Same old story, just another day …

Same old story , just another day ….

The big story coming out of the world of sports was the decision made by the IOC President Thomas Bach and the Executive Committee not to issue an automatic ban for the Russian delegation heading to the Rio Olympics beginning next month. The decision has caused a great deal of dismay among other members countries , because there was clear evidence the Russian Olympic Federation knew that numerous athletes due to represent the country had been embroiled in a massive scandal , with their having tested positive repeatedly for banned substances not only in violation of the IOC rules, but also in contravention of the WADA standards. Bach , for his part, the decision made was simply done as a way of not punishing athletes within the Russian delegation deemed to be clean. There appears to be a double-standard in place by the IOC and the hypocrisy not withstanding , this remains an institution of questionable morals and principles.

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It has long been held the International Olympic Committee (IOC) operates under its own set of rules , offers very little transparency , along with corruption being rampant at all levels of the governing body. Brazil as the host nation has spent tens of billions of dollars to host the 2016 Olympic Games , while its own government undergoes severe changes , claims of massive corruption , a stagnant economy and need we be reminded of the ongoing threat of Zika Virus , as well as the possibility of a terrorist attack being staged at these games ?

From my own perspective, I do believe the right decision would have been the complete expulsion of the Russian Team from the games in Rio ! The excuses coming from not only Russian Olympic Federation as well as the country’s President Vladimir Putin have been asinine at best. Yet at the end of the day , a great deal of the blame for this morass lays squarely on the shoulders of the IOC.

Major League Baseball is now entering the final quarter of its regular season schedule and there is still a great deal to play for within a number of divisions . Granted , a number of teams have failed miserably this season and now we have the looming situation of the trade deadline with several ball-clubs looking to off-load players after a an un-competitive season. Rumors are now swirling that the New York Yankees might be major sellers on the market , with Aroldis Chapman being among a number of the players GM Brian Cashman might seek to move. Add in the fact two of the highest paid players on the Yankees’ roster have under-achieved this season and you could well understanding the reasons why Cashman would want to also shed Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira from the lineup. Due to receive a combined $45 million in 2016 and owed in excess of $80 million on the remainder of their respective contracts. It is easy to conclude why now might be the right time get rid of both Rodriguez and Teixeira . Neither player has lived up to the expectations sought and have not provided any type of veteran leadership for this team. Likely to miss the postseason in 2016 after a rather lackluster display with a wild-card round loss to the Houston Astros in 2015 . There are likely to be some major upheavals with the New York Yankees during this upcoming off-season.

Having won a World Series’ title managing the New York Yankees, Joe Girardi might also now be on the hot seat , as I believe the front office will view the franchise’s recent lack of success has a great deal to do with the lack of managerial acumen shown Girardi and his staff since the ball-club’s triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 with a 4-2 series’ victory . Coming off a weekend series’ schedule against the San Francisco Giants , Joe Girardi will now have to seek some consistency as they round out their schedule for the month of July. The New York Yankees will begin three-game road trip against the Houston Astros , starting Monday 25th July at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas. Michael Pineda will be on the mound for the Yankees as he faces Dallas Keuchel of the Astros. Winning the series will be imperative for New York if they are to have any chance of resurrecting their season. It is my belief this would be the right time for baseball’s most successful franchise to start rebuilding again from the ground up , assessing the quality of their players within the farm system beyond their never-ending quest to continually overpay for free agents or make the sort of idiotic deals the New York Yankees have come to be known for in recent years .

If the New York Yankees are said to be in need of success then consider the situation now facing the Los Angeles Dodgers . The franchise in the past four years have committed to paying out over $1 .2 billion in salaries during the time-frame in question. To the dismay of baseball purists , the fact there is this belief, money can buy success , the Dodgers remain an intense study as to how asinine this exercise can be. This season the Los Angeles Dodgers remain by far the highest salaried team in the game of baseball , outstripping their closest rivals by a considerable margin. Managing partner Mark Walter and his associates within the front office have to be dissatisfied with the performances of the team this season. Struggling to keep apace with the San Francisco Giants within the NL West , the Dodgers are now in something of a dogfight for a wild-card berth within the NL. Manager Dave Roberts and his managerial staff will be preparing the team to face the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles , California on Tuesday afternoon. Chris Archer of the Rays will be starting pitcher for the visiting team when he faces Bud Norris of the Dodgers. If nothing else , this should be a guaranteed win for the home team as their games against the Tampa Bay Rays have tended to be lopsided affairs over the past eight seasons.

It’s now or never for the Los Angeles and a case can be made that several of the players on this roster , their jobs are most certainly at risk. It remains to be seen what changes could be made by GM Farhan Zaidi and Head of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman . Both of these Dodgers’ executives would like to move away from the often capricious decision-making seen with former GM Ned Colletti not longer the team was brought the present owners in 2012 . Colletti was given cart-blanches do whatever it took place a competitive team on the field of play. The Los Angeles’ most recent postseason mishaps are now well-chronicled and was an indication as to the bloated ideas seen within the organization at all levels, along with the ongoing complacency seen .

With a little over two weeks before the NFL kicks off its preseason the usual amalgam of new surfaces and once again player misconduct rears its ugly head alongside the ongoing woes of Johnny Manziel . Considered a major NFL bust and it is easy to understand why this Heisman Trophy winner failed miserably at the professional level . Manziel was overrated, lacked maturity and certainly lacked the skills needed to be a successful quarterback in this league. Johnny Manziel’s former team the Cleveland Browns now appears to be in safe hands after the franchise acquired Robert Griffin III to helm the team at the quarterback position. I am not so sure what to expect of the Browns this season , but I feel they are likely to improve on their showing of last year. The Cleveland Browns’ preseason schedule , merely a warm-up for their regular season foray will certainly be interesting.

Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement from the NFL , having fulfilled a professional ambition , winning a Superbowl title. The running back’s success with the Seattle Seahawks has been well-chronicled . Seattle will likely enter the season as the prohibitive favorite to win the NFC West , with their biggest challenge quite possibly coming from the Arizona Cardinals within the division . As with all regular season contest these two divisional adversaries will meet twice over the course of the regular season , home and away . Opposing quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer will be tested in each of these contests . The first meeting between the two NFC West combatants will take place during week seven at University of Phoenix Stadium in Tempe , Arizona on 23rd October , 2016. Their final meeting of the regular season will be week sixteen at Century-Link Field in Seattle Washington , when the Seattle Seahawks will play host to the Arizona Cardinals.

The departure of Marshawn Lynch will undoubtedly leave a void within the Seahawks’ organization How they compensate for this loss will be dependent upon what Pete Carroll may well feel needs to be done to replace a player of Lynch’s caliber. There is depth on the roster and what appears to be a number of players eager to fill the role of starting running back for the team. Richard Sherman a teammate of Marshawn Lynch is unconvinced of his the running back’s retirement , but Lynch remains adamant his decision is final and that his eight years in the NFL are enough.

Tom Brady w ill not seek to appeal the Federal Appellate Court ruling which upheld his four-game suspension , clearing the way of his back-up Jimmy Garopollo to lead the New England Patriots through their first four games of the regular season. Meanwhile , Brady’s contemporary, the recently retired Peyton Manning has been cleared by the NFL of any alleged wrongdoing of his having used a banned substance . The facts of the league’s investigation are unlikely to be made public , but there will continue to speculation as to whether or not the NFL wished to make an example of Brady , while giving Manning the benefit of the doubt. Over the last decade and half these two quarterbacks have come to represent the face of this league , with the pairing having won six Superbowls , six League MVP’s and four Superbowl MVP’s .

While I believe was guilty of deception , I do not believe the league hierarchy had substantive evidence to fully prove their case , with much of the evidence built around hearsay , rather than factual and physical evidence. Also , it seemed somewhat suspicious that the league’s Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash was not called to give evidence in the original arbitration case on behalf of the NFL.

Of late the NBA has found itself embroiled in a mess of its own making. Four prominent NBA players have suddenly believe it right to be socially conscious. Dwyane Wade , Carmelo Anthony , LeBron James and Chris Paul now taking a stance against gun violence and the deaths of not only law enforcement officers , but also civilians. These deaths have now become cannon fodder for both Presidential candidates , who seem intent for the most part, to make use of the grieving families’ misfortune, without offering up any type of solution themselves. It would not be so bad , but there now seems to be no implicit faith in either the FBI , the Civil Rights’ Division of the US Justice Department much less Barack Obama during the waning days of his Presidency. Obama is lame-duck President , offering nothing decisive by way of leadership , merely offering up rhetoric and pragmatic statements on socioeconomic issues involving African-Americans. For these four stars now offering up their own stance on the issue of gun violence , it is somewhat laughable, considering over the past five years hundreds of lives have been lost, but now with law enforcement running amok , this issue has now become a racial morass, widening with each passing moment.

Following in line with what we have seen within the NBA , the WNBA in recent days, fined several players on the Indiana Fever , an undisclosed sum for their having worn black T-shirts stating “Stop The Violence” , prior to an NBA game. Lisa Borders , President of the WNBA has since rescinded the fines , with their being public outrage from fans and analysts for the actions taken by the league hierarchy. The self-righteous pomposity of the NBA seems to have found its away across to the WNBA , with their being equal amounts of bombastic pomposity and incompetence to be seen within both leagues. Adam Silver who succeeded David Stern as the NBA Commissioner, has chosen to remain silent on the latest national controversy, yet this was the very same league , who two decades ago sought to use the genre of gangsta-rap as a marketing tool to lure in the urban youth of America. Less we forget, the imagery often associated with the music form in particular , was gang violence , but somehow this must have been lost on the NBA hierarchy as well as the players’ union (NBPA) .

NBA great Michael Jordan has now began to chime in on not only the Black Lives Matter’s campaign , but also the stance being taken by the league’s players. Somehow , I would take more of an interest , if I were really sure that Jordan was in fact serious with his intent ! The billionaire owner of the Charlotte Hornets may well have raised millions through his charitable foundation to aid the need of under-privileged youth across America , but yet, while at the height of his playing career , not once was this icon ever vocal on a social issue of any importance. Not even when it was associated with his biggest corporate endorser Nike Inc , whose business as well as labor practices have come under close scrutiny from Human Rights activists and non-governmental agencies across the globe.

Picture gallery.

Repetitive motion appears to the cycle of news not only within the world of sports, but also on the national scene as a rather disturbing trend continues unabated . What thoughts if any , do you have on the points raised within this article ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and

Tophatal ….. 2016/07/25 08:43 pm

Olympics and IOC news

MLB news

MLB schedule and probable pitchers

MLB standings (divisional) and wildcard standings

MLB transactions

NFL news

NFL preseason schedule

NFL Hall of Fame Game unofficial preseason opener

NFL week one preseason

NBA news

WNBA news

64 thoughts on “Same old story, just another day …

  1. Thursday’s results in Major League Baseball with the current divisional and wildcard standings . Needless to say several teams are now out of options with regard to their postseason aspirations . Friday will begin a weekend series and a number of divisional races still in doubt.

    A number of teams have taken it upon themselves to have waived players and promote others from within their respective farm systems .

    The month of September will be crucial in terms of overall play and it will be interesting to see the results coming out of the finals weeks of the regular season schedule.

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………..

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  2. If Clayton Kershaw makes an unexpected return for the Los Angeles Dodgers in September it could provide the team with the impetus needed . As is being widely reported Kershaw’s teammate Yasiel Puig could be making a welcomed return to the Dodgers’ lineup . It had been earlier reported Puig was on the verge of joining the Boston Red Sox but there was no basis or foundation concerning those claims.

    Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts will have his team prepared for a three-game weekend schedule which will be among the highlights of the series to be played this weekend. Their opponent will be the San Diego Padres with all three games of the series being played at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California,. On the mound in the first of the triumvirate of games will be starting pitchers , Clayton Richard of the Padres against Julio Urias of the Dodgers.

    Somehow for some inexplicable reason the Miami Marlins have managed to slip out of the NL wildcard contention and now face an uphill battle to get back into the playoff hunt. With a series about to begin against the Cleveland Indians the Miami Marlins must win this series outright in order to regain some semblance of consistency . Currently three games out of the wildcard race the Marlins will be looking at several tough games over the remainder of their schedule.

    When the Cleveland Indians play host to the Miami Marlins at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio , the opposing pitchers will be Andrew Cashner of the Indians against Carlos Carrasco of the Marlins.

    Perhaps the most intriguing series of the weekend will feature the Chicago Cubs playing host to the San Francisco Giants in a series being played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois,. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon clearly has the inside track to being named the NL Manager of the Year and he will be joining a select group of managers to have won the award in both leagues ( AL and NL). Maddon has led the Chicago Cubs to the best record in baseball and they have been by far the best team in the game for much of the season .

    MLB news

    MLB news archive (May 2016)

    This week in MLB history

    On this day in baseball

    Tophatal ………..

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  3. Jon Lester of the Chicago Cubs flirted with a no-hitter in yesterday’s game between the Cubs and San Francisco Giants . Lester has been outstanding for the Chicago this season and he is one of the main reasons this team is flying high with the best record in baseball. These two teams will resume their series today , ending with the final game of their triumvirate on Sunday afternoon.

    Elsewhere in the National League(NL) the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are trying to lay claim and dominance as to who might be the best team within the NL East . For much of the season it has been the Nationals playing some top-notch baseball and they now have a healthy lead in the division over their rivals. These two teams have an important series being played this weekend.

    The New York Mets suffered the loss (4-1) in yesterday’s game played at Citi-Field in Flushing , New York . In the penultimate game of the series the two opposing pitchers will be Tanner Roark of the Nationals against Robert Gsellman of the Mets.

    Tophatal …………

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  4. As usual within the New York mass media market the sports’ journalists there will hype up story and turn it into something far more than it deserves to be. Such is the case at present concerning New York Yankees’ players Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez , two rookies now inserted in the Yankees’ lineup by manager Joe Girardi . Given the ineptitude seen from the team . over the course of the season and their over-reliance on aging veterans who haven’t produced . One continues to wonder why there hasn’t been a move towards a youth movement by the front office , rather than the reliance of spending on players who simply haven’t produced at any point of the season.

    Gary Sanchez through his first eleven games for the New York Yankees has set a franchise record as well as winning an AL Rookie of the Month Award . Yet, it still won’t deflect from the fact this might be one of the worst seasons on record for the franchise over the last six years .

    Gary Sanchez (8) and Aaron Judge .

    With no chance of winning the AL East and not even a slender chance of an AL wilcard berth, the New York Yankees are simply just playing for self-respect over the remainder of their season. Taking only one of their three-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles has pretty much summed up the misery of the Yankees’ season. The Yankees will begin a three game series against divisional rivals the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday evening . On the mound for the Yankees will be Masahiro Tanaka when he faces Blue Jays’ knuckle-baller R A Dickey.

    New York Yankees news

    Tophatal …………

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