Engine, engine , number nine ….

Engine, engine , number nine ….

The little engine that could and did . Now while all of the rage this season in baseball has been to simply lay siege to the ongoing stories concerning the Biogenesis fallout . Baseball has seen one or two positives by way of the play of the teams . Fans have been fortunate , well at least those in attendance to have witnessed two no-hitters and a near perfect game earlier in the season with the Texas Rangers` ….Yu Darvish . A mere four weeks ago , it was the ascent of the Los Angeles Dodgers as they recovered from an indifferent start , to having risen up the NL West standings, to become the dominant team within the division, with all of the talk being about their rookie sensation Yasiel Puig .


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Well , on the senior circuit of the National League the Dodgers are not the only story to be relished, as the most dominant team in baseball right now, are the Atlanta Braves in the NL East . Some fans have been rather idiotic enough to be talking about the all too momentary ascent of the Pittsburgh Pirates within the NL Central . The team has been far too inconsistent , and wherein at a moment`s notice they are beating teams that they should be defeating, but yet, when challenged by a divisional rival , they seemingly crumble than for no apparent reason, other than being mediocre .

Chasing, a season high fifteenth consecutive win of the season. Atlanta Braves` manager Fredi Gonzalez , has his players playing with a high level of intensity and as a team , nonetheless. Justin Upton seems to be fitting into his role , having been acquired by the franchise in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks . Elder sibling and teammate, BJ Upton , though off to an indifferent start , now seems to be settling in and contributing on the field , while proving to be something of an inspirational leader to the younger players on the roster.

Looking to further extend their lead within the NL East over their closest rivals the Washington Nationals. Atlanta will now look to inflict even further pain upon the beleaguered Miami Marlins, for whom this season has been a total catastrophe and a nightmare for rookie manager Mike Redmond . As to whether or not he remains in his current position along with his managerial staff , will be left to the decision-making team of David Samson, Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill. The two teams will meet on Saturday afternoon, at Turner Field (Fulton County Stadium) in Atlanta, and then again on Sunday afternoon, as a finale to their current series.

Undoubtedly, the biggest success this season for the Braves has been their pitching , with their front-line starters leading the way . Mike Minor the team`s leader in wins has been one of the primary reasons behind Atlanta`s efforts along with a supporting cast of Julio Teheran , Tim Hudson , Paul Maholm , Kris Medlen and the mesmerizing NL saves` leader Craig Kimbrel. It would be remiss to merely to suggest that the Braves are simply proficient by way of their pitching alone . The team`s offense have had their moments to shine with Justin Upton spearheading that lineup of power and run productivity .

If the Atlanta Braves are able to withstand the remaining challenges within the their division and the rest of this season . Then it is my opinion that they will have to be seen as one of the clear favorites for the NLCS pennant. They are certainly good enough to win it, but a great deal will be predicated upon team health and whether or not they can keep this current momentum going . Fredi Gonzalez has proven to be a very good manager, although he has been often criticized , as not being tough enough on his players . Yet I believe, that his managerial style is conducive to the current environment and the very fact that he has been able to get a great deal out of this team, seasoned veterans as well as many of the younger players on the roster. Gonzalez I also believe will be amongst the leading candidates for the NL`s Manager of the Year. Others who ought to be considered , Don Mattingly , Clint Hurdle , Mike Matheny, Dusty Baker and Kirk Gibson. These are the only serious candidates worth considering for the award. It may well come down to which of these managers does the best possible job of leading their team into the post-season . And record-wise or not, at present, to determine a winner might just be too close to call.

I will not delve deeper into the issues of Ryan Braun`s suspension and that of eleven of the thirteen possible players named by Bud Selig in the fallout from the latest drug smeared scandal to have hit baseball . Other than to suggest, that if Tony Bosch of Biogenesis and his statements given to the US Justice Department under a subpoena, are to be believed . Then the commissioner and baseball`s hierarchy are indeed hiding something from the fans and the public in general . Bosch, now under indictment for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, stated that as many as sixty players were implicated in a web of deceit , lies and cheating . Yet somehow, MLB can now only come up with only thirteen names. Either my math seems to be off,but there remains forty-seven names still unaccounted for and something that the league hierarchy may not wish to tell us . Your thoughts on that all ?

Baseball this season, has been clouded in scandal , and no matter how one now wishes to address the matter , there are not that many positives that can be taken out of 2013 , even with the stellar play of the game`s up and coming young stars . With a league hierarchy that seems to be non-combative and passive in dealing with scandal . Team owners , who are simply driven by greed and a union that seemingly would rather see the status quo remain , as is . Less we forget also, many of the players who have been non participants in the steroid abuse , yet they have continually remained silent, unless offering up some witticism ,and even when pressed to give a statement . Far too many of them, have simply come up with something that is either hypocritical or simply too banal or idiotic to be deserving of a response . Matt Kemp needs to keep his damn mouth shut and remember that in 2010, he was playing alongside an avowed steroid cheat named Manny Ramirez . Being critical of a former friend , just because you now have displeasure of his cheating and the fact that you finished second to Ryan Braun in the 2011 NL MVP vote , now makes you look as an individual, jealous of that loss. If you can be openly critical of Braun, then why no criticism, of your former teammate , Manny Ramirez ?

As baseball enters the final quarter of its season , what if anything has been the biggest disappointment for you as a fan and what do you feel as brought you the most pleasure overall in terms of the teams` play or that of individual players ? By all means do leave a comment on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter. Do feel free to peruse other baseball pieces and sports` related content within this site by clicking on the links provided below .



Basketball (NBA)

Football (NFL)




Slideshow details below .


(1) Texas Rangers` starting pitcher Martin Perez , right, is congratulated by catcher Geovany Soto (8) after defeating the Houston Astros 6-1 during a baseball game , Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013, in Houston. AP Photo/Patric Schneider …

(2) HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 09: Yu Darvish (11) of the Texas Rangers talks with pitching coach Mike Maddux during a baseball game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on August 9, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images …

(3) Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) works in the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. Atlanta won 9-4 . AP Photo/John Bazemore …

(4) Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman , center, celebrates with his teammates after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins in Atlanta, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013. Atlanta won 9-4 . AP Photo/John Bazemore ….

(5) Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton and Dan Uggla (26) hug after winning 5-0 against the Miami Marlins to keep a 14-game winning streak alive during a baseball game at Turner Field, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in Atlanta. AP Photo/David Tulis ….

(6) Atlanta Braves` GM Frank Wren is seen here with the team`s newly appointed manager Fredi Gonzalez . The incumbent succeeded Bobby Cox whose legend looms large over the Braves` organization . Gonzalez took control as the Braves` manager in 2010 and in subsequent seasons there has been a gradual improvement in the team`s play, along with newly acquired players becoming a part of the success . AP Photo /Matt Gray ….





MLB news

MLB schedules

MLB results 9th August 2013

MLB transactions

MLB team injuries


This week in MLB history

This date in MLB history (10th August) and August 11th


Chic pic of the day , actress Eva Mendes .

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 “Engine, engine , number nine ….”

  1. So the Braves win again and yet no one is taking this team all that seriously . They are by far the most dominant team in the Majors and that is clearly reflected in the lead they have continued to maintain in the NL East .

    The Braves have proven to be dominant enough this season to put together the longest winning streak (14 consecutive) of any team in the Majors and they now possess the best record as well .

    At this a moment in time there is no way that either the Cardinals or Tigers are better than the Braves .

    We know of the Braves` postseason history and the divisional titles won , but they are long overdue another crack at the World Series , last won by the franchise in 1995 , when they defeated the Cleveland Indians .


    MLB results 11th August

    MLB standings and wildcard standings

    tophatal …………….


  2. It’s good to see the Braves, Pirates, and Dodgers back in contention. I’ve always been a National League fan. Disappointed in the Rays 5 game losing streak, but they’re still in the running for the playoffs.
    It’s going to be a wild finish. Good luck!


    1. aero

      The Dodgers are doing well this season and for a while , it did look as if they were going to look at Don Mattingly and the staff in terms of their positions . Yet the team seems to have turned things around and appear to be heading in the right direction . The same claim however, cannot be made for reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants , as they now seem to be having a disastrous season . Their pitching has been woefully inept and the same case can be made for the offense as well .

      There now seems to be talk as to who might be deemed trade bait on the roster and superfluous to the team`s needs . If Linceum and Pablo Sandoval are part of any dismantling , then that has to be a worrisome sign .

      tophatal ……….


    2. This being the same Rays that Chris (Sportschump) has been trying to sell me on ? It has been the Tampa Bay Rays` inconsistency that will be their own undoing . If tey can`t get done , then the pitching has to be at its very best . And when they can`t pitch , then guess what , the offense needs to take up the slack . Joe Maddon needs to stop painting a picture of everything being just right . One of the two AL wild card berths is likely to come out of the AL East . Anymore of this type of inconsistency and Tampa might as well call it quits .


      Not yet ready to call it quits , the ultra-sexy Bianca Kajlich ! Would you like to `no-hit` that ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

      tophatal ……………


  3. I havn’t realy followed MLB. The bull shit has driven me away from the sport. The Braves have been and are a consistent organization. I can’t stomach what is going on in The NFL, MLB, NBA, and the rest. I only know what is going by reading your blog. The EPL starts Saturday. I can’t wait. NBC treats us as a bunch o morons.


    1. bobby gee

      There has been a great deal to be pleased with as far as the MLB season has gone but a great deal of it has been to te fans` dismay and baseball`s continued mishandling of the Biogenesis scandal and the issue of the steroid cheats.

      The Braves are running away with the division , but my biggest wish as a fan will be to see them perform well in the post-season rather than a repeat of their disastrous foray in 2012 .

      The NFL remains a damn joke in spite of its popularity . But at the end of the day the ongoing issue of player misconduct will be one of the things tat could very well alienate the fans and possibly begin to drive them away. Aaron Hernandez`s homicide investigation as now taken a rather unsavory turn of events with his fiancée now being implicated in the crime.

      Shayanna Jenkins

      Law enforcement believe Shayanna Jenkins is the person who actually removed the murder weapon from , Hernandez`s home and then sought to displace it .

      The NBA`s problems are self-inflicted and has more to do with its finances and that is something that David Stern seems ill at ease in dealing with.

      As for the NHL , this continued idiocy by their fans that the game is back and as popular as ever . That is simply idiotic ! It took the league almost two years to to sell the Coyotes and that is a franchise that still has problems both on and off the field of play .

      tophatal ……….


  4. In light of the inane stupidity that has again been shown by an official from within baseball`s headquarters . I would like to congratulate the buffoons within Bud Selig`s office for their endearing lack of insensitivity . I mean, how else can one explain the lack of action after an incident shown live on television ? Yet the league states they do not feel any action needs to be taken after some jackass throws a banana at Adam Jones of the Orioles during a game , also shouting derogatory racial remarks ____ a game played and between the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon .

    There has yet to be any type of public statement after the Jackie Robinson incident in Brooklyn . Racism is very much indeed alive and well , with the MLB hierarchy still at a loss as to how to deal with the issue .

    tophatal ………….


  5. The Rays are losers of five straight and they are not helping themselves with their inconsistency at present .

    Now it looks like, unless they can put together of wins and series` wins, then their fate will rest with others in the AL in terms of the divisional and wildcard races .

    Next up for the Rays is a home series at the Trop against the lowly Seattle Mariners . First of the three games begins Tuesday afternoon . After that series , they will face the Blue Jays for another three game series (home) starting on Friday .

    tophatal …………….


  6. Aha…someone finally said something nice about the Pirates…not MY Pirates, but still….Course the season is no where near over….Colorado swept them, so……….
    Least though they seem to be playing with heart…..got some good pitching


    1. al clements

      The Pirates have their issues and I believe that they still have a way to go before I can seriously take them as a contender in spite of their current record . I simply look at where they were at this point of the season in 2012 , 2011 and 2010 to see that in the end they were not able to withstand the challenge of winning their division . In 2013 it is likely to be the same thing again at season`s end .


      The worst thing that can happen to the Pirates , is that they mess up or get distracted by a pair of big weapons .



    1. Chris

      The Dodgers may well be hot as of now . but all season long they have not been able to put together a streak of consecutive wins that has been anywhere near what the Braves were able to achieve .

      They are good , but in reality the NL East and NL West have been extremely mediocre divisions this season , in terms of te results and the play of the teams concerned . Only six of the fifteen ball-clubs in the NL actually possess a record above .500 . That should actually tell you something .

      The Rays are their own worst enemy and you have consistently bought into their sham. They remain a team that has been far too inconsistent all season long .

      Got to love a girl who loves to show off her WMD`s !

      Tanks for the mammaries !

      tophatal …………..


  7. Baseball`s anal retentive commissioner Bud Selig suspends Ryan Dempster for five games because of what he believes to be a deliberate act ___ the pitcher hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch . Yet the game`s biggest pariah, in the Yankees` third baseman, remains the scourge of the game, , while his asinine and hypocritical manager, Joe Girardi comes to his aid , . What does tat tell you about baseball, its continued hypocrisy and total lack of accountability and leadership from its hierarchy ?

    A Rod , you suck !



    MLB news

    Boston Red Sox news

    tophatal …………..


Leave a Reply & notification by e-mail

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s