If money is not the issue, then what seems to be the problem ?
For any professional sports’ franchise, it is extremely tough to put a winning product on the field of play. For one, it simply starts with the right type of ownership structure , one where the owners ought to let the lead front office executives do their jobs , by consulting with the coaching staff to assess the needs of a team . Granted, when you have such owners as Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder within the NFL , it is extremely difficult to overlook their repeated guffaws . Within Major League Baseball you have the Steinbrenner siblings , now trying to live up to the achievements of their late father and patriarch George Steinbrenner III . Needless to say, after the New York Yankees’ struggles on the field and the idiotic drama created off-field by Alex Rodriguez , you can well understand why 2014 might just be the most important in recent history for the once proud Yankees’ organization.
A fourth place finish in the AL East with a sub .500 record is not something that the New York Yankees fans are accustomed to seeing at the end of the regular season , as they expect to be competing no less than for an AL pennant or the World Series at best , annually. Well, given the fact that their last triumph came in 2009 , it has to said that the intervening years in many respects have been lackluster as the roster ages , and their being, no significant development of talent within their Minor League system . A great deal of the blame for this can be placed firmly on the shoulders of the managerial staff of Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman . Now excuses may well be made for the rash of injuries suffered by the New York Yankees team during 2013. Yet, on the face of it, their woes are no different from any other team in the Majors seeking the same success.
Beyond the high drama of Alex Rodriguez’s suspension which is now in effect ,wherein the third baseman will not be a participant in the Yankees’ 2014 foray. The organization last year had to contend with the retirements of Andy Pettite and Mariano Rivera , two of the franchise most celebrated and revered players in the club’s long and distinguished history. Having to compete in a division, where the Boston Red Sox are once again resurgent , well-managed and the reigning World Series’ champions, will not be lost on a Yankees’ organization looking to put behind them the woes of last season.
. Knowing that their biggest problem of the past season was the inconsistency of the pitching , Brian Cashman has sought to bolster the roster . Overtures have been made to Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka, but it would appear that the Los Angeles Dodgers with their burgeoning deep pockets and the voracious ambition of managing partners, Mark Walter , Todd Boehly , Peter Guber and Magic Johnson , are not without their own clout , as they have now joined the chorus of teams said to have a desire to acquire the pitcher.
I am not about to suggest that a major bidding war is about to commence for the player, but consider the fact, that the Dodgers are likely to start the season with a team payroll upwards of $220 million and where, several of the players on the existing roster will be earning in excess of $15 million annually . It begs the question, at what point will the game and specifically the league hierarchy , owners and general managers seek to get together to put an end to this type idiocy ? It is not as if the lesser teams are able to compete against their big-market counterparts , in spite of what has been suggested . A clear indication of that can be made, by simply looking at the postseason participants in 2013 and their payrolls. For the first time in Major League Baseball history the combined salary commitment of the league’s thirty teams exceeded $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) in 2013 and there seems to be no signs that figure is likely to decrease significantly in the coming years.
If New York was to acquire Masahiro Tanaka or lose out, in a likely bidding war. I certainly do not believe that deal alone, will be enough to make them a likely contender within the AL East , much less challenge for an AL wildcard berth. Beyond their pitching woes , they still have to deal with the fact that in acquiring Jacoby Ellsbury and then offering him that contract , they have obtained a player who in recent seasons has spent great deal of time on the disabled list, while observing his teammates from dugout . Questions will also surround the managerial style of Joe Girardi and whether or not, he can still get the best out of his players. Furthermore, with the return of Derek Jeter , are we likely to see the Yankees’ captain back at his very best or simply a player who has become a mere shadow of his former self?
As I alluded to earlier, with an offer being made to Masahiro Tanaka, all that now awaits, is the player agreeing to that deal and then joining his new teammates. Crazy as this might seem, Tanaka’s deal as great as it is likely to be. It will be dwarfed by the contract recently signed by Clayton Kershaw , a deal that makes the starting pitcher among the highest paid players annually , in baseball, as well having signed one of the largest contracts ever in Major League Baseball. With the vast revenues at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ disposal , this season will not be seen as a last-ditch attempt to bring back a title to franchise , whose last taste of victory as World Series’ champions came in 1988 . This year may well be the season, where we will either the team sink or swim , in terms of their efforts . A great deal is being asked of Don Mattingly and his staff this upcoming season and we will get to gauge this club first hand by how they acclimatize themselves for the regular season by their play during their Spring Training schedule.
The NFL postseason, has all but ended and in two thrilling games , we saw the league’s two best teams prevail in their conference title games. The AFC will be represented by the Denver Broncos , who simply waylaid any ideas that both Bill Belichick and .Tom Brady might have had in winning a fourth Superbowl together as a coach and quarterback tandem. Peyton Manning and his teammates booked their place, for the 2nd February title game, where they will meet Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks . Seattle for their part, simply got the better of the San Francisco 49ers , in erasing a deficit and then putting the game beyond Colin Kaepernick and his teammates’ reach. The rivalry between the two NFC quarterbacks , is likely to become something to relish if both are able to maintain their current level of play. Whether or not over the test of time both can provide us with rivalry and excitement witnessed whenever Tom Brady stood across the field from Peyton Manning , remains to be seen
For head coaches, John Fox of the Broncos and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks, this opportunity provides both individuals the chance to test their coaching acumen against an adversary, where each has the utmost respect for the other. The Seattle Seahawks are seen as perhaps slight favorites , in this upcoming contest. Yet, more than anything else, the odds-makers in Las Vegas tend to induce the bettor , in order to create an environment that will always be in their favor. On the day, this game will come down to the experience an elder statesman of the game and a quarterback whose two years in the NFL has seen him reach an unexpected high in a short period of time.
The defeats, or both the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers ,means that for respective general managers Trent Baalke and Nick Caserio , it is back to the drawing board. Caserio, has to deal with the fact that for all of the progress shown by the Patriots in various areas of their game , they were still found wanting. ” Manning-itis” , it appears , is the latest affliction to have hit the Patriots’ organization and there seems to no apparent cure for this particular ailment. Something, that the CDC (Center For Disease Control) does not seem to have a vaccine for, otherwise large doses of the vaccine would have already been sent directly to Foxboro’ Massachusetts. Will Belichick and his coaching staff , simply revamp certain areas of the roster in preparation for next season or simply build through natural attrition and by way of the NFL Draft ? ? I am sure that the head coach and t general manager will find a way to figure this all out , without their being too much an upheaval overall !
Colin Kapernick’s first three years in the NFL have been a revelation and any doubts his succeeding Alex Smith can now be firmly put to rest. For Trent Baalke, however, the off-season, now becomes about financial expediency in terms of renegotiating and offering sizable increases to players who have aided in the 49ers’ recent success. Jim Harbaugh , for his part assembled a highly skilled and experienced roster , but therein lies the issue. The seasoned veterans, on the team, while being productive, did not appear to provide the leadership needed to put the Forty Niners over the hump. With three straight appearances in the NFC championship game over the past three seasons, it begs the question, is there something in the water that has afflicted the San Francisco 49ers?
Among the free agents, likely to be seeking a long-term contract or an extension are Anquan Boldin , Donte Whitner , Mario Manningham and Johnathan Goodwin. Kaepernick, having signed a rookie deal (four years $5.124 million) that is set to expire in 2015 , is likely to prompt his agent Scott Smith to start negotiations that may well prompt Trent Baalke to offer the player a multi-year deal or seek to franchise tag the young quarterback and then pay him what it is likely to be a healthy annual salary , as adjudged at the average for his position or possibly lower than the prevailing figure. Not to be left out of this all, is the head coach himself, as Jim Harbaugh’s own contract is set for expiration this upcoming year. I very much doubt that team CEO Jed York would welcome the departure of the man who has put the franchise back on the map , while gaining the admiration of the Niners’ fans in general ! .
With the NBA trade deadline not that far off , already the speculators as making their prognostications as to what moves are likely to be made. A plethora of transactions, could very well be made, with a number of teams likely to stand pat. Yet , with their being growing rumors that Carmelo Anthony is said to be unhappy with the direction of the New York Knicks and the very fact the front office is seemingly at a loss as to the direction is said to be heading in. Here’s a hint, recording artist , Stevie Wonder was recently rumored to have said the Knicks stink, after a member of his entourage subjected the group to an act of flatulence, while they were all seated in a restaurant for a meal.
Courtesy of Newsday
By Al Iannazzone of Newsday
INDIANAPOLIS – Mike Woodson admitted he’s “concerned” that some of the things that have transpired with the Knicks this season could lead to Carmelo Anthony leaving. Nevertheless, Woodson said he believes Anthony will retire a Knick.
Anthony has said he will opt out of the final year of his contract after the season and become a free agent. This season hasn’t gone anywhere near how Anthony or the Knicks expected.
They’ve won six of their last eight, but they’re 15-23 overall and the drama surrounding J.R. Smith has overshadowed their improved play lately. But Woodson doesn’t believe it will impact Anthony’s future in New York.
“You’re concerned,” Woodson said on ESPN New York radio Wednesday. “But Melo’s wearing a Knick uniform. I think Melo loves playing in New York. He’s been one of the bright spots this year. He’s been solid all the way through our ups and downs this year. To me, that’s the sign of a true pro.
“We are starting to get back healthy. We are playing a little bit better. As far as Melo leaving New York, in my heart I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Melo’s going to retire a New York Knick. That’s just my own personal belief.”
The trade deadline is Feb. 20< and The Knicks don't want to move Anthony. But if they get any indication he might not re-sign, the Knicks could explore trade scenarios rather than let Anthony leave in the summer without getting anything in return.
Anthony can get a maximum five-year deal worth roughly $129 million from the Knicks. The most another team can pay him is four years and about $96 million.
Three straight losses by the team , all by double-digits and with their being no signs of life defensively from this group of players . All signs could very well be pointing to GM Steve Mills , making the decision in conjunction with James Dolan and Mike Woodson to seek a trade of the franchise’s best and most valuable asset. With the exception of last season , Anthony’s stay in New York has been shrouded with the ineptitude of his supporting cast. This season appears to be no different with his being provided little aid from an offensive standpoint . No other alternative seems to be possible for the Knicks should their slide continue, because Carmelo Anthony , may well have feigned earlier signs about his intent to opt out of the final year of his existing contract . Given the lack of direction now being shown and lack of heart by a number of players , it would be understandable if Anthony saw fit to exercise that option . Mills and Woodson do not appear to be showing any signs of bolstering the roster, well at least, not publicly. Yet, even if they were, it would prove to be difficult move players such as JR Smith , Metta World Peace , Amar’e Stoudemire , unless it was all part of a salary dump or taking on needless salary commitments with a view to next season and then making a play for a marquee free agent to aid their disgruntled star.
I have repeatedly, read the idiocy of statements being made, that the issues the Knicks have been due to the fact that they have not been able to develop talent from within. While, that may well be true in part, a litany of bad trades , overpaying for average talent, some truly idiotic and ridiculous draft choices over the last five years, have led the franchise to their current predicament. I do not believe that I could put it any more succinctly than that !
Even now, the New York Knicks are still bound down by a number of existing contracts ($91.4 million) , that from a productivity standpoint have not been beneficial for the team or franchise , itself. Bear in mind that the franchise will have to meet their obligations to the NBA by way of the salary tax , of which the team will be due to pay in excess of $48 million as a luxury tax surcharge for going over the league’s soft salary cap (58.68 million) ..
With a slew of games on Monday, 20th January , a public holiday, with the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday , the Knicks played host to their in state and fellow conference rivals , the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden in New York City , New York . Needless to say, Mike Woodson’s players did not fail to disappoint , rolling off a fourth consecutive loss , going down 103-80 in a lopsided defeat .
I would like to believe that something good can come out of this present situation with the New York Knicks, but there now seems to be a sense of foreboding is in the offing , with no one within the organization prepared to make a statement to assure the deeply loyal fans of the franchise. Nothing new , when you consider the mindset of James Dolan over the years and how he has somehow simply ignored the dire nature of the franchise, in terms of lack of a competitive nature. His concern may well be , as long as the New York Knicks, remain the most valuable franchise in the , if not its most profitable in the NBA , that is likely to be only real concern, overall.
Picture gallery .
Your thoughts on the paints raised within this piece and what do you believe will be the likely result in the Superbowl ?
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) Two of the NFL’s most visible team owners , Jerry Jones , left , shakes the hands of Dan Snyder . As the owners of Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins , these two executive oversee a multi-million dollar concern , in terms of revenues . Their two franchises are among the most profitable and valuable in the league. Getty Images / Patrick Mayhew …
(2) Hal Steibrenner , senior executive with the New York Yankees is seen here talking to the team’s general manager Brian Cashman. In spite of the ball-club’s off the field issues over the past season , both executives are hoping for much more successful year in 2014 . It would appear that the team has missed out on signing highly prized Japanese star and pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka . No public confirmation as of yet, . suggesting the player’s acquisition by the Los Angeles Dodgers but all signs are pointing to the fact that Tanaka has been offered a lucrative deal. Getty Images North America / Sandra Patterson ….
(3) Los Angeles Dodgers’ GM Ned Colletti ,left , seated alongside team President Stan Kasten . The front office executives are now said to be one of the main forces behind organization’s now aggressive moves in the free agency market. It would appear that the Dodgers are on the verge of acquiring Japanese pitching sensation Masahiro Tanaka. With the team having committed over $300 million alone in signing Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke in the past twelve months . It would appear that money will remain of no object as the franchise pursues their first World Series’ title since 1988. AP Photo / Paul Mason …
(4) Pete Carroll , right, is seen here with his opposing number John Fox, now of the Denver Broncos after a game in 2010 , between their respective teams at the time. Fox was then coaching the Carolina Panthers . These two head coaches will meet once again in the Superbowl (SB48) , which will be played at MetLife Stadium , East Rutherford , New Jersey,.
(5) San Francisco 49ers’ CEO Jed Yorke is seen here with head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke . Under the guidance of Baalke and Harbaugh the Niners’ CEO has seen the franchise make the straight NFC championship appearances, albeit , with only one Superbowl appearance , which resulted in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. In the off-season Trent Baalke and the entire organization will have several decisions to make concerning the playing staff and the status of the head coach. Getty Images / Philip Carter ….
(6) Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos is seen here with Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson after a preseason game in 2013 , where the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 40-10 at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington,.. It is unlikely that their Superbowl encounter will be such a lopsided event. Manning will be making his third Superbowl appearance but his playing in his twenty-third playoff game by comparison this be only Wilson’s fifth playoff game of his young career . AP Photo/ Matthew Parrish …..
(7) New York Knicks’ owner James Dolan looks on during a game played at Madison Square Garden earlier this season. It would appear that the Knicks’ owner wanted to be closer to the fans and to hear them voice their concerns over the team’s lackluster performances . Seated next to Dolan, is team GM Steve Mills , who succeeded Glen Grunwald at the start of this season . Mills has inherited a very inconsistent team , along with a coaching staff that now appears to be in over its head. In a Monday afternoon game against the Brooklyn Nets , the team was on the wrong side of a very lopsided defeat . A growing cacophony of vocal dismay as to dire situation of the team seems to be going unanswered by the members of the front office , while head coach Mike Woodson’s hopes concerning Carmelo Anthony’s future with the franchise, appear to be just as uncertain and less candid than his recent statements to the press. Getty Images / Ron Hall …..
(8) Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks is seen here with teammate J R Smith , on-court during a game . Smith’s issues of court , having sat out a league mandate suspension has seen the troubled start get into a verbal argument with head coach Mike Woodson . Those troubles along with a lack of consistent performances , have led to a dire season for the Knicks who currently have a 15-26 (0.366) record within the Atlantic Division , which at present would be place the team in eleventh place within the Eastern Conference , two games out from the eighth placed Charlotte Bobcats (18-25 -0.419). AP Photo / Brian Stokes ….. .
Mike Posner feat’g Big Sean …. ” Top of the World ”