There Is Always Next Year ….
The NBA Finals gave us the finality to the postseason and the regular season , with no real surprise at the end of the day . LeBron James led the Miami Heat to their second title in six years , with James being named Finals MVP . Disappointment , may well have been the way game five ended , with Oklahoma City Thunder surrendering a lead , before subsequently bowing their heads in defeat , as the inevitability of their situation became all too much of a reality for Kevin Durant and his teammates .
Slide show, for your perusal .
Scott Brooks as the losing coach can take solace in knowing that his team gave a gallant effort , albeit that in the game that sealed the Thunder’s fate we saw the coach’s players , simply over-matched . For the Western Conference franchise , this has been a team built through the NBA Draft under the auspices of Brooks and GM Sam Presti . The future remains very bright for this organization which has been very judicious in their business activities assembling players of character to represent the franchise . Team owner Clay Bennett and his partners are fully aware what this basketball franchise means to the community , especially the residents of Oklahoma City. A professional sport’s franchise finally came to the city , which was need of some vibrancy and excitement . The fans have relished the addition to their community , making the franchise one of the most eagerly supported teams in the NBA . The fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder can hold their heads high , even after the ignominy of defeat . Is there a lesson to be learned for the young players on the roster ? From this series’ loss, I genuinely believe that for the upcoming 2012 -13 seasons , we will see a much more resilient organization and a group of players who will acquit themselves well ! There is the common belief around the NBA fraternity that not only this franchise on the rise but there will be an NBA title in their immediate future.
Congratulations, to the players of the Miami Heat , and their thoroughly deserved series’ victory ! Along with this adulation comes the expectations and next , as to whether or not the team can make a successful defense of their title . There is no denying that Heat’s fans having waited long and hard for this victory would like to see the team’s venerable trio of LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh brings this franchise considerably more success in their immediate future . Pat Riley and Micky Arison have the intent not only make that possible of bring multiple title to the city of Miami but the duo are also looking to make this franchise one of the most profitable and valuable teams in the NBA . The addition of LeBron James has reaped dividends for organization and it is clear with that exposure , and the recent success , added business opportunities will come their way. Pat Riley , may well have been viewed as Machiavelli but at this juncture , I am pretty sure that Miami City Mayor Tomas Regalado will be giving the keys the to the city , to not only the team president but also the entire membership of this organization .
If ever there has been a hire in the game of baseball that on appearance you knew was a monumental mistake from the moment formal announcement was made . Then the Boston Red Sox’s hiring Bobby Valentine has to be one of the biggest personnel mistakes made by the front office . GM Ben Cherington and team President Larry Lucchino must now realize that this team is not only self-imploding but there is no apparent leadership forthcoming from any of the veterans of the team’s roster . Now with tirade coming from the Red Sox’s DH …. David Ortiz , you simply have to wonder whether or were seeing the events of last September repeat itself once again . During the final month of the 2011 regular season the team went 7-21 , missing the wildcard berth and the chance to be a part of the postseason . In the aftermath of that mess the departures of Terry Francona and Theo Epstein , essentially led to a great deal of blood-letting with a number of players being jettisoned .
The Boston Red Sox got off to a horrendous start to the season from which they have yet to recover . The team’s pitching has been abysmal in a series of games where the ineptitude exhibited has been beyond belief . The team’s offensive capabilities at best have been sporadic and unconvincing . Bobby Valentine and his coaching staff , have simply been unable to get a cohesive response from the players . The post-game interviews offered up by the beleaguered manager have been nondescript and filled with a great deal of banality . Should the season become more deplorable for the organization , then there is every reason to believe that the front office will consider making some major upheavals on the roster , while seeking to gauge the players from their minor league affiliates to see if they can make a greater contribution to the team . Whether or not calling up players such as Bryce Brentz , Ryan Lvarnway , Xander Bogaerts and Brandon Jacobs would be of benefit to the organization has to be based upon a great deal of conjecture and speculation .
From my own perspective , I believe that the Red Sox’s issues stem from the very fact their intent has been to spend capriciously on talent without truly assessing the team’s needs . Granted , with the use of NESN as an immeasurable tax write-off . However , that cannot explain how situations arise wherein the front office have enormous commitments to the likes of <a href John Lackey , Josh Beckett , Carl Crawford and Marlon Byrd . Players who have essentially failed to show their true worth to the team this season , even in the advent of a number the players in repeatedly being on the disabled list (DL) for one reason or another .
The Red Sox as they seek to close out the month of June , they will have to face the Atlanta Braves , in the second of a three-game series , being be played at Fenway Park , in Boston , Massachusetts . On the mound tonight for the Red Sox will be Franklin Morales (0-1, 3.14 ERA) against Randall Delgado (4-7, 4.12 ERA) . The two pitchers will seek get their respective teams back on track , while improving their own status within the respective leagues . Should the Boston Red Sox fail to make the postseason I do believe that there will be some major upheavals not just within the player personnel but also amongst the coaching staff and with the possibility of Bobby Valentine losing his managerial position .
If the Red Sox are said to be having major problems then what must we make of the current situation now engulfing the Philadelphia Phillies ? Such has been the inconsistency of this team that by season’s end there is the belief that Charlie Manuel and GM Reuben Amaro Jr are likely to be relieved of their duties by the ownership group led by David Montgomery . As of yet , there does not seem to be a great deal of discord between the players management and the front office executives . Now one has to question do the apparent direction that the team now seems to be heading in and what has to counteract the imbalance .
This team with a litany of All Stars in a number of positions , especially amongst the pitching roster . But therein lies the caveat to this all , as Cliff Lee(0-3, 3.48 ERA[GS 14]) , Cole Hamels , Roy Halladay , Joe Blanton and the bullpen have combined to give the Phillies a team ERA of 4.00 , which is amongst the worst in the Majors (MLB) . If that wasn’t enough the team’s offense hasn’t been better as there too they have struggled . Injuries asides , Charlie Manuel’s managerial acumen will be severely tested in the coming months . Hard to believe at almost the midway point of the season the Phillies at 38-33 sits at the bottom of the NL East , looking up at the Miami Marlins (33-37) , Atlanta Braves (38-32) , New York Mets (39-32) and the division leading Washington Nationals (40-28) .
The month of July will prove to be an extreme test of the Phillies but they still have to close out their schedule this month , with a series of games that will pit them against the Tampa Bay Rays , Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins . The results attained could very well determine how this organization deals with their adversity as they move forward . As we know , just about anything can happen during a short period but I do believe that time is rapidly running out for this organization to turn things around . Granted , the Phillies in recent years have had a considerable amount of success , most notably with their World Series triumph in 2008 , over the Tampa Bay Rays . World Series MVP Cole Hamels had an outstanding series not only in the baseball’s showcase event but also throughout much of the postseason of that year . As passionate and rabid as the Philadelphia Phillies’ fans are said to be their only intent has been to see their teams be triumphant . Winning is just about everything for those vociferous supporters . Losing on the other hand , and the players , coaching staff and the owner will must vilified , as the fans “call for blood” . Would you care to offer an opinion as to how you envisage seeing things ending up for the Phillies this season ?
Picture gallery .
Do you believe that the Miami Heat is now geared towards making a successful defense of their NBA title ? And are you also of the opinion that the team is capable of winning multiple titles with their current “Big Three” of Chris Bosh , Dwyane Wade and LeBron James ? The ill fortune that seems to have befallen the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies , is there a possibility that either baseball team will be capable of turning their seasons around ? Take time to leave a comment on the points raised within this piece .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant, left, and head coach Scott Brooks, right, wave to fans as they arrive at a rally for the NBA basketball team in Oklahoma City, Friday, June 22, 2012. Even after losing in the NBA Finals, the Thunder returned home to a heroes’ welcome. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …
(2) Miami Heat small forward LeBron James celebrates with the most valuable player trophy after Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Friday, June 22, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …
(3) Atlanta Braves’ David Ross , right, looks to the field as Boston Red Sox’s Will Middlebrooks , center, celebrates his solo home run with Cody Ross (7) in the third inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, June 23, 2012. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …
(4) BOSTON, MA – JUNE 23: Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves watches as Will Middlebrooks (64) of the Boston Red Sox rounds the bases after his home run during the third inning of the interleague game at Fenway Park on June 23, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images …
(5) BOSTON, MA – JUNE 23: Michael Bourn (24) of the Atlanta Braves slides safely into first base beating Adrian Gonzalez (28) of the Boston Red Sox to the bag as Franklin Morales (46) of the Boston Red Sox looks on during the third inning of the inter-league game at Fenway Park on June 23, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images …
(6) ) (L-R) President and CEO of the Red Sox Larry Lucchino , Executive Vice President and General manager Ben Cherington , Bobby Valentine and Principal Owner John Henry attend a press conference announcing Valentine as the new manager of the Boston Red Sox during a press conference at Fenway Park on December 1, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images North America / Elsa Martinez …
(7) Tampa Bay Rays’ Jose Lobaton (21) scores as Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz looks for the ball in the second inning of an inter-league baseball game Saturday, June 23, 2012, in Philadelphia. Lobaton scored from first on a two-RBI double by Jeff Keppinger . AP Photo/H. Rumph Jr …..
(8) NEW YORK, NY – MAY 30: Cliff Lee (33) of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on after giving up a two run home run to Lucas Duda (21) of the New York Mets during their game on May 30, 2012 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …
(9) GM Reuben Amaro is seen here alongside Charlie Manuel after the Philadelphia Phillies’ World Series’ … triumph in 2008 . However, 2012 has brought along nothing but misery for the team as labor under a 38-32 record which has the ball club rooted at the bottom of the NL East . Amaro has made it clear that if the team is not in contention for the division or playoff by late July , then there will be moves made as part of a cost-cutting exercise to pare down salary . AP Photo / Paul Mason …
MLB standings @ 23rd June 2012