Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it ……

Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it

By Tophatal

Well, the MLB preseason has commenced and Opening Day saw a glut of games to start the season, preseason that is. And over the next seven weeks we’ll get to the league’s teams set about finding a rhythm while looking to get their free agent signees and none roster invitees acclimatized to playing something akin , to competitive baseball . The biggest talking point, may well be whether or not teams such as the Washington Nationals , New York Yankees, Oakland A’s , Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers can get over last season’s failings , as things played out during the regular and postseason .


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Slideshow .

While I have no wish to see the idiocy of 2012 paraded in front of me by Bud Selig and the league hierarchy, the conclusion has to be , the sooner the commissioner steps down , the better off the game of baseball will be. And quite reasonably , I believe that the majority of the game’s fans are of the belief, that Selig has performed poorly over the course of his almost two decade career. And the commissioner as always , has continued to sing the praises of the game and its economic strengths. Am I mistaken ? How can a franchise with a $ 60 million payroll expect to compete competitively with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees , who between them will have a combined payroll of almost $410 million for the upcoming season. Somehow, I get the belief that the schleppers at the bottom rung of the payroll ladder will be feeding from the cast-offs left by their more resourceful peers .

Far be it for me to suggest, but with Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers having won the AL MVP in conjunction with baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in four decades , after what was said to be a highly debatable vote . The question remains , can Cabrera rebound and prove in 2013 , that last season was not an aberration ? At the same time, AL MVP , runner-up , Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels can further excel, after leading the Angels in so many offensive and defensive categories in 2012. Now while I don’t begrudge Cabrera his win of the AL MVP , I did feel that so much of what Trout did for his team was simply brushed aside . That being said , the Angels , failed miserably , when so much more was expected of this ball-club from last season .

Angels’ owner , Arte Moreno and GM , Jerry Dipoto , did not stand pat during the off-season, as they sought to bolster the roster with the biggest free agent acquisition on the market , with Josh Hamilton signing a multiyear deal with the Los Angeles Angels’ organization in December of 2012. Say what you will , but Mike Sciocsia , the Angels’ manager will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed , as one of the longest tenured managers , active in baseball. The team’s last postseason forays have been and came in 2009 , when the franchise went to the ALCS and in a 4-2 series’ loss to the New York Yankees. However, the franchise’s most triumphant moment came in 2002 , with the Angels’ triumph over the San Francisco Giants in a thrilling 4-3 series’ victory over the NL pennant winners of that season. I get the feeling that Jerry Dipoto and Arte Moreno are getting extremely impatient , especially when you take into account that over the past three seasons the franchise has spent in excess of $500 million payroll commitments , to get a meager return in that time-frame .

Josh Hamilton for his part , after a tremendous start to the season with the Texas Rangers , simply cooled off offensively , causing many to believe that the outfielder simply didn’t have the temperament to lead. The player’s acquisition by the Angels , after what was something of a protracted negotiation process with Rangers’ team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels . At the end of the day, a long-term deal was never a consideration for the Rangers , who felt Hamilton , apart from being injury prone, the player , repeatedly had problems concerning his sobriety and drug dependency issues. And with his acquisition by the Los Angeles Angels, it did not take Hamilton all that long to alienate his former supporters by being overly critical of the Rangers’ fan-base and their lack of loyalty to that ball-club.

If the Angels are to succeed in 2013 , then , the team’s offense will certainly have to be far more productive than they were in 2012 , and the pitching and defense will have to be top caliber , if they are to have any semblance of success as a cohesive unit .

Considered to be among the favorites, this upcoming season within the AL for the pennant as well the World Series . I do believe for the Angels this season , all roads leading to the title will have to go through either the Texas Rangers or the Detroit Tigers . Those two teams given their balance , I believe could and should be contesting the AL pennant in 2013. And while there are proponents out there for the always competitive New York Yankees , I am not so sure that the famed franchise , given their aging core roster , will be fully equipped to take down the might of either of the aforementioned teams.

If the Angels are to succeed in 2013 , then , the team’s offense will certainly have to be far more productive than they were in 2012 , and the pitching and defense will have to be top caliber , if they are to have any semblance of success as a cohesive unit .

Considered to be among the favorites, this upcoming season within the AL for the pennant as well the World Series . I do believe for the Angels this season , all roads leading to the title will have to go through either the Texas Rangers or the Detroit Tigers . Those two teams given their balance , I believe could and should be contesting the AL pennant in 2013. And while there are proponents out there for the always competitive New York Yankees , I am not so sure that the famed franchise , given their aging core roster , will be fully equipped to take down the might of either of the aforementioned teams.

As an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves , with the retirement of future Hall of Famer , Chipper Jones , it will be interesting to see which of the players on the roster will now assume the role of the leader of this team . GM Frank Wren and team President John Scheurholz have seen fit to be prudent in their off-season acquisitions and that was most the case with organization acquiring BJ Upton and his younger sibling Justin Upton via a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks .

Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez and his coaching staff will be looking to have his team prepared for the regular season , and most certainly they will be using their preseason schedule to assess the makeup of their roster , with that of their none roster invitees , and budding prospects they deem ready to be part of their everyday lineup. The ball club has gotten off to an inauspicious start having lost the first two games of their preseason schedule. Game one was 2-1 loss to the Tigers , with a subsequent 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Yankees. The team on Sunday , will play the Pittsburgh Pirates , in a game staged in Bradenton , Florida .

Going forward a great deal will be expected of this team , and most certainly from the Upton brothers , as they join a select group of siblings to have played in MLB at the same time , either as teammates or as opponents . That asides , the infancy of the season, should provide us with little to gauge the overall the competitiveness of the teams , at the start of their schedules.

If the baseball gods are watching over the game this season , then hopefully they will be watching the minnows within the game . As I alluded to earlier, they are the bottom feeders , who are simply left to either feast or famine , by way of the scraps left at the table . There are those who would suggest that baseball has real parity by way of the postseason and the participants there each season . From my own perspective , nothing could be further from the truth , because in essence , the majority of the entrants tend to be some of the high salaried teams we have grown accustomed to seeing .

The Atlanta Braves’ regular season schedule will begin on the 1st April , 2013 when the team will play host to the Philadelphia Phillies , in a two game series at Fulton County Stadium /Braves Ballpark in Atlanta , Georgia,.

I don’t believe that it is necessary to delve any further into problems of Alex Rodriguez and the fact that the team’s hierarchy seem completely devoid of any intelligence and how best to deal the third baseman’s continued off-field issues. Beyond that, an aging roster , a pitching staff where other than C C Sabathia , there is little to suggest that this pitching staff will be good enough to win AL East outright, and make it to the postseason . From an offensive standpoint , we know that the team will be good enough , and they will be led by Curtis Granderson , Mark Teixeira , Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter , the Yankees captain .

The Yankees’ stiffest opponents within the division could very well be provided by the Baltimore Orioles , rather than either the Tampa Bay Rays or Boston Red Sox. As the ball club seeks to reinvent itself from being a high-spending opulent franchise , the organization now seeks to be frugal. The franchise will have pared down their payroll of $197 million in 2012 , the franchise have in fact increased its payroll for 2013 to approximately $210 million for this season and roughly $3 million behind the free-wheeling Los Angeles Dodgers and their commitment of $213.455 million.

The fact that the Yankees have given up that title , in terms of team salaries , does come as a surprise , but it will not negate the fact that the franchise will this season pay in excess of $60 million in terms of baseball’s “ luxury tax”, which each season , several teams within the league pays as a surcharge , for exceeding $150 million threshold , that kicks in for the ball-clubs above the aforementioned figure. The accumulated figure is then split amongst the franchises deemed as being among the small market teams within the game. The fact that this is the sort of idiocy deemed necessary from an economic standpoint for Bud Selig to suggest that this is the best way to create a level playing field is somewhat akin to trying to make the claim the commissioner is fully cognizant as to irreparable harm caused by abusing steroids . The commissioner , continually remarks that the game has seen marked improvements in how it polices itself while seeking out the offenders within the game who continue to cheat by using banned substances to aid them in their on-field achievements . The mere fact that there are no signs of abatement and former Red Sox pitching ace Curt Schilling , states that he was asked by the then management staff , headed by Terry Francona , to use banned substances to aid him , in his recuperative measures, while injured . Well , it would further suggest that in part , that either front office executives and team owners simply didn’t give a damn . or the mere fact that the league hierarchy itself , would knowingly turn a blind eye to such an incident. Care to offer up your thoughts on this all ?

From my own perspective , I find Curt Schilling to be a self-serving conceited and absorbed asshole , who remains a publicity seeking whore of the highest order ! As to the player himself and the idiots who believe him to be a candidate worthy of being enshrined in the Hall of Fame , please get a goddamn clue ! Why further taint that already tarnished institution any further ? Beyond that , I have nothing else further to say !

With the latest realignment which now sees the move of Houston Astros from the NL Central to the AL West . I am not so sure that the AL’s newest franchise will fare any better than they did last season , when the team ended with a league worst 55-107 record in 2012. The move to the AL West was seen as a “sweetener “ for Astros’ owner Jim Crane who purchased the franchise for $775 million, from then owner , Drayton McClane . The fact that Bud Selig seeks to once again favors the owners who in part have played their role in ruining a game that generations have come to love . Much of his however, has been led by the sheer ineptitude shown by the commissioner , the league hierarchy and the self-absorbed union and its Executive Director Michael Weiner , who in his short time, in that position , has made the limited achievements of his predecessor, Donald Fehr seem like a landmark for labor issues within the realms of sports , which in reality , and anyone who has been able view Fehr’s legacy , will know, that he has done little for the sport , and as he has recently continued to do so , in a similar role , with the NHLPA (players’ union) and their recent three-month long labor stoppage within the NHL , which saw that body realize a loss of $800 million in revenues during its lockout . Beyond that , what else can anyone say ? The relevance of the NHL ranks up there alongside fecal matter on being placed upon a wall and deemed to be art . Fuck that piece of crap and fuck the NHL ! What a joke of a sport from top to bottom !

Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow , Bo Porter and his coaching staff , I firmly believe will be in for an arduous task to get this team prepared for the regular season ! Even with their preseason foray , I still believe that the Astros will struggle even within this environment , as a precursor to their regular season schedule . The chances of the Houston Astros even coming close to challenging any of the habitants within the AL West , given the all-round proficiency said to be on view , will be remote at best. The team’s best player J D Martinez , will have to go a long way reproducing the form exhibited in 2012 , but clearly the franchise believes that the player to be the face of the organization for years to come . Martinez and his teammates will have a great deal prove if they are to be taken seriously as a legitimate contender within the AL this season .



Picture gallery . (By clicking on a frame you can view that picture in new formatted size)

With baseball’s schedule now in its infancy by way of the Spring Training Schedule , these games cannot necessarily be seen as a precursor to regular season itself , but it may well provide us with one or two surprises by way of players one could expect to see as being dominant throughout much of 2013. Your thoughts on this and anything else you believe relevant on the subject matter ? Do chime in with your thoughts , and thanks as always for your continued support of this site as it is greatly appreciated !

Picture and slideshow details below.

(1)Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper waits to take batting practice during a spring training baseball workout in Viera, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. The young Nationals’ phenom hopes to reproduce the form shown for the team of last season , as they seek to fortify their position within the National League . AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack …

(2) New York Mets non-roster invitee outfielder Marlon Byrd (6) slides in with a run past Washington Nationals catcher Chris Snyder (7) on an RBI single by Jordany Valdespin during the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in a game played between the two NL East residents . AP Photo/Julio Cortez …

(3) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly , left, and Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura talk before an exhibition spring training baseball game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. AP Photo/Paul Sancya …

(4) Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham , left, tags Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier out trying to steal second base in the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

(5) Detroit Tigers’ Prince Fielder , right, greets third baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) after his home run during the third inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in Lakeland, Fla. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall…

(6) Los Angeles Angels’ Mark Trumbo , left to right, Mike Trout , Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton pose for photographers during photo day before a spring training baseball workout Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Angels’ manager Mike Sciocsia and GM Jerry DiPoto are hoping that the acquisition will provide more potency to the team’s lineup as well as their defensive capability as they hope to mount a more successful challenge within the AL West this season , which sees the arrival of the Houston Astros as the division’s newest arrival . AP Photo/Morry Gash …

(7) Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran throws during the first inning of a baseball spring training exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall …..

(8) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Clint Barmes , right, celebrates with Gaby Sanchez , left, after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball spring training exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, in Bradenton, Fla. The Pirates would defeat the Braves 9-2 . AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall …

(9) Newly acquired Braves’ outfielder BJ Upton is seen here with the team’s GM Frank Wren . The player an unrestricted free agent , was signed to a five-year $72.5 million deal , that sees him joining his younger sibling Justin Upton , who was> acquired in a multi-player trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the off-season by the ambitious Atlanta Braves . The franchise might now posses one of the best outfields in all of Major League Baseball if you care to peruse the team’s depth chart and everyday lineup . AP Photo/ Chris Morrison …

(10) From left to right , Braves’ GM Frank Wren , Justin Upton , center , and the team’s manager , Fredi Gonzalez . With the pairing of the siblings , the Upton brothers will join a select fraternity of brothers to have either played as teammates or as opponents over the course of baseball history . Upton gifted athlete and prodigious talent , will undoubtedly make the Atlanta Braves a great deal better, as a defensive unit and his productivity , by way of his offense should prove to be an added bonus for the team this upcoming season . AP Photo Chris Morrison …..

(11) Houston Astros’ new manager Bo Porter , right, with owner Jim Crane , answers questions during a news conference, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …



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Alchemist ……. ” Hold U Down ”

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

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

19 thoughts on “Striking out for glory , three strikes, you’ll never believe it ……”

  1. Well the Spring Training Schedule has began within baseball and teams within the Citrus and Grapefruit Leagues are off to something of a great start . However , these games are merely seen as tune ups for the commencement of the regular season schedule officially beginning on 31st March 2013 .

    Now in light of this all some of us should not all be surprised by the latest idiocy now going on within MLB at all . First and foremost, I can’t see the Astros coming remotely close to competing with any of the teams within the AL West and I believe that Bo Porter and his coaching staff will be in for a tough time as the team prepares for their very first game and series within the division .

    And once the Astros have made the move from the NL Central , it will be left to the Chicago Cubs to be the ball club that everyone else pi$ses upon from a great height within that division , as can be seen from the franchise’s record within the NL Central in recent years .

    Comiskey Park or Wrigley Field , who offers the better alternative in terms of entertainment ?

    The Braves and Nationals should be the main contestants within the NL East once again this season , concerning divisional supremacy , as I don’t believe that the Phillies , in spite of their pitching staff are anywhere near good enough to deal with their main competitors within division !

    After wards do you think you can tat my d#ck , to say “place lips or anus here ” ?

    Curt Schilling can do us all a favor , by either shoving his ##ck in his mouth , or A Rod’s a$s or quite possibly Manti Teo’s mouth and @s$ , given the Irish’ player’s sexual ambiguity and his identity .

    Curt Schilling’s bloody sock sells for $92,613

    By Laura Ly, CNN

    New York (CNN) — How much would you pay for a bloody sock?

    A man named Pete Siegal paid $92,613.

    Admittedly, it wasn’t just any old sock.

    It was the sock worn by Curt Schilling during Game 2 of the 2004 World Series. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals on an injured ankle.

    “It’s a one-of-a-kind item,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions for Heritage Auctions.

    The stained white tube sock was sold at auction Saturday night at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion in New York.

    “I expected anywhere from $75,000 to many multiples of that. It’s the first bloody sock we’ve sold, and it came in just under what we expected to get for it. I’m happy with the sale,” Ivy said.

    Although the auctioned item was worn in the World Series, the blood-stained sock that Schilling had worn five days earlier is arguably an even bigger part of Red Sox lore.

    That night, the right-hander underwent an impromptu operation so that he could take the mound against Boston’s archrival, the New York Yankees, in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.

    A loss would have sent the Red Sox home for the postseason — without a championship, as had been the case since 1918 — while a win would put them on the verge of an unprecedented postseason comeback from a 3-0 deficit, assuming they could take Game 7.

    They made it thanks largely to Schilling, who was already hobbling after a subpar performance in the series’ first game. As blood soaked his white sock, he held the vaunted Yankees lineup to one run and four hits over seven innings. The Red Sox ended up taking their fourth straight game the next day, pummeling New York 10-3, to advance to the World Series.

    Click on link to read in full .


    Over and under for the Pirates winning more than 75 games this season ? Only the Pirates over the past four years , can continue to disappoint each season, while offering their fans so little in return .

    Beyond Andrew McCutchen , there is simply no reason to go and see that team play ! Bob Nutting and the front office of that organization are goddamn hopeless ! That ba$tard of an owner , Nutting, is a money hungry grubbing whore , as he’d rather grab the money , received from the league’s luxury tax scheme , pocket it , and still plead poverty” both on and off the field of play .

    Pirates’ team payroll

    Tophatal ……………..


  2. Name: Ronbets
    Comment: Concur on the Schilling assessment. He pissed through his $$ like they were monopoly dollars. The “blood” on his sock? Heinz 57 for sure.

    I think Sciosca is a fixture but a removable one if an excuse is needed for poor investments. CJ Wilson is not a mega million pitcher by any stretch. You mentioned character in you last blog? Hamilton is a Guinness away. Trout showed up last week heavy.

    Yankee GM Cashman is finally realizing that he’s wasting too much time overpaying for over-the-hill free agents and has decided to spend a little on himself. Mainly young hotties. The Yankee offense will be hurt by the injury(after you posted) to Grandy. Broken forearm and out up to 3 months.

    Keep up the good write.


  3. Ronbets

    Curt Schilling is a supercilious pig ! Here’s a guy , who as recently as three years ago swore up and down that he had never been a recipient or witnessed a teammate use a banned substance . Yet , now , here he is , stating that the Red Sox management under then manager Terry Francona , asked and required him, to use any illicit substance possible , to aid him in his recovery while injured .

    Schilling is a flawed individual , with character , and integrity issues, and that rat fink ba$tard would rather listen to himself speak , rather than listen to anything productive that anyone might have to say ! Is it any wonder , his company went bankrupt , and deservedly so ? He and his partners shouldn’t be allowed to run a kids’ lemonade stand at a charity event , much less a private or public commercial enterprise !

    The Yankees are now seeing the error of their ways in recent years , throwing good money after bad on so many players . Granted , they will and can continue to make money , but at what cost to the legacy of the franchise overall ?

    The loss of Granderson will hurt the team tremendously from an offensive standpoint , but it could have been much worse , had it been Robinson Cano ! To my mind Cano and Granderson are the two best players on that entire Yankees’ roster ! Jeter , by the time their regular season comes around might not be back full fitness as he is still undergoing the last stages of his physical recuperation from a broken ankle .


    Women who’ve had a taste of Jeter’s maple bat and liked it .

    Tophatal ………….


  4. Marlins’ owner Jeff Loria is now seeking to blame the press for the franchise’s woes of last season , after his back tracking , and his decision jettison so many high priced free agents that the franchise acquired in the off season as they sought win their third World Series title in the past two decades .

    Courtesy of Yahoo Sports AP

    Jeffrey Loria’s spin cycle: Separating fact from flack for Marlins fans

    Dear Marlins fans,

    What you are about to read is the truth. The real truth. Not some message manufactured by the Miami Marlins’ new public-relations firm in its attempt to make the team’s owner, Jeffrey Loria, less of a villain.

    For years, I have called Loria and the Marlins’ team president, David Samson, a laundry list of names. There will be no name-calling here. Loria says he wants to play the fact game. So play we will.

    Facts are powerful. Facts come from deeds and actions, not the keyboard of a flack. Facts lay bare these truths: The Marlins pocketed windfall profits, shielded that money from politicians when campaigning for a new stadium, promised to increase payroll only to shed it less than a year later, and through their lies saddled Miami taxpayers with a $2.4 billion tax burden.

    This week, the barrage of spin orchestrated by Loria’s handlers tumbles on. Tonight he will meet with Marlins beat reporters for a cocktail hour. On Tuesday, he will arrive in Jupiter, Fla., to face angry fans at the Marlins’ spring-training complex.

    [ Also: Curtis Granderson injury puts Yankees in a bind] ]

    His first salvo came Sunday via an open letter in Miami-area newspapers. The words below are from his letter. The responses are mine.

    Loria: “It’s no secret that last season was not our best – actually it was one of our worst. In large part, our performance on the field stunk and something needed to be done.”
    Fact: An owner is entitled to do what he or she pleases with a franchise. When a team loses 93 games, change is welcome. Dumping Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck on the Toronto Blue Jays for a grab bag of prospects was well within Loria’s rights.


    Click on link to read in full.

    The Marlins are and have been a despicable organization and Bud Selig has countenanced this goddamn mess and now his f#cking #ss states that there is about to be an in depth investigation by the league hierarchy ? Well, that’s akin to getting blind man to feel his way around a whore house , he’ll touch , fondle and grope , while loving every moment . And the lame a#s fans out there will continue to buy into Selig’s bull$hit .

    Tophatal ……….. .


    1. fantasyfurnace/Hank

      $92.000 ? Really ? I ought to go “dumpster diving ” for one one of Kim K’s used tampons to see how much that’d be worth . WTF !

      is a nothing more than a self-serving absorbed little prick ! Absolutely nothing that the player achieved in that particular World Series can be described as being heroic . And that was simply the moronic commentators covering the game and series , using using adjectives that in fact had no rhyme or reason . There have been far better pitching and more dramatic pitching performances in a postseason and World Series’ history .

      Anyone who considers listening to that itinerant oaf and anything he has to say about the game of baseball must have some really severe mental health issues !

      Tabasco sauce or Heinz 57 Ketchup ?


      “Kim don’t worry honey I’ve made sure we’ll make some money off the IUD (inter-uterine device) and tampon that you used as I’ve placed them both up for auction and we’re bound to make at least $150K “ ! Kris Jenner and her daughter Kim Kardashian

      Do I hear a bid of $100,000 for the bloodied tampon of Kim Kardashian ?

      Tophatal ………………


  5. There’s a lot to like and dislike about the Angels this season . They may well be the best team in the AL West , last season , other than the A’s , who but for their lack of overall experience would have gone deeper into the postseason of 2012 .

    The Angels’ pitching remains suspect as does their defense at times , but in the end it will make for a very interesting season within the division as a whole. Where , I expect the Astros ( the division’s newest resident ) to be the cellar dwellers , with the Seattle Mariners just ahead of them in the standings . The Mariners’ front office simply doesn’t get it , and their idiocy of the contract offered to Felix Hernandez explains it all ! .

    Live a little , lick a little and suck a little ………. words of wisdom to live by !

    Tophatal ……………………


    1. bobby gee

      The ” steroid era ” under Bud Selig’s watch and hierarchy has made the game of baseball almost unwatchable ! And even when certain records are now being broken , the fans now become even more skeptical of those feats ! .

      “Now my favorite book , just happens to be, Theodore Geisel’s (Dr Seuss’) ‘ Green Eggs and Ham’ , upon which I base much of my thought process, when it comes to baseball’s rules ” ! Bud Selig

      Tophatal …………


  6. I grew up in Tampa and have been attending spring training games since I was a kid. Hopefully I can make some time this spring to take in a game or two. I like the Rays park down in Pt. Charlotte and I might even get some fishing in too. Cheers brother!


    1. aero

      This season should be an interesting year for the Rays in more ways than one , both on and off the field of play . Inasmuch , as I like what Friedman has tried to do in terms of payroll , because of ball-club’s limited resources . There has to come a time when the intent has to be shown that they either want to win . or the franchise is simply there to make up the numbers by way of competing .

      Price will be asked to spearhead the pitching staff this season , and I believe that the Rays are good enough to win the AL East , based upon their pitching , but it will always come down to the effectiveness of the offense .

      The Rays’ off-season moves saw far too many good players depart , only to be replaced by even less talent coming in overall . .


      David Price , 2012 AL Cy Young winner

      Given what you’ve seen from ‘Pricey’ over the last two seasons , do you believe that he can improve upon his AL Cy Young winning season of last year ?

      I’ll try to attend at least 5 or six Braves’ Spring Training games as well as their divisional games this season within the NL East against the Miami Marlins . And if I can get the chance , I may well head up to Atlanta to attend at least weekend series scheduled at Fulton County Stadium/ Turner Field , in Atlanta , Georgia .

      Price’s contract with the Rays and by comparison with the highest paid pitchers in the game .

      Tophatal ……..


    1. Maurice Barksdale

      This will be Charlie Manuel’s last chance to prove himself along with that high priced roster of self absorbed players , who simply gave up on last season with their extremely poor play in and during the final months of the 2012 calendar . Their play for much of the year was inexcusable when you consider the talent the manager and his staff had at their disposal , as their downfall was one of the biggest surprises of the year . .

      A repeat performance , in 2013 by the Phillies and you might as well count them out entirely in terms of their overall ambition .

      As good they (Phillies ) appear to be on paper , I don’t believe that they are the equal of either the Braves or Nationals , not this year , anyway ! At the same time , I hope that Nats’ manager , Davey Johnson , will have learned something from his stupidity in sitting Stephen Strasburg for what turned out to be the final eight or ten games of what was then his prospective pitching schedule of 2012 .

      Tophatal ……………


      1. I’ve always thought the Phillies were a much better team the year they won the World Series, when they had less talent than they do now.

        The more money they’ve paid out the less success they’ve had. It’s like they’ve sold their souls. However, barring injuries they should still be in the thick of the NL East race.


        1. As Biggie said ” more money more problems” and that pretty much sums up not only the Phillies’ isues as it concerns their roster but the entire landscape of baseball !

          Look at the idiocy of the Mariners and the fact that they’ve now made Felix Hernandez the highest paid starting pitcher in baseball as well as one of the highest paid players in the game altogether.

          Last I looked , the Mariners haven’t been competitive in AL West in years . Look at their record between 2009 to 2012 overall .

          Do bear in mind , that the franchise is still in part , owned by Nintendo USA under the parent flag of Nintendo Japan Inc . .

          Pitching stats 2012 for the AL —- NL and MLB overall .

          Tophatal ………


        2. Maurice Barksdale

          This season may well be the last chance for Charlie Manuel and his entire coaching staff to prove themselves this season . Failure at this juncture and the Phillies front office will have to make some major overhaul to that entire roster as well as the coaching staff of the Philadelphia Phillies .

          Players such as Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels are being paid a king’s ransom and they now need to prove that they are worth the money , that they are being paid annually .

          The Phillies’ organization has a great deal riding on this season and failure to win the NL East or at least make the postseason will be seen as a monumental failure .

          Tophatal …………..


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