It was a year that we were told, was meant to be special ….

It was a year that we were told, was meant to be special

The MLB season has begun in earnest with several teams showing their mettle , while others are already beginning to show signs of wear and tear . If that isn’t enough the game of baseball , still has to deal with the fact that with several players sidelined with injuries , the fans still have to view the prospect of seeing their teams under-achieve or in some cases over-achieve .


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Slideshow .

Right out of the gate the Atlanta Braves started out fast , albeit that as of late things have cooled down somewhat for Fredi Gonzalez and the team , who were on a three game win streak as of 21st April , 2013 . Seizing the day, for the franchise has been the play of the Braves’ newest player , Justin Upton , who along with elder sibling, BJ Upton , were brought in to bolster the offense of the ball-club . Justin Upton leads the Majors and NL in home runs .

As the Atlanta Braves remain atop of the heap within the NL East standings , it should come as no surprise that the Miami Marlins remain a club that is seemingly spiraling out of control , heading nowhere fast , without their being any signs of leadership on or off the field of play. Rookie manager, Mike Redmond and his staff have been entrusted to manage the team . From within the front office , executives, Larry Beinfest , David Sansom , GM Michael Hill , and team owner , Jeffrey Loria have taken it upon themselves to take a back seat having gutted the roster , and having plead economic woes as to the reasons why and the team’s misfires of 2012 , as the ultimate excuse . All somewhat asinine , when at the start of last season , the Marlins moved into their $575 million new Marlins Ballpark , situated in downtown Miami, with those very same executives informing the public and fans that this would all be the dawn of a new era . Alas , it has been more of the same , with the same ongoing mediocrity , which is currently on display with this team , firmly exhibited by their anemic 4-15 record within the NL East , which is by far the worst in the Majors this season.

Next up for the Marlins will be an away game against the Minnesota Twins (8-7) which will be played at Target Field in Minneapolis , Minnesota , which will be part of a double-header to make up for a postponed game from Monday afternoon . On the mound in game one for the Twins will be Kevin Correia facing Ricky Nolasco . Game two , will pit Jose Fernandez of the Marlins against Mike Pelfrey . A series that in many ways reflects two franchises that are so alike , while in many respects , are also somewhat different, as how they each seek to battle their own adversities .

While the season remains in its infancy , what cannot be denied, are the litany of injuries that seem to be hampering the teams , their aspirations and no doubt , progress over the course of the season . It is hoped that those players will be able to contribute to their respective ball clubs upon their return .

From my own perspective , at this point of the season and the teams as such not yet hitting a real rhythm of consistency , it will be somewhat difficult to gauge how good or bad the ball clubs are actually doing . One could surmise that by looking back at this point last season < and the events that unfolded at the same point , could prove to be fruitful. Yet that in of itself, is by no means a clear indicator of what we should expect by season’s end or at any point during 2012 . One of the things I do believe that will be prevalent , will be that the fans will remain ever vigilant as to the exploits of the players , particularly when it comes to any single season mark that may well be under threat !

The single season home run mark which currently stands at 73 , a figure held by Barry Bonds does seem to be out of reach of today’s Major League sluggers and rightly or wrongly , the record will always be looked as being somewhat “ tainted “ , in spite of continued innocence being plead by Bonds, as to his unknowingly ingesting a banned substance . And the same can and should be said of the career home run record , also held by Bonds . A player who now seems intent on gaining his acquittal of perjury , and who no doubt , looks to be enshrined in Cooperstown , New York , as an honored member of baseball’s Hall of Fame . While Bonds does have his detractors , there are many fans out there who continue to support the player , in spite of the allegations and charges that were leveled against him . And to my mind , Barry Bonds in some respects remains one of the most admired , as well as one of the most despised players in the game’s history

In 2001 , when Bonds set the mark for the single season home run mark . Many felt that having obliterated the previous mark set by Mark McGwire , this would in fact put an end to the scurrilous and some might say unwarranted rumors concerning McGwire’s own accomplishments in that endeavor. However , what we do now know , was in fact that Mark McGwire was not without his own demons as well lacking as lacking in candor as to his honesty . The former St Louis Cardinals and Oakland A’s slugger , is now a hitting instructor on the staff of the Los Angeles Dodgers . As to how one might view this latest turn of events in the former slugger’s career , can either be looked upon with a great deal of disdain or ridicule , dependent upon whether or not you are an admirer of the player. Your thoughts if any , on this all ?

Baseball’s hierarchy led by Commissioner Bud Selig , have never spoken openly public on the fact that both the career and single season home runs’ record remains intact and validated on their books . A fact that is further acknowledged and emphasized by the Elias Stats Bureau , a bastion allegedly for what is said “ to be pure “ as it relates to the game’s most heralded statistics .

I have always maintained that while Bonds , McGwire and Sammy Sosa were laying waste to the single season home run mark , it simply diminished the feat of Roger Maris when he broke the sixty home runs’ plateau for a season , when in 1961 , he surpassed the record (59) held by Babe Ruth . Somehow baseball’s sordid and dirty little secret was allowed to simply ran the gamut of highs and lows , with the print and television media simply looking to absolve themselves from reporting anything suspicious as it related to the era that would become known as the “ steroid era” . In truth , not much has changed from the mid-nineties when the feats of the aforementioned players were being lauded as being superhuman and , a marvel for the baseball fans to watch in astonishment.

Consider the fact that even today , with what Bud Selig claims to be the toughest drug testing protocols in all of professional sports , we still have players running afoul of the league’s testing policy , having tested positive for a wide array of banned substances . It is even more prevalent at the Minor League Level , where in the last two and a half years , over one hundred and thirty players have been suspended in accordance with the league’s mandated edicts . A stunning figure , no matter how one chooses to make an argument favoring or opposing the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) and other illicit substances .

Bonds’ record breaking single season home run feat would come off a hit , from opposing pitcher Dennis Springer of the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game played at Candlestick Park in San Francisco , California on the 7th October , 2001, between the San Francisco Giants and their famed NL counterparts .

The 2001 season itself, filled with its infamy cannot be overlooked in terms of the accomplishments within the AL and NL that year . Bonds would come away with the NL League MVP for the season with his AL counterpart , Ichiro Suzuki winning the AL crown as well as the Rookie of Year honors . Ichiro , would have a spectacular rookie season with the Seattle Mariners , while going on to simply fulfill the promise first shown as a player within Japanese Leagues . Now with the New York Yankees and looking to aid that franchise in whatever way he can . It has to be said , that perhaps at long last , the fans of the game can see the player perform at the highest levels possible as well as quite possibly being a regular postseason contributor to the Yankees’ current and future aspirations .

The teams making up the 2001 postseason gave us an array of teams with varying degrees of success throughout the regular season . . Aspirants seeking to make their presence felt were the New York Yankees , perennial contender , along with the , Cleveland Indians , Seattle Mariners and Oakland A’s . From the senior circuit (NL) , we had the Arizona Diamondbacks , Atlanta Braves , Houston Astros , and St Louis Cardinals . And the postseason foray would in part, play out like a fictionalized Hollywood thriller , with the Arizona Diamondbacks having an improbable run through the postseason , where they would meet the high-flying New York Yankees in the World Series .

A triumphant Diamondbacks’ team managed by Bob Brenly having won the franchise’s only World Series’ title . They would subsequently fall from grace , with their being a some major upheavals amongst the managerial and playing staff in the subsequent years .

A triumphant Diamondbacks’ team managed by Bob Brenly having won the franchise’s only World Series’ title . They would subsequently fall from grace , with their being a some major upheavals amongst the managerial and playing staff in the subsequent years . Sharing the World Series MVP honors were pitchers , Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling , two of the game’s most renowned pitchers in recent history . Both players having retired , they now await their eligibility for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame . In or out , for both , Johnson and Schilling as for enshrinement in Cooperstown ?

From my own perspective I do feel that the 2001 baseball season was unique in its very own way , but the tragedy of 9/11 struck home , to cast an irreversible shadow over the entire postseason , albeit , that the nation was unified in a common cause for the greater good . Yet , were it not for the atrocities committed on that fateful day in September , one seriously doubts also that it was in that very same year that Barry Bonds cast his own dubious shadow over the game , leaving his legacy I believe completely in question !



Picture gallery .

How do you view the 2001 season , during which Barry Bonds’ feat that in many respects cannot be completely overlooked , in spite of the triumph of the Arizona Diamondbacks ? Less we forget also , that September , baseball came to a complete halt , after the tragedies that took place on September 11th , 2001 . Chime in with your thoughts on the season , as you deem fit , and thanks as always , for the continued support of this site !


Picture and slideshow details below .

(1) DENVER, CO – APRIL 23: Evan Gratis (24) of the Atlanta Braves celebrates his solo home run with third base coach Brian Snitker (51) during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

(2) Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton swings to hit a single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Atlanta. AP Photo/David Goldman …

(3) Miami Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo , right, visits pitcher Jose Fernandez after he walked Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer in the first inning in the first game of a day/night double-header , Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in Minneapolis, Minn. AP Photo/Jim Mone …

(4) From left to right , Miami Marlins’ front office executives , Larry Beinfest , Jeffrey Loria and David Sansom , seen here at the franchise’s ballpark discussing team issue’s . This season looks as if tit will be another lamentable year of indifference and mediocrity for the Marlins , with the team now firmly rooted at the bottom of the NL East after a disastrous start under rookie manager Mike Redmond . AP Photo / Arthur Moore …

(5) Barry Bonds blasts home run number 73 on his way to the single season home run record in 2001 . The former San Francisco Giants’ player also holds the career home runs’ mark (763) having broken Hank Aaron’s feat of 755 . Courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle @ copyrighted material all rights reserved ……

(6) Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling , right , are seen here with the Word Series trophy , after the Arizona Diamondbacks’ expected 4-3 series’ triumph over the New York Yankees in 2001. Johnson and Schilling were voted joint World Series’ MVP for their efforts in the postseason , with Bob Brenly guiding the franchise in his rookie season to the Diamondbacks’ first , and only World Series . Courtesy of ….

(7) The Diamondbacks’ Luiz Gonzalez and his late game heroics is seen here hitting the winning RBI off Yankees’ reliever Mariano Rivera , that would give the franchise their first World Series , in 2001 . AFP/Photo/ Barry Young …

(8) A draped banner during game seven of the 2001 World Series , bringing the nation together in its national pastime , uniting us all after the horrors and the grief of 9/11/2001 . Getty Images / Ron Carter …..



By Tophatal 04/23/2013


MLB news

News from around the league

MLB standings

MLB wildcard standings

MLB schedule 23rd April

MLB results 22nd April

MLB probable starting pitchers 23rd April 2013

This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history chronologically

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

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

20 thoughts on “It was a year that we were told, was meant to be special ….”

  1. Barry Bonds may not have cast as giant a shadow over the 2001 season within baseball , and were it not for the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 . I do believe that year would be one of infamy as it relates to the former Giants’ slugger . Especially when one bears in mind what has happened within the game subsequent to to that season .

    It was good to know, that when the country was indeed , in a time of mourning , unified by this tragedy , we can still find a way to come out and be unified , while still being respectful of those who lost their lives tragically ! With the recent events of the Boston Marathon , still fresh in our minds , once again it has come the recreational area of sports that binds us together and thankfully so !

    Never to be forgotten !


    Bonds blasts his way into ‘infamy’ .

    With , or without the “juice ” ?

    Granted , both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa also bear a certain amount of responsibility for their dubious efforts , but the biggest debacle in this whole era rests squarely upon the shoulders of Bud Selig and the inaction of the MLB hierarchy and that of the owners and union , knowing full well that there was a great deal of suspicion with regard to feats within the game being heralded as astonishing . This was solely allowed , because of the heightened fervor and the monies that rolled in because peak attendance at the ball games during 2001 .

    It’s too early to say how the Braves might well fare over the course of their schedule , but I do like the look of this team and the managerial style of Fredi Gonzalez !

    Atlanta Braves’ news

    Atlanta Braves’ result 23rd April

    Maris rounds the bases having just hit the 61st home run to break the single season home run record .

    In 1961 , Roger Maris broke what was then the home run single season record and since then it’s almost as if his achievement that season was an afterthought . When in reality if baseball’s hierarchy along with Elias Stats Bureau had an ounce of integrity they would simply fail to recognize the records of Bonds and other players during the nineties ” tainted ” by this era of steroids .

    Tophatal ………………..


  2. And once again the Rays are finding ever increasing ways to lose one run games with even more regularity , while being hopelessly and bewilderingly …. complacent at times .

    “If Evan Longoria doesn’t win the AL MVP this season , then I’ll have sex live on stage with my pregnant co-anchor Heather Van Nest ! I hear anyway that pregnant women are the best type of women to have sex with ’cause their hormonal juices are flowing and their breasts become extremely tender , just the way I like ’em ” ! Dave Wirth

    WTSP Channel 10’s local sport’s anchor Dave Wirth remains a blithering hopelessly optimistic idiot , whose knowledge of the local sport’s scene in the Tampa Bay area is on par with just about everything else he does that concerns his professional journalistic endeavors , simply mindless and mediocre !

    has no one but himself to blame after last night’s 4-3 loss to the Yankees .

    has <a href= been about as consistent this season as a dog looking for a fire hydrant to cock its leg up to take a piss .

    AL East standings and wildcard standings

    Tampa Bay Rays’ news

    Tophatal …….


  3. So atypical in baseball , in terms of honoring the disreputable !

    Courtesy of

    Plaque honoring Bonds’ 756th home run , missing

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants are planning to replace the marker commemorating Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th home run that recently disappeared from its spot on the right-center-field wall at AT&T Park .

    A San Francisco Chronicle report said that team and ballpark officials plan to scrutinize security video spanning a week-long period in hopes of finding clues about the apparent theft.

    Except for scattered photographs and signs in a right-center field archway denoting the Giants who exceeded 500 career home runs, there’s relatively little evidence at the ballpark showing that Bonds, baseball’s all-time home run leader with 762, ever played in San Francisco.

    His jersey number 25 has not been officially retired, though no player has worn it since he played his final game in 2007. Giants officials have said that Bonds’ number won’t be removed from circulation until he’s elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame — which is an issue in itself, given the cloud of performance-enhancing drug use that hovers over him

    Click on link to read in full.

    I know it’s all about the money and Bonds’ name still brings in revenues for Giants’ franchise , but at the end of the day the game of baseball still remains tarnished by his actions and that of his peers throughout the era of the nineties and early 2000’s .

    Elias Stats Bureau as well as baseball’s hierarchy are a bunch of gutless morons !

    San Francisco Giants’ press releases

    Tophatal …………..


  4. Roger Maris was never given his due. Landis the commissioner at he time tainted the record because he said Maris needed to do it 159 games. Landis hated Maris as well as blacks who played the game, he kept them out of baseball for many years. Bonds- a joke. Steroid ball. McGuire and Sosa the same.


    1. bobby gee

      I think it’s a damn shame that Roger Maris has never been given his due for the feat accomplished in 1961 ! He had an astounding year and was as productive as any other influential player on that Yankees’ team for that season . However , because he played alongside Mickey Mantle , it were as if Maris were an afterthought as a player on the roster that year .

      Maris and Mantle

      Let’s get one thing clear , it was never baseball’s intent or wish to see Jackie Robinson become a success , because of Branch Rickey’s ” social experiment ” . Yet , because Robinson showed talent beyond his years as well as integrity , he caught the public’s imagination , in spite of the disdain of some of his teammates , as well as opposing players , the fans , team owners and indeed . baseball’s hierarchy at the time . And all of the altruism now being shown simply whitewashes much of what went on and what was definitely not shown in recently released biopic “42” starring Chad Bozeman and Harrison Ford . Even the goddamn baseball historians have re-visioned many of the incidents that befell the Brooklyn Dodgers’ great and Hall of Famer .

      There are still idiots today , blinkered by their utter gullibility , stupidity and apathy who still believe that this country doesn’t remain racially biased ! They’d rather walk around with their head buried in the sand like a damn ostrich searching for worms .

      Tophatal ………..


      1. Maris lost his hair. Mickey was very supportive of Maris. It was the press and Landis who attack Maris. Landis wanted Robinson to fail. Jackie was an All-American football player at UCLA. I would like to read what letters Robinson wrote to his wife about this.


        1. Judge Kennesaw Landis was simply leading the flock at the time . The guy was a racial bigot ,and the lame asses who cover baseball’s history would rather gloss over that very fact ! We ought to remember the moral indignity that simply wasn’t felt even after integration of baseball .

          Long before Dave Chappelle came up with the fictional character Clayton Bigsby the black white supremacist , there was indeed Judge Kennesaw Landis , the first MLB commissioner , an avowed racially intolerant bigot . Yet historians of the game would rather not mention that detail , instead seeking to paint a sport as being ever so lilly-white and pure . In other words the purest form of fu#king bigotry as you can get or ever witness seeing .

          “Nig#ers in baseball ? Hang the black sons of ###ches . White power ! Kennesaw Landis ”

          Judge Kennesaw Landis, the first commissioner of baseball , an avowed racial bigot .

          Never mind the other team sports during the era, as minorities were still being berated as lacking in ability and intelligence . Fuck , there remain buffoons today , who simply show their indifference , and would rather deny that shit ever happened . . All of this remains hidden and the idiots of today are simply apathetic to that very fact and carry on like a bunch of frigging ass clowns ! Those are the type who live in their imaginary world filled incredulity so damn lacking in intelligence that it simply doesn’t bear talking about . And nowhere is that more self evident than within the state of Florida .

          Tophatal …………………


  5. Is it true that Barry Bonds’ bulbous head has been officially named the eighth wonder of the world?
    Also this just in, authorities are seeking the whereabouts of the real David Price. It has been reported that the imposter that has been pitching for the Rays in his place has been brought in for questioning. Details at eleven.


  6. aero

    Don’t believe the hype ” once you go black you never go back ” . LOL,LOL,LOL !!! It’s been rumored that several Caucasian and African American female porn stars saw the size of Bonds’ sch-long , laughed with exuberance and decided it’s just not worth it . The gay male porn stars , had no difficulty holding their own , stating that Barry’s isn’t something that they could work with

    Bree Olson

    Porn star Bree Olson having seen Bonds’ sch-long reacts rather indifferently as she measured it against a thimble she had in the palm of her right hand . Bonds’ member simply didn’t measure up to size .

    The Rays are paying (1 year contract) Price $10.1m this season , and so far he’s not living up to the status as the AL’s best pitcher , based on last season’s stats and the fact that he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012 . Yet it is simply not just the erratic pitching performances that has befell the team , but also the inconsistent ….. hitting and a complete lack of accountability or leadership .

    Longo’ is meant to be the presumed leader of this ball club , yet he acts like an errant clown without an actual sense of purpose . And it will definitely lead to the failings of this team over the course of the season .

    Evan Longoria’s stats
    this season and when measured against other third basemen in the AL and MLB as a whole .

    Tophatal ……………………..


    1. Drew

      As of the 23rd April the records of the Marlins and Padres were not too dissimilar . I can tell you this in terms of their overall mediocrity , both will be vying for the #1 one overall pick in the upcoming MLB Draft .

      Marlins vs Padres head to head record from 2005 to 2013 .


      Gianna Michaels loves a guy that can wield a big “stick ” . She’s also not only looking for a guy who’s got a big stick , but a guy who knows how to use that stick and who knows where to stick it into the places that really matter .

      God this chic needs to be “boned ”

      MLB schedule 24th April

      MLB probable pitchers today

      MLB standings & wildcard standings

      MLB team stats

      Tophatal …………………………..


  7. Drew

    Look , I’ll give the Padres a pasts for the moment , as they’ve recently changed ownership , but a year from now ,. they will become fair game as far as I’m concerned ! I’ll give you this however, the franchise’s record over the past six years has been abysmal , as can be evidenced by the games played and the results shown .

    The Marlins have been a walking fu#king disaster for the past five years and leading the charge , has been their lame ass owner , Jeffrey Loria , with Bud Selig , suborning and supporting his antics , much as in the same way , he supported the fuc##ng idiocy of Frank McCourt , when he was ruining the Dodgers .

    The current owners in baseball are nowhere near as bright or as intelligent as some of the idiot fans out there , believe them to be .

    Tophatal ……………………


  8. Chris Humpherys

    Justin Upton is tearing the hide off the ball in his quick start to this season. It doesn’t come as a surprise with regard to the players enshrined and the feat with regard to the home runs single season mark and being part of that illustrious group .

    And while the Braves are off to that quick start , the Nationals are having their problems in the NL East and against several of their opponents this season .

    Tophatal ……..


  9. Dunni….2001 was abad year for me…….been away….hernia operational that is till kicking my arse, rather the front…man talk about pain and swelling


  10. al clements

    Sorry to hear of your ailments , but I’m hoping that you have a quick recovery . Just take it easy and simply take time recuperate slowly , so that you’re ready to get back to a great quality of life .

    I was wondering could Gianna Michaels be of help in aiding you to make a quick recovery ?

    Well it looks as if the Eagles and Steelers are looking to make some prominent moves with regard to the NFL Draft and possible trades .

    Tophatal ………….


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