There’s an app for that
It might well be apathy, but I suspect a great deal of stupidity on the path of fans when it comes to fans the world of sports and the very fact they seem to think there is no correlation between the world of sports and politics. Then again, here in the sports’ fan here in the United States are not the most enlightened or intelligent to be found on the planet. If the league can find itself with a great deal of lobbying power within Congress and idiots not believe sports and politics not be intertwined, then I would like to know how they might feel in knowing that the NFL is a sanctioned non-profit enterprise , not taxable and afforded the exclusivity of write-offs not afforded many of their own consumers and fans ?
The NFL remains awry after Federal Court Judge Richard M Berman rescinded Tom Brady’s four-game suspension , but this episode is far from over as an embarrassed league hierarchy now finds itself in the midst of further stupidity as Roger Goodell seeks recourse in US Federal Court of Appeals . To my mind , the league’s position was weakened when NFL Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash refused to take the stand to explain the NFL’s position in seeking to suspend the New England Patriots’ quarterback and with the Wells’ Report far from being conclusive with regard to the evidence gathered , it suggests the league was simply over-confident with their think the presiding judge would find in their favor.
The NFL season will open its 2015 regular season schedule with the defending Superbowl champions the New England Patriots playing host to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts , on Thursday 10th September , 2015. Sunday’s slew of week one games will pit several teams seeking to make amends for a poor 2014 season , with several new head coaches seeking to make a positive start to their roles within the league.
For Tom Brady as he resumes his career in the NFL , there is no denying that he will remain under the scrutiny of not only by the fans but also the sports’ world in general. It certainly will be interesting to see how not only Brady fares over the course of this season , but also his teammates as well as the franchise itself , as it remains at the center of attention.
Away from the NFL , baseball remains awash with teams still seeking to make something of their season. In some cases , several franchises have already fallen by the wayside out of divisional as well as the wildcard contention and the chance of making the postseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers while having a commanding lead over their NL West rivals , several of the Dodgers’ fans feel the team will have something of a cake-walk through the postseason. To my mind based on their performances of 2013 and last season , the Don Mattingly managed team is far from being in a commanding position to be viewed as the best team in the National League , much less the best ball-club in baseball. The Los Angeles Dodgers with an 8 ½ game lead can essentially look to closing out their schedule with Mattingly looking to assess his best lineup of players and gauging the opposition they are likely to face once the postseason gets underway.
Don Mattingly and his players will meet crosstown rivals the Los Angeles Angels when the two teams take to the field at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim California , in a late evening contest on Monday , 8th September . On the mound as the opposing starting pitchers will be Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers facing Andrew Heaney of the Angels. Coming off their 7-5 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon , it will be interesting to see if the Los Angeles Dodgers can make it a second consecutive victory for the NL based ball-club.
As the season steers itself towards the culmination of its schedule , the individual player awards should create great deal of interest among the fans and analysts in general. The AL and NL MVP Awards will be of focus , but I also believe the AL and NL Cy Young Awards will be of equal importance within both leagues. Zack Greinke would seem to be the consensus leading candidate within the NL , as he looks to succeed teammate Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers’ most recent winner of the NL Cy Young Award. A player-double seems out of the question with Greinke possibly winning the NLMVP also , as it would appear to be Bryce Harper’s to lose , considering Harper’s extraordinary season. The Washington Nationals are out of the hunt for the NL East divisional title but the NL wildcard berth appears to be something within their grasp, if they can maintain some semblance of consistency over the remainder of their schedule.
Harper and the Nationals were on the wrong side of an 8-5 loss to the New York Mets and will be looking to make amends for the defeat when the two teams meet again in the nation’s capital on Tuesday afternoon.
If there has been one team to my mind , which has been an extreme disappointment this season, it would have to be clear decline of the Los Angeles Angels over their last fifteen games . I am not so sure Arte Moreno is willing to be patient any longer with the managerial staff of Mike Sciocsia as the team’s decline has been so startling and with no signs of any real determination from the players let alone Sciocsia as the manager. With only nine victories in their last fifteen games, it is easy to understand why the Angels’ missteps have been so symptomatic , explicable as to their pitching and offense being so mediocre . If the Angels are to make any inroads on the divisional lead of the Houston Astros within the AL West, while also seeking to surpass the Texas Rangers for one of the two wildcard berths within the AL. It might prove to be too tall a task to ask of an Angels’ team which has under-achieved not only his season, but also over the past five years.
Teammates Albert Pujols and Mike Trout have led the Angels’ offense this season , but inconsistency has been the thing which has plagued the team all season long. Failure at this point I can only believe will lead to Mike Scioscia’s dismissal at the end of the season. Team owner Arte Moreno has continued to spend in earnest over the past five seasons with little to show for it over the time-frame in question. Postseason appearances since 2009 and have been somewhat lean and the ALDS loss to the Kansas City Royals last season was simply symptomatic of what has been wrong with the Angels as a franchise and it is they lack heart. One can apportion blame on the players , but I also believe it comes down to the managerial style of Mike Scioscia and the very fact he remains complacent and far too soft with his players , not holding them accountable or asking more of them on the field of play.
Mike Trout might not be in a position to win back-to-back ALMVP Awards, but he remains the best player in the game , by a considerable margin over his peers. The Angels’ chances of an AL wildcard berth are hanging by a single thread , which to my mind has begun to break. With the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in those wildcard standings, it is difficult to see how the team can now leap-frog all three to jump ahead of the pack.
Pitching and defense win games and in baseball, that has to be one of the most numerable traits needed within the game. Yes, the heroics of Zack Greinke have been well-chronicled this season , but the AL has its fair share of heroes on the mound in 2015. Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros has been by far the most impressive pitcher in the AL this year and his stats have gone a long way in making the Astros the surprise team within the league this season and Cinderella Story of this 2015 campaign . Keuchel is likely to seen as the prohibitive favorite as the AL Cy Young Award winner for this season. Astros’ team manager A J Hinch and his managerial staff might well have done the best job of any AL team this season and that is inclusive of the Kansas City Royals’ staff led by Ned Yost. Both managers are likely to be among the top contenders for the AL Manager of the Year .
Tuesday evening, the Houston Astros will be on the road to face the still all too inconsistent Oakland A’s at the O Coliseum , in Oakland California with Scott Kazmir on the mound to face Sonny Gray of the A’s. This contest should tell us a great deal about the intent of both teams and the apparent directions they are likely to be heading in currently.
Clear-cut winner of the NL Manager of the Year ? Not so fast , given the naiveté and stupidity often shown by the voters on the awards for baseball’s top regular season individual honors . Mike Matheny of the St Louis Cardinals has and should be seen as the runaway winner of this accolade , but I somehow get the feeling as the manager of the team with the best record in baseball, his being the recipient of this prestigious award could very well be denied. The BBWAA (Baseball Writers’ Association of America) tends to march to the beat of its very own drum , with common sense and intelligence being the farthest things from their minds a great deal of the time. Yet , they are given so much credence for the work they are said to do , alongside with their perceived insight into the game of baseball. It continues to make me wonder , where were these so-called scribes of baseball during the steroid era and were they simply blinded with ignorance , apathy and the unwillingness to right about the truth of what was taking place !
Each year when these awards are bestowed on the best that the game has to offer there tends to be little questioning as to how the adjudicators come to their decision. If Mike Matheny is not this year’s recipient of the NL Manager of the Year, I believe that a great injustice will have been done ! The Cardinals have simply been impressive all season long and the contributions to the team have been all an all-round effort from all members of this roster. Matheny’s acumen along with that of his managerial staff , have simply been fantastic. Granted, there are those who are of the opinion , Don Mattingly has been just as successful as the Cardinals’ manager, achieving his success over the course of this season. It is easy . when you have the unlimited resources of a multi-billion corporation as the team’s exclusive owner and lavish payroll expense exceeding $300 million for this season, as has been the case with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The St Louis Cardinals were on the wrong side of a Tuesday night loss to their divisional rivals the Chicago Cubs , their lead within the NL Central remains a healthy one , inspite of the Cubs’ own aspirations for the season under their inspirational manager Joe Maddon. It would seem the efforts of GM Jed Hoyer and team President Theo Epstein are now finally beginning to pay off . These two teams will renew their season long rivalry , when they reacquaint themselves once again on Wednesday afternoon with a game to be played at Busch Stadium in St Louis , Missouri, with Carlos Martinez taking the mound for the home team against Jon Lester of the Cubs.
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With the preseason being the precursor of what will likely be a fairly controversial NFL season , what do you believe we are likely to witness from the regular season within the NFL ? Also, do you believe the league is justified in seeking recourse to within the US Court of Appeals to overturn the verdict reached in the US District Court , Southern District of New York ? Finally, what are your thoughts on the impending postseason within baseball, and which teams do you believe will rise to the occasion and represent the two leagues in the 2015 World Series ?
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