Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished, he had one ……..

Nigger in the woodpile ? Donald Sterling doesn’t even have a plantation but he probably wished , he had one ……..

So as the NBA postseason meanders towards what the fans believe will be an inevitability , it is interesting to note, that the biggest story now surrounding the league , just happens to be the unfolding episode concerning the statements attributed to Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling that was first reported by entertainment news’ website TMZ .

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Sterling , is said to have made the comments to his girlfriend, that he would rather have her not associate herself , with “niggers” or have them attend the games of the team he owns , while they are playing at the Staples Arena in downtown Los Angeles , California . As to why anyone, would actually be surprised by these statements by Donald Sterling , when it has been a repeated pattern of behavior by one of the NBA’s most malignant owners . Furthermore , it should be noted, that the owner, has been ran afoul of the US government , by way of the US Justice Department ,with his having been successfully sued in US Federal Court in an action brought by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) , for being a ” slum landlord “ , and in having many of his tenants live in squalor conditions in a number of the numerous residential properties that he owns , many of the tenants in question were minorities , of African-American , Asian-American and Hispanic ethnicity , living within the greater Los Angeles area. The fact, that the city of Los Angeles failed to act with any type of expediency when his actions first came to light with regard the ongoing negligent actions as a landlord , and one of the city’s most prominent residential owners , leads me to believe that beyond the city’s incompetency , was due the power able to be wielded by Sterling within the city and among the city council, itself.

Tantamount to this all, has been the sheer naiveté , apathy , downright stupidity and utter gullibility of fans and the NBA hierarchy , who have continually over the years overlooked Donald Sterling’s continued behavior. It has been an ongoing pattern of behavior by the owner, wherein, David Stern has turned a blind eye to the Clippers owner’s ongoing behavior not only as it relates to the racial overtones of his comments , his egregious sexist behavior but also , what is said to be mistreatment of Clippers’ employees within the organization . Stern, long seen as a bastion of presiding over a league, said to be image conscious, but yet during the time that this owner has carried on with boorish behavior , neither the former NBA Commissioner , nor his later successor , Adam Silver , has sought do a thing, to in some way suspend or fine the owner . Yet , the NBA remains a league where in the past , David Stern has seen fit to fine Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks , hundreds of thousands of dollars , when Cuban has been justified in his criticism of the league hierarchy and that of the officiating of regular and postseason games in the NBA. Need we be reminded also , that Stern has also seen fit to actually punish players with impunity for actions , he believes to be harmful to the game or conducting unbecoming ? Yet during his tenure , he has never seen fit to punish Donald Sterling , for previous allegations of having thrown out racial epithets.

I have to ask myself, what would David Stern or Adam Silver deem serious enough for them to take action against Donald Sterling, given his repeated gregarious behavior ? If that was not enough, how much of an apathetic idiot must one be , to try and suggest consider that the country has progressed beyond the racial divide , when in many cases , there still remains an economic and social chasm within this country, along its racial lines ? Also , with the recent incident , with the death of Alfred Wright in Jasper , Texas , which was also the scene of the dragging and lynching death of James Byrd IV . Can someone explain to me, why they are those, who of the opinion, that racism and dare one say “hate crimes “ are on the decrease ? Is it merely, because the US the Justice Department, would try to suggest that, as being a fact? Need we be reminded, who now heads that particular governmental agency and the continued incompetency that has been shown by Eric Holder , as the US Attorney General ?

Now beyond the racial statements attributed to Donald Sterling , his odious views on women and how sexist those tones are , does bear asking, what other views he may well have, that we have not come seen come the surface and his views on race and other numerous social issues ? Clearly, beyond this stupidity that this is now solely Adam Silver’s issue to deal with , we also need to now look at the actions of the other owners around the NBA , and why no response there about Sterling’s comments and why no formal statement from anyone within the NBPA hierarchy or from among those on the Clippers’ coaching or playing staff . This might be the one time I firmly believe that Doc Rivers or the team’s presumed leader in Chris Paul actually make a formal statement . Consider also , that the Clippers’ point guard is the current President of the Players’ Union (NBPA) . Begs the question, is there no end, to clear incompetency and apathy within the NBA and union , itself ?

As to the postseason , the reigning NBA champions the Miami Heat (3-0) are proving to be now as decisive as they have been at any point during their regular season schedule . LeBron James leads the team in scoring during the playoffs , as he seeks to add a third NBA title to his already impressive resume’ . Erik Spoelstra may well be relishing the fact that as the Heat strolls through the first three games of their first round series against the Charlotte Bobcats (0-3) , the Indiana Pacers (2-2) as the number one seeds in the Eastern Conference now find themselves in the midst of a dogfight against the Atlanta Hawks (2-2) in their quarter-final series , now tied at two games apiece (2-2), with game five scheduled for Monday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis. Frank Vogel’s Pacers can ill-afford to lose game five and then place themselves in an almost irretrievable position, in having to win the final two games of the best of seven series . Considering, the seismic waves a first round series’ loss would create for the Indiana Pacers, can certainly be judged by the fact, that it would create an easier path for the Miami Heat, as they seek to make their way to a third consecutive NBA Finals.

In the run-up to the end of the regular season, the Chicago Bulls were very much one of the most impressive teams over the final ten games of the season. It seemed hardly likely that with the season long loss of Derrick Rose and the franchise’s decision to trade Luol Deng , that one would have guessed that the team would indeed make the NBA Playoffs as the fourth seed within the Eastern Conference . A first round series’ match-up, against the John Wall led Washington Wizards (3-1) , was if anything, expected to be a very competitive series. Instead, it has become an ongoing nightmare for Tom Thibodeau , his coaching staff and the Bulls’ players have squandered just about every advantage and opportunity , one might have thought that they might have had , in now finding themselves on the brink of elimination , now down three games to one (3-1) against the Wizards. Coming into the series , I felt that with the momentum gained by the team over their final twenty regular season games , I thought them to be perhaps, the most dangerous of the outside contenders, who might hinder the path of both the Indiana Pacers Miami Heat , and their presumed conference finals’ match-up !

Tuesday’s game , given the contest’s value , will very much be one of zeal and guise on the part of the Bulls , because , Washington Wizards’ head coach Randy Wittman, his coaching staff and players , will be seeking to close out a series , that few might have expected them to be victorious in . Turnovers and a complete lack of leadership, has simply been the tale of the Bulls’ woes throughout this series and that does come as a surprise , when one considers the level of play shown by Joakim Noah during the regular season and his winning of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year , this past season .

A scrappy series, between the Toronto Raptors (2-2) and Brooklyn Nets (2-2) ha pretty much summed up what this season has simply been about within the Eastern Conference wherein , the level of the play has simply bordered on being insipid and downright puerile . , though the continued idiocy to sell the league and specifically the Eastern Conference as being competitive. Nothing could be further from the truth , and the very fact that we now have Adam Silver consulting with USAB Chairman Jerry Colangelo , on his thoughts, about how best to improve the branding and play within the NBA, points to the very fact that Silver, is simply out of his depth ,. as David Stern’s successor !

Now, far be it, for me to suggest, that Silver, is likely to be as successful, as the image conscious egotistical former NBA Commissioner , who many , try to espouse as being the consummate businessman. David Stern, rode on the coattails of Michael Jordan , and during the mid to late nineties used African-American teens , the genre of ” gangster rap ” and the appeal of gun violence to sell the NBA as a brand , but dumb ass idiot fans are all too ready and willing to overlook that very fact , and once again show why there is no fucking common sense among the North American sports’ fan in general , never-mind the fact, that , this was the very same commissioner , who tried to suggest that the NBA being bailed out to the tune of $550 million in 2009 and their teams having been loaned $2.5 billion over the past decade , decade , should not be viewed as a bailout, with ticket prices having increased on average in excess of 23% during years between 2009 and 2012 , all of this in the midst of an economic downturn , which has shown no real sign of dissipating.

David Stern, simply tried to suggest, that this was the cost of doing business, while his salary increased , while the league sought to hold down their expenses , when in fact team payrolls climbed , as did television revenues and that of the league’s revenues. The commissioner’s salary upon his exit , exceeded $25 million a year , on par , if not above the highest paid player in the NBA , where the largest NBA contract belongs to the Nets’ Joe Johnson , whose six-year $123.66 million contract , is as ridiculous as it sounds , but yet not one fan, can explain succinctly, what the former commissioner has achieved, in reining in the cost of teams’ expenditure , when in fact David Stern simply cannot point to one evidential, piece of success of that nature ! A ” soft salary cap” , still has not stopped teams , of seeking to be financially expedient and for the majority of fans without a degree in finance , much less economics , theirs’ continues to be the idiocy of letting the teams spend whatever , while they chase after that ever elusive success .

Current NBA Coach of the Year , Gregg Popovich , a four-time winning NBA Finals’ coach, has seen the San Antonio Spurs (1-2) squander their home-court advantage and now quite possibly a series’ lead during their instate postseason conference match-up against the Dallas Mavericks (2-1) . The conference and NBA leading sixty –two wins’ season (62-20) , might all be for nothing, should they lose their first round playoff series’ contest against the Mavericks . Over the course of the regular season , San Antonio proved to the best team in the league , as well as having the longest unbeaten winning streak during the year . Now down 2-1 in the series against Rick Carlisle’s players led by ageless wonder , Dirk Nowitzki, this contest has been busted wide open , with the likely series’ winner, being the team showing , that they can deal with whatever adversity is thrown within their midst . In two successive losses , the Spurs have shown themselves , not to be that team , as the Mavericks have simply outplayed their Western Conference rivals. Monday night’s game , when the series resumes at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas , Texas , should tell us a great deal about the mindset of both teams , with the San Antonio Spurs, seeking to erase that 2-1 deficit and squaring the series, at two games apiece (2-2).

If the San Antonio Spurs are now seen in an unenviable position against the Dallas Mavericks , then the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies could prove to be as equally daunting a task for the Thunder. Truth be known , in a seven game series , I would not bet against the Grizzlies to beat any of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference , and yes that does include the less than imposing Miami Heat , who are physically and mentally soft against teams, b that are far more imposing . Were it not for the dexterity shown by LeBron James , the Heat would be no better than the third or fourth best team in the East and no better than the fifth best team in the West. All that glitters is not necessarily gold and the Miami Heat as assembled by Pat Riley this season , have proven to be at best , perhaps , “fool’s gold” with a little bit of pixie dust sprinkled in for good measure ! Likely , League MVP for this season , Kevin Durant has shown every bit of his skill-set in this playoff series against the Zach Randolph led Grizzlies and that particular match-up between Randolph and Durant has been very enticing to watch, as both players have excelled in various areas of their respective games .

When the two teams, resume their series in a pivotal game five , set for Tuesday night , with everything to play for . There is no doubt in my mind, that the winner of that contest should be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the series ! A great deal is expected of the Scott Brooks’ coached Thunder and failure at this point of the postseason , would be seen, as not only traumatic for the organization , but pretty much summing up their season, as one of , failing to meet expectations of the front office led by Sam Presti and CEO & Chairman Clay Bennett .

Inasmuch as I hate to say this , but with these recent revelations about Donald Sterling, long known to me , having studied in-depth, a great deal about the owner and his ownership of the franchise , his treatment of current and former employees , including the lawsuit taken out against Sterling, by former front office executive Elgin Baylor . Nothing, would now give me greater pleasure, than to see the Los Angeles Clippers now bow out of the postseason, with the team being derailed by the Golden State Warriors ! As to the NBA hierarchy, taking action against the owner , there is about as much chance of that happening as an elephant devouring its own fecal matter ! Fuck it, if a self-absorbed asshole such as David Stern can overlook the boorish behavior of the Clippers’ owner , then why should I expect Adam Silver to be any different ? I mean , the current commissioner, has yet to issue a public statement on the matter , even after weekend news’ cycle within the league , was simply overshadowed by this story , but yet fans believe that the NBA is a league ran by intelligent individuals ? Fuck no , and it never has been , nor will it ever be , even with the mindless morons who still continue to drink out of the porcelain pot , that David Stern continues to piss and defecate, in ! Please seek out tangible evidence and do not buy into every piece of bullshit, ushered down by a league that is now simply devoid of intelligence, at just about every level from the league hierarchy on down to the owners , general managers , players, union and the officials themselves !

The NBA has become an all-out defective league , where sheer incompetency , masks the lack of real acumen , and where excuses are sought by the players , owners and the league’s executives , for their ongoing incompetency and where dumb ass fans , continue to buy into their never-ending bullshit !

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Picture gallery .

In light of this ongoing story within the NBA, which has now cast a giant shadow over the NBA postseason and the lack of action by the league hierarchy . Do you believe that Adam Silver can in all good conscience ignore these allegations and turn a blind eye to it all or do you believe that some form of action is called from the NBA Commissioner ? Also, which of the playoff series now in session , do you think will provide the biggest surprise in terms of a possible upset ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for your continued support of this site, as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling , right, and girlfriend V. Stiviano , left, watch the Clippers play the Sacramento Kings during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The NBA is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to Stiviano. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement Saturday, April 26, 2014, that the league is in the process of authenticating the validity of the recording posted on TMZ’s website. Bass called the comments “disturbing and offensive” . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ……. @copyrighted material all rights reserved

(2) From left to right from the Los Angeles Clippers , Blake Griffin , Chris Paul and head coach Doc Rivers . Paul as Executive Director of the NBPA (Players Union) has yet to issue a public statement concerning the alleged racial epithets used by team owner Donal Sterling in an expletive racial taunt to his girlfriend V Stiviano. The Clippers’ front office , has yet to issue a statement from any high-ranking executive within the organization . Given the lack of action by the league hierarchy , who it is now said that they are conducting their own investigation into the matter , One has to ask , if this has been a pattern of behavior with Donald Sterling , going back several years , why is it only now , that Adam Silver’s office has sought to take action ? Repeatedly, during David Stern’s tenure as commissioner , Sterling’s behavior was known to be boorish with various comments attributed to him, often denigrating women and minorities . Yet, somehow this was all overlooked by Silver’s predecessor . AP Photo / Jason Moore ….

(3) NBA Commissioner Adam Silver , foreground , and his predecessor David Stern are seen here after the newly installed commissioner succeeded Stern and his thee decade long tenure as the league’s highest ranking executive during that time-frame. Silver , is now said to be conducting an investigation into the actions of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling . A pattern of behavior by the franchise owner has been repeatedly ignored by the former league executive , but yet Stern , himself , has yet to answer those allegations , but somehow , anal retentive fans view the former commissioner as having been a great executive and ambassador for the league. LOL,LOL,LOL !! Getty Images / Rod Harper …..

(4) Charlotte Bobcats’ owner , Michael Jordan is seen here congratulating LeBron James of the Miami Heat . James and his teammates would go on to .defeat (109-98) the Bobcats in game four played at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte , North Carolina , sweeping their Eastern Conference rivals 4-0 in their first round series’ match-up . Getty Images / Tim Bevan …

(5) The Washington Wizards’ back-court of Bradley Beal (3) and John Wall (2) now have the team on the brink of eliminating the Chicago Bulls (1-3) , with the Wizards taking a 3-1 lead in their series . Game five takes place tonight at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois , when the Bulls play host to their conference rivals . AP Photo / Tom Murphy …..

(6) Boris Diaw (33) of the San Antonio Spurs, who alongside teammate Manu Ginobli , played a major contributory role , in the Spurs squaring their series against the Dallas Mavericks , defeating the hosts 93-89 in their game four contest played at the American Airlines Arena , in Dallas, Texas on Monday night , 28th April, 2014. Getty Images/ Rachel Adams …….

(7) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Zach Randolph (50) of the Memphis Grizzlies are the primary reasons why their respective teams have made the NBA Playoffs and the series’ contest between these uniquely gifted players has been one of the highlights of the postseason so far . Tied at two games (2-2) apiece, this series is now about to get even more suspenseful , when their pivotal game five takes place tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , in front of what is sure to be packed venue for this contest . AP Photo / Mason Foster …..

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What the major newspapers are now saying about the Los Angeles Clippers and Donald Sterling . Click on the links shown below to view. And for the uninitiated lame @ss fans who still believe David Stern to have been of true benefit to the league then please explain succinctly did he seek to overlook the earlier bad acts of the Clippers’ owner ? Or will you continue to be and act as apathetic as former NBA Commissioner and his now newly elected successor Adam Silver ? If there has been a pattern of behavior with the Clippers’ owner , why the fu$k is everyone now acting so surprised by this latest revelation ? Are these NBA fans and journalists alike, that f##king stupid ?

USA Today :: Jeff Ziglittt :: How will NBA’s Adam Silver punish Donald Sterling?

Boston Globe :: Bob Ryan :: Donald Sterling profile not a pretty picture

Los Angles Times :: Bill Dwyre :: Donald Sterling scandal merits an over the top reaction

Washington Post :: Mark Berman :: Why the world finally noticed Donald Sterling’s appalling history

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tophatal ………. 04/28/204

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The what if premise and what could or would, actually happen …

The what if premise and what could or would, actually happen …

By tophatal ………..

A friend and I, were recently discussing the state of the economy and as we know, figures normally offered up by so many of the federal agencies ( Commerce Department) tend to overstate , rather than giving a truly exact figure. Done more so to impress , more than anything else, while the politicians themselves ,seek to take credit for initiatives that they believe , they originally set into motion. Given that, individuals, such as House members Paul Ryan, Senator Rand Paul , Senator Mitch McConnell , John Boehner , Sen Charles E Schumer , Sen Robert Menendez , Harry Reid, Sen Ted Cruz and Pete Olsen , show a propensity for never-ending stupidity , as it relates to economic matters and that , they tend to now work under the premise of what ifs . I wonder, how they might feel , if the public were allowed to use the same premise, by suggesting, what if the US Congress were actually paid on performances by way of productivity and legislative measures passed , that actually prove to be of benefit , by actually truly creating growth in the economy ?

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Far too many idiots , are under the mistaken belief, that the private sector alone can be the biggest producers of jobs and investment within the economy . Consider the following, US companies are now sitting on a cash-pile of over $3.26 trillion ($3,260,000,000,000) , representing over 20% of the nation’s GDP (gross domestic product) , yet , when pressed to broach this subject, about why these corporations are not investing in jobs , infrastructure , much less capital investments , those who espouse a “conservative” opinion , are hard pressed to offer up a concise answer about the reasons why these companies are not investing. They may well point to the buoyancy of the stock market , with their being voluminous activity , by way either major business takeovers or increased profits , but that in of-itself, is not always considered to be a real indicator of a vibrant economy . Apathy on the part of the electorate and the very fact, that the members of the US Congress are not always clear speaking, when addressing the nuances and vagaries of macroeconomics , much less any type of governmental policy, be it, domestic or foreign, in nature. If you were informed, that for every dollar spent within the US economy, forty cents of that, was derived from government spending , one wonders how that might be addressed by those who seek to have massive reduction of spending without being able to suggest where they believe cuts should be made , other than to social welfare programs ?

Unfortunately, the country also possesses a leader , who has become something of a “dead weight” , not only in terms of a policy stance , but the indication is now here, to show that Barack Obama, flits from each issue, like a bee pollinating a flower , while in the hope, that the pollination will be a real success. His initiatives have been very much like that, without him being readily willing to admit to any failure during his tenure . With the mid-term elections now less than six months away , the nation is about to be “sold a bill of goods” , with each side pointing to the danger of electing or re-electing an opponent. It’s pretty much safe to say, no matter who gets elected or reelected , things are unlikely to change , as the status quo within both legislative chambers is likely to remain the same. The only thing, that actually separates a “Liberal” from a Conservative “ , just happens to be the depth of their deceit and corruptible practices . Altruism, simply goes out the door, once these officials have been elected to both chambers of the congress !

The NFL’s not so quiet off-season, has led to a stream of player movement , with veterans well as second and third year players, now finding a new home to display their skill-set. Granted, the contracts are not as steep, but , there have been cases, where some players have remained with their teams, having signed a contract extension . The Chicago Bears having rid themselves of Julius Peppers , somehow then saw fit to offer their veteran quarterback , Jay Cutler a seven-year $126 million contract , therein making Cutler the highest paid player in the NFL. Now take into account, that Jay Cutler’s playoff record has been far from stellar . In two playoff appearances, during the Bears 2010 playoff run , the player bears a 1-1 record, for which those performances, can best be described as being downright mediocre. GM Phil Emery and the Bears’ front office , were either of the opinion, that they can rally behind Cutler, with regard to the franchise’s future , with his being their best option to lead them to their goal of a Superbowl victory. Or they may well have felt that the player might well have been inclined to seek a trade ,with their being growing disillusionment among the fans of his not being able to lead the team deep into the postseason. A necessary trait that is desired, with any quarterback, seeking to lead a team to a Superbowl victory and Cutler, is no different from any of his peers within the game today.

The Chicago Bears, were far from convincing in 2013, having finished the season with an 8-8 record within the NFC North under head coach Marc Trestman . Many of their travails, stemmed from the inconsistency of the offense and their lackadaisical approach on defense . Yet, for those who remain stoic believers in Jay Cutler’s skill-set , I would suggest that at this stage of the eight year veteran’s career in the NFL, they begin to review the premise that he is indeed one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

Trestman I believe, will be able to correct the issues concerning his team, but with the off-season moves made by the organization, make the necessary room available via cap space available, to lure free agents and at the same time, be in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft. Chicago’s wants, are likely to encompass the need for a pass rusher, and one or two , defensive linemen. Yet, at the end of the day, that is by no means a certainty of where Marc Trestman, the coaching staff and front office are likely to discuss their primary focus in terms of the team’s requirements.

Last season’s dismal performance in the Superbowl , still looms large over not only Peyton Manning , but also over the remaining cast of teammates, still on the roster . The Broncos’ lopsided loss to the rampaging Seattle Seahawks, led by sophomore quarterback Russell Wilson , sent a somber reminder that just because, you are viewed as one of the all-time greats , it does not make you invincible . The fact that the two combatants in last season’s NFL finale, were deemed to be the two best teams , not solely based on their records alone , but also statistically, in terms of defense and offense. What the viewing fans were subjected to, via the live television broadcast , with tens of millions watching nationally and estimated 1.3 billion watching worldwide , might well have been the biggest ” black eye “ that the NFL has suffered in recent years , if it was the intention of the league hierarchy to sell that particular game as branded product” . If anything, it was simply an eyesore of unquantifiable magnitude . Suffice to say, Manning may well have given one of his worst postseason performances ever, but the action served up by his teammates was equally inept in terms of measure and substance . John Fox and his coaching staff may well need to look at the team’s secondary and assess the numerous areas, where they allowed the Seahawks tear through many of their flaws , warts and all.

The 2014 NFL season may well provide the fans of the league, the very last chance, to see the best both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, as they make one more tilt at adding to their respective postseason and Superbowl legacies . I do believe, that they are both capable of taking their teams back to the postseason, but the question remains, will they each, have enough in the tank, to actually get the job done ?

It does not pain me to say this, but there is a great deal of bull#hit, to be found within the blogging world , especially when it comes to the area of sports, and the very fact that many of the opinions being put down, are either half-baked, without merit or any common sense whatsoever ! With the recent acquisitions of wide receiver Eric Decker and running back Chris Johnson, one blogging contributor tried to suggest that overnight the New York Jets would immediately become a credible favorite to win the AFC East , because of the offensive firepower provided by both players. Now while I believe both Decker and Johnson, to be very good players at their respective positions, but I think that the contributor simply overlooked the fact about the Jets’ quarterback just happened to be last season. Anyone of the belief , that rookie Geno Smith had a very good year and was among the best of the rookie quarterbacks who saw action during 2013 , must be sadly mistaken, if they were under the impression that the AFC East signal caller was among the best of the rookies in question . Learning from one’s mistakes, actually shows signs of growth, but there was none to be seen from Smith over the course of the season.

Rex Ryan as head coach of the New York Jets, went through a tumultuous season in 2013, bedeviled by the fact, he had to deal with the issues of Mark Sanchez, .who has since departed from the Jets’ organization . Ryan failed to curtailed the exuberance and lack of understanding by his incumbent starting quarterback , and it was clear that beyond his own future being in jeopardy, along with that of his entire coaching staff , in particular quarterbacks’ coach David Lee , whose obvious tutelage of Smith left a great deal to be desired. How this all could be overlooked by the blogger who was seeking to show that the Jets’ quarterback was growing stature , leads me to believe that he simply lacked an original idea , much less the intelligence to see the obvious. Smith may have had a great college career, being among the very best, during his final year at West Virginia (Mountaineers) . But that in of-itself, has not been enough to remotely suggest that there is likely to be an improvement in his play during this upcoming season.

It would be fair to suggest, that since their appearance in the Superbowl in 2003 , with Bill Callahan , then as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders . In the aftermath of that loss, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, things have simply spiraled out of control for the once venerable and well-respected franchise. The coaching turnovers instigated by then owner Al Davis , his later death, with the passing of ownership to his son, Mark Davis . Yet, things continue to be as mediocre as it has ever been on all fronts , within the front office , to the personnel decisions being as it relates the draft and their ongoing acquisitions. The era of Carson Palmer, came and went without anyone actually noticing a damn thing ! As to the belief that All Pro Defensive player Nnamdi Asomugha was to be that game-changer that Raiders’ fans claimed him to be, well, let us just say, that Asmougha’s retirement from the game after something of a lackluster career, can only be highlighted by the fact, he is now married to one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses , in Kerry Washington.

In 2013, Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen struggled to get his team playing with any measure of competitiveness , never-mind, that within the AFC West , with the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs , San Diego Chargers to go alongside the dominant Denver Broncos made things all the more difficult within the division , for the beleaguered franchise. Defensively, the Raiders were nonplussed, performing with the modicum of mediocrity, one would come to expect of a franchise that has become one of the “major laughing stocks” of the NFL over the past decade . Not to be left out of the equation, was the absurdity of seeing the Raiders’ offense in motion. Coming off, a 4-12 season , it is easy to understand why the Oakland Raiders have continued to struggle over the past decade . There has been no form of leadership on the roster or from anyone on the coaching staff , along with the hyperbole over players such as Darren McFadden , Terrelle Pryor , Marcel Reese , Denarius Moore, Jeron Mastrud , Jason Hunter, LaMarr Houston , Nick Roach , Tracy Porter , Mike Jenkins and veteran Charles Woodson , whose best years are now behind him, that his best view , would come by use of rear view mirror !

For the hyperbole surrounding Terrelle Pryor, during his collegiate career at Ohio State (Buckeyes) , under the now disgraced former head coach , Jim Tressel . There is no denying the fact , that while the player is immensely talented , his lack of maturity and integrity , sullied his reputation and chance of being a high draft pick , had he declared for the NFL Draft under the usual circumstances. Instead , the quarterback was taken in the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft by the Oakland Raiders , with the thought that he would hone his craft , become a productive player in the NFL . If nothing else, there have been glimpses of brilliance from the player , but rarely anything, to really suggest that he is capable of leading a team at the highest level. Now after merely two years in the league, Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie and team owner Mark Davis, have made the decision that the Terrelle Pryor reign in Oakland , must now come to an immediate end. Pryor for his part, has landed on his feet, having been picked up by Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks, where in all likelihood, Pryor is likely to be the third on the team’s depth chart behind Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson . One cannot help but wonder, about what might have been, had Terrelle Pryor simply shown the promise seen at the collegiate level during his time with the Buckeyes. Instead, another overrated quarterback, falls by the wayside , though not yet on the scrap-heap , littered with passers, we have seen come and go over the past ten years within the NFL.

There has been a great deal written , in the lead-up the NFL Draft, as to whom , the prospective number one overall draft pick is likely to be. Now to my mind, in spite of the prestige that comes with such a choice for the team, said to be privileged with making that decision. The choice itself, does have its pratfalls, because a great deal , is not only made of that decision, but also of the financial outlay that is likely to be costly for a franchise, albeit, that there is now a rookie salary scale, now in place within the NFL , unlike from earlier years , past. In 2007, JaMarcus Russell , then the number one pick by the Oakland Raiders in the draft of that year , was afforded a rookie contract, that was nothing short of astonishing , as Al Davis made the decision to give the former LSU Tigers’ quarterback, a six-year $61 million deal , with $32 million in guaranteed money . Russell’s career began in a bluster and simply fizzled during the later years , with his offering nothing of substance during his stay in the NFL . Once again, the Raiders go out on a flier , taking a high risk player , without obtaining anything tangible in return, for the fruits of their labor. Due diligence and intelligence, is not something that is likely to be found in abundance within the Raiders’ organization and certainly not during the latter years of Al Davis’ reign or during that of his son , working with Reggie McKenzie.

The agents for Johnny Manziel , Jadeveon Clowney , Blake Bortles , Greg Robinson and Khalil Mack , are likely to be working frantically, to have their client be viewed as that desired number one pick , as well as being, the type of player, that a franchise can build around. Rarely, is that the case, with a number one pick in the NFL Draft, but there is always the exception to the rule. A case can be made that, Eli Manning in 2004 and Andrew Luck in 2012 , were the last two number one picks in the NFL Draft who can be looked upon as being picks, that have paid off hugely in terms of the dividends returned for their respective teams in the past eight years . Though this past season , Eli Manning and the New York Giants were an immense disappointment within the NFC East and the conference in its entirety . The thought, that the front office is now said to be considering demoting their two-time Superbowl winning quarterback and their drafting his heir-apparent, does seem nonsensical , when you consider the woes of the team were not solely Manning’s alone .

Nine years after the fallout, from Eli Manning’s refusal to go the San Diego Chargers, it does seem somewhat fortuitous , how the paths of Manning and Philip Rivers have remained intertwined , for right and wrong reasons, but one could also point to the fact, that their paths have also been exemplary , in terms of the success attained and the productivity of their respective careers .

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Picture gallery .

What do you expect to see during this off-season in the lead-up to the NFL Draft and do you believe that a number one pick is a likely guarantee of success for an NFL franchise ? Your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be relevant to the topic, as you see fit?

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) From left to right , Congress members , Sen Lamar Alexander , Eric Cantor , House Majority Leader , John Boehner , Sen Charles Schumer , Nancy Pelosi and Sen Harry Reid . Bilateral agreements now seem to be a thing of the past in Congress, but most certainly, a photo opportunity can never be missed by the members of the House and Senate . Getty Images North America/ Phil Thatcher …..

(2) Two of the NFL’s leading pass rushers and defensive linemen , left Julius Peppers , formerly of the Chicago Bears and now a member of the Green Bay Packers . Pictured with Peppers is Jared Allen (69) , whose departure from the Minnesota Vikings to remain in the NFC North , having signed with the Bears. The rivalry between these two players will continue as both seek to climb up the ladder , as each seeks to make a dent in the active sacks’ mark , where the all-time record is held by Hall of Famer …. Bruce Smith with 200 sacks . AP Photo/ Kevin Freeman ….

(3) Chicago Bears’ quarterback Jay Cutler (6) is seen here on the sidelines during a game played against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on the 22nd December , 2013. Also pictured is head coach Marc Trestman , whose team would suffer their biggest loss of the season , suffering a humiliating 54-11 defeat at the hands of the Chip Kelly coached Eagles. AP Photo / Phil Matthews …

(4) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks is congratulated by his opposite number , Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos, after the Seahawks’ surprisingly easy triumph in defeating the Broncos 48-3 in Superbowl 48 played at the MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey on the 2nd February , 2014 ., Manning had one his worst postseason performances of his illustrious NFL career. A shakeup has already began within the Broncos’ roster, with a number of notable departures during the off-season , led by Eric Decker and Champ Bailey , both seasoned veterans with the franchise. AP Photo / Chris Hall ……

(5) New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith is seen here with head coach Rex Ryan after the two celebrate a home victory during 2013 in a a game played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford, New Jersey,. The player was somewhat unflattering with his displays , during the season , blowing hot and cold , where there was a preponderance throw interceptions at the most inopportune of moments , while leading the team to rather sub-par record within the AFC East . Excuses are now being made for the rookie quarterback , although he was said to be one of the most efficient passers entering the NFL Draft last season. Somehow that all seemed to be lost on his proponents, who continue to show their apathy . Smith’s play rarely improved during the latter half of the season , leading the franchise to now acquiring veteran Michael Vick as his backup for the upcoming season. Getty Images / Tom Clarke …..

(6) Terrelle Pryor (2) of the Oakland Raiders is seen here being congratulated by head coach Dennis Allen after a ninety-yard . twelve-play drive during the game played against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California , last season . Pryor was traded by the franchise , having acquired Matt Schaub as a free agent during the off-season . Allen was said to be openly critical of Pryor’s agent, Jerome Stanley , who criticized the organization, for what he believes to be the mistreatment of his client, by the Oakland Raiders . Terrelle Pryor and Stanley , have since parted ways, without their said to being any acrimony between the player and his former agent. AP Photo / Rusty Shaw ……….

(7) Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants and Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers will be forever be joined at the hips after the events that were unfurled during the 2004 NFL Draft , after Manning and his father , Archie Manning refused to join the Chargers . After the hostilities wore off , Manning would join the Giants with Rivers ending up in San Diego. How different things might have been , had the Giants’ quarterback plied his trade in California , remains a bone of continued speculation , with the player having led the franchise to their two most recent Superbowl victories , both over the New England Patriots . AP/REUTERS/ Anthony Shaffer ………….

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The dawn of a new day or back to the trouble and strife that we have seen in recent years ?

The dawn of a new day or back to the trouble and strife that we have seen in recent years ?

Three weeks into the MLB season and several teams around the league are off to promising starts , where, others are simply struggling to find some semblance of consistency and rhythm to their games. Now while the watch is on, as Los Angeles Angels’ slugger and two-time NL MVP , Albert Pujols veers towards hitting his five hundredth home run in Major League Baseball , a feat managed by a select few within it game . It is easy to understand, why this particular achievement is still revered within baseball. Granted, in recent years, with the advent of the steroid era, hitting home runs at a pace not often seen in baseball has actually not only stymied the game but also has the fans now wondering which players are “said to be clean” and which are or can be viewed as “cheats” . Pujols, I believe will be considered to be among the former of the two categories mentioned , but that is not to say, that there have not been doubters out there concerning his achievements , with their being speculation, because of the recent injuries suffered by the player , often viewed in some circles as a precursor in the rampant use of steroids. The player has never tested positive at any point in his career to date and hopefully, he never will.

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If Pujols and his Angels’ teammates are to succeed this season, then the team will have to put up a much more spirited effort, than has been seen over the past two seasons. Mike Scioscia and his staff are under a great deal of pressure to show that they are capable of making it a contest within the AL West in particular , where the Oakland Athletics have been the dominant team within the division over the past two years as the two-time defending champions . For Angels’ team owner, Arte Moreno , these past four years, have been particularly frustrating, unnerving, having spent capriciously in assembling a roster , that simply has not lived up to expectations. Moreno and GM Jerry Dipoto , will certainly have to assess the setup within the franchise at the end of this season, starting off with the managerial staff and the player personnel in particular , which has not gelled and played as a cohesive unit.

With a record of 8-8 (.500) as of the 19th April , the Los Angeles Angels currently sit third within the AL West behind divisional leaders the Oakland A’s (11-5) , second placed Texas Rangers (10-7) , beneath them the Seattle Mariners (7-9) and the last placed Houston Astros (5-12) firmly entrenched at the bottom of the divisional standings. I would like to think that the Astros in particular can avoid another sub-par season , but having gone three years of consecutive 100 game losses . It does beg the question , why should this year, be any different from the three of the past , covering 2011 , 2012 and 2013 ?

Coming off an 11-3 loss to the Oakland A’s would suggest that the season will be a long and arduous one for Bo Porter and his Astros’ managerial staff , as they look to overcome their problems of the past. The team , has continued to play poorly and the results, have simply mirrored that fact . Things are unlikely to change, when the two teams meet again on Saturday afternoon at the O Coliseum, in Oakland, California , the second of their triumvirate of contests of this weekend schedule of games in the Majors. In the case of the Los Angeles Angels , they are the guests of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit , Michigan , where they will look to follow-up their 11-6 victory over the Tigers in Friday’s game .

Undoubtedly, Albert Pujols’ career will merit, his being inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Seen as one of the most prolific and productive players of his generation , Pujols has not left anyone in doubt that since his entry into the Majors , his talents cannot be doubted. In some circles the belief now seems to be , that mantle has now been passed to the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera , and a case for that can definitely be made. However, Cabrera has yet to reach the plateau of having been a World Series’ winner , unlike his Angels’ compatriot , who has tasted that success twice with the St Louis Cardinals .

Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers, have a great deal to prove this season, after recent postseason failures , had many questioning the toughness of the team. With Jim Leyland having stepped down from his position as manager if the team , his successor, Brad Ausmus has been entrusted by GM Dave Dombrowski and owner , Michael Ilitch to make another attempt at securing a world championship for one of baseball’s most venerable franchises . While I believe the Tigers to be a very good team during the regular season , and Cabrera’s exploits have been well chronicled , about have the exploits also of pitcher Justin Verlander . However, with the recent rise in the profile of Max Scherzer and his winning of the AL Cy Young in 2013 , there seems to be the common belief that the Tigers cannot be discounted this season. That may well be the case, with their dominance of the AL Central , but I believe that Terry Francona and the Cleveland Indians could make that premise all the more interesting this within the division and when these two combatants meet.

The AL East this season , is liable to be as competitive as ever , with the Boston Red Sox looking to make a successful defense of their divisional title that they won with ease in 2013, under newly installed manager John Farrell . The noticeable difference between Farrell and his predecessor Bobby Valentine , was the professionalism and attention to detail, because, with Valentine , the attention to detail , was sorely lacking , with the then incumbent manager, choosing to apportion blame elsewhere for his and that of the team’s failings in 2012 , that led to a last place finish within the division and their missing the postseason altogether.

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington during the off-season, made a number of changes to last season’s team adding and subtracting as he saw fit , while not seeking to over commit the ball-club financially by tying up too much money , solely in one player. That may well have been the primary reason why Cherington saw fit not to re-sign Jacoby Ellsbury to a long-term contract . Granted, Ellsbury was able to secure a deal , by signing with the New York Yankees for what now seems an extraordinarily exuberant contract , that to my mind overvalued a player , who over the past two seasons has spent a great deal of time on the disabled list. One might be able to suggest that Jacoby Ellsbury played a major role in last season’s playoff success for the Red Sox , as they went on to win their third World Series’ title in the past eight years. Yet, the feeling now seems to be, the Yankees’ gain, is not seen as a major loss to the current world champions. That could well prove to come back and haunt the team, should Ellsbury rebound and have a very productive season for his new team . So far, the player is off to a somewhat slow start, but manager Joe Girardi believes that his All Star will be able to provide a great deal of productivity for the team from an offensive and defensive standpoint throughout much of the season.

It is my own personal opinion that Ellsbury was brought in to supply the New York with the leadership sought upon Derek Jeter’s retirement ! That trait, certainly was not shown player by Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia , Alex Rodriguez and now belatedly by Alfonso Soriano . Granted, Teixeira’s popularity among the fans , makes him a natural, but his repeated bouts on the team’s disabled list in recent years , makes it suspect that he could be an ever-present feature on the team for an entire season ,while remaining productive to that end. Jacoby Ellsbury does possess some of the traits shown by Jeter , but he lacks the all-round appeal, that one believes would have the fans convincingly believe that he can assume the role of leader on this team . GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees’ organization , simply did not prepare for this day , Jeter’s impending retirement and at the same time , it should be noted, that there has been little faith shown by the managerial or front office staff in the farm system in seeking the development of the players at the AAA or AA levels within the organization. Anyone who seeks to state that to be the contrary , should simply look at the makeup of the team’s present roster and their active players .

It remains to be seen how Girardi and his staff handle this season and the expectations from this team, by way of the fans , who undoubtedly are hoping that the Yankees may the postseason and excel , making their way to another World Series’ triumph, which would in fact be their twenty-eighth overall .

I am not so sure that having a $220 million plus payroll , can always place you, in a position, to be an outright success ! Clearly, that was not the case last season for the Los Angeles Dodgers and their manager Don Mattingly. In what was said to be an expectantly dominant season ended with a whimper as they succumbed to the St Louis Cardinals in a rather lopsided and way too uninteresting NLCS Pennant series . The only real excitement provided by the Dodgers in 2013 beyond the play of their now troubled rookie Yasiel Puig , was the team’s mid-season run , where they went 42-8 during a fifty-game stretch , the longest such streak in the Majors last season. One would have expected a great deal more from a team, where almost at every position , there was an All Star caliber player on the Dodgers’ payroll for their everyday lineup ? I believe however , complacency within the front office , became contagious on the field of play , as well as among the managerial staff , which ultimately led to the Dodgers’ eventual demise during the postseason .

In 2014, Mattingly and his staff will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed and should he prove to be unsuccessful , then it is my belief that team President Stan Kasten will likely be given the go ahead by lead owners , Mark Walter , Todd Boehly and Magic Johnson to let go of the team’s likeable and well-respected manager ! This organization is need of success now and winning the World Series remains their ultimate goal, but simply playing at being winners , with certain members of the ownership group making bold statements , that plainly were unattainable , only continues to make the organization , one of ridicule ! . Bear in mind , it has been over twenty-five years since the Dodgers won the last of their World Series , with the intervening years their having failed miserably to add to that legacy . As likeable as Tommy Lasorda remains , his time has come and gone , and simply hanging unto his anecdotes about the Dodgers’ once mighty greatness, means absolutely nothing today , where the attention span of some fans, barely lasts more than five minutes, if that , at all .

A team ERA , of 2.40 and the Atlanta Braves , lead baseball in that specific category , rather surprising, when you consider, there were some suggesting, that the Tampa Bay Rays , St Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees , Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Detroit Tigers were all said to have better starting rotations. The loss of Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen to what seem to be long-term injuries , has the Braves’ DL looking like a triage unit. However, Braves’ pitching coach Roger McDowell has been able to work miracles , using a patch-work rotation to start the season , much to the surprise of the Braves’ fans and the general onlookers who are keenly interested in the game of baseball . Whether or not, the NL East division leading Atlanta Braves (12-6) can keep up that momentum, with the pitchers leading the way, remains to be seen. Yet, certainly, through the month of April thus far , this team has been the most impressive in the Majors by far in terms of their pitching , and the stats certainly do bear this out in terms of the statistics that really count , Fredi Gonzalez’s pitchers have excelled, while his hitters have been almost as productive .

Having taken two out of three in their recent series , a triumvirate of games played against the New York Mets played at Citi-Field , in Flushing, New York. Fredi Gonzalez and his team had to have been impressed with the performances, in many of the contests in question, as well as in the 4-3 loss to their divisional counterparts. Next up for the Braves , will be a three-game home series at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia , where their opponents will be the Miami Marlins (9-10) , whose season so far can be best described as understated and uninspiring . The first of those games will be played on Monday afternoon , with Tom Koehler taking the mound for the Marlins against Julio Teheran of the Braves , in what is likely to be a very good pitching contest , between these two starting pitchers.

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Picture gallery .

What do you hope to see unfold, over the coming months of the schedule within baseball? Which teams and players, have impressed you the most, with the season still in its infancy? Leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Albert Pujols (5) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim gets ready to field the ball during the sixth inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 20, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Angels 2-1 . Also pictured , is the Tigers’ Torii Hunter . Pujols sits two home runs away, from reaching the plateau of five hundred career home runs , with a select few players having achieved that milestone. Getty Images North America / Leon Halip ….

(2) Los Angeles’ GM Jerry Dipoto is seen here with team owner Arte Moreno at Angels’ Ballpark , in Anaheim, California . The duo will have a number of decisions to make during the season and offs-season as it relates to the lineup , should the team not be doing well during the season. At the same time , there are likely to be rumblings , as many might now believe it time for the organization to actually dismiss manager , Mike Sciocsia and several members of his managerial staff . AP Photo / Adam Ross ……..

(3) Detroit Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski is seen here with the team’s newly installed manager Brad Ausmus , who succeeded the now retired Jim Leyland . Ausmus takes over a team that has been dominant in the regular season over the past five years , but has failed to win a World Series’ title in spite of two appearances in baseball’s postseason finale over the past six years , first in 2006 and then again in 2012 . AP Photo/ Mark Patterson ……

(4) Seen here from left to right, are the Boston Red Sox’s team President Larry Lucchino , GM Ben Cherington , Bobby Valentine and team owner, John W Henry . Valentine’s tenure with the ball-club lasted merely a year , with the then beleaguered manager apportioning blame elsewhere for his own managerial incompetency and also stating that he was never truly given the backing of the front office to make changes as he saw fit with regard to the team’s lineup in 2012, with the club failing to make the postseason ending up with a last place finish in the AL East , that season. Getty Images North America / Mark Hughes ……

(5) Boston Red Sox manager , John Farrell is seen here with 2013 World Series’ MVP , David Ortiz , having signed a contract extension with the Red Sox, that will the DH now become a fixture with the team over the next several seasons . Ortiz was the ball-club’s top offensive performer in the postseason and was simply explosive in the World Series itself against the St Louis Cardinals . Also pictured far right is GM Ben Cherington . Getty Images North America / Phil Robinson …..

(6) Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers is seen here with team manager Don Mattingly . After a stellar season in 2013 for the team , the manager and organization are hoping that the player can reproduce the productivity shown during the season . AP Photo / Paul Mercer …..

(7) Aaron Harang of the Atlanta Braves who leads the team and the league with season low ERA of < .70 has gotten the the Braves off to a very good start , with the team leading the NL and the Majors with a team low 2.40 ERA . This has been one of the contributing factors in the team having one of the best records in all of baseball at this point of the season . AP Photo/ Ian Mitchell …..

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When is it said to be right, to be politically correct?

When is it said to be right, to be politically correct?

In recent months and weeks there has been an ongoing debate , that quite literally few members of the public are said to be interested in. The NFL franchise , the Washington Redskins have been the center of an ongoing debate concerning the organization’s name, use of the word “Redskins” is seen as an affront to the Native American tribes , that were in fact the first inhabitants of the country.

For team owner , Daniel ‘Dan’ Snyder and specifically the NFL hierarchy , the issue has been rarely broached or addressed in full and become a matter of public debate in any type of forum. The print media, merely seeks to make this, their issue of the moment, as when they see fit and rarely have they sought to discuss , other issues such as the ongoing lack of funding provided to the Department of the Interior , who in fact are directly responsible for dealing with Native Indian issues , nationwide . Bear in mind also , the ongoing rise in crime, lack of employment opportunities, education, collegiate educational opportunities , but overall, actual direct medical care to many of the tribes on many of the reservations nationwide. Yet, here we are, in the midst of an issue using the word Redskins, which is said to be deemed derogatory among Native American Indians ? How insane is that meant to be?

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The Redskins’ franchise, through no fault of their own, have been caught within the midst of this debate with the organization being criticized on all fronts, most notably with former PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay III , becoming a vocal opponent of any type of association with the NFL franchise, albeit, that Snyder, has made every effort to make use of his wealth to aid a number of Native American organizations with charitable donations and directly with programs aimed in educating children from various tribes nationwide. I believe this discussion, to blurred on so many levels, because the league itself , has no wish to be part of this ongoing progress. At the same time , if using the word Redskins is a said to cause Begay , himself a Native American Indian, , such distress. Then why has he not shown similar outrage, with the usage of the word, ” Seminole ” , as it relates to the use of that word in the naming of the Florida State Seminoles ? Granted , with regard to the Seminoles and the use there as it relates to the collegiate program , there also seems to be an ongoing dialog there , that has yet to be fully addressed on a national level, but for the moment , it seems to be overlooked and to be playing no part of the ongoing debate concerning the Washington Redskins.

Courtesy of USA Today

Washington Redskins foundation loses another event sponsor

By Erik Brady, USA Today Sports

Notah Begay/

Notah Begay Associated Press Rick Portnoy

The Notah Begay III Foundation pulled its support from this weekend’s Arizona golf tournament to benefit scholarships for Native American students when it learned the title sponsor was the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation.

“I find it underhanded and despicable that the Washington football team would co-opt this event,” Crystal Echo Hawk, NB3 foundation executive director, told USA TODAY Sports on Sunday. “As soon as we found out about their involvement we withdrew our support.”

Begay, a four-time PGA Tour winner and an analyst with the Golf Channel, is Navajo, Isleta Pueblo and San Felipe Pueblo. He is a longtime critic of the Washington team name, which he called “a very clear example of institutionalized degradation” on ESPN last year.

MORE: Nonprofit National Indian Gaming Association pulls support

Echo Hawk, who is Pawnee, said the NB3 Foundation was asked in February to donate silent auction items for a golf tournament to be held in Chandler, Ariz., this month; the foundation donated golf apparel.

When she found out Friday that Saturday’s event was sponsored by the NFL team’s foundation, she called the radio station that asked for the donation. Echo Hawk spoke to Tony Little, general manager of Arizona radio station KTNN, and demanded that NB3’s name be removed from the event officially called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (OAF) 1st Annual KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, has not seen fit to immerse himself in any part of the ongoing dialog concerning the Washington Redskins and the issue of the franchise’s name , albeit it , that the subject, concerns one of the NFL’s most prominent teams, and one which draws a fan-base beyond the greater Maryland area , rather than it simply being close in proximity to the nation’s capital. Personally, I believe that the commissioner tends to be only drawn to battles that he believes that he can win , while his image and that of the league’s remains intact ! Here , it might well be the one real subject , that Roger Goodell may well feel, that no one can actually be victorious in. Yet, without his offering up any type of public comment, either directly from himself or from a spokesperson within his office , we will never know how he views this ongoing debate.

The idiocy here, does appears to be, that while Notah Begay seeks the Washington Redskins to bear some responsibility for what he believes to be some type of slight over the name of a franchise, that has been existence for over seven decades , but yet somehow he has not seen fit to question the lack of opportunities provided to his people by the US government , that comes by way of the Department of the Interior , headed by Sally Jewell . Be it the budgetary constraints placed on Jewell’s agency by the government or the very fact , that there is said to be high levels of corruption within the upper echelons of a number of Native American tribes, with regard to the disbursement of the revenues from the casinos, that were built on tribal lands, of which those profits are meant to be used on welfare programs for per capita , within the Native American population. Somehow, what oversight there is meant to be , by the DOI ,through the National Indian Gaming Commission is either nonexistent , or those heading that specific entity, are in collusion with those behind the ongoing corruption .

If Notah Begay can seemingly overlook that issue, merely to shift the focus from something that is far more acute and prevalent within his race . Then clearly, as a spokesperson for his people, he is doing them a great injustice and disservice with this current stance. Failures by a federal agency, are being overlooked , in order, that a subject, now being broached, albeit, that the echoes of that matter , is now being joined by other tribes, who feel , that now is time for the Redskins’ organization to discuss the issue of a name change. Either, they are completely happy with their treatment, as being meted out by the federal government , while having nothing better to do, than to now seek some type of recourse from a sport’s franchise, which in no way, was it responsible for their plight, as it now stands .

Mike Shanahan’s failures last season as the head coach of the Washington Redskins, were greatly magnified with the team falling apart at the seams and their being no leadership shown on or off the field of play. As to the idiocy, that the team’s quarterback , Robert Griffin III bore a great deal of responsibility for Redskins’ poor season and their 3-13 record within the NFC East , that led to the firing of Shanahan and several members of his coaching staff from last season. Dan Snyder and GM Bruce Allen , simply had enough of the ongoing incompetency of the former Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders’ head coach and the very fact that he sought not to discuss many of the team’s woes during the season. Furthermore, from a defensive and offensive standpoint, the Redskins were found wanting in just about every aspect of their game. That being said, Shanahan’s dismissal , while being viewed as the best thing that could have happened to the Washington Redskins, his successor might not bring on the same sort of exuberance and joy as would be first thought. The hiring of Jay Gruden might well be seen as a positive in some circles , but in reality, it could end up being as big a mistake, as Shanhan’s original hire alongside that of son, Kyle Shanahan as the team’s offensive coordinator. Never mind the fact , that Mike Shanahan was among the highest paid head coaches in the NFL , earning a reputed $7 million a year .

At the time of his firing, Shanahan , was still owed two years on the remainder of his five-year contract. Way too costly a mistake , for the type of incompetency shown by head coach in 2013. What might be even more exacerbating for the Redskins’ fans, was the very fact, that the team was coming off a postseason appearance and a divisional title in 2012 , with a belief that in 2013 , there would be a marked improvement in terms of their on the field performances . Instead, beyond the injuries , regression, lack of leadership and a lack of coaching acumen, all having played a part in the Washington Redskins’ fall from grace.

While Jay Gruden, has proven to be a great coaching assistant, having held several positions around the NFL during the course his career , as well as serving under his brother, now an ESPN analyst and commentator, Jon Gruden . It must be said, his being placed into the cauldron of being the head coach of one of the league’s more high profiled teams will bring about a great deal of scrutiny and with that a great deal of expectation . Jay Gruden, is likely to bring about a more aggressive style of play, with a more pass oriented offense , playing to the strengths of Robert Griffin III. However, with the team’s acquisition of DeSean Jackson, to go alongside incumbents , Alfred Morris, wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan . The running and receiving game of the Redskins should see greater visibility this upcoming season than was witnessed in 2013. Defensively, the team will also have to show great deal more resilience than shown through much of last year , where the secondary left a great deal to be desired. For defensive and offensive coordinators, Jim Haslett and Sean McVay , their assessing the player personnel , will go a long way in determining, how Jay Gruden, is best likely to use his players this upcoming season.

While I have always believed, that NFL a franchise, should have a great backup to the starting quarterback. For the Washington Redskins, they should consider themselves extremely lucky, with the fact that they possess Kirk Cousins in that role. Cousins has proven to be a more than adequate substitute that position, but his ambitions are now, to be that of a starter and not in a secondary role to a player, he may well now be believe that he is now the equal of. Cousins, who was a fourth round draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft , a class deemed to be and have been one of the best crop of quarterbacks to have entered the NFL over the past fifteen years. With their now being rumors circulating, that Kirk Cousins is desiring a trade, as the opportunities to be or remain a starter, are likely to be greatly diminished with a return to health of Robert Griffin. It will be interesting to see whether or not this opens up an opportunity for GM Bruce Allen to use the backup as trade bait , to move up the draft ladder, to gain a pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft, having forfeited their original number two pick to the St Louis Rams. Certainly, there are likely to be a number of teams around the league, in need of a player with Kirk Cousins’ ability to assist with their pass offense.If Bruce Allen were to get a mid-first round pick in exchange for Kirk Cousins , then I believe, that some team , would be amenable to such an offer !

There may well have been a lot of criticism leveled at Robert Griffin III last season , much of it justified , as the player never fully recovered from his injuries. Yet, there seemed to be no concern by Mike Shanahan or his son , offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan , to have the offensive line actually , protect the quarterback , who just happens to be the team’s most valuable asset and face of the franchise and their long-term future. Granted, RGIII did himself no favors, by trying to be the hero, when all that was being asked of him, was to simply be conservative and play error free football over the course of the season . Looking back , it was plain for all to see that the sophomore quarterback, simply forgot what made him such a blistering talent in 2012 , and during the Redskins’ somewhat short postseason run of that year. If it is, Griffin’s intent to lead the team back to where he believes they belong, under the guidance of Jay Gruden and his staff, then the player will have to definitely raise the level of his play, to position himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. The evidence was there for all to see in 2012 and I seriously doubt, that the former Baylor star would like to see a repeat of last season , once the 2014 Redskins’ season gets underway !

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In light of the points raised within this article, what thoughts if any, do you have concerning the stance now being taken by Notah Begay III and do you believe them to be misguided or actually , correct ? Also, how competitive do you think that the Washington Redskins will be, this upcoming season and are they likely to pose a serious threat to the other residents within the NFC East ? Do leave a response on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject and thanks as usual for your continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) Native American Indians are seen here protesting in close proximity of Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland, the stadium in which Washington Redskins’ regular season games are played . Over the past five seasons , the strains of more tribes, thronging in support of this issue, has caught the nation’s attention , as well as that of the print and television media . However, the NFL hierarchy , has not issued a statement concerning the matter and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, simply has not discussed the matter at any great length in addressing the fans , press or members of any of the Native American tribes, voicing their concerns . Getty Images North America/ Ian Marks ….

(2) A late night vigil is held outside the Washington Redskins’ training facility in Richmond , Virginia by Native American Indians voicing their disapproval of the word ” Redskins” as the name of the NFL franchise . AP Photo / Isabel Hughes ….

(3) Washington Redskins’ owner , Dan Snyder, left , is seen here alongside the team’s general manager Bruce Allen as the two leave an official NFL function that discussed the scheduling of this past season’s NFL Superbowl staged at the Met-Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey . The tow executives are facing vocal opposition, with regard to the name of the NFL franchise which Native American Indians believe to be derisory and derogatory. Snyder has been very direct, in stating that the seven-decade old franchise will not make a name change, in light of the growing controversy. The NFL hierarchy have failed to discuss this matter directly , leaving it solely as a matter between the Redskins and dissenting Native American tribes. AP Photo / Chris Harper …

(4) Mike Shanahan , and his son , Kyle Shanahan are seen here along sidelines at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland during a regular season game last season . The pairing of father and son had a horrible season, as the 2012 defending NFC East champions fell apart , with the team ending their schedule with a 3-13 record in the division , and one of the worst records in the entire league in 2013. Both were dismissed by GM Bruce Allen, with the elder Shanahan still owed on the remainder of his then, existing contract. Kyle Shanahan has since rebounded , having signed on to become the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns , which is currently coached by first time head coach Mike Pettine . Getty Images / Rob Porter ….

(5) From left to right , PGA Tour golfer , Mike Weir , Notah Begay III , Dr Mathura Santosham , Center Director of American Indians Healthcare Partners in association with Johns Hopkins Hospital , Ventura Lovato , Manager of the Vision Center for Native Americans , Tiger Woods and Camilo Villegas . Begay has been very vocal in his opposition and the use of the word Redskin , as used and depicted by NFL franchise the Washington Redskins . In recent weeks the former PGA Tour golfer, has withdrawn his charitable foundation, NB3 Foundation’s sponsorship of a celebrity pro-am golf tournament, where the franchise’s own foundation was a primary sponsor . The Washington Redskins’ Foundation in years earlier, had been a large donor to the NB3 Foundation as well as a co-sponsor of a number of nationwide health initiatives by Begay’s foundation. Getty Images North America / Rick Maslin ………..

(6) Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is seen here being congratulated by her predecessor , Ken Salazar , as she began her term in 2012 during the second term of President Barack Obama . Jewell’s issues as head of this Federal Agency , has been one of dealing with rising crime on a number of tribal reservations , prolific drug use, among young teens, lack of educational opportunities at the collegiate level and that of widespread corruption within a number of Native American Tribes, as it relates to revenues derived from the gaming casinos. AP/REUTERS/ Max Sellars …….

(7) CLEVELAND OH,. DECEMBER 16th , 2012 . Injured Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) , left, and quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) sit on the bench late in the 4th quarter as the Washington Redskins defeat the Cleveland Browns 38 – 21 at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland OH, December 16, 2012 . Cousins , now believes that he is ready to become a starter in the NFL , having substituted for Robert Griffin III during the times that the incumbent, was sidelined by an injury . Both quarterbacks were picks by the Washington Redskins in the 2012 NFL Draft , for which there several players at the position who were seen as top-notch talent . Griffin was the number two quarterback taken behind Andrew Luck, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts , that year . Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images …..

(8) Wide receiver DeSean Jackson , having been waived by the Philadelphia Eagles , the player signed with divisional rivals the Washington Redskins , a four-year $32 million deal of which $16 million was guaranteed money . Jackson hopes to be productive addition to the Redskins’ offense and a likely target of Robert Griffin in what may well be a pass-oriented attack initiated by new head coach Jay Gruden . AP Photo/ Tom Carter ….

(9) Jay Gruden , head coach of the Washington Redskins is seen here alongside GM Bruce Allen after the much-traveled assistant speaks to the convened press at Fedex Field , in Landover , Maryland , having agreed to succeed Mike Shanahan , who was fired by the organization after a sub-par season in 2013. Gruden an experienced offensive coordinator, hopes to make the Redskins offense more potent , with his being a strong proponent of a pass offense , but that is not to state the effectiveness of Alfred Morris will not be used to add variety to the team’s offense. Gruden inherits a team that struggled throughout much of last season , much to the dissatisfaction of the Redskins fans and the front office , of which team owner , Dan Snyder , demanded that changes be made, after a disastrous 2013 schedule . The dismissal of Mike Shanahan still leaves the Washington Redskins owing the much maligned former head coach about $9.5 million , including incentives . AP Photo / Michael Warren ….

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Highlights, low-lights and no lights at all

Highlights, low-lights and no lights at all …………..

With a mere two days to go , before the culmination of the NBA season and with many of the divisional races all but sewn up , the conference records have yet to resolved, as are the final seedings. In the Eastern Conference the Indiana Pacers and the Miami Heat are now in a rabid dogfight for that number one spot within the conference . For head coaches, Frank Vogel and Erik Spoelstra , theirs has been a season of thrills and suspense, during which, both have proven themselves to very successful in their endeavors. Whether or not , both are viewed as leading candidates for the NBA Manager of the Year Award , remains to be seen . While I believe, both to be credible and likely vote-getters , the leaders in this field I believe are Dwane Casey , Mark Jackson , Gregg Popovich and Tom Thibodeau ! As an avowed fan of the San Antonio Spurs , in spite of his unprecedented success as a head coach , having won this title only twice during his career . This is unlikely to be the year, that Popovich has a third triumph, in winning these prestigious awards.

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In spite of the ballyhooed surrounding the New York Knicks late season acquisition of Phil Jackson to head that franchise’s operations as Head of Basketball Operations , will not bring about as triumphant a year-end as their fans might have hoped . Unfortunately, poor play , lack of commitment from the players and their not buying into the coaching philosophy of Mike Woodson and coaching staff , has pretty much summed up why the team has failed miserably, while their fans continue make the most infantile and immature excuses for the franchise’s failings this season. A rather convincing eleven-point win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden , in New York City , is simply too little too late , as the games now come fast and quick , with the Knicks’ shot at the eighth and final berth in the Eastern Conference all but dead and buried. A fate, that was created by the Knicks, due to their inconsistency, season long and it is likely to be something that will be addressed by Phil Jackson.

The individual awards, for this season, are likely to be debatable in some contact ,with the biggest of them all , now producing arguments on both sides of the scales, in support of LeBron James and Kevin Durant for the NBA League MVP Award . The outcome could very well be the tightest race, that the league has seen in several years , with it quite possibly , coming down to the wire as who, the winner is likely to be . A fifth victory for James, would place the player in rarefied air, as a multiple winner of the award, as Durant seeks to win his first such honor, in winning the game’s highest individual regular season award. It is my opinion, that it would be a fitting triumph for Kevin Durant to win the award , after a record-breaking season for the player on so many fronts and for the Oklahoma City franchise !

A pitiful season for the Philadelphia 76ers and the simple resolve behind the front office for the franchise to remain uncompetitive, while having fans pay for such a rancid on-court product that protagonists of the NBA and that of the league’s former commissioner believe as acceptable. Personally, if the imprint of David Stern has been over the entire gamut of the NBA for the past three decades and fans are seeking to excuse that mediocrity, then it simply alludes to their ongoing apathy and lack of understanding, of what has taken place within the league during his tenure . For the Sixers fans, perhaps the only bright spot , on an otherwise, mediocre season, has been the play of rookie Michael Carter-Williams , who is likely to be viewed as the most credible candidate on a short-list of no more than four real top-flight nominees , for the Rookie of the Year Award .

The Sixth Man of the Year Award and that of the Most Improved Player are pretty much self-explanatory and not a situation, where there will be a cavalcade of players being lined up as nominees for either award. I believe, that the two leading candidates, in the aforementioned categories, just happen to be teammates , Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford ! Crawford , should win the Sixth Man of the Year , pulling away from the other likely nominees , simply because of his productivity , most notably during the fourth quarter of game . Griffin , is likely to be pressed by the Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah for the Most Improved Player , with quite possibly , with Noah , coming away the victor, solely because of his presence, his resilience and that of the Bulls’ surprising showing within their division and the Eastern Conference overall , this season . From my own perspective , I believe the Tom Thibodeau coached team to be the most dangerous of the top five teams in the conference , outside of the top two contenders, now jockey conference supremacy and that is with all due respect to the third seeded Toronto Raptors .

Out in the Western Conference, while others were making hay while the sun shone brightly , while analysts and fans alike, gathered like flies around fecal matter, in making the likes of the Oklahoma Thunder , Los Angeles Clippers , Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets as likely the teams with the best record in the conference . The San Antonio Spurs , simply put together another regular season display , with the franchise making it sixteen consecutive seasons in the NBA postseason , along with having the best record in the conference as well as the NBA . The Spurs in many respects, they have unnecessarily become, the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA , as they do not seem to get the due recognition they deserve or the reverence for those astonishing achievements . Four NBA titles during that aforementioned time-span , while averaging, just over fifty wins, per season . Am I missing something here , but are the fans of the league really that anally retentive and apathetic ? I guess the smoke, that gets into their eyes, actually has a great deal more than smoke , but also a great deal of mucus !

Two weeks into the MLB season and there happens to more money sitting in the teams’ dugouts, with regard to players’ injuries , than can be found to make up the payroll of several of the ball-clubs at the lower end of the payroll spectrum. Who would have thought, that Clayton Kershaw and his contract , would now be looked at with bewilderment , but yet by comparison , baseball still has to contend with Alex Rodriguez wanting to offer his advice on the game and its present predicament? Yet , this has been how the game has evolved , with their now being no discerning leadership being shown by the league hierarchy and where the likes of Rodriguez are still given quarter to offer up any type nonsensical stupidity , that the press deems fit for print for the fans , to swallow up.

Newly installed union Executive Director Tony Clark has yet to offer an opinion on his own views, on the punishment meted out to his members concerning steroid abuse in recent months, but I can only surmise that the relationship between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA (union) will continue to be antagonistic , as it has been throughout the reigns of Donald Fehr , his successor Michael Weiner and now likely , Clark , himself !

Already this season, we have seen a number of great single game performances , perhaps none more than the play of Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu and his almost single-handed onslaught and demolition of the Colorado Rockies , in the team’s 15-3 pounding that took place at Coors Field in Colorado on the 8th April , 2014. Abreu, has been everything, that Robin Ventura , the coaching staff, front office , led by owner ,, Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Kenny Williams believed he would be, when he was acquired as a free, agent in October of 2013 , having been a member of the Cuban national team . It will undoubtedly take a great deal more than simply Abreu’s productivity to lift the White Sox out of the doldrums and prove to be competitive enough a challenger to the likes of the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins , Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians .

Far too early, to start making claims, as who, the best team in baseball just happens to be, as the teams are still finding their rhythms , while we are still in the infancy of the season. Granted , the play of the Houston Astros , is leading me to believe, that the team could be back on route to having a fourth consecutive season of one hundred losses or more . That type of mediocrity, has to be setting a real precedence in the modern-day era of baseball, as we have come to know it . Then again , if the fans are willing to accept the years of mediocrity, exhibited by the Kansas City Royals , Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays , over the past two decades , then why should the Astros’ plight be considered to be any different ?

With a record of 5-8 within the AL West , the Houston Astros are already 3 ½ games behind divisional leaders the Oakland Athletics (8-4) as of 13th April , 2014. At this point last season, the Astros were not in a similar position and by no means should the same date be viewed as something of a precursor, to what was about to unfold over the course of the team’s schedule , but suffice to say , from April 14th onwards things seemed to have spun out of control for Bo Porter , his managerial staff and in particular GM Jeff Luhnow , who was unable to “right a sinking ship ” , with a year-end record , merely indicating how bad the team was said to be and that the level of play by the players was simply below average . Should the fans, be expecting, more of the same, at Minute Maid Park , in Houston this season? Well , dependent upon who one listens to, the Houston Astros are likely to be markedly better or they will remain a cellar-dweller among the AL teams and baseball in general. I am liable to believe that it will be the latter , because there has been no real indication that the front office , has made the moves necessary to improve the roster overall .

With no scheduled game for Monday , the Astros will play host to the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday afternoon, when Yordano Ventura takes the mound for the Royals against Lucas Harrell of the Astros , in what is likely to be a solid contest between these two young pitchers .

It’s strange what a flying start out of the gate can do to for the moral of a team . In less than six days , in going, from having the best record within their division the Miami Marlins have found themselves in a place that they now seem so accustomed to. As a one-time fan of the franchise , I have seen the highs lows of the ball-club having won two World Series ,while the owners of the teams at the time, having won those titles , sought to implode the rosters , plead poverty and then seek to use the league hierarchy as befits them in gaining greater dispensation by this league’s idiotic tax revenue sharing scheme , which to this day, no one from Bud Selig’s office can explain succinctly how it is has benefited the league much less the low market teams, as a whole . MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner has proven to be no more competent in his current position , than Tim Geithner might have said to be in his former position as Treasury Secretary. As we know , Geithner , though thought to be a financial wunderkind , proved to be nothing more than a boorish ass, while trying to placate the all too moronic and sophomoric policies of the incumbent President , while his agency failed miserably, in working in conjunction, with the financial sector and FRB in bringing about any real tangible benefit to the economy. Likewise, it has been the same thing with Mariner and his antics with being the league’s highest ranking financial executive. Need we be also reminded, it was Johnathan Mariner, who also suggested that the issue of steroids within baseball, was merely a press’ idea of giving the game a bad reputation.

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MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner

MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner , not the brightest of people within the MLB hierarchy but somehow his sentiments are shared by some around the game of baseball as it relates to the issue of steroids . AP Photo / Phil Reid ….

I may well be mistaken, but long before the era of steroids, the game of baseball, used segregation as a prominent part, of its terrain, to omit minorities from being participants in the sport ? Yet , here in 2014, we have a fairly prominent African-American within the upper echelons of baseball’s hierarchy , making such a statement? And I was once told by a patron , that this country had advanced along the path of racial convergence , where we need not worry about such issues ? The statements were made by an individual, who within his locale seemed blind, to the racial epithets and attacks were taking place against young women and children entering a place of worship. Now in light of the most recent incidents, having taken place in Kansas City , Missouri and Jasper , Texas , I wonder what this apathetic fool might have to say ?

Mike Redmond as the manager of the Marlins and a former player in the Big Leagues as well as with the team he currently manages . In having to succeed Ozzie Guillen and his year of incredulity , stupidity , slapstick style of management , has been placed in a position where he is unlikely to succeed. Giancarlo Stanton , the Marlins’ best player , alongside Jose Fernandez , 2013 NL Rookie of the Year , are seen as the two players likely to spearhead the Marlins’ resurgence within the division and NL . Unfortunately, I do not believe the evidence is there , nor is there the depth to the roster needed , in order for the Miami Marlins to be seen as a legitimate contender for the NL Pennant , much less a World Series title .

Monday afternoon’s result , was simply, a further indication, why I believe that the Miami Marlins will continue to struggle throughout this season! The team was outplayed in every aspect of their contest, in succumbing 9-2 to divisional rivals the Washington Nationals , where at no point during the game, did the home team have an answer for the pitching of Ryan Zimmerman , much less an answer for the Nationals’ offense. It was plain to see, that the Miami Marlins were outgunned and out-manned by an opponent , whose ambitions this season are certainly greater than anything going on inside of the Marlins’ front office headed by team owner Jeffrey Loria and David P Sansom , GM Michael Hill and Andre Dawson . The Marlins’ struggles on the field may well be well chronicled , but it should also be noted, over the past six seasons , game attendance for the Marlins’ games have been among the lowest in the entire league. Doubt my word, there figures are there, for everyone to witness , so please someone explain to me succinctly why a new baseball stadium has to be built for the Tampa Bay Rays , much less any professional sports’ franchise on within the state?

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Slow week , in the NFL ? No , the shakeout among the teams continues , as they get rid of what they believe to be “dead weight” by way of the players, in order, to remain cap-friendly . At this point of the off-season , I am not particularly interested in the machinations of the league , much less the idiocy and the ongoing debate, as to who should be taken number one overall in the upcoming NFL Draft . The players having declared their eligibility , will either be able to play or they are likely to become monumental busts . Need we be reminded the goddamn hype over Tim Tebow , whose NFL career was vaguely memorable and for all of Gators’ fans out there who feel that the Heisman Trophy winner was sorely done by . Please get a life , as the quarterback was never good enough to play in the league in spite of a number of results . Simply look at the lack of consistency from the player and the very fact that he was unable to read defenses , much less, that technically, it was very much like watching a child stumbling, while take their very first steps and their idiots, who actually believed he possessed the skill-set to play in the NFL at a high level ? There remains a great deal of apathy and ignorance among the fan-base, within the NFL and among the on air personalities who cover the game.

With the NBA Playoffs about to begin , which teams do you believe will be at the forefront of making a major impact during the postseason ? Which team, teams or player, do you believe has been the most impressive this early in the baseball season ? Finally, with all, of the hyperbole, concerning the proposed number one overall pick in this NFL Draft, do you believe the ongoing discussion has been justified ? By all means, chime in with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks always for the continued support of this site as it greatly appreciated !

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(1) NBA head coaches from left to right , Dwane Casey, of the Toronto Raptors , Terry Stotts of the Portland Trailblazers and Jeff Hornacek of the Phoenix Suns . Casey and Stotts, will be leading their teams into the Playoffs but Hornacek and Suns narrowly missed a playoff berth in the Western Conference . Getty Images/ Gregory Ralston ….

(2) Opposing head coaches from last season’s NBA Finals , Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs and Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat are seen here prior to the start of game five of the 2013 NBA Finals Series at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas,. Miami would go on to prevail in the Finals winning the series 4-3 , with LeBron James being named Finals MVP for the second successive time of his career. James also led all scorers in the series and has one of the highest postseason playoff averages in NBA history. AP Photo / Matt Slocum ….

(3) Phil Jackson . left , recently hired to oversee the Basketball Operations of the New York Knicks is pictured here, in-framed with head coach Mike Woodson . Rumors are rife , that Woodson’s tenure with the franchise, is likely to be terminated at the end of the season , with Jackson seeking to replace the beleaguered head coach with a person of his own choice . For the moment the context remains mere speculation , as neither the front office executive, the head coach or team owner, James Dolan have gone on record as stating what is likely to happen in the future concerning the head coaching with the franchise. Getty Images / David Green …

(4) Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers is seen here before a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodgers Stadium on May 6 , 2013 in Los Angeles, California. With the season in its infancy , the high-priced pitcher is one of a litany of players across the league on the MLB Disabled List . During the off-season Kershaw signed a multi-year , multi-million deal, that made him among the highest paid players in the league and one of the highest salaried starting pitchers in the game . The Los Angeles Dodgers this season surpassed the New York Yankees with the highest payroll in baseball , with teams’ payroll commitments exceeding last year’s record Opening Day figure of $3.065 billion . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …

(5) Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox who has had a spectacular start to the season for the team as the White Sox seek to make inroads this season , while seeking to be more competitive within the AL Central. AP Photo / Garry Lloyd …

(6) MLB CFO Jonathan Mariner , not the brightest of people within the MLB hierarchy but somehow his sentiments are shared by some around the game of baseball as it relates to the issue of steroids . AP Photo / Phil Reid ….

(7) Nov 2, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins vice president & general manager Michael Hill (left) listens as Marlins new manager Mike Redmond fields questions during a press conference at Marlins Park . Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports …..

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You cannot blame the manager and players alone , when the owners have a responsibility themselves …

You cannot blame the manager and players alone , when the owners have a responsibility themselves …

As the Premiership season within English soccer winds down , there has been a sense of disappointment among several teams thought to be viable contenders for the Premiership (EPL) title at the start of season. For teams, viewed as the mainstays of the league, Arsenal , Manchester United , Manchester City , Chelsea , Liverpool , Newcastle, Everton and West Ham United , this was thought to be where , each in some way could be seen as a viable contender , if not for the title , but at least for a qualifying berth for UEFA Champions’ League status .

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For team owners , Stanley Kroenke of Arsenal and the Glazer family, owners jointly, of Manchester United and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers , theirs might, well be a season, that each would rather forget. Granted, Manchester United, managed by David Moyes , have somehow managed to make their way to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League , Europe’s biggest club competition and seen as a major financial windfall for the participants throughout the length of the competition, but even more so in the latter

With Manchester United , having now bowed out of the Champions League competition, losing 4-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich of the German Bundesliga. The ramifications, from that total defeat and with fortunes of the club, now looking more threatening than ever before , concerning their aspirations for the Premiership title . Rumblings of major a upheavals, could be taking place within the Manchester United organization , with their being calls for the manager David Moyes’ firing as well as the Glazer family’s ouster as the club’s owners. These cries for this all , comes down to the disappointing season achieved by Manchester United in the Premiership, where they now lie in seventh position , some seventeen points behind divisional leaders Liverpool FC , whose tally of seventy-four points with five games to play , puts the Northern based English team in the driver’s seat, as they seek to win their nineteenth divisional title in the club’s famed history .

Moyes succeeded the most successful manager in English soccer history, in Alex Ferguson , while being handed the keys to Ferrari , in terms of a team seeking to make a successful defense of their title of last season . What the incumbent manager has seemingly managed to do, has been take this squad of players and have them play like a bunch of amateurs , with all the skill-set that would make even the most vocal of fans cry out, with a great deal of rage . With resources at Moyes’ disposal , along with the coaching staff assembled, it seems inconceivable that the manager has repeatedly managed to stumble so badly. At the same time, Joel , Bryan and Avram Glazer , have seemingly looked on, and watch this manifestation of incompetency play out over the course of the season, within the Premiership , as well as the team’s failings in other major domestic club competitions , such as the FA Cup and Carling Cup . If that was not enough for the United fans having to digest , they are now seeing the resurgence of their crosstown rivals Manchester City , whose astute manager, Manuel Pellegrini and the influx of the cash rich laden ,family of billionaires , by …. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and H E Khaldoon Al Mubarak , has seen the club return to the upper echelons of the game, with the side being the 2011-12 EPL champions .

Manchester United , for their own part , have continued to show inconsistency, all season long , with David Moyes apportioning blame elsewhere , rather than being man enough to admit that he has made numerous mistakes, concerning the player personnel for several games during the season . What might well grieve the fans more so, concerning the malaise of the famed United soccer club , has been the indifference shown by the Glazers and their complete lack of understanding, concerning what has unfolded within their midst. That should not really come as any great surprise, considering the same incompetence shown by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this past season, where former head coach Greg Schiano and . his staff simply, had no damn idea what the hell they were doing and the clueless fans watching , could only point to the fact that they did not . end up with the worst record in the league .

The fact that the Buccaneers were close to the bottom of the NFL in almost every team category that mattered by way of defense and offense , was merely another pointer ,about how bereft of talent, the organization was said to have been, on the field , as well as among the coaching staff and within the front office , headed by general manager Mark Dominik who was again, answerable to the aforementioned members of the Glazer family , as the team’s owners. That type of incompetency cannot be taught , it has to be ingrained and those who claim the family to be astute and business minded , should be begin to completely review that entire premise altogether, as nothing could be further from the truth.

While their soccer team remains , highly profitable, it should be noted, that Manchester United, still carries a great deal debt , burdened by it being used as collateral, in the Glazers’ purchase , by their holding company Red Devils Holdings . In a strange turn of events, US investment firm Baron Capital Inc has bought 20% of the outstanding shares of the soccer team on the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) , representing a mere 2% capitalization of the club, for a reputed $90 million , valuing the club at an astonishing $ 4.5 billion pre-liability write-downs .

To his credit, about the only worthwhile thing done this season by David Moyes , by way of a positive standpoint , was his persuading striker, Wayne Rooney to commit to the club long-term, after the player had been linked to several clubs, with his contract due to expire. Had Rooney been allowed to leave , then quite possibly the manager’s fate might well have been sealed , as the player had become a fan favorite , while a living legend in terms of his productivity with the club , as being the third leading scorer in Manchester United’s history , behind only Dennis Law and only to Bobby Charlton , now a distinguished member of the United Board of Directors . Rooney , in signing one of the most lucrative contracts in the club’s history, will now put to rest , his joining Chelsea , Arsenal , Real Madrid or AC Milan of Serie’ A.

With six games left in their season and now out of the running, for the Premiership title, even the hopes of a Champions League qualifying berth, now seems beyond Manchester United’s reach , with them having to finish no less than fourth in the Premiership. Once the schedule has reached its climax , there are likely several moves made within the organization , likely to bring about the end of the careers of several players on the current playing squad . Whether or not , David Moyes also becomes casualty of the likely overhaul remains to be seen , but it has become abundantly clear that something has to be done. Unfortunately, putting your trust in the Glazer family, to even do something remotely credible, might be beyond, and even their own realization. I can only pray, that the rumors now ongoing, are true and that former United player David Beckham and a several his former teammates are indeed serious in purchasing a controlling interest in his former team , with the financial backing, coming from a prominently wealthy , Kuwaiti family, who are said to be longtime admirers of Beckham and staunch supporters this world-famous soccer club.

Manchester United’s next scheduled game, will be on the 20th April , when they are the guests of Everton at Goodison Park , in Merseyside. That contest, will undoubtedly tell us a great deal about the players’ mindset and that of the coaching staff as the season meanders towards its inevitability.

Billionaire , Stanley Kroenke , with an estimated $4.5 billion fortune , also happens to be the son-in-law to the late, Sam Walton , founder of the world’s largest retail and grocery store chain , Walmart . Kroenke’s wife, is none other than , Ann Walton-Kroenke , who also happens to be on the Forbes’ 400 Richest Americans’ List , as well as being one of the richest women in the world, with a multi-billion dollar fortune . Her husband, also presides over one of the largest sports’ conglomerates and concessions’ company in North America. Kroenke’s ownership of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment , encompasses the ownership of the Denver Nuggets of the NBA , the St Louis Rams of the NFL , the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL , sporting goods’ chain , Dick’s Sporting Goods , the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League and Arsenal FC of the EPL.

Now while I have no real objection to an American, owning an English soccer team , what I cannot condone, is said to be the utter stupidity that has been shown by owners, such as Stanley Kroenke and the Glazer family, the latter, whose now close to ruination of Manchester United , have the fans in complete apoplexy. While supporters , may well point to the fact, that since family assumed control of Manchester United in 2005, the club has seen marked success. While that may well be true , it still cannot hide the fact , that Joel and Bryan Glazer , have used less than due diligence , in their operating the club , from a business standpoint. Profits have slowly been eroded , because of the club’s debt obligations and that is something that cannot be overlooked , as they now seek to place themselves within the constraints of the soon to be ,UEFA edicts concerning a team’s debt to asset ratio , which seeks to pare down teams’ debts , while also creating something of a level playing field , among the teams within the various European domestic leagues , seeking to compete in UEFA sanctioned club competitions. While clubs were given waivers this season for the Champions League , that will not be the case in 2015, when UEFA President Michel Platini expects all teams to comply with those edicts or risk being banned from all UEFA sanctioned club tournaments .

Stanley Kroenke’s presence, in the world of sports , was once described, as to his being the most powerful and influential in North American sports . That article, in Sports Illustrated , was either written by a ranked amateur , or by someone who at the time was under a deadline , simply did not want to plagiarise a piece and simply offer it up as an original piece of content . To allude to Kroenke, as being the most powerful or most influential person or owner in North American sports , would certainly being doing an injustice to the likes of the late George Steinbrenner , who was alive at the time of this article hitting the news’ stands and to the likes Robert Kraft, Dan Rooney , David Stern , Dick Ebersol , Sean McManus , Roger Goodell , Bud Selig , and Tim Finchem , Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods . Am I supposed to take this level of journalism seriously, when this type of diatribe and stupidity is on display with alarming regularity , especially when it is said to come from a respected magazine ?

Long an admirer of Arsenal FC , as a youngster , then as a teenager , I have witnessed some of the greatest moments of this famed club’s history over the past thirty years. While Arsene Wenger , has been the manager , leading the club to other trophies and triumphs , this current spell , with Stanley Kroenke as the team’s owner, might well become the driest spell of the manager’s tremendous coaching career . However, coming off a 3-0 loss to Everton , where the team performed poorly in the defeat at Goodison Park , in Merseyside. One cannot help but wonder what Wenger now has to do, to have his players, play at a higher level. Calls for the roster to be bolstered with some bold acquisitions being made, were met with an almost damning silence from the board , led by Stanley Kroenke and his subordinates . Finally, having relented , Wenger was offered a mere pittance , to go out and acquire players , with the result being Mesut Ozil , a gifted midfield player , but simply not enough to aid the team in its ambitions for the season .

Stanley Kroenke’s only wish, in owning a Premiership soccer team , has been the purchase as a bauble , to show to friends within his social circle and by way of watching the club’s value appreciate for more than that of an NFL franchise . Furthermore, with revenues far exceeding that of the NFL, with a global audience far exceeding that of North America’s grandest pastime and in terms of game attendance, albeit, that more games are played (thirty-eight) in the Premiership , than in (sixteen regular season) the NFL over the course of their respective schedules .

Arsenal, also known as ‘The Gunners’ , are due to face West Ham at their palatial home venue , Emirates Stadium in , North London, on the 15th April in what will be a highly anticipated contest , between these two London teams. Clearly, a victory for the home team, would be to their advantage and end of season hopes of gaining qualification for the Champions League. How things pan out , will greatly be dependent also , on the form shown over the rest of their schedule .

As if to further emphasize, how out of touch Stanley Kroenke remains when it comes two more of the jewels in his sports’ crown . Consider the seasons, of the Denver Nuggets and St Louis Rams and where they currently are, in terms of their status. The Nuggets might as well be afterthought, within the Western Conference, as the regular season schedule zeroes in, on its finality. Coached by Brian Shaw , who has a very experienced coaching staff to help him , this team has simply failed miserably, on so many levels , as the players have somehow failed to buy into Shaw’s coaching philosophies . The front office , with GM Tim Connelly leading the way, made a few subtle moves during the season , but nothing that would simply give you the impression that those acquisitions would place the franchise in a position to mount a serious challenge for divisional supremacy , much less a postseason berth for the upcoming postseason.

This past season, the St Louis Rams at times played hard , but within the NFC West , two dominant forces prevailed and the Rams were never in with a chance of bringing down either San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks . Both teams, proved to be, among the very best, that not only the NFC had to offer , but also the entire NFL. Yet, the Rams’ 7-9 record within the division that led to a last place finish and being the only team not to notch sort=OVERALL_WINS&sort=desc&colSel=0> double-digit wins , tells how tough the NFC West has now become and perhaps the toughest division within the NFL , based on final record and the play from the quartet of teams.

Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher , has proven to be a competent successor to Steve Spagnuolo in so many ways , that the team’s future now rests in assured hands , with the head coach and his coaching staff . The issue now becomes, will Stanley Kroenke , Chip Rosenbloom , Kevin Demoff and GM Les Snead allow Fisher a free rein , to get the job done , by way making the team more competitive in terms of acquiring players and through the draft or will they seek to impede him at each and every turn , thereby making the franchise irrelevant ?

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Picture gallery .

This idiocy at times, that the coach has to shoulder the blame when a team fails, is in actuality, absolute bull#hit ! A great deal of the time, the front office of an organization is equally to blame , when they seek , not to make the resources available to the coaching staff , in order , to make that franchise competitive. Yet, you would be hard pressed to actually make some fans believe that to be the case , because their heads more often than not , has been lodged up their own ass, that they cannot tell the difference between night and day. Chime in with your thoughts, on the points raised and thanks as always for the continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and coach David Moyes faces the media during a Manchester United Press Conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 4, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain. Getty Images North America / Mike Hewitt ….

(2) From left to right , Bryan Glazer , Joel Glazer and Avram Glazer , board members and the owners of Premiership soccer team Manchester United and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL . The trio are seen here, in the stands of a Premiership game at United’s home venue , Old Trafford Stadium , in Manchester , England ,. A disappointing season in 2013 will see the team miss the lucrative UEFA Champions League club competition next season, for the first time in a several years . If the current rumors are to be believed, the family are likely to rebuff an alleged $4 billion bid for the soccer team from a yet to be unidentified source . Getty Images Europe / Chris Rogers …..

(3) Alex Ferguson , second from the left is seen here members of the Glazer family as they discuss a team issue . Ferguson who served as manager of the team for two decades was succeeded by David Moyes , at whose insistence, his successor was hired , much to the annoyance of fans, who felt that Moyes was not a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy , having little success in his earlier stops in his managerial career. Courtesy of Daily Mail UK /Alex Ogden …

(4) Josh Kroenke is seen here alongside his father Stan Kroenke, are seen here in attendance of an NBA game at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado , home to the Denver Nuggets , the franchise owned by Kroenke through his company Kroenke Sports & Entertainment a multi-billion dollar conglomerate based in Colorado,. AP Photo/ Collin Matthews ……

(5) Ann Walton-Kroenke, a direct descendant of Walton family and one of the heirs to the multi-billion dollar fortune . Ann is married to Stan Kroenke , self-made billionaire businessman . Getty Images North America/ Christina Matthews ….

(6) Jeff Fisher head coach of the St Louis Rams , whose final eighteen months as the coach of the Tennessee Titans were said to be the most tumultuous of his considerable coaching career , in having to deal with the adversarial nature of Vince Young and then owner , Charles K ‘Bud’ Adams . Fisher has been able to turn around the fortunes of the Rams , having succeeded Steve Spagnuolo , in what might be now the ‘toughest’ division in the entire NFL . AP Photo / Tom Walsh …..

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tophatal ………..

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English Premier League (EPL)

English Premier League (EPL) news and clubs

English Premier League (EPL) league table

EPL schedule (year-long)

EPL schedule 12th April

EPL results (year-long)

EPL match form guide

Stanley Kroenke profile and bio of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment

Malcolm Glazer profile and that of his family

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I guess, neither Rihanna nor Shakira have a problem with their sexuality ?

Bill Clinton , eat your heart out . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

A recap of sorts

Well, the NCAA Tournament has to come a close , with the vestiges to that competition reaching a finality . Two storied programs were there the combatants in the Finals , were John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats facing the University of Connecticut (Huskies) coached by second-year coach, Kevin Ollie , a former mainstay within the NBA . With U Conn prevailing in a six-point triumph , Ollie joins a select group of coaches to have won a national title within their first three years of coaching a program . For Shabazz Napier and the leadership shown in leading his teammates to this triumph, is likely to open doors , not previously thought about in great depth , with several general managers around the NBA , likely to be showing an interest in a player , who should he declare for the upcoming NBA Draft , is likely to be taken quite high in the first round .

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I am sure that the administration within Storrs, Connecticut, are truly overwhelmed at this triumph and the Huskies’ second title in the past four years , with the program’s last triumph in the Men’s NCAA Tournament coming in 2011 , when Jim Calhoun and that team triumphed over Brad Stevens and Butler . As we know, the Huskies women’s program , coached by Geno Auriemma , has been triumphant several times , with six national titles during his reign, as the coach of the now famed women’s program. Auriemma is back again as a finalist in this year’s tournament where the opponent will be a heated rival , with Notre Dame (Fighting Irish) staring across at their adjoining number one tournament seeds. That game , will be played tonight at the Bridgestone Arena , in Nashville, Tennessee,.

A week into the MLB season and there is not really a great deal to report , beyond the fact , there appears to be more money now seated ? on the disabled list , than would actually make up the payroll of the league’s lowest paid team , in this case , that privilege belongs to the Houston Astros with an estimated payroll of $44.5 million . Yet, somehow , it was the intent of Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow to field a competitive team this year , while trying to avoid a fourth consecutive season of one hundred losses or more ? I guess , Astros’ manager Bo Porter and his managerial staff were fed another boatload of “ bull” , by the executives entering the season , about the ball-club’s ambitions for the year.

With a record of 3-4 , the Astros are competing in what is likely to be a competitive AL West division this season , where the main competitors for the divisional title are likely to be the defending champions the Oakland Athletics , who in turn , are likely to be challenged by the Texas Rangers , Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners . For Robinson Cano and his hefty $240 million contract , signed in the off-season, having left the New York Yankees , for what he believes to be greener pastures. This season , is likely to prove to be a tough one for the former Yankees’ infielder, as he seeks to prove that contract. Coming off a 6-3 loss to the Oakland A’s , Seattle will in their next game face the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington , where James Paxton will take to the mound for the Mariners to face off against Hector Santiago , in what should prove to be a very competitive pitching match-up , between the two starting pitchers .

As beleaguered as the issues are for the Houston Astros are now , I am not so sure, that the team will simply be good enough to avoid another one hundred loss season for a fourth consecutive time. Bo Porter’s staff simply does not have the acumen , and there is not a player on the staff ready, to assume any type of role of leadership or be presumed to be, looked upon as a leader. Tuesday’s scheduled meeting against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Center ,in Toronto, Ontario, where Brett Oberholtzer will pit wits with his opponent for the Blue Jays’ Mark Buerhle .

It is beginning to look as if Mark Teixeira’s career will become known for being injury prone , rather than for anything achieved on the field of play , since he was acquired by the New York Yankees to bolster the team’s roster and add to what was believed to be an already explosive lineup by way of the team’s offense. In his first season with the team in 2009, Teixeira proved to be as productive and well worth the contract , as it appeared to be at the time. The player we are told, will resume light exercise with a view to returning to the team and perhaps playing in his first regular season game by mid-April, but in all likelihood , I believe that Joe Girardi and the staff will not have their first baseman return too soon , until they believe that he is fully fit .

The Yankees’ 4-2 victory, over the Baltimore Orioles , places them atop of the AL East with a one game lead over the second placed Tampa Bay Rays (4-4) . How the season, now plays out for the New York Yankees will undoubtedly be predicated upon the play of mainstays, such as Teixeira , Derek Jeter , Ichiro Suzuki , Brian McCann , Kelly Johnson, CC Sabathia , Hiroki Kuroda , Carlos Beltran , Alfonso Soriano , Masahiro Tanaka and Jacoby Ellsbury . The team will once again , play host to the Orioles today, when they meet at Yankees Stadium , in New York City, New York on Tuesday afternoon , where the opposing pitchers will be Wei Yin Chen and Ivan Nova .

On this date in MLB history , one of the great achievements within the game of baseball was attained , when Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit , what was his seven-hundred and fifteenth home run (715) to move ahead of Babe Ruth in the all-time career home runs’ list. Granted, that record has since been surpassed by Barry Bonds , whose legitimacy about that mark , still comes into question, but not by the MLB hierarchy or that of the Elias Stats’ Bureau . While, there has never been a positive drug test on record to somehow negate Bonds’ achievement of the career home runs’ record or that of the single season mark for home runs. The persistent questions still lingers, about Bonds’ claims, that he never intentionally or knowingly, took what he believed to be a banned substance. In the court of “public opinion” , the now retired player’s claims, are not believed and the legal system has deemed Barry Bonds to be untruthful and indeed deceitful, with his denials and the statement offered at his perjury trial .

For Hank Aaron and the opposing pitcher on the day , when the record was broken , Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the event have been posthumously recorded . However, in the run-up and the aftermath, of Aaron , having broken the record, baseball historians have tended to gloss over the fact, the Hall of Fame inductee came under death threats , racial threats , along with the lives of the immediate members of his family being threatened by bigoted racists . Poignant, when you consider the claims being made at the time that , the nation had indeed progressed , that the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr , the integration of baseball and it being woven into the fabric of society , had indeed made the world a better place. Four decades later, those claims do not hold true , even with the nation’s first African-American President Barack Obama midway through his second Presidential term and the deaths of James Byrd Jr and Alfred Wright are seen as mere footnotes and the apathy of idiots are still within our midst , about the claims of racial bigotry has in fact ended .

We are now less than a week away from the culmination of the NBA regular season and several of the divisional races have been all but decided. In the Eastern Conference, only the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat , are the two teams apiece, to have garnered more than fifty wins. Counterparts within the West, where the San Antonio Spurs , Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers , are three of five teams to have accumulated more than fifty wins each . Somehow, one gets the feeling that in the East, theirs is a conference, where competitive basketball, which is claimed to being played, is simply an acronym for complete mediocrity .

For the New York Knicks , the past seventy two hours has seen the team play themselves into contention for a playoff berth, to once again showing the trait, that has been on display , all season long and that simple inconsistency . Their fans and the print media within the local market , may well decry the fact, the team, is now likely to miss the postseason , altogether. Yet, what else can you say, when there really has been absolutely no one willing to step up to the plate? As to this utter idiocy, that Carmelo Anthony ought to be given a worthy mention as a legitimate MVP candidate , has to be viewed with the utter contempt that the claims deserve. Anthony, has been playing on a team , that at no point during the regular season, have they led their division , nor have they strung together double-digit wins in terms of a consecutive wins’ stretch.

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An eleven point loss to the Miami Heat , may well have placed the “nail in the coffin” of Mike Woodson’s players and any last vestiges of hope, that they might well have had, in gaining a playoff berth. The team’s only hopes, now rest with the Atlanta Hawks simply imploding, with six games remaining on the Hawks’ schedule.

The seismic shock waves from the Superbowl and the lopsided loss suffered by the Denver Broncos , must be seen as something of a precursor, about what we have witnessed by way of the waiving of players and the contracts lengths now being offered new contracts by their new teams . It’s pretty much safe to say, with a number of franchises, seeking to make themselves “cap-friendly” , the luring of marquee free agents , while preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft , has been the one thing , that the front office executives have been using a great deal of due diligence in some of that preparation.

Veteran quarterback , Michael Vick has now found himself a new home , having signed with the New York Jets , where he is likely to be the backup to incumbent starter, Geno Smith , whose propensity throw interceptions during a game , are as frequent, as the guests at a wedding, throwing rice to celebrate the nuptials of a just-married couple. I am not suggesting that Smith is a terrible quarterback, but he has shown no inclination to improve his game and the coaching staff of the Jets, have done little to aid the player during his rookie season. The team’s problems during the season and the fact, they were simply of no relevance within the AFC East , simply summed up the Jets’ year and the fact , they performed so poorly.

It will be interesting to see how the New York Jets do during the off-season in the build-up to the NFL Draft, as GM John Idzik , seeks to rebuild and revamp the roster, while also seeing the type of influence, that Michael Vick will provide for Geno Smith.

The waiving of running back Chris Johnson , is likely to come back and haunt the Tennessee Titans , at some point , during their future . Yet, I am not entirely surprised by the move , considering the ongoing stupidity that we have witnessed from team owner , Bud Adams , down the years. Cap issues or not , the explanation now being offered by the front office , makes about as much sense , as Sarah Palin offering up her assessment as to the country’s foreign policy or what her alternatives might be to Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative and the program that has now taken effect. Johnson , at the time of his release, was one of the franchise’s most productive offensive players, and all, but a mere handful of running backs in the NFL, have more rushing yards in the league, over the past five seasons .

With a slew of teams, now said to be interested, in Chris Johnson , many of them in need of a productive running back, to aid a franchise with a woefully inept rushing offense . Rex Ryan is said to be keenly interested in acquiring the free agent running back , but the asking price , might well be too high for the New York Jets to meet at this juncture .

Johnson and his agent, Joel Segal are likely to look for an offer, that best meets the need of the player, while giving him the chance to play for a legitimate Superbowl contender. As to where that offer is now likely to come from, will be open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation over the next few days. With the NFL Draft, just over a month away , one seriously doubts that Segal would still like to have his client unsigned, with their being some depth to the ” draft class” of running backs said to be part of this group of rushers , as well as the other unsigned free agent running backs , who might come at a less steeper price, than his own client, Chris Johnson.

“Bang the drums more loudly” , as the consensus seems to be, that the South Carolina Gamecocks’, Jadeveon Clowney , is still being viewed as the number one pick for the NFL Draft. Now, whether or not, the Houston Texans and their front office led by GM Rick Smith decide to go this route, in making Clowney that number one overall pick , will be clearly dependent upon the assessment of the player made by head coach Bill O’Brien and his staff . The Texans’ needs, as a team overall, are great and the simple thought, that the defensive player is an answer to all of their needs , is merely ludicrous and not warranting an answer, that is simple. Defensively , the secondary was a mess, throughout last season , and that fourteen-game losing streak was a clear indicator as to several of the reasons why, beyond the poor play of the often injured Matt Schaub and an offense, that has been nowhere near as explosive, as in seasons past . Yet, for all the talk of Clowney’s impact as a defensive player , one cannot help but ask, is Bill O’Brien actually willing to pass up on an array of quarterbacks in this upcoming class , that many feel might be as good and is being compared to in some circles , as good as the 2012 NFL quarterback class , that saw Andrew Luck , be taken as the number one overall pick , a grouping that I might add, that also included Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles , Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins .

Quarterbacks, may well come and go , but can a team that certainly in need of one afford to pass on the likes of Blake Bortles , Johnny Manziel , Teddy Bridgewater , Zach Mettenberger , Bryce Petty , Tajh Boyd , A J McCarron and Tom Savage ?

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One way or another , Jadeveon Clowney’s fate, might not rest in the Houston Texans’ hands, but actually the perception that he created, that has been perpetuated and bought into by the press , pundits and fans, alike . I believe, he is likely to be drafted in the first round, as one of the top ten picks, taken on the day. Anything short of that , will clearly be viewed as something of a major disappointment for a player , looking to be handsomely rewarded for his collegiate exploits .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Kevin Ollie , head coach of the U Conn Huksies’ Men’s Basketball team is seen here cutting down the nets after his player’s triumph over Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament . Ollie in his second year as the head coach, simply had his players playing at a high level throughout the tournament , with them upping the tempo in the championship game , itself against the Wildcats . AP Photo Keith Mannix …..

(2) Shabazz Napier (13) walks the length of the court being cheered on by Huskies’ fans after the team’s 60-54 victory over John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats in the finals of the NCAA Tournament . It is widely believed that Napier is likely to declare his eligibility and enter the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft . AP Photo / Keith Mannix ….

(3) Mark Teixiera of the New York Yankees , for whom much of the 2013 season was a loss, is once again back on the team’s DL , uncertain of when his season is likely to begin in 2014. As one of the highest paid players on the roster , as well as having one of the most lucrative contracts among all of the ball-club’s players , Teixeira is afforded a luxury not often shared by a player of his stature . Getty Images / Tim Walsh ….

(4) Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his historic 715th home run which would surpass the all-time career home runs’ record (714) at the time held by Babe Ruth . Aaron hit that record-breaking home run on the 8th April , 1974 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, in a game between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers . The pitcher on the day, who gave up the home run was the Dodgers’ Al Downing . AP / REUTERS Inc/ Pathe ….

(5) Veteran quarterback Michael Vick who was acquired by the New York Jets and signed to a one-year deal by the franchise to be the backup to incumbent starter , Geno Smith , a first-round quarterback draft pick in 2013 NFL Draft by the Jets . In his rookie season , Smith’s continued struggles were ever-present throughout the season , with their being little real evidence that his game was progressing, in spite working diligently with quarterbacks’ coach , David Lee . It remains to be seen what type guidance and influence Vick will provide for Geno Smith , as he enters his sophomore season in 2014 . If Smith shows signs of regression , then in all likelihood the veteran will be called upon the replace his young charge . AP Photo / Rod Fletcher ….

(6) Free agent running back Chris Johnson who was waived by the Tennessee Titans for cap reasons . The player who was among the franchise’s leading rushers in their history , is now said to be one of the most desired free agents now on the market . It remain to be seen where Johnson’s final destination , is likely to be. AP Photo / Phil Prentice ……

(7) Robert ‘Bob’ McNair , (left) owner of the Houston Texans , is seen here with the team’s general manager Rick Smith. The general manager , scouting department of the franchise and head coach will have a tough decision to make, whether or not, to take Jadeveon Clowney, as the number on overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft or as is being forecast by many , the organization is likely to go with a quarterback , with instate hero Johnny Manziel said to be atop of Smith’s wish-list, along with Blake Bortles , Teddy Bridgewater and the fast rising stock of Tom Savage. The Texans have never made a quarterback their top pick , over the course of the franchise’s history. Getty Images / Austin Morris ….

(8) Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks and Texas A &M’s Johnny Manziel , right . Both players , high achievers , have the wish to be taken as the number one overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. With the Houston Texans’ afforded the first pick , it remains to be seen whether or not the AFC South based franchise takes either player as that privileged first choice .

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Simply soaking up the sun while making an imprint in the sand .

 

An ode to the NBA , get real or simply get the hell out of the damn way !

An ode to the NBA , get real or simply get the hell out of the damn way !…..

With most teams now in the NBA winding their seasons and the schedule due to culminate on the 16th April with a slew of games to close the calendar. We can perhaps, look back on the year and discuss the biggest stories and the major disappointments. For those choosing not to question the antics and ills, that have now engulfed the Philadelphia 76ers and then seek to view it as part and parcel of business in the NBA, without apportioning blame, either on the Sixers’ owners or the league hierarchy . Ask yourself this question , when making a purchase of an item , are you not expecting the vendor to make a sale to you of a product, that you believe worthy ? Then why should the fans of an NBA franchise, be treated any different, when purchasing a ticket to view their team, at their home venue? It is this type of idiocy and apathy that has now become the fabric of the majority of fans at present, who seek with their ongoing stupidity , to simply accept mediocrity and any excuse offered as being acceptable .

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One would hope that with the retirement of David Stern , we are likely to see some real vestiges of leadership from his successor Adam Silver , as he seeks to make the brand more amenable to the fans , rather than the ongoing puerility seen in recent years, and then this incessant idiocy, that Stern has been in no way to blame for the league’s malaise. The former commissioner ‘s one and only concern, during the latter years of his tenure, was simply increasing revenues , while seeking his own salary increase from a mere $ 2.5 million a year, to in excess of $20 million , on par with some of the highest salaried players in the league , but somehow this was overlooked by fans as being nothing out of the ordinary. Again, apathy among a fan-base, that in actuality, has the intelligence of a toad. They are not ready to question , , why a league executive who is paid such an exorbitant salary , but at the same time , that very same person sought to impede the right of the players and their union (NBPA) , themselves who sought a greater share of the league’s ever-growing revenue pie. What’s wrong with that picture, but most of all, how damn stupid are the fans in general with their ongoing gullibility?

If there was ever any doubt, as to the ability of Kevin Durant and the spectacular season he , has been, having, for the majority of the season , as he leads the Oklahoma City Thunder . Then consider the player’s most recent feat, in scoring twenty-five points or more for his fortieth consecutive game this season, but yet , some are still questioning whether, or not, the season achieved thus far, makes him a noteworthy League MVP candidate and in turn trying to suggest that the award should merely go to the best player in the NBA. LeBron James , as a four-time winner of the award , might be just that , but by comparison his season , has been nowhere as spectacular as his Western Conference counterpart. Also, need we be reminded that James and the Miami Heat take part and play n the less competitive conference , known as the East ? Suffice to say , the competition there , night in and night out, has the bearings of chess match, between a Grand Master and that of a novice, new to the game.

With both the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder as well as the San Antonio Spurs having already garnered playoff berths and in the case of the Heat , Spurs and Thunder having won their divisions , it now remains to be seen, how the rest of the regular season will now pan out , by way of the other divisional races and that of the final conference seeds. . The league’s individual title may well now come down to the to the final few games of the season, but it all looks assured to return to Kevin Durant , after it was claimed last season by Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks . With Durant now averaging 32.07 per game, that statistic will be the highest scoring average among active players since Kobe Bryant averaged 35.06 per game during the 2005-06 NBA regular season .

The New York Knicks for their part, ever since the formal introduction of Phil Jackson as the newest executive within the organization , where he immediately becomes the Head of Basketball Operations , with GM Steve Mills reporting directly to Jackson with regard to all player personnel decisions to be made. At this juncture, there seems to be no sense of certainty, that head coach Mike Woodson will be returning to his position, in the same capacity next season. Albeit, that as of late, the team seems to be responding to his calls for more resilience, as they seek to chase down the Atlanta Hawks for that final playoff berth , the eighth and final spot within the Eastern Conference.

Coming off a narrow one-point loss to the Washington Wizards , the New York Knicks will have to completely refocus their efforts, if it is their intent to get that final playoff berth, but it could appear that those efforts will be in vain, having left it far too late in the season to show their fans what they are actually made of . For much of the season, the team has been inconsistent and solely reliant on the efforts of Carmelo Anthony to pull them through. Just about everyone else on the team, has contributed very little, by way of a wholehearted, effort, with the goal of actually winning . Next up for the Knicks, will be a prime-time Sunday afternoon game , against a nemesis and conference rival in the Miami Heat, where LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony , will be looking to match wits and display their scoring prowess , as the two teams meet, as part of their regular season series .

DeMar Rozan , Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross have proven to be the main reasons , why the Toronto Raptors have been one of the big surprises of this NBA season , with quite possibly , head coach Dwane Casey being viewed as a possible candidate for NBA Coach of The Year. Casey , alongside the Chicago Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau , Frank Vogel , Erik Spoelstra , Scott Brooks , Doc Rivers , Rick Adelman and Mark Jackson are likely seen as the other viable candidates. Noticeably missing from my list is the name of Gregg Popovich , but that may well come down to the fact that for the last sixteen seasons, of his real brilliance , he has been often overlooked for the award , having only won it twice during the time-frame mentioned.

For Casey and the Raptors, if they make the postseason , it will be the first playoff berth for the franchise in almost six years , with their last appearance coming during the 2008 season . A first round loss to the Orlando Magic , brought about the Toronto Raptors’ foray in the NBA Playoffs for the season, with something of a lopsided 4-1 series’ defeat to their conference rivals that postseason. . Chris Bosh , Jason Kapono , Jose Calderon and T J Ford led the way for the Raptors in that series’ loss, , with Sam Mitchell coaching the team that season . The Toronto Raptors are now vying with the Chicago Bulls for the third seed within the Eastern Conference , where holding unto that position would give grant them something of a favorable match-up in the first round of this postseason, against the Washington Wizards ,who as the sixth seed , the Raptors do lead 3-1 in the regular season series of meetings . Though I do not believe, an upset is on the cards, in such a potential contest, there is always the possibility, of the impossible suddenly happening.

While Tom Thibodeau and his staff continue to work miracles with the under-manned Chicago Bulls , given the fact, that they lost pointy guard Derrick Rose for the season and then sought to trade Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for cap reasons . It is simply amazing to see the resilience of the team and the very fact that they have played themselves into contention for a playoff berth ahead such teams as the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks , thought to be better teams on paper, but obviously lacking the coaching acumen of Thibodeau , when one looks at the resumes of both Jason Kidd and Mike Woodson . Therein, lies the issue , about both New York based teams, high on talent , but lacking a real coach, with depth of knowledge , in knowing how to deal with real adversity . Multi-million dollar team payrolls and overrated players , simply cannot make up for applying one’s self on a basketball court, when grit and determination , are actually called for. What we have witnessed from the Bulls for much of this season, has been a great deal of both, in far more abundance than witnessed from the Knicks and Nets , jointly .

Joakim Noah seems to have added depth, to his game , while assuming the role of leader, in the absence of Rose and the departure of Luol Deng. That bodes well, for the short and long-term future of the Bulls , if the front office seeks to keep the veteran forward around, whose compensation in comparison to many of his peers at the position of center or power forward , comes extremely cheap, by way of a contract or salary . Chicago’s next scheduled contest, will be a Saturday evening meeting with the Washington Wizards, in a game that will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington , DC .

If there has been one thing, that continues to be true, concerning the NBA season over the past decade. It has been that the Western Conference will remain the true test of what competitive basketball is all about , in terms of the competitiveness of the teams and the coaching within the conference in general. Teams such as the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat , being the only two franchises to register fifty wins apiece within the East , would be hard pressed to register that very figure , were they playing in the West , and meeting such teams as the Los Angeles Clippers , San Antonio Spurs , Houston Rockets , Oklahoma City Thunder , Portland Trailblazers or the Golden State Warriors . Yet, be that as it may, we are , still being sold a “bill of goods” by the league hierarchy , owners and union, about a diluted brand, where the level of play all-round , has actually been on the decline , rather than the fans, actually seeing a genuine upswing . I mean, if a highlight reel of a dunk is all that concerns you , then the brand of basketball on view , will be for you , because in the true sense of the word, there are very few , real teams in the NBA actually, playing as a team, and as part, of a cohesive unit.

I have to admit, that this season , the more I have seen of the Golden State Warriors , the more I am impressed with the team and in particular with the coaching acumen of Mark Jackson . I would be the first to admit , that initially , I had my doubts about Jackson , as a head coach, but I have been very impressed with the acumen shown by the former veteran point guard and that of his coaching staff . The play of the team has been very impressive , with the obvious standout , being , Steph Curry and his continued maturity into one of the best young players and someone whom I now consider to be one of the top-ten players now playing in the league !

For Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , as the owners of the Golden State Warriors, having purchased the team for a considerable sum. They now get to see the fruits of their labor and that of the organization finally having some real tangible value to it all . The front office led by GM Bob Myers and where the calming influence of Jerry West , is often called upon, to provide the expertise and advice , beyond being an Executive Board Member . It now seems somewhat to redundant to see how far the Lakers have fallen from grace, since West was ousted from that particular organization , after the larger than life ego of Phil Jackson , whose success with the franchise would not have taken place , were it not for West to begin with, while the Hall of Fame great was an executive with the franchise . How quickly, some forget, when placing so much of that recent success, jointly , in the hands of Mitch Kupchak and Jackson, alone .

As the sixth seed in the Western Conference , a first round match-up against their instate rivals the Los Angeles Clippers , might just be the most enticing potential contest within the conference , with a conference semi-finals’ berth at stake for the winner. The season series between the two teams have been very much what any fan would have anticipated and that has been a high level of basketball, being played at times, at a frenetic pace . With their series , now tied at two games apiece, both franchises will undoubtedly to like to round out their seasons on a high with a flourish, of consecutive year-ending victories. Pivotal to that first round series will be the likely duel between Chris Paul and Steph Curry, while Blake Griffin will meet his match in seeing a somewhat younger version of himself , while looking across at Klay Thompson , whose year , has been sensational and a great deal more .

Coming off the thirty-three point demolition , of what appears to be, a hopeless Sacramento Kings’ team and organization in general . . The Warriors will meet the equally abysmal the Utah Jazz, at the Oracle Arena , in Oakland , California , on Sunday afternoon , before closing their season with games against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers , Portland Trailblazers, Minnesota Timberwolves and finally, the Nuggets , once again . A fifty-win season might not be beyond the Warriors , if they can gain the three wins needed to reach that mark , which would be the franchise’s best win feat, in several seasons, while standing at 47-29 within the conference and in second place , 6.5 games behind division leaders the Los Angeles Clippers of the Pacific Division . All in all, it has been a great regular season for the Warriors, but now the question becomes , can they answer many of their critics by showing them , that they are capable of making a deep postseason run in the playoffs? For many , the team are seen as a “ fashionable pick” , because of the odds laid in Las Vegas , but do not be fooled for one minute , that it can be justified . The odds-makers, make those wagers , simply to lure in, the most passionate of gamblers , but also as a way to lure in the first time novices with little or no idea , what they are actually doing .

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As a fan of the NBA, in reality , it has reached the point, where my loyalties are now being severely tested, by the ineptitude continually being shown by the league hierarchy and the never-ending excuses being made, by apathetic fans, who actually believe that the league has been as good, as it has ever been . Clearly, delusional and apathy, now seems to be going, hand in hand , with their stupidity, as well ! As I alluded to earlier, if a highlight reel dunk wets your appetite , then this is the league you want , but if you are actually looking for an abundance of technically proficient players , then you will not be seeing an abundance of that , if at all ! Three or four great players , does not a league make , with the rest being marginally above average , but at the same time the coaching and constant tinkering with the rules and the explosion in the players’ salaries have now made the NBA what it now has become , along with college players making the leap to the professional , ranks , where within five years more than forty percent of those athletes will have departed from the league because of their poor skill-set. Your thoughts on the points raised within this article and what if anything , are you hoping to see this postseason during the NBA Playoffs ?

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Picture and slideshow gallery below .
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(1) Former NBA Commissioner , David Stern , who , having stepped down in February of this year , after an almost three-decade career as the league’s highest ranking executive , stepped down from his role. He was succeeded by his immediate deputy , Adam Silver , who now takes over the reins of a label and brand, that has become recognizable through the efforts of Stern , but more so , with the advent of prime-time television broadcasts and the exploits of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls , during the nineties . Perhaps , the “richest vein ” in the sport’s history . Getty Images / Anthony Price ….

(2) Head Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat watches his team against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Thunder defeated the Heat 112-95 . This postseason , Spoelstra and the Miami Heat will be looking to win a third consecutive NBA title and the franchise’s fourth overall. Getty Images / Marc Serota ….

(3) Forward Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder is defended by Forward LeBron James (6) and Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 29 , 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Thunder defeated the Heat 112-95 . Getty Images / Marc Serota ….

(4) DeMar Derozan (10) seen in a game played against the Oklahoma City Thunder, at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma , earlier this season . DeRozan is seen as pivotal to the franchise’s future , with the front office likely to offer the player a hefty contract when it expires in 2017 , but with rumblings around the league that the player is unhappy at the opportunity of not playing for a perennial contender it seems unlikely that they would relent and trade the star at this juncture . AP Photo/ Marcus Holt …..

(5) Dwane Casey , head coach of the Toronto Raptors, is seen here speaking to his players on the court sidelines, during a game . Casey has the Raptors on the cusp of making their first playoff appearance since 2008 , where a first round loss to the Orlando Magic ended their season that year. AP Photo / Rashida Williams …

(6) Steph Curry ,left is seen here with teammate , Klay Thompson are seen here congratulating each other after Warriors’ victory this season . The two young stars, are one of the primary reason why the team is being viewed as one of the most dangerous within the conference in the run-up to the NBA Playoffs , where they are currently ranked as the sixth seed and a first round match-up against the Los Angeles Clippers awaits and that of a conference semi-finals’ berth for the victor. Getty Images / Harry How ….

(7) From left to right , Mark Jackson , head coach of the Golden State Warriors , Executive Board Member , Jerry West , co-owners , Peter Guber and Joe Lacob . The two billionaire entrepreneurs , are now entering their third year of owning the franchise , during which the encouraging results under Jackson has led to a rise in attendance as well as in the profitability and value of the Warriors overall. Guber and Lacob are now seeking to have a new venue built for the team , that will rank among the best arenas within the NBA . Getty Images / Keith Matthews …….

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Lordes ………….. ” Team ”

If we build it they will come …………

If we build it they will come ……….

The MLB season , has started with some gusto and Opening Day , saw some record crowds for a number of the day’s schedule contests. Defending World Series champions the Boston Red Sox started the defense of their title with a 2-1 loss to divisional rivals the Baltimore Orioles in a contest played at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland . From my own standpoint , seeking to speculate on who might end up winning this season’s title , this early in the season , is akin to counting grains of sand on the beach, while the tide comes in . It is of benefit to no one, at the time of the exercise!

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This season should be one of growth among many of the young stars who blossomed in terms of their play last season and it will be interesting to see how the AL and NL Rookies of the Year from 2013 acquit themselves for their respective teams as they seek to make themselves Big League stars , while looking to be well-compensated for their play. Wil Myers of the Tampa Bay Rays , will certainly be looking to add to a robust season for the team from 2013, while his NL counterpart Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins will certainly look beyond being the only bright spot on what was a lackluster team last season, summed up by the Marlins’ last place finish in the NL East and being completely out of contention for a wildcard berth for the majority of last season.

In many respects I believe that this season, will be one of even more struggles for the Miami Marlins , as Mike Redmond and his managerial staff try to steer this team into contention within the division , which is likely to be more competitive, after the issues now encompassing the Atlanta Braves , with the team having lost two of their prominent starting players due preseason injuries . In all likelihood we could very well see something of shift in the favoring of the Braves to repeat as divisional champions , to perhaps the Washington Nationals being seen as the new prohibitive favorites within the NL East for the title this season.

Braves’ pitcher Brandon Beachy is out for the season , but the loss of Kris Medlen and Mike Minor might be the toughest losses to take, as both played prominent roles in the team’s success during 2013 . Yet, with not even the first ten games of their schedule having been contested , Atlanta’s disabled list , reads like the bulletin board from a hospital triage unit. Atlanta began its season with a well-deserved victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee , Wisconsin , with the home team ….. succumbing to their opponents in defeat 5-2. The two teams will meet again on Wednesday afternoon in game two of their two-game series , before Atlanta departs to take on the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capital for a trio of games starting on Friday , 4th April and culminating with the final game of that trilogy on Sunday, 6th April .

For the Tampa Bay Rays, I expect this to be a make or break season and therein once again lies the dilemma as it relates to the organization. Cost-cutting by way of team payroll , has very much played a part in the Rays’ subsistence living and success in recent years . GM Andrew Friedman continues to seek out bargain basement free agents to place around a core group of players and Joe Maddon and his staff . continue to work miracles. My question is, beyond that success, how is it that in the eight years that Maddon has managed the team , he has only one the AL Manager of the Year Award twice, in 2008 and 2011 ? There are few managers in either league with Maddon’s managerial acumen, that would have been able to achieve the extraordinary success that he has attained, with the menial resources afforded him by the franchise. Yet, around the game the short-sightedness and stupidity being shown by alleged observers and fans alike have shown that their knowledge and a complete lack of understanding as to the economics of the game of baseball .

The Rays began their season with a 9-2 home victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on the 31st March , only to then follow-up that win with a loss the Blue Jays , with a . lackluster performance in losing 4-2 on Tuesday afternoon. The final leg of their opening trilogy, will take place on Wednesday afternoon at Tropicana Field , when Matt Moore takes the mound to face Mark Buehrle in their contest. A robust start to the season, I believe is needed for the Tampa Bay Rays, if they are to gain any semblance of success , as they can ill-afford to continue to show the type inconsistency exhibited last season , that eventually led to their demise , where they were summarily dispatched by the Boston Red Sox with consummate ease in the ALDS , in four games , 3-1.

Just when you thought that the idiocy of last season might well have been abated , baseball still proves again, that they have learned absolutely nothing from their mistakes . Having topped $ 3 billion last season for the Opening Day payroll, Team payroll, in 2014, MLB has once again trumped itself, teams’ financial commitment to their players, will exceed that figure, with the Los Angeles Dodgers trumping the other twenty-nine teams in the league , with a payroll of just over $235 million, with pitcher, Zach Greinke being the highest-salaried player on the roster , but by no means having the most lucrative contract , either in its length or value . Greinke’s six-year, $144 million deal , was surpassed during the preseason, when team President Stan Kasten and GM Ned Colletti negotiated the deal that allowed Clayton Kershaw the reigning Cy Young Award winner, a deal that makes him the highest paid pitcher in the game of baseball, as well as being one the highest paid players in the game. Somewhat surprisingly, this has been the first time, in several years, that the New York Yankees have not held the honor of being the team with the highest payroll in baseball.

Don Mattingly, his staff and the Dodgers’ team, got off to a great start, with their opening series, in defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks in their two game series played in Brisbane , Australia, . As to the relevance of those two games being played in the Antipodes region , I can only surmise, that it comes about, with the commissioner wishing to see the growth of the game “Down Under” . With just over a year to go, before he steps down from his position , Bud Selig will be looking to and hoping that the game of baseball, is still not mired, deep in controversy . Let’s just say , his handling of the litany of player suspensions, due to the prolific use of PED’s was poorly executed , with the MLBPA at times , being able to subvert the league’s form of justice. Tony Clark , has succeeded the late Michael Weiner, as the union’s Executive Director and the relationship between the league hierarchy and the union, remains strained and often contentious. What next, using a Band Aid to cover a gunshot wound to the abdomen, while the victim is still bleeding profusely ?

Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will take to the mound , on Wednesday night , when he faces Tyson Ross of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park , in San Diego, California, In what should be a very good contest , we can assume that the Padres will seek to it something of a competitive affair , unlike their season-long series of last year, when the Dodgers were simply dominant throughout the season within the NL West. Anything short of a deep playoff run and a World Series’ berth at the end of it all, will have to be viewed as a major disappointment for the Dodgers’ organization and their fans in particular . High hopes of last season, simply evaporated , when they wilted, showing little effort against the St Louis Cardinals in the NLCS . There is an abundance of pitching </a and offense to the makeup of this Dodgers’ team, but the issue to my mind , must be , who is seen as the actual leader of this lineup and can be looked upon to be not only vocal, but also show it , with regard to their play? Is it Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp , Carl Crawford , or anyone of their litany of pitchers ? That has to be the defining element and question that still remains unanswered by Don Mattingly and by the likes of joint-owners , Magic Johnson , Peter Guber , Mark Walter and Todd Boehly , who paid the record sum of $2.156 billion , for the apparent privilege of owning this proud franchise .

Young stars, such as, Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig , Jose Fernandez and Wil Myers were certainly making impacts for their teams, as I alluded to earlier. I expect this season to be no different , but will it be to the point, where their ball-clubs will become greatly reliant on the prowess of their young rookies ? For the likes of Jose Abreu, Aaron Barrett , Tyler Collins , Alex Guerrero , Mario Hollands, Seth Rosin, Bo Schultz , Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas . Whether or not they make it , will be totally dependent upon the determination that they each show , while still being coached in the intricacies and rudiments of the game of baseball . An AL and NL Rookie of the Year is likely to come out of the field mentioned or it could come from a player, who is called up at some point later in the season. Either way, it will be interesting to see what these young players are able to offer, once they have had their ” first taste” of the Majors.

As always, the biggest draw in the game, remain the big market teams and amongst those others who have loyal fans. Without a doubt, last season, it should not come as any surprise that in total home attendance , it was left to the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers , St Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants , New York Yankees and Texas Rangers to lead the field . The aforementioned teams were amongst a list of eight ball-clubs that drew more than 3 million fans to their respective ballparks . The lowest figure in terms of overall attendance were those of the Tampa Bay Rays , with just over 1,500,000 attendees , at an average of just over 18,600 per home game schedule, in attendance at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida in 2013. Simply put, the front office cannot try to justify why a new ballpark is needed, when they are still drawing such low crowds, for each of their home games. Inasmuch, as their fans continue to decry the fact that, their present venue is archaic.

There remains no real reason to suggest that a new ballpark is likely to attract an even larger crowd , where in truth, the real hardcore fan-base of the franchise is at best , no more than 15,000 to 18,000 devoutly loyal fans . I have yet to hear, a Tampa Bay Rays’ fan explain succinctly , an argument as to why a new ballpark can and should be built, at the local taxpayers’ expense. Amongst the local media market , where intelligence is not of the highest order, the only reason for their proposing a new ballpark, is simply not to run afoul of the ownership group , led by Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman , whose interviews within the local media market are rare and more inconsequential than anything else . More often than not, it is either Silverman or Sternberg , pleading for the local municipality to make the financial outlay for a new stadium , without the owners themselves, offering something in good faith , never mind the fact , that their lease on Tropicana Field is not due to expire until 2027 . One would have thought that whoever provided the legal counsel to both Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman, as the lead managing partners, would have advised them to seek their renegotiating the lease on the ballpark at the time of their purchasing the team, from then owner , Vince Naimoli . I guess in large part, Sternberg sought to own a Major League Baseball, team, showing his naiveté as an alleged businessman, when buying that franchise. Monkey see, monkey do , there is no other way to explain that sort of utter stupidity !

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Picture gallery .

With Bud Selig due to step down at the end of this baseball season , do you believe that he will leave the game in a better position than he found it in , having succeeded Francis ‘Faye’ Vincent ? Also, with the escalating salaries of the players , do you believe that is now time for baseball to adopt a hard salary cap at the top-end and lower-end of the teams’ payroll scale ? Chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be of relevance to the subject matter , as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .
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(1) Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of an opening day baseball game, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Baltimore. Baltimore would defeat the Red Sox 2-1 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(2) Baltimore Orioles’ Adam Jones , bottom, collides with Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after being forced out on a ground ball by Chris Davis in the fourth inning of an opening day baseball game, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Baltimore. Davis was safe at first. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …..

(3) Wil Myers ,left, of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Miami Marlins’ Jose Fernandez were last season’s AL and NL Rookies of the Year , with both players having made impactful efforts for their respective teams during 2013. Myers and Fernandez will be looking build on the foundations laid , by improving this year , in terms of their play. Getty Images / Sean Leahy …..

(4) Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman is greeted by teammates after hitting a solo home run off of Milwaukee Brewers’ Zach Duke during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Milwaukee. Both pitchers in this contest were on course for a no-hitter before being broken up by the opposing offenses . AP Photo/Tom Lynn …

(5) Los Angeles GM Ned Colletti ,left , is seen here alongside team President and minority owner Stan Kasten . The two front office executives this off-season offered a lucrative contract to pitcher Clayton Kershaw , the 2013 NL Cy Young Award winner , making him the highest paid player on the Dodgers’ roster and amongst the highest paid players in the game. Having lost the 2013 NLCS in a lopsided series’ defeat , the franchise bolstered their team with several off-season moves , meanwhile looking for improved seasons in 2014 from Yasiel Puig , Adrian Gonzalez , Carl Crawford , Zach Greinke , Hanley Ramirez , Andre Ethier and Chone Figgins . The ball-club will also be looking to make a successful defense of their 2013 NL West divisional title , won with a great deal of ease in a dominant fashion last season. AP Photo / Matthew Morris …..

(6) Zack Greinke and teammate , Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers in whom the ball-club have guaranteed and committed over $ 365 million . The two pitchers are amongst the highest paid players on the team’s roster and two of the highest paid starting pitchers in baseball, as well as having to of themost lucrative contracts amongst starting pitchers and players overall . The team’s success this season will be greatly dependent on both having career years if the Los Angeles Dodgers are to have any chance of winning their first World Series’ title in over twenty-five years. Getty Images / Greg Holt …..

(7) Rookie , Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox is seen here with the team’s general manager , Rick Hahn. The player made his debut with the team in their game against the Minnesota Twins on the 31st March , 2014 at US Cellular Field in Chicago , Illinois,. AP Photo / Anthony Smith …..

(8) Tampa Bay Rays’ managing partner , Stuart Sternberg, left is seen here alongside Matthew Silverman , GM Andrew Friedman and the team’s manager Joe Maddon , far right. The franchise’s home field Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida is deemed archaic by current standards . With the ownership group pleading with the city of Petersburg for a new venue , albeit that the lease to their current venue does not expire until 2027, neither side is somehow prepared to accede to the other by seeking out an agreement where a compromise can be reached . Sternberg and his partners would like to see the city build a multifaceted 40,000 seat venue at their municipality’s expense , with their being no proposal from the ball-club to fund any part of the venture. Commissioner Bud Selig , whom , having assisted the Miami Marlins , New York Mets and New York Yankees to each obtain a new ballpark in the past six years, has been of no assistance to the AL East based franchise , also having been critical of team and stating that they will be never be allowed to stage an All Star Game until a new stadium is built . Selig has not only been critical of the Tampa Bay Rays over the issue of a new venue , but he has been extremely critical of the city of St Petersburg , the former mayor , Bill Foster , recently his successor Rick Kriserman and the Pinellas County government and their reluctance to build a venue for the MLB franchise . It might not have occurred to the commissioner that the state of Florida is still in the midst of an economic crisis , where state , county and municipalities are facing severe budget deficits , as well as high unemployment rates that are above the national average . Tampa Bay Times/ Keith Marsh ….

(9) Bud Selig , MLB Commissioner, who is due step down from his position as the league’s highest ranking executive in February 2015 , after almost twenty-five years in the current position , having first been the acting commissioner in 1992 , then accepting the position full-time in 1998. Often criticized for his managerial style and lack of communicative skills, his biggest blight, was in curtailing the 1994 MLB season , which brought about a league wide stoppage and strike . The MLBPA (Players’ Union) , then led by Donald Fehr , who now holds a similar position within the Players’ Union (NHLPA) of the NHL and the commissioner were often at loggerheads on a wide variety of issues and the distrust between the league hierarchy and the union, still remains to this day , in spite of the often asinine comments forthcoming from both sides. Getty Images/ Mark Snow …..

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The grass is not always greener on the other side …..

The grass is not always greener on the other side …..

If there is one thing I know, then it is when someone is blowing smoke to create the perception that everything is OK , more to the point, blowing it up my ass ! Clearly , that has been the point concerning the antics of the Philadelphia 76ers and the ownership group led by venture capitalist Joshua Harris , who also just happens to be the owner of the NHL’s , New Jersey Devils . As many of you might now be aware, the Sixers’ equaled a league record , in reeling off twenty-six consecutive losses , which just happens to be franchise and league record. An ignominious feat for a once proud franchise , that produced such great players as Wilt Chamberlain , Julius Erving , Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson .

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Inasmuch , as with each season , the common thought is that all of the NBA’s teams are in with an equal chance of making the postseason , in reality, with only eight berths up grabs within each conference, the chance of being amongst those contenders is not assured as some might think. The level of competition also , in particular within the Eastern Conference , where the Philadelphia 76ers are domiciled, , has been a boon to the game of basketball , that is in a dire state of disrepair.

Coming into the season, the Sixers had a threadbare team with very little experience on the roster , beyond that of Thaddeus Young , James Anderson , Byron Mullens and Jason Richardson . Then throw in the fact that head coach Brett Brown is a rookie coach , along with a very inexperienced roster of coaching assistants and you simply have a natural recipe for a ready-made disaster.

Joshua Harris , who made his considerable wealth as venture capitalist , founding the firm , Apollo Global Management , where risks are taken , with start-up companies or the way he seeks to buyout under-performing companies and then either seeks to turn them around , break or split them up , selling off discarded pieces , or where possible , seeking to use such deals to enable a tax write-off and an inevitable gain for the company. If, this is Harris’ intent, with regard to the Sixers’ franchise without making the die-hard fans aware of his intent. Then, he is certainly going about the right way in alienating those loyal fans , as well as, creating an atmosphere and discontent amongst the fan base and thereby bringing about a great deal of unrest . .

It is certainly hard to envisage, how anyone can take any positives out of a season, where a team with a 16-57 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference , can be seen as a competitive franchise. There has been absolutely no leadership from the seasoned veterans on the roster and even with the somewhat refreshing play of Michael Carter-Williams and to a lesser extent Nerlens Noel , there are no signs that the Sixers will be viewed as competitive force. Rookie head coach, Brett Brown , was thrown in at the deep end along with an equally inexperienced coaching staff , that was meant to assist with regard to this season. I may well be mistaken, but there also seems to be a great deal of stupidity amongst some fans, who see the travails of the 76ers as a way to aid them in the future , especially as far as attaining a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Granted , with the NCAA Tournament still ongoing , but with a number of players now declaring their eligibility , the varying consensus would appear to be that beyond Jabari Parker , Andrew Wiggins , Shabazz Napier , Doug McDermott and should he declare his eligibility , Scottie Wilbekin of the Florida Gators , whom, if he leads the program to their third national title in the last ten years , he is likely to be the most sought after player in this draft.

Sixers’ GM Stan Hinkie has not seen fit to give any type of explanation, as to his decisions as it relates to the player personnel moves , since he assumed his position , but given his relative inexperience , I cannot see how anyone can believe, that because he is prepared to gamble on a sense and premise, that the team is likely to get blue-chip player from this lottery , it well set the franchise on the right path. Someone should remind him, the coaching staff over this past season, has shown little , if any type of coaching ingenuity and for that, a great deal of the blame has to be placed upon the general manager’s naïve and conceited shoulders.

Coming off a moral boosting twenty-five points win over the equally abysmal Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , on Saturday night, the Sixers’ next scheduled contest will be on Monday night , when they are the guests of the Atlanta Hawks at the Philips Arena in Atlanta , Georgia,. With a mere nine games left on their schedule, we should be able to tell a great deal about the mindset of the Philadelphia 76ers and not this idiocy of them being deemed a team, much less a credible NBA franchise. Nothing, about the way that they have conducted themselves would indicate that, and the lack of candor from the front office , is a clear indication of the continued disdain shown for the fans over the course of the season. Doubt my words, then look for any for an indication by or from either Joshua Harris or Stan Hinkie, as to their motives and then ask yourself why it is , that they have remained silent, while subjecting the fans to a monstrosity of a totally and noncommittal season from the playing staff and organization as a whole ?

I have always found it fascinating to listen to the idiocy of some , who try to give an explanation about their local teams , when they in actuality, have no damn idea, what they are said to be talking about . Case in point, here in the local Tampa Bay area sports’ market , the MLB franchise is a profitable one , but in large part that would not be the case , unless they were not propped up by the aid given, by way of the MLB tax revenue sharing scheme , but yet for some reason, the clueless fans and the local print and television media tend to spin the myth, that through the ingenuity shown by the franchise’s front office , that has been the case for a considerable period of time. Tends to be the way, when those seeking to proffer up the knowledge would rather not spend the time to use any due diligence in coming up with the correct information concerning the Tampa Bay Rays’ financial means and stability.

This season for the Rays will be , make or break, because one more season of missed opportunities and in all likelihood , GM Andrew Friedman will have to gut the roster once again , as a face-saving exercise. It becomes the same old story , season in and season out , concerning the Rays and there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel at all , and that also pertains to the ongoing saga of the franchise’s stadium issue. This may well be the last year in which Bud Selig remains the MLB Commissioner and the idiotic article written by USA Today’s …. Christine Brennan , praising the league’s highest-ranking executive , paints a picture of someone, who at every turn, has been able to handle any problem , that the league has faced with a great deal of intellect and ingenuity . Now, I was not expecting a hatchet job to be done on the commissioner , but at the same time , the article on Selig, was simply not objective enough , nor did it seek to show his flaws or the numerous miscues, that he has made during his tenure . Unfortunately, this is now the price one has to pay, if you take the print media seriously , as they still believe themselves to be paragons of virtue , while seeking out the truth. To my mind , that is simply a crock of bull#hit , with this article by Brennan having as much merit to it , as a piece of plagiarism written by the infamous Jayson Blair !

The Glazer family, it can be said, in owning two professional sports’ franchises, may well have had one of their worst years on record , One of the franchises owned , the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , simply stunk up the joint within the NFL and once again their less than intelligent fans , were making excuses as to the woes of the team , when it was simply clear for all to see that head coach Greg Schiano lacked even less discipline than his entire playing roster. So much so , that at varying points during the Buccaneers’ season , you had to wonder which of the two entities were said to be the more incompetent. Was it the players on the field of play or Schiano and his entire coaching staff ?

A 4-12 season, has a way of bringing an organization back down to earth and giving you a clear indication of who and what they are and that was clearly the case with the Buccaneers . The franchise entered the off-season , dismissing Greg Schiano and not extending the contract of GM Mark Dominik . Replacing the former head coach is a face well-known to Buccaneers’ fans with Lovie Smith now succeeding his predecessor and Jason Licht brought in to head the front office as the new general manager. Smith and Licht, have been quick to start their era with some bold moves with regard to players they thought to be superfluous to the team’s needs, as they seek to get under salary cap and in preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft . Where the Buccaneers now go from here, will come down to the decisions made by the new head coach and that of the general manager, with Glazer family finally being aware and in tow with what is actually going on around them, not that they were over the course of the entire NFL season .

Joel Glazer , alongside siblings Avram , Edward and Bryan Glazer , have been entrusted by patriarch Malcolm Glazer to exercise due diligence in the running of English Premiership League (EPL) soccer team Manchester United and to ensure that the continued success of the soccer club is ongoing . With the stepping down of soccer’s most successful manager in Alex Ferguson , who as manager of the soccer club won just about every domestic trophy possible in English domestic soccer, as well as most prized trophy in club soccer, the UEFA Champions League Trophy . Ferguson’s successor, David Moyes , was thought to be the person best suited to succeed the most successful manager in English soccer history.

One of the issues that was never addressed and should have been by the board of directors of Manchester United, was to have allowed Ferguson some latitude , but not be totally reliant upon his counsel as to who his successor should have been . Unfortunately, with success comes power and Alex Ferguson was able to wield a great deal of it , even after having stepped down as the manager . At the same time , fearful of the fact, that fans still remained entirely unhappy in the way the family was able to purchase the club for almost $2 billion, without having to use any of their own money, but instead , using the club as collateral , they leveraged team and its assets, therein increasing its debt, while being given access to some $300 million in liquid assets (cash) , which was never used at the time, to bolster the team’s roster. Such were the vagaries of the takeover in which the existing shareholders walked away entirely happy cash-rich and several major financial institutions were now left to ponder , the next move of the Glazer family, as the owners of soccer’s most famous club in the world . They held the debt, but the club had now become Joel and Avram Glazer’s own personal bauble to do with as they pleased , within certain parameters off-course .

Nine years after the team’s purchase by the Glazer family in 2005 , and here we are , now in 2014 and all of the success attained in between then and now , will be for nothing, in terms of a domestic league title . The team fell by the wayside in the FA Cup , fell apart in the League Cup (Carling) and they are languishing , completely out of contention for the Premiership title , which guarantees qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League and the lucrative cash windfall that comes out of that particular European club competition .

The only saving grace for David Moyes at present, just happens to be the fact that he has led the team to the quarter-finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League competition where the team has been drawn against Bayern Munich of Germany, and where the first-leg of the two game aggregate contest, will be on the 1st April , 2014 being played at Old Trafford in Manchester, England , Anything short of a victory and the ire of the fans will continue, as there are already calls for Moyes’ dismissal, after his failure in each of the domestic competitions in England. With those mountings calls of discontent from the game’s most passionate fans , have come for the call for the Glazer family to actually sell the team , rather than their continued incompetence at various levels within the organization, from the boardroom on down. From the very beginning , it was very clear, that when the team was bought, Malcolm Glazer was truly out of his depth and the alleged acumen that his sons are said to have, in running a commercial concern , was not evident when it came to running this particular soccer team.

All of the familial incompetency had already been on show, as it related their continued idiocy, when it came to the Buccaneers and it was simply transferred across the Atlantic , where it was continued., , concerning how they sought to change the inner workings of Manchester United which was already successful, even profitable , and valuable concern . Leveraging the club and placing it with so much debt and then having to twice renegotiate with the financiers , again shows that Joel Glazer’s business acumen is not as astute as was first being claimed by a multitude of individuals within the Bay area and within the NFL fraternity. United has managed to lessen its debt obligation , but it may well be in for something of a scramble , if it is not able to fully meet the criteria set by UEFA for the 2015 season, wherein, teams qualifying their sanctioned competitions cannot carry debt totaling more thirty per-cent of their book value. Get the feeling the Glazers are not as smart, as some claim them to be?

In recent weeks there have rumors, highlighting even more discontent concerning malaise within the Manchester United organization , with evidence that former player David Beckham and several of his teammates from the 1992 side will lead a consortium backed by a wealthy Arab family providing the financing for the takeover of United , with Beckham , Ryan Giggs , Gary and Phil Neville fronting the consortium, with each of the players holding a stake in the team.

David Beckham , however, in partnership with business partner and manager, Simon Fuller and billionaire Mauricio Claure are busy in trying to get an MLS franchise off the ground in Miami in time for the 2017 season , but first, an agreement must be hammered out with regard to the building of a 40,000 seat venue in the downtown Miami area, with negotiations set to begin with the city of Miami. The blight that has already hit the city economically and they have yet to learn anything from their stupidity, in acquiescing to the whims of Bud Selig and Miami Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria in building the Miami Marlins’ Ballpark that has yet to be filled to capacity for a ball-game ever since its opening during the 2012 MLB season . Beckham and his partners, may well fare a great deal better, than Loria , given the demographics within the greater Miami area and the passion for soccer. On the flip side of the coin, baseball struggles to attract fans within the state of Florida, amongst the two professional Major League franchises and barely have decent attendances for their home games during the regular season. Spring Training is one thing, but during the regular season, one would expect a great deal more out of the fans of the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, rather than the continued excuses.

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Picture gallery .

Are you of the belief, that the actions of Philadelphia 76ers’ owner Joshua Harris can be justified even when there is no actual guarantee of future success based on his apparent intent ? Also given the lack of success by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 2003 , where do you believe that the blame lies for their failure, subsequent to that Superbowl triumph ? Out of their depth or not, should the Glazers now look for a buyer of their soccer team , where in all likelihood they would be able to sell Manchester United and make a tidy profit after sundry expenses ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always, for your continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) PHILADELPHIA – MAY 14 : Managing Owner Josh Harris ,left, of the Philadelphia 76ers introduces Sam Hinkie as President of Basketball Operations and General Manager during a press conference on May 14, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Copyright 2013 NBAE — Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images …

(2) An emotional Allen Iverson addresses the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , on the night that his number three jersey was retired by the franchise . Iverson began his career with the franchise having been drafted out of Georgetown University by the 76ers as the number one overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft . AP Photo / Denny Rogers …..

(3) Sixers’ teammates Nerlens Noel, left , seen here with Michael Carter-Williams , are seen as two of the main pieces that GM Sam Hinkie would like to build a team around . Both players have been moderately successful on what has been a thoroughly disappointing season , for the franchise which sees them languishing at the bottom of their division , as well having the ignominy of equaling a league record for mediocrity having lost twenty-six consecutive games during their regular season schedule. For rookie head coach , Brett Brown and his staff , it truly has been a difficult year, with very little progress being made on-court. USA Today/ Eric Hartline …..

(4) Avram, Bryan and Joel Glazer, pictured at Old Trafford in 2008, say they are not interested in selling Manchester United. However, if the rumors are to be believed the family are prepared to relinquish their ties to Manchester United if the right offer is made , that figure is thought to be in excess of $ 3.75 billion . Photograph: Mike Egerton/Empics Sport/PA …

(5) Newly installed Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith ,left is seen here with GM Jason Licht after the two were introduced to the convened press , with both replacing dismissed former employees Greg Schiano, Smith’s predecessor and Mark Dominik , who prior had been the Buccaneers’ former general manager. After a 4-12 season , Smith will seek to resurrect the fortunes of the NFC South based franchise , which has not made the postseason since 2007. During the off-season both the head coach and general manager have already began to make moves with the discarding of Darrelle Revis who has since been signed by the New England Patriots . It has but one of several moves engineered to make the team more cap friendly as they also prepare for the upcoming NFL Draft . AP Photo / Mike Patterson ….

(6) Former managerial adversaries , but now both on the same side. Seen here are Sir Alex Ferguson , left, himself the most successful manager in British soccer history , having won major trophies with SPL team Aberdeen before becoming the manager of Manchester United and leading the club to the most successful era in their history , winning in excess of thirty major trophies . Ferguson stepped down from his position , but not before his own personal recommendation to the Board of Directors that his successor should be David Moyes , pictured here . An indifferent season for Manchester United sees them languishing currently in seventh place in the English Premiership League (EPL) some seventeen points behind league leaders Liverpool FC (71 pts) with only six games remaining to their regular season schedule . The lone trophy that the team is now contention for , remains the UEFA Champions League , where they meet Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga in the first leg of a two-leg quarter-final , where the winner advances to the semi-finals of the most important European club competition . Getty Images Europe/ Arthur James ….

(7) Bolivian billionaire , Marcelo Claure and founder & CEO of Brightstar is seen here with soccer star David Beckham at a Miami Heat game at the AA Arena in Miami , Florida ., The two have partnered up entertainment mogul Simon Fuller , creator of American Idol and CEO of XIX Entertainment the holding company for Fuller’s business properties . The trio bid an astonishingly low asking price of $50 million for the MLS Miami franchise which is due to become operational during the 2017 season . Don Garber , MLS Chairman , who was pressed on the issue as to why the rights’ fee for the franchise, was so considerably low , when the New York franchisee was asked to pay in excess of $125 million , stated that as part of Beckham’s original contract, when he joined the MLS as a player with the Los (LA) Angeles Galaxy , wherein, a codicil was added to his contract giving him the right to operate a franchise with a predetermined fee . The consortium is now in discussion with the city of Miami with regard to the building of a 40,000 seat venue in the downtown Miami area but there also signs that the consortium would be open to site close to the Port of Miami close to the current home of Miami Heat , NBA franchise . Miami Herald / Jose Garcia ………

(8) Former teammates and close friends , David Beckham is seen here with Ryan Giggs. The duo tasted unprecedented success as players with Manchester United having won every domestic trophy together as players and then triumphed also when club won the UEFA Champions League Trophy for the first time since it was one for the first time under the late Sir Matt Busby as the Champions League precursor (European Cup) in 1968. The two are rumored to be part of a consortium made of up several members of the 1992 Manchester United team that are said to be interested in purchasing the soccer club , in which they would be backed by wealthy Arab family , whose name has yet to be disclosed . Weary of his name being attached this deal , David Beckham has neither confirmed or denied that such a proposal , as having been discussed . Yet , unconfirmed sources , have stated that Giggs and his friend, have repeatedly discussed the situation in the past several months , with now a number of teammates coming on-board , to be part of such a deal . At the same time, a number of major English newspapers are now headlining many of their back page,s with the assertion that beleaguered manager David Moyes is likely to be fired at the end of the season campaign, based on his failure during the domestic season , notwithstanding the fact of his guiding United to the quarter-final stages of the UEFA Champions League. Speculation has continued to rise that, Ryan Giggs would be the suitable successor to Moyes , having played his entire twenty-year career with the team, where he is well-respected by current teammates and beloved by the fans at Old Trafford , home ground of the Premiership’s most widely respected team. Guardian UK / Ian Ogletree ………..

(9) Simon Fuller , left, is seen here with close friend , business partner David Beckham and his wife Victoria ‘Posh Spice’ Beckham , singer and fashion designer . Fuller also happens to be the manager of both celebrities , advising them on a wide variety of issues , as it relates to their respective images and ongoing careers. Getty Images / Alicia Markham …

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