amongst the African-American demographic. By enlarge , it would appear that the vast majority of young African-American males now gravitate towards the NBA and NFL . One could question whether or not the MLB hierarchy has actually done enough to lure that specific demographic towards the game , albeit that they have several up and running programs within the urban community around the country . But that in of-itself simply doesn’t give us all a clear indication as to why this program hasn’t really caught on across the nation.
One indication as to why the program might give the perception of not taking hold could very well be that a number the league’s prominent teams have taken it upon themselves to set up academies in Latin America , the Caribbean and the Far East . Amongst the teams that have taken this path , have been the Los Angeles Angels , Oakland Athletics , Los Angeles Dodgers , New York Yankees and New York Mets . If nothing else these ball-clubs feel that is where the future growth of the game will come from and a clear indication also to Latinos in North America as the fastest growing demographic in the nation , they are now being recognized in that criteria by Bud Selig , the league hierarchy , team owners and the MLBPA (union) , itself .
Slide show for your perusal .
From my own standpoint , I do believe that baseball has in fact done a poor job of promoting the game amongst the African-American community over the last decade ! Given the struggles of Jackie Robinson , Larry Doby and others from that specific ethnicity that followed in Robinson’s landmark footsteps . And it does appear that Bud Selig only uses the famed Dodger as a token reason , to hearken back to a bygone age when for all sense and purpose African-Americans couldn’t find a seat at the table much less drink from a water fountain and need I remind you fight alongside their Caucasian counterparts in a fully integrated military Armed Services ? Undoubtedly , it will be a cause for concern in the future as it sees a decline amongst the younger demographics of African-American participants within the game of baseball .
Another real issue also comes from the very fact that there’s constant gearing of the World Series as televised by Fox to be geared at a prime-time television audience when much of the time it has been of no avail . Ratings for the World Series has declined and the only time there appears to be an overall uptick comes from the involvement of the New York Yankees , baseball’s most illustrious and successful ball-club . And with that franchise’s last success in the World Series coming in 2009 . It has to be said that Bud Selig would perhaps like nothing better than to see the New York Yankees as part of this year’s postseason finale . Tell me if I’m wrong by proving my premise to be one that isn’t at all valid ?
Amongst the changes to be seen this season will be the expansion of the wildcard playoff format with an additional team from each league being added to the postseason fare . And based on last standings both the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves would have been added to that spectacle. In reality given the play of the Tampa Bay Rays and St Louis Cardinals during the run-up to the postseason I seriously doubt that the addition of either team would have changed what appeared to have been an inevitable outcome !
With the Houston Astros now moving from the NL West to the AL West where they will join the Los Angeles Angels , Oakland A’s , Seattle Mariners a and Texas Rangers . It will be interesting to see how this team fares in a new environment and with the change of rules . Given the organization’s recent history and how they have fared within NL West , I am not so sure that we will see this team be as competitive or actually make any waves amongst their fledgling opponents within that division much less the rest of the AL , altogether . And to think that one of the main lures for owner Jim Crane was a financial inducement from the league hierarchy wherein , he netted a discount on the price paid when he bought the Astros for $765 million in 2011 .
The postseason in 2011 and we saw the St Louis Cardinals simply sweep aside all of their opponents over the course of their playoff sojourns without really breaking much of a sweat . David Freese won the World Series MVP and became a hometown hero in St Louis , Missouri . Albert Pujols’ departure though expected , did come as a shock to many , who felt that there might well have been a remote chance that he remained with the only professional franchise he’s known over the course of his career …….. until he joined the Los Angeles Angels and signed that unprecedented contract .
I’m not about to make any prognostication as to the upcoming season but it has become apparent that a number of teams will be starting behind the eight ball , given the fact that there seems to be a plethora of players on the DL . For the Philadelphia Phillies two of their most prominent and productive players will start off the team’s regular season seated on the sidelines. Chase Utley a and Ryan Howard will seek to rejoin the staff as quickly as their ailments allow them to return active duty. The team’s offense was always something of merit but their All Star pitching rotation might well be the one of the major highlights that will have the fans watching in admiration . Roy Halladay , Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are perhaps three of the most prominent and high profiled players at the position within the NL . And that trio will dictate and play a large part in how the Phillies fare this season and based on their performances during 2011 should give us an indication as to how good Charlie Manuel and his coaching staff believes this team will be .
For Charlie Manuel and Reuben Amaro Jr , this season , it will be now or never as to winning a World Series , given the financial outlay and last year’s failure during the playoffs . 2012 , and perhaps we may well see a parting of the ways between the manager , general manager and the organization . Citizens Bank Ballpark would no doubt love to stage another World Series involving the Phillies but that will be predicated upon which players step up to the plate and leads the team by example alongside the leadership of Charlie Manuel and his coaching staff .
Though it hasn’t taken an eternity it would appear that at long last the Los Angeles Dodgers have found themselves a new owner . Though a formal announcement has yet to be made by the league hierarchy but it would appear that the US Bankruptcy Courts in the state of Delaware under the auspices of financial advisory firm Blackstone Group have settled on a consortium led by billionaire venture capitalist Mark Walter and former NBA player Magic Johnson . The proposed bid is said to value the franchise at $2 billion ($2,0000,000,000) , making it the highest sale ever , for of a professional sports’ team in North America . The figure obviously over-inflated reflects also the market in which that the Dodgers resides , being the nation’s second largest ad-market but herein, lies this whole saga , the organization’s debt burden was in excess of $1.45 billion ($1,450,000,0000) , which clearly showed the negligence on the part of now former owner, Frank McCourt , and the front office executives . As to whether or not the likes of GM Ned Colletti and CFO Peter Wilhelm will be retained by the consortium remains to be seen. But I for one think it highly unlikely , with Walters , Johnson and their other partners quite possibly seeking to bring in their own people to deal with the day to day operations of the ball-club , with the managerial staff led by Don Mattingly remaining in tact !
Courtesy of the NY Daily News
Former LA Lakers star leads group that will purchase storied baseball club
By Teri Thompson and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News
The long and contentious process of selling the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to end Tuesday night when the iconic but troubled franchise announced that a group led by basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson would purchase the team from owner Frank McCourt for a staggering $2 billion.
By Wednesday morning, however, several clubs had raised significant questions about the sale of the team to Johnson and his partners in Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, which includes controlling partner Mark R. Walter, Peter Guber, baseball executive Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly, including whether McCourt and the group subverted the auction process scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in New York. Guggenheim beat out several of the wealthiest businessmen in the country, including New York are hedge fund manager Steven Cohen, who recently purchased a $20 million minority share of the New York Mets. Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Advisors LP, was considered the frontrunner to win the bid, followed by Stan Kroenke, who owns the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams and Arsenal of English soccer’s Premier League, and Guggenheim.
The agreement, announced by the Dodgers about five hours after Major League Baseball owners approved the three finalists for the auction, is subject to approval in federal bankruptcy court and is expected to close by the end of April pending questions about the process from bankruptcy judge Kevin Gross and any issues the owners may raise with him. April 30 is the date that McCourt must pay $131 million to his ex-wife Jamie in what became a bitter divorce settlement leading to the sale of the team. McCourt bought the Dodgers in 2004 for $421 million.
According to sources close to the situation, several owners have concerns about the structure of the Guggenheim offer and the fact that McCourt may have cut a television deal before the sale of the team was completed, a move that Major League Baseball had insisted not happen until after the transaction was completed.
Click on link to read this article in its entirety .
Magic Johnson and Mark Walters may well concede that with that sort of outlay they may well have to pare down salary in the coming years but at the same time assess the roster in its current guise , seeking the input of Mattingly and his staff. No formal announcement has been made by Bud Selig as to the tentative television deal that Frank McCourt had negotiated with a local Fox television affiliate that would net the ball-club some $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) over two decades , a gainful source of revenue for an organization that had been mismanaged egregiously , by McCourt and the senior executives within the Dodgers’ organization . All this happening under the less than watchful eye of Bud Selig and the league hierarchy who saw fit to do nothing until it was actually too late . It is no small wonder that within the last five years three Major League Baseball teams have sought bankruptcy protection after financial mismanagement by their respective owners during that time ? . The three in question , were the Dodgers , Texas Rangers (under former co-owners Tom Hicks & Ken Gillette ) and the Chicago Cubs under the ownership of billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell . And there are idiots within this forum who would seek to paint not only Selig but the vast majority of owners within the game as being astute businessmen ? Somewhere , someone , has been drinking way too much of the Kool-Aid and a great deal more beyond that !
As to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ future this season , well this news may well give the organization the respite it needs for now . But as to how competitive they can be over the course of their schedule remains to be seen . Clearly, the likes of Matt Kemp , Andrew Ethier and Clayton Kershaw would like nothing better than to reproduce the form shown last season. Albeit , that they fell way short in terms of a spirited challenge within AL West . This season the new ownership consortium , coaching staff and Dodgers’ fans can surely only hope for better . Your thoughts ?
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have with regard to the points raised within this piece ? And as a fan of the game were you surprised by not so much by the sale of the Dodgers but the asking price in terms of the winning bid ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show for your perusal .
(1) TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 28: Chone Figgins (9) of the Seattle Mariners bunts during in the top half of the third inning of a against the Oakland Athletics at Tokyo Dome on March 28, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images …
(2) TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 28 : Cliff Pennington (2) of the Oakland Athletics throws to first for the double play as Miguel Olivo (30) of the Seattle Mariners slides in to second during in the top half of the fifth inning at Tokyo Dome on March 28, 2012 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images ….
(3) Albert Pujols (5) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first base after hitting a single against the San Francisco Giants during the fourth inning of the spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 27, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …. ….
(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – FILE: Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson speaks during an event announcing naming rights for the new football stadium Farmers Field at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 1, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt announced an agreement March 27, 2012 to sell the Los Angeles Dodgers to a group that includes Johnson. The deal has to be approved in federal bankruptcy court. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images ……
(5) Left: Todd Boehly , president of Guggenheim Partners LLC . Center: Allan D Schwartz and right , Mark Walter , CEO. The trio in conjunction with Magic Johnson and former Braves and Nationals’ front office executive Stan Kasten are part of the consortium Guggenheim Baseball Partners LLC who are the new owners of the ball-club bought for a reputed $2 billion . Questions have arisen concerning the bidding process as well as the television deal negotiated by Frank McCourt prior to his taking the Dodgers into bankruptcy protection . The league hierarchy has yet to address these latest allegations posed by several prospective team owners . Mark Richardson / AP Photo …..
(6) Stan Kasten , a former front office executive with both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals is part of the consortium that has successfully won their bid ($2,000,000,000) for the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers . It is thought that Kasten will head the front office in dealing with the day-to- day operations for the new owners led by Mark Walter , Todd Boehly , Andrew D Schwartz and former NBA great Magic Johnson . AP Photo / Elise Amendola …
Wale , feat’g ….. Rick Ross & Meek Mill ………. “Ambition ”