A Swing and A Miss ….

A Swing and A Miss ….

Well, we’re just passed one-quarter way through the MLB schedule for this season and already there has been a managerial casualty , unlikely to be the last of the season . Fredi Gonzalez’s dismissal as the manager of the Atlanta Braves was not that much of a surprise, given the fact the team possessed the worst record in all of baseball. Elsewhere , the Chicago Cubs have caught everyone off-guard with their resolute play while leading the NL Central . Already , there has been growing discussion as to which players have been performing well and should be considered among the front-runners for an appearance at the All Star Game which is being held at Petco Park , home to the San Diego Padres . It will be interesting to see which players will obtain the largest tally of votes within the AL and NL for baseball’s mid-season showcase event.

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Several teams this season will be under a great deal of assessment from the fans as well as the analysts at large , most notably the New York Yankees who are still in transition after the retirement of former team captain Derek Jeter . This team seems to have lost its direction , while there appears to be no apparent leader , or anyone capable of showing the leadership qualities often seen by Jeter at his very best. Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and his managerial staff have been nonplussed by the lack of competitiveness shown by the players and I fully expect there to be some major shakeups among the playing the staff , if the team is not in a position to be challenging for the AL East divisional title or a wildcard berth during the waning months of the regular season schedule. Over their last ten games the New York Yankees have posted a 7-3 record , but still placing them third within the division, 5 ½ games behind the Baltimore Orioles (26-16) .

On Tuesday afternoon the Yankees will be playing host to the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium , in the Bronx , New York . On the mound for the New York Yankees will be Nathan Evoldi (4-2, 4.44 ERA) against R A Dickey , the Blue Jays’ knuckle-baller. The contrasting styles of the two starting pitchers should make for an interesting contest.

If the Yankees are to have any chance of winning the AL East then their play will have to be far more competitive than the fans have seen this season and it is especially true against their divisional and AL rivals . It remains to be seen whether or not Joe Girardi can win the second World Series’ title of his managerial career with the first coming in 2009 when the franchise won their very last world championship .

Robin Ventura and the Chicago White Sox (27-19) have made a solid and surprising start to their season , but over their last ten games the team has been far from impressive with a 3-7 mark , leading an AL Central division where the reigning World Series champions the Kansas City Royals are within striking distance of the division leading White Sox. Ventura is in his fifth season as the manager of the Chicago White Sox , having succeeded Ozzie Guillen who had been fired by former GM Ken Williams after what was thought to be a great deal of dissension and off the field issues between the manager and front office executive. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf backed Williams’ decision wholeheartedly and the hiring of Ventura was something of a formality. The White Sox manager and his staff will be hoping the players can meet the expectations of their fans and the front office , as their postseason appearances over the past six seasons have been rare. In fact Chicago’s last appearance came in 2008 when they made it to the divisional round of the postseason that year . Their subsequent 3-1 series’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays ended their postseason sojourn for the year.

The Chicago White Sox will be preparing to take on the Cleveland Indians at US Cellular Field in Chicago , Illinois on Tuesday evening, in a meeting of the top two teams within the AL Central . Chris Sale of the White Sox will be seeking to become the first ten-game winner in the Majors this season. Sale remains unbeaten (9-0) , heading into the game against the Cleveland Indians and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain his spectacular start to the year.

During his astonishing career Ichiro Suzuki has hit some highs in terms of his personal achievements in the Majors . The one thing missing from the player’s mantelpiece is a World Series’ ring and title. He has been lucky enough to have played for three famed ball-clubs , but his postseason forays have been noticeably paltry , primarily because neither the Seattle Mariners , New York Yankees or Miami Marlins have made that much of an impact in the postseason over the past five years . Ichiro is now in his first second season with the Marlins , where he is seen as one of the team’s seasoned veterans . The player now stands on the threshold of joining a select group of players with 3,000 career hits and a career batting average of .300 or more . One should also remember at the height of his career he was also one of the best outfielders of his generation and though not as athletic as when he first entered the Majors in 2001 , winning the AL Rookie of The Year as well as ALMVP . Ichiro is still able to pull of a spectacular defensive play and showing why he is so respected among his peers.

Miami Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly has inherited a team filled with talent , but they have yet to meet their potential and whether or not the players are able to do so will be dependent upon the motivation brought by Mattingly and his managerial staff . With established stars such as Ichiro Suzuki, Giancarlo Stanton , Jose Fernandez , Marcell Ozuna , Wei-Yin Chen and Christian Yelich . it is hoped this will be the season where the Marlins prove to be competitive enough to take on all-comers. Having won two World Series during their history , it could be said the franchise has far exceeded expectations during their two decade existence , but with a relatively new stadium , baseball within South Florida has yet to grab hold of the community at large .

The Miami Marlins still have sparse attendance levels for their home games and being on the road does not appear to have whetted the appetite of the fans of the teams they tend to be playing in those contests. Baseball in the state of Florida at the Major League Level is about as popular as a bikini contest featuring grossly overweight females who believe themselves to be supermodels on a catwalk. Both images have about as much appeal as watching paint dry in the hot sun. Playing in the non-competitive NL East , the Marlins will find themselves this season as perhaps the fourth best team in the division, behind the Washington Nationals , New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies . Holding up the rear would be the Atlanta Braves , whose season continues to be abysmal .

The Miami Marlins will be looking to make inroads into the divisional lead of their rivals when they play host to the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Ballpark, in Miami on Tuesday evening. Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays when he faces Tom Koehler of the Marlins.

Call me naive, but you will have to prove a hell of lot to me in order to justify being paid $28 million a year , as is the case with Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers . Granted , the remaining two years on the player’s contract is guaranteed by his former team the Los Angeles Angels . Yet, I get the feeling neither team will be the benefactor in this deal. Hamilton has yet to play a full season for the Rangers ,ever since his return back to Texas. During the time-frame in question his productivity for the Texas Rangers has bordered on being mediocre. All this from a player who still believes the Angels did not come to his support after his sobriety issues once again hit the headlines. Josh Hamilton’s fall from grace was of his own choosing and twice before , the Angels came to his support , by assisting the outfielder get into a rehabilitation program for individuals who suffered with alcohol and chemical dependency (drug abuse). Somehow this must have escaped Hamilton’s attention, when he harangued the Angels’ organization , directing his vitriol at former general manager Jerry Dipoto and team owner Arte Moreno .

Courtesy of ESPN

MLB Rumor Central: Will Josh Hamilton return to Texas in 2017 ?

Any hopes that Josh Hamilton would provide a late-season boost for the Texas Rangers ended Monday when the club announced the 35-year-old outfielder will have left knee surgery.

Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers (Getty Images/ Bill Butler)

Hamilton, already on the 60-day disabled list, has only 170 regular-season at-bats and eight home runs since being re-acquired in a trade with the Angels last year.

General manager Jon Daniels said Hamilton intends to play in 2017, which will be the final year of his five-year, $125 million contract. There is no guarantee, however, that Hamilton’s return will be in Texas.

“We’re not ready to address that yet,” Daniels told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.

There is little financial risk in bringing back Hamilton since the Angels will be picking up all but a small portion of his remaining salary. The Rangers, however, might balk at using a roster spot on Hamilton since they will have no idea on what they will get in return. Texas was left short-handed by Hamilton’s injury issues this spring, contributing to its pursuit of free agent Ian Desmond.

Click on link to read in full.

Josh Hamilton is now on the Texas Rangers’ disabled list (DL) and will be lost to the team for the rest of the season . Due to become a free agent in 2018 , I certainly don’t believe Jon Daniels would be willing to sign the player to a long-term deal as the risks far outweigh the advantages . Hamilton is no longer at the peak of his career and he has never provided any sense of leadership or maturity with any team he has played for. A player like Josh Hamilton has been a great disservice to the game of baseball , in spite of the accolades feted on the outfielder. Unfortunately, baseball has become such a parody of all the things once thought to be pure about the game , it is easy to understand why it has been bedeviled by scandal and lack of leadership and incompetence throughout its history. There are those who still to suggest the social significance of the footsteps taken by the sport , but at the end of the day it has counted for absolutely nothing.

Hector Santiago of the Los Angeles Angels will be on the mound when he faces Colby Lewis of the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Stadium in Arlington , Texas on the 24th May , 2016. A continuation of the current series between these two long-established AL teams.

Perhaps it’s too early to start talking awards and the leading contenders for AL MVP, NL MVP , Cy Young Award , and Rookie of The Year . But there are several extremely great candidates for each given their productivity for their respective teams. In the AL for MVP , it could come down to the usual list of suspects with among the front-runners , Miguel Cabrera , Mike Trout , Josh Donaldson , Robinson Cano , Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr . All of the players mentioned have stood out for their teams and they are one of the major reasons why those clubs have been prominent in the standings. In the NL we have Ben Zobrist , Ryan Braun , Yoenis Cespedes , Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado to name but a few. It would be safe to say no matter which way you try to disseminate the argument , Clayton Kershaw remains the best pitcher in baseball by a wide margin . His success this season has been staggering and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher looks as if he is certainly the guy to beat in the NL for this year’s Cy Young Award. In the AL , you can take your pick from Chris Sale whose season just seems to be getting better with each game. His challengers could come from among the following candidates , Rich Hill , Jose Quintana , Danny Salazar , Chris Tillman and Josh Tomlin . Among the Rookies within the NL and AL , it will come down to the consistency shown these youngsters over the course of the season and their quest for Rookie of The Year honors within each league .

Joe Maddon has been a very good manager and in recent seasons he has shown why he is so well-respected among his peers. Having won the AL Manager of the Year while with the Tampa Bay Rays , it is quite possible he could be the leading contender for this season’s award within the NL. The Chicago Cubs are still flying high and have not been truly tested to date within the Majors , while having being among the best of the teams within the National League. Buck Showalter has the Baltimore Orioles leading the AL East and looking to make their way back to the postseason. The team has been playing with a great deal of resolve with Manny Machado showing why he is one of the best short-stops in the game. As the Orioles’ manager Showalter has been able to resurrect the fortunes of the franchise and make them relevant once again. All that is now needed , is a prolonged postseason run and their chance of winning World Series title. If this is to become a reality , then the effort from the players will have to be a concerted all-round push over the course of the season. Showalter remains my personal favorite to win his fourth AL Manager of the Year Award !

By clicking on an image you can view the frame in a reformatted size along with a narrative.

What are your impressions of the first-quarter of the MLB season and which teams do you believe to be in danger of falling from grace and which do you believe are firm contenders for the pennants this season as well as the World Series ?

Tophatal ….. 2016/05/24


MLB news

MLB schedule three days at a glance

MLB probable pitchers (24th May)

MLB standings (divisional) and wildcard standings

This week in baseball history

On this day in MLB history

MLB free agents (2017) and available free agents

MLB team payrolls

Highest paid salary (base 2016)

MLB postseason history

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

45 thoughts on “A Swing and A Miss ….”

  1. The AL West this season . could well be the division which could prove to be the most competitive in all of baseball. The Seattle Mariners currently lead the division and will be back on the field today when they face the Oakland A’s at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington ,. Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners will be the starting pitcher as he meets Zach Neal of the A’s in this contest .

    Results 24th May

    Tophatal ……………..


  2. The Houston Astros will have to do a great deal more to prove to me that they’re to be taken seriously as one of the top teams in the AL this season . In recent years we have seen how incompetent the Astros have been with multiple seasons where they have lost more than one hundred games . Though a recent postseason appearance and their wildcard defeat of the New York Yankees was meant to be a sign of their resurfacing and resurrection . It would appear this season it’s back to business as usual , with the team being sub-par in just about every aspect of their game .

    The Astros coming off a 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas. These two teams will meet again on Wednesday afternoon , with both teams seeking to create some distance between themselves and their divisional rivals .

    Houston Astros news

    Tophatal ……….


  3. Francisco Rodriguez has now reached a pinnacle having achieved 400 hundred career saves. Rodriguez did not start his career as a reliever but it is where he has now made a name for himself in the game of baseball . As a member of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff as a closer . Francisco Rodriguez is expected to play a pivotal role in the team’s success this season .

    Francisco Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers

    Courtesy of ESPN

    Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez records 400th career save

    By Katie Strang

    What did it take to get there for Rodriguez?

    “We could spend an entire night going through it,” he said. “That’s a lot of sacrifice that I have made, obviously, for my entire career, for my entire family, my wife, kids. Not spending time with them. We could go on and on on and on, but all the hard work paid off. So I’ve just got to continue like that, and hopefully one of [my kids] follows in my steps, and they can get it done, too.”

    After the game, Rodriguez, whom the Tigers acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers this offseason, had a tough time recalling how exactly he reacted when he recorded the final out Tuesday.

    “I don’t know if I cried, screamed, laughed,” he said. “A lot of things going through my mind in the moment. And I’m still trying to soak it in, enjoy [it].”

    Click on link to read this article in full.

    At 23-22 the Detroit Tigers find themselves sitting third within the AL Central three games behind the division leaders the Chicago White Sox In their last game the Tigers faced the Philadelphia Phillies , coming away with a 3-1 victory played at Comerica Park . Detroit , Michigan . Rodriguez earned his fourteenth save of the season , reaching a historic career mark . The Phillies are the guests of the Tigers when they resume their series on Wednesday afternoon .

    Detroit Tigers’ news

    Tophatal ………


  4. The New York Mets appear to be back at their best , but suddenly injuries and inconsistency has worked its way into one or two of the issues the team now faces. Mets’ manager Terry Collins and his managerial staff coming off an NL Pennant victory and a World Series appearance will have to prove last season was no aberration .

    Terry Collins of the Mets

    Heading into this season the New York Mets find themselves in a familiar position as one of the most competitive teams in the Majors , but as stated earlier there are one or two issues which need to solved. Wednesday evening and the Mets were on the field to take on the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington, DC . Thursday will see these two teams resuming their season series . The New York Mets will then have a weekend three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers . These three contests should provide the fans with a great deal of entertainment as we get to see two of the NL’s best pitching staffs at work . The first of those three games will take place on Friday 27th May , 2016 , with Jacob deGrom on the mound for the Mets against Julio Urias of the Dodgers .

    Dave Roberts manager of the Dodgers will be looking to see if the team can carry on with their slate of results seen over their last ten games . On Wednesday evening the Los Angels Dodgers were pitted against the Cincinnati Reds , whom who they defeated 3-1 in a game played at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California .

    Pitcher Julio Urias of the Dodgers .

    In the NL West , a division which is likely to be very competitive this season . It will be interesting to see how the lineup fares against their divisional counterparts. This is a team with several highly paid stars , a number of whom are earning in excess of $15 million a year .

    New York Mets news

    Tophatal ……..


  5. In the last eight seasons perhaps no other AL team has suffered as much as the Detroit Tigers during the MLB postseason . The franchise’s forays have been well-chronicled with their having failed at differing points of the during the postseason fare. Whether it was at the wildcard stage , divisional series , the ALCS or the World Series itself , their struggles have simply brought about heartache for the fans and the front office. Team owner Michael Ilitch continues to remain resolute , willing to pay whatever it takes in terms of payroll. Clearly that has been seen over the years from 2010 until now in terms of the team’s expenditure on contracts . This season the Tigers’ payroll will exceed $170 million , though it is not the highest among the teams in Major League Baseball.

    Michael & Christopher Ilitch (left) , owners of the Detroit Tigers.

    Brad Ausmus , manager of the Detroit Tigers and his managerial staff will have a star studded roster seeking play themselves into contention this season. Leading the way on the team will be Miguel Cabrera , Justin Verlander , Ian Kinsler , Justin Upton and Cameron Maybin . GM Al Avila has sought to assemble a roster he believes competitive enough to take on all-comers within their division (AL Central) as well as the rest of the league. Comerica Park in Detroit Michigan is the home of this well-respected franchise , but their fans who yearn for so much more , expect to see a World Series title . Anything short of that will be seen as a major disappointment .

    Al Avila of the Tigers .

    In their last game the Detroit Tigers faced the Philadelphia Phillies in a home game , losing the contest 8-5 . Back on the mound and the Tigers’ opponents on Thursday will be Oakland Athletics . The A’s starting pitcher will be Sean Manaea , as he faces Michael Fulmer of the Tigers .

    Detroit Tigers news

    Tophatal …………….


  6. In his second season as the manager of the Boston Red Sox , the team’s manager John Farrell was able to bring the franchise their third World Series title in the last eight years . For a franchise which had gone some eight decades plus without a series’ win . This abundance of riches while also being one the best supported clubs in all of baseball was something of a glorious situation for organization to have alongside an ownership group well versed with success. Terry Francona’s departure saw something of a downturn but the front office simply went about their business as usual . Now with Dave Dombrowski heading up the Baseball Operations for the franchise along with a managerial staff and a very good farm system with an abundance of young talent .

    John Farrell of the Red Sox

    The current Red Sox roster is a lively and experienced one with several veterans among the lineup. This team has to excel this season if they are to have any chance of winning their division and possibly make the MLB postseason. A great deal is expected of the Boston Red Sox , in particular against their divisional opponents within the AL East. The division remains one of the most competitive in all of baseball and this season appears to be no different than before.

    As the month of May winds down the Boston Red Sox have been playing at a reasonably high level , but it is clear their play will have to be a great deal better. Coming off their last game where the Red Sox crushed the Colorado Rockies by the score of 10-3 . It is clear more victories such of this nature , are what’s needed Boston as they aspire to win another title. In this game Jackie Bradley Jr continued his amazing hitting streak for Boston . Thursday and John Farrell’s players will be back on the field to play the Rockies resuming their season series .

    Jackie Bradley Jr

    Boston Red Sox news and front office

    Boston Red Sox roster and managerial staff



  7. Weekend schedule for Major League Baseball with the starting pitchers on the mound for the games in question. Results from Thursday 26th May , 2016 . The standings have very much stayed the same over the past four days .

    Kevin Cash the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays has seen his team squander leads while their play has been abysmal all season long . In the continuation of their season series against the Miami Marlins the Tampa Bay Rays were on the wrong side of an embarrassing 9-1 loss at home against their in-state rivals . Tampa will be back in action today when the team faces the New York Yankees in the first of a three-game set at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg , Florida. On the mound for the Rays will be Chris Archer as he faces Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees. Over the past five years the season series between these two AL East based franchises have proven to be very competitive and scintillating .

    Rays’ manager Kevin Cash (left) is seen here with Evan Longoria .

    Joe Girardi’s Yankees are coming off a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays with the team’s pitching and hitting being very poor . There is likely to be a shakeup in the lineup if things continue to be so dire for the New York Yankees . Both the Rays and Yankees will have a great deal to prove over the remainder of this season . At this stage last year the standings were markedly different to what we have witnessed this season.

    MLB news

    New York Yankees news and Tampa Bay Rays news

    MLB wildcard standings

    On this day in MLB history

    This week in baseball history

    Milestones in baseball .

    Tophatal ……

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The fall from grace of the Minnesota Twins has been amazing and stunning with the ownership group showing their incompetence along the way. Entering this season the Twins’ record within the AL Central and league overall has been abysmal with the franchise simply wallowing in mediocrity throughout much that time. The years during which Ron Gardenhire had Minnesota as a perennial contender are now long gone and their rebuilding process has been a work in progress . Minnesota’s draft in 2015 was one which saw the managerial staff and front office make some prudent choices along with making the most of free agency with their acquisitions.

    This season the Minnesota Twins find themselves in all too familiar position chasing after their divisional rivals and trying keep abreast with the rest of the AL .

    Minnesota’s current roster remains team which it appears is being for the future with a number of young players at its core . Team manager Paul Molitor has a long history of success associated with the Twins’ franchise. Molitor is one of the most prolific and successful players in Minnesota’s history. The managerial staff Paul Molitor appears to be an accomplished one. Unfortunately , the team’s record is not an admirable one but a great deal more will be expected of the team in the coming months . Over their last ten games have posted a 2-8 record and they currently have the worst mark in the Majors . In their last game the Minnesota Twins faced the Kansas City Royals in an AL match-up . The Minnestota Twins are back in action on Friday when they face the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle , Washington ,.

    Twins’ manager Paul Molitor .

    Minnesota Twins news

    Tophatal ……….


  9. Leading the league in ERA and wins at this point of the season are Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1,48 ERA) and Jake Arrieta (9-0 , 1.72 ERA) . In terms of offense by way home runs and batting average those leaders are Yoenis Cespedes (15 HR’s and .301 batting average) and Daniel Murphy ( 7 home runs . 394 batting average) . So much for the idiot New York Mets’ fans who believed Murphy was not worth the money because he lacked consistency and productivity for his former team . Kind of makes you wonder how intelligent the fans are of the franchise ?

    MLB news and results

    Tophatal …………..


  10. The Oakland A’s season looks as it has been a constant struggle from the very start . Managed by Bob Melvin and still playing in front of sparse crowds at the O Coliseum the team’s issues have been well-chronicled as to their economical woes on various fronts . GM Billy Beane has to find numerous way to make the franchise competitive while not overburdening the A’s payroll.

    Oakland will have three-game weekend schedule against the Detroit Tigers . The first game of the series took place on Friday night with the A’s losing 4-1 . On Saturday the two teams will resume the series and the opposing pitchers will be Matt Boyd of the Tigers going up against the A’s Jesse Hahn . Sunday’s game will feature Detroit’s Mike Pelfrey against Oakland’s Rich Hill . The series itself could go a long way in telling us in which direction the teams could be heading over the remainder of the season.

    With the Oakland A’s still trying to position itself with regard to a new stadium and making no real headway in those negotiations it remains to be seen what steps will be taken by the organization moving forward. There has been very little help provided to the A’s with their endeavor as the league hierarchy led by Rob Manfred has stood in the background. Dissimilar to the stance taken by Bud Selig who worked in close conjunction with the Miami Marlins , New York Mets and New York Yankees to make sure their new stadiums broke ground and were built at the taxpayers’ expense.

    Oakland A’s news

    Tophatal ………..


  11. As a long suffering fan of the Atlanta Braves I have become increasingly frustrated with the continued incompetence shown by the front office as well as the managerial staff and players throughout the course of this season. The team has one of the worst records within the National League and among the worst in all of baseball . There appears to be no signs of leadership among the playing staff and I do believe team manager Brian Snitker is way in over his head . Snitker having succeeded Fredi Gonzalez has been unable to raise the level of play of this roster.

    Braves’ manager Brian Snitker .

    A great deal of the blame for the Braves’ current predicament rests squarely on the shoulders of GM John Coppolella and Team President John Schuerholz who have combined to make a number of rash and idiotic decisions concerning the departure of several players over the past three years . The team in terms of its current makeup remains a work in progress and the constant changes to the lineup this season continues to show the front office and managerial staff are no closer to finding a team capable of winning on a consistent basis .

    John Coppolella , right and John Scheuerholz .

    Over their last ten games dating back to the 17th May the Atlanta Braves are a pitiful 4-6 with their last win coming on 27th May when they beat the Miami Marlins by the score of 4-2 in a meeting of the two bottom placed teams within the NL East . In their season series to date it is the Braves who lead the Marlins (4-0) in their four regular season meetings as of the 27th May. Saturday afternoon sees a resumption of the series between the two teams . Aaron Blair of the Braves will face Wei-Yin Chen of the Marlins .

    Atlanta Braves news

    Tophatal ……….


  12. What we’re now beginning to learn about this baseball season and it is the fact the pitching has been overwhelmingly good while the hitting remains woefully mediocre at best. Saturday’s results brought few real surprises, but there were one or two contests which were sensational .

    The Chicago Cubs still remain the best team in the league by way of their wins this season and it has been reflected in their play throughout much of their schedule. Yesterday the Chicago Cubs were locked in a very good game against the Philadelphia Phillies . But perhaps the best game of the day featured the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays won by the home team , the Blue Jays.

    MLB news

    Tophatal ………………….


  13. There will be some very good games scheduled today as the final legs of the weekend series come to a close . David Price will be on the mound when the Boston Red Sox meet the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Center in Toronto , Ontario on Sunday afternoon. Another great match-up will provide the fans with the chance to see seasoned veteran Bartolo Colon of the New York Mets take on Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers . The series between the two teams this season has proven to be exciting and riveting .

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………


  14. So what do you make of the Syndegaard-Utley fiasco yesterday, Al?

    Was the ump justified in tossing Thor or was it premature?

    Either way, Utley had a field day with it afterwards. Two homers including a grand salami?

    Say goodnight, Mets.


  15. SportsChump

    I think the Mets are an overrated team whose only strength is their pitching . David Wright is no longer the player many believed he would be, In many respects he’s a really poor man’s version of Derek Jeter . The Dodgers are more than the equal of the Mets as this current series reflects . Chase Utley once he gets going is a player who can be consistent and very productive.

    David Wright and Derek Jeter (right).

    David Wright who has been an overrated and an overpaid individual has failed to meet expectations .

    New York Mets news

    Tophatal …


  16. On this Memorial Day as we honor the fallen , the world of sports will carry on as per usual . The NBA will resume with game seven of the Western Conference Finals , with the Golden State Warriors (3-3) looking to close out and make it to their second consecutive NBA Finals and conclude with a successful defense of their title against the Cleveland Cavaliers .

    Standing in the Warriors’ way in game seven will be their sternest adversary during the Playoffs the Oklahoma City Thunder (3-3) led by point guard Russell Wesbrook and his equally determined teammate Kevin Durant .

    Major League Baseball continues to make each Memorial Day a special occasion for the fans and this year is likely to be no different from others. There will be a full slate of games being staged. At this point last season things were moving along with the teams playing to the best of their abilities .

    One game of particular interest will be the match-up between the Chicago White Sox who will be facing the New York Mets at Citi-Field in Flushing , New York . On the mound will be Jose Quintana of the White Sox against Matt Harvey of the Mets.

    The simpering Tampa Bay Rays whose season continues to be a diabolical mess will be taking on the Kansas City Royals when the two teams get together at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri ,. The Rays will have Matt Andriese on the mound to face Ian Kennedy of the Royals . Over the last five seasons the Rays have been no match for the Royal when they have played at Kauffman Stadium or Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida.

    MLB news

    NBA news

    Tophatal …


  17. Having the best record is not an indicator of immediate success or does it create the belief your team will be seen as a favorite for the World Series . At present the Chicago Cubs are the club in the position , as the team with the best mark in the game. GM Jed Hoyer and the Cubs’ Theo Estein , Head of Baseball Operations are being lauded for the success achieved alongside Joe Maddon and his managerial staff .

    Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein (left) of the Chicago Cubs.

    Chicago for the moment has a healthy lead within the NL Central , but during the latter part of this year’s schedule I expect the team to begin struggling to maintain their consistency.

    Jake Arrieta has seen a great deal of praise being heaped upon his shoulders this season , but he still lacks the consistency seen with the Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw who has simply been on another stratosphere and plane in comparison to his NL counterparts . Arrieta is the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and one of the main reasons the Chicago Cubs have found considerable success this season along with some timely hitting from their offense .

    In their most recent game the Chicago Cubs faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in a contest played at Wrigley Field in Chicago , Illinois,. Scott Kazmir earned the victory over Jake Arrieta in the Dodgers’ 5-0 win . Joe Maddon’s players will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon when they face the Dodgers once again with Jon Lester on the mound for the Cubs against Mike Bolsinger .

    Chicago Cubs news

    Tophatal …….


  18. So let me get this straight , there are those who believe the problems for the New York Yankees stem from the injuries and lack of productivity by Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira ? Less I’m mistaken this Yankees’ team at its core is an aging one with their being no one capable of showing leadership, while the managerial staff of Joe Girardi is bereft of managerial acumen and ideas. Over their last ten games the New York Yankees have bordered on being apathetic .

    Alex Rodriguez (left) and Mark Teixeira in the dugout .

    There has been little to encourage their fans in believing the team is capable enough of winning consistently much less winning multiple series .

    Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira between them will be paid more than $43 million this season , which is more than thirty-percent of the payroll of several teams around Major League Baseball . In their last game the Yankees fell to the Toronto Blue Jays losing to their divisional rivals by the score of 4-1 . The two teams will be back in action today in a resumption of their current series during which the AL East divisional teams will meet each other nineteen times over the course of the year .

    Tophatal ………

    Tophatal ………


  19. MLB results for 31st May , 2016 and how the divisions now stand and with the wildcard standings also. Teams will be back in action as the month of June begins its schedule . One of the best games of the day will feature the Boston Red Sox (32-20) taking on the Baltimore Orioles (28-22) in a top of the divisional clash (AL East). The Orioles will play host to the Red Sox at Camden Yards , Baltimore , Maryland ,. Joe Kelly of the Red Sox will be the starting pitcher facing Mike Wright of Baltimore .

    Another game of interest will see Cole Hamels of the Texas Rangers will be taking on the Cleveland Indians , with Trevor Bauer as the starting pitcher for the home team , Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio,.

    MLB news

    MLB probable pitchers and schedule 1st June

    MLB standings

    This week in the month of June .

    On this day (1st June) in baseball.

    Tophatal ……….

    Liked by 1 person

  20. When Matt Kemp left the Los Angeles Dodgers to join the San Diego Padres it was felt the move best suited the former Dodgers’ slugger whom management and the front office felt Kemp was past his prime . The common thought also in recent seasons the player’s injury woes also played a part in his productivity for the franchise.

    Matt Kemp of the Padres.

    Since his move from Los Angeles to San Diego Matt Kemp’s level of play appears to have dropped off precipitously to the point, it is becoming hard to justify the contract Kemp was signed to by the organization. San Diego for its part has yet to show any signs the addition of Matt Kemp has been of real benefit to the team. They have yet to make a postseason and they have not been in a position to make a serious challenge within the NL West .

    Padres’ manager Andy Green and his managerial staff will be looking to get the best out this team as they begin the month of June. The San Diego Padres will be playing host to the Seattle Mariners when these two teams meet at Petco Park in San Diego . California , on Wednesday afternoon. On the mound for the Padres will be Christian Friedrich when he faces James Paxton of the Mariners .

    Padres’ manager Andy Green .

    Ron Fowler , senior managing partner for the San Diego Padres ownership group along with GM AJ Preller will be looking to see what improvements can be made to the lineup as the season approaches the trade deadline and the availability of players they seek to improve the roster. There are likely to be some major moves made through attrition as the organization pares down payroll .

    San Diego Padres news

    Tophatal …….


  21. The Tampa Bay Rays were in action as they faced the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Wednesday night . Chris Archer of the Rays was the starting pitcher with the opposing pitcher being Danny Duffy . On Thursday the Tampa Bay Rays will be back on the field to face the Minnesota Twins in an AL match-up to be played at Target Field , Minneapolis-St Paul , Minnesota . Matt Moore of the Rays will be the starting pitcher for the Rays and the opposing pitcher will be Phil Hughes of the Twins .

    Tophatal ………..


  22. Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants took care of business , blanking the Atlanta Braves on their way to a 6-0 rout of their NL compatriots. Bumgarner took the win , but also contributed greatly to the Giants’ cause at the plate with his offensive prowess. Also chiming in for San Francisco was their catcher Buster Posey who is proving to be one of the best catchers in the Majors as well as one of the best offensive players at the position.

    For the Atlanta Braves their season of woes continues as the team still carries on with an abysmal stretch of results. Manager Brian Snitker and his managerial staff are no closer to getting the team to play with any type of resolute form, defensively or from an offensive standpoint. At the trade deadline in August I fully expect the Braves to be making some drastic changes while bringing up several players from within their farm system and assessing their worth.

    The Atlanta Braves will begin a weekend schedule against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Ballpark , Los Angeles California on Friday, 3rd June, 2016. Julio Teheran of the Braves will face Kenta Maeda of the Dodgers for who this season has been somewhat inconsistent with regard to a number of their results .

    Questions are now arising as to whether or not the Andrew Friedman and the Dodgers’ front office experiment can continue with the Dodgers continually outspending their rivals while getting almost nothing in return in terms of the desired results . This year the Dodgers are on course to make a salary outlay in excess of $245 million and this does not take into account any extra commitments likely to be made , should they delve into the free agency market at the trade deadline.

    MLB transactions

    Tophatal ………… 06:54 am 2016/06/03

    Liked by 1 person

  23. We’re roughly one quarter of the way through the MLB season and the divisional standings makes for an interesting read on how the schedule has progressed since the start of this MLB year. The Chicago Cubs still remain the best team in baseball as their record suggests and it would appear they are an odds-on favorite to obtain a wildcard berth into the MLB postseason. If there is a flaw in the play of the Cubs this season then it would have to be their lack of consistency seen . The Cubs’ strength appears to be their pitching with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta leading the way for their pitching staff . Not to be left out of the equation however has to be the hitting of the team where Ben Zobrist and Dexter Fowler are the the leading offensive players on the roster .

    Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs .

    Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon and his managerial staff will be preparing the team for their weekend schedule against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field , Chicago , Illinois. The first of these three games will take place on Friday , 3rd June with John Lackey of the Cubs facing Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks.

    For the Arizona Diamondbacks they made their big splash during the off-season with the acquisition of Zack Greinke from the Los Angeles Dodgers signing the pitcher to a multi-year , multi-million dollar deal . Greinke has made an inauspicious start to the season for the Diamondbacks and has yet to really find his rhythm .

    Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks .

    The Diamondbacks currently managed by Chip Hale will be hoping the team is competitive enough to be considered a serious enough challenger within the NL West where their divisional rivals will primarily be the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants .

    Arizona Diamondbacks news and Chicago Cubs news

    Tophatal ………


  24. If CC Sabathia is said to be having a good season for the New York Yankees while the team is languishing near the bottom of the AL East and not even within shouting distance of a wildcard berth at this stage of the season , then the apologists for the Yankees and the player , clearly have no damn idea as to what the hell they’re talking about or seeing on the field from this team.

    CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees , one of the highest paid players on the Yankees’ roster .

    Over their last ten games the New York Yankees are a paltry 3-7 . Pitching and hitting have not been in abundance for the team beyond a litany of woes faced by the team. Two of the highest paid players on the roster have been woefully inept in terms of productivity while also spending a great deal of time on the DL (disabled list) . Both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira should seriously consider retirement at the end of this season, than continually robbing the Yankees blind with their ineptitude as evidenced this season.

    The New York Yankees will be facing the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, Baltimore , Maryland on Saturday evening. Ivan Nova of the Yankees will be starting pitching and his opposition will come from the Orioles’ Tyler Wilson . This game will be one of the nineteen regular-scheduled contests due to take place between the two AL East based clubs this season.

    New York Yankees news

    Tophatal ………….


  25. When is competing actually , competing ? Is it when you have a consistent winning stretch and are thought of as a perennial contender ? Or is it simply when you win one or two games over lesser opponents and then it is described with a great deal of hyperbole (hype) ? This is the sort of inane nonsense which can now be found not only within the blogging forums , but also the mainstream print and television media, written by fools who simply have no damn idea as to what they are talking about.

    In recent weeks there has been a great deal of nonsense being written about the Oakland A’s and the fact the team is playing well, while one of the A’s biggest stars, Josh Reddick is down injured . Far be it for me to suggest, but in recent years , specifically the last six in particular , Oakland has failed to achieve anything near what one would thought of as being real success. The franchise has yet to make a deep postseason run and has not won an AL Pennant in over two decades. All the A’s have been able to achieve is a high standing within the AL West , while being among one of the least supported teams in all of baseball and certainly one of the less profitable organizations within the game. Team owners , Michael Crowley and Lew Wolff should be good who have a modicum of business acumen , but in reality the front office will continue to fight an uphill battle both on an off the field of play.

    Oakland has never been given a great deal of support in its endeavors to find a new home (stadium) . There has been little support forthcoming from the league hierarchy, certainly not from former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig or from his successor Rob Manfred . The league hierarchy looks upon a number of its franchise owners with favor in some cases and disdain for a certain few, namely those not thought of as being in a prominent media market or with a great deal loyal and a thriving support base . Is it any wonder both the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bays Rays are treated with such disdain by MLB concerning the issue of a new stadium ?

    A’s manager Bob Melvin, left and Josh Reddick .

    For the moment the Oakland A’s find themselves in an all too familiar position within their division , playing catch-up with the rest of the division’s occupants. Oakland finds itself in last place , 8 1/2 games out of first , 6 1/2 games out of a wildcard berth , while being on a two-game losing streak and winners of just five or their last ten games, but this is the idiocy of what is being described of a team playing great ? On Saturday , the A’s dropped a 6-5 decision to the Houston Astros , while team manager Bob Melvin and his managerial staff looked on , wondering what the hell was going on with his players and why there seems to be no real passion to their play. These two teams will resume their current series at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas on Sunday evening when the opposing pitchers will be Sonny Gray of the A’s who will be facing Lance McCullers of the Astros.

    Oakland A’s news

    Tophatal …………..


  26. Barely two months have passed in the MLB season and we now have one of the biggest trades of the season to date has taken place. The San Diego Padres whose season is already in dire straits have sent James Shields to the Chicago White Sox , fortifying their pitching rotation and now leaving many questioning the mindset within the Padres’ front office and whether or not this becomes another season of missed opportunities once again.

    James Shields whose trade sent him from the San Diego Padres to the Chicago White Sox.

    Courtesy of ESPN

    James Shields heading to White Sox in trade

    By Katie Strang , ESPN

    The Chicago White Sox have traded for starting pitcher James Shields, sending starter Erik Johnson and minor league shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. to the San Diego Padres.

    The White Sox welcomed Shields in a tweet Saturday.

    “We’re pleased to add a starter of James Shields’ caliber,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “He has proven to be one of the most dependable and durable pitchers in the major leagues over his career.”

    The White Sox are expected to pay between $27 million and $31 million of the remaining $58 million on Shields’ salary, a source told ESPN’s Jim Bowden. If the right-hander opts out of his contract after this season, the number would be less.

    Shields had signed a four-year, $75 million deal signed with the Padres in February 2015. It was the largest free-agent contract in Padres history as one of several big-name players the team brought in before the 2015 season. But the roster overhaul fizzled, and the Padres finished three games worse last year than they did in 2014.

    Click on link to read this article in full.

    Ron Fowler , lead managing partner within the San Diego Padres’ organization and GM AJ Preller will have a lot of explaining to do concerning this latest deal and their reasons behind it. Shields’ salary with the club was not overly burdensome , but given the vagaries and issues faced by a franchise long-starved of real success. It is now looking as if the Padres are simply intent on giving up on their season and simply wading by with their current lineup and pieces from within their farm system.

    For GM Rick Hahn of the Chicago White Sox the acquisition of James Shields gives them even greater depth among what now seems to be a very good pitching rotation as well as depth with their relievers.

    James Shields will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable asset to the White Sox who will be facing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan on Sunday afternoon. Jose Quintana will be on the mound for the White Sox as he faces the Tigers’ starting ace Justin Verlander .

    The San Diego Padres’ schedule for today , will see them facing off against the Colorado Rockies in a home game concluding their recent three-game weekend series. Jon Gray of the Rockies will be the starting pitcher for the Rockies as he faces Luis Perdomo of the Padres.

    From left to right , Padres’ CEO , Mike Dee , GM AJ Preller (center) and Ron Fowler.

    Arrogance and stupidity has simply gotten the better of the San Diego Padres over the years and much of the blame for their malaise comes with the rather asinine decisions made by the front office , while Ron Fowler remains critical of the team and managerial staff . If neither Ron Fowler or AJ Preller are willing to admit to the mistakes made then of what real use are they to the organization ?

    MLB news

    MLB transactions (June 2016)

    San Diego Padres news

    Chicago White Sox news

    MLB standings (divisional)

    MLB schedule 5th June and probable pitchers

    Tophatal ………….


  27. Sunday’s results in Major League Baseball and there are several teams languishing , firmly rooted near or at the bottom of the divisional and wildcard standings . And clearly there are now teams that are overwhelmed and have under-performed . There will be a number of other managerial casualties before the season is over. The dismissal of Fredi Gonzalez by the Atlanta Braves was just a hint of things to come with several managers now thought to be on the ‘hot seat’ .

    Monday will bring about a new schedule , with several highly entertaining match-ups in terms of the starting pitchers . One of the featured games of the day will be the contest between the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies , where Jon Lester of the Cubs will be facing Adam Morgan in a duel between two very good NL starting pitchers .

    Injuries asides , someone will have to explain to me why I should consider the New York Mets one of the best teams in the National League ? Yes, I understand they made it all the way the 2015 World Series , but their presence there was simply futile , as they were completely overwhelmed by the Kansas City Royals . A very good pitching rotation could not hide many of the other flaws which still persist with this team . The New York Mets will start week two in the month of June with a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ,. Steven Matz of the Mets will face Jonathon Niese of the Pirates.

    The number of teams with a payroll over $120 million in 2016 is not that different from last season when the highest paid player in the game was Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers whose extraordinary season continues to astonish many within the game. The distinction of being the top earning player in baseball in terms of salary , is Kershaw’s . Perhaps in no other North American sport can you find so many players earning in excess of $20 million a year . Definitely not in the NHL , football (NFL) or the NBA for that matter.

    Clayton Kershaw will not be on the mound when the Los Angles Dodgers take to the field to face the Colorado Rockies in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles , California ,. Mike Bolsinger of the Dodgers will face Tyler Chatwood of the Rockies .

    A very good AL match-up taking place will feature two teams under a great deal of pressure as the Los Angeles Angels will be the guests of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium , in the Bronx, New York ,. Matt Shoemaker of the Angels will be looking to best Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees. Tanaka has been among the best of the Yankees’ starting pitchers although Nathan Evoldi leads the team in victories .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule 6th June and probable starting pitchers

    Results 5th June

    MLB standings (divisional)

    This week in Major League Baseball history .

    On this day in baseball.

    Tophatal ………………..

    Liked by 1 person

  28. So let me get this straight , Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays has homered in four straight games for the team and this meant to a cause for celebration ? If I am a Rays’ fan, I would be more concerned with the fact the team hasn’t been able to win on a consistent basis much less have a winning record over any team they have faced this season. Longoria’s fourth consecutive homer came in a game played against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon. The Twins’ pitching in the contest proved to be ineffective throughout the match-up between these two AL teams.

    Kevin Cash and his managerial staff will now prepare the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game road trip against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona . With the first of the three games taking place on Monday evening and Chris Archer of the Rays facing Robbie Ray of the Diamondbacks.

    Tampa Bay Rays news

    Tophatal ……………


  29. For the better part of five years Los Angeles Angels’ (26-30) outfielder and slugger Mike Trout , considered to be the best player in the AL . Trout has been perhaps the sole reason to take time to watch the Angels play . Mike Trout is a prodigious talent and he has become the most respected player in the game and is seen as the face of baseball for the next ten years. The Angels have been to the postseason but has he has never fared any better than an appearance at in the ALDS during the 2014 postseason . Trout and the Los Angeles Angels would fall to the Kansas City Royals in the series . Since 2014 the Los Angeles Angels have not made a return visit the MLB postseason and there is a growing belief team owner Arte Moreno may well seek the dismissal of manager , Mike Scioscia and the entire managerial staff if the team fails to win their division or gain a wildcard berth at the end of this season.

    Mike Scioscia in the fourteen years since the Angels’ 2002 triumph over the San Francisco Giants in the World Series has seen a modicum of success, but nowhere near meeting the expectations of the franchise’s fans or his now impatient team owner Arte Moreno. The Los Angeles Angeles cannot rival the draw of their crosstown rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers and we know any regular season meetings between these two revered ball-clubs , has always been something of a major draw to the state and audiences in general. The lack of deep postseason success for both organizations has began to to create a normalcy not likely to be turned around anytime soon.

    Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia (left) is seen here in the dugouts with Mike Trout.

    Over their last ten games the Los Angeles Angels are a meager (5-5) .500 , on a one-game winning streak with their last victory coming against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road. On Monday evening the Angels will be the guests of the New York Yankees in AL match-up between two impoverished teams. Yankee Stadium will be the venue for the contest and it will be interesting to see how the two teams fare in the match-up.

    If Arte Moreno is said to be an impatient owner, then consider the plight of Mark Walter as the lead managing partner whose private equity off-shoot Guggenheim Baseball Properties LLC purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers for over $2.1 billion in 2012. Then consider how the ownership group must now be feeling with all of that angst and having spent over $1.3 billion in salaries during the time-frame in question . One of the larger contracts on the team’s payroll is Carl Crawford’s and his tenure with the Dodgers has proven to be unfulfilling on the field and equally abysmal off it . In seeking to shed the player’s salary due this year and next , the remaining years of contract originally signed with the Boston Red Sox . It is easy to understand why front office came to this decision and seek a willing partner for a possible trade .

    Courtesy of ESPN

    Carl Crawford designated for assignment by Dodgers

    By Doug Padilla
    ESPN Staff Writer

    LOS ANGELES — Veteran outfielder Carl Crawford was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday with approximately $35 million remaining on a contract that runs through 2017.

    The Dodgers are responsible for the remainder of the guaranteed deal.

    “It’s one of those things where you look at the player, and Carl has had a great career, 14 years and had a lot of great moments,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I know he was proud to be a Dodger. He will be missed. What he brought to the club in terms of experience in postseason games, the impact he had on the young players and the veteran players, the experience he brought will be missed, certainly. But it’s one of those things where father time I think catches up with everybody.”

    With the emergence of outfielder Trayce Thompson, Crawford had received little playing time of late, even as Yasiel Puig has been dealing with a hamstring injury. On Friday, the Dodgers reinstated outfielder Scott Van Slyke from the disabled list, while Howie Kendrick has spent significant time in left field this season.

    Carl Crawford is batting .185 in 81 at-bats with the Dodgers this season. Dennis Poroy / Getty Images

    “I think the biggest thing for us right now is going with an eight-man pen and a short bench. I think that added versatility had a lot of value for us,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “Just as we go through spring training and into the beginning part of the year, we’re constantly evaluating our roster and looking ahead.

    “I think we just got to the point with Carl — he’s the type of guy who his entire career has worked very hard and played very hard. Eventually that just takes a toll on your body. We just felt like we’d gotten to the point where this made the most sense for everyone involved.”

    Click on link to read in full.


    Carl Crawford is still owed over $42 million on the two remaining years of his current contract. Out of deference , a trade partner would not be willing to undertake such a deal without the assurances the Los Angeles Dodgers would be willing to bear over 60% the remaining deal. As burdensome as that might appear to be the Dodgers are still paying players who are no longer with the franchise. Andrew Friedman and GM Farhan Zaidi inherited a mess and they are both still trying to make sense of it all , because during the tenure of Ned Colletti as the general manager , financial accountability was never at the forefront of the organization’s dealings. One might suggest the payroll of the Dodgers has ballooned over the years , to the point where it is now over $240 million . Crawford’s lack of productivity while with the Red Sox and Dodgers makes it hard to try and justify any reason why he was ever given such a contract to begin with , but when you consider the continued bumbling idiocy of the general managers within the game of baseball . Then you begin to understand the reasons why the game remains in such dire straits for so many of the teams on an economic front .

    Playing in a very average division doesn’t really give any credence to the exploits of the Los Angeles Dodgers this season, unless you tend to look at the singular exploits of certain team members , in particular Cory Seager , Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda . Beyond that , let’s just say one could point to the fact NL West remains weak and a number of the Dodgers’ opponents have remained sub-par for much the season at this point.

    Rookie , Corey Seager of the Dodgers.

    On Monday night the Los Angeles Dodgers’ contested the Colorado Rockies in a game played at Dodger Stadium and they were on the wrong side of an embarrassing 6-1 loss .

    Los Angeles Angels news

    Los Angeles Dodgers news

    Value of MLB teams

    Tophatal ……….

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I’m now looking at the AL East as a division and I longer see any reason to get excited by the play of the teams within , much less believe any of them capable of winning a World Series . The last team from the AL East to win a title was the Boston Red Sox , which was the last of their most recent postseason victories after an almost century of futility. Boston’s last triumph in the Fall Classic (World Series) came in 2013 when they defeated the St Louis Cardinals . Between 2004 and 2013 the Boston Red Sox made three appearances in the World Series winning each time , much the joy of their diehard fans. Yet prior to 2004 the franchise’s last victory in the game’s biggest event came in 1918 when a future Hall of Fame player by the name of Babe Ruth was on the roster.

    This season the Boston Red Sox seem to have found a complement of young players to go alongside their seasoned veterans , whereby manager John Farrell and his managerial staff believe they have a chance to win and to win big . Among the rich crop players now making their presence felt are Xander Bogaerts , Jackie Bradley Jr , Junichi Tazawa , Marco Hernandez , along with the now well-known veterans Dustin Pedroia , David Ortiz , Hanley Ramirez and David Price .

    In a fairly tight race at the top of the AL East the Boston Red Sox find themselves in a tussle alongside the Baltimore Orioles (33-23) , half a game behind the division leading Orioles for the top spot in the division. The one thing the Red Sox may well have over their divisional rivals must be the depth of their roster and the fact the lineup can be switched around almost at will without their being any real interruption in the team’s productivity . John Farrell will be leading the Boston Red Sox out today when they face the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco , California on Tuesday evening . The Baltimore Orioles will be looking to increase their lead within the division when they take on the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland . Ubaldo Jiminez of the Orioles will be on the mound to face Yordano Ventura of the Royals .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule and probable pitchers

    MLB standings and wildcard standings

    World Series by clubs (teams) .

    Tophatal …………..


  31. It’s now or never for the Washington Nationals , because within the next three years the front office of the organization will have to deal with likely financial implications which will come to the fore , when they decide if it is in their best interests to re-sign both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg . Harper having won last season’s NLMVP looks as if he could be well on the way to repeating the feat of a second successive MVP Award. A prodigious talent with the bat , Bryce Harper is also proving himself to be equally adept in the field. His teammate Stephen Strasburg has proven to be one of the best young pitchers in the National League and certainly among the best of an impressive starting rotation for the Washington Nationals. If there has to be a criticism of the organization , then it would have to be the fact they have never made a deep postseason run since the drafting of both of their All Stars . The farthest the Nationals have got , has been to the NLDS in 2012 and 2014 .

    Stephen Strasburg (37) and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals.

    With Dusty Baker having succeeded Matt Williams as the manager of the Washington Nationals , it will be interesting to see the type of managerial acumen he brings to this team . It is becoming increasingly apparent team owner and billionaire entrepreneur Ted Lerner is impatient and prepared to spend whatever it takes to win a World Series title.

    Ted Lerner , left , billionaire owner of the Washington Nationals is seen here with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred .

    Lerner obviously is sick and tired of seeing both the Washington Redskins and Washington Capitols garner all of the sporting spotlight with only the dour Washington Wizards slightly lower in the pecking order of the four professional sports franchise for news’ stories in the DC Metro area.

    Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker .

    If the Washington Nationals are going to win their division , or a wildcard berth then the team will have to show a great deal more consistency than we have seen to date. Seven days into the month of June and already the Washington Nationals have shown us some signs of determination as well as some inherent flaws in their game. Dusty Baker’s players will face the Chicago White Sox at US Cellular Field , in Chicago , where James Shield of the White Sox will be playing his very first game for his new team after the his recent trade from the San Diego Padres . Shields will be facing Max Scherzer of the Nationals in the contest. .

    Washington Nationals news

    Tophatal …………………


  32. Wednesday’s MLB schedule and the starting pitchers for those contests . The best pitching match-up of the day will likely come from the game being played at AT&T Park in San Francisco , California , when the San Francisco Giants will play host to the Boston Red Sox . On the mound as the starting pitchers will be David Price of the Red Sox as he faces Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. Both teams are standing tall within their respective divisions with an eye on the MLB Postseason. Over the last twelve years , between them the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants have won six of the World Series’ titles contested.

    Tophatal ……


  33. Wednesday’s results from the world of baseball and how the divisional standings are now playing out.

    Thursday’s schedule should prove to be interesting though the inclement weather hitting parts of the Eastern Seaboard could impact many of the games scheduled for today.

    Andrew McCutchen and the Pittsburgh Pirates will be looking to make up ground on the divisional leaders within the NL Central . The Colorado Rockies will have as their guests at Coors Field in Denver , Colorado the Pittsburgh Pirates as the visitors. Jeff Locke will be the starting pitcher for the visiting team , as he faces Chad Bettis of the Rockies.

    Mike Matheny and the St Louis Cardinals will be seeking a second consecutive win when they face the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio.

    In the space of fifteen days the Chicago White Sox have gone from being a widely thought of as a contender for the AL Pennant , but over their last ten games the White Sox are a paltry 2-8 , among the worst of the teams within the AL . An 11-4 loss to the Washington Nationals seems to be endemic of the woes the White Sox have exhibited of late and casting serious doubts as to how good the team is said to be. The Chicago White Sox will be back on the field today when the face the Washington Nationals in the resumption of their current series .

    MLB news

    Tophatal ……..


  34. Only Major League Baseball can host an event which elicits about as much interest as the mating ritual of a pair of pachyderms . The 2016 MLB Draft will take place with its first round and in all likelihood it will be at least three to four years before we the fruition of several of these players making their debut in the Majors . Contracts will be signed and under the agreement now in place these players will be rewarded but the height of their earning power will come have cleared arbitration and their rookie deals.

    Perhaps in no other professional team sport can the players actually be treated like indentured slaves , while being paid a pittance and the league hierarchy within the game of baseball still claims the sport’s financial issues are not acute . Clearly a misnomer, when a number of ball-clubs are barely self-sustaining without the aid of baseball’s tax sharing revenue scheme. As with most baseball fans whose knowledge of sports’ economics at best, is simply laughable . I personally find it completely asinine , when they try and suggest the owners and general managers (front office executives) actually know what the hell they’re doing.

    Of late fans of the Tampa Bay Rays have become ecstatic because Evan Longoria has been on a recent tear , homering in four straight games . Unfortunately , that won’t mean a great deal when the team itself is playing sub. 500 baseball lying near the bottom of the AL East and nowhere in sight of a wildcard berth within the AL . Merely pointing to the fact fans of the team can only point to momentary flashes of success with the franchise. Manager Kevin Cash and his managerial staff will continue to struggle in getting the Rays to play at a consistently high level , where they are competing with the best in the league.

    In the first round of the MLB Draft the Tampa Bay Rays took infield sensation Josh Lowe , a star with Pope High School . Lowe has also proven to be an all-round player with both, bat and ball , as well as in the field . It remains to be seen the type of progress he will make moving up the ranks of the Rays farm system in the coming years. I certainly don’t expect Josh Lowe to make a rapid jump from the Minor Leagues up to the top flight within two years ! Rays’ GM Matt Silverman along with the Scouting Staff of the franchise will be hoping the picks made will come to fruition and be productive immediately for the organization.

    Josh Lowe , Rays’ top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft.

    For the Tampa Bay Rays their results in their last ten games have not proven to be scintillating . Wednesday evening the Rays were involved in an exciting tussle with the Arizona Diamondbacks in a game played at Chase Field , in Phoenix, Arizona ,. The Rays’ weekend schedule pending the inclement weather conditions will see them face the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida , Friday’s game will pit starting pitchers Matt Andriese of the Rays against Lance McCullers of the Astros . Chris Archer and Matt Moore will be the remaining pitchers of the Rays filling out the starting roles in current series against the Astros.

    MLB news

    Tampa Bay Rays news

    MLB weekend schedule along with starting pitchers

    2016 MLB Draft

    Tophatal ….


  35. As a now doubting Atlanta Braves’ fan I have no implicit faith in Team President John Schuerholz much less the executives of the ownership group who have simply been negligent and as incompetent as you would expect some clueless individuals could ever be ! The Braves’ draft choices at this point of the MLB Draft , with two days to go has been nothing short of being speculative. To understand this, you merely have to look at the lack of success seen from with the farm system over the past five years. GM John Coppolella has an impossible task as he seeks to turn around the fortunes of this now moribund franchise. Atlanta has not been to the postseason since since 2013 , when they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS of that year by the score of 3-1 in the series. In the subsequent years since the appearance the Atlanta Braves have been simply abysmal on all fronts .

    Brian Snitker manager of the Atlanta Braves will prepare the team for a three-game weekend series starting as of today when they face the Chicago Cubs at Turner Field in Atlanta , Georgia . Bud Norris will be on the mound for the Braves as the starting pitcher and in opposition will be Jason Hammel of the Cubs.

    Atlanta Braves news

    Tophatal ……….


  36. Something strange is happening in Cleveland as Terry Francona and his managerial staff have the Cleveland Indians playing some of the best baseball of any team at present in the AL . The Indians have a lead in the AL Central while their pitching and hitting is more than up to par. In their last game played on Saturday afternoon the Cleveland Indians as they took on the Los Angeles Angels at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim, California. Trevor Bauer was on the mound for the Indians as he faced Matt Shoemaker of the Angels. These two teams will resume their current series with the last game of their three-set schedule which begins today.

    MLB news

    Cleveland Indians news

    MLB schedule three days at a glance (including probable pitchers)

    Tophatal ……………


  37. The Miami Marlins seem to be slowly righting their ship as their season enters their second quarter of the schedule. For team manager Don Mattingly and the managerial staff they have to happy with what they have witnessed from the players over their last eight games , albeit that the Marlins are still well behind both the New York Mets and Washington Nationals in the NL East standings. Marlins’ player and seasoned veteran Ichiro Suzuki is slowly inching towards the MLB career hits’ record held by Pete Rose . Suzuki is among the leading players in terms of active hits and it would appear only a matter of time before the Japanese player reaches the mark set by Rose in 1986 in a game played against the San Diego Padres on the 17th August , 1986. Pete Rose gained his four-thousandth two-hundred and fifty-sixth hit in the contest. The Cincinnati Reds would go on to lose to the San Diego Padres 9-5 in this game between the two NL franchises.

    In their most recent game the Miami Marlins routed the San Diego Padres by the score of 13-4 , leaving the Padres in all too untenable situation within the NL West . Ichiro was able to get four hits on the day , while the Marlins’ hitting and pitching proved to be very effective in the contest . Tuesday afternoon will pit the Miami Marlins against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park in San Diego . California the resumption of their current series. Tom Koehler of the Marlins will the starting pitcher when he faces Drew Pomeranz of the Padres in a contest between these two NL starting pitchers .

    The career hits’ plateau of three thousand is thought to be hallowed ground and a benchmark of a potential Hall of Fame candidate. Ichiro Suzuki is well on his way reaching that mark but it could well be another six to eight years before he surpasses the all-time hits’ total held by Pete Rose.

    MLB news

    MLB schedule and probable pitchers

    MLB standings

    This week in MLB history

    On this day in baseball history

    Tophatal ……………………


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