It’s the silly season and we’re having fun …

It’s the silly season and we’re having fun …

MLB’s off-season has proven to be a .folly of sorts, with teams now spending at will , capriciously on free agents who are likely to be overpaid for their alleged productivity. Many of these franchises will be looking to position themselves for the arrival of Spring Trainingand the regular season which begins on the 4th April , 2015. Reigning World Series’ champions the San Francisco Giants will enter the season having won their third title in the past five seasons, with both Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean back to lead this roster as they seek a fourth win of baseball’s most prestigious prize.

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Slideshow.


San Francisco wasted no time in re-signing their World Series MVP pitcher Madison Bumgarner whose postseason exploits were simply scintillating and beyond the perception of the most ardent fans of the game. Bumgarner in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals was a one-man wrecking crew bewildering the Royals’ hitters, leaving them dismayed and completely perplexed .

Heading into 2015, San Francisco will be without another of their postseason heroes with 2012 World Series’ MVP Pablo Sandoval having been allowed to leave the team as unrestricted free agent . Sandoval signed a very lucrative contract joining the Boston Red Sox where he is likely to be hitting in the Red Sox batting order ahead of DH David Ortiz. GM Brian Sabean may have felt it prudent to eschew Sandoval’s financial desires , instead choosing to take his chances with a projected lineup of Buster Posey , Hunter Pence , Travis Ishikawa, Gregor Blanco, Brandon Crawford , Joaquin Arias and a number of players likely to be promoted from their minor league system as the club seeks to bolster an offense that wasproductive throughmuch of the regular and postseason.

There may well have been doubters of Sabean, who made the decision allowing the departure of Pablo Sandoval , but the mercurial general manager has been quick to make a number of moves likely to improve the lineup for the upcoming season. One would be hard pressed to question the moves of an executive, thought to be among the best general managersin all of baseball. Brian Sabaen’s record speaks for itself. San Francisco is likely to be a considerable favorite to win the NL West division in spite of the likely moves being made by the Los Angeles Dodgers under their new Head of Baseball Operations & SVP Andrew Friedman.

Friedman’s departure from the Tampa Bay Rays caught off, just about everyone by surprise, including his former fellow executives , the fans and analysts around the game. Add in the fact, the team’s manager Joe Maddon also made an abrupt departure to take a similar position with the Chicago Cubs and one might suggest the franchise got hit with a ” double-whammy ” . Matthew Silverman has succeeded Andrew Friedman and the ball-club hired former hometown hero Kevin Cash to succeed Maddon as the team’s new manager. How this will all be viewed by the Rays’ fans will now be open to a great deal of conjecture and debate. Cash is a first time manager with no managerial experience, though he does have playing experience with an eight-year career in the Majors having played one season with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005.

Having spent in excess of half-a-billion dollars ($500,000,000) by way of salary commitments over the past two seasons. It is understandable, that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ executives felt it necessary to take a fresh look at the direction this ball-club was taking. In explicably, they had the best pitcher in baseball, but Clayton Kershaw’s postseason productivity had to be considered a monumental disaster. The team may well have pinned their hopes on Kershaw this past postseason, but the player was nowhere to be seen with his ERA among the highest of the starting pitchers during the 2014 playoffs’ foray. It would be easy to suggest the Dodgers’ pitching was their Achilles’ Heel, but that would be the farthest thing from the truth their offense being almost anemic and pedantic during this Fall.

It is my belief Don Mattingly and his managerial staff did little to provide his players with any impetus or the desire to win, relying merely on the fact a jigsaw puzzle of ill-fitting pieces made up of highly overpaid stars would be enough to get the job done. It will be interesting to see whether not Andrew Friedman will be able to keep the team’s payroll for the upcoming season at a manageable level and by that I mean lower than the $200 million threshold , where baseball’s luxury tax kicks in ,with team, then having to pay a penalty for going above the aforementioned figure.

Money would be of no object, where the Dodgers’ is almost half that of the value of several teams within baseball and then you add in the fact , the organization has a two-decade $3 billion ($3,000,000,000) television deal , which reaps this organization $150 million annually. Not bad for a ball-club, whose lastWorld Series’ triumph came as far back as 1988. Magic Johnson, Mark Walter , Todd S Boehly , Peter Guber and several other partners are intent on making this franchise the most recognized within the game. Certainly , the Los Angels Dodgers’ name still resonates within the game of baseball , but that is all it has been able to do , because success remains hard to come by, with an uncompetitive brand on the field of play, especially with regard to their two most recent postseason appearances.

Bold moves might not be necessary, but there has to be a shakeup in the Dodgers’ roster, if they are to be seen as credible challengers this upcoming season. Dan Haren, Dee Gordon, and Hanley Ramirez have since departed from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster and there is the belief that several otherswill meet the same fate as those jettisoned this off-season. Pitcher Josh Beckett having pitched a “no-hitter” for the team during the regular season in a 6-0 thrashing of the Philadelphia Phillies achieved little of note in the aftermath of the achievement. A free agent in 2015 , it seems highly unlikely he will be making a return to the Dodgers unless it is at a reduced salary , bearing in mind he was paid $15.75 million in the final year of his original eight-year deal signed with the Boston Red Sox.

I’ve often been told how insightful the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays are said to be, but to my mind, I find the fans of the this ball-club eternally optimistic. For whatever reason, year in and year out, repeatedly , I am told this franchise can survive on their meager pickings and a fan-base that in reality , is no more than an average of 15,000 hardcore fans and that is in spite of the reported attendance levels for the team’s home games at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida,, In what can only be described as another down year for this organization. The Tampa Bay Rays finished a distant fourth behind the AL East division winners the Baltimore Orioles , nineteen games out of first place . If that wasn’t a sign of how deplorable the team’s season was said to be, then consider the fact, they missed gaining a wildcard berth within the AL by eleven games . Inasmuch, as Joe Maddon and his coaching staff tried to motivate the team, the talent or level of play simply was not good enough to make a sustainable challenge over the course of the season.

The Rays are never really going to be able to compete with the likes of the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees , Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers , Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs , much less teams considered to their market equivalent in terms of size. Furthermore , pointing to the fact the Rays are profitable without acknowledging the fact they are able to eke out such gains by way of an assist from the league hierarchy , indicates the complete lack of knowledge among this team’s fan-base. Yet, in spite of it all, the success attained by the Rays cannot be overlooked. Now comes the hard part, with the loss of such assets as Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon , how will this organization seek to rebound and reacquaint themselves to former heights of glory achieved ? Matthew Silverman comes in with a clean slate , but having to fill an extremely large pair of shoes left by his predecessor Andrew Friedman. Kevin Cash faces an even more daunting task , having to follow in the footsteps of the club’s most beloved and successful manager , Joe Maddon. This upcoming season might be the toughest this organization has had to face on record. Upheavals aside, the ball-club has reverted to ways of old , as they jettisoned players during and prior to the off-season, seeking to pare down the team’s payroll.

You can tell a great deal about an organization , when they are on the verge of losing their perhaps their best player. So, it was with the New York Yankees , as Derek Jeter’s career came to an uncompromising end. No postseason heroics or the raising of another World Series’ title, just a disappointing year for the player and the ball-club as Joe Girardi came up with a litany of excuses for a lackluster year-long performance by a team of undeserving players . Granted, the Yankees finished second in the AL East, yet, it was simply fitting the division’s champions, the Baltimore Orioles fell at the very first hurdle, when they succumbed to the Kansas City Royals in the championship series’ of the postseason, losing emphatically 4-0 in the ALCS. Emphasizing how poor the play just happened to be in the AL East, all season long.

A payroll of just over $200 million , much of it misspent , brought about lackluster returns, with Brian Cashman and members of the front office at a loss to explain what went wrong last season. An aging core of players who failed to deliver, with the likes of CC Sabathia , Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner , Alfonso Soriano , Brian McCann , Hiroki Kuroda, Shane Greene , Mark Teixeira and others were said to be a core unit, this ball-club could rely on, to bring back some semblance of success, Instead they performed like a damp squib, lit to celebrate an event , but they simply fail to light up that event and make it a success. In the aftermath of it all, Brian Cashman is now said to be counting on the return of disgraced Yankees’ star Alex Rodriguez to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise in 2015. I liken that premise, of trying to place a square peg into a round hole ! Nothing about Rodriguez’s return to the game, will be of benefit to the sport, much less to the benefit of the organization. Idiotically, Cashman , Hank and Hal Steinbrenner stood idly by, as the player lied repeatedly, about his wantoned use of steroids, but they failed to reprimand the Rodriguez , leaving it instead , to a bumbling and incompetent hierarchy, first led by Bud Selig , who has handed over the reins to the equally inept , Rob Manfred ,succeeding his predecessor as the new incoming Commissioner of Major League Baseball.

What has become abundantly clear, is the very fact, the Yankees’ managerial staff and Cashman have no implicit faith in their farm system and the talent said to be on display within the lower rungs of the organization. The franchise has now become overly reliant on buying its way out of trouble rather than seeking to groom the alleged talent within its ranks. This off-season , we are likely to see an influx of new faces and a completely new lineup when the team takes to the field in their first regular season game of 2015. That contest, will be their home season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankees Stadium , in the Bronx, New York City, New York on the 6th April , 2015,.

There is no denying , as a professional sports’ franchise owner and businessman Jerry Reinsdorf has tasted success at the highest levels. His ownership of the Chicago Bulls during the well-chronicled era of Michael Jorda’s dominance of the NBA and their six NBA titles highlighted one of the brightest eras of the NBA’s history. Yet, the forlorn years of his ownership of the Chicago White Sox has brought that particular baseball franchise one championship , coming in 2005, when the team defeated the Houston Astros with in an easy 4-0 sweep of the then National League franchise. In the subsequent years things have not been so beneficial for the White Sox or their long-suffering fans. Since that historic second World Series’ win, the Chicago White Sox have made only one other postseason appearance , where they made it to the ALDS in 2008, only to suffer a series’ defeat (3-1) at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The White Sox organization has seen some major upheavals by way of the player personnel staff, managers and general managers over the past decade and a half. Through the midst of it all , the one bright spot has been knowing they have succeeded, where the Chicago Cubs have failed so dramatically in achieving> and that is to win a world championship. One hundred years and counting, the “monkey” has yet to come off the neck or shoulders of the downtrodden Cubs’ franchise. 1908 was the year the Chicago Cubs were anointed champions of the baseball world and there still seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel for the Wrigley Field faithful.

The White Sox, this off-season have begun to spend lavishly , acquiring free agents as if they were an endangered species , with GM Rick Hahn now overseeing Baseball Operations for the ball-club. . Adam LaRoche , Zack Duke, Melky Cabrera and David Robertson have joined the staff of the Chicago White Sox. There is a clear thought process behind these maneuvers , and it may well be Hahn feels the window of opportunity for the Detroit Tigers is rapidly closing with their failure to make a spirited run to win a World Series’ title. The Tigers’ recent postseason failures have proven to be a bitter and ” hard pill to swallow for team owner Michael Ilitch and GM Dave Dombrowski, but the owner and executive continue to toil on.

With Dombrowski not being able to come to contractual terms with Max Scherzer , it would appear that the pitcher’s time with the Detroit Tigers could be coming to a close. Scherzer wants to be paid like a superstar based on his award winning 2013 season , but one of year stellar production is not the basis to be given a multi-year, multimillion dollar contract. Wisdom suggests calmer heads may well prevail, but yet in the world of baseball, logic tends to be thrown right out the damn window, as exhibited with the recent idiocy by the Miami Marlins and their signing Giancarlo Stanton to the most lucrative contract in baseball history and professional team sports’ history in North America.

Perhaps , only in the NBA and baseball, where the players’ contracts are guaranteed, do we tend to see this type of financial extravagance , while idiots try and suggest, both sports are being well-ran by their respective hierarchies and where financial expediency is actually being shown in both sports .

A meeting of the minds, has yet to happen, with the overwhelming presence of the NBPA and MLBPA sending the unions into conniptions, each time the words ” mandatory salary cap” are mentioned . I have always maintained, you can tell a great deal about a business or a sports’ enterprise simply based upon the trust between the two parties , the union, who represent the employees and governing bodies as the employers. If there is continued mistrust, then the likelihood , is that entity is in dire trouble, even when there is said to be millions of dollars being reaped , annually. Profits may well go a long way, but it clearly does not represent common sense or intelligence, being shown . Ask yourself this question, in spite of the popularity of the NFL, how is it, they repeatedly have so many pratfalls, many of which, are self-induced ? Have you been able to come up with an answer ?

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Picture gallery.

This upcoming season in baseball, which teams or players do you believe will provide the most excitement ? Also, do you believe the dominance of the San Francisco Giants can be quelled successfully by an NL opponent over the course of the year ? By all means, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site, as it’s gratefully appreciated !

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Picture gallery and slideshow details below.
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(1) San Francisco Giants’ catcher Buster Posey left , is seen here with World Series’ MVP Madison Bumgarner , as the two celebrate the team’s Game 7 , 3-2 win , a victory over the Kansas City Royals , The series’ victory gave the Giants their third World Series’ triumph over the past five years and fifth overall . The Giants will enter 2015 without Pablo Sandoval , the ball-club’s 2012 Series’ MVP , who joined the Boston Red Sox during the off-season . AP Photo / Andy Addams …..

(2) Giants’ pitcher Madison Bumgarner celebrates in the locker room after his team’s 3-2 Game 7 triumph over the Kansas City Royals. Bumgarner’s exploits this postseason placed him in the upper echelons of baseball’s postseason pitching history , with a number eye dazzling feats. The player was signed to a five-year contract extension by GM Brian Sabean securing their young star on very exceptional pitching rotation in 2015. quite possibly the best in the NL and MLB overall. AP Photo / Ezra Rodriguez ..

(3) Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington(left) is seen here with the team’s newest acquisition , slugger Pablo Sandoval . The Red Sox also acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Los Angeles Dodgers as an unrestricted free agent, signing both players to lucrative deals . Cherington hopes the duo will be able to provide the Red Sox offense with some additional firepower this upcoming season . Getty Images/ Alexander Hough …

(4) Chicago Cubs’ general manager Jed Hoyer ,left, is seen here with Joe Maddon as he is formerly being introduced to the convened press at the Cubs’ official press meeting, announcing Maddon has succeeded Dale Sveum as the club’s sixtieth manager in franchise history. The former Tampa Bay Rays’ manager left that organization after several successful years , taking the franchise from worst to one of the most competitive teams in baseball during his tenure. However, there seems to be some change of discord and the lack of leadership being shown within the front office , leading to Maddon’s abrupt departure along with the team’s former GM Andrew Friedman who joined the Los Angeles Dodgers to become their Head of Baseball Operations. Also pictured , Cubs’ President & SVP Theo Epstein. AP Photo / Michael Holmes …

(5) Los Angeles’ manager Don Mattingly looks on at his pitcher Clayton Kershaw as the pair , along with members of the coaching staff and trainers are in the dugout during a game played at Dodgers Ballpark in Los Angeles, California ,. The team made it to the 2014 MLB Postseason where they swept aside in the NLDS with consummate ease by the St Louis Cardinals . It was the second year in succession where the club had fallen to their NL rivals . Kershaw performed miserably throughout the postseason along with his teammates. With Andrew Friedman being hired to take over all personnel decision making and the lateral promotion of Ned Colletti , lead managing partner Mark Walter was adamant , sweeping changes had to be made. Several players have since been released by the ball-club , including Josh Beckett and Hanley Ramirez . More moves are expected to me made in the coming weeks . The Los Angeles Dodgers have at least four players on their current roster who will be earning in excess of $20 million this upcoming season , among the highest tally of the league’s thirty teams . Getty Images/ Hugh Davidson ….

(6) Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn (2nd from the right) introduces Jeff Samardzija , David Robertson and Melky Cabrera on Tuesday , Dec. 16, 2014 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago , Illinois,. Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

(7) Detroit Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski ,left, is seen here alongside Prince Fielder , center and team owner Michael Ilitch after the team formally introduced the player to the convened press at Comerica Park in Detroit Michigan , on 26th January, 2012. The player was signed as a free agent by the team, after Fielder chose not to re-sign with the Milwaukee Brewers. Prince Fielder’s tenure with the Tigers was short-lived and he was traded to the Texas Rangers where the AL West based team will assume the remainder of his existing contract . AP Photo/ Xavier Harris …

(8) February 17th , 2009 , Alex Rodriguez followed by GM Brian Cashman and Derek Jeter on their way to the press conference where A-Rod admitted using Steroids. With the retirement of the Yankees’ short-stop at the end of the 2014 season , Cashman hopes the beleaguered and still despised Rodriguez will be able to provide the team with the impetus needed to have a successful season . During his league imposed ban, Alex Rodriguez has chosen not to offer any public interviews to discuss his suspension , choosing instead, to prepare himself mentally and physically for the long haul of a one and hundred and sixty-two game schedule of the regular season . The player’s cousin , Yuri Sucart was recently indicted in US Federal Court alongside Anthony ‘Tony’ Bosch , (founder of Biogenesis) for running an illegal drug ring , along with the transportation and selling of steroids and other illicit drug paraphernalia . Getty Images / Tate Reynolds ….

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I can feel the burn just as much as she does ! So , what’s not to like ?

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Audrey Bitoni reveals more than natural beauty, she’s got a nice rack ”
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17 thoughts on “It’s the silly season and we’re having fun …

  1. The PGA Tour has its silly season at the end of the regular Tour schedule which coincides with tournaments held in the Far East , South America and in North America . Tour Chairman Tim Finchem believes , this bests resonates with the game’s fans , while golf’s most high-profiled and visible player Tiger Woods looks at ways of increasing his wealth and looking to reshape his game after the ascent of Rory McIlroy to the top of the world rankings .

    In baseball (MLB) , their nonsensical off-season has the owners , general managers and league hierarchy making complete ass#holes of themselves and the game , while creating the perception their off-season dealings will actually garner the attention of the fans and public alike.

    If the Tampa Bay Rays’ ownership group had an ounce frigging common sense they would seek an outside partner with extremely deep pockets to assist them through their financial and competitive struggles. It has become abundantly clear Stuart Sternberg and Matthew Silverman play the roles of businessmen , but there’s not an ounce of goddamn common sense to be found among the pair of front office executives.

    Kevin Cash has been thrown in at the deep end in having to succeed his predecessor Joe Maddon , with Cash having no real managerial experience at all in the Majors. Unless he has an experience coaching staff to back him up, then Kevin Cash , is likely to crash and burn this upcoming season , along with his entire playing staff.

    Rays’ GM Matt Silverman has begun to gut the roster with trades , simply looking to pare down the team’s payroll for this upcoming season .

    “Rory, what do you want to me say ? I’m telling you , I only ##ck white women ” ! ” But Tiger, I thought it had something to do with the myth about you guys, being well-hung with a gigantic pen#s “ ?

    Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods .

    Kevin Cash (left) and Rays’ GM Matt Silverman .

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  2. You simply know things are going to be bad for the New York Yankees this upcoming season , when GM Brian Cashman is said to looking at Alex Rodriguez to provide the team with impetus and leadership , as they enter the 2015 regular season . What the f#ck did Cashman not understand , when it came to the player’s lack of honesty , integrity , self-importance and deceit , while putting himself before everyone else ? New York’s general manager is a clueless mother-##cking as$hole of the highest order .

    The problems for the New York Yankees > last season went way beyond the weakness of the pitching and the lack of timely hitting on offense throughout much of the season .

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  3. When you’ve spent close to $500 million in the last two years on players’ salaries the only direction you can actually go , is to proceed along that same path .

    Clearly , even with Andrew Friedman being brought into the fold within the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office as a senior executive . I cannot see the Dodgers being unwilling to outspend their closest rivals once again this season, as they seek to compete in the NL and specifically the NL West where the ever-present challenge of the San Francisco Giants will be persistent this season .

    Friedman , left and Dodgers’ team President Stan Kasten

    Magic Johnson a stake owner in this ball-club has become the main front-man and high-profiled spokesman for the franchise . However , I believe the main issues with the Dodgers lies in the lax approach of the managerial staff led by Don Mattingly !

    From left right , senior partners in the Dodgers’ ownership group . Peter Guber , Stan Kasten , Mark Walter and Magic Johnson in the outfield at Dodgers’ Ballpark .

    Projected 2015 payroll for the Los Angeles Dodgers . Highest paid players on the staff this season .

    Mattingly will lead a team going into this season with four players earning in excess of $18 million each with a fifth earning slightly less than $20 million. Now equate that (approx $113 million ) and then gauge the figure in comparison to the payroll of the other twenty-nine teams in MLB . Where is there meant to be any economic sense with their being economic imbalances between the haves and have-not’s ?

    Annual salaries :

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    Highest earning athletes globally (inclusive of endorsement deals) . Very few baseball players are even remotely at or near the top of the list .

    Floyd Mayweather the highest paid athlete on planet earned $105 million this past year . His estimated wealth exceeds $250 million .

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  4. For the die-hard Tampa Bay Rays’ fans out there and the docile buffoons , who try and intimate these fans are unique with their insight and intelligence . Let them now explain how the organization will now be of benefit in trading Wil Myers at this juncture ? GM Matt Silverman has decided to gut the roster , simply because they are too fu#king cheap , but yet idiots , suggest the team is profitable , but haven’t the intelligence to realize that only comes into being because they are recipients of the league’s luxury tax sharing revenue scheme

    Wil Myers no longer with the Tampa Bay Rays . Gone , almost certainly forgotten .

    I’ll say it again, sports’ fans in Tampa are from intelligent , much less know a damn thing about sports in general .

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    Tophatal …………

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  5. Prior the Chicago Cubs’ acquisition of pitcher Jon Lester , the ball-club’s odds of winning the 2015 World Series dropped from 50-1 to 12-1 . As good as Lester is said to be , he alone cannot provide the Cubs with the productivity needed to win their first title in over one hundred years.

    Jon Lester who this past season spent time with the Red Sox and A’s .

    GM Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein will have to make several more viable moves before the team can be taken seriously as a divisional contender , NL Pennant winner , much less a titlist .

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  6. Chris Humpherys (SportsChump)

    Here’s all you need to know concerning the Tampa Bay Rays . Matt Silverman and Stu Sternberg will continue to regret the day that both Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon were allowed to leave this ball club. Now look at the players who have been traded since November 1st . How the hell will they be able to compete this upcoming season against teams such as Seattle Mariners , Detroit Tigers , Boston Red Sox , Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles ?

    The Rays are bereft of intelligence , but you among others , have always suggested fans in Tampa have insight on this club . That notion alone , indicates a real lack of intelligence without delving deeper into debating the issue.

    Sean Rodriguez , Wil Myers and Matt Joyce have since left the club which comes courtesy of their cost-cutting . At what point are fans meant to believe the Tampa Bay Rays want to compete after these moves ? Are you ##cking kidding me ? The fans in Tampa are deserving of this because their continued goddamn apathy and sheer stupidity , with all of their asinine pontificating about this organization has no semblance of intelligence or frigging logic to it at all !

    ,

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have traded , slugger and All Star player Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres for which the Padres’ organization are said to be not overly concerned with the player having missed a multitude of games over the past few seasons due to an arthritic hip ailment which has gotten progressively worse over the past two years.

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  7. Carl Crawford’s productivity for the Los Angeles Dodgers over the past two seasons has been borderline mediocre if not downright embarrassing . Yet, if the player remains on the team this season without being traded he will be among the highest paid players on the Dodgers’ roster , earning in excess of $22 million a year.

    Crawford and his baby’s mama , reality tv show star Evelyn Lozado , former wife and dalliance of Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) .

    Carl Crawford biographical information

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    Los Angeles Dodgers’ transactions (December) and for the month of November

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  8. If there’s one AL team that really has something to prove this upcoming season, then it would have to be the Los Angeles Angels . Without Mike Trout , I certainly believe no one would actually take notice of the Angels . Granted this past season , they won the AL West with relative ease , but they failed miserably in the postseason , falling when their play overall was lacking , with their being no leadership coming from the managerial staff of Mike Scioscia or the players throughout baseball’s postseason foray .

    With players such as Albert Pujols , Josh Hamilton , Jered Weaver , CJ Wilson , David Freese and Howie Kendrick . It is hard to imagine how things could have fallen apart so incredibly for the Angels during this past season .

    With several free agents in 2015 the front office led by Jerry Dipoto will make the decisions necessary whether or not to bring back certain players from last season .

    Tophatal ……….

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  9. Can we now face facts ? The New York Yankees will limp into the 2015 season with an aging core of players , several of whom are well past their sell by date . Never mind the fact manager Joe Girardi and his managerial staff have not been impressive since the 2009 season , when the franchise won its last World Series title . Even then , it was somewhat dubious as their opposition came in shell-shocked , worse for wear , bruised and playing uninspired baseball .

    Both the Yankees and their opponents in 2009 the Philadelphia Phillies have taken dives into mediocrity since that year (2009), falling apart at the seams , while continually overpaying for mediocre on the field talent .

    New York under the guidance of GM Brian Cashman have not made any major deals , mindful of the presence and perception that as they continue to spend capriciously the dividends sought haven’t been beneficial to the organization in recent years .

    Philadelphia with their recent upheavals within the organization on the managerial front . Ryne Sandberg succeeds Charlie Manuel , whereas , Reuben Aamaro remains as the general manager overseeing personnel decisions. Since the team’s triumph in the 2008 World Series and their reappearance in 2009 , things have not been beneficial to the Phillies as borne out in their low divisional standing in 2014.

    Sandberg witnessed his team perform poorly as a NL concern, but even more so within MLB in general .

    Several front-line players were either released as free agents or traded away this off-season with the ball-club bringing in what they believe will be productive additions , while also delving into their farm system for prospects. None roster invitees will also be assessed as Philadelphia looks to lower their payroll back to a manageable size after several years of closing in on the $200 million barrier .

    The Phillies’ projected lineup for 2015 will see the return of some familiar faces, but also a number of new ones in comparison to last season.

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    Tophatal ……………

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  10. Miami Marlins’ GM & SVP Michael Hill hasn’t yet finished with the team’s spending spree , having acquired outfielder Martin Prado to go along with the long-term signings of Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton.

    Two years ago this very same organization built up a roster of highly paid stars , which would flame out under the managerial acumen of Ozzie Guillen as the manager . In that very same year of 2012 , Giancarlo Stanton was the only member of the roster to be directly voted unto the NL All Star Team to play the AL All Star lineup of MLB’s midseason showcase event .

    Are we likely to see the very same thing happen again 2015 with a team , that may well struggle to compete against their NL counterparts ?

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    Miami Marlins’ news

    Miami Marlins’ transactions (December) and for the month of November

    Miami Marlins’ active contracts and projected team payroll (2015)

    Tophatal ………

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  11. Not wanting to beat a dead horse to death , but where do the Baltimore Orioles now go from here ? They win the AL East with relative ease and then are considered the prohibitive favorites for the World Series . Unfortunately , during the postseason the team simply failed to turn up as they brushed aside with such ease , it was simply embarrassing to witness Buck Showalter and his managerial staff not being able to come up with an explanation for the team’s postseason tailspin.

    Dan Duquette of the Orioles

    Chris Davis has simply proven he’s a one-year wonder and not much more beyond that , very much in a similar vein to former Orioles’ slugger Brady Anderson . Need one say anymore on the matter concerning this particular duo ?

    Steroids doesn’t necessarily do a body good . See the travails of Alex Rodriguez for that and the fact his productivity has been on the decline for the past five years while being overpaid .

    Dan Duquette who heads the Orioles’ Baseball Operation was being courted by the Toronto Blue Jays to gauge his interest in assuming the role now held by the bewildered Alex Anthopolous . Duquette will continue in his role as the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles as he continues to rebuild the team from within and via free agency transactions .

    Buck Showalter in particular , will have to be more forceful of his players, especially of the veterans on the roster . Meanwhile , the manager has to hope he will see a growth in the maturity and productivity of Manny Macahado , by far the best player on the Orioles’ roster. Machado might just be the best young third baseman in the American League as an offensive and defensive player , single-handedly capableof changing a game with his skill-set.

    🙂

    Baltimore Orioles’ news

    Tophatal ……………

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  12. A joint second place finish in the NL East may well have provided New York Mets’ fans with optimism ,but this team , especially during last season showed absolutely no real signs > of improvement in terms of their play over a two-year span.

    Manager Terry Collins and his staff remain the “model” of incompetency , but yet their fans remain eternally optimistic without having a damn clue.

    GM JP Ricciardi and Sandy Alderson have been spinning their wheels over the last four years trying to assemble a roster competitive enough to compete and they are still no closer in achieving that goal , since both assumed the respective positions in their current roles.

    New York Mets’ news

    o_O

    Tophatal …..

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  13. The Philadelphia Phillies’ long-time short-stop Jimmy Rollins now has a new home having been traded by the organization after a long and distinguished career with the ball-club .

    An aging team at its core the Phillies under Ryne Sandberg will have a lot to prove this upcoming season , because the last two years have proven to be a monumental bust for Philadelphia overall .

    Rollins now sets out on a new path with his new team the Los Angeles Dodgers where he is likely to provide leadership , productivity but above all, real defense to a team sorely lacking that trait throughout much of last season . Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick will give the Dodgers some added boost in terms of that team’s productivity after their disastrous postseason , where they were found wanting not just with their pitching , but also their offense .

    🙂

    MLB news and press releases

    Philadelphia Phillies’ news

    Philadelphia Phillies’ transactions (December)

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