There`s a troubling issue that needs to be addressed and it`s not going to dealt with anytime soon
This year , it would appear that the MLB season is becoming one of controversy , and a great deal of animosity between a number of teams within the game . Look no further than yesterday`s game between the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks . Both teams are now caught up in a rivalry that is now seething with a great deal of childlike immaturity from both teams, with the respective managerial staffs also at odds with one another.
Dodgers` manager Don Mattingly and Kirk Gibson of the Diamondbacks, are two managers who had more than respectable careers at the height of their success. In watching this Los Angeles Dodgers` team struggling over the course of this season , is an exercise in excess , opulence and simple stupidity gone awry . A $225 million team payroll now has me believing that lead managing partner, Mark Walter and h is partners may well have to completely rethink their strategy , as it relates to the team`s play over the remainder of the season .
Looking at the Dodgers all I just happen to see, is a team that is simply bereft of leadership , with not one player on the entire roster simply willing to step up to the plate and assume the mantel of a leader . With the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the NL West , one has to wonder how long a decision is made by GM Ned Colletti and team President Stan Kasten to purge the roster and simply look further afield by way of their farm system by way of available talent . It as become abundantly clear , that with all of the high-priced players that make up the team and overall lack of productivity on all fronts , something drastic as to be done , before the fans themselves start to voice their disapproval .
If the Los Angeles Dodgers are to have any semblance of anything resembling a dignified season , then games and series , such as their upcoming schedule against the Pittsburgh Pirates , will have to be won with te utmost of ease and efficiency . Given the inconsistency of the team , I simply do not believe that is likely to happen at this juncture ! Players such as Matt Kemp , Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier , this season , have simply been a shell of the team we saw from last season , with an explosive offense . This season the offense could be best likened to a damp squib , with the pitching not that far behind .
Well , other than their off the field issues , with both Alex Rodriguez and catcher , Francisco Cervelli , now embroiled in the latest idiocy , that now further tarnishes baseball`s all too disreputable reputation . This year for the New York Yankees seems to be like any other at this time of season for this renowned organization . They are in contention for their division alongside heated rivals the Boston Red Sox . That being said, neither GM Brian Cashman or lead managing partner , Hal Steinbrenner have seen fit to address the latest allegations now surrounding the All Star third baseman or the team`s catcher . I guess that is to be expected , when over the years as the mounting evidence of steroid cheaters and the rumors surrounding their efforts to avoid being caught . In that time , not one prominent owner , general manager has spoken out publicly , decrying the misdeeds of the players . Which begs the question , have they or the players ever really cared what the fans or public ever thought about the level of cheating that has gone on , for well over a decade and a half ? Clearly, that buffoon of a commissioner , Bud Selig , might as well be walking around with either his head shoved up his own ass or buried in the sand .
Truth be known , the apathy and the sudden calls player banishment , is now, all so asinine , when one considers , for better part of seven years , during the mid nineties , when Mark McGwire , Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds were laying waste to one of baseball`s most hallowed records , fans simply did not give a damn . Anal retentiveness and apathy does a have a place within the American way of life ,and sporting landscape , especially , when it comes to the nation`s pastime . The evidence was there , ignored repeatedly , even after a very in-depth investigation had taken place , but yet the fans , major media outlets , as well as baseball`s sports broadcast partners and their self-absorbed broadcasting analysts simply chose to look the other way . Nothing new really , when you consider collectively, their IQ`s would not be enough to gain them membership into MENSA . The current players themselves have simply refused to speak out on te issue , te prolific and wat now appears to be widespread use of illicit substances banned by te game .
Prominent high-profiled players such as Torii Hunter , Albert Pujols , Derek Jeter , Ryan Howard , Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder , have simply refused to say anything on the matter . Could it be that the players` own union , the MLBPA would rather remain mute on this idiocy while trying to paint themselves as pillars of integrity and virtue ? Yet somehow Bud Selig seeks to use players such as this, to be role models and ambassadors for a game , that is now losing its relevance for many and within the fabric of the nation`s social culture . Can we now stop it also , with this all too asinine notion , that baseball remains the nation`s pastime ? It has not been that way in over five decades and counting , even with what baseball`s hierarchy assures us , has been a rising level of attendance for games over the last eight consecutive seasons . What should be of more concern for Bud Selig , is the very fact that his RBI initiative (Returning Baseball to the Inner Cities) has , had the success of a lead balloon .
Three games above .500 and the Tampa Bay Rays`(35-30) inconsistency will become their own undoing this season . Thought to have best pitching rotation in the American League . The pitching has been nowhere near consistent enough to validate those claims , in spite of the outstanding season by Matt Moore .
With David Price now sidelined on the DL , it will be left to Moore , Jeremy Hellickson , Alex Cobb and Joel Peralta to now spearhead what is in essence, an extremely weak pitching rotation , based on the team`s ERA of 4.26 . Yet if te pitching can be adjudged to ave been a major letdown , then the team`s offense has offered little to support the claims of Joe Maddon and his staff that they are capable of challenging for the AL East divisional crown , if not the division at a minimum , then a wildcard berth , while making up for the team`s shortfalls .
Limited resources , a lack of creativity in terms marketing and an unwillingness by managing partner , Stuart Sternberg to search for a wealthy financial backer to finance the organization . It has to be said, that in spite of recent successes of the Rays , from an economic standpoint , were it not for the fact that they are the beneficiaries of the league`s tax-sharing scheme . There is no way in hell , that this ball-club could remain solvent much less competitive enough to field a team in the AL . Miserly support in terms of their home games at Tropicana Field . It would be fair to suggest that Major League Baseball is far from being a viable concern not only within the state , but specifically within the Tampa Bay area . Yet there are those who still call for a state of the art venue to be built for what has always been a poorly supported baseball franchise .
Now one could argue that the Tampa Bay Rays have achieved an astonishing amount of success under the present ownership group led by Stuart Sternberg . By comparison , Sternberg`s predecessor, Vince Naimoli proved to be a lying cheating and conceited individual , who sought to extort money by any means necessary from the state and municipal agencies , while putting out a less than stellar product on the field of play during his tenure as the Rays` owner . In reality , we are now seeing history repeat itself somewhat , with the expectations now being a great deal more , but repeatedly in the last few years the Rays have fallen sort in their and the fans` expectations of winning a World Series title .
This season Tampa`s circumstances , are one where GM Andrew Friedman made the decision to pare down the team`s payroll from a figure of just under $64.1 million in 2012 to what the front office believes to be a feasible and much more manageable figure of $60.8 million . One would consider that to be somewhat miserly, if not paltry , when measured against the teams who consistently maintain a high six or eight-figure salary commitment on an annual basis . Considered to be the face of the franchise for its immediate and long-term future , Evan Longoria is considered to be the Rays` best player as well its highest paid . And though it is my belief, that two or three years down the road the commitment ___ shown to the third baseman could become the Rays` own undoing . It seems almost certain that 2013 will be the final year that the fans will have the privilege of seeing David Price pitch for the team . A one-year $10 million deal , which is on the extremely low side for an AL Cy Young Award winner , starting pitcher , one year removed from winning that award and from what many believe to be the player`s best season with the franchise .
The Tampa Bay Rays , on Friday , will play host to the Kansas City Royals , with both teams seeking to make the best out of this series , while looking to place themselves in a better position from a divisional standpoint and also by way of challenging for a wildcard berth . On the mound for the Royals will be Luis Mendoza (1-4, 4.19 ERA) facing off against Matt Moore (8-2, 3.78 ERA) , in what should prove to be an interesting pitchers’ duel between these two young starters .
From my own standpoint with a great deal to play and ignoring controversies that have now engulfed the game of baseball and the ongoing apparent idiocy of how Bud Selig continues to ineptly handle each scandal that as come to the fore . I for one , would certainly like to see his named successor be someone from outside the archaic hierarchy that presently represents the game at its highest levels . Not only am I sick and tired of hearing this ongoing bilge that the team owners are consummate businessmen . When in reality , nothing could be further from the truth . Captains of industry , they may well be away from baseball , but I have yet to witness a concern being ran so incompetently , where secrecy and lies are perpetrated with such regularity , that Pinocchio and a disreputable congressman or woman would definitely feel ashamed . Yet, there are fans and analysts alike, who choose not to question the autocratic power and rule of Bud Selig , the league hierarchy and te bellicose owners , who make up baseball`s governing body , along with a dimwitted union (MLBPA) , now led by Executive Director Michael Weiner .
With the baseball season just over one-third of the way through its schedule , has there been anything overall that has been of a complete surprise to you ? Also from a list of the following candidates , whom I believe to be more than capable of succeeding Bud Selig , rather than baseball choosing a successor from within their own ranks. Do you believe that Bob Costas , Hank Aaron , Sean McManus , David Levy , or perhaps someone else of your own choosing would be a better successor ? Rather than an heir-apparent , from within baseball`s inner sanctum be rubber stamped , and supposedly bringing about a transition that will essentially offer the fans more of the same incompetent and inefficiency that MLB has now become more known for .
Picture and slideshow details below.
(1) Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly , center, yells at members of the Arizona Diamondbacks while umpire Manny Gonzalez holds him back as Jerry Hairston Jr. looks on after starting pitcher Zack Greinke was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of their baseball game , Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Los Angeles. Mattingly was one eight individuals ejected from the game and now awaits any punishment deemed appropriate to be rendered by the MLB hierarchy . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …
(2) Los Angeles Dodgers batting coach Mark McGwire, right, yells at Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson after Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack Greinke was hit by a pitch during the seventh inning of their baseball game, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ……
(3) New York Yankees trainer Steve Donohue , left, checks on catcher Francisco Cervelli, center, as manager Joe Girardi looks on during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York, Friday, April 26, 2013. Cervelli left the game . AP Photo/Julio Cortez …
(4) Manager Joe Maddon (70) of the Tampa Bay Rays talks with principal owner Stuart Sternberg just before the start of the Grapefruit League spring training game against the Minnesota Twins at the Charlotte Sports Complex on March 11, 2013 in Port Charlotte, Florida. Getty Images North America / J Meric …
(5) Embattled MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , who over the past eighteen months has moved from scandal to the next , never actually dealing with each crisis and solving it effectively . NY Daily News / Paul Carson ……..
3LW ………. ` No More` (Baby I`ma Do Right)