Hit me with your best shot ……..

Hit me with your best shot

In spite of the fast start to the season by the Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton and the fact that , as the team has tapered off somewhat , so too has the player’s productivity as of late . Upton, still leads the Majors in home runs and is ranked in the top ten several of the other categories that matter the most in terms of offensive productivity . That being said , I firmly believe that we are unlikely to see a repeat of the feat , in the accomplishments of the Detroit Tigers’ ….. Miguel Cabrera , who last season placed himself in the ranks of baseball’s immortals , by becoming the first player in four decades to have attained the Triple Crown . Granted , this season Cabrera , is once again off to a prodigious start , ahead of last season’s totals at the same point of the season .


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Slideshow .

In terms of the game seeing a pure hitter , other than Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera , the game has simply been devoid of one of baseball`s purest art forms . With what many might suggest was the forced or rightful departure of Barry Bonds , a seven- time NL MVP and two time NL batting champion . The controversial slugger in a recent interview went so far as suggesting, that Miguel Cabrera is now not only one of the best players in the game , but that also , that Cabrera is now the best pure hitter in all of baseball . Mighty praise indeed, coming from a player who quite possibly, is one of , and still remains one of the most despised players in baseball`s already tainted history .

Bonds the all-time career home runs` king , as well as the single season home runs` record holder , has not quite been able to disassociate himself from perhaps , the game`s most infamous era . Steroid still remains a stigma from which baseball cannot escape and with Bud Selig`s poor handling of the steroid cheaters being best described as comical , if not haphazard ! It is plain to see that the game beyond needing a fresh new influx of new young . We have been lucky enough over the past few seasons to see the ascent of Stephen Strasburg , Bryce Harper , J P Arencibia , Carlos Gomez , Yoenis Cespedes , Aroldis Capman , and Mike Trout . However, while current and former players such as , Ryan Braun , Melky Cabrera and Bonds are still visible and contributing to the panacea of the game. It does leave us pondering , what other misnomers have we yet failed to see and what other secrets would the league hierarchy would rather us not witness ?

Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers have been something of an enigma over the past few years , and if there was an indicator of that , then it would have to be the 2012 World Series and the very fact that the team simply wilted under the weight of great expectation . Manager, Jim Leyland and his managerial staff , along with GM Dave Dombrowski , have been entrusted in getting this team back to another postseason finale .The Tigers` postseason showing statistically , if anything gave us a clear indication why the team failed miserably in being swept (4-0) so convincingly u, by the San Francisco Giants . . Inasmuch, as I believe the Tigers to be one of the best teams in the AL , I am not so sure that even as proficient as they appear to be , they will actually have enough to contend with the likes of Boston Red Sox , New York Yankees , Texas Rangers and Oakland A`s . The Tigers on Tuesday were the hosts of the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field , in Cleveland Ohio , in a series that should prove to be very interesting .

There is no denying that throughout the years the front office of the Tigers have been very prudent in their draft choices and that was very much in evidence when they acquired Justin Verlander , as the second overall draft pick in the 2004 MLB Draft , and in the subsequent years we have seen Dave Dombrowski , simply making sure that the franchise’s choices have been beneficial for the organization . . Beyond the troubles now facing the Miami Marlins , New York Mets , and Houston Astros , it must be said that the biggest disappointment beyond that of the Los Angeles Dodgers and their $215 million payroll , which ranks amongst the highest in all of baseball . The ongoing woes of the Minnesota Twins (18-24) , Ron Gardenhire and the duo of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau . It is difficult to see how this franchise can survive in the midst of their ongoing turmoil of being uncompetitive , while committing , jointly , over $ 130 million in salaries , for the next five years to the aforementioned pairing. Current Twins` owner , Jim Pohlad and GM Terry Ryan do appear to be nonplussed as how best to lead this ball-club in the sort an long-term, as repeated mistakes are being made on an annual basis , as it relates to the makeup of the team`s roster and a slew of major personnel and business decisions.

This Twins` franchise remains a poorly supported team that is so reliant upon the largess of the MLB hierarchy to support its sustenance. Were it not for the ongoing luxury tax and the disbursement of the monies derived of that scheme, that is shared amongst the small market teams . I honestly believe , that the Minnesota Twins would be a team , facing the death knell of being contracted ! Valued at around $575 million and with gross revenues of $214 million , the Twins manage to eke out a small profit barely above $10 million ( $10.8 million) . These are indeed trying times for baseball , with their being few positives that the game can truly point to from an economic standpoint , when many of the teams cannot stand by themselves , without an assist from the league hierarchy . Yet somehow, Bud Selig is intent on painting a rosy picture as it relates to the sport he oversees . You can`t blame the idiot for trying , and that is now what the commissioner has become , an all too cumbersome idiot !

Coming off a 5-4 loss to the NL East leading Atlanta Braves , it is now pretty much safe to say that the Twins can now start to use the remainder of their season to assess this roster as well as many of the players that Ron Gardenhire and Terry Ryan might indeed , seek to call up from their Minor League System system amongst their AAA affiliates . As to the futures of both Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, while the duo remain in tandem , not achieving much for the franchise, and burdening it with their voluminous salaries . It does beg the question , does Jim Pohlad truly comprehend what is going on within his midst ?

I will no longer bemoan the fact that I was once an avid supporter of the Miami Marlins for several years , having lived in the South Florida community for a period of time , throwing the weight of my support behind the franchise . However, in late 2011, I abandoned the team , because of what I felt a lack of honesty and respect that was forthcoming from the ownership group of the ball club . Now, I constantly hear statements being made by fans , suggesting that a team and its owners are merely there to entertain the fans , while making money . Off course, that may well be true , but at what expense to the fans and the consumer ? Granted , we do have a right as a consumer to refuse, to be a willing conduit for a franchise`s profiteering , by simply refusing to attend a ball game . Yet, when a franchise benefits from the utter stupidity that has been shown by a municipality or state agency , then we should all be concerned . Especially, when, it is the public`s resources that are being used for the benefit of millionaire and billionaire sports` franchise owners, in order to build a palatial edifice to house a professional sport`s team . .

A year into its existence and the Miami Marlins Ballpark , has now become an elephants’ graveyard , with the attendance levels being so anemic during home games , you could hear a pin drop . The 37, 000 seat venue built at a cost of $575 million , using public funds , was a simply case where , Bud Selig and team owner , Jeffrey Loria cajoled , coerced and it is my belief may well have extorted from the city of Miami , for their approval , illegally , in their voting to finance the funding and building of the ballpark . Unfortunately, with the US Justice Department now investigating the city and their actions, as it relates to the stadium deal . It has me believing that US Attorney General, Eric Holder`s office , is as equally incompetent as the subject of their investigation .

As to the Marlins` own impediments this season , well let`s just say their inept record (13-33) , simply speaks volumes as to how mediocre they have been . GM Michael Hill and newly installed manager Mike Redmond seem to be at a complete loss as to how to address the team`s ongoing woes . Coming off a 7-3 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies , the team faces their divisional rivals in an evening game at their sparsely attended home venue . On the mound for the Marlins will be Kevin Slowey (1-4, 3.44 ERA) against Cliff Lee (4-2, 2.83 ERA) . .

Marlins` owner Jeffrey Loria in the midst of is ball club`s meltdown last season , led to the shedding of many of the high-pricedand high-profiled stars acquired prior to the start of the 2012 season , complained in the aftermath of last season`s woes , the press were in part to blame for the teams woes beyond the incapability of manager Ozzie Guillen . This much I do know , since his acquisition of this franchise , Loria has proven to be a self-absorbed wind-bag , whose lies are only further confounded by the ineptitude that has been sown by this club , and where his actions are seemingly suborned by Bud Selig and the members of the MLB hierarchy .

Courtesy of USA Today

Bonds on Cabrera: ‘He’s the best,’ but ..

Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports

It’s probably foolish, if not absurd, to draw comparisons to Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera, after all, is the greatest player in the game of baseball.

The last time we’ve seen greatness like this is from one of the greatest three players to ever step on a baseball field, and certainly the finest of his generation:

Barry Bonds.

CABRERA: On another Triple Crown bid

“He’s definitely the best,” Bonds told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone interview Monday. “It’s not rocket science here.

“He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best.”

Bonds, as you might imagine, was aware of Cabrera’s performance a night earlier, when he slugged three home runs against the Texas Rangers to announce, on national television, that his Triple Crown performance in 2012 might have been a mere prelude.

Now, it’s certainly premature, Bonds says, to dare imply Cabrera is as good as him. You can’t make that argument, not with a record 762 homers, seven MVP awards, 14 All-Star appearances and eight Gold Gloves on Bonds’ resume.


Click on link to read in full .


Bonds` claims as Miguel Cabrera being the best pure hitter in the game today , could very be quantified by saying , the player`s accomplishments in the seasons leading up to his Triple Crown year , was a precursor to the events that took place in 2012 . Down the years there have been some prolific hitters in the game , and many who have been just as productive as Cabrera has been through the first decade of his career . The Detroit Tigers slugger`s accomplishments this season , may well have to be set aside this year for the greater good of the team , if it is Jim Leyland`s wish to see his players seek a return engagement to the World Series .



Picture gallery .

Of the players I have been privileged to witness either on film or via a live broadcast perhaps none have impressed me more than the likes of Hall of Fame inductees Hank Aaron , Tony Gwynn and Ted Williams , whose accomplishments by themselves, speaks volumes as to what they have meant to the game and the great joy that they have brought to the fans during their illustrious careers . As to whether or not, Miguel Cabrera will be able join the ranks of those baseball Gods , remains to be seen . Your thoughts on this are more than welcome. So by all means, do leave a comment as you see fit .


Picture gallery and slideshow details below .


(1) Atlanta ,Ga, May 20: Dan Uggla (26) of the Atlanta Braves is congratulated by Justin Upton (8) after hitting a first inning three run home run against the Minnesota Twins at Turner Field on May 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

(2) ATLANTA, GA – MAY 19: Justin Upton (8) of the Atlanta Braves is unable to make a running catch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field on May 19, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images….

(3) A pensive Barry Bonds looks on during a game for the San Francisco Giants . The player having retired leads the game in several offensive categories , but without a World Series ring , albeit , that his postseason exploits are terrific . As to Bonds` impending future and the awaited call for his induction into Cooperstown and baseball`s Hall of Fame , with each passing year it seems all the more remote that scenario will ever take place for the former Giants` slugger . AP / Steve Falconer ….

(4) CLEVELAND, OH – MAY 21: Miguel Cabrera (24) of the Detroit Tigers rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 21, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images …

(5) Twins` manager Ron Gardenhire is seen here talking catcher Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau . The Minnesota Twins are off to another indifferent – start to the season with many now beginning to speculate and wonder whether or not Gardenhire will survive the year , with ball club playing some of the worst baseball in the AL , while firmly rooted at the bottom of the AL Central . Morneau and Mauer for their part , are not having the seasons one would normally associate with the two Twins` All Stars . AP Photo / Keith Parker …. .

(6) Miami Marlins` owner Jeffrey Loria , left is seen here at the team`s ballpark , a 37,000 seated venue in downtown Miami , which itself as now become subject of a federal investigation by the US Justice Department and the city of Miami officials and claims that bribes might well have been accepted by in return for their votes concerning the $575 million provided for the financing and building of venue at the taxpayers` expense . City Mayor , Tomas Regalado continues to deflect questions , stating pending a legal investigation, he is unable to provide any answers that the public or press might have . Also in picture , right , is the Marlins` beleaguered manager , Mike Redmond . AFP /Quinn Taylor .

(7) Tony Gwynn is seen here with fellow Hall of Fame inductee Cal Ripken Jr . Gwynn a seven-time NL batting champion came closest to hitting the .400 batting average plateau , a feat matched in the modern era only by Boston Red Sox great , Ted William in 1941 when he had a batting average of .406 . Getty Images North America / Zack Morris ….

(8) Hank Aaron is seen here in the dugout during a game for the Atlanta Braves . Aaron`s twenty-two year career saw the Braves` slugger break what was then the all-time home runs` record of 714 , held by Babe Ruth . REUTERS/AFP archives …. ,

tophatal ………… 05/21/2013


MLB news

MLB news from around the league

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB schedule

MLB probable pitchers 05/21/2013

MLB results 21st May 2013

MLB Triple Crown winners

MLB league debuts 2013


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis , feat`g Ray Dalton ….. “Can`t Hold Us “

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

15 thoughts on “Hit me with your best shot ……..”

  1. Jim Pohlad having assumed control of the Twins seems intent on ruining this baseball franchise . The front office has so much money tied up …. in ….. Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer , that it is now so damn asinine to see this AL Central team perform so , badly . As for Mauer and Morneau , these two players are doing a disservice and to fans and the game of baseball .

    GM Terry Ryan is clearly out of touch with what is needed to make a serious contender for the pennant much less the World Series .

    If Miguel Cabrera is on pace to surpass last season`s feats when he won the Triple Crown , given is career accomplishments , would it actually make him a guaranteed future Hall of Fame inductee ?

    Which of the two players in question is better , Pujols or Cabrera ?

    As much as I admire Bonds pre-steroids , he has overlooked the likes of Pujols and what his accomplishments have been as a hitter .

    tophatal ………….


  2. Not to change the subject, Al, but um… in light of Roy Hibbert’s absence in the waning minutes of Game One, Frank Vogel is no longer being referred to as one of the game’s brightest young coaches.

    In fact, the reviews have been quite the opposite.


    1. Chris Humperys (@Sportschump)

      Frank Vogel made mistakes during the series , fans analysts can be critical, but what was the end result ? Did the Pacers not triumph over the Knicks ? A team I might add , who were highly favored to win the series . Yet now, you have apologists out there making up any damn excuse they can for the team`s poor showing , when the fans , players and organization alike expected them to a great deal further than they did . So typical of a bunch of spoon fed morons . Anyone now trying to suggest to the contrary is simply being an apologist for the franchise .

      Vogel & Hibbert

      Hibbert performed well in several of the games in the series apart from his limited minutes given to him by Vogel in game one of the series . The Pacers might just have the deepest bench of the four conference finalists left at this stage of the playoffs . They are by far a better rebounding team than the Miami Heat and that was definitely the case during the regular season and during their ,match-ups .


  3. I have doubts by Bond’s statements. Look it may come out the Cabrera is juicer. Baseball will always be tainted in my eyes. Aaron did on the natch. Ruth hot dogs and beer- baseball will always be second rate in my eyes.


    1. Miguel Cabrera has yet to fail a drug test in his time with either the Marlins or Tigers and while I fully contend with you`re saying . I do believe that until we see any evidence of his cheating , we have to admire his achievements as a player .

      Granted, the same cannot be said for Ryan Braun , who to my mind , his name still remains tainted , even having escaped a mandatory 50 game suspension . Braun , has once again been linked to a South Florida (Biogenesis) manufacturer of supplements and steroids for which Ryan Braun`s agent , Nez Balelo states, his client was simply a paid endorser and consultant their products . If you believe that , then I have a hotel in the midst of the Gobi Desert that you might be interested in lodging in ? LOL,LOL !!

      The best pure hitters I have seen in my time as a baseball fan , are Tony Gwynn , Ichiro Suzuki , Albert Pujols , Ken Griffey Jr and a pre-steroid Barry Bonds . That being said , I have to admit that having seen filmed highlights of the likes of Ted Williams , Hank Aaron and Willie Mays , those guys were no slouches either .

      I`m so smooth that the ladies love me ! Ryan Braun

      tophatal ……………………


      1. You forgot one guy Joe DiMaggio. I don’t trust any one who the media puts up as this and that. They are media creations- Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me-


  4. So where do the Dodgers go from here , if by mid June this still team still finds itself firmly rooted at the bottom of the NL West ? As of the 15th June 2012 , the team was riding high competitive ball , while packing in the crowds at Dodgers` Ballpark , in Los Angeles , California .

    For Don Mattingly , I now believe that time is not necessarily on his side , with this team simply under-achieving , and being weighed down with that astronomical payroll .

    Donny Baseball , does he look worried to you ?

    tophatal …………….


  5. The Tigers` …. Anibel Sanchez fans double digit batters faced , while being on the verge of the second no-hitter of his career , while leading the team to another victory over the hapless Twins .

    GM Terry Ryan (foreground) and Jim Pohlad

    Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau may well be the best players on the Minnesota Twins , but what the hell have GM Terry Ryan and Jim Pohlad done to bolster this roster to make the Twins competitive ? Along with the Astros , the Twins might just be the worse team in the AL .

    MLB results 24th May 2013



    Touching myself , never felt so good !

    tophatal ……………………..


  6. NO ONE will ever come close to Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Joe D, Lou Gehrig, even “The Babe”. Drugs have become so pervasive in todays’ world long gone pros got to be rolling in their graves.
    Better living through chemistry????


  7. It is beginning to become clear that the Rays simply do not have what it takes to really close out games successfully . Reliever Fernando Rodney has been blowing saves this season at an alarming rate and it could prove to be costly for the team down the stretch of their season .

    Joe Maddon`s faith is being severely tested , as is , his managerial acumen .

    Tampa Bay Rays` news

    Rays` result against the New York Yankees . In some detail the recap and play by play

    Rodney now has five blown saves in fourteen opportunities , not exactly warming is it ?

    Fernando Rodney of the Rays .

    AL pitching stats (relievers & closers) .

    tophatal ………………….


  8. The Rays didn`t have to rely on their bullpen for any great support as Alex Cobb pitches eight do great innings as the team shuts down the Yankees and in particular CC Sabathia .

    Victory still places the Rays five games behind the Yankees for the AL East lead and for all sense and purpose I believe with limited resources , the Tampa Bay franchise does not have what it takes to win the division or possibly obtain the wildcard berth for the postseason !

    MLB results 05/26/2013

    MLB schedule 27th May 2013

    MLB probable pitchers

    tophatal …………


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