Times are a changing but not necessarily for the better
Well as we now enter the final week of the 2012 NFL preseason , there is not a lot that the NFL fans have learned . The league hierarchy remains the idiotic mess we have come to expect during the tenure of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . There seems to be no real conciliatory effort on the path of the league sort out their differences with the NFLRA (Referees’ Union) . The league enforced lockout , reminiscent of their actions against the NFLPA (Players’ Union) simply indicates how out of touch with reality the hierarchy remains , whose backing by the franchise owners seems equally ridiculous . Continued blown calls by the replacement referees brought in from the D2 and D3 levels of Collegiate Football and the NFL expects the fans to be completely satisfied with this premise ? I think not !
Slide show for your perusal .
I will say this for the beleaguered New York Jets and the brave face that’s now being put on by starting quarterback Mark Sanchez , all the explanations in the world , simply cannot hide how woefully inept this team has been over the course of their preseason schedule to date. The much-hyped tandem of Sanchez and his backup Tim Tebow , between them the duo have yet to throw a touchdown pass in the preseason . Never mind the fact that the team’s offensive coordinator Tony Sparano continues to express his implicit and binding faith in the abilities of the duo. Personally, I would like to know what Sparano bases his premise on ! If there is said to be an NFL coach that will be more under the microscope other than Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan and perhaps Norv Turner of the San Diego Chargers , then I would be pleasantly surprised !
Given the results of the Jets this preseason their standing (0-3) within the AFC East and the very fact that both quarterbacks have performed poorly , I believe that Rex Ryan has a number of things to feel worried about . The 2012 NFL Draft and the selections made by the Jets’ management led by GM Mike Tannenbaum would suggest that they feel that this season , the organization is about to turn the corner . Quinton Coples , Stephen Hill, Demario Davis, Josh Bush , Terrance Ganaway , Robert T Griffin, Antonio Allen and Jordan White are the players sought to make a major contribution to the team this season . As the draftees taken in this draft by Jets , they each have a great deal to live up to , when based upon their predecessors from last season .
Coming off a lackluster performance in 17-12 loss to the Carolina Panthers , the Jets final preseason game has them meeting the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , this Thursday evening . With teams having to cut their rosters down to 73 players before having to whittle down to that mandated figure of 54 players , it will be interesting to see the choices that will no doubt be made by the New York Jets , as well as the other franchises around the league. This much is certain for players picked after the 5th round in the NFL Draft and the non-roster invitees left on the player personnel rosters , the final preseason games of 2012 will now mean more , than ever before .
Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins may well have been one of the more understated players in the NFL but there was no doubt what he brought to the Redskins as a player. After eight years of service with the only professional franchise he has played for , the tight-end was cut by Redskins’ franchise on Tuesday afternoon. Drafted in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft , Cooley has been one of the corner-pieces in the franchise in his subsequent eight years with the Washington Redskins. I have no doubt that he will prove to be a valuable asset and pickup for any franchise in the NFL looking for a very good blocking tight-end and slot-receiver . With the departure of Cooley , the Redskins are left with just three tight-ends on their roster , who between them have a combined eleven years of experience in the NFL. The trio is led by Logan Paulsen , Richard Quinn and Fred Davis , and it remains to be seen which of the three will be one the main receiving targets for Redskins’ incumbent starting quarterback Robert Griffin III .
Wednesday night’s game at Fedex Field between the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers , may well go a long way in telling us how the three aforementioned players might fare against a Bucs’ secondary that has yet to truly establish itself this preseason. For both of the young quarterbacks facing each other tonight , Josh Freeman and his counterpart Robert Griffin III. This will give both players that much-needed final tune-up before they each embark of on their respective 2012 forays into the regular season .
Oh the thought that once again baseball finds itself within the morass of more players being caught within the net cast of the league hierarchy’s drug testing policy. Heaven forbid , that Bud Selig still feels that the edicts in place have actually dampened the players’ ardor to cheat. In truth , it simply has not because at the minor league level , more players than ever before , are still being caught . A fifty game suspension while supposedly having to undergo a mandatory drug counseling program , proves to be , about as useful as handing a newborn baby a pacifier while not feeding that child for the next twenty fours . It’s not going to stop that child from crying and it certainly will not abate the cheating that has , and will continue to take place within the world of baseball. Anyone who believes that to be to the contrary has to be that naïve or not willing to accept the fact that the MLB hierarchy simply has no answer for the “monster “ that they created !
Pitch count , innings’ count , call it what you will but the jig is up, concerning the Washington Nationals and GM Mike Rizzo’s stance on the team’s starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg . This continued idiocy by the organization that it is their intent to shut-down the player for the season , once he has pitched anywhere between 160 to 180 innings for the year , sounds just as asinine today , as when it was first considered by Nationals’ front office and coaching staff ! With the team now in the midst of a tight divisional race within the NL East , one has to wonder what the mindset has to be with the Nationals’ general manager.
In continuing with this premise , this undoubtedly sends a disingenuous message to the Washington Nationals’ fans but also to Strasburg’s own teammates . Far be it for me to suggest that this maneuver indicates that the Nationals are bailing on the most successful year in the franchise’s history . I get the feeling that the feeling that Mike Rizzo has not put a great deal of thought into his proposed decision. Team manager , Davey Johnson continues to be diplomatic on the matter , simply reiterating much of the front office spiel concerning this issue .
In light of the Nationals’ recent record , if this move is countenanced and Strasburg is indeed shut-down . I would hate to see what bearing this might have on the team should they fail to make the MLB postseason . One thing is abundantly clear this is team is better off with Stephen Strasburg as part of their pitching lineup , than they are without him . Suffice to say, that if they throw away what appears to be a unique chance to make a legitimate run to the World Series , then the burden of blame for this blunder , will rest squarely upon the shoulders of Mike Rizzo and absolutely no one else ! Coming off what can be best described as something of an 9-0 drubbing at the hands of the Miami Marlins . Strasburg had one of the worst performances of his career .
Next up for the Washington Nationals is the second of a two-game set against the Miami Marlins at Marlins’ Ballpark , in Miami , Florida . On the mound for the Nationals will be Ross Detwiler (3-2, 3.25 ERA) who will face Jacob Turner (1-2, 6.87 ERA) of the Marlins . This game should be something of an indicator as to whether or not the Nationals have fully recovered from the previous night’s events . Awaiting the Nationals at the culmination of this series will be the reigning World Series champions , the St Louis Cardinals , who themselves are seeking to place themselves into playoff contention for an NL wildcard berth. The Washington Nationals will play host to Mike Matheny’s —– Cardinals in what is sure to be three pivotal games with a great deal of bearing on the divisional races , as well as the aforementioned wildcard standings .
With so much on the line for a number of teams at this juncture , it will be interesting to see which ball-clubs will be making the moves and which will fall by the wayside.
Now unless I am mistaken the blockbuster trade that essentially indicated to us all that the Boston Red Sox felt it necessary to jettison themselves of $275 million in payroll, merely to show that they sought to stand behind their beleaguered manager Bobby Valentine . Throughout the year, this Red Sox team has been lackluster , lacking in passion but above all there seems to be absolutely no leadership from anyone on the roster. There are those who may well have felt that the player dissent was justified but a great deal of the underlying issues to the Red Sox’s malaise does have a lot to do with the performance of Bobby Valentine and his staff . Uninspiring , unimaginative but above all , we are seeing a manager that in spite of his alleged experience , it does look as if the game has passed him by .
The departure of Carl Crawford , Nick Punto , Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to the Los Angeles Dodgers , now gives the NL West ball-club the added credibility they well have sought , as they seek to chase down the division leading San Francisco Giants . The Dodgers have not been part of the postseason since 2009 and a World Series appearance for this revered franchise last came in 1988 , which ended which ended with a 4-1 series victory over the Oakland A’s .
Undoubtedly, with the new ownership in tow led by Magic Johnson , Peter Guber , Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Stan Kasten . At the heart of Johnson’s intent , is to see this venerable club back to where he believes they rightfully belong . And that is, as perennial contenders challenging a for a pennant and World Series annually , with a high-caliber team at the heart of it all.
In the aftermath of Frank McCourt’s mismanagement of the franchise, it has to be noted the sale of the team for an astounding $2.156 billion was seen as a breath of fresh air. The ringing approval from the fans notwithstanding , baseball’s handling of this entire episode should be used as a business management tutorial , as what not to do in the case of a crisis. Now with a multi-billion television contract in tow , the financial resources now at the front office’s disposal might be on par , with that of the New York Yankees . Guggenheim Baseball Partners , the holding company and proprietary owners of the franchise are the sports’ management arm of the venture capital firm Guggenheim Partners LLC . With assets exceeding $125 billion , it must be said the Dodgers’ current payroll of $ 169.8 million would be viewed a blip on their scale and it is here , where there now seems to be a diverging path between the haves and have not’s within the game of baseball . Beyond the idiocy baseball’s now apparent drug policy while netting its share of cheaters , in no way has it slowed the trend of the players seeking or using PED’s . The penalties that the league hierarchy now has in place , has not slowed the pace of the misuse and with the league now conducting an investigation into the actions of former clubhouse manager and fitness instructor Kirk Radomski . It has to be said why now , and not when allegations first came to light concerning this individual ? .
Courtesy of MLB.com
By Paul Hagen , MLB.com
Major League Baseball is investigating whether agents Sam and Seth Levinson acted as liaisons between former All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca and admitted steroid distributor Kirk Radomski, MLB.com has confirmed.
The story first appeared in USA Today.
A well-placed source noted that, while both Major League Baseball and federal authorities are looking into the matter, this is an ongoing investigation and no conclusions have been reached at this point. The source also said this recent development stems from a story in the New York Daily News on Aug. 19 that said Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who had just been suspended for use of performance-enhancing substances, tried to escape punishment by creating a fake website advertising a non-existent product to indicate that he unknowingly took a banned substance.
Cabrera also is represented by the Levinson’s ACES Inc. Both agents have adamantly denied any involvement.
According to USA Today, Lo Duca alleges that he was introduced to Radomski by the Levinsons. When the Mitchell Report was released in December 2007, it documented copies of three checks to Radomski for $3,200 each. USA Today reported that it has a copy of one check from a joint account between Lo Duca and Sam Levinson imprinted with the address of the agent’s Brooklyn offices.
Radomski is a former Mets clubhouse attendant; Lo Duca played for the Mets in 2006 and ’07.
The Daily News reported that federal agents have been looking into Cabrera’s associates to try to determine the source of the synthetic testosterone that was detected in the urine sample of the 2012 All-Star Game’s Most Valuable Player.
One Cabrera insider, Juan Nunez, allegedly paid $10,000 to set up the bogus website. Nunez has been described as a “paid consultant” of Aces Inc. He told the Daily News that the agents had absolutely no connection to the scheme.
USA Today further reported that MLB’s probe also is focusing on a former Venezuelan bodybuilder named Cesar Paublini, who is now Cabrera’s Miami-based trainer. Paublini told the paper that he had not been contacted by investigators at this point, but added that Cabrera had introduced him to Juan Nunez.
Finally, the paper said, MLB would like to question Lo Duca to determine whether he was a paid consultant for ACES Inc.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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Baseball has continued to do the fans the greatest disservice possible and granted , Bud Selig’s most recent public statement has simply been to talk about further television contract extensions , while not addressing the most acute issues that the game now has within its midst as an adversarial object . It simply has been the commissioner’s way of dealing with problems, that he has simply been unable to solve or has any idea how to deal with succinctly . In all reality , should we have expected any less from perhaps the most imbecilic executive in all of professional sports ? Your thoughts on the matter please ?
Picture gallery .
In light of the ongoing problems within the game of baseball , what do you feel are the game’s biggest issues ? As the NFL preseason meanders to its finality, is there a chance that the NFL hierarchy and the referees’ union will come to a satisfactory conclusion that will be amenable to both parties ? Or are we likely to see the replacement referees adjudication regular season games deep into the NFL calendar ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slide show details below.
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez (6) reacts as the Carolina Panthers defense celebrates a sack during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….
(2) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) avoids a tackle by New York Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin (51) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …
(3) New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow throws a pass against the New York Giants during the second half of a preseason NFL football game on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Rich Schultz ……
(4) Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III dives for a first down during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, in Landover, Md. AP Photo/Richard Lipski ….
(5) Chris Cooley (47) of the Washington Redskins watches a game against the New York Jets at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The player was cut by the Redskins’ front office after eight years of service to the NFL franchise . Patrick McDermott/ Getty Images North America …
(6) MIAMI, FL – AUGUST 28: Pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) of the Washington Nationals against the Miami Marlins as catcher Kurt Suzuki and pitching Coach Steve McCatty walk off at Marlins Park on August 28, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …
(7) DENVER, CO – AUGUST 29: Pitching coach Bo McLaughlin (40) of the Colorado Rockies visits the mound to talk with pitcher Will Harris (48) and the rest of the infield during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The strategy visit proved unhelpful as Harris gave up a grand slam to the next batter as the Dodgers went on to defeat the Rockies 10-8 to avoid the three game sweep . Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images ……
(8) Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Joe Blanton (56) challenges Colorado Rockies’ Josh Rutledge during the first inning of a baseball game , Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Denver. AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez ….
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