A legacy … aspiring to be a legend in baseball

A legacy …… aspiring to be a legend in baseball

With the rash of trade maneuvers which have taken place during the off-season within baseball. One has to wonder how and where the teams in question are able facilitate the deals in terms of their finances . Granted , year in and year out were are repeatedly being told by the league’s hierarchy the game has nothing to worry about with regard to their finances. Yet it is difficult to try and justify how the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last two seasons have spent close to half-a-billion dollars ($500,000,000) in payroll to come up short in the postseason twice in sucession. OK, you could point to the fact the team’s owners are well backed financially, with their being owned outright by Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC , whose parent company just happens to be one of the nation’s largest venture capital firms with asssets exceeding $125 billion ($125,000,000,000). Guggenheim Partners Inc whose lead executives are Todd Boehly and Mark Walter , joined forces with Magic Johnson and Hollywood media mogul Peter Guber to purchase the Dodgers after the franchise was taken out of bankruptcy proceedings in US Federal Bankruptcy Court .

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Now while this whole chapter, may well have been beneficial for the game of baseball. The fact of the matter cannot be denied, the dealings which took place concerning this,was all clouded in a great deal of secrecy , with very little being made known to the public , in spite of the claims of former commissioner Bud Selig , everything was done above reproach. Having Bud Selig make those claims is tantamount to having a fox in a hen-house taking care of the occupants. Selig during his years has simply made sure this game has been presided over by buffoons , while he and the team owners take pride in the fact , apathy remains among the majority of the game’s fans , the print and television media as well as municipal and state agencies. The ongoing imbalances within the baseball beyond the very fact the game is still unable to rid themselves of steroid cheats , has been the fact Bud Selig and his successor Rob Manfred are either afraid to address the issue or choose not to initiate a hard salary cap which is equitable for all thirty teams within the game .

The Dodgers’ meltdown during this past postseason was enough to suggest Don Mattingly and his managerial staff were ill-prepared, complacent and felt it preordained they would waltz their way through the postseason. Perhaps buoyed by the fact they possessed the best pitcher in baseball during the regular season. Clayton Kershaw was meant to lead the Dodgers through their playoff foray. Unfortunately , for the team , their opponents had other plans and the explanations behind the team’s postseason demise bordered upon being comical to downright ridicule of a group of players, who were simply overconfident and had little respect for their opponents .

Don Mattingly and his team will enter into 2015 with a payroll exceeding $260 million and not exactly in a position to try and justify anyone’s belief they can be considered one of the best teams in the National League this upcoming season. With Andrew Friedman coming to head up the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Baseball Operations , it was believed sweeping changes would be made among the player personnel. Friedman saw a need for the change after the abject failure seen during the past two postseason forays for the Dodgers. It would be foolish to believe the front office would accept these failings and not let their angst be known. Magic Johnson may well be the public face of the Dodgers’ organization from an executive standpoint, but Johnson should not be thought of only in the complexity of being one the NBA’s all-time greats, because he has now become an extremely successful businessman and philanthropist , whose corporation runs a gamut of business entities with revenues exceeding $1.8 billion annually. Profits and success are at the forefront of the Dodgers’ desire within this ownership group by just about any means necessary , but after the vast financial commitment made in 2013 and 2014, it became obvious something was missing from the template engineered by the management staff for the players.

Gone from last season’s roster are Josh Beckett , Matt Kemp, Brian Wilson , Dee Gordon and Dan Haren. The most notable acquisition for the team was short-stop Jimmy Rollins, whose presence could add some stability and leadership , which were sorely lacking and missing from those traits last season. I firmly believe , if Don Mattingly is unable to turn things around for the Dodgers this upcoming season , then the likelihood of his remaining would prove to be a disastrous . This season is likely to prove to be very competitive against baseball’s current World Series’ champions the San Francisco Giants . If the Giants are not seen as prohibitive favorites for the NL Pennant in 2015 , then the dominance seen from this ball-club over the past six seasons can only be viewed as bewildering . Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy will be seeking to replicate the success witnessed last season as the franchise won its third World Series’ crown in the past six years.

There is no denying a ball-club such as the Los Angeles Dodgers with a legacy of such famed stars and Hall of Fame players as as Jim Bunning , Gary Carter , Don Drysdale , Sandy Koufax , Pee Wee Reese , Don Sutton and Jackie Robinson to name but a few . The vestiges of those halcyon days are long-gone with the franchise having not made the World Series in over twenty-five years , it begs the question , if the Dodgers are not able make another serious run in the postseason, will they ever succeed winning another title ? What I believe to be sorely lacking on this current Dodgers’ roster is someone willing to assume the role of a vocal leader both on and off the field of play. If the addition of Jimmy Rollins can provide the trait sought then so be it , but it is astonishing to think with such veterans already on this team as Carl Crawford , Adrian Gonzalez , Juan Uribe , Darwin Barney and AJ Ellis . How is it , that a team with such highly paid stars can continue to fail so miserably ? Is it a lack of managerial acumen from Don Mattingly or quite possibly the simple fact, this ball-club was never that good to begin with ?

An undeniable talent, but either the Miami Marlins are over-stretching in their belief that paying slugger Giancarlo Stanton a whopping $325 million will be a cure for what ails the organization can either be viewed as outrageous or an act pure genius on the part of GM Michael Hill and his fellow front office executives . Stanton’s thirteen-year deal averages out at $25 million annually , but it would still not make him the highest paid player in the game . Yet this is somehow the trait so many front office executives believe they need to exhibit. It’s either pay up, or you are likely to miss the boat . In baseball , few players have been able to live up to those live up to or meet the expectations or even surpass them. Simply ask Alex Rodriguez if he feels ,that his accomplishments within the game have not been tarnished by wantoned misuse of performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) ? I am sure New York Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman must now be ruing the day he re-signed Rodriguez to the second of his two multimillion dollar deals . Twice in a lifetime , two $250 million deals have been “inked” by Alex Rodriguez and not once was an eyelid raised over those contracts , even in the aftermath of the player’s admission of guilt for the use of a banned substance , which begs the question, why is baseball still filled with such apathy and hypocrisy , not just among the fans , but also within the game’s hierarchy ?

One of the decade’s best players found himself a new home during this off-season when Ichiro Suzuki joined the Miami Marlins signing a one-year deal with the hope his presence will prove to an adequate complement to the team’s roster . Ichiro is likely to maintain the productivity we have come to know over the years. The former AL Rookie of The Year and AL MVP is nearing a career milestone as he approaches the 3,000 career hits’ plateau . A first ballot future Hall of Fame inductee , it will be interesting to see how Ichiro will be feted upon surpassing the mark many hitters aspire to reach , but few are seen as legitimate legends of the game. Ichiro Suzkuki is definitely a legend within the Major Leagues and his career bears this out !

This upcoming season, I believe both the Miami Marlins and New York Yankees will live and die by the accomplishments of Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Rodriguez ! Stanton is lucky enough to still be in the infancy of his career, whereas , there is now nothing Rodriguez can now do to remove either the stain or stench associated with his past or his future . Two futile acts of contrition, cannot hide the fact he remains one of the most despised and hated athletes in all of major professional sports , bar none .

I believe it would be fair to suggest, both Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen offer the best hope for baseball, as the faces of the game and its likely saviors, if the sport is to truly prosper and for its long-term future ! Both have been recipients of the AL and NL MVP’s within their respective leagues. Though postseason heroics have been fleeting for Trout and McCutchen , there is no doubt in my mind at some point in their respective futures both are likely to be recipients of a World Series’ ring or a World Series’ MVP for their exploits. Granted , in the past three seasons neither the Los Angeles Angels or the Pittsburgh Pirates have met the expectations sought by their fans or prominent MLB analysts . Respective team owners Arte Moreno and Bob Nutting having willingly spent millions of dollars over the past few seasons painstakingly seeking a championship, but coming up short at various points of the postseason in recent years. This season, will hopefully promise a great deal and bring out the very best in the Angels and the Pirates. Certainly , that will be what respective managers Mike Scioscia and Clint Hurdle hope to obtain from the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates as they enter the first month of the 2015 regular season schedule beginning on the 6th April .

A confident start could go a long way in determining how good or great their respective seasons are likely to be. If both Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen can reproduce the form shown during last season, then it could also aid their teams to the desired success of possibly winning a World Series’ crown. The Los Angeles Angels will begin their season with a game against the Seattle Mariners at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim , California , whereas , the Pirates will play the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio , in the Reds’ home opener .

It is way too early to try and define the careers of Andrew McCutchen and Mike Trout ,but if either can remotely live up to a number of their predecessors with either the Pirates or Angels , then there is absolutely no reason not to believe why they cannot go on to have long and distinguished careers within Major League Baseball . In my honest opinion these two great young players are exactly what the game needs , fresh faced and talented individual players who simply excel, while showing a great deal of leadership skills and maturity !

Safe to say , with the ” stain ” associated with the careers of Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez , perhaps the best player in baseball over the past decade might well have been Albert Pujols whose list of career achievements have been well- chronicled . Since being acquired by the Los Angeles Angels his statistics have ebbed and flowed, but at his very best, there was no denying he was one of the most dominating , intimidating and best hitters in the game , while also showing his power as a home-runs’ hitter .

Many of Pujols’ current peers over past eight years have had their fair share misfortune either through their misdeeds or a decline in productivity. Pujols for his part remains an extremely popular player, with a large fan-base , while becoming a highly paid and lucrative marketing tool for a major corporate sponsors. The Angels’ slugger is one of a rare breed within baseball, whose image allows him such privileges in and outside of the game of baseball. Yet, I do not believe this is what defines Albert Pujols as a player or as a human being, because it has been his humanitarianism and philanthropy that has continued to stand out, throughout much of his decade-plus career. As he earnestly strives to win a third World Series’ title and his first World Series’ MVP Award , the sole individual award he has yet to win over the course of his astonishing career.

The common thought remains, if the Angels are to succeed in their goal to win their first World Series since 2002 when Troy Glaus was the hero of the series in their triumph against the San Francisco Giants. Then Albert Pujols , Josh Hamilton , David Freese , Chris Iannetta , Erick Aybar , CJ Wilson , Jered Weaver and Huston Street will certainly have to play a great deal better , while following the lead of Mike Trout, now considered to be the real leader on this team.

This season might well prove to be the last for Mike Scioscia, if the Los Angeles Angels should fail to make the postseason. Inconsistencies over the years have led to gaps in the Angels’ postseason appearances in recent years. Prior to last season’s playoff foray the Angels’ last such appearance came as a participant in the 2009 ALCS where they would fall to the New York Yankees , who would go on to win the 2009 World Series . Heading into this season there are at least six AL teams teams likely to be considered contenders for this year’s ” Fall Classic ” . The Angels are one of those ball-clubs, I believe can make a credible challenge for the AL Pennant , along with the Oakland A’s , Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers , Seattle Mariners and last season’s ” Cinderella Story ” the Kansas City Royals if they can retain a number of last season’s stars and keep their momentum going in 2015.

The four inductees for the 2015 14 Hall of Fame Class were nominees deserving of the accolade. The careers of Craig Biggio , Randy Johnson , John Smoltz and Pedro Martinez not only warranted serious consideration but these four players at one time or another were dominant at certain points during their respective tenures in the game. While there were other eligible candidates for this year’s class , many of those eligible were closely associated with the “steroid era “ of baseball , something Major League Baseball will never entirely escape in spite of the statements attributed to Bud Selig and the very fact the continued misdeeds of the players at the Major League and Minor League Level still has not brought about an abatement of the players’ use of banned substances (PED’s, anabolic steroids , Stanazolol) and a lack of response and a clear line of unison between the league hierarchy and union (MLBPA) leads me to believe, both parties are only prepared to pay the issue mere ” lip service “ as they see fit , when there appears to be outrage on the part of the fans. Not there has been any type of outrage from within the media , covering the game, in particular by the always hypocritical BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) .

The years in which Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were laying siege to and obliterating the single season home run record , even when there was possible evidence to suggest, not everything was completely above board , the baseball writers were simply lauding the players’ efforts, as if were actually witnessing history in the making. Now we know Bonds’ 2001 mark was not only dubious but even the seven-time NL MVP still refuses to properly address and explain whether or not at any point during his career he knowingly used a banned substance. To my mind Roger Maris’ mark of sixty-one home runs (61) remains the legitimate record in the baseball annals , along with Hank Aaron’s career home runs’ tally of seven hundred and fifty-five (755). Correct me if I’m wrong , even during the era of segregation and the civil rights’ era , was the sport of baseball ever in such disarray , as it was known to be in this and the past decade ? Answers please ? Or should we continue down the merry road of apathy as constituted and led by Bud Selig and now his successor , Rob Manfred ?

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Picture gallery .

Spring Training is just around the corner , merely less then six weeks away and the plot-lines within the game of baseball are now being written. Like last season we are likely to see a fair share of controversy being played out both on and off the field of play. So what should the fans expect during the first few months of this upcoming season ? Which players and teams do you believe will be taking away the individual and team honors at the end of this regular and postseason (MLB) schedule ?

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Matt Kemp, center, , once considered a mainstay within the Los Angeles Dodgers’ franchise but during the off-season he was traded to fellow NL franchise the San Diego Padres . Kemp is seen here with Padres’ front office executives , left GM A J Preller and manager Bud Black. . AP Photo / Gregory Bull …

(2) Mark Walter lead managing partner in the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers . Getty Images / Mark Powers

(3) Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins . During the off-season the player signed the largest contract in baseball history , a thirteen-year $325 million deal to remain with the franchise . He will be joined by former AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP Ichiro Suzuki , who signed a one-year deal with the NL East ball-club. AP Photo / Paul Ross

(4) Andrew McCutchen , left of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels . These two outfielders are considered to be the two best players in Major League Baseball . Few would consider to the contrary, given their list of accomplishments , since entering the Big Leagues . AP Photo / Mike Potter

(5) Ichiro Suzuki seen here in a New York Yankees’ uniform for whom he played last season , but will enter 2015 as a member of the Miami Marlins, with a view to aiding the team from an offensive and defensive standpoint. Getty Images / Mike Thomas

(6) ) Alex Rodriguez , picture inset , is seen here striking out during a game in 2013 for the New York Yankees . The third basemen sat out the 2014 season for the team , having to serve a league-mandated suspension for violation of the league’s steroid policy . Rodriguez hopes to make a successful return to the ball-club in 2015 with the organization in transition after retirement of Derek Jeter and departure of several players , notably Ichiro Suzuki who joins the Marlins in a one-year deal . Rodriguez’s return also will also place once again among the top-twenty earning players in terms of annual salary and a contract , bearing in mind, he is the only player in MLB history to have signed two deals paying in excess of $240 million for each contract . He is also the top-earning player in league history by way of life-time contract earnings. At this stage of his career , it is not hard to suggest how Alex Rodriguez’s career is likely to be remembered . A two-time league substance abuse offender , dubious career statistics , top career-earnings , the public’s disdain and dislike of him as a player. Getty Images / David Hughes

(7) From left to right , Barry Bonds , Sammy Sosa and Mark McWire . For the decade covering the nineties and the early part of this past decade , the trio were part one of the most inglorious eras in baseball’s history , as they laid siege to the single-season home run record . The figure of sixty-one home runs first held by Roger Maris who hit 61 home runs for the New York Yankees during the 1961 season , is still looked upon and revered as the legitimate record in baseball history . though it was surpassed by Bonds in 2001 with seventy-three home runs. The mark is currently recognized by statisticians for MLB , the Hall of Fame , BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) and Elias Stats Bureau . Barry Bonds also holds the record for career home runs , (762) surpassing the total (755) of Hank Aaron , a Hall of Fame inductee in a game for the San Francisco Giants played against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver , Colorado on 5th September , 2007. . The pitcher who gave up the home run was Ubaldo Jiminez . AP Photo / Emmanuel Ortega

(8) ) Roger Maris who alongside teammate and close friend Mickey Mantle set the season alight in 1961 , where along the way Maris would break the single season home run record with a total of sixty-one home runs . In that same season the New York Yankees would go on to win the World Series defeating the Cincinnati Reds and where Whitey Ford would be named World Series’ MVP . UPI Archives

(9) Baseball legend Hank Aaron and his wife, Billye Aaron , smile as they listen to Hall of Famer Willie Mays reminisce during the dedication of the Hank Aaron Childhood Home and Museum April 14, 2010 at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Aaron’s childhood home, originally built by his father, was moved to the stadium’s “Gaslight Park” and restored in November 2008. The celebration, which included a ribbon-cutting and private reception, was attended by a star-studded roster of Hall of Famers and baseball dignitaries, including Mays, Reggie Jackson , Ozzie Smith , Bob Feller , Rickey Henderson , and Bruce Setter , along with President of Minor League Baseball Pat O’Conner, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Jeff Idelson , MLB Commissioner Bud Selig , and Hall of Fame senior director of exhibitions Erik Strohl . Hank Aaron, in many circles, is still recognized as the all-time career home-runs’ king , having surpassed the mark achieved by Babe Ruth of seven-hundred and fourteen . Aaron’s tally (755) has since been superseded by Barry Bonds . The Braves’ icon , now successful businessman with a themed style restaurant chain and several auto dealerships in the greater Atlanta area , is now , one member of a consortium close to buying NBA franchise the Atlanta Hawks , currently the best team in the league , record-wise . Apex Media-wire photo by Carmen K. Sisson

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Former MLB Commissioner Allan ‘Bud’ Selig seen on the dais at National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York .

17 thoughts on “A legacy … aspiring to be a legend in baseball

  1. The game has just lost one of its greats and perhaps the greatest player in Chicago Cubs’ history with the passing of Ernie Banks at the age of eighty-three . Banks’ had a legendary career with the Cubs . Many of the players’ greatest feats came while playing at Wrigley Field but his career , beyond being extraordinary was just littered with greatness .

    It will be interesting to see how the organization chooses to honor Ernie Banks throughout the entire season .

    Banks seen here in close proximity to the dugouts at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois .

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  2. With Bud Selig having stepped down as MLB Commissioner , his successor Rob Manfred by comparison seems like a droned copy of his predecessor , but with no discernible character at all. Not to worry , if Manfred carries on with the same level of incompetency seen then baseball will still remain in good hands with their continued and repeated pratfalls.

    Given the ongoing ineptitude we’re now witnessing in the NFL with Deflate-Gate , it would appear that the federal government is not the only circus or group of incompetent @ssholes in town ! Yet , fans continue to look for positive signs these hierarchies (NFL, NBA , MLB and NHL) know what the hell they are doing ? Each has been serving up a diatribe of bull#hit, concerning their respective on the field product , while showing not an iota of common sense or intelligence along the way . Not to be left out either are the imbeciles within the NBA now being led David Stern’s nincompoop of a protege’ Adam Silver .

    Rob Manfred pondering what to do next in terms of an encore , having succeeded Bud Selig . If he tried to shove his head up is own @ss, would it be considered an improvement of over the accomplishments of Selig ?

    Andrew McCutchen , left and Mike Trout .

    Taking nothing away from either Andrew McCutchen or Mike Trout , considering their on-field success over the past four seasons . Until they have led Angels and Pirates to a deep run in the postseason with the end result being a World Series’ title . All they will be known for at present . is the fact they have carved out very good regular season statistics at this point of their individual careers .

    Curt Schilling is not unlike a pig who chooses to wallow in its own fecal matter and at times urine , but in a pig’s case they would actually have a conscience . The former MLB star feels aggrieved he wasn’t voted into the Hall of Fame , but then chooses to point an accusing finger at one of the inductees claiming politics , without an iota of concrete evidence , played a part in his being denied entrance . Thankfully , John Smoltz showed a great deal of class by not responding to Curt Schilling’s asinine opinion or comment .

    Meanwhile , Schilling will be back doing his day job this season with ESPN as an anal analyst covering baseball for the network .

    Cancer recession or not , Curt Schilling remains a moron nowhere intelligent enough as he’d like to have the world believe while blaming others for his incompetence as a businessman , while the residents of Rhode Island ended up paying for his incompetency , as his company filed for bankruptcy. Way to go Curt, you are such an @@shole .

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  3. Just finished reading one of the most ridiculous posts ever concerning the woes of the New York Mets . A contributor believes it’s undignified to pile on the franchise , but I take the opposite approach to a ball-club , who up until last season (79-83) still hadn’t posted a winning season since 2008 and even then the team simply wasn’t competent enough to compete at the highest levels of the game .

    From left to right , Saul Katz, Fred Wilpon, Sandy Alderson and Jeff Wilpon .

    It has been six years since Sandy Alderson and JP Ricciardi were brought in to head up the Mets’ front office in charge of making the player personnel decisions . In that time they have failed miserably on all counts from the draft . trades and even within their Minor League system . They will end up playing second fiddle to the likes to the Atlanta Braves , Washington Nationals and notably the Miami Marlins .

    Mets’ senior front office executives Jeff Wilpon , Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz remain clueless as to what it takes to put a winning product on the field of play.

    Playing in an $800 million venue that was rarely filled to capacity last season , is all the Mets have to show for their continued incompetency . Am I suppose to believe a New York Mets ‘ fan knows what the hell they’re talking about ?

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  4. Rob Manfred as the incoming tenth MLB Commissioner will be top league executive presiding over the league hierarchy .

    . Unfortunately, here seem to be fans of the game with little common sense or intelligence suggesting Bud Selig , Manfred’s predecessor, has been the best Commissioner Major League Baseball has had in its existence. Is it me , but that type of apathy and idiocy has no goddamn merit if you’re not prepared to look at the game’s history and specifically at the individuals who have presided over the league hierarchy during baseball’s history .

    Granted, the era in the lead-up to the integration you had commissioners who were simply intolerant of racial diversity and the integration of the game . Never mind during the era of Babe Ruth , Ty Cobb and other peers were simply of the mindset African-Americans had no place on a baseball diamond, much less within a locker room under any circumstance unless it was in a janitorial capacity .

    Peter Ueberroth was a far more skilled negotiator and of business acumen than Bud Selig will ever be or could be . Simply look at Selig’s unwillingness to deal with the game’s financial disparities , by way of payroll and profitability .

    Manfred will have to deal with a number of obstacles, specifically the union and their lack of bipartisanship of working with baseball’s hierarchy for the betterment of the game. MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark , himself a former , seems to be following in the footsteps of his two immediate predecessors Michael Weiner and Donald Fehr . It should be noted, Selig has presided over a labor stoppage and his ill-timed stupidity , in shuttering a season , just before its midway point . How the hell can anyone believe Bud Selig has been good for the game of baseball ?

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  5. Over the past three seasons as an ardent Atlanta Braves’ , fan I’ve been privileged to see three seasons of the franchises modern modern era greats be inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame .

    With Chipper Jones having retired , playing his last game for the team in 2012 . It would seem only natural to think having met the requirements , Jones will be the next Braves’ player to inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Chipper Jones one of the best pure hitters in baseball over the past eighteen years .

    As a career lifetime .303 hitter , Jones would be joining a select group of players inducted into the Hall with a an equal or higher .

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  6. With Giancarlo Stanton having signed his mult-million deal . The the player will more than have to live the expectations as well as leading this team with a great deal of maturity .

    Manager Mike Redmond and his managerial staff will be under the microscope for the this entire season . The Marlins’ season opener will be ,game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Ballpark , Miami , Florida . Their over the past three years have been competitive and this match-up should be a good one .

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  7. Players will begin to report for preseason mandatory workouts within two weeks , before Spring Training schedule begins in earnest in the first week of March with the first slate of games .

    The regular season once again will be encapsulated around another ” Cinderella Story ” , which pretty much summed up the unbelievable year for the Kansas City Royals, who steamrolled their way through the n early stages of the postseason only to show their inexperience before being beaten by the San Francisco Giants in seven thoroughly exciting games .

    The regular season’s individual awards will become a toss up between the perennial candidates we have seen over the past few years and a number of younger players on the rise . I certainly hope that the Baltimore Orioles’ player Manny Machado can really prove his worth after showing why he has been by far the best player on the team’s roster. In the case of slugger Chris Davis after a down year in the AL and the very fact the player was the subject of a failed test , it begs the question with Davis proselytizing and railing on against steroid cheats , what credibility does he now actually have ?

    Manny Machado of the Orioles

    Chris Davis who after a fifty home-run season in 2013 saw his productivity drop off precipitously in 2014 , with the player also failing a drug test.

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  8. If Mike Trout can have another great regular season for the Los Angeles Angels while leading the team on a deep postseason run in 2015 , then it is certainly my belief he can join a select group of players to have won a League MVP Award two years in succession , much less having won the award more than once .

    Pujols and Trout .

    Mike Scoscia and his managerial staff will certainly have to prove themselves , while Josh Hamilton , CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols will have to live up to the expectations of their fans . Last season was one of tremendous disappointment for the Angels specifically when it came to their postseason play and a real lack of consistency all-round .

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  9. Under the microscope once again and Alex Rodriguez will be now given the last chance to show he’s got the talent to get by without the use of PED’s , not that I believe the player will be able to do that given his past errors which he has failed to take acceptance even with his asinine act of contrition .

    Rodriguez first sought to blame others including the press , as he and his lawyers sought to make this last incident be more of a racial witch-hunt by the baseball hierarchy , once again showing the Yankees’ third baseman lacking maturity , decency and an ounce of class . Unfortunately , within the New York Yankees’ front office there is not a great deal of common sense to be found with either Brian Cashman , Hank or Hal Steinbrenner as the main fiduciary holders of the late George Steinbrenner’s legacy as the owner of the franchise . The trio have done the ball-club a great disservice with their continued ineptitude and lack of a backbone , simply goose-stepping behind the edicts of Bud Selig and the league hierarchy , while being completely scared of the MLBPA (Players’ Union) .

    Joe Girardi and his managerial staff will enter 2015 with a somewhat revamped playing staff in comparison to last season .

    Alex Rodriguez has simply been about the money and the glory with little else beyond that , as can be seen in his latest fight with the organization .

    The real face of slime within the game of baseball . Well he and Curt Schilling , most definitely .

    Not content with the fact he’s been allowed to resume his career, he is going to get into wrangle over money ($6million) believe he’s due as part of his incentives in his contract ? The Yankees are to blame for this idiocy, as they should have sought a morals’ clause in the deal when Alex Rodriguez signed this most recent contract . I mean what the hell are they paying Lonn A Trost (Chief Legal Counsel & SVP within the Yankees’ organization) to do , apart from scratching the hairs around his sphincter (ass) ?

    “Look I’m a very good attorney , it’s just that I have not really had any practice in or outside a courtroom when it comes to contractual law.”

    Lonn A Trost

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    o_O

    Tophatal ………….

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  10. It’s hard to see what one ought to expect out of Matt Kemp and his joining the San Diego Padres . In recent years it has been Kemp’s fitness which has come into question along with inconsistency in terms of his productivity. However , what has never been in doubt , has been his leadership ability , which at times was the sole reason to watch a Dodgers’ team which tended to under-achieve while the player actually performed a great deal better than his teammates.

    🙂

    MLB news

    MLB press releases

    MLB transactions

    MLB Important Dates (2015)

    MLB Regular season Opening Day

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  11. Fans are eager for Spring Training to begin , with players set to report for duty at their customary training facilities around the Southeastern part of the country within the next two weeks . Meanwhile , offseason transactions are continuing apace several large contracts being negotiated during the time in question.

    For the Los Angeles Dodgers after the changes initiated by newly installed Head of Operations and de-facto GM Andrew Friedman to the team’s lineup will take on a whole new shape along with off-season non-roster invitees being given the chance to stake their claims in becoming a member of the team. From my own perspective, this season will provide Yasiel Puig the chance to show his maturity , as well as seeking to improve on last season where he was somewhat inconsistent, but a no-show during the postseason , much like many of his teammates during the month of October.

    Tophatal

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  12. As baseball begins to take shape , with the NFL season now winding down, it will be interesting to see what stories begin to emanate from around this particular league as MLB enters its Spring Training Schedule with players soon to report for their mandatory preseason rituals and workouts .

    For the Atlanta Braves they will enter this season without Jason Heyward , Justin Upton and a number of other players the organization either traded or released during this off-season, much to the dismay of their fans. The make-up of the roster will be decidedly different from last season .

    Atlanta’s loss will be the San Diego Padres’ gain, having acquired both Upton and former Braves slugger Matt Kemp. Jayson Heyward joins the St Louis Cardinals , an organization who in the last six seasons have made frequent trips to MLB postseason. It is likely Heyward will play his part in contributing to that ongoing success for the Cardinals at the plate and from a defensive standpoint.

    Fredi Gonzalez is lucky to have retained his position as manager of the Atlanta Braves after an uninspiring managerial season where the team failed miserably in so many areas under his managerial tutelage. 2015 could very well prove to be his last chance along with the managerial staff assembled to assist him in the team’s endeavors for the year , the aim of winning a World Series .

    🙂

    Tophatal ….

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    1. Chris Humpherys (SportsChump)

      Far too many changes on and off the field for the Tampa Bay Rays during this off-season .

      Joe Maddon’s departure was one thing , but to lose Andrew Friedman as well ? No way , they can effectively turn things around even with Matt Silverman taking over as the team’s general manager , without delving into the fact Kevin Cash will be in his first season as a rookie manager in MLB . Is this really what the fans should now be paying to see ?

      Stuart Sternberg is a pompous @ss and the idiot fans within the locale,. who so apathetically wax on lyrically with their continued bull$hit , simply have nothing better at all to do. If they did , then they would clearly be more critical of the organization as a whole. It seems to an ongoing trait within the Tampa Bay area, when it comes to the Buccaneers and the Rays .

      Tophatal ..

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    2. Chris Humpherys

      Which player on the current Tampa Bay Rays’ roster can Kevin Cash and his managerial staff now turn to , to lead this team during the upcoming season ? I mean it’s not as if Evan Longoria has truly been an inspirational leader , albeit , he remains one of the highest paid players on the roster , and that has been the case over the past two years at least . The Rays have no real leaders just some good role players and overpaid All Star in the role of Longoria .

      Tampa Bay Rays’ news

      Tophatal ……….

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  13. With the San Diego Padres having made a big splash with the signings of Matt Kemp and James Shields to lucrative contracts , it remains to be seen whether or not the organization is finished making acquisitions before they have players report for their mandatory pre season training before their Spring Training schedule in March .

    Clearly the Padres, now under a new ownership group believe it time to signal a move, which tells the rest of the baseball world they’re ready to make a challenge within the NL West , National League and the rest of baseball .

    There have been some lean years for the Padres and their last postseason appearance was a number of years back, with the team not actually faring all that well. I am not so sure the Padres have the depth to challenge the reigning World Series champions the San Francisco Giants or for that matter what appears to be a truly stacked Washington Nationals’ team after their deal with Max Scherzer , giving the National perhaps the best starting rotation and bullpen in all of baseball .

    Elsewhere, a timeless Julio Franco is casting an envious eye and a possible attempt of playing the game of baseball in his mid-fifties. The player has been at a number of first at certain points in his career, being the oldest player to hit a home run past the age of forty-five .

    Franco’s career has seen him become something of a journeyman contributing where he can to a team in need.

    Julio Franco’s career has spanned two decades and the player is eying a possible comeback to the Majors at the age of fifty six.

    MLB rare feats

    Tophatal ……….

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