A Season of Hope Or Perhaps One of Desperation ……………

A Season of Hope Or Perhaps One of Desperation ……………

By tophatal …….. 4/10/2012 08:38:59 PM

Well we’re almost a week into the MLB season and though we’ve seen a number of teams playing with a great deal of resolve there’s nothing that we’ve yet learned about the teams in question. This time last year within the standings and the results in essence that this early in the season doesn’t necessarily equate what we will actually envision seeing at season’s end . Remarkably what we have seen is an increase in salary of some teams while a decrease for others from 2011 to 2012 . The New York Yankees still remains the team with the highest payroll in the game , absolutely nothing new there when you come think of it . And Alex Rodriguez remains the highest paid player within baseball with absolutely none of his peers coming close to his annual salary . It should come as no surprise that amongst the four major sports it Rodriguez’s annual $32 million pay , that comes out tops amongst those within the NBA , NHL and the NFL . And though by way of commercial endorsements Rodriguez cannot match that of his teammate Derek Jeter who just happens to be top earner within the game when one takes into account those endorsements and other residual earnings .

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Slide show for your perusal .

Money asides , this MLB season will be about the competitiveness of the teams and with the apparent incoming new owners of the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers , it will be interesting to see how Jim Crane , Magic Johnson and his partners look to make their respective ball-clubs relevant . So far things do seem to be panning out for the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers respectively within the NL Central and AL West . Brad Mills and Don Mattingly as the managers of the Astros and Dodgers respectively must know that they each will come under a great deal of scrutiny as the season progresses. It remains to be seen however whether or Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten will seek to make any upheavals within the front office of the Dodgers . Former owner Frank McCourt still remains a “pariah ” and for those who see his tenure of as the owner of the organization as simply a businessman who made a number of bad business decisions , I can only surmise that you have never been at the center of a multi-million dollar business concern where your every decision has a rippling effect throughout the entire organization. The fact that McCourt simply used the Dodgers as his own personal ATM for his lavish lifestyle and as collateral for several business deals that had no relationship with the baseball operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers should really give you an outright indication as to the malevolence of his actions that when he was finally caught, in a bind a lie , he chose to apportion blame elsewhere. It certainly did not help the situation that while the league hierarchy was said to be closely monitoring the situation as Bud Selig would suggest . I found it somewhat asinine that the commissioner did not think it pertinent to call in a public accounting firm to audit the books of the Los Angeles Dodgers when it came clear that the ball-club had an acute financial crisis on its hand where they were hemorrhaging ” red ink “ to the tune of several hundred million dollars and with debts said to be in excess of $ 1 billion ($1,000,000,000) .

Finally , one owner that the game of baseball hopefully has seen the last of ! And I’d dare say that Magic Johnson will not be presumptuous enough to have Frank McCourt attend an upcoming game at Dodgers Ballpark ! Surely he couldn’t be that stupid having invited McCourt to attend the opening game of the season against the San Diego Padres ? But then again who knows !

Now during the off-season much of the hoopla surrounded the Miami Marlins and the lavish spending that took place as they literally threw money at any free agent willing to make Miami the next stop of their professional career . Along with those acquisitions came that rather rambunctious character Ozzie Guillen who succeeded Jack McKeon as the team’s manager . Having left the Chicago White Sox after a rather testy relationship with White Sox general manager Kenny William it was felt that mutually for the benefit all of the parties concerned if the manager left the organization which he guided to a World Series title in 2005 . Robin Ventura was hired as the new manager of the White Sox and he will be looked upon to guide this team as they seek to challenge the dominance of the Detroit Tigers within the AL Central .

With Ozzie Guillen brought in as a manager first but also to appeal to the Latino community within South Florida . It was felt that this over-riding factor would be much more of a lure for that specific demographic along with the makeup of this roster of young determined players . Team president David Sanson , Head of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill felt that Guillen’s hire would prove to positive within the community. But knowing how vocal and outspoken this the manager was said to be it should not have come as a surprise that Ozzie Guillen has alienated himself amongst the Cuban-American population within the city of Miami after his admiration and vocal support of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul Castro . Surely , Guillen should have known that any remark be it private or in public, showing admiration for the dictator would draw the ire of the Cuban-Americans not just within Miami but also across the state of Florida . We should remember however , that this is Ozzie Guillen , whose anti-homophobic slurs are part of the manager’s usual spiel and ignorance . Even with his now infamous expletive led rants during post-game interviews should not come as a surprise from this manager or the very fact that he once described Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as a man of dignity and integrity ! And as passionate as Guillen just happens to be of his native country one has to ask , at what point did his brain shut down and his mouth keep on going ?

Ozzie Guillen has since apologized for his faux-pas but it hasn’t been enough to satisfy the fans within the locale and specifically Marlins’ front office . The decision was made to suspend the manager for five games starting immediately . That apology alone , may not be enough as this PR nightmare takes on a life of its own with fans already swearing off in their support of the manager and in some cases that Miami Marlins organization. Could things get any worse as of now for the Marlins ? OK , so the team was off to a welcoming start in their home opener having defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-2 . Currently sitting third within the NL East behind the division leading unbeaten New York Mets (4-0) and the second placed Washington Nationals (2-2) . It has to be said that Guillen and his managerial staff may well have their work cut out for them upon his return to the team .

As the Miami Marlins go , will be dependent upon the play of Jose Reyes , Hanley Ramirez , Anibal Sanchez , Ricky Nolasco , Carlos Zambrano , Emilio Bonifacio , Mark Buerhle and Logan Morrison . And inasmuch as the Miami Marlins are favored to dethrone the Philadelphia Phillies as the divisional champions of the NL East . From my own perspective , I do believe that the division is the Phillies’ to lose but at the same time given inconsistency we have seen from this team during the regular and postseason leads me to belive that Charlie Manuel’s …. team could very well be upended over the course of the season .

From perceived greatness in their own eyes to what appears to be a ball-club seeking to redeem itself . I do believe that this season for both the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins , they will either sink or swim by their exploits on the field of play and the ingenuity shown by their managers ! Manny Acta and Ron Gardenhire given their respective roles for their teams it will be interesting to see if they can guide them some semblance of success rather than the ineptitude encountered in 2011 . And for the respective owners Lawrence J. Dolan and Jim Pohlad it has to be now or never with regard to both of the ball-clubs in question .

Given the history of the Baltimore Orioles I am not so sure that the fans of the team will be provided with a great deal of joy this season even with a rousing start which initially had the team seated atop of the division alongside the Tampa Bay Rays . And for Buck Showalter and his managerial staff if they can get these players with any modicum of aggression then it is quite possible that they could succeed but much of that will also be predicated upon the consistency of the play of the other teams within the AL East . Team owner ….. Peter Angelos and EVP & Head of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette have done little to encourage the long-suffering fans of the organization that this team is heading in the right direction . Certainly not through the decisions made via the draft or via free agency acquisitions but you would be hard pressed to realize that given the rather asinine statements that have been forthcoming from within this organization over the years.

It is unlikely that the Orioles will change their fate , in recent years this has been an organization that has been poorly served by its executives and players . The Baltimore Orioles haven’t had a winning season since 1997 when they posted a 98-64 record on their way to winning the AL East that season. The team would make it to the ALCS that year where they would end up losing the series 4-2 to the Cleveland Indians. However , the Orioles’ most recent triumph in the World Series came in 1983 in their 4-1 series’ victory over the Philadelphia Phillies . From thereon-in it has been a steep decline for the Baltimore Orioles as an organization with many of their most celebrated players merely now seen as something of an after thought . For the likes of Eddie Murray , Cal Ripken Jr , Frank Robinson , Brooks Robinson , Jim Palmer and Roberto Alomar are no doubt eager to see this team under the coaching talents of Buck Showalter do well. At this juncture I am not so sure even with the ingenuity of Showalter that the Orioles are simply good enough to succeed in their endeavor , much less have a winning foray over the course of this season ! It is simply not within this team even with the talents of Nick Markakis , Matt Wieters , Robert Andino and Wilson Betemit .

The Orioles’ next game will be part of a home series of which it will be played against the New York Yankees . The projected starters in this match-up are C C Sabathia (0-0, 7.50 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (1-0 , 0.00 ERA) in what is sure to be a thrilling duel between these two AL pitchers . Granted , the season has yet hit its stride but I do believe that we cannot gauge the teams thoroughly after just a mere week of the schedule but by mid June we should be able to tell a great deal about the expected track that they are said to be on . When gauged against the events of June 15th last year and the standings I believe it may well be something of an indicator as to how the season may well pan out . As to the aspirations of the Baltimore Orioles as they seek to enter the fray in challenging the might of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays within the AL East . It would be fitting to think that they along with the Toronto Blue Jays could make the division all the more fitting in what could be described as being entertaining beyond the dominance in recent years with the Red Sox , Yankees and Rays having the division all to themselves .

As I alluded to earlier within this piece I felt that the Minnesota Twins would face an uphill battle this season . And that seems to bearing out as the team remains win-less (0-4 ) and are the only team in the Majors in such a predicament . Given the woes of the team this and last season , and when you add in the fact that both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau both had prolonged spells on the DL played a part in what turned out to be a disastrous year in 2011 for the Twins’ organization . It is hard to believe that during the early 2000’s this ball-club was a dominant force within the AL Central and a perennial contender therein . Now having hit on hard times and with a payroll
that simply is top-heavy with regard to their committment to their stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau . And that is as it should be but in terms a tangible return productivity wise this and last season as neither player seems to be fulfilling that obligation .

The fact that the Twins saw fit to let Michael Cuddyer go as an unrestricted free agent indicates to me that the front office of the organization is simply clueless ! Cuddyer was the most productive player for the Minnesota Twins in 2011 but somehow GM Terry Ryan chose not to resign the player to a deal commensurate with his standing . But it shouldn’t surprise anyone who is a fan of the game given the fact that more often than not the general managers and team owners within baseball are coerced by the sports’ agents to overpay for talent that is good , bad and indifferent . And yet there’s no denying that when they have been known to make a monumental error in judgment it just happens to be the manager who tends to lose his position .

For the Twins and their aspirations this season their game will be a match-up against the Los Angeles Angels led by Albert Pujols , C J Wilson , Torii Hunter and their teammates . The AL West will be division that will be highly contested with the Angels seeking to stop the recent dominance of the Texas Rangers . The Angels for their part will likely see this game as a something of a walkover against a less than stellar Twins’ team . On the mound as the opposing pitchers will be Jered Weaver of the Angels and Carl Pavano of the Twins . As to the outcome of the game it will be incumbent upon Ron Gardenhire’s players to show their intent to be a success this season . One can only hope that the Minnesota Twins meet those expectations and thereby satisfy their long-suffering fans .

With a new playoff format set to be introduced this season , this year could end up just as thrill packed as the final day of 2011 and the events during the postseason In 2013 with the perceived move from the NL Central to the AL West by the Houston Astros , is there anyone who’s truly of the opinion that this team in its present guise will fare any better than in its previous seasons ? Never mind the woefully inept showing by the Astros and their final standings within the division ! Jim Crane may well have paid a ” whopping ” $765 million for the organization , and with some financial inducements from Bud Selig and his paeans who see this prospective move to the AL West as being beneficial for the Houston Astros and the game in general . To my mind the Astros will become just another “bitch” that the likes of the Oakland A’s Seattle Mariners , Angels and Rangers will whip up on like a ” pimp” who’s displeased with the fact that one of his prostitutes (ho’s ) hasn’t been bringing in enough money by way of her ” Johns ” ! Whoop that bitch ! Whoop that trick > ! .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What have been your impressions as the season has slowly unfolded and at what point do you believe that we shall see the contenders start to separate themselves from the pretenders within the game ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .

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Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) ‘ Dumb asses ‘ come in all shapes and sizes , meet the “latest” , Ozzie Guillen ! Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen listens to a question during a news conference at Marlins Stadium in Miami, Tuesday April 10, 2012. Guillen has been suspended for five games because of his comments about Fidel Castro. He has again apologized and says he accepts the punishment. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky ……. (2) Jay Hernandez of Miami protests outside the Marlins Stadium in Miami, Tuesday April 10, 2012. Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has been suspended for five games effective immediately following favorable comments he made about Fidel Castro which infuriated many Cuban-Americans. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …

(3) MIAMI, FL – APRIL 10: Protesters rally outside a press conference held by Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen for comments made about Fidel Castro at Marlins Park on April 10, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins suspended Guillen for five games over his pro-Castro comments. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …

(4) MIAMI, FL – APRIL 10: Protesters rally outside as Miami Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen seen on a screen speaks during a press conference about comments made about Fidel Castro at Marlins Park on April 10, 2012 in Miami, Florida. The Marlins suspended Guillen for five games over his pro-Castro comments. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images ….

(5) Miami Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez prepares to throw to second for the out on Philadelphia Phillies’ John Mayberry Jr. during a baseball game Monday, April 9, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Marlins won 6-2 . AP Photo/The News-Journal, Daniel Sato ….

(6) LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 10: Javy Guerra (54) of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his save and a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates with A.J. Ellis (17) in the ninth inning during opening day at Dodger Stadium on April 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images …

(7) Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer , right, advances safely to second on a wild pitch as Los Angeles Angels’ Erick Aybar awaits the throw in the third inning of a major league baseball game Monday, April 9, 2012, in Minneapolis . AP Photo/ Jim Mone …

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MLB news .

MLB standings

MLB results 10th October 2012

MLB schedule 11th 2012

Probable starting pitchers 11th April 2012

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List the reasons why Stacey Dash is still worth looking at ? Now age 46 , she still looks real good don’t you think ?

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Terrence Howard ……. “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp ” ( Soundtrack from the movie ” Hustle & Flow”)

15 thoughts on “A Season of Hope Or Perhaps One of Desperation ……………

  1. Ozzie Guillen proving once again that being a dick …….. is no reason to believe that a person also has any common sense ! The Marlins’ front office knew exactly what they were getting when they hired his ass . And now they’re shocked by this latest incident ? What ? Weren’t they clued in when he made anti-homophobic slurs some years ago or when he questioned the birthright and parentage of White Sox GM Kenny Williams ? Alas , those blundering idiots within the front office and amongst the coaching staff are completely deserving of what they’re now in receipt of !

    “Ozzie have you ever had a d_ck in you a#s ? Better yet , how does it feel to have a di$k in your mouth because it’d be better for you to actually take up the gay lifestyle rather than the idiocy of making these all too asinine statement wouldn’t you say ? ” Miami journalist ” Sorry I don’t understand the question my Eeenglish is not so good ” . Ozzie Guillen

    Hopefully this as_s-wipe ( Guillen ) along with the team will crash and burn !

    Guillen doesn’t seem to be averse to putting his foot in his mouth , perhaps next time he choose to put some fecal excrement and chew on it rather than uttering his usual inanity ! Dumb f#_ck !

    tophatal …….

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  2. Ozzie’s words were not necessarily misconstrude but it was a heartfelt issue concerning the Marlins’ manager . He was trying to be sincere but the words came out the wrong way . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    tophatal ……….

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  3. Stupid is as stupid does Guillen is one hot head morons. So bet it. Juts because you have the highest payroll deosn’t always translate into championships. The Rays don’t have a high pay roll however fot the last four years Tampa bay is doing good.

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    1. Bobby Gee

      Unless I’m mistaken this was the wrong way for Ozzie to try and lure the Cuban-American populace to visit that new Marlins’ ballpark . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      “In my country we admire and welcome men such as Ozzie Guillen , as we see him as being passionate and honest . And yes , the answer is , I have always had “wet dreams ” about doin’ it doggy style with Hillary Clintion ! What a woman ! ” Syrian President Bashar al Assad

      On the other hand , he’s (Guillen) now got an open invite from the Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad to visit his country and speak about American-Arab relations . Wow that’s something that could blow up in Hillary Clinton’s face as Secretary of State .

      Perhaps Hillary can make Ozzie Guillen the US’s special envoy as an honorary State Dept ambassador and then send his ass to either Iran , Afghanistan , Syria or North Korea ?

      tophatal ……..

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  4. lol yeah def not a smart move on his part. I don’t think he understands what Castro did or stood for. He’s one of those loud mouths that never thinks before he speaks. I think if this would have happened later in the season, he woulda been fired as I don’t see the Marlins beating a threat in the NL East.

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    1. jgome

      Ozzie Guillen is an ass ! I mean this is the very same guy in who in no uncertain terms burnt his bridges while the manager of the Chicago White Sox and who derided GM Kenny Williams and team owner …. Jerry Reinsdorf before he left the organization so abruptly . And though the White Sox won a World Series in 2005 since that series’ victory that team has been listless and a joke !

      “I don’t know about you Ken but I’m glad that Ozzie is no longer with us ” ! Jerry Reinsdorf (right) ” Jerry I can’t stand that di_k-head Guillen and for him to question my birthright considering he’s been known to suck on the anal cavity of a dead animal is something of a joke . May he rot in hell ” ! Ken Williams

      As to the Marlins for all of the money spent by GM Michael Hill during the off-season on these free agents I can tell you this , the Miami Marlins are in for a real struggle over the course of this season . As for Guillen’s antics this has now alienated him amongst not only the fans of the organization but also the Latin community as well as Cuban-American populace within the city and state of Florida . The team on paper may well look good but in reality they’re not even the best team within the NL East . And while the expectations are said to be high it’s my belief that they will greatly disappoint the fan-base within the South Florida region !

      tophatal …………

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  5. I find it hard to believe that Ozzie Guillen is that stupid. I think it’s more likely that he is like another famous Ozzy and has gone off the rails on the crazy train. I got a feeling the Marlins are in for a long season.
    Cheers!

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    1. aero

      Don’t forget Guillen …. simply “wanted out “ from the White Sox and did just about everything within his means to piss off the White Sox ownership and with homophobic rants , expletive laden postgame interviews as well as denigrating GM Kenny Williams and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf .

      The Marlins in hiring Guillen had to have known what they were in for . I mean it’s not as if they weren’t aware as to what they were getting themselves into . To my mind the Marlins sank to “the lowest common denominator” in hiring Guillen as a manager when his record over the last five years with the White Sox can be best described as being tepid . They made “race” an issue and Guillen’s appeal as a Latino the determining factor rather than his talent as a manager . He may well have won a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005 but beyond that he’s done nothing at all !

      In reality I feel that this Marlins’ team to be highly overrated and undoubtedly ….. overpaid .

      “Hey Fidel have you heard of this guy from Miami called Ozzie Guillen ? You know I come to like this guy ’cause he speaks the truth ! Perhaps we can have him come to Cuba and speak to the kids in the Youth Movement ” ? Raul (right) & Fidel Castro

      If only Ozzie admitted the following ………….. ” I’m queer and I love sucking d_ck ” ! Then I think that no one would’ve been at all concerned but to piss off a whole demographic with his admiration for Cuban leaders Raul & Fidel Castro smacks of stupidity on the part of the Marlin’ manager . ‘nough said !

      tophatal …………..

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    2. aero

      If you don’t believe that Guillen is that stupid I’d hate to to know your feelings on Frank McCourt or Bob Nutting ! LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      By the way Ewa Sonnet would be open to giving you some private lessons . BTW you do speak Polish don’t you as that’s Ewa’s native tongue ?

      Playing with Ewa's fun bags and then ” buttering her biscuits ” …. would be nice don’t you think ? ‘

      tophatal …………….

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    1. Ill advised ? It’s been a pattern of behavior for Guillen and it’s not about to stop anytime soon. This is very same individual who all but suggested that White Sox GM Kenny Williams was born out wedlock . Need I say anymore on the matter ? I hear some of Williams’ family members would like nothing better than to give Ozzie a “Colombian” neck tie “ as an early Christmas present .

      tophatal ………..

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        1. Sam’s Sports Brief

          So in your estimation and opinion anti-homphobic slurs aren’t controversial ? And what of his denigration of GM Kenny Williams prior to his departure from the White Sox ? Perhaps I’m missing something concerning Ozzie Guillen’s behavior and what’s viewed as acceptable and what’s not as a human being in terms what’s viewed as appropriate behavior . As an employee would you denigrate your employer in anyway ? That has been the case with Guillen concerning not only Williams but also team owner Jerry Reinsdorf . You tell me ?

          tophatal ………… .

          Like

            1. Sam’s Sports Brief

              Explain how the anti hompophobe slurs aren’t controversial when you have gays beings victimized and denied rights and benefits in this country ? Not only that but in light of the Matthew Shepherd murder how can you try to make such a claim ? Take into account the recent death of that Rutgers’ student who committed suicide because he was “outed” by his roommate .

              This country is now more divided by race and one’s social and sexual status than anything and Guillen’s stance are indicative of that . It’s apathy on his part ! . Also take into account that Cubans who flee that country and then make it to Florida and then are given rights denied to others because they’re seen as political refugees .But in the case of Haitians they’re treated as illegals because of an archaic and unjust premise ! Think about it , rather than buying into the idiocy espoused within South Florida. You seem to also forget that city (and its members) has now become one of the most corrupt in the US and it’s predominantly ran by Cuban-Americans .

              Buying into a premise just because of some belief that the Cuban Americans should have more of a right to exist than another is plainly asinine !

              The city of Miami is now under investigation by the US Justice Department with regard to the financing of the new Marlins’ ballpark as it has been revealed that there have numerous improprieties that may well have had the approval of the Mayor , council members and senior executives within the Marlins’ organization as well as the MLB hierarchy under Bud Selig’s tenure . Naivete` on your part concerning Bud Selig I believe has clouded your judgment and what he’s achieved within the game from a positive standpoint when the negatives have far outweighed the positive .

              Pictured inset , Baptist minister and an avowed racial bigot Fred Phelps . Now tell me what you think ? Guillen’s comments were dumb assed as are Fred Phelps and followers ! Need I say anymore on the matter or are you going to go along with that original premise of yours ?

              More of Phelps’ moronic assholes . Still feel that Guillen’s remarks weren’t offensive ?

              These ass-wipes have never served a day of their life in the military but yet they denigrate war heroes who gave of themselves so that they have a right to display this idiocy ! You now explain to me how Guillen’s comments aren’t that controversial ?

              This being a country that allegedly views all men as being equal but you have assholes like Fred Phelps and his followers who espouse bigotry and tarnish the reputations of downed US military members and attest to that by saying that this country has become ungodly and adopted a gay lifestyle .

              Are you living in a cocoon concerning this issue ?

              >

              tophatal …………….

              Like

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