As the world turns ….


As the world turns

If nothing else, what’s a good story without a great deal of drama ? Well , this NBA postseason the fans are being inundated with a great deal more than expected. The defending champions the Golden State Warriors still appear to be in control of their series against the Houston Rockets , but with a niggling injury besetting their League MVP and best player, Steph Curry . There is now the belief the team and their fans could be entering uncharted territory. A Warriors’ team without Curry still remains competitive , but head coach Steve Kerr knows , as Steph Curry goes, then so does this team .

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If the Golden State Warriors are now to make it to the second round (conference semi-finals) without Steph Curry for the remainder of their first round series, then it will be up to his teammates to up the level of their play against the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis for their part, have put up something of a spirited opposition to Golden State, but they have been unable to overcome their deficiencies during the contest. Rick Carlisle , his Rockets’ coaching staff and the team have been unable to come up with a strategy to overcome the league’s best offense throughout this series

Courtesy of Sports Illustrated .

Stephen Curry’s knee injury: What it means for Warriors and rest of NBA

By Ben Golliver , SI (Sports Illustrated)

Thanks to a wet spot on the Toyota Center court, the NBA playoffs now hinge on four unsettling words: Stephen Curry knee injury.

The reigning MVP returned to the court for the Warriors on Sunday after missing two games with a right ankle injury, only to see his night end early when he sustained a right knee sprain while slipping awkwardly just before halftime. Although Golden State went on to beat Houston 121–94 for a 3–1 series lead, Curry wasn’t able to return to the court in the second half and could miss two weeks.

• MORE NBA: Warriors’ title defense takes hit with absence of Stephen Curry

Clearly, the implications are massive for the 73-win Warriors, who are looking to repeat as champions. Curry’s value is monstrous and indisputable: he led the league in scoring, threes, steals, Player Efficiency Rating, True Shooting %, Win Shares and Real Plus Minus, and he’s the overwhelming favorite to be named MVP for the second straight year.

What’s known ?

Curry sprained his right knee while attempting to defend a Trevor Ariza three-pointer just before halftime. Curry’s left foot appeared to slip on the court first, causing him to lose his balance. With his right foot unable to plant, Curry’s leg twisted awkwardly at the knee as he fell forward to the court. Curry grabbed at his knee immediately before picking himself up and limping off the court.

After halftime, Curry attempted to go through a warmup routine but then retreated to the locker room, holding his head in apparent frustration.

The Warriors announced that Curry could miss two weeks for the injury after he underwent an MRI on Monday. Nevertheless, the initial reaction suggested that Curry’s absence during the second half was more than a simple precaution.

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Having won their most recent contest the series against the Houston Rockets , the Golden State Warriors will be looking to close , with a win in the next game between the two teams. A quick respite, allowing Curry and the team to recover fully , could be the best thing possible for Steve Kerr’s players before facing the winners of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trailblazers .

Damian Lillard of the Trailblazers are proving to be more than a handful for the Clippers , although Los Angeles currently has a 2-1 lead over their conference rivals . These two teams will meet on Monday night at the Moda Center , in Portland Oregon , for game four of their seven-game series. Doc Rivers and the Clippers’ team will be looking to make it all inevitable as to the final outcome .

Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs made quick work in dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in a four-game sweep . Kawhi Leonard coming off his second consecutive NBA Defensive Player of The Year Award has shown another aspect to his game with his offensive prowess . Leonard was the leading scorer for the Spurs during the series and he will be looking to maintain that momentum when the San Antonio Spurs meet the winners of the current series between the Dallas Mavericks (1-3) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1) . Oklahoma head coach Billy Donovan has his team playing high intensity basketball , completely outplaying the Mavericks in every aspect of the game. This series is likely to be over , when the two teams meet on Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Center , in Oklahoma City , Oklahoma .

 

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San Antonio Spurs’ forward Tim Duncan who this season celebrated  his fortieth birthday . Duncan , combined with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli to win more games than any other trio in regular season (575) and playoff (124) history. NBA Photos ….

 

In the Eastern Conference the series have been competitive , though not necessarily thrilling for all of the participants involved . The Cleveland Cavaliers (4-0) led by LeBron James blew by their first round opponents the Detroit Pistons (0-4) without breaking much sweat on route to a four-game series’ sweep . It was a solid contribution from the Cavaliers’ players , with head coach Tyronn Lue having to be pleased with what he witnessed from his team. The Cavaliers will now await the winner of the series between the Atlanta Hawks (2-2) and Boston Celtics (2-2) , with a pivotal game-five being on the line when Atlanta host the Celtics on Tuesday evening.

Of all the series within the Eastern Conference , the most competitive appears to be the match-up between the Indiana Pacers (2-2) and Toronto Raptors (2-2) . Toronto came in as the higher seed of the pairing and with a better regular season record . All of which now seems to count for nothing as they have struggled to put together consistent performances during the series. If the team is bounced at this stage of the NBA Playoffs, then I believe the off-season could bring about some drastic changes among the roster .

Masai Ujiri , General Manager & President of Toronto Raptors , while being pleased with the regular season record of the franchise, has to feel somewhat perplexed with the fact the team has failed to show real competitive grit in this series. Dwayne Casey as the head coach of the Raptors , along with his coaching staff are being out-coached by Frank Vogel and his staff . Which begs the question , are the Toronto Raptors able to adapt and change course or will they continue as they are ?

It may well be too early to suggest , but I believe the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat (2-1) could very well be on a collision course , with the two teams likely to meet in the Eastern Conference Finals . Based on the current play seen during the playoffs and the results witnessed , Miami and Cleveland appear to be the two best teams playing within the conference. Granted , the semi-finals’ series have yet to be played , but I do not believe any of the other teams are capable of beating either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat over a seven-game series.

Erik Spoelstra will be seeking to win his third NBA title as the head coach of the Miami Heat. In their current series against the Charlotte Hornets (1-2) , the Heat are finding the Hornets to be a stubborn opponent. In the absence of Chris Bosh not being in the Heat lineup for the NBA Playoffs , it is being left to Bosh’s teammates , most notably the rookies who have been making major contributions to the team’s performances in this series against the Hornets. Game four of the series between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets will take place on the 25th April at the Time Warner Cable Arena , in Charlotte , North Carolina.

In conceding the Conference Semi-Finals are still some way off , we can take note of the results seen last season during the NBA Playoffs of 2015. How it all plays out during the current playoffs will be determined by the performances seen over the rest of the schedule.

So there we have it folks, the Philadelphia 76ers for the second time inside of a decade , the franchise has finished with the worst record in the league . The fact the 76ers have been able to achieve this type of mediocrity can either be looked at as sheer incompetence or the fact the ownership down the years has been inept. I believe it to be a mixture of both ! Joshua Harris the current owner of the franchise has shown himself to be a buffoon , while the clear window dressing of bringing in Jerry Colangelo , is no real sign, things will change overnight. Colangelo might have an astute business and basketball mind , but he is not on par with Jerry West , whose considerable acumen has laid the foundations for the championship caliber status achieved by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors. One should also bear in mind Brett Brown and his coaching staff remain completely out of their depth and then add in the fact this roster lacks depth , experience and has no one , who could be deemed a leader. Yet, somehow fans are expected to put up with such garbage ?

To understand how bad the Philadelphia 76ers just happened to be , you simply have to look at their record over their last fifteen games and then over their final thirty games of the regular season. Heading into the off-season and with the NBA Draft just around the corner , it will be interesting to see the choices made by the front office , as they seek to restructure this team and quite possibly the entire coaching staff.

 

 

 

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With NBA Playoffs still in its early stages which of the teams do you favor within either of the conferences to make it to the NBA Finals ?

🙂

Tophatal ……… 2016/04/25

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Puppet On A String …..

Puppet On A String

It’s a year-long three hundred and sixty-five day multi-billion dollar business , but for all the vagaries , the NFL remains a league entity still bereft of leadership, albeit , NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is still being praises for his leadership since assuming his role from the previous occupant Paul Tagliabue . If nothing else, Goodell has proven himself to be an imbecile at every turn , with his ham-fisted decisions and lack of communicative skills. Not content with the league’s mishandling of several legal issues as well the Deflate-Gate Affair , Roger Goodell is now intent in seeking recourse after an earlier Federal Judge’s ruling in Tom Brady’s favor. Using what appears to be a backdoor means in having the earlier decision overturned, the Commissioner is now seeking to use his authority as laid out in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement to suggest his authority is absolute, in rendering any punishment deemed proper when a player is known to have violated the NFL rules through misconduct or his on-field behavior.

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Roger Goodell continues to cherry-pick the skirmishes he seeks to wage, while the league continues to lose the most important battles of all. Football will continue to remain popular among its hardcore fans , but I seriously doubt they have a great deal of confidence in the hierarchy led by Goodell! The NFLPA (Players’ Union) under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith , continues to be adversarial , rather than seeking a bilateral partnership with the league to discuss the numerous problems of the league. What appears to be the primary concern of the league and union , is how much money they can continue to make , while the product being served up to the consumer remains as bland as ever. Now there are many who will suggest this past season in the NFL was among the best in recent years and the fairy-tale ending which provided the right send off to the ending of Peyton Manning’s career was the right one. Manning and the Denver Broncos won the Superbowl over the highly favored Carolina Panthers , but only one team turned up to play in the game. The Panthers offered nothing by way of offense or defense, in a game which was error filled. Manning had one of his most undistinguished games of his postseason career , but it was enough for the Broncos to come out ahead as the victors. With it came the adulation , Vonn Miller being named Superbowl MVP for his heroics , while Peyton Manning stepped down in style.

With the off-season in full swing and the NFL Combines having taken place , teams will be seeking reassess their needs while also look at their cap positions and then seeking to restructure their rosters accordingly. Already we have seen a number of unexpected moves , with several players being cut by their teams and a number of trades being made. Brock Osweiler , the backup to Peyton Manning last season with the Broncos has now moved on as a free agent joining the Houston Texans where he will now become the new starting quarterback for the franchise. With his acquisition comes a lucrative contract for Osweiler , while he is expected to live up the expectations of the head office and the Texans’ coaching staff .

Replacing Peyton Manning was never going to be easy, but Denver Broncos’ Head of Football Operations ‘ John Elway believes Mark Sanchez is the right player to fill the role. While I believe Sanchez to be a good player, I am not so sure he is capable of keeping the Broncos ahead of the pack within the AFC ! The Broncos remain a very good team on paper and undoubtedly Elway will be seeking to bolster the roster during the off-season by way of trades, the re-signing of free agents and then off-course, there is the upcoming NFL Draft where the Broncos where the Broncos have their customary number of picks. ‘

In what might be considered either an audacious move or one sheer stupidity , the Los Angeles Rams (St Louis Rams) have traded up to take the number one over all pick for this upcoming Draft. Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher along with GM Les Snead made the decision to offer up picks from the 2016 NFL Draft as well as future picks for 2017. Fisher is the eyeing the team’s urgency in seeking a top-flight quarterback among the eligible quarterbacks in this class. Les Snead has already met with Jared Goff , quarterback of the Cal State Bears as well as Carson Wentz of North Dakota State . Both players are thought to be the two best quarterbacks among this current crop passers available. And as audacious as this perceived move might be for the Rams , it is not really all that surprising the entire organization is seeking to make as big a splash possible after relocating back to the greater Los Angeles area , with their almost two decade absence from the state of California.

Will Trading Up Be Rams’ Downfall?

By Jason Keidel

When the Los Angeles Rams — the back-to-the-future franchise — shoved their draft coin to the middle of the table to get the top pick from the Tennessee Titans, most football fans wondered if this is 2016 or 1994, the last year the Rams were in Los Angeles.

So many similar trades have bombed. Further, the Rams are banking on a big variable — a rookie quarterback. And we can’t even agree on which one they will take in 10 days. All we know is either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz will lead the Rams back to Hollywood, and into the future.

Jerry Jones, the loquacious owner of the Dallas Cowboys, chimed in on the matter, sardonically saying he didn’t know Herschel Walker was still around. The reference, of course, is to the trade between the Vikings and Jones’s fledgling Cowboys, who were getting smacked around the NFL, with Troy Aikman and little else.

The Vikings surrendered a king’s ransom in 1989 for Walker, a good player who didn’t make the Vikings great. Meanwhile, the Cowboys used those draft picks, along with Jimmy Johnson’s keen eye for college talent, to build a dynasty.

History is on the side of the team that stockpiles draft picks, or at least against the team that gives them away. The Vikings never reached the Super Bowl with Walker. The Saints hemorrhaged an entire draft 10 years later for Ricky Williams, who wound up in Miami. The Redskins bet the farm 13 years later for Robert Griffin III, who’s now in Cleveland.

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The Los Angeles Rams’ reemergence in Los Angeles might well be deemed to be a positive thing for the city , the fans of the franchise as well as the NFL in general, but the real test for the NFC West based Rams might well be how successful they are in the upcoming season . There was no denying the team fell way short of expectations last season as they were barely competitive within their division , conference and the league. Nick Foles was the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams in 2015 and the team failed miserably on all fronts , with the Rams posting 7-9 record , good enough for third within their division , missing the postseason and barely being competitive to be seen as a contender within the NFL. St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke will make a great deal of money from the franchise’s move from St Louis , Missouri to Los Angeles , California . The land on which the Rams stadium is to be built is owned by the real estate mogul and the venture which will see a mix of commercial enterprises as well as some residential properties , will bring about a large economic impact for the area. Kroenke has worked with Los Angeles County and the cities of Industry as well as Los Angeles , to make sure the venture met with the requirements sought by both municipalities, while in the background the league hierarchy was pulling all the strings to make sure Roger Goodell’s dream came to fruition.

Moves are likely to be made by the St Louis Rams to bolster their roster , with Jeff Fisher embarking on a whole new chapter for a franchise whose last appearance in the postseason came back in 2004 when the team made it to the divisional round of the postseason before finally falling to the Atlanta Falcons in a lopsided loss . In the later years , with coaching and player personnel changes the franchise has squandered every opportunity available . The best finish during the season which the St Louis Rams have been able achieve since 2004 , were second place finishes in 2005, 2006 , 2010 and on each occasion they failed to make the postseason.

The Los Angles Rams will begin their 2016 schedule with a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara , California on September 12th 2016, week one of the regular season schedule. Their preseason schedule will offer the fans the chance to see their team face the Dallas Cowboys , Kansas City Chiefs , Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings as part of their quartet of games during the exhibition games being encompassed by the league’s thirty-two teams . The St Louis Rams in seeking to have the overall number one pick and the clear indication Les Snead and Jeff Fisher they’re in need of a quarterback , may well stem from the belief Nick Foles was unable to give the team the insurance needed at the position . St Louis’ offense last season was not only anemic , but the defense also left a great deal to be desired . There are issues which need to be addressed across the depth of the team’s roster at a number of positions. Decisions likely to be made will have a long-term impact on the franchise’s future and in particular for this upcoming season.

Through their first six games of last season the St Louis Rams were not as competitive a team as Jeff Fisher might have hoped. Other than the play of their rookie running back Todd Gurley , there was not much to suggest the team was ever in with a chance of challenging anyone within their division or the league over the course of last season. The challenge for Gurley this upcoming season will be to prove to his detractors last season was not an aberration .


Adam Gase
has become the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins and Gase has seen fit to assemble a coaching staff he believes will be able get the best out of a roster which has failed miserably over the past five seasons . Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross in spite of his wealth has presided over a franchise bereft of genuine leadership and proven managerial acumen. The front office led by general manager Chris Grier and EVP Mike Tannenbaum , in part , are now expected to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise. Yet in the midst of this all, the continued belief remains , this team lacks leadership and the players ready to be held accountable for their actions. Ryan Tannehill , the Dolphins’ quarterback has yet to show the skill-set needed to get the job done and Ndamukong Suh , acquired as a free agent to bolster the defense , has not <a href=http://pr shown the ability that made him a Pro Bowl caliber player. One should bear in mind both Tannehill and Suh are being rewarded handsomely for their services. This season the Miami Dolphins’ cap figure will exceed $160 million dollars , though it will not be the highest among the NFL’s teams.

Coming off a rather disappointing season where during the course of their schedule the Miami Dolphins went through two head coaches , with Joe Philbin being fired , then to be replaced by Dan Campbell and it is easy to understand why there was no consistency to the team over the course of 2015. Finishing with 6-10 record within the AFC East , good enough for a fourth place (last place) place finish within the division and their failing to make the postseason after a poor finish in the AFC , simply dashed the hopes of the fans and the franchise last season. There very few positive signs of improvement in the team and I believe the Miami Dolphins will once again struggle during this upcoming season ! Adam Gase, Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum will undoubtedly look at the makeup of the team’s roster assessing the strengths and weaknesses they believe will need to be addressed. Moves will be made to improve the lineup and I can see that the front office and coaching staff will look to make prudent choices concerning the upcoming NFL Draft.

The NFL preseason tends to offer up nothing but meaningless entertainment and games which the fans are expected to pay full ticket prices merely to see second and third-string players still seeking to make their way unto the full roster of the teams. The standings at that point of the season have no bearing on the final regular season standings at all. Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins will play a three-game preseason schedule against the New York Giants , Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons , before embarking on their regular season schedule. In week one their opponents will be the Seattle Seahawks , who will they will be playing at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday 11th September , 2016. If the Miami Dolphins are to be successful this upcoming season , then a great deal will be expected of not only Ryan Tannehill , but from the entire coaching staff and roster.

In the lead-up to the NFL Draft it will be interesting to see if there will be any other bold moves being made by other teams as they seek to improve their draft order position. As they say, “ nothing ventured , nothing gained “ .

Tophatal ……. 2014/04/18

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Walk before you can run ….

Walk before you can run …

You play with zeal or create the environment at least play up to the level of your opponent. It has certainly been the case within the NBA and how the teams have fared. All season long the Golden State Warriors have appeared to be on pace to break the regular season record for wins in a season . Several players on the Warriors’ roster have been weary and it has begun to take its toll on the Golden State with the recent performances of the team. With the best record in the NBA and a three-game lead in the wins’ total over their closest rivals the San Antonio Spurs , has provided us with every indication why why the Western Conference is far superior to the East and the teams, there. As the NBA season now winds down , with less than five games to play, the teams with a chance of a playoff berth are seeking to make that one final push for a postseason berth.

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Steve Kerr and his coaching staff will have to assess the playing staff and how best to deal with the recent lapses seen with the Golden State Warriors over their last eleven games. One thing is very clear, heading into the NBA Playoffs the Golden State Warriors will be seen as the prohibitive favorites to make a successful defense of their title. If there are to be any challenges coming from within their conference , then they will be met head on , as I do not believe Steve Kerr or his players are going to be complacent . With the majority of the teams having played seventy-nine games of the NBA’s arduous eighty-two game schedule , there is still something to play for. In the case of the Golden State Warriors their task is to win the final three remaining games on the schedule and in doing so, they would break the long-standing record of the Chicago Bulls which has stood for two decades. The record has stood since the 1995-96 season was thought to be beyond the reach of so many teams. Chicago’s roster included three Hall of Fame players , with Michael Jordan , Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Also part of that historic lineup was Steve Kerr the current head coach of the Golden State Warriors. Kerr having won titles with the Bulls , also went on to win titles as a member of the San Antonio Spurs .

The first of the three remaining contests of the Warriors’ schedule will see them facing the Memphis Grizzlies on the road on the 9th April , with their final two games against the San Antonio Spurs and the return engagement with Grizzlies to close out the season and their season series against Memphis. Greatness, as adjudged by their season exploits can then be compared to the Chicago Bulls’ own regular season achievements from the 95-96 season. Yet, if Golden State fails to win the NBA title this, then their season will simply be one which goes down in record books as great , but not outstanding.

If pressure is being brought to bear on any team within the NBA, then a great deal of it has to be on the Cleveland Cavaliers . Last season’s beaten finalists , along with their four-time League MVP and star player LeBron James will have to prove they are now ready to take on the might of not only the Eastern Conference , but also the best to come out of the West , should the Cavaliers make it to the Finals. Cleveland have been the runaway leaders within the Central Division all season-long . The team’s record also can be attributed to the coaching acumen of Tyronn Lue , who succeeded David Blatt , who had been fired by the front office , headed by team owner Dan Gilbert and GM David Griffin . Whether or not LeBron had any real influence in Blatt’s termination will remain subject to a great deal of conjecture and debate. Tyronn Lue and his coaching staff will now prepare the team for their final stretch run to round out the schedule .

A knock against the Cleveland Cavaliers might well be the fact they have not been as dominant as many believed they would be , whereas , last season the team proved themselves overpowering against their conference rivals . The make-up of the roster has changed , but injuries have played a part in the dominance sought , apart from lack of direction with David Blatt. Tyronn Lue’s contract with the franchise ties him the Cavaliers for the next three seasons. Lue and the Cleveland Cavaliers will on the court this weekend as they seek to secure their position as the number one seed in the East. On Saturday evening the Cavaliers will be the guests of their conference rivals the Chicago Bulls at the United Center , Chicago, Illinois.

If the standings remain as they are with the teams maintaining their current positions, then the first round match-ups for the NBA Playoffs should prove to be very interesting . The scenarios would be set, where the Cleveland Cavaliers would meet the Indiana , while in the Western Conference the Golden State Warriors would find themselves in a first round contest against the Utah Jazz . There is every possibility a first round upset could be in the making , but that would be totally dependent on the mindset of the underdogs and whether or not they have the belief to turn things upside down.

Just a few games into the MLB season and already the Tampa Bay Rays are facing difficulties . Not a good sign for a team with hopes of making the postseason after a rather disappointing year in 2015. Kevin Cash and the Rays’ managerial staff expected the team’s offense to be at the top of their game., but to date, they have been an unmitigated disaster. Throw in the fact the pitching remains suspect and I get the feeling the Rays will struggle to contend against their divisional rivals as well as the rest of the league !

Chris Archer is believed to be the best starting pitcher among the pitching rotation , but his season yet to be the standout , whereby he could be possibly thought of as a potential Cy Young Award candidate . Issues asides, the Rays’ ownership group have erred and blundered from pillar to post since the departure of Joe Maddon and Andrew Friedman . Blundered trades , being unable to sustain themselves financially and yet we hear the idiocy of clueless fans and analysts within local area talking about the franchise’s profitability . Without the tax-sharing revenues the ball-club would barely turn a profit. Clueless individuals , just as we have seen among the cabal of political candidates seeking the Presidency, we ill continue to hear utterly stupid statements without any basis in fact. We have seen it repeatedly with the Rays’ ownership led by Stuart Sternberg .

In their last scheduled game the Tampa Bay Rays were sent crashing to a 6-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on the 8th April at Camden Yards / Orioles Ballpark , in Baltimore , Maryland . The team will resume the series after a rain delay with the Rays and Orioles taking to the field again on Sunday afternoon. Jake Odorizzi will be the visiting pitcher starting for the Tampa Bay Rays as he faces Vance Worley of the Baltimore Orioles.

With the announcement by Alex Rodriguez , 2017 will bring about the culmination of his well-chronicled and controversial career . The prevailing questions likely to be raised , are can the New York Yankees win another World Series championship and where does Yankees’ slugger stand within the pantheon of the game ? Rodriguez will likely fall short of baseball’s most hallowed record , the all-time career home runs’ total held by Barry Bonds , now a member of the Miami Marlins’ managerial staff. Joe Girardi and his staff must be pondering whether or not this team is capable of winning a World Series , but more so , being competitive enough to beat their divisional rivals . A 3-2 start through their first five games of the season isn’t an indicator as to what to expect from the Yankees, but I believe a much clearer picture will surface by late June .

This will be a trying year for the New York Yankees , where the heart of the roster , this in an aging core among the players taking to the field for the franchise. Last season having made the MLB postseason the Yankees were swept aside with ease by the Houston Astros in the wildcard round . Completely outplayed , the team was never in with a chance to challenge the Astros. It should also be noted , leading into the postseason Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia revealed he had been suffering with alcoholism , though not having undergone treatment. Sabathia also revealed, at no time during his appearances made for the team was he ever a detriment to his teammates. One could either take those statements as a euphemism or see them for what they actually are, a player in complete denial.

The New York Yankees will be on the diamond for their regular season scheduled game on Tuesday 12th April against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Center in Toronto , Ontario. On the mound for the visiting team will be Masahiro Tanaka who will be facing Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays. John Gibbons and the and Toronto Blue Jays’ managerial staff will be looking to have his team prepared to the encounter the New York Yankees for not only this game , but also their year-long series of contests at home as well as on the road.

Buck Showalter as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles will be looking to make a serious enough challenge this season within the AL East as well as the league overall . Off to a fast start with an unbeaten record (6-0) the Orioles find themselves sitting atop of their division and they are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league as of the 11th April . Showalter will be looking to players such as Chris Davis and Manny Machado to spearhead the team this season as the Orioles look to make a postseason appearance . Prior to 2012 the last visit made to baseball’s postseason festivities for the Baltimore Orioles came in 1997 , when the ball-club made it to the ALCS where they lost to the Cleveland Indians in six games . In their last contest , during which there was a great deal of controversy to how the game ended , as Baltimore beat the Boston Red Sox 9-7 . Taking the field as their starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles’ game on Tuesday afternoon will be Mike Wright when he takes on Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox .

I believe the Baltimore Orioles are capable of a postseason berth within the AL this season, but the team has to play with a great deal more urgency and consistency over the course of their schedule.

The Arizona Diamondbacks certainly have a great deal invested in Zach Greinke as the franchise made a big splash during the off-season signing the player to an enormous multi-year deal making him one of the highest paid starting pitchers in baseball. With the contract comes a great deal of expectation for a player who last season was among the best pitchers in the game. Greinke after an amazing season with the Los Angeles Dodgers would lose out on the NL Cy Young Award with the Chicago Cubs’ starter Jake Arrietta winning the award in 2015.

Arizona’s front office led by GM Dave Stewart , lead managing partner Ken Kendrick and his associates are seeking to resurrect the fortunes of the Diamondbacks and the signing of Zach Greinke along with several other transactions were a way of letting the fans know the ambitious intentions of the organization.

Chip Hale and his managerial staff have to be extremely optimistic about Arizona Diamondbacks’ chances this season as the team looks to play itself into contention. The NL West will be a ‘tough nut to crack’ as a division and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be looking to continue their recent dominance there. I certainly believe given the Dodgers’ recent lapses during the postseason , while they might well remain the favorites to repeat as the divisional champions , there is a belief their lineup is far from a convincing favorite to make a prolong run during the MLB postseason. Lack of leadership and managerial astuteness have brought about the misfortunes for the Dodgers in recent seasons. The Arizona Diamondbacks should be able to take advantage of the situation. Granted, Dave Roberts in his first season as the Los Angeles Dodgers has been entrusted to lead the team . With a multi-million dollar payroll and players at just about every position deemed to be an All Star or an emerging star. It will be interesting to see how both Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers will fare over the course of this season. Their regular season meetings should prove to be very competitive contests on the road as well as at home. These two teams will be meeting on Tuesday afternoon at Dodgers Ballpark in Los Angeles , California , where the opposing pitchers will be Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks against Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers.

This MLB season is liable to be an interesting one, with several teams out to prove themselves. I certainly believe with the team payrolls having increased over the past five years , top-flight players now > come at a high premium .

The profits and value of the ball-clubs have increased , but so too has the level of uncertainty and sustainability of the teams at the lower end of the economic base , as they continue to struggle . Something the league hierarchy continually fails to address .

What thoughts if any do you have on this NBA season and how do you believe the teams will fare during the NBA Playoffs ?

As the opening week of the MLB season gets underway , which are the teams which you believe will have the most to prove ? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit on this and anything else you believe relevant to the subject matter.

Tophatal ….. 2016/04/08 04:59 pm 

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