The Art of The Deal …..

The Art of The Deal

It was meant to be a book that would provide an insight into the business world and the mind of an entrepreneurial genius. Instead , the consumer / reader was offered a bunch of hogwash and outright bile. For those who still wallow in the glare which is said to come from Donald Trump , forty-fifth President of the United States. Well let’s just say , his first one hundred and eighty days in office , has brought nothing but mayhem , incompetence and calls for his impeachment. What you see is what you ought to expect, because there has been nothing coherent about this President , let alone his administration .


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If you thought this President has issues, then simply take a look at the plight of the NBA at present. Last season’s beaten NBA Finalists the Cleveland Cavaliers are in complete disarray. Team owner Dan Gilbert is now at odds with two of the best players on the roster and it is now rumored that the relationship between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James is at an all-time low . To further emphasize the mayhem of the off-season , Gilbert made David Griffin the franchise’s sacrificial lamb with his firing . Koby Altman has succeeded Griffin as the Cavaliers’ general manager and his first course of business will be to dissuade Kyrie Irving and convince the point guard his future lies with the franchise. Irving has been disgruntled with the team and has two years left on his existing contract , where he’s owed just over $41 million . He can become a free agent in 2020 , but I seriously doubt the player will want to remain a part of the organization given the present turmoil.

Dan Gilbert has sought to deflect the negative vibes within his franchise , while pointing to the promotion of Kobe Altman, a third successive appearance in the NBA Finals and what he believes to be another successful draft class for the Cleveland Cavaliers. There is a great deal of uncertainty concerning the long-term of commitment of LeBron James and his wish to end his career with the Cavaliers. James has a no trade clause in his current contract , which he can opt out of after this upcoming season. Dan Gilbert has seen his franchise lose in excess of $110 million over the last two seasons, but as anyone knows , unless there is an attempt to show some fiscal prudence in spite of the rising revenues , if you continue to overpay while placing a mediocre product on the court, then you are certainly doomed to fail.

Having signed Derrick Rose as a free agent within the last week, it will be interesting to see if Koby Altman can be persuasive enough to keep Kyrie Irving as a part of this Cleveland Cavaliers’ team. Derrick Rose is no longer the player who was the NBA’s youngest League MVP and this past season with the New York Knicks , he simply proved his best years are behind him and not head of him. I seriously doubt he will be able to offer the Cavaliers what they seek and for the franchise . If the Cleveland Cavaliers are to maintain their status as the best team in the Eastern Conference , then there will have to be an even greater emphasis on improving the roster.

So the hype has begun and Lonzo Ball has a great deal to prove as he now becomes the face of the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise. There hasn’t been hysteria over a player with the Lakers since Kobe Bryant had his breakout season in his first with the Western Conference franchise . Having been named the Summer League MVP , you can easily understand the hype and the level of expectation over Lonzo Ball . The fact that there were other rookies who performed better than Ball during what can be best described as a nondescript Summer League schedule . Ball has been overshadowed by the antics of his father as the elder LaVar Ball , has sought to dictate his son’s worth to possible commercial sponsors. Clearly , LaVar Ball doesn’t understand the harm he is doing to his son’s image or negativity he brings to the table. This is all so symbolic of a situation where you have a parent trying to takeover his son’s business dealings and making a mess of it all .

For the Los Angeles Lakers , this now becomes their moment of truth , moving forward , with a revamped roster, an all new lineup of executives in the front office , Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka having been brought on-board by Jeanie Buss to oversee the running of the Lakers’ Basketball Operations . If both executives are counting on luring LeBron James to the city of Angels , then their task has become a whole lot tougher, as I believe the only ways James leaves Cleveland for a second time , is if there’s a commitment and willingness on the part of Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka to submit to all of his wishes and whims . Not something likely to happen and unlikely situation where Lonzo Ball and LeBron James being able to coexist. The Lakers are in a state of disarray and only an idiot would now try and suggest otherwise. The team in its current guise is not competitive and Luke Walton has yet to find his footing as a Head Coach with the franchise.

Phil Jackson is out , Steve Mills has been promoted and in comes Scott Perry as the general manager , but the one remaining constant is James Dolan as the imbecilic owner of the franchise. It’s somewhat laughable to hear idiots extol the expertise of Jackson as a head coach , but these very same idiots could not or would not be critical of him as a front office executive. In his three years with the Knicks, Jackson earned almost $60 million , while bringing nothing but sheer incompetence to an organization which hasn’t appeared in a Conference Finals in over two decades. To understand why the Knicks were so abysmal last season , you simply have to look at their decision-making concerning the structure of the team and the lack of productivity from their bench . With both Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis ‘ minds elsewhere , Jeff Hornacek’s lackadaisical coaching approach , bearing no signs of progress , there was never any doubt the Knicks would have a failing grade and season .

Scott Perry will now be entrusted with the rebuilding of the New York Knicks , with the likelihood that both Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis being dealt , rather than having both disgruntled stars on the roster. The Knicks are more than a dysfunctional franchise , they are simply out of their depth on and off a basketball court and will remain that way , as long as James Dolan is the owner. Once a storied franchise , the New York Knicks are among the biggest laughing stocks around the NBA.

We know the NFL has a twenty-four-seven (24/7) news’ cycle and there’s nothing better for the league to dredge up an old story to try and show their altruism. Again it focuses on the issue of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) . Constant denials throughout the years led by the hierarchy of Commissioner Roger Goodell and the union that players suffered minimal injuries with regard blunt force head trauma and other neurological orders from playing professional football , have proven to be the lies NFL wanted to perpetuate. Having settled a billion-dollar lawsuit in recent years , the league has done very little concerning player safety in spite of their insistence that there is ongoing research being conducted by the NFL. There has been more research conducted by academia than anything done by the league over the last two decades. Noted neurologist and researcher Dr Bennet Omalu may well have been at the forefront of it all, but such was the league’s insistence to discredit his findings , that the NFL can no longer be trusted to tell the fans or the public the truth .


Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco is questioning the intent of the front office to sign free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick . Ravens’ owner Steve Bisciotti in a recent interview in the presence of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would not commit to signing the player , but suggested the option was there to do so. There are many who believe the NFL has systematically sought to black-ball Colin Kaepernick’s return to the NFL , with Goodell and the owners leading the charge.

With a little less than a week before the NFL preseason begins, free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL team . Roger Goodell has sought not to intercede in any way. Yet somehow , the likes of Riley Cooper and Richie Incognito were able to obtain a second chance in the league after their racially insensitive remarks. Let’s just say team owners around the league are intent on black-balling the former San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback. In recent weeks it was rumored that the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens were interested in pursuing Kaepernick , but no sooner had the rumors hit the airwaves and print media , they were immediately shot down by those teams themselves. Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco is said to be incensed the front office was interested in acquiring Colin Kaepernick. Far be it for me to suggest, but since his Superbowl MVP performance for the Baltimore Ravens, Joe Flacco has not been able to meet those expectations or lead by example.

From my own perspective , I believe there remains a great deal of hypocrisy within the NFL and those idiots who believe the league isn’t rife with racial bias, they really do need to look at the fact, the NFL has never really sought to have an African-American owner within their midst. Bear in mind the only person of color who happens to be a franchise owner in this league is a Pakistani-born American citizen , Shahid Khan . Unfortunately for Khan, his ownership of the Jacksonville Jaguars has yet to bring about any semblance of success. Five years in and Khan has yet to see the franchise win a divisional title or make the NFL postseason. Make of it what you will, but just because the league heralds diversity , it doesn’t mean there is diversity in the true sense of the word .

If Colin Kaepernick is welcomed back into the NFL, I certainly hope that he can prove his detractors and doubters wrong. The issues with the San Francisco 49ers last season were not of the player’s making and less we also forget, the Niners’ front office placed their faith in the incompetent and overrated Chip Kelly , whose failure with the Philadelphia Eagles was there for everyone to see

There’s trouble brewing in paradise as Jerry Jones has another off the field issue to deal with , as the Dallas Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliot might well have flouted league rules , as well as falling foul of the law . With Jones, once again it comes down to sheer hypocrisy concerning his own conduct as well as those within his organization , in particular the players on the Cowboys’ roster. Jerry Jones has never met a player with a great deal of baggage that he wasn’t prepared to sign. With Ezekiel Elliot , it all comes down to the excuses the franchise will make to obfuscate their own responsibility while also apportioning blame elsewhere. Quarterback Dak Prescott has to show that 2016 was no flash in the pan, as he and his teammates seek to prove themselves worthy of being considered among the favorites for the Superbowl this season.

Though the Dallas Cowboys will begin their quest with the preseason, it will be the regular season which everyone will be focused on. Their first five games of the schedule should provide us with a great indicator as to how good they could be. In week one the Cowboys will meet divisional rivals the New York Giants to open the regular season. There will be a lot riding on this game for both teams , especially for Eli Manning and the Giants .

Far be it for me to suggest, but this baseball season has become nondescript and really lacking a breakout story , which has captured the fans’ imagination . Teams are sitting pretty and now look to the closing stretch , with the final two months of the regular season schedule . This week will begin with Monday’s scheduled contests , with the New York Yankees in action against the Detroit Tigers in a game being played at Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx , New York. Joe Girardi’s Yankees are currently trying to play catch-up to the Boston Red Sox within the AL East . The race between the two teams is so tight that neither can afford to make a mistake over the next ten days. John Farrell and his managerial staff will have the Boston Red Sox ready for their game against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston , Massachusetts on Monday evening. It has been somewhat strange to see neither Boston or New York make a major trade at this point of the season, but with the Pablo Sandoval experiment having come to an abrupt end with the Red Sox , Sandoval has returned to his old stomping ground, reacquainting himself with the San Francisco Giants .

While I believe there is still to play for , there is no team more at risk than the Los Angeles Dodgers . They are the highest salaried team in all of baseball and failure at this juncture is not an option. Mark Walter and Magic Johnson have a vested interest in seeing the ball-club succeed. When you spend over $2 billion for a professional sports franchise , there is an expectation of success and not repeated failure. Yet, with no long-term strategic planning, all the Dodgers’ ownership have to show for the purchase , are near misses and being ridiculed endlessly for money not well-spent. Art of the deal or simply misjudging the opportunity altogether ?

With a healthy lead atop of the NL West the Los Angeles Dodgers have been barely tested within the division. Having the best record in all of baseball , this team has yet to prove they can be consistent , playing at a high level. Manager Dave Roberts will see if the Dodgers can increase their divisional lead when they face the Atlanta Braves at Sun-Trust Ballpark , in Atlanta , Georgia , with Kenta Maeda on the starters’ mound for Los Angeles to take on Lucas Sims of the Braves. Clayton Kershaw is having another exceptional year for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he leads the league in victories among starting pitchers . He is my consensus favorite to win his fourth NL Cy Young Award , joining a select group of players to have won three or more of baseball’s top pitchers’ award. Kershaw’s next projected start will be mid to late August, based Dave Roberts’ own deliberations those of the managerial staff and team doctors . The Los Angeles can ill-afford to lose a player of Clayton Kershaw’s caliber, as he has proven to be an invaluable asset to the team , beyond being the highest paid player on the roster. Coming back from an injury , there is no need to rush him back onto the pitchers’ mound.

There was a time when the names of Cliff Lee , Cole Hamels and Roy Halliday struck fear into the hearts of opposing hitters when they faced the Philadelphia Phillies’ trio of starting pitchers. Well, those days are long-gone along with the fortunes of the Phillies. This franchise is now literally on baseball’s scrap heap , incapable of winning or playing with any signs of competitiveness. It has been almost a decade since the Phillies won their last World Series’ championship , which came in 2008 , with Cole Hamels , Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins being part of that triumphant team over the Tampa Bay Rays . Fast forward to 2017 and the Philadelphia Phillies in their current guise are a shell of a team with the worst record in all of baseball. No longer with the likes of Ryan Howard on the team being paid in excess of $22 million a year , it is easy to understand why the franchise has fallen so fast. Changes within the managerial staff as well as the front office along with departure of several veterans, have brought some change , but without much success. Even the Minor League prospects for the club have yet to meet expectations.

The Philadelphia Phillies will a meet the Atlanta Braves on Monday night , before embarking on a road series against the Los Angeles Angels . A victory in that series would be a morale booster for the Phillies .

Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual image you can view that frame alongside the accompanying narrative .

What do you believe to be the biggest story of the moment coming out of the NBA , MLB and NFL ?

Tophatal ……… 07/29/2017


NBA news

NBA team transactions and trades

NBA team caps (2017)

NFL news

NFL preseason schedule and regular season schedule

NFL transactions

MLB news

MLB standings (divisional)

MLB weekend results

MLB probable pitchers 31st July (2017)

MLB transactions

MLB important dates

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

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

100 thoughts on “The Art of The Deal …..”

  1. Results from preseason games played in the NFL on Friday night . Many of these contests were not necessarily entertaining or a really preview of what the fans should expect for the start of the regular season .

    There were three games played on Friday night with the fans getting the chance to see the Pittsburgh Steelers take down the New York Giants on their way to a 20-12 victory. The Cincinnati Bengals ran by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , 23-12 , while barely breaking sweat and the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs by the score of 27-17 .

    It was somewhat strange seeing former New York Jets’ quarterback Geno Smith suiting up for the New York Giants and playing a number of series in the contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Seeking to resurrect his career with the Giants has to be seen as a last ditch effort by the player and an act of desperation by the Giants’ coaching staff as well as the front office . Meanwhile , Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned and Richard Sherman’s comments concerning Kaepernick are beginning to seem more and more justified as to the number of quarterbacks in the league who do not have the free agent’s skill-set . There are also a number of games set for today (Saturday) which will close out the first week of the preseason schedule . Fans will get the chance to see three games on tap for Saturday with the Tennessee Titans as the guests of the New York Jets , the Dallas Cowboys taking on conference rivals the Los Angeles Rams and finally the Oakland Raiders facing the Arizona Cardinals .

    Sunday will offer just two games , the Detroit Lions taking on the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks facing the newly relocated Los Angeles Chargers in a game which will be played at the Stubhub Stadium , a thirty-five seated venue which will be among the smallest of the stadiums in the NFL this season.

    NFL news

    Tophatal ………………………


  2. There have been some astounding singular performances in the league this season, but as baseball continues to round out its schedule . It might be time to weigh up the top challengers for the major regular season awards . Two-time AL MVP and Los Angeles Angels’ slugger Mike Trout has made a successful return to the team , but it’s too bad the Angels are not in contention for either their division or a wildcard berth in the AL .
    For Trout to win unprecedented third ALMVP Award with the Angels , he would need to have an astonishing final eight weeks to the regular season to be in consideration for the AL’s best player this season. The Angels for their part are in the midst of series against the Seattle Mariners with the second of their three games being played today .

    In the NL there doesn’t appear to be a clear-cut favorite for the NLMVP , but it could come down to the wire between these candidates Bryce Harper , Nolan Arenado , Charlie Blackmon and Joey Votto .

    The Cy Young Award for this season will likely be a difficult decision among for voters within the AL and NL . Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and his teammate Alex Wood might split the votes between the two among the NL’s top contenders . Chris Sale , Jason Vargas and James Paxton might be the only worth candidates in the AL for the top award.

    At this stage last season teams were in the thick of things but it was not a reflection of how the regular season ended heading into the postseason.

    MLB news

    MLB standings

    MLB schedule and probable pitchers

    MLB transactions (August 2017)

    Tophatal ……………


  3. If things fall into place then Terry Francona could be on the way to leading the Cleveland Indians to their second consecutive postseason appearance in the last four years. Francona has seen the team perform with a great deal of aplomb this season . Coming off a lopsided 5-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday evening . These two teams will be back in action on Saturday as they resume their current series . I believe the Indians will have to be seen as a ” dark horse ” within postseasn among the AL contenders. This is a well-balanced and well-managed team by Terry Francona and his staff. The Indians’ schedule during the month of September will be seen as crucial . If they can simply play with the level of consistency seen throughout the year , should prove to be something special .

    From my own perspective , I believe Terry Francona could in line as one of the main contenders for the AL Manager of The Year in 2017.

    Cleveland Indians news

    Tophatal ……….


  4. Andrew Luck has to find that renewed vigor which made him one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL , having been drafted number one overall in the 2012 NFL Draft . Luck has been able to lead the Indianapolis Colts into the postseason on repeated occasions during the first five years of his career in the NFL. Leads me to the question what the hell were either Tony Romo and Jay Cutler able to achieve through their first five years in the league ? Not much on the face of it and now Cutler is back in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins

    If the Indianapolis Colts are to succeed within the AFC South this season , then they will have to play dominant football through every facet of their game. Luck and his teammates will kick off their preseason schedule with a game against the Detroit Lions at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana , Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon .

    I believe the Indianapolis Colts are certainly good enough to win the AFC South but they are likely to be tested by both the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans within the division . Their divisional clashes against both teams during the regular season should prove to be enthralling. The Indianapolis Colts will open the regular season facing the Los Angeles Rams on the road . This will be the inaugural game played by the Rams played at their temporary facility , Los Angles Coliseum , in Los Angeles , California .

    Indianapolis Colts news

    Tophatal ………


  5. So with Jay Cutler’s return to the NFL , having signed a one-year $10 million deal with the Miami Dolphins , which appears to be incentive laden. The question becomes , what will Cutler be able to offer to the Dolphins as a team and what will the future now hold for the injured Ryan Tannehill ? For the Dolphins’ incumbent starter since his entry into the NFL , it has been repeated seasons of inconsistency and injuries. Tannehill has never really proven himself that great a starting quarterback and even less of a leader when it matters the most. Adam Gase and his coaching staff clearly don’t have a great deal of faith in the backups on the roster , even though Matt Moore guided the Dolphins to the postseason winning two of their final three games of the regular season to lead the team there.

    I do not believe the addition of Jay Cutler will make the Miami Dolphins better in spite of the optimism being shown by members of the local media and some Dolphins’ fans in general. Cutler’s track record is far from desirable and his leadership abilities are questionable at best .

    Miami Dolphins news

    Tophatal ………….


  6. A Subway Series in baseball involving the New York Mets and New York Yankees nowadays conjures up about as much excitement as a colo-rectal exam. Neither of these two teams at present look as if they’re playing with the ability needed to win their respective divisions or obtain a wildcard berth within the NL or AL. Having defeated the Mets on Monday evening at Yankee Stadium , the New York Yankees will resume their current series against their crosstown rivals the New York Mets on Tuesday evening . On the mound will be starting pitchers Jacob deGrom of the Mets to face Sonny Gray of the Yankees.

    Managers Terry Collins of the New York Mets and Joe Girardi are both under extreme pressure to produce this season , as neither can afford to sit back and rest on their laurels. Both teams have considerably large payrolls with the Yankees being among the top salaried teams in all of baseball.

    Elsewhere in baseball , as Giancarlo Stanton continues to have a great season for the Miami Marlins and with the baseball club about to have new owners, with Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan being minority stakeholders in the new organization. It will be interesting to see if Stanton can lead the Marlins to their first postseason appearance in well over a decade . The Marlins are 8 1/2 games out of the wildcard position and I do not believe this team has what it takes to make up that ground. Miami has a Tuesday afternoon game against the San Francisco Giants . which will be the second game of their current three-game series.

    On the mound for this particular contest between the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants will be Dan Straily of the Marlins facing Madison Bumgarner .

    Is it coincidence that since the return of Mike Trout the Los Angeles Angels have played themselves back into contention within the AL ? Trout and his teammates will be looking consolidate on those standings when they play the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington DC on Tuesday evening.

    MLB news and results .

    MLB starting pitchers

    MLB standings

    Tophatal ………………….


  7. Make or break season for the Jacksonville Jaguars ? Here’s something which is becoming more obvious for team owner Shahid Khan , either he will devote more time to the running the NFL franchise or he will simply divert his attention to Fulham FC the soccer team he now owns who play in the English Football League . Jaguars’ quarterback Blake Bortles has yet to establish himself as a top-flight passer in the league and has not led the franchise to winning season since being drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2014 . Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone is expected to turn the team around this season while seeking to get the very best out of Blake Bortles .

    Having begun their preseason schedule with their first game against the New England Patriots . The result was a win for the visiting Jaguars who defeated New England 31-24 . There wasn’t a great deal which could be taken away from the game with both teams sitting a number of their starters for the contest.

    Doug Marrone will no doubt be encouraged by the display hoping that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be inspired enough to keep the momentum going when they meet instate rivals the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Thursday 17th August . Jacksonville will close out their preseason schedule with their final game being against the Carolina Panthers .

    NFL standings (preseason)

    NFL preseason week two

    NFL player stats preseason and team stats

    Jacksonville Jaguars

    Tophatal ………..


  8. With the deal all but finalized , there will several things which will need to be addressed by Bruce Sherman , Derek Jeter and Michael Jordan as the partners in the new Miami Marlins’ ownership group. Will the front office remain intact or will the owners seek to bring in their own group of executives ? This much is clear , if the reports are to be believed , Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado has no wish to be dealing with current Marlins’ executive David Sansome , stepson of owner Jeffrey Loria . Something I find somewhat asinine, given the fact during the negotiations which took place for the building of Marlins Stadium , all three would often meet, along with a number of executives from baseball’s hierarchy. If things went sour , then it was because of the complicit and egregious behavior shown by everyone involved. This has now left not only the city of Miami on the brink of financial disaster and the Miami Dade County Government facing dire financial straits over the coming years. If that were not enough , since the building of the venue , the Marlins have yet to show a profit as an organization.

    Presumptive owners of the Miami Marlins , Michael Jordan (left) and Derek Jeter .

    Built in 2012, Marlins Ballpark has yet be sold-out for Major League Baseball game and having hosted an All Star Game the venue was not sold out for the event . Miami has also lost in excess of $70 million over the past two years and for a small-market team that is a major problem as revenue flows are not that great. The Marlins are likely to lose in excess of $60 million for this year alone .

    Though it is merely speculation , but the rumors are that the Miami Marlins might well be willing to trade their All Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton , the player who has the highest contract in baseball history. Any team willing to acquire the play would be burdened with the remainder of his contract unless some other type of deal could be worked out between the teams concerned.

    The Miami Marlins are looking to be in the thick of a postseason race by capturing one of the two wildcard spots available in the National League. They have no chance of breaking down the lead of the Washington Nationals in the NL East . Currently 7 1/2 games out of a wildcard berth , between now and the end of the regular season the Miami Marlins have a tough battle ahead to make up ground.

    Marlins’ manager Don Mattingly will prepare his team for their upcoming series of games to round out the month of August. Today the Miami Marlins will not be in action , but tomorrow they will begin a three-game series against the New York Mets .

    Giancarlo Stanton’s future with the Miami Marlins remains uncertain and his being traded . will leave this ball-club without a proven star on the roster. Stanton is on pace to hit 60 home runs this season , which would be a franchise record for the Miami Marlins and putting the player among a very select group of players to have hit sixty or more home runs in a season.

    Miami Marlins news

    Tophatal ……………..


  9. Given the drama and state of disarray now playing out around the NBA , I believe there’s likely to be even more theatrics leading up to the preseason and regular season. If the rumors are to be believed then we could see a flurry of trades or free agents signing with new or former teams. Changes within the front offices of several teams have created the scenarios which could very well play out. At the beginning of the 2016 NBA season , we saw several trades take place which ultimately changed the course of the season.

    Dwyane Wade after an underwhelming season with the Chicago Bulls can opt out of his contract and become a free agent . It is thought Wade will do so after seeing the unpleasantness unfold with the trading of Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves . Bulls’ GM Gar Forman and John Paxson have been unable to explain or justify the trade , but it was their belief this move made the franchise better moving forward .

    Miami Heat President Pat Riley having seen the Heat fall apart as the season wound down. The Heat are a team in transition and to understand that you have to look at the roster now and where it was five years ago . Riley in conjunction with Team Head Coach Erik Spoelstra might feel now would be the time to bring Dwyane Wade back into the fold , with Wade becoming the veteran presence on a team sorely lacking leadership on all fronts . This much is clear , the Heat like the Bulls , are desperately in need of direction and leadership.

    In the space of three months Dan Gilbert has managed to alienate the entire playing staff of the Cleveland Cavaliers , leaving the franchise in a state of complete disarray. Four time League MVP LeBron James is said to be mulling over leaving the Cavaliers for a second time over the course of his career. Imagine the city of Cleveland imploding and making those images seen in Charlottesville , Virginia seem like a kids’ playground of activity. The city had better brace itself for some real lunacy from the fans on all fronts . James’ teammate , Kyrie Irving wants out and his presumed relationship with LeBron James is said to be lukewarm at best. Turmoil and the letdown of an embarrassing NBA Finals’ loss, has a way bringing out the very worst in people.

    Chicago Bulls news

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

    Miami Heat news

    Tophatal ……………..


  10. Games scheduled for Thursday 17th July , 2017. Wednesday’s results left the standings as follows . There are several games of interest which should provide the fans with some excitement when they get underway today. The New York Yankees will be in action when they are due to face the abysmal New York Mets . On the mound as the starting pitchers will be Luis Severino of the Yankees against Steven Matz of the Mets .

    MLB news

    Tophatal …………..


  11. This weekend’s scheduled games in Major League Baseball will provide for an interesting set of series to unfold. Thursday’s results were something of an eye opener with solid performances from the players as well as the teams .

    Tampa Bay Rays (60-63) continue to play hard , but logic suggests the team will fail to make the postseason within the AL . A loss suffered on Thursday night showed the inconsistency of the Rays over their last few games . The Toronto Blue Jays hammered the Rays into submission on their way to a 5-3 victory , subjecting Tampa to their eighth loss in their last ten games. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash will lead the team into a series against the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida beginning on Friday evening . Erasmo Ramirez of the Mariners will face Austin Pruitt of the Rays in this contest.

    Just as big a disappointment in the AL East this season as the Tampa Bay Rays are the Baltimore Orioles . Team manager Buck Showalter and his managerial staff have to be disappointed with what they have seen from the team this season. Over their last ten games the Orioles have posted a miserly 4-6 record . Baltimore will begin a home series against the Los Angeles Angels where their two-time ALMVP Mike Trout will be looking to add to his performances against the home team. The first game of this three game series will take place today .

    Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos and the front office staff will have to assess not only the future of this team during the off-season but also the managerial staff , and specifically the future of Buck Showalter.

    Chris Davis has simply been a major letdown for the Baltimore Orioles this season . This is a far cry from a player who not so long ago slugged his way to a fifty-home run season only to fall foul of the league’s substance abuse policy. Davis who can become a free agent in 2023 , still has six years left on the $161 million contract signed in 2017. Dan Duquette , the Balti clearly whiffed on the deal , living up to the notion, when it comes to dealing with talent , he’s unmatched by his peers in assessing their qualities. He passed on Roger Clemens , claiming at the time the Boston Red Sox were not interested in a player who was past his prime , allowing the pitcher to leave the Red Sox in free agency . Clemens would go on to win several Cy Young Awards , win a World Series as well as placing himself among the game’s greatest starting pitchers , albeit that his legacy has since been tarnished due to his association with baseball’s notorious steroid era of the nineties and early 2000’s.

    MLB news

    MLB standings

    MLB weekend schedule & probable starters

    This week in baseball and on this day

    Tophatal …………….

    Tophatal ………….


  12. You’ll have to convince me a great deal that the Brooklyn Nets are heading in the right direction after all of the upheaval which has taken place within the organization since the end of the regular season. Mikhail Prokhorov as the billionaire owner of the franchise is still on the verge of selling the Nets after mounting losses in the last eight years . Last season this was a team in a complete state of disarray . Prokhorov for his part remains tight-lipped as to whether or not , he is still going to sell the Brooklyn Nets, while retaining ownership of the Barclays Center , home to the Nets in Brooklyn, New York .

    During the off-season the Brooklyn Nets’ draft class was not overly impressive , but clearly the coaching staff and front office believes this will be the way to go , with a mix of youth and veterans on the roster. Trevor Booker , Jeremy Lin and Randy Foye are considered to be the players likely to provide the franchise with a chance to win, but I do not believe the depth or experience is there to make it all a reality !! Brooklyn will tip-off their regular season with a game against the Indiana Pacers .

    The NBA regular season tips off on the 25th October with a slew of games on Opening Night. One of the most interesting on the night might well be the game between the Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers . This is not a match-up that I believe will favor the home team .

    The Philadelphia 76ers are no closer to winning than one might consider the Donald Trump has shown himself to a leader with political acumen . The Sixers remain a complete laughing stock , completely bereft of talent within their front office , on the court and among the coaching staff led by Brett Brown .

    NBA news

    2017 NBA Draft

    NBA standings

    NBA regular season schedule (Opening Night)

    Tophatatal ……………..


  13. Milwaukee Bucks’ head coach Jason Kidd had success at the highest levels of the game having won an NBA Rookie of The Year Award as well as rounding out his professional player career with an NBA Finals’ championship ring, being a part of the Dallas Mavericks . He then went on to become the Head Coach of the Brooklyn Nets , before talking himself out of a job with the franchise , seeking more input over the playing staff at the expense of far more experienced front office executives at the time. Kidd’s experiences in Brooklyn brought him back down to earth , making him a much better custodian , coach and leader. He has sought to instill discipline into the team , while also working well with the front office of the Bucks.

    This upcoming season it will be interesting to see how the Milwaukee Bucks acquit themselves , while also seeing the progress made by their young budding superstar Malcolm Brogdon , last season’s recipient of the Rookie of The Year Award. Brogdon was by far the best rookie in the league , even if his detractors suggest otherwise. He will remain the heart and soul of this team as Jason Kidd seeks to mold them into perennial contenders .

    Jason Kidd and Malcolm Brogdon (13).

    With only a few being games as part of their preseason schedule , it will be imperative for he Milwaukee Bucks to find some cohesiveness and fluidity to their game. Their first scheduled contest of the preseason will be against the Boston Celtics on the road . Milwaukee’s regular season begins with a home game against the Boston Celtics , which should provide the fans with a very competitive contest .

    Milwaukee Bucks news

    Tophatal ……..


  14. So which team this season is liable to step up in the Eastern Conference and usurp the recent dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers ? I doubt that the Cavaliers will be back to their best after the current off-season tumult with the rapid defections and firings . Former GM David Griffin was shown the door with Koby Altman taking his place . Altman and team owner Dan Gilbert will now seek to deal with the disarray while trying to rebuild the roster . Of the teams likely to challenge the Cavaliers , I believe with the Boston Celtics getting better and their the acquisition of Gordon Hayward , the teams are closer on paper than some might deny.

    The Cleveland Cavaliers will still have their coaching staff in tact which will be led by Tyronn Lue . Cleveland will begin its preseason schedule with a game against the Boston Celtics on the 17th October . This season’s preseason schedule has been slimmed down in comparison to last season .

    This season should prove to be entertaining as the two-time NBA champions the Golden State Warriors will be looking to make a successful defense of the title they won emphatically last season. As for the idiots still critical of Kevin Durant and his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors. Let’s just say to Durant’s detractors , simply shut the hell up and appreciate the presence of greatness . Steve Kerr and his team will be as dominant this season as they were last season and I do believe they are capable of winning at least seventy-five games during their 2017 schedule !!! Golden State will begin their preseason against the Houston Rockets who’ve been bolstered by the addition of Chris Paul to their lineup .

    NBA news

    Tophatal …………………


  15. Farhan Zaidi and Andrew Friedman within the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers just seem to be intent on increasing the team’s payroll as they added journeyman Curtis Granderson to their roster . As to what Granderson can add to the team remains to be seen given his lack of productivity with the Mets this season . Granderson was hit-less in his Dodger’ debut as they faced the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Field in Detroit, Michigan,. The two teams will be back on the field on Sunday evening when they resume their current series.

    It is clear the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to Curtis Granderson to provide them with stability in lieu of a somewhat inconsistent batting lineup . Injuries asides the Dodgers have a very compelling schedule ahead as they seek to end with of the best regular seasons in franchise history. The Los Dodgers are on pace for one hundred and sixteen wins this season and it will be interesting to see if they can reach that mark. There can be no denying there this has been an all-round effort from the team , in particular from their starting pitchers , where Alex Wood and Clayton Kershaw have been absolutely stellar .

    Los Angeles Dodgers news

    Tophatal ………………………………….


  16. Results from week two in the NFL and notice that I will do very little reporting on a league I find to be truly hypocritical , without leadership , one which is blatantly racists in spite of the denials and perceptions created to the contrary . For the idiots who talk separate but equal and letting things of the past remain in the past , perhaps those very same @ssholes should also look at the idiocies which they place value in as written in The Bible and the teachings there from the Old to the New Testament is filled with the inconsistencies one would come to expect.


    NFL news

    NFL standings (divisional)

    NFL week two preseason results

    Tophatal …………..


  17. Tampering charges possibly being leveled against the Los Angeles Lakers after their alleged involvement in trying to lure Paul George to the franchise prior to his declaring his free agency status. George was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder where he will team up with Russell Westbrook . Lakers’ lead executives Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka are willing to comply with an investigation which will be conducted by the league hierarchy . If found guilty of any wrongdoing , the Los Angeles Lakers could face possible forfeiture of future NBA Draft picks . Given the Lakers’ poor draft choices made over the last six years it might not be such a bad thing after-all.

    Courtesy of the USA Today Sports

    NBA opens investigation into Lakers for alleged Paul George tampering at request of Pacers

    By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

    The Indiana Pacers want revenge for the costly loss of Paul George.

    Seven weeks after the former Pacers star was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for proverbial pennies on the dollar, the franchise is alleging that the Los Angeles Lakers are guilty of violating the league’s tampering rules in their pursuit of the four-time All-Star. The NBA on Sunday confirmed the Pacers’ allegations and said in a statement that the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is conducting the investigation.

    “The Lakers have been cooperative and, at this point, no findings have been made. We have asked both teams to refrain from commenting while the investigation is ongoing,” the statement read from Mike Bass, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Communications.

    While no specifics of the accusations were included in the statement, the conduct of Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson is sure to be front and center. With George’s strong interest in signing with the Lakers as a free agent next summer widely known in league circles, the 58-year-old Johnson has been open about his affinity for George ever since rejoining the organization’s front office in February. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in February, the Lakers legend even joked about ways in which he could openly recruit George while avoiding the league’s tampering rules.

    Click on link to read in full.

    While it is hard to believe that the Los Angeles Lakers might be willing to transgress the league rules , given the franchise’s recent poor run in the NBA and their last playoff appearance coming in 2009 .

    With the drafting of Lonzo Ball , seen as the future of the Lakers’ franchise . It will be interesting to see if this young phenom can become the star many believe him to be. Ball will be entrusted to lead this team as they begin their preseason and then enter into their regular season schedule . Luke Walton and his coaching staff will most certainly have their work cut out for them this upcoming season as he enters into his second year coaching the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise. With something of a reduced preseason schedule in comparison to last season . Ball and the Lakers’ first game of the preseason will be against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Staples Center on September 30th , 2017 . Their opening game of the regular season will be a match-up against conference and divisional rivals the Los Angeles Clippers .

    If the Los Angeles Lakers are to qualify for the NBA Playoffs this upcoming nothing less than a fifty game winning season would have to be the qualifying mark for the team . Are they capable of achieving that mark remains to be seen , but at best I do not believe this roster is capable of winning more than thirty-five games . I believe the first ten to twenty-five games of the season should tell us a great deal about the team over the course of 2017-18 .

    Tophatal ………………..


  18. So the Los Angeles Dodgers continue to run away with the NL West while barely being challenged by any of their divisional rivals. I have begun to question the competitiveness of not only the division but also the NL itself. The Dodgers will seek to make regular season franchise history , but the question remains can they win their first World Series title in over twenty-five years ?

    Elsewhere within the National League (NL) the Washington Nationals are having considerably easy time in the NL East . Manager Dusty Baker has the team playing with a great deal of fire . They have a healthy fourteen-game lead over the Miami Marlins and they will be in action today when Baker prepares the team to face the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas on Tuesday , 22nd August , 2017 . Washington’s pitching as well as their hitting and defense have been the things which have carried the Nationals throughout the season. This game against the Houston Astros should be one of the more entertaining contests taking place today .

    Tophatal ………….


  19. Results for the past three days within Major League Baeseball and how they impact the divisional standings . The reigning World Series champions the Chicago Cubs have taken control of the NL Central and look to be on their way to making a successful defense of the divisional title they won last season .

    Over their last ten games the Cubs have posted an 8-2 record matched by only the Los Angeles Dodgers in the time-frame mentioned .

    Chicago Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon has a team playing some great baseball at present . On Wednesday the Cubs will be in action as they face the Cincinatti Reds on the road at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati , Ohio. The starting pitchers will be Jake Arrieta of the Cubs against Sal Romano of the Reds .

    Too little , too late at this stage of the season , but both the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays are still trying to play themselves back into contention for a wildcard berth . Personally, I believe both teams lack the depth needed to be considered any sort of real threat within their respective divisions much less the leagues they actually play in . The Marlins will face the Philadelphia Phillies in a game being played on the road , while the Rays will be playing the Toronto Blue Jays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule 24th August

    Tophatal …………


  20. So while idiots continue to suggest that Colin Kaepernick simply wasn’t worth signing as a starting quarterback , much less as a back up any team roster . Let’s see how one of the most lauded of the free agent signings has been doing . It would appear that Jay Cutler won’t be giving the Miami Dolphins all they had hoped from what I would suggest is a washed up has-been quarterback. At $10 million for the season the Dolphins could have got Kaepernick for half the price , having a player who would have likely performed a great deal better than the veteran. Unfortunately , the idiots within the > front office including team owner Stephen Ross would have the world believe the former Niners’ quarterback would prove to be too great a distraction. Unless I’m mistaken , the biggest distraction was the idiocy of Adam Gase and his coaching staff believing Jay Cutler was the answer to their needs.

    In today’s game played between the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints in London , England would be competitive. The Saints came away with a lopsided performance winning the contest 20-0 . Drew Brees led New Orleans with a rather customary performance while Jay Cutler couldn’t lead a rather mundane and spluttering Dolphins’ offense .

    London-born Jay Ajayi made history as only the second-born English player to have played a regular season game in the United Kingdom with Osi Umenyiora being the other .

    NFL news

    NFL results week four

    NFL standings (divisional)

    Tophatal …………..


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