Sports can be such a barbaric business ….. In baseball there are still lessons are to be learned
I’m not so appreciative of this nonsensical notion that we can continue to abide by the idiocy that the government knows best . I mean by 11.00PM EST , Tuesday night , we should know whether or not the incumbent , Barack Obama will have done enough to retain his position as the President of the United States. His erstwhile opponent , self- styled businessman Mitt Romney , whose claims as to his financial acumen are almost as robust as his apparent knowledge of the country’s foreign policy , which in truth has been non-existent for over four decades . I’m no great admirer of Barack Obama or Mitt Romney , and be truth be known I find that both main political parties to be just as disingenuous as the other ! The Democratic and Republican Party would rather “ browbeat” the electorate into believing their opponent just happens to be a monstrous demagogue . Make of it, what you will.
OK, so the MLB season has ended , we have a new World Series champion , as the San Francisco Giants have won their second world title within the past five years. Heroics asides, the effort put forth by the Giants’ opponents , the Detroit Tigers , can be best described as being anemic . It is one thing to be swept, as the Tigers were , but for this team not to show up for any of the four games in question , simply adds insult to injury . Bud Selig , may well have felt happy with his new revised playoff format. In essence, by comparison the divisional and championship series were far more entertaining than baseball’s postseason finale, itself. Bruce Bochy , comes away with title number two, legacies were further added for the Giants’ franchise and now the Bay area of California becomes the epicenter of the baseball world. Sorry New York (Mets & Yankees), and that is even light of Superstorm Sandy , my condolences , all the same . Now the bloodletting begins as teams seek to offload many of those ridiculous contracts and unproductive players that slighted their ambitions. And for the general managers within the game , the question could be asked , have the majority of them truly earned their money ? Brian Sabean has excelled over the past few seasons , while acknowledging the franchise’s success would not have come about , without the largess of team owner , Bill Neukom , and his syndication of partners. Baseball franchises when ran , as a business enterprise, can indeed have an incredible amount of success , commercially , as well as competitively. More often than not, the team owners are simply running these franchise purely as a form of opulent pleasure , fully aware of the fact that their losses can be written off legally as a tax based incident against another business enterprise .
As an avid Atlanta Braves’ supporter, this was something of an emotional season for the team and franchise as a whole. Having made the postseason, their foray was short-lived as they were summarily dumped from the extravaganza. Chipper Jones bade farewell , with his usual aplomb , while being acknowledged by the fans of the game. Next stop, Cooperstown, New York, one would hope, at least . As much of a disappointment as it was to see the Braves bow out in the wildcard divisional round of the postseason, it was an even bigger disappointment to know that Jones’ postseason would come to such an abrupt end . I am sure that Chipper Jones will take his place alongside many of the Braves’ all-time greats , as it is an honor that is so “ richly “ deserved .
Frank Wren , general manager of the Atlanta Braves , along with team manager , Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff , must now spending this off-season assessing the needs of the team , as they seek to become a real competitive force in 2013. With the abundance of free agents having declared their status , it remains to be seen whether or not the Braves will seek to delve into that particular market , beyond re-signing the club’s own free agents they deem to be a necessity to the franchise’s ambitions and long-term future. And though this organization does not have to operate on a shoestring budget by way of the team’s payroll , the troubling issue facing the Braves, is that as salaries escalate to ridiculous highs , they are either forced to overpay for talent that isn’t significantly better than what they already have at their disposal.
Pitching is at a premium , and there are several marquee free agent pitchers that are there to be picked up for a nominal fee. With sports agents such as Scott Boras , hovering like vultures flying over the entrails of the dead carcass of an animal, this will be one of the many scenarios that will be played out during this baseball off-season. Amongst the Atlanta Braves’ free agents , upon which decisions will have to made , are the following players, Michael Bourn, Jeff Baker, Miguel Batista , JC Boscan , D J Carrasco , Chard Durban , Eric Hinske , Reed Johnson , Peter Moylan, Lyle Overbay, David Ross and Ben Sheets.
While I have felt that pitching was prevalent for the Braves to succeed , but the offense and specifically the hitting was something that I felt could be more beneficial for the team and organization as a whole . At times, the team struggled in close games and it factored into a number of the Braves’ losses during 2012. Freddie Freeman , Dan Uggla , Jason Heyward , Martin Prado , Michael Bourn and David Ross , were major contributors the franchise during the season.
The Braves’ salary commitments in 2012 , came to $97.5 million , but with their being a march to what Frank Wren states will be prudent financial responsibility on the part of the organization, that figure is liable to be pared down in the coming season, unless there is a necessity to go after a major free agent , without being forced to break “the bank”. Turner Field /Fulton County Stadium , in Atlanta , Georgia, remains one the bastions in terms of heralded ballparks in the game of baseball. It should come as no surprise the MLB hierarchy of baseball , is seemingly at a loss as why there is seems to be no restraint concerning the gratuitous spending by the teams. Bud Selig is clearly at a loss , but considering the fact as the game’s highest ranking executive, you would have to be angered by the fact that the commissioner earns in excess of $25 million a year , which would rank Selig’s salary amongst the ten highest paid players in the game of baseball. Personally , I would like pose the question to the commissioner and ask him “ when, and how will he seek to have baseball’s teams become financially responsible rather than capricious in their spending” ? what now, becomes of the game as we know it?
After a tumultuous season, during which the Tampa Bay Rays fell out of contention , for an AL wildcard berth . The real issue beyond failing to make baseball’s postseason fare was not only a big surprise, but once again, it heralded in the continued questions as what direction this franchise now happens to be heading in ? Care to proffer up your thoughts on the matter? Rays’ manager Joe Maddon, the consummate master of the understated, was able to do a miraculous job , as he has always done, since he succeeded Lou Piniella as the team’s manager.
Stuart Sternberg , team owner and GM, Andrew Friedman now have the unenviable task of making the decisions , as to which players they feel will be superfluous to their needs . Amongst the players currently on the Rays’ roster now declaring free agency are BJ Upton, Jeff Keppinger, Carlos Pena , Kyle Farnsworth , Joel Peralta , J P Howell , and Luke Scott.
We are constantly reminded that the Tampa Bay Rays are a small-market team, with limited resources, and a payroll , that is amongst the lowest in all of baseball. These are one of the many constant reminders that so many of the impoverished teams within the game, for which there does not appear to a clear answer. The fans may well feel slighted by what has taken place during this season, but what is becoming transparently clear, while the Rays struggle to be competitive. There is a great deal of false bravado amongst the approximately 15,000 hardcore fans of the franchise, and not the figures claimed by baseball’s hierarchy in terms of the team’s home games’ attendance in 2010 , 2011 and 2012 . In this past season the Tampa Bay Rays ranked fourteenth out fourteen of the AL teams within the game of baseball . Yet this constant idiocy remains , concerning the franchise “if we build it, they will come” . Well, how the hell can that be, when for the team’s home games there is barely anyone in attendance at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg, Florida,. ? Never-mind the fact that , it will the resources of a municipality’s resources that will be used to build the venue that the ownership desires without any financial commitment being forthcoming from Stuart Sternberg or his partners. But somehow the anally retentive fans within the community as well as the blithering idiots of the local sport’s media market will continue with their asinine suggestion that this is the best step forward for the franchise , with the building of a multimillion dollar state of the art venue for the Tampa Bay Rays. Somehow the issues that have befallen both the Miami Marlins and New York Mets are not lessons that the anyone seems to have learned from , as how not to conduct your business operations . The Marlins’ unquestionably, one of the biggest failures of 2012, now finds the city of Miami under investigation by the US Justice Department for how the financing was raised , and whether or not there was undue coercion by the franchise and MLB hierarchy , forcing the city council in passing their finance bill , that brought about the final seal of approval for the now, $575 million 34 ,000 seat venue , known as Marlins’ Ballpark , in downtown, Miami. As we know the Mets were another of baseball’s teams that failed to live up to expectations , with a high-priced payroll at the start of the season , and little to show for it all , by way of the team’s performances over the course of the season. Citfi-Field became an elephants’ graveyard, and the Mets’ home performances left a somewhat bitter taste in the mouth, if you just happened to be a fan of this ball-club . Bud Selig and Jeff Loria, owner, of the Miami Marlins have refrained from answering questions when approached concerning this matter , leaving it up to the public to speculate on what may well have taken place , as this whole episode was enacted .
New York Mets’ team President , Sandy Alderson, J P Riccardi , SVP, co-owners, Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon , seem to be at a loss for words , as to how best to rectify the numerous problems the Mets now face from a competitive and financial standpoint. The franchise barely escaped by the skin of their teeth in a legal suit wherein , claimants who lost billions of dollars in the “ Bernie Madoff” scandal , sought to recoup $1.6 billion from co-defendants Saul Katz, Fred Wilpon and the New York Mets’ franchise, who profited and received an estimated $1 billion , as part of that now infamous scheme. The defendants claimed that there was never any wrongdoing on their part, albeit, that there was enough evidence to suggest that there were certain executives within Katz and Wilpon’s investment vehicle , Sterling Equities , who knew otherwise and chose to hide those facts from the public as well as the claimants’ legal representatives. The matter was settled out of court with the defendants paying a reputed $ 175 million to fulfill the claims. That figure seems somewhat ludicrous as a final settlement , but it somehow has brought this baseball franchise even closer to a financial precipice , which the front office has now began to acknowledge. What this now tells us , as to how baseball from an economic standpoint conducts its business , can be seen as another lesson as to why this game fails so miserably as an entrepreneurial enterprise , when you simply peruse the financial statements of baseball’s thirty teams. Do bear in mind also, that for many of the teams in question, profitability comes by way of an assist from baseball’s hierarchy , by way of its asinine tax sharing revenue scheme, which is meant to aid the game’s small market teams.
As a keen observer of the Tampa Bay Rays, how the front office now deals with the off-season by way of the decisions to be made , will actually go a long way in not only determining this team’s future but also indicating whether or not they remain a viable competitive force within the game. From my own perspective, as long as Joe Maddon remains a part of this organization , it is an added advantage they have over their opponents . Yet , there is now some indication to suggest that not only is Maddon feeling somewhat frustrated , but so too are a number of the franchise’s so called diehard fans , because of the lack of real commitment that has been forthcoming from the ownership. A patron once suggested , that the Rays cannot simply go out and spend money , but more to the point the question I feel that ought to be asked , when have the Tampa Bay Rays truly made a big splash in acquiring a player , let alone paying the “big bucks” for one to begin with ? So that point, now becomes, mute in terms of that patron’s assertion.
Picture gallery .
What if anything do you hope to see come out of the baseball off-season by way of undoubted trades that will take place ? And do you believe that baseball has done enough to get its financial house in order? Simply state your reasons as what you see as being currently beneficial within the sport economically and what you think has been a great error in judgment by the league hierarchy .
Picture and slideshow details below.
(1) San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo holds up a flag during the baseball team’s World Series victory parade, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in San Francisco. AP Photo/Jeff Chiu …
(2) San Francisco Giants players pose for photographs after a ceremony celebrating the baseball team’s World Series victory at City Hall in San Francisco, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. AP Photo/JeffChiu …
(3) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 31: San Francisco Giants Sergio Romo holds the World Series Trophy as singer Tony Bennett sings “I left my heart in San Francisco” during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images …
(4) SAN FRANCISCO, CA – OCTOBER 31: The Mayor of San Francisco Edwin Lee (R) presents the key to the City to San Francisco Giants President and CEO Larry Baer (L) during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The Giants celebrated their 2012 World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images …..
(5) A triumph for the ages, as teammates , Sergio Romo (left), and Buster Posey , realize that the San Francisco Giants have just won game four , and with it, the ball-club’s second World Series’ title in four years. San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-3 , in Game 4 of baseball’s World Series Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won the World Series 4-0 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …
(6) Officials stand in the center of the field as fans throw trash during the eighth inning of the National League wild card playoff baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, in Atlanta. The Cardinals won baseball’s first wild-card playoff, taking advantage of a disputed infield fly call that led to a protest and fans littering the field with debris to defeat the Braves 6-3 . AP Photo/Todd Kirkland …
(7) (C) Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves walks to the dugout before taking on the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Wild Card playoff game at Turner Field on October 5, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. ….
(8) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon gestures as he answers a question during a season wrap-up news conference , Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….
(9) Andrew Friedman , right, Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations, gestures as manager Joe Maddon looks on during a season wrap up news conference, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara ….
(10) Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Wade Davis leaves the clubhouse after packing his belongings, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays’ season ended Wednesday night with a 4-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …
(11) Sept 28, 2011; Miami, FL, USA; Florida Marlins new manager Ozzie Guillen (left) and owner Jeffrey Loria (right) during a press conference before the game against the Washington Nationals at Sun Life Stadium. Guillen was fired after the Marlins’ disastrous season that saw the franchise miss the postseason , having finished with a sub.500 record and at the bottom of the NL East standings for 2012. Behind the scenes , Loria has come under increasing suspicion, as to his actions , intertwined with those of Commissioner Bud Selig into coercing the city of Miami , concerning how the votes were secured with regard to the bond issue which facilitated the building of the Miami Marlins Ballpark , in downtown Miami. The cost of the 34,000 seat facility , is a reputed $575 million , for which the residents of Miami are entirely on the hook for , should the city not be able to pay off the debt financing instrument , inclusive of principal and interest. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE ……
NB: Baseball related links .
Deal done : Big Papi in Boston for next two years
Baseball posts within this site : Tophatal’s baseball pieces
Hot chic pic of the day , actress, Jennifer Lawrence