Big news, little news and not so ingratiating news
Well the sports` world is abuzz with the arrest of NFL player Aaron Hernandez ,with the tight-end player being charged with tree counts of homicide , five counts of illegal gun possession and a slew of other charges , which if found guilty , he could very well be facing a life-sentence or possibly worse . From hereon-in, the justice system will be left to deal with this ongoing matter . As to this idiocy of their being public outrage that an athlete has been implicated in a homicide . Well , let`s look at the NFL as a league, and the very fact that since the Superbowl twenty-eight players have been arrested for some type of legal infraction . In 2011, there were 163 arrests of NFL players for a number of wide ranging legal issues . Yet somehow , in the midst of the New England Patriots` tight end being arrested , there now seems to be some outrage ? Does anyone the cases of Leonard Little , Rae Carruth and perhaps the most infamous of them all , O J Simpson ? How soon , we tend to forget ? Or is this the usual absurdity and apathy of the sports` fan in general ?
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his union counterpart, DeMaurice Smith have yet to issue a public statement concerning the arrest of Aaron Hernandez , which in essence is no big surprise, given the absurdity of how each of the individuals tend to deal with and look at the NFL`s image overall . Goodell tries to use platitudes to describe the league , repeatedly pointing to growing revenues and not much else beyond . Smith for is part, simply wants to talk about the growing strides made in his members` rights and the relationship with the league hierarchy . Perhaps , if Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith spent more time looking at the behavior of the players both on and off the field of play . Then perhaps, the NFL would not find itself in its present predicament .
The State Attorney General`s Office in Massachusetts , knowing now it will be placed under microscope, as this story will remain front page news until a trial date is set , cannot afford any missteps being made as they seek to make their case against Hernandez and his accomplices in the death of Odin Lloyd . And with the court of public opinion being what it is . The justice system will also be tested, as once again, we question whether not a celebrity or athlete is treated any different from an ordinary member of public when they become a defendant . I guess we already know the answer to that don`t we ? Because this belief that the US legal system is amongst the best in the world, has become something of a farce and a complete oxymoron .
Don`t look now, but the NBA`s answer to Groundhog Day is once again upon us . The NBA Draft and everything that it is said to represent , is just that , another reason for the league hierarchy and David Stern to create the perception that the fans should be riveted by the events they unfolds, as the league`s newest members seek to make their fortune , as well as grace us with their athletic ability . Personally , I find the drafts , as they relate to each of the four major professional team sports to be boring and a seamless act of futility . The NBA Draft is, and the process of its Lottery, is simply skewered to add needless intrigue . The Cleveland Cavaliers were given the dubious privilege of having the first pick, which they used on Anthony Bennett , out of UNLV .
Cavaliers` owner, Dan Gilbert and GM Chris Grant can now go about molding this franchise into a championship caliber contender . Given the missteps of Gilbert and the inane rants against former player LeBron James . Now, might well be the time for the besieged executive to simply keep quiet and stop with the rater petulant behavior that he has become associated with .
Away from the spectacle of the Draft , the biggest NBA story , was that of the trade, which saw both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce depart from the Boston Celtic to join the Brooklyn Nets . I guess this is what is meant by keeping up with the Jones`s ? As Nets` owner, Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King seek to keep up in-city and conference rival the New York Knicks . Pardon for me saying this, but the two NBA franchises within the state of New York were about as impressive to me during the regular and postseason , as a full frontal pictorial of Rosie O`Donnell , naked , leaving simply nothing to the imagination . There is not much else that needs to be said after such a ghastly site . An aging Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce alongside Deron Williams , might well prove to be engaging almost alluring , but the fact of the matter is , without a respected head coach , and a team that seems to be simply averse to playing defense , you can`t hold out much hope of the Nets being viewed as a legitimate contender for an NBA title . Granted , the odds-makers in Las Vegas may well take an opposing view , but isn`t what they are meant to do , in order to lure in those sucker bets ?
If the Los Angeles Lakers` season wasn`t enough of a melodrama , this off-season , it now seems to be taking on a life of its own . GM Mitch Kupchak is trying is best to retain a player , in Dwight Howard , who by his demeanor simply has no wish to stay with the team . Howard and his agent Dan Fegan , may well say one thing but the player it has been revealed is said to be considering meeting with officials from the Houston Rockets , Atlanta Hawks , New Jersey Nets , Denver Nuggets and most notably the Los Angeles Clippers . I know in such instances, players like to keep their options open , as they are about to become unrestricted free agents . Yet, if the league`s alleged best center is intent on staying with the Lakers , then why would he seek to engage several other teams to gauge their interest in his services? Remaining with the Lakers , the franchise would be able to offer him the best deal possible in terms of a long-term contract (five or six years) . however , in terms of a higher annual salary for lesser deal in terms of length , then his options would be best served by signing with one of the aforementioned teams in question .
From my own standpoint , one of the reasons I believe Dwight Howard is likely to leave the Lakers, is because what I feel is a deteriorating relationship with Kobe Bryant ! There seemed to be no on-court camaraderie between the two players and that to me is a clear indication of two players who only play at having a mutual respect for each other . If Mike D`Antoni as a head coach was not able to realize those dynamics along with Mitch Kupchak , then it is extremely clear that these two individuals clearly have no idea as to what the hell they are actually doing .
Lakers` fans have now become eternal optimists, because they now know that Kobe Bryant is now on the downside of an illustrious career and with no heir-apparent to assume the mantle as the leader of this team . It is extremely to difficult to see in what direction the franchise will ultimately seek to go . If Dwight Howard were to depart , given the presumption that the franchise is able to lure a big time free agent during the off-season . It would have to be some of unique talent and a major draw that would have the fans packing the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California . Spending money , merely it is readily available , doesn`t always guarantee a title , which is something that the Los Angeles Lakers` fans have seemingly become accustomed to . And it is this type of mindset, that has become all too prevalent around the NBA, as teams seek out glory . Unfortunately, the league hierarchy has also fallen into that trap, leading to severe financial problems around the NBA for several of the franchises. Doubt my word ? After the Miami Heat`s first NBA title , in the subsequent years leading up to the franchise’s second title win , team President Pat Riley presided over annual losses that would amount to, in excess of $123 million. Things were turned around rather quickly, when the ubiquitous executive engineered the acquisitions of Chris Bosh and LeBron James to coincide with the re-signing of Dwyane Wade. The rest as they now say _______ is history , with the franchise having won back to back titles , as well as making three consecutive NBA Finals` appearances . Along the way, the club has become one of the biggest draws in the game, as well as one of the NBA`s most profitable teams .
I am not prepared to go out on a limb as of yet , but it appears that the Pittsburgh Pirates (48-30) are the best team in baseball , that no one seems to be interested in talking about . Not that I would blame them , given the misgivings that the Pirates have provided us with, repeatedly over the years . At present the team does possess the best record in baseball alongside fellow NL Central residents the St Louis Cardinals .
A case could be made that Clint Hurdle should be seen as the mid-season candidate for Manager of The Year , given what he has been able to achieve and though , not many felt that the Pirates would be challenging for a divisional title or playoff berth . Winners of eight of their last ten games , Hurdle and his players are playing with a mindset that they are seeking some semblance of respect from their peers . Hurdle`s coaching staff led by hitting coach , Jay Bell , and pitching coach Ray Searage as part of a staff tat as been one of the primary reasons behind the team`s success this season.
Pirates` All Star , Andrew McCutchen leads a lineup that has been one of the most productive teams in the NL this season in terms of home runs . The outfielder , along with Starling Marte , Garrett Jones , Russell Martin , Gaby Sanchez , Jason Grilli , Wandy Rodriguez , Jeanmar Gomez , A J Burnett and James McDonald are among the players, who have the Pirates and their fans riding on the crest of a wave in attendance at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Coming off a 9-4 away victory over an uncompetitive Seattle Mariners` team , the Pirates are seeking to win their first divisional title since 1992 , when they won the last of three consecutive divisional titles under then manager Jim Leyland . And after that empathic victory over the Mariners the Pirates will play host to the Milwaukee Brewers in the first of a three-game series at their home venue . On the mound for the Brewers will be Johnny Hellweg who faces off against Gerritt Cole , the Pirates` number one overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft . Cole is proving to be everything that GM Neal Huntington believed that he would be , having scouted the player, gauged his career at UCLA (Bruins).
So here we are, at or close to the midpoint of the season and the AL East is said to be up for grabs. The Boston Red Sox leads the division , with the ever-present New York Yankees in close proximity of the first-place team . Also within distance, are the Baltimore Orioles , with the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays closely trying not to be viewed as the division`s cellar dwellers . An eleven game win streak may well have created the perception that the Blue Jays were back in the race , but nothing could be further from the truth . With all of the bally hoo made over the acquisitions made by Toronto in acquiring R A Dickey and Jose Reyes , the team has been or playing .500 baseball for much of the season . Once again proving you don`t build a franchise by merely putting together ill-fitting parts , for a roster that simply is not good enough to win its division, much less be considered a legitimate wildcard candidate .
Chris Davis and Manny Machado may well be two players that have provided Orioles` fans with a great deal to relish this season and perhaps long-term for the franchise. Yet to my mind and for all of their accomplishments , I do not believe that two singularly or combined, have provided as much excitement this entire season as the singular feat on Friday night as Miguel Cabrera single-handed destroyed an overrated Tampa Bay Rays` team . Rays` fans are optimists and not much more than that , by way of their overall intelligence . As to this idiocy, that Evan Longoria can lead the Rays to any sort of dominance this season. Well, that is not about to happen , with the player once again injured , and now perhaps dashing the hopes of the fans and the team in general .
. Miguel Cabrera, is proving is why he is the best pure hitter in baseball , by far surpassing many of his peers in the game today . Chris Davis may well lead the league in home runs , but his overall body of work is simply now befitting a player who has toiled in the shadows ___ now having a breakout season . By comparison, Cabrera is simply carrying on from where he left off from last season , while showing what many first saw in the player when he first broke into the Majors as a rookie with the Miami Marlins in 2003. A Triple Crown winner 2012 , Miguel Cabrera, while proud of that feat , would like nothing better, if he could now seal the deal with a World Series title for the Detroit Tigers , after the franchise’s lackluster efforts in last season`s showcase finale , which resulted in a lopsided series` loss to the San Francisco Giants .
It now remains to be seen whether or not the Tigers can fulfill the ambitions of their well-respected slugger and the franchise’s fans .
In what can be best described as two children squabbling over a toy . The latest drama surrounding the New York Yankees , between GM Brian Cashman and third baseman Alex Rodriguez , is proving to be an embarrassment and an unwanted spectacle for the franchise . I tend to look at such child-like antics with a great deal of glee ! I mean, where else can you find a millionaire athlete being belittled by the one of team`s leading front office executives with the general manager simply stating that the player should “ shut the ##@k up“(choice expletive) . With the team owing Rodriguez in excess of $100 million over the next four seasons to a player whose productivity has been on the decline . It easy to understand the uneasiness that Brian Cashman now has and the proliferation of a mistake that he made in re-signing the third baseman . Now reviled by the fans and press alike , it does make one wonder how Alex Rodriguez now believe that he can really be of any use to the Yankees at this juncture .
The Yankees are struggling mightily and with the loss of Mark Teixiera for the season, the only ray of hope appears to be the imminent return of Curtis Granderson and at some point over the next six to eight weeks , team captain Derek Jeter . Manager Joe Girardi knows that he is under a great deal of pressure to guide this team into the postseason . Failure to do so , would be considered a major failure by the front office led by lead managing partners , Hank and Hal Steinbrenner . The Steinbrenner family has a great deal of money vested in the ball-club with Alex Rodriguez being the highest paid player on the team`s roster .
Friday night saw New York go down in flames with a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in a game played at Orioles Ballpark/Camden Yards , Baltimore , Maryland . The two teams will meet again on Saturday and Sunday , to end a three-game series between these two famed clubs . As contentions as we know the AL East to be , it will be now or never for New York to prove themselves worthy , or simply bow out at this juncture . A $225 million payroll simply cannot hide the numerous flaws on this Yankees` team and that was all too prevalent with CC Sabathia being unable to gain his two hundredth career win in Major League Baseball. Two hundred wins while credible , the benchmark in the modern-day game is three hundred wins , which we are unlikely to see again within the game of baseball .The active wins` leader is Andy Pettite , with two-hundred and fifty career wins (250) and counting , with the Yankees` ace likely on the downside of a fantastic career .
Picture gallery .
With the All Star Game just around the corner , it will be interesting to see how the teams will fare between now the game`s mid-season showcase event . At this point last season , it was something of a spectacle to see the schedule take shape by way of the – ball-clubs` play and how the year actually panned out . Should we expect more of the same in 2013 ? Amongst these and other questions , are the ones that will be the prevailing scenarios that are likely to play out . Your thoughts on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter are certainly welcome .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Friends and relatives arrive for Odin Lloyd’s funeral service embrace outside of Church of the Holy Spirit in Boston, Saturday, June 29, 2013. Hundreds of relatives, friends and well-wishers wept together and hugged at the funeral for Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose killing led to murder and weapons charges against former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer …
(2) Former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez stands during a bail hearing in Fall River Superior Court Thursday, June 27, 2013 in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez, charged with murdering Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player, was denied bail. AP Photo/Boston Herald, Ted Fitzgerald, Pool …..
(3) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ,left , is seen here alongside DeMaurice Smith of the NFPLA , as the two answer questions in front of a Congressional Committee in 2011 during the NFL work stoppage . Goodell and Smith, have yet to address the situation concerning the arrest of Patriots` tight-end Aaron Hernandez on charges of the counts of homicide (capital murder) as well as weapons` related charges . Hernandez is one of twenty-eight players arrested in 2013 and it appears that there will be no signs of abatement concerning the gross misbehavior of the league`s players as it relates to law enforcement. Something of which the NFL and the union have an extremely poor record of addressing , either by choice or through their sheer stupidity . Atlanta Journal Constitution / Paul Marcus …
(4) Miami Heat President Pat Riley is seen here alongside Ray Allen and team head coach Erik Spoelstra . Allen was a member of the team that won the franchise its second NBA title in seven years . The veteran player was also re-signed when the front office exercised the $3.5 million option , with Allen being a member of the roster for the upcoming 2013-14 season . The world champions also bolstered the lineup through the NBA Draft . Te Miami Herald / Ernesto Aguirre ….
(5) LOS ANGELES, CA – APRIL 28: Dwight Howard (12) of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts while playing the San Antonio Spurs in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 28, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The player who can become an unrestricted free agent during this off-season has been non-committal as to whether or not he will be returning to the Los Angeles Lakers . Meanwhile , Lakers` GM Mitch Kupchak has stated that it is his intent to re-sign the center to a long-term max contract , that would pay Howard $123 million over six years. Dwight Howard and agent Dan Fegan have stated that the player will make his intent clear on 10th July in a press conference. Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images …
(6) Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez (24) , Starling Marte (6) , Jordy Mercer and Andrew McCutchen (22) celebrate after the Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 10-3 in a baseball game Friday, June 28, 2013, in Pittsburgh. The Pirates won 10-3 . AP Photo/Keith Srakocic …
(7) FILE – Alex Rodriguez, right, seen in this May 6, 2013 file photo and the New York Yankees are not seeing eye to eye on his hip injury. The star third baseman tweeted Tuesday night June 25, 2013 that his hip surgeon has cleared him to play in rehabilitation games, a move that angered Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, seen in this March 6, 2009 file photo, according to ESPN.com. The two individuals have never really seen eye to eye and the relationship can best be described as testy , if not frosty . It has been revealed that Cashman approached team President Randy Levine with a view to voiding the player`s contract when it was revealed that his name had become embroiled in the Biogenesis scandal . No action was taken , but the MLB hierarchy has yet to render a decision concerning any player suspension concerning the players named in the documents in the possession of the US Justice Department . AP Photo/File …..
(8) Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera, center, and Austin Jackson, left, celebrates with on-deck batter Prince Fielder after Cabrera hit a first-inning, two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Colome during a baseball game, Friday, June 28, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Cabrera went four-for-four , hitting two home runs , with four runs batted in , in the Tigers` 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..