Pine tar, anyone ?

Pine tar, anyone ?

Just when you thought could not get any more asinine within the world of baseball and how the league hierarchy has dealt with the Biogenesis ” scandal” , word now comes that beleaguered baseball player Alex Rodriguez will seek to sue Major League Baseball for slander , collusion in trying to have his career derailed and put to an end with their wrongful pursuit of him with regard to baseball’s substance abuse policy . The plaintiff furthers goes on to suggest that the hierarchy’s vindictive pursuance of him also contravenes the union’s (MLBPA) collective bargaining agreement. The league as defendants deny this , stating that the agreement agreed to and ratified by the union , allows them the right, to pursue a player and punish them accordingly, where they find there is irrefutable evidence that is beyond reasonable doubt ,that he has violated a league rule .

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Slideshow .

At a time when baseball should be celebrating their postseason , the attention is taken away from these events , by a player known to be self-absorbed and only concerned with his own image, rather than showing himself to be a loyal teammate . MLB Commissioner . Bud Selig and the league hierarchy will now have to press the veracity of their case, should it be presented for trial in front of judge . Yet it is becoming abundantly clear that the New York Yankees’ third baseman is not prepared to give up without a fight , while seeking to defend his already tarnished reputation. From my own perspective the longer this story remains within the public’s view , the more embarrassing it is for the sport of baseball , because the commissioner’s handling of this whole episode has been poorly handled , with Bud Selig truly showing a complete lack of leadership.

A date has yet to be set for Alex Rodriguez’s appeal’s hearing, concerning his two-hundred and eleven game suspension for violating baseball’s steroid policy , an allegation that Rodriguez continues to deny , in spite of the evidence said to be in the hierarchy’s possession. While this process remains at an impasse , the question that also needs to be asked , is why no action by the New York Yankees and in particular with no public statement forthcoming from either Brian Cashman , Hank or Hal Steinbrenner ? I can only surmise that the front office of the organization is as incompetent as the league hierarchy itself . Rodriguez’s contributions for the New Yankees this season have been mediocre , with the player now a mere shadow of himself , while remaining the highest paid player in the game . A poor return for the franchise, whose season simply imploded during the final month of the season with the team’s poor play . A great deal of uncertainty now clouds the immediate future of this ball-club with their being no clear intent that manager Joe Girardi will return in . 2014 . That situation will play itself out, with a decision being made by the Yankees’ front office after Girardi has met with general manager Brian Cashman to discuss his future with the organization .

The Cincinnati Reds after their , all too disappointing season , have seen fit to fire manager Dusty Baker , with a year left on his current contract . GM Walt Jocketty , President & CEO Robert H Castellini made the decision to change course after another under-achieving 2013 sojourn . Baker in his six seasons with the Reds, was able to guide the ball-club to the postseason in four of the six seasons he managed the franchise , winning the NL Central division twice in 2010 and 2012 . Yet for all of that success, it was deemed not enough to constitute his return next season , which in many respects, with the team missing the postseason in 2013 , having finished a distant third in the NL Central behind divisional champions the St Louis Cardinals (97-65) and the surprisingly resilient Pittsburgh Pirates (94-68) , with the Reds’ lackluster mark of 90-72 . In terms of successor to Dusty Baker, the franchise has not made it clear who they will seek to replace him with as club’s manager , but it is quite clear that they will seek an individual with the name recognition and the necessary experience to lead the Reds in the next phase of their history .

A surprisingly successful season for the Cleveland Indians came to an all too abrupt end with the Indians’ 4-0 loss in the wild-card round of the postseason to the Tampa Bay Rays . Fittingly, for manager , Terry Francona , his return to the Big Leagues was a successful one having spent almost two years on the sidelines, before being hired by GM Chris Antonetti in 2013. Under Francona , in managing this team , they were able to show a great deal of resilience by pushing the Detroit Tigers for much of the season within the AL Central . There were signs to suggest that in 2014 the Indians will be a force to be reckoned with , not just within their division but across the AL as whole . I certainly believe that with the Indians’ depth and their prospects within the farm system , they will be much closer to being a legitimate challenger for a an AL pennant in the coming seasons.

If the NL has taught us anything this season within baseball , it has been that the cream always rises to the top. It should have come as no surprise that the Atlanta Braves , St Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers were the three triumphant divisional winners , winning those divisions by comfortable margins and with a great deal of east. With that in mind , with the postseason having begun , we are now down to the divisional series , where within the NL , the Pittsburgh Pirates are pitted against the St Louis Cardinals , with the other series pitting the high spending Los Angeles Dodgers against the Atlanta Braves . The first games of those two series were lopsided affairs , with the Cardinal getting the better of the Pirates in a 9-1 victory and the Dodgers laying the lumber, in thrashing the Braves 6-1 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta , Georgia. The Pirates were able to exercise the demons of that loss, by coming back to defeat the Cardinals in game two 7-1 in game two of their five-game series . Game two of the series, between the Braves and Dodgers will resume tonight , with Atlanta looking to level that contest at one game apiece . A loss at this juncture would all , but bring about the inevitability of the end to the Atlanta Braves’ season, were they to lose the second game of this five game series .

While it can be said that the New York Yankees had a disappointing season, their erstwhile divisional rivals have rebounded from a disastrous 2012 , to win the AL East , under manager John Farrell , with the same old faces contributing greatly to the success of the team along with an influx of seasoned veterans such as Shane Victorino , Mike Napoli , Ryan Dempster , Jake Peavy and Jonny Gomes all lending a hand in that success . A year after the Bobby Valentine chapter of mismanagement and shameless finger-pointing by Farrell’s predecessor , for his own incompetence , it is good to be witness one of baseball’s more venerable franchises back where they belong . In light of that however , the Red Sox will face a tough ALDS series against the Tampa Bay Rays . Game one of this contest will begin today at Fenway Park in , Boston , Massachusetts , in-front of a raucous crowd of rabid Red Sox fans. Undaunted by the task they face , the Rays will be anxious to prove to their doubters that they do belong in the postseason . To my mind, both Farrell and his Rays’ counterpart , Joe Maddon are legitimate candidates for the AL Manager of the Year , but as they say , ” beauty is in the eye of the beholder “ , and given the idiocy of , and shown by the adjudicators of the Baseball Writers Association of America , we are likely to see either right decision being made or the sort of lunacy that the BBWAA has now become more known for .

Billy Beane has been able to achieve the extraordinary , with menial resources by way of a team payroll , but his skilled acumen , shows why he is one of the best general managers in all of baseball. Just imagine what he might have been able to achieve with the Oakland A’s , were he afforded a player budget in excess of $150 million , instead of the paltry $70 million he is currently allowed to operate with ? The A’s won the AL West by playing at a consistently high level throughout the season . Within the division, teams such as the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers simply flamed out and offered little challenge to the Oakland based franchise .

With their second consecutive divisional title in the bag , the Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin and his team will play hosts to Jim Leyland , manager of the Detroit Tigers in a series (games one , two and five , if needed) , where an AL pennant berth will await the winner of what is bound to be a competitive series given the tightness of the season contests in 2013. Leyland and the Tigers will undoubtedly be looking to redeem themselves this postseason, after the horrors of 2012 and their lopsided World Series’ loss (4-0) the San Francisco Giants . In the blink of an eye, the Tigers’ potent offense of 2012 , were rendered useless by a Giants’ pitching staff that played with a sense of purpose. Jim Leyland and his managerial staff will hopefully have learned something from that painful experience.

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Picture gallery .

It all seems so asinine, that at a time when baseball should be celebrating the best that it has to offer by way of its postseason showcase . It is left to one the game’s most despised individuals in Alex Rodriguez to further sully its image and reputation . Not that the sport has not been assisted by the buffoonery of Bud Selig , Michael Weiner , Executive Director of the MLBPA , the players and the journalists who cover the cover the sport. Needless to say the not so attentive and anal retentive fans who simply point to the idiocy of the hierarchy’s adoption of instant replay as a positive within the sport when they are far more acute issues that need to be dealt with. None of which, the players , union or league hierarchy would care to address with any real urgency. As the title of this pieces alludes to ___ “ Pine tar anyone” ? Baseball will remain replete with far more than its oddities , self- aloof demeanor and ideas of a grandiose nature , way above anything meaningful that is said to have been achieved over the past three decades. For that, we ought to thank the players for their continued ignorance and shameless stupidity , lack of authority shown by the owners , whose only interests are greed and the making of a “quick buck ” . Needless to say, atop of the list , remains the gutless windbag Bud Selig , whose departure from the game cannot come around quick enough ! Chime in, with your thoughts on this article and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below.

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(1) Merely a victim ? Or a shameless pariah looking to absolve himself of all responsibility for his actions ? Pictured inset , New York Yankees’ third baseman Alex Rodriguez seeks to sue MLB , in what he claims is a witch hunt sought by the league hierarchy to drive him out of the game of baseball . The player is the game’s active home runs’ leader and the leader in several other offensive categories . Rodriguez also will seek have his two hundred and eleven-game suspension overturned by an appeal’s tribunal presides over by arbitrator Fred Horowitz . A date for that hearing has yet to be set and it is likely that it will not take place until after the World Series . AP Photo / Alex Parsons ….

(2) Manager Dusty Baker (12) pulls Johnny Cueto (47) of the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Getty Images / Jared Wickerham …..

(3) Danny Salazar (31) of the Cleveland Indians gets pulled by Terry Francona (17) of the Cleveland Indians in the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during the American League Wild Card game at Progressive Field on October 2, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rays would go on to defeat the Indians 4-0 . Getty Images / Jared Wickerham ….

(4) Boston Red Sox DH , David Ortiz watches his ground double as Rays’ catcher Jose Lobaton looks on during the game . The Red Sox would defeat the Rays 12-2 in game one of their ALDS contest played at Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts . AP Photo/ Charles Krupa ….

(5) PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 30: Manager Jim Leyland (10) of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on May 30, 2013 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images …

Oakland A’s general manager whose stewardship of the front office has made the franchise one of the most admired in all of baseball . AP Photo / Keith Marshall ……

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Author: tophatal ...........

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13 thoughts on “Pine tar, anyone ?”

  1. Alex Rodriguez further fanning the flames that shows baseball has no leadership and is replete with fools at all levels of the game . Never mind the continued cheating and more likely than not , baseball’s testing policy beyond being flawed , is also outmoded . The Yankees’ third baseman truly feels that he is being vilified by baseball’s hierarchy ? Yet , he himself cannot be honest and forthright . Is it any wonder he is so disliked around the game ?

    The Rays a dropped in their pants , as David Ortiz and the Red Sox basically showed how weak the Rays’ pitching just happens to be in spite of a great regular season .

    Now squared at one game apiece (1-1) , there is everything to play for in the series between the Braves and the Dodgers .

    tophatal ……………..

    Like

  2. It would appear that the Cubs have Illinois’ native Joe Girardi firmly set within their sight as they look make him the next manager of the beleaguered franchise . The main issue appears to be however , is their insistence in showing their own ongoing stupidity in making him one of the two highest paid managers in baseball . One World Series’ win in 2009 , does not make Girardi a managerial genius , who in 2013 showed that he lacks leadership skills , a great deal of communicative and managerial ability , apart from his constant bitching and whining .

    Cubs’ GM Theo Esptein is proving , that the wunderkind general manager is human after-all . The franchise’s farm system has talent but in recent years things have not gone as planned on or off the field of play .

    Epstein Theo

    “If Joe had another pair of testes and a big enough scrotum , my lips would be firmly placed against them “ . Cubs’ GM Theo Epstein

    Chicago Sun Times

    Joe Girardi may want to re-think any Cubs’ offer

    Next victim, please.

    The Cubs axed manager Dale Sveum on Monday, presumably because they have somebody bigger and better in mind. If they don’t, I’m not sure what the point is of firing a guy who was asked to oversee the paint job on a building that is being razed.

    I know, I know: Whoever brings the World Series to the North Side is going to be a hero. We’ve heard it a million times from all the managers, free agents and traded players who have come to Chicago and said, “Why not me, why not now?’’

    Because it’s the Cubs.

    And so we look on as another management team takes a swing at doing what has been impossible for so many people. This group is led by Epstein, the club’s president of baseball operations, and its approach has been to demolish everything and rebuild it in the Red Sox’ image, if only owner Tom Ricketts would take his death grip off the purse strings.

    This is where Girardi and his possible insanity come in. After all those victories in New York and after all the money spent on players, why would he come to a team that figures to lose in a big way again next season?

    Because some of the Epstein’s minor-league players might turn out to be good major-league players?

    I don’t know if it’s the kind of challenge that attracts someone like manager-to-the-stars Girardi, who other than his year with the Marlins, has been more Phil Jackson than Ron Gardenhire.

    On the other hand, he’s from Peoria, went to Northwestern and played for the Cubs. You would think having had his hand so close to the flame in the past, he wouldn’t want to stop, drop and roll in Chicago. But who knows? There have been scads of managers who were convinced they could be the one to bring a World Series title to the Cubs. All that’s left is their haunted, hollowed-out looks as they left town. Grimm, Durocher, Zimmer, Baker, Piniella – the list goes on, thanks to Sveum’s firing Monday.

    It was hard to know whether to laugh or cry at the recent public debate over whether Sveum was to blame for the back-to-back 101- and 96-loss seasons. Talk about taking your eye off the ball! Talk about not paying attention to the man behind the curtain!

    That’s not to say that Epstein doesn’t have the acumen to find a way to turn this mess around. It’s simply too early to tell. But know this: Given the “weapons’’ Sveum was given, it’s not his fault the Cubs were atrocious.

    Don’t feel bad for him. He knew what he was in for when he arrived two years ago. He was here to absorb the abuse as the club rebuilt. He wasn’t brought in as a long-term solution. He was brought in to be the man sitting over the dunk tank. He did his best with what he had. Ultimately, it was his fault that Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro regressed this season, but only because everything is a manager’s responsibility. But it wasn’t Sveum’s idea that the free-swinging Castro be more selective at the plate. It was Epstein’s.

    Enough of the blame game. It doesn’t really matter. Let’s not argue over who’s responsible for the listing ship. I say blame the iceberg, because that better explains the scope of this. If you haven’t won a World Series since 1908, you might be dealing with something a little bigger than the wrong manager or a few misses in the farm system.

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    Click on link to read in full .
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    In his time as the Cubs’ general manager , Epstein has presided over one cluster-#ck after the other , without a damn clue , as to exactly what it is , he is seeking to achieve .

    tophatal ……………….

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    1. Tophat quote “If you haven’t won a World Series since 1908, you might be dealing with something a little bigger than the wrong manager or a few misses in the farm system.”

      Great quote with multi-meanings!!

      Like


      1. Ronbets

        Looking at the Chicago Cubs and you simply have to wonder if this franchise has any hope at all . All of this idiocy about their farm system and that they will be ready to compete in 2014 or 2015 . If it hasn’t happened in the prior eight years much less the last one hundred years , then why should things now change ?

        Theo Epstein came to Chicago with high hopes and all as he has achieved , has been to place the Cubs in a far worst situation than before . The firing of Dale Sveum , is like a using Band Aid to cover a gaping gunshot wound to the abdomen, that is still bleeding profusely .

        Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts may well have made his fortune in the world of finance , but just because you’re putting ribbons on a pig (refurbishing) as in Wrigley Field , it doesn’t make it a sow.

        tophatal ……….

        Like

  3. Tophat.
    I’m not a Dusty Baker basher like the hardcore sabermetric quants. The guy wins wherever he goes and is a player’s guy. He was fired for defending his hitting coach that GM Jockety was firing. Dusty defended the ill fated coach even though it wasn’t one of his appointees. Dusty challenged Jockety to fire him too. He got what he asked for……….
    This is why LaSorda loves the guy. LOYALTY.

    Like

    1. Ronbets

      Dusty Baker to my mind , is the equal of Jim Leyland , but the real issue has been the fact that the Reds are not ambitious . The front office led by Walt Jocketty has been a complete joke . Look at their spending in terms of team salaries in 2012 , 2011 , 2010 and 2009 . Then look at where the team finished in the NL Central in each of the years in question and their last postseason appearance .

      The Reds’ best player may well be Joey Votto , but the guy cannot do it all on his own . And the front office simply hasn’t given Dusty Baker with the tools to get the job done .

      Like

    1. Should have , could have and would have . Let me pose you this question, of the individuals who make up the league hierarchy , name me one person there you would actually place any trust in ? Baseball lacks integrity , intelligence and all of these lame ass purists talking about the good old days of the game . What fucking good old days were there , when the game then was replete with cheating , racial intolerance and a great deal more ?

      Bud Selig has proven to be a bona-fide moron ! Clearly devoid of any damn intelligence and fans are carrying on as if this game teaches any type of chivalry or sportsmanship ?

      tophatal …………………

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        1. And the MLB hierarchy have only themselves to blame . The player is unlikely to win his suit against the league (MLB) or against Dr Christopher Ahmad . He has to prove there was intent on the part of both parties and there is no evidence to suggest that there was collusion by the physician and the league , itself . The suit is without merit and simply another ruse, and a round of chicken being played by the player and his lawyers .

          Like

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