You’ve got to pick a pocket or two …….

You’ve got to pick a pocket or two

By Tophatal

Well for the next six days, the Tampa Bay area will become the political epicenter of nation, as the RNC Convention will be held at the St Pete Times Forum in downtown , Tampa , Florida . In attendance will be delegates , from across the nation , local dignitaries, as well as senior party officials and , high-ranking corporate executives , whose party affiliations and business interests are somehow tied in, with a Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s proposed agenda for this country , should the two be triumphant in the November Presidential elections . I’ve no political axe to grind here , as I find both the Democratic and Republican party’s as equally disingenuous and as corrupt as one another ! Suffice, to say , whomever gets in , or is retained in office , the country will still be f##ked ! There, I’ve said it, now deal with it!

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Slide show .

Now while the economic impact of between $100-$175 million dollars will serve the Tampa Bay area, well. I find it, somewhat ironic that Mayor Bob Buckhorn is trumpeting the fact that his city is seeing a groundswell of economic gains and an increase in the quality of life . Since being sworn into office , having succeeded Pam Iorio, Buckhorn has in fact become more delusional by the minute. As he strives to make Tampa a world-class city , the area is really looked upon as being devoid of entrepreneurial talent , creativity . What might be even worse however , is that from an economic standpoint the area has become a barren wasteland. Still, Bob Buckhorn as the mayor , is entitled to his opinions as he strives to make the quality of life better for his residents .

Away from the political arena , the sporting environment is richly enhanced by the fact that Tampa becomes the off-season home and main Spring Break facility for the New York Yankees . Well, let’s put it this way, this city, lives, breathes and eats New York Yankees, by way of the undying support of the renowned baseball franchise. And inasmuch, as the Yankees’ divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays, in recent years had a modicum of success. This Florida franchise remains light-years away, in being like and achieving the feats of their more venerable opponent and rival.

Within the AL East in the past 5 weeks ,the Tampa Bay Rays have slowly chipped away at the divisional lead that the Yankees maintained . Through timely hitting , pitching and defense , this team has somehow managed to claw itself back into the divisional picture as well as being the leading contender for one of the two wildcard berths up for grabs within the AL . The current lead that the New York Yankees now maintained has now been whittled down to 2 ½ games within the AL East . And by Sunday , should everything fall into place as envisaged amongst the Rays players they could very well find themselves leading the division .

The waning days of July and the month of August, have has seen the Rays on a phenomenal tear through their schedule as the players have simply stepped up to the plate as and when necessary . And yes , there have been one or two shaky moments where Joe Maddon’s offense simply hasn’t supplied the pitching staff with the run support needed , thereby needlessly losing games they had well within their grasp .

On Thursday night, in an exhilarating display of pitching Alex Cobb of the Rays completely bewildered the Oakland A’s , as he pitched a complete-game shutout in leading the team to a decisive 5-0 victory over the AL West team . Unfortunately, for the meager 11,000 plus attendees at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg , there to watch their hometown heroes. This was not , and I will re-emphasize that fact , this was not and should not be the way the fans should be turning out to support the team . This misnomer has always been and completely fabricated by baseball’s hierarchy , has been the fact that the franchise has always been, a well-supported team. At best the hardcore fan-base for the Tampa Bay Rays is no more than on average, 15,000 fans . There have been times where the attendance for the Rays’ games have not even hit four figures but for the official statistics, they have been rounded up to suggest otherwise . Fair-weather fans, in a city that has ideas of grandeur well above its station, which has been mirrored by the sheer ineptitude shown by the politicians at the municipal and county level within the area .

Having won the first of a three-game home series against the A’s, this Rays’ team has to keep up the momentum by looking to “sweep” the Oakland A’s out of the building and thereby endangering their opponent’s wildcard aspirations and status .In doing so , it would also send a clear message to the New York Yankees that the divisional race is far from over, and that the Rays are in it , to win it . If that is not a clear enough message , then when these two teams next meet , there will be some questions that will be asked and answered. For the moment , the must deal with the obstacle immediately in front of them . Friday , the A’s will send Jarrod Parker (8-7, 3.48 ERA) to the mound to face Matt Moore (10-7, 3.57 ERA) . Saturday sees Brandon McCarthy (6-5, 3.16 ERA) facing the AL Rookie of the Year in 2011 , Jeremy Hellickson (8-8, 3.28) in what promises to be a truly intriguing match-up . If the Tampa Bay Rays can come out the series with either an emphatic sweep or 2-1 series’ win , then it is to their ultimate advantage. As I alluded to earlier , the anticipated series’ match-ups where the Rays and New York Yankees will meet in two more scheduled series, starting 4th September, 2012 , with the second such and final series’ meeting on 14th September ,2012.

I will say this for the patriarch of the Glazer family , Malcolm Glazer having crafted a multi-billion dollar fortune from the commercial real estate market . In doing so it has afforded him to purchase two professional sporting interests . Known primarily as owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . But since 2005 as the owners the Premiership’s most famous soccer club , Manchester United . Along the way the family has been vilified and chastised by United’s fans, having leveraged the team and amassing $1.5 billion in debt. However, in the past 6 ½ years they have erased a great deal of the debt by selling of non-core assets and a number of players they felt superfluous to the team’s needs. The elder , Glazer has now ceded much of his control of the two sporting entities to sons , Joel , Avram and Brian Glazer, as the members of the family that will open a new chapter in the ownership of both professional sports’ franchises . The two sporting entities as they presently stand would be worth conservatively between $3-$4.55 billion. The soccer team with its unprecedented success was recently listed on both the New York (NYSE) and London Stock Exchange (NYSE) . With the monies realized from the issue , a great deal of the funds in question will be used to pay down debt as well as being placed into the financial reserves , for later discretionary use.

United embarks on another Premiership season , seeking to be competitive in each of the major domestic competitions as the most important club competition of them all , the UEFA Champions League . Specifically, a long run deep into the latter stages of Europe’s most prestigious club tournament can net a team millions of dollars in revenues beyond other commercial windfalls to be had. Manchester United, long considered one of the most successful sporting franchises globally , is also one of the most valuable sports’ franchises in the world . From an image standpoint there is a great deal to be desired by this most recent deal initiated by the family , and I have always felt with the shroud of secrecy under which the family operates their sporting interests , not everything done is entirely above-board and ethical .

The family’s other sporting interest as I alluded to earlier are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming off a rather unpleasant 2011 sojourn . The franchise underwent a major upheaval with the firing of head coach Raheem Morris , with several members of his coaching staff also being let go, along with a vast array of players thought to be superfluous to the team’s needs. In the off-season the team GM Mark Dominik hired Greg Schiano , former head coach at Rutgers University . Brought into provide discipline and to resurrect the fortunes of the Buccaneers , one of Schiano’s first bold move was to jettison , the often troubled but under-achieving tight-end Kellen Winslow . That if anything, was a telling sign and the mere fact that “changes were ahead” for this Buccaneers’ organization from the player personnel and amongst the coaching staff . A tall task indeed and the changes were made during the off-season , with the team’s draft picks from the 2012 NFL Draft . It appears that there was a great deal of satisfaction came from the choices made amongst Buccaneers’ war room after the event . Add into this all, the free agency acquisitions , specifically Vincent Jackson to add another receiving threat for Josh Freeman , the Buccaneers’ young quarterback . It would appear the Schiano will make this unit more of a run and pass oriented attack . This will most certainly help Buccaneers’ new look offense led by LeGarrette Blount , Doug Martin , Michael Smith , Mike Williams , Tiquan Underwood , Luke Stocker. The traits that made the Buccaneers such a stalwart , has been the very fact, that the franchise was primarily known for its defensive prowess. Those traits came by way the foundations laid by former head coach Tony Dungy. However this preseason we have yet to see the aforementioned traits have not been evidenced by way of their play over this entire schedule .

Friday night , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play hosts to the New England Patriots at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida . Unfortunately, for those hoping to watch the events unfold by way seeing the game live or on broadcast television in the local television markets . The scheduled event will be blacked out , albeit that the NFL has lessen the criteria set for the televising of NFL games preseason and regular season match-ups. What seems to all the more inconceivable has been the lack of sales and marketing forthcoming from within the Buccaneers’ organization by way their Marketing & Sales’ Department. If the ineptitude being shown there is being countermanded by Mark Dominik , then to my mind this franchise will be in for a long and arduous regular season . Clearly, this is a further blow to a franchise , whose enthusiastic coach , Greg Schiano would rather not have to witness in his first full season as a head coach in the NFL .

Greg Schiano’s players I believe will be hard pressed to succeed this season within the NFC South ! While divisional rivals, the New Orleans Saints undergoes a change in its identity , the franchise remains a considerable mess . Interim head coach Joe Vitt will have to relinquish and serve a game suspension , a verdict rendered by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . The league’s handling of this whole episode has been haphazard and comedic, that one has to question the authority of the league hierarchy and how they conduct their business operations both on and off the field of play. The Buccaneers’ other foes within the division are the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers . The Panthers and Falcons , I believe will prove to be formidable foes for the Buccaneers ! A great deal of what we observe this season concerning the Buccaneers will be determined by the performances of the seasoned veterans on this team, alongside the perceived growing maturity of Josh Freeman , as the Buccaneers’ quarterback. If Freeman is unable to lead this franchise to a predetermined destination , I believe they will clearly struggle over the course of this season.

The New England Patriots will be looking to overcome whatever issues they might have, and head coach Bill Belichick , still believes they have . Tom Brady remains the quintessential quarterback and amongst the very best to have played the game . Three Superbowl victories to his name , a Superbowl MVP award , league MVP award and multiple appearances in the Pro Bowl. It is becoming clear that Brady would no doubt like to join Hall of Fame inductees , Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana , as the only two players to have 4 Superbowl victories to their name . And this remains the driving force behind the player’s ongoing career, as he seeks to join that select group of players.

As the city of Tampa now becomes the nation’s focus point of the boredom provided by the ongoing political process . I would like to think the city’s two main professional franchises (Buccaneers and Rays) will be able to provide the erstwhile fans with a great deal more entertainment than is now being provide by a bunch of political hacks and bloviate blowhards . It is not as if either of the two major political parties actually has an answer for the nation’s political woes. When it all said and done the political ad campaigns and the monies spent on those campaigns will have exceeded $2.3 billion ($2,300,000,000). Beyond the donations of the Super-Pac’s , does anyone truly believe the common man on the street legitimately wishes to donate $2,500 merely to feed the greed of a politician , who in large part , is and has always been completely out of touch with reality ? Your answers please ?



Picture gallery .

Do you believe that both the Buccaneers and Tampa Rays are likely to have a successful outcome to their respective seasons ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture and slide show details below .


(1) Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (L) announces Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) as his running mate in front of the USS Wisconsin August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. Ryan, a seven term congressman, is Chairman of the House Budget Committee and provides a strong contrast to the Obama administration on fiscal policy. The Republican Presidential nominee and Vice-Presidential running mate head to the city of Tampa to be formally approved by the party as nominees seeking to defeat the White House incumbent President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden . In what amounts to a campaign of sheer disingenuous contempt , neither party seems to have a platform that truly serves the country’s interests . Win McNamee / Getty Images …

(2) ST. PETERSBURG – AUGUST 24: Infielder Ryan Roberts (19) of the Tampa Bay Rays turns a double play as Adam Rosales #17 of the Oakland Athletics tries to break it up during the game at Tropicana Field on August 24, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …

(3) Infielder Josh Donaldson (20) of the Oakland Athletics is called out at home by home-plate umpire Eric Cooper after pitcher Matt Moore (55) of the Tampa Bay Rays applied the tag during the game at Tropicana Field on August 24, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

(4) Infielder Chris Carter (22) of the Oakland Athletics takes the throw at first as B.J. Upton (2) of the Tampa Bay Rays gets back safely during the game at Tropicana Field on August 24, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images …..

(5) Pitcher Alex Cobb (53) of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates his complete game shutout with catcher Jose Molina (28) against the Oakland Athletics at Tropicana Field on August 23, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images ….

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Mark Barron intercepts a pass as New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski watches in the first half against the New England Patriots during their NFL preseason football game in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. Barron scored a touchdown on the play. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ….

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) loses the ball as he is hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Michael Bennett (71) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Margaret Bowles ….

(8) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman (5) throws for a first down in the first half against the New England Patriots during their NFL preseason football game in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. AP Photo/Dave Martin ….

(9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ GM Mark Dominik ,left, is seen here with the head coach Greg Schiano . In the duo’s first season together , they have revamped the roster by way of the NFL Draft and via free agency transactions with a view to having a successful NFL season . AP Photo / Chris Howard ….

(10) April 27, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik , head coach Greg Schiano , first round draft picks Doug Martin and Mark Barron talk as they are introduced during a press conference at One Buc Place. Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE …



MLB news

MLB schedule 24th August 2012

MLB probable pitchers 24th August 2012

MLB results 23rd August 2012

New York Yankees news

Tampa Bay Rays news

Tampa Bay Rays overview (2012)

Tampa Bay Rays’ team payroll (2012)


NFL news

NFL standings preseason

NFL Preseason schedule 2012 & week 3 schedule

NFL preseason results (2012)

NFL transactions

NFL Draft (2012)

NFL free agents (2013)


Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ profile

Tampa Bay Buccaneers news

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ draft pick 2012

Tampa Bay Buccaneers transactions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason statistics

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ preseason schedule & … regular season schedule

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ roster

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ free agents (2013

Tampa Bay Buccaneers team payroll


Hot chic pic of the day Chloe Saxon of the UK

Another aesthetic rendering of the delectable Chloe

Author: tophatal ...........

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

6 thoughts on “You’ve got to pick a pocket or two …….”

  1. The Rays drop another game that they had within their grasp in losing 5-4 to the A’s . And once again the attendance at the Trop was a miserly 18,000 plus .

    Joe Maddon and the team really needs to be far more consistent if their wish is to overtake the Yankees within the AL East . The wildcard standings has now become really interesting and suspenseful with a number of teams all playing with a great deal of passion .

    A great win for the Buccaneers over the Patriots , and it augurs well for both teams this upcoming season as each seeks to make a success of their endeavors .

    If the Glazers are now devoting more time to Manchester United and if they drop the ball with the Bucs , then the NFL franchise will be back in the crapper . Lack of spending in recent seasons saw the franchise fall into the depths of mediocrity . No playoff appearances since 2002 . This year with Schiano, showing a great deal of zeal, the franchise has gone out and acquired players while looking to drafting judiciously in 2012 by way of the NFL Draft .

    “Boy are we going to f##k these idiots over ” !

    Paul Ryan is no more ” a budget deficit hawk” or strategist than Rosie O’Donnell can be considered a hot chic within the midst of a room filled with a bevvy of “hot” Victoria’s Secret models .

    “Joe no one can see my lips move but I’m telling you , if you fu#k things up for me in the elections , you’re gonna know how this ni##a feels about slavery , when I kick your mutha-###king a#s ” ! Obama & Biden

    Which of the two still remains a dummy ?

    From a political standpoint these upcoming debates featuring Obama , Romney , Ryan and Biden will create about as much interest as watching an episode of Dr Phil with his asinine bull#hit ! The latter , has about as much credibility Newt Gingrich with his damn insights on the country and his insistence that his help provided to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was based upon historical fact . $1.2 million in fees Gingrich’s consultancy company and both financial entities are still a f##ing mess , and the public will remain on the hook for the mounting liabilities of both mortgage financing enterprises .

    Tophatal ………..


  2. Good win for the Bucs tonight, albeit pre-season.

    Bad loss for the Rays, although they’ve won plenty of late.

    Let’s hope it’s win-win for the Tampa Bay area economically during the week-long RNC, considering the area’s been pretty hard-hit for a while now.

    Oh, and stay away, Isaac.


  3. Chris Humpherys (SportsChump )

    As good as the win was there were still a number of issues concerning the team .

    In terms of the Rays both the pitching and offense truly let them down last night and that’s with no disrespect to the A’s .

    As to the RNC get together , for all of their back-slapping and glad handing , we all know at the end of the day the Republicans will be no better than their Democratic counterparts . As for Hurricane Isaac , well what’s the saying ? God don’t like ugly And at present both parties their behavior is fu##ing ugly to say the very least !

    Tophatal ……..


  4. The Rays need another great performance by Price against the Rangers. They can’t afford a prolonged slump at this point of the season.
    Even when the Bucs win they lose. Losing Davin Joseph for the season is a big loss to the offensive line. I’m hopeful his back up can help this unit maintain it’s potential.


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