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Well, after an eventful weekend , during which I aided a friend by repairing his computer , as a reward he , along with his wife , my girlfriend and I , took in a movie . Given, the fact , that lately , in terms of my movie entertainment, the last film I took in at the theater, was Denzel Washington’s Oscar nominated role, in the movie, “Flight” . A great film, with a terrific ensemble cast, and fantastic on-screen performances by the main actors , in the various leading roles . Sunday afternoon, as a quartet, we took in the movie “42” , starring Chad Bozeman and legendary Hollywood screen actor , Harrison Ford . The movie itself , was biopic , which gave if anything a stylized Hollywood telling, on the life of Hall of Fame baseball player , Jackie Robinson , and the events leading up to the desegregation and integration of Robinson into the Major Leagues , and the repercussions from that life changing event .
Leave it to the Los Angeles Dodgers , after their off-season , and their lavish off-season of continued spending , while the front office led by lead owners , Magic Johnson and Peter Guber , and one can simply understand the urgency being shown by Johnson and his business partners . Yes, well having spent just over $2 billion to buy one of baseball’s most renowned baseball teams . It is easy to understand why there would be such a belief that the Dodgers , in order for them to remain relevant within the game , it would mean winning , and not simply having a $200 million payroll , and with the managerial staff and GM Ned Colletti suggesting that “ money is of no object , by way of acquiring talent . Well, it has been a quarter of a century , since the Dodgers were part of baseball’s showcase event , the World Series . The year was 1988 and franchise’s greatest triumph in their recent history. That series , set about all the adulation and excitement , one would come to expect from a long-established and famed ball club , whose rise back to prominence had long been awaited . In the ensuing years since , that victory , for the Dodgers , it has been seasons of high and lows , but in recent years , the ball club became more widely known for the events taking place off the field , and with the gross negligence and financial mismanagement by former owner , Frank McCourt , and his having to place the ball club into bankruptcy protection and reorganization .
A patron recently suggested to me , that the team owners within baseball were actually businessmen. Well , if they are anything like Saul Katz , Fred Wilpon , David Glass , Bob Nutting , John Moores , Stuart Sternberg , Jeffrey Loria and McCourt , himself . Then clearly there is a reason why the game finds itself in such a financial rut and one of its own making . And for those who suggest that this all comes about because of a dire economy , then think again. Baseball’s financial morass , came by way of the league hierarchy , dumb ass front office executives/general managers , owners and the players themselves , thinking that they could simply make hay , while the sun shines without ever thinking about the game’s long-term future and its financial future .
Consider the fact, that one-quarter of the ball-clubs in baseball, struggles to eke out a profit without the aid from the MLB hierarchy and the game’s archaic tax sharing revenue scheme . And the purists out there, would have you believe that Bud Selig actually knows what the hell he is actually doing ? On a good day the MLB Commissioner could not tell you or explain to the most ardent of fans succinctly , why he failed so miserably in not equating the explosion of offensive prowess during the nineties , when there was clear evidence , that not everything within the game was above reproach . Meanwhile , anally retentive idiots suggested that the players’ malfeasance in terms of their cheating, taking illicit substances , was OK .
On the Opening Day of this MLB season , the Los Angeles Dodgers , did have the league’s biggest payroll , with salary commitments in excess of $213.5 million . That figure would be supplanted , when the New York Yankees acquired troubled out-fielder, Vernon Wells from the Los Angeles Angels . And while the player is off to a good start this season , with his new team , it must be said that Wells has remained something of a failure, having yet to live up to his exorbitant seven-year $126 million contract .
Yankees’ GM , Brian Cashman , must still possess a great deal of guile in convincing the Angels, and still have his opposite number , Jerry DiPoto , agree to such a deal where the Angels would still be committed to paying 65% of the remaining two years left on Wells’ ludicrous deal, with the New York Yankees paying for the remaining sum. Granted , the Yankees and Angels are two of baseball’s big market teams , with a great many resources at their disposal . And it has been those indices , that have aided the big market teams , while the minnows and lesser lights within the game , have been left to feed off the scraps left at the table .
One of the Dodgers’ many trades initiated over the last ten months , which saw the team’s payroll balloon from a mere $153 million to its present figure , which saw a 40 % increase from 2012 . Well, that came by way of the signing of pitcher Zack Greinke , the 2009 Cy Young Award winner , whose six-year $147 million contract , must now have everyone wondering , if the player , was actually worth it , given the most recent incident involving the pitcher . Greinke was involved in an altercation that led to a multi-player brawl , which first came about after the pitcher struck opposing batter , Carlos Quentin of the San Diego Padres . Quentin reacted angrily , charging the pitchers’ mound and coming to blows with the Dodgers’ ace , that would lead to his collar-bone being broken in the ensuing fracas and two team melee between the opposing . As to what this all says , as to the baser instincts of the players and the allegations that players in baseball , can actually brawl and fight , I leave it for you all to be the judge of that ! Suffice to say , Quentin will correctly sit out , his league mandated eight-game suspension . Zack Greinke for his troubles will now spend at a minimum, sixty days on the Dodgers’ DL , recuperating from his injuries . Can someone explain to me , what Greinke’s intent might have been when he sought to “beam” Quentin during the game ? And as one patron tried to suggest, it was simply manly testosterone rising . More like a bunch of frigging assholes with nothing better do with their time , who’ve now placed their respective teams at a disadvantage .
An idiot’s bitch move, and why the players in the game are so anally retentive !
That brawl , last Thursday at Petco Park in San Diego , California , did nothing , but raise the stakes in the anticipated returning meeting between the two teams and heated rivals within the NL West . That most certainly will be the case when the Dodgers play hosts to the San Diego Padres at Dodgers’ Ballpark , in Los Angeles California , for a three-game game home series , starting this Monday , 15th April , 2013 . That series could very well tell us a great deal about both teams , their intent the prospective directions that they may well be heading in. That series could very well tell us a great deal about both teams , their intent the prospective directions that they may well be heading in.
There comes a time where everyone and every man has to stand up and be counted . At this juncture , the excuses and stop and the truth has to be told as it relates to the Tampa Bay Rays. The fans may not like or actually want to hear it but at this juncture the Rays are amongst the worst performing teams in all of baseball . Slice it and dice it , but Joe Maddon and his staff simply know that this team is not meeting his expectations or those of their most earnest and diehard fans . The departure of James Shields and Wade Davis had nothing to do with gaining a competitive edge by promoting talented pitchers up from within the Rays’ farm system. Once again , it’s simply back to the penny-pinching ways of the early predisposition of Stuart Sternberg and his business partners , who as owners of the franchise , have just about everyone within the locale, drinking the Kool Aid , while they continue to bitch and whine about a new stadium within the city of St Petersburg, Florida .
I truly believe that the Rays’ front office erred greatly in allowing the departure of James Shields and to a lesser extent, Wade Davis ! Now , Andrew Friedman , is not necessarily banking upon the players , but more so the managerial ingenuity of Joe Maddon. Yet the manager for his part , forever the patriarch to team , simply refuses to acknowledge the fact this roster is simply not as good as last season’s group of players . The stats at present , bear this out , and with the Rays’ record of 4-8 , twelve games into the season and the projection for the team , based on present form , would be a win total approaching between 55 and sixty wins for the year . A far cry, from the ninety-win season of 2012 and a third place finish within the AL East , and narrowly missing out on a playoff berth for the playoffs . If the Rays and specifically , Evan Longoria , are to be relevant within the AL this season , then there has to be, more of a sense of urgency from the players , rather than the lackluster performances and the repeated excuses being put forth , by anyone within the organization seeking to make a public statement .
Next up for Maddon and this team , will be the final game of an away series against what appears to be a resurgent … Boston Red Sox team, under new manager , John Farrell . And today, the Red Sox added to the Rays’ woes by inflicting the team with their third straight loss and their fifth loss in their last ten games , placing the Rays at the foot of the AL East . With that 4-8 mark , Joe Maddon and the Rays , have the sixth worst record in the Majors , with the bottom mark as of the 14th April , held by the lowly San Diego Padres (2-10) .
Now inasmuch , as I believe that the Rays can overcome their difficulties , a great deal of how the team deals with this adversity will be based on the leadership abilities shown by Evan Longoria and teammate , David Price , the AL Cy Young award winner of last season , and the franchise’s only winner of one baseball’s most illustrious individual awards . Price’s season in 2012 , was sound if not spectacular , without their being , a no hitter or perfect game to show in his stats, but what David Price was able to show , was his consistency , and his will to go that added extra mile on behalf of the team.
Call me naïve , but if the Miami Marlins (2-11) (@ 04/14/2013) do end up with the worst record in baseball this season , is there a chance that team owner , Jeffrey Loria will seek to blame the press and fans alike , for the team’s ongoing misfortunes after last season’s abysmal showing , ineptitude and gross misconduct of then manager , Ozzie Guillen ? This much I do know , Loria , along with Bud Selig over the past eighteen months have sold the residents of Miami , and in general the fans of baseball , a real can of goods, but more appropriately a bucket load of fecal matter . Yet , here we are , with baseball fantasy geeks seemingly looking for shreds of evidence that the Marlins do indeed have several good players on their roster . That would be like suggesting that pop singer, Britney Spears , has never lip synched while performing on stage . Thirty million CD’s later and her music still is vapid and her talent remains marginal at best . And in the case of the Miami Marlins , beyond Giancarlo Stanton , there is no real reason to watch the Marlins play.
At this juncture , pitiful might well be the only and best way to describe the underachieving Marlins this season . GM Michael Hill and the front office have pared down the team’s payroll to a miserly $40.5 million from last season’s audacious $118 million , as Ozzie Guillen and an overrated team sought to lay assault on the rest of the NL , as was their intent to make a serious challenge of winning the franchise’s third World Series title . In reality, the Marlins’ chances were doomed from the outset , as their season began and ended in a whimper .
The firing of Ozzie Guillen, acknowledged by many as a necessity has seen the ascent of former Marlins’ Mike Redmond as the besieged, Guillen’s successor . So far, the signs are not that encouraging for the rookie manager and his staff , as his team has begun floundering and capsizing like a listless vessel floating nowhere across the ocean. As poorly as the team has played , you simply get the feeling that this might not be the worst that the Miami Marlins has to offer their fans and the fans of baseball in general .
Fan base for the Marlins this season, appears to be bordering on being downright anemic in terms of attendance for the team’s home games, at their year-old $575 million Marlins’ Ballpark , built at taxpayers’ expense , “ without one red cent” coming from baseball’s hierarchy or the team’s ownership . Reminder to the Tampa Bay Rays’ fans and their incessant stupidity , that a venue ought to be built for a franchise whose ownership group seems to be unwilling to contributing towards the cost of a new venue , but yet , you continually hear senior team managing partner , Stuart Sternberg “ bitching and whining” , as to why the city , county and state municipalities will not come to his aid , with the building of a new venue to replace the archaic and now crumbling Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg, Florida . Stupid is as , stupid does ! Only in the state of Florida where, the fan-base of the only two professional franchises combined , would hardly make a dent in the average attendance for a New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox or Philadelphia Phillies’ home game . Florida , simply isn’t a state that can sustain two Major League Baseball franchises , let alone , one .
As if to give you an idea as to what this might entail , consider the following , the Boston Red Sox recently saw its’ consecutive games’ sellout streak in terms of home games’ attendance come to an end after 820 games , of which , twenty-six were playoff appearances , A feat that has not been accomplished by any other franchise in baseball and which came to a culmination , after a decade of economic success for the franchise , along with two World Series championships in 2004 and 2007 . Alas , the Marlins have never … reached those heights of economic success , albeit , that they are one of the few franchises to have won two world titles over the last sixteen years . This year , I don’t believe that the Miami Marlins will be even in with a remote chance of making the playoff ! They are simply not good enough a team , to challenge anyone within their division , much less the rest MLB.
What are your expectations in the lead-up to the 2013 All Star Game , and which teams do you believe , are likely to be a success this season , in terms of their regular season play ? Chime in, on this, and anything else , you believe pertinent to the subject matter , at hand .
Robinson is seen here being interviewed by noted journalist Jimmy Piersall . @ copyrighted material LA Times all rights reserved …
(1) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez , left, gets back to second base just in time to be the throw to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Cliff Pennington during the seventh inning in a baseball game, on Sunday, April 14, 2013 in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 1-0 . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers’ Josh Beckett, right, meets with catcher A.J. Ellis during the seventh inning in a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks won 1-0 . AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ..
(3) Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis , right, walks off the field as the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate a 1-0 win in a baseball game, Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Phoenix. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ….
(4) San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin charges into Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego, Thursday, April 11, 2013. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi …..
(5) Punching and getting your ticket ” punched ” . In this April 11, 2013, file photo, San Diego Padres’ Carlos Quentin charges into Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning of baseball game in San Diego. Quentin on Sunday, April 14, dropped his appeal and began serving an eight-game suspension for rushing the mound and inciting a brawl in which Greinke broke his left collarbone. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ….
(6) Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. Against the backdrop of the events that took place at the ballpark , tragedy struck downtown Boston as the Boston Marathon took place , as two explosives devices were set off , killing three individuals and injuring one hundred and ninety-seven more , with many of those injured , being in serious or critical condition. AP Photo/Winslow Townson …
(7) Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings can’t come up with a triple by Boston Red Sox’s Jacoby Ellsbury during the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….
(8) Boston Red Sox’s Jarrod Saltalamacchia watches his solo home run with Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Lobaton during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. The Red Sox would go on to defeat the Rays 3-2 and ” sweeping ” their divisional rivals in their home series . AP Photo/Winslow Townson …..
(10) Marlins’ executives , CEO, Larry Beinfest , left , is seen here with general manager , Michael Hill , who between them , have to deal with meddlesome team owner , Jeffrey Loria, and Loria’s stepson, David Sansome . The two lead front office executives in charge of the day-to-day personnel decision-making have been undermined by the team owner and his stepson at almost every turn . And with that has come the unenviable task of having deal with the firestorm and publication relations’ nightmare after Loria’s verbal attack and onslaught against the local and national media , as well as for their criticism of his decisions, after the team’s end of season “fire sale” . Loria claimed that after the team’s abysmal season in 2012 , it was unsustainable to have a $118 million payroll , with the franchise barely making any money . All this in light after he and the rest of the front office executives have colluded with Bud Selig into coercing the city of Miami commission to fast track the financing and vote for what has become a $575 million boondoggle in the implementation and building of the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark , completely financed by the city , which is still in the midst of its biggest financial crisis in over two decades . To exacerbate things even further the city commission now finds itself under investigation by the US Justice Department , as they seek to ascertain whether or not there was collusion and claims of certain commission members accepting monetary incentives from unknown sources in exchange for their votes . Current Mayor Tomas Regalado and his predecessor , Manny Diaz are one five central figures at the center of the investigation. It is not yet known if any executive from the Marlins’ front office or from the office of Commissioner Bud Selig , is the focus of the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation. However, under a subpoena , documents have been removed from the town hall as well as from the homes prominent city commissioners , as the legal arm of the federal government conducts their investigation. Getty Images / Rick Hill …..
(11) A legend in his own mind and now one of the most despised and disliked individuals in all of baseball , Miami Marlins’ team owner Jeffrey Loria , who in the past year, has ordered the paring down of the team’s payroll from $118 million to a now miserly $40.5 million , which he believes to be competitive enough to give the Marlins a chance of being a contender within the NL this season . Courtesy of The Palm Beach Post/ Osvaldo Ortega ….
(12) Miami Marlins’ manager Mike Redmond , who succeeds Ozzie Guillen . after the former manager’s unsuccessful and only season with the South Florida franchise , which was a disastrous and politically charged 12 months of sheer mediocrity from everyone within the organization . Miami Herald / Jean-Louis Baptiste …..
(13) Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins . The young outfielder is remains the centerpiece of a team , that this year simply hasn’t performed or met anyone’s expectations . The player himself , was said to be unhappy with the team’s fire sale , that saw the 2012 roster gutted to its very core , with many of the high-priced players simply jettisoned by the front office , at the behest of the Marlins’ unpopular team owner , Jeffrey Loria .
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