A tale of one city but two teams that now seem to be at a loss.

A tale of one city but two teams that now seem to be at a loss.

By Tophatal

It is the same mentality, and not much has changed and there the idiocy goes on. The Tampa Bay Rays are simply now playing and fighting for pride .Unfortunately, theirs is a task that is really in the hands of others as it is in much with themselves , and the way , they will now meet the obstacles placed in front of them . Joe Maddon and his staff have simply placed far too much faith in genteel talks , rather than holding his players accountable for many of their own self-inflicted wounds . Ill-timed series’ losses , lack of timely hitting and the pitching that at times has been woefully inconsistent.


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Slide show .

At 83-70 and nine games remaining on the Rays’ regular season schedule , it has to be said that the team’s plight now remains remotely inaccessible , by way of the AL East as well as a possible wildcard berth within the AL and that of being part of this postseason schedule . The divisional rounds of this postseason begins on the 3rd October , and with their being a great deal at stake , it will be interesting to see how the teams fare during the divisional series as they get under way. The Rays came away today with a heartwarming 3-0 victory over their divisional rivals, the Toronto Blue Jays.Next up for the Rays will be a two game series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, commencing 25th September , before heading to Chicago to take on Robin Ventura’s —– Chicago White Sox , in a highly anticipated four-game series starting on the 27th of this month . The White Sox, are in the midst of their own heated divisional race , as the AL Central heats up , as the team holds a one game lead over the Detroit Tigers . There still remains a number of plot-lines that are yet to be fulfilled , with so many teams vying for the few berths and divisional races remaining that are not a forgone conclusion.

The Rays’ own worries beyond this season should they fail to make the postseason will be one of revamping the roster and , paring down payroll and dare one say ? The same old routine ,of the same old excuses, concerning why this organization is once again at a crossroads and is unable to challenge the “major” teams within the game of baseball. As I have said repeatedly, I believe that it is now time for team owner Stuart Sternberg to either seek an outside investor with deep pockets to assist in going after the major free agents on the market , rather than this continued asinine stupidity, that this ball-club is heading in the right direction. If this means the team once again disappointing their small core of fans , then clearly Sternberg and his partners are beginning to misjudge the faith of the fans who still support the team. Being among the franchises with a fan-base that realistically from an economic standpoint , barely survives but for the grace of the league hierarchy and their archaic tax revenue sharing scheme . Bud Selig’s attempt to create this premise that parity is alive and well within the game of baseball , is now falling flat . The Tampa Bay Rays at the culmination of the regular season will certainly have some decisions to make as well as a great deal of reflection as to why their season fell so flat .

For all of the false bravado that has been forthcoming Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano , and there is little to suggest that this team is capable of making an assertive challenge within the NFC South much less the conference or NFL as a whole. For the second week running the team has come up short and once again the offense has proven to be woefully inept in all facets of the game. And it is now becoming abundantly clear that quarterback Josh Freeman’s game decisions are more of a liability than they are an asset. Anyone who believes to the contrary needs only to look at Freeman’s play over the short span of 2012 , to see that the shortcomings witnessed in 2011 , have not disappeared from his game.

The Dallas Cowboys played hosts to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cowboys Stadium, in Arlington , Texas. Both teams came into this matchup with similar records of 1-1 , with both looking to gain some traction within their respective NFC divisions. Opposing quarterbacks Josh Freeman and Tony Romo , have had moderately successful seasons coming into this game but in no were their displays indicative of what the fans should expect of the two players in question. Neither in this were particularly pretty , albeit that there were some pretty big plays from the Buccaneers in the opening moments of the game. However, from thereon in , as the match-up unfolded , it became pretty clear the direction , in which this event was heading. Tampa’s much vaunted defense , which to my mind remains a work in progress, simply didn’t live up to the task at hand ! Freeman’s efforts, in leading the offense were nondescript and lacked real aggression on his part . The resulting 16-10 loss by the Buccaneers was not one of the team’s better games of 2012, leading me to believe that Greg Schiano and his staff ,will be going back to the drawing board to work out the kinks in the team’s defense as well as offense.

Freeman’s post-game interview would suggest that the Buccaneers , win and lose as a team but there was nothing there to indicate that he bore a great deal of responsibility for a poorly executed game , followed by a woefully inept offense, that offered very few highlights or positives for the Buccaneers’ fans. For the locale on air personalities giving their diagnosis of this game, I have to sometimes wonder what they saw from the event that gives them any remote indication that this is a very good Buccaneers’ team to begin with ! They were poorly coached , Greg Schiano and his coaching staff , made few, if any adjustments, to try and negate the Cowboys’ offense throughout this game. Not that the events, as they unfolded , would have provided anyone with a great deal of excitement sought, as these pair of teams were offensively challenged from the outset . DeMarco Murray, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant offered the Cowboys’ fans a glimmer of hope as to what they can expect over the remainder of their season , should the team’s offense become a great deal more consistent. From my own perspective the Cowboys will be in for a hard time challenging the might of the New York Giants (2-1) within the NFC East, as they still remain “ the class” of the division ! Whatever the remainder of the season holds in store for the Cowboys will be in part be based upon their play , rather than the team leaving their fate in the hands of others .

The Buccaneers in week four will host the Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in a conference match-up between two teams fighting for early season survival not just within their respective divisions but also within the NFC . Whether or not Schiano and his coaching staff will have answer for Robert Griffin III , the Redskins’ offense and of the play-calling of Mike Shanahan, remains to be seen.

As a diehard New England Patriots’ fan , I will support this team through hell or high water ! That being said, there comes a time where I feel it not only right to be critical of head coach, Bill Belichick, and a number of decisions that he tends to make but also with his continued tinkering with the defense . And yes , I am well aware that last season , the team’s defense was amongst the worst in the NFL over the course of the year. In 2012, things do not seem to be all that different even in light of glimmering signs of improvement and the mere fact that the front office’s preponderance of going with a number of defensive players by way of the 2012 NFL Draft , seems to have not achieved much way of an overall improvement in the secondary’s play .

Sunday night , in NBC’s highly anticipated broadcast showdown , the network served up for the viewing public’s pleasure , the game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium , in Baltimore , Maryland . And of the games in week three , this might well have been most thrilling , if not necessarily the best adjudicated of the regular season games that the fans have been witnessed to , in 2012.Once again, the replacement officials played their part in denying the fans what should have been a far more exciting game by their somewhat haphazard interpretation of the rules , in rendering some curious decisions throughout this match-up. Anyone who simply believes that the NFL is not suffering through a rash of idiotic refereeing decisions that have been made during this season , well those individuals are not of sound mind or competence . From an image standpoint, the NFL while it remains immensely popular with its legions of fans, the temerity of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to suggest that these replacement officials are doing a favorable job , in lieu the league’s certified referees not being available to the NFL because of the league enforced lockout , is akin to suggesting that Rosie O’Donnell would prove to be an adequate substitute for Heidi Klum , to parade around in sexy lingerie, as part of a Victoria’s Secret Model Lingerie show and extravaganza . Roger Goodell, is an ass and will remain an ass for the foreseeable future! I don’t believe that I could put it anymore succinctly than that !

The game itself, between the Patriots and Ravens beyond the incompetence shown by the officials , became all about the efficiency shown by the opposing quarterbacks , Tom Brady and Joe Flacco . The Ravens’ quarterback with his full complement of offensive weaponry , was ably served by his receiving corps, led by Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta, Ray Rice , and Anquan Boldin . The Ravens came away with a hard-fought 31-30 victory that dropped the Patriots to 1-2 , within the AFC East , placing them behind the New York Jets (2-1) and the Buffalo Bills (2-1). And while the Ravens walk away victorious, with another stellar display coming from Joe Flacco , the Patriots will be left to wonder what might have been , in having this game snatched away from them , when it was all within their grasp. Next up, for Bill Belichick’s team will be a divisional game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium , in Buffalo , New York.

Revenge is a dish best served cold and most definitely what has befallen the New Orleans Saints (0-3) this season can be seen as justification for the franchise’s failure to truly acknowledge their misdeeds . Now while their anal retentive fans try to suggest that their being persecuted for the errors in judgment by the coaching staff current and former, for the events of the past four years. There can be no denying, that the players involved in this farce remain in complete denial. Perhaps, none more so than the team’s celebrated quarterback Drew Brees and his continued stance that teammate, Jonathan Vilma is innocent of all the charges currently being leveled against him, in the Saints’ bounty scandal. If it were not so asinine as to the claims being made by Vilma, that while the NFL has only one signed affidavit concerning his actions in this episode , he will be able to have nine in opposition to those statements .I’m wondering whether or not the player will be able to conjure those up , by pulling them out of his own asshole ! Jonathan Vilma , was and still remains reluctant to give any form of a statement concerning his reported actions in this whole debacle. He categorically denies any wrongdoing on his part , albeit that the statements made the team’s former defensive coordinator < Gregg Smith , would suggest otherwise . However, with the NFL hierarchy’s total mishandling of this case and the very way that Roger Goodell has rendered his ruling on this issue. It now leads me to believe that no matter what action is now taken by the NFL , the stench of this whole spectacle will still remain within the public’s view and senses .

To my mind , the way that the Saints have started their season , with three successive losses to open their season , in many ways makes up for the smugness shown by Brees , Vilma , Will Smith and this entire Saints’ organization from their front office on down to the player personnel and coaching staff . Seeing , Drew Brees , having to explain why the team’s offense lacks direction as well their usual customary explosiveness and the lack of defense from this unit , is akin to watching a child having to explain why it is their lying , having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar ! Brees may well believe that they can turn things around , and that “ the us against the world mentality will be enough to guide them through. In reality however, the quarterback is simply blowing smoke up everyone’s ass , as he and his teammates now look for a way to scurry on out of the limelight . How else can you explain the Saints’ 27-24 loss in a game played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans , Louisiana, where they were completely outplayed by their opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs , from start to finish? Get the feeling that the Saints’ fans are in a for a long an arduous season ? Chime in with your thoughts and observations on the matter.


By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in a larger formatted size .

Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit and always , thanks for the continued support of this site.


Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

(1) Tampa Bay Rays pitcher J.P. Howell throws out Toronto Blue Jays’ Colby Rasmus at first base after fielding his ground ball during the seventh inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ….

(2) Tampa Bay Rays’ B.J. Upton , left, is congratulated by Ben Zobrist after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. The Rays would defeat the Blue Jays 3-0 . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ……

(3) Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria , left, signals to the dugout from second base after hitting a two-RBI double as Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar watches during the eighth inning of a baseball game in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. The Rays won 3-0 . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack ……

(4) Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray dives for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. The Cowboys would defeat their conference rivals the Buccaneers 16-10 . AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez ……

(5) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) hands the ball to running back DeMarco Murray (29) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …..

(6) Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) strips the ball from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(7) Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, left, talks with line judge Esteban Garza during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. AP Photo/Nick Wass ….

(8) Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith walks off the field after an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. Baltimore won 31-30 . Smith, who was playing less than 24 hours after the death of his 19-year-old brother, had six catches for 127 yards and two touchdowns for the Ravens. AP Photo/Nick Wass ….

(9) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, center, looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Baltimore Ravens defensive end Pernell McPhee during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. AP Photo/Gail Burton …

(10) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) challenges the official after wide receiver Lance Moore (16) hit the pylon in the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. After review the pass was ruled incomplete. AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman …..

(11) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked for a safety in the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)




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

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

14 thoughts on “A tale of one city but two teams that now seem to be at a loss.”

  1. So the Rays will now have to prove themselves worthy of being part of the postseason schedule . I see them as being one and done in ALDS , as this is a team that cannot perform consistently when it matters most . Never mind that the front office of the Rays remains apathetic ! .

    AL East standings and wildcard standings .

    Ambition for this franchise is to eke a bare minimum in terms of a monetary profit as that is what clearly defines success for owner Stuart Sternberg and not much else beyond that . In truth , what the fans fail to realize , is that without the influx of money they receive via the league’s dumb ass tax sharing revenue scheme this franchise would barely turn a profit .

    “Schiano watch your back , you scum-bag” ! Cowboys’ coach Jason Garrett as he’s being hugged by the Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano (facing forward)

    Back to the drawing board with Schiano and this offensively —– challenged Bucs’ team. Never mind the fact that the defense itself , couldn’t stop a dog from pi#sing on a fire hydrant even if there was a dogcatcher in hot pursuit ! Keep on playing to the whistle Greg , you keep on placing the team in the cross-hairs of everyone you will continue to face over the remainder of the season .

    The officials, officiating the Patriots Ravens’ game must be some of the most mentally as well physically challenged, near sighted mutha-=f##kers on the face of the planet .

    “We lost this game but I know we can turn things around , it’s us against the world and I know we’re better than our 0-3 record reflects !

    I’m not saying that the Saints are bad but the only other thing known to man, that soaks that much pressure and then becomes redundant in terms of further use , is a feminine hygiene product used by females during their menstrual cycle . ‘nough said ! .

    Tophatal ……………


  2. “Longo’, we’re counting on you to win us a World Series title inside of three years ” . Andrew Friedman , Mathew Silverman , and Stuart Sternberg

    It’s not about their being parity in baseball concerning small market teams but the general managers within the game being judicious when it comes to assessing and drafting talent . But these as#holes trying to sell that bull$hit simply don’t know what they hell they’re talking about !

    Rays’ front office

    Rays’ coaching staff

    Rays’ 2012 payroll & 2013 free agents

    Rays’ 2012 team stats

    Rays’ 2012 team results and remaining schedule

    Rays’ head-to-head series in 2012

    Team game logs in terms hitting and pitching in 2012 .

    Tophatal ………………..


  3. Of course parity is more alive in Major League Baseball than ever before. When you add an extra playoff spot, allowing more teams to get in, it looks like things are more competitive as a whole. Soon, baseball’s post-season will be like hockey’s where everyone gets in.

    Things are going from bad to worse for the Bucs. First, they lose Davin Joseph in the pre-season, then they lose Adrian Clayborn in Week Three and the only thing anyone can talk about when it comes to the Bucs is how their head coach refuses to allow opponents in a victory formation against them.

    How about this, coach? Win a game. That way you won’t have to try fruitlessly to get the ball back with seconds remaining.

    And I wouldn’t worry about the Pats just yet, Al. Unless they lose next week at Buffalo, bringing them to 1-3. Then you might want to get a little uneasy, he he.


    1. Chris Humpherys

      That isn’t parity it is simply creating a an additional level in terms of an additional competitive playoff format for the postseason . Like I said , it’s bullshit to buy into the $hit that there is such an instance within the game . Are you really that naive ? For Bud Selig and the MLB hierarchy , it is about making money first and foremost . When will you actually realize that fact ?

      Oh so now we’re going to start to use injuries as an excuse for Bucs’ inept —- displays ? Isn’t that why there’s meant to be a 54 man roster that make up the 32 teams around the NFL ? Schiano is proving that he’s not even a damn competent ….. X’s and O’s coach ! No adjustments were made whatsoever in the game against the Cowboys .

      See the following link as it relates to baseball’s postseason for the past decade and half and then explain to me succinctly how this represents their being parity in the game .

      What you ought to be referring to is the team payrolls of the participants in the postseason , each year.

      MLB team payrolls in 2010 and the teams who were part of the postseason that year .

      Tophatal ………………..


  4. The Cowboys are over rated. the eagles laid a shit sandwich. The 49ers lost. Pete Rozzell’s big dream was parody. he got it. The Phillies are dead but we will have a winning season.


  5. Bobby Gee

    Not only are the Cowboys overrated but Jason Garrett is a a really poor excuse for an NFL coach !

    Complacency led to the Niners’ 24-13 loss . And as I said , Vick is proving that he is not that good a quarterback to begin with ! . Look at the number of fumbles and INT’s already this season in comparison to last season as a whole for the player and then in comparison to his colleagues in the NFC for 2011 .

    The Phillies have been a monumental bust this season and with them ending up above .500 won’t cut it with the team ownership , as far more was expected of this overpriced team in 2012 . Phillies’ payroll in 2012 , $173.1 million . so tell me, what value did the fans get from that all ? Apathy on the part of the fans who believes that being barely above .500 is acceptable ! Phillies’ fans were never that bright to begin with !


  6. The Rays are 3 games out of the wild card and my answer as to why might surprise you. The diiference in making the playoffs and not has come down to their defense. Once among the best fielding teams in the league, now they’re one of the worst. It has cost the Rays several games and is the reason they trail in the standings. I think they are going to come up short this season, but if they can get their defense back up to standards I think they’ll be competitive again next year.
    The Bucs on the other hand have major issues. It’s still early, but they must start showing more consistency on offense or it’s going to be another double digit loss season.
    Cheers brother!


    1. aero

      In all likelihood the Rays will fail in their quest to make the postseason . Do you honestly believe that the team in 2013 can be competitive if they go through the usual routine of paring down salary and then inserting players from their farm system and top prospects in order to compete with the likes of the Orioles and Yankees next season ?

      Not only do the Bucs have issues all over the place without taking into account their injury woes but Schiano is proving that as a head coach he doesn’t seem to take advice from anyone including members of his coaching staff . Also someone needs to remind his dumb ass that success at Rutgers doesn’t extrapolate into becoming success at the next level …. within the NFL .


  7. Green Bay has passed the Dallas Cowboys and are now “Americas Team” according to ESPN. Things have changed since I was a kid, when Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmit Smith built a dynasty in Texas!


    1. jumpingpolarbear

      The only dynasty in Texas nowadays would appear to be the Texas Rangers and their recent history of success in baseball and the rehash of the TNT tv soap Dallas , ‘nough said !

      The Cowboys based on their recent record are not even the best team in their division much less their conference . Romo is overrated as a quarterback and he sure isn’t a natural leader by any stretch of the imagination . He is a sniveling , little prissy bastard !


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