A hard rain is going to fall ….

A hard rain is going to fall ….

Sunday 1st September and baseball will enter the final month of the regular season with two divisional races set , in terms a winner . It would be pretty safe to say, that barring a major catastrophe both the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers look to be certain winners of their respective divisions . For the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants , this has been a lamentable season , where nothing seems to have gone right for Bruce Bochy , his staff and the team . Injuries , inconsistent play from many of team`s top players took its toll on so many of the stars , that it could very well lead to some tough decisions being made in the off-season by GM Brian Sabean .


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Slideshow .

For Don Mattingly`s Dodgers , this was a team that I felt would be left for dead a little over six weeks ago . Yet quite the opposite happened , with the Los Angeles putting together an astonishing run , where Los Angeles rolled off forty-two wins out of a possible fifty game stretch , to put themselves back in the hunt for the NL West title . Mattingly could very well come away with this season`s NL Manager of the Year award , if the adjudicators have any common sense . At the same time, the inspiration for this remarkable stretch run , all came down to the call up of Dodgers` outfield sensation Yasiel Puig .

At present the team with the best record in baseball, is by no means a clear indication that they are the best team currently playing . Yet a case, can be made that the two best ball-clubs now reside in the National League .. And beyond all of the ongoing controversy surrounding both Ryan Braun and Alex Rodriguez , baseball has repeatedly shot itself in the foot, and still carries on , as if nothing had ever happened . Never-mind the utter conceit shown for the fans by the game`s hierarchy and team owners . With Bud Selig continuing to remain the very public face of the game , with a number of rather inane and idiotic edicts , it should come as no wonder why many still remain distrustful of the league hierarchy and its overall leadership.

The AL East, long believed to be the standard-bearer for some of the best baseball to be played, has this season become a complete paradigm , with the painstaking mediocrity shown by John Gibbons` Toronto Blue Jays and the continued perils of Perils of Pauline as portrayed by the New York Yankees , with the continued excuses being made for that team`s woeful ineptitude, alongside Alex Rodriguez`s effusiveness and his wish to be seen as a victim, even in light of the continued evidence showing him to be an habitual liar and a cheat. Within this particular division, for much of this season it has been left to the Baltimore Orioles , Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays to provide the fans with a great deal of the entertainment to found . Yet, bearing in mind, as to what I believe to be a tarnished season within baseball, where there have been very few positives either on or off the field. The fans can only take what is now said to be on offer by the teams within the game, and as things now stand, it is not that great a deal .

The New York Yankees will host the Baltimore Orioles for a weekend series , in which Joe Girardi`s players will be looking to make up ground on the third placed Orioles , who themselves are vying for one of the two AL wildcard berths available for postseason play. Buck Showalter , is sure to have his players prepared for what is likely to be a highly contested series over the next three days. The first of the triumvirate of games will begin on Friday , with the Orioles` Miguel Gonzalez taking the mound against Yankees` starting ace CC Sabathia . AL East division leaders the Boston Red Sox will host the laboring Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park , with Robin Ventura`s players somehow looking to derail the Red Sox`s divisional hopes and what in essence has been a memorable inaugural season for the team’s manager John Farrell. His managerial acumen, has somehow managed to steady the ship with the team`s veterans and younger players buying into Farrell’s managerial style after the disaster witnessed last year under Bobby Valentine. The second-placed Tampa Bay Rays within the AL East , has for much of the season remained in close proximity of the division’s leaders , themselves having held the lead before a momentary lapse, led to their falling from the top of the division. Rays’ manager Joe Maddon would like nothing better than to lead the ball-club to their second divisional title in the franchise’s history , with GM Andrew Friedman having to operate on a somewhat meager budget , as he seeks to make the team competitive .

Tampa currently sits, 2 ½ games adrift of the Boston Red Sox (79-56) and only a half game ahead of their weekend opponents the Oakland Athletics in the wildcard standings. These two teams will meet , knowing that there is a great deal on the line for both ball-clubs , as each vies for a playoff berth. David Price will meet Jarrod Parker at the O Coliseum , in the first of three games to be played at the venerable venue in this series .

With a 6 ½ game lead over their nearest rivals in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers are hoping to make up for a very poor 2012 foray in the postseason . Jim Leyland will once again seek redemption , by taking the division and then look to meet, whomever their first round opponents may well be . GM Dave Dombrowski has gathered together a team that should be good enough to win the AL pennant , but herein lies the caveat , the Tigers in their present guise know how to win in the regular season but the postseason in recent years has been their Achilles’ heal . The Tigers will play host to the Cleveland Indians in and what should prove to be a very interesting series , with Zach McAllister on the mound for the Indians against Rick Porcello of the Tigers.

Last season’s AL MVP Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and baseball’s most recent Triple Crown winner looks on course to repeat as MVP. Granted , the seasonal home run crown is beyond his reach , with the Orioles’ Chris Davis leading the MLB (league) and AL with forty-seven home runs to his name. If Detroit is to have any real success this postseason , then it will certainly not just come down to the competency of the offense , but also the tenacity shown by the pitching staff led by Justin Verlander , Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello .

I will give credit , where it is due ! And granted, there have been very few positives to come out of this season , beyond the play of a number of very good rookies . Yet in the midst of this baseball season , how can we continue to overlook the poor play and bad teams that still exist within the game ? New York Mets’ fans are probably now hoping that 2014 will be a great deal brighter than a lamentable 2013 season , where the ball-club’s brightest hope rests squarely on the shoulders of their pitcher Matt Harvey . Shuttered for the remainder of the season , because of an arm injury , there was not much that one can really say, was inspiring about the team’s play , beyond Harvey , himself. As to the idiocy of their fans that the team will be competitive next season . That would be like suggesting that after Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s , we can now seriously take her as a talented individual . Anyone who witnessed Cyrus’ somewhat titillating act , will know that beneath the surface, there lies a very untalented individual and yes , the same can be said of the New York Mets.

Given the recent lack of progression of this Mets’ organization on the field of play , even with the alleged front office talents of Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi . The real issue with this ball-club , has been the very fact that they hog-tied themselves with some burdensome contracts that are tied to several players who are close to or essentially past their prime or in some cases are no longer with the organization.

As baseball seeks to find its champion for this year , I must admit that overall, this has to be looked upon as a season of disappointment and one wherein, once again, all of the main parties concerned have let another golden opportunity slip from within its grasp to clean up its image . Instead, fans are looking at an issue of instant replay being adopted for 2014 as a positive for the game , without ever acknowledging baseball still remains in a quagmire of deceit , , lies and delusions of self-importance. There seems to be no indignation from the union (MLBPA) as to the dishonor brought to the game by the continued cheating by the players , and not one prominent team owner has stepped into the fray to question how Bud Selig and the league hierarchy have dealt with the issue. Needless to say, things are likely to remain the same, because baseball`s commissioner, is simply averse to any real change , unless it is a change that would begin to show him in some form of a positive light . As commissioner , he chooses not to tackle the issue of the financial imbalances within his sport, while denigrating certain owners as being unimaginative and lackluster. Unfortunately, Bud Selig has never really taken the time to question his own actions in all of this and his own failings as being someone, who has not led with authority .



Picture gallery .

The future of baseball on the face of it, does not appear bleak , but if the truth be told, its future is not as bright as some might believe it to be , even with the ascent of a number of young players coming to the fore. Leave a comment on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter and thanks as always for the continued support of this site.


tophatal ……………………………… 08/30/2013

Picture and slideshow details below


(1) Miami Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco (30) leaps above third base to catch a throw from catcher Jeff Mathis as Atlanta Braves Freddie Freeman (5) slides safely beneath him after a wild pitch during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Turner Field in Atlanta on Aug. 30, 2013. John Amis / AP Photo ….

(2) Adrian Gonzalez (23) of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Yasiel Puig (66 )after hitting a two-run home run against the San Diego Padres in the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on August 30, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. Jeff Gross /Getty Images North America ….

(3) San Francisco Giants` GM Brian Sabean , who this off-season will have a number of issues to deal with , concerning this Giants` team , their lack of consistency and productivity in 2012 , as well the impending free agency status of a number of players on the roster . AP Photo / Mark Perry ….

(4) Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon, center talks with Jose Molina (28) and James Loney (21) in a baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …

(5) The Detroit Tigers` Torii Hunter (48) is seen here alongside teammate Miguel Cabrera in a game played at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, against the Oakland A`s on Wednesday , 28th August 2013 . AP Photo /Paul Sancya ………..

(6) MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred , left, is Bud Selig’s right-hand man, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll become baseball’s next commissioner. Selig continues to try and put out fires or the continued embers from past flare ups that he thought resolved . Due to step down in 2014 , there is no clear linear successor to the present MLB Commissioner and with their being calls for an outsider to succeed Selig , it seems unlikely that the hierarchy and team owners are willing to heed those calls at all . Getty Images / Rich Carmichael …….


MLB news

MLB schedule

MLB results 29th August 2013

MLB probable pitchers

MLB standings and wildcard standings

MLB team salaries


This week in MLB history

This day in MLB history


Jeny Romero . Comes courtesy of King Magazine

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

12 thoughts on “A hard rain is going to fall ….”

  1. Baseball`s hard and fast rule , stay dumb , remain stupid and the fans themselves simply , will not know the difference . And really , only an idiot would now believe that adopting instant replay is likely to make baseball and the officiating even better . Far too many of the umpires are simply too old and or lack the experience necessary at the highest level .

    Matt Harvey will not be enough to even make the New York Mets remotely competitive in 2014 and that is in spite of their allegedly talented farm system , The Mets are so far behind their divisional contenders with the exception of the Marlins , that it is now beyond a joke . David Wright will continue to put up very good numbers , but this player simply does not lead by example or is he inspiring to his teammates . . Wright lacks any emotion .

    As the successor to Bud Selig , who would you like to see become the next commissioner of Major League Baseball ? Chime in with your thoughts on that .

    MLB results 30th August

    MLB results 31st August

    MLB schedule 1st September and probable pitchers

    MLB standings and wildcard standings

    tophatal ……………………


  2. Dunno much about beesball anymore. It ain’t been good to Pittsburghers, sooooo
    I do think that if the Bucs get in any playoffs…they’ll be almst one and done.
    Haven’t really followed anything in baseball for so many years, after all I’m a homer and it has been 21 years of losing………….


  3. Is it me but are the Tampa Bay Rays trying their damn-est to literally blow apart their chances of winning the AL East as well as placing themselves out of the running for a wildcard berth in the AL ?

    Four straight losses now for the Rays and it appears that the players and Joe Maddon seem happy with their lot . If this situation carries on as is , then I hope that the team crashes and burns , because it appears that there is no one on the roster clearly willing to lead by example and that also includes the entire coaching staff , because Maddon is coming across as far too soft and not demanding more of his players . When the team is winning he is the first to be congratulatory , but when the team loses , it is simply constant excuses from the manager and a great deal more !

    The Rays will have their work cut out for them in taking on the Angels at Anaheim Stadium , in Anaheim , California , tonight , with the game now in progress .

    The lead a> that the Ray once held over the Yankees in the divisional and wildcard races have now shrank and it now looks as if the Orioles are now running on fumes , simply chugging along with an empty gas tank in terms of their play .

    tophatal ……………..


  4. I think the decision to not fire Don Mattingly is an interesting case study.

    Let’s just say that the Dodgers fire Donnie Baseball when a) the Dodgers were on their downswing and b) right before they called up Puig.

    They hire some other schmo or promote whoever’s their third base coach at the time.

    That guy would be getting all the credit for their current hotness and Mattingly would probably have had a tough time finding another gig, at least for a while.

    Mattingly went from looking like baseball dumbass to genius in six weeks time. I’m pretty sure he didn’t learn anything new about the game that he hadn’t already known his fourteen years as a player. Luck of the draw?

    How much credit should we give coaches, managers, etc? Ultimately, of course, the buck stops with them but is Mattingly suddenly a shoo-in for Manager of the Year when he had probably pulled up his resume to update it back in May?

    Thanks, man. I think you just gave me a great idea for a post.


    1. Chris

      Were it not for the injuries on the Dodgers` roster , we would never have witnessed the call-up of Yasiel Puig and what he has been able to do for the for team in that time-span since his promotion . It does now make Don Mattingly look like a damn genius , along with that 42-8 run during that fifty-game stretch. The crazy thing is , if the team makes the postseason and then gets knocked out in the divisional round . Fingers will still be pointed at Mattingly and then subtlety at the players themselves for such an unexpected loss .

      That Dodgers` payroll ($220 million) does not seem so bloated or exorbitant now .

      My top four picks for consideration of NL Manager of the Year are Don Mattingly , Clint Hurdle , Mike Matheny and Fredi Gonalez . No one else is really worthy of a mention amongst the remaining managers in the NL .

      tophatal ……………….


  5. The end is near ……… Rays` fans need to be extremely worried with the poor play of the team at present, as they`re now making things extremely difficult for themselves within the division (AL East) as well as in the wildcard standings . Joe Maddon and his team are now 3-8 in their last eleven games . Not exactly the thing a fan would want to see from a ball-club with divisional and wildcard aspirations . Convince me otherwise if you`re an ardent fan of the team and how you see things panning out for this team ? Bear in mind that between the 24th and 26th September they will face the Yankees for the final time in their season series with a great deal being on the line for both of these teams .

    Tampa`s 11-2 loss to the Angels did nothing to dissuade me that this team , should they make it to the postseason , they are likely to lose in the divisional or wildcard round , because they simply cannot remain consistent enough in-spite of their defensive prowess .

    tophatal ……………….


  6. “A quagmire of deceit”, that’s a perfect way to describe MLB right now. I’ve stated before, that if not for the ballpark atmosphere and tradition of going to a baseball game wasn’t so ingrained in fans collective consciousness, then MLB would be dead. The nostalgia of the game is what saves it.


    1. Maurice

      What in essence , is actually the nostalgia of the game ? Racism was rampant right up until and during the early days of the integration of baseball . Yet , somehow baseball historians actually gloss over that very fact . Much as you are seemingly garnering the things you can identify with, concerning the game itself . Sports` fans here , are so damn apathetic in various elements of the sports` landscape , when it comes to all of the sports .

      I guess Jackie Robinson must`ve felt all so proud , being called n##ger , each time he entered the batter`s box during the early days of his career ?

      tophatal ……………..


  7. Will someone please let the Tampa Bay Rays know that they cannot continue to squander games or leads and then believe that they can still make the postseason . That team could very well now blow their chances of actually making the playoffs .

    The Rays will take on the Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington .

    Joe Maddon and his team will have a schedule , with their remaining games and specifically their upcoming series against the New York Yankees .

    tophatal …………


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