The Straw That Broke the Camel’s back

The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

Well once again within the world of sports we have the real winners and the real losers. LeBron James is now considered a winner , having left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-year $154 million deal . The contract won’t make James the highest-paid player in the league contract-wise or on annual basis , but he will certainly be ranked among the top-ten players in both categories. Lakers’ GM Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson , Head of Basketball Operations might have felt they pulled off something of a coup-de-gras in acquiring James, but less than forty-eight hours after the transaction , current NBA champions the Golden State Warriors were able to upstage the Los Angeles Lakers by acquiring DeMarcus Cousins , signing him to a one-year deal , having to pay him no more than $5 million for his services for this upcoming year.


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It would be idiot to suggest that the Lakers haven’t been upstaged and for all of the detractors out there critical of the Cousins’ deal. Do bear in mind five years ago it was James bolting from the Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat and holding the rest of the NBA captive deliberately merely for the public’s attention. In the ensuing years LeBron James has shown a great deal of maturity,but on some levels the player still remains very immature in spite of his fifteen years in the league . His accomplishments asides , he will be truly tested unlike ever before, because he is expected to lead the franchise to championships . This is what Lakers’ fans are accustomed to and having not made an appearance in the NBA Finals in almost a decade has to be worrisome to an organization starved of success in recent years.

A great is definitely being asked of LeBron James , but my own feeling is , how will he co-exist alongside Lonzo Ball , his new teammate as well as the idiotic antics of Ball’s father , LaVar Ball. It is something that the Lakers’ front office will have to address, as Ball Sr has already begun to antagonize the franchise’s biggest star with his antics and comments. Anyone who doesn’t believe James is likely to take some umbrage of that criticism is clearly unaware what makes the player tick.

It seems that the wounds went far too deep than many of might have been aware as the impasse between two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Kawhi Leonard and the front office of the San Antonio Spurs came to an abrupt end as the player was traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan . The trade has sent shock-waves around the league , as many felt there was more of a chance that Leonard would remain in the Western Conference where he’s seen as one of the elite players within the conference and considered a top-five player in the league. Magic Johnson had sought to bring the California native back to his home state , but Greg Popovich and GM RC Buford made the decision to send the player East rather than see him in the West simply destroying the ambitions of the Spurs and others in the conference.

DeMar DeRozan for his part was none too pleased with the decision to trade him taking aim at the lack of respect shown to him by the Raptors’ organization . Yet from my own standpoint , I now feel the forward will have more to offer to the San Antonio Spurs’ fans might believe. It was clear that Kawhi Leonard had alienated himself with the fans as well as the Spurs’ coaching staff and Greg Popovich was less than characteristic in discussing Leonard’s departure. As the transition within the playing staff takes place for San Antonio , with the departure of Kawhi Leonard as well as seasoned veteran point guard Tony Parker, with the player joining the Charlotte Hornets .

Another trade seems to be nearing completion which would in the end facilitate Carmelo Anthony becoming a free agent. If the rumors are to be believed as a cap exercise , Anthony will be traded to the Atlanta Hawks , with the Oklahoma City Thunder getting in return , Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala . It is then believed , that Anthony will be waived by the Hawks, allowing him to become a free agent, signing for a team showing interest in the veteran forward. His expiring contract of almost $28 million clearly was one of the main reasons behind the deal and the front office of the Thunder seeking to lower the impact of the luxury tax , based on the NBA’s salary cap .

It would appear that the Los Angeles Dodgers now have their man having swooped in the obtain Manny Machado as a short-term rental from the Baltimore Orioles . Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts knows that his team has its shortcomings and more than anything else , they need to be winning on a consistent basis over the coming months. Failure to make a quick return to the World Series and there are likely to be some serious changes made among the playing staff and managerial staff at the end of the season . Machado can bring a great deal to this Dodgers’ staff by way of productivity , but at the same time their failing is not one from a lack of productivity with their bats but the inconsistency shown through their pitching , notably among their relievers .

Though not in action today , Thursday 19th July , where there is just one game on the schedule with the St Louis Cardinals facing the Chicago Cubs . The Los Angeles Dodgers will be in action on Friday , where their fans will get their first chance to see Manny Machado suited up as the team takes on the Milwaukee Brewers , in the first of a three-game road series as part of their regular season schedule.

For an ailing Baltimore Orioles’ organization , where it would appear Peter Angelos has to be in despair, the future of the ball-club now seems to be far from clear. Their farm system has a modicum of talent , but it’s still early to say what can expect from those players. The managerial staff of Buck Showalter is still searching for some semblance of consistency from the team and with the departure of Manny Machado , that now makes their whole situation a great deal more difficult. Next up for the Orioles will be a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario , Canada.

The team with the best ten-game stretch leading up to the All Star Game , are the Boston Red Sox who will look to increase their lead over divisional rivals the New York Yankees within the AL East . Red Sox starting pitcher David Price will be on the mound for Boston when they face the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park , in Detroit Michigan . This is one of those games that I believe will be a simple stroll for the Boston Red Sox as they take on AL rival. . As contentious as we know the division to be , it will once again become a two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. New York really can’t afford to have any major slip-ups between now and the end of regular season schedule. While neither ball-club have shown that they’ve a wish to be a major player in the market , all signs seem to be pointing to the fact that something will be happening .

Aaron Boone in his first year as manager for the New York Yankees will be hoping that he can lead this team to a postseason berth . Clearly winning the division (AL East ) has to be a top priority rather than being a wildcard berth entrant within the AL. The Yankees are in action this weekend as they begin a three-game series against the New York Mets . There was a time when the Subway Series actually meant something within the world of baseball , but over the last eight years with the decline of the Mets , it’s merely seen as an afterthought. On the mound for Friday’s game , as the starting pitchers will be Noah Syndergaard of the Mets against Domingo German of the Yankees .

To suggest that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have been negligent as the owners of the New York Mets would be an understatement . They took the ball-club to the brink of bankruptcy , while the organization was actually embroiled in the Bernie Madoff “ Ponzi Scheme Scandal” . Intervention with their receiving a cash infusion, believed to be in excess of $450 million was the only thing which saved the franchise. All of this took place during the reign of Bud Selig as the MLB Commissioner . That being said, with Selig suggesting the books of the Mets showing a great deal of transparency , I have to ask myself was there a point in this whole mess where Bud Selig actually knew what the hell he was talking about ?

With the trade deadline being 31st July , it will be interesting to see what choices will be made by the front office of the New York Mets . Will there be a fire sale , as they implode the roster ? There are several players who are overpaid while having produced nothing of note through much of the season. The New York Mets are simply bereft of real talent in various areas of their game and their Minor League System might well be promising , but in reality there isn’t much there to speak of.

How do you see this off-season within the NBA turning out and what do you expect from the upcoming season? Also as baseball enters the second-half of its schedule which teams do you believe will rise to the occasion ?

Tophatal ……. 2018/07/19


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

Brit ex-pat living C Florida . Now working with a consultancy firm in the field of corporate governance on the international front , concerning economic policies . Also covering the area of finance , banking, international banking. An MBA graduate from the (LSE) and UCL (London) , M&A (mergers & acquisitions), economics , risk management & assessment . Martial artist (tae-kwondo, karate, savate , muy-thai) & an vowed sports ' fan , sports' junkie. Served in armed forces British ... Royal Marines . Taught unarmed combat to members of the military and also competed in tournaments prior to joining the Royal Marines . Also an avid motorcycle junkie & free running enthusiast . Tech geek and computer repair technician. Entertainment: Musical tastes _ reggae, r&b, soul, hip-hop, rap , jazz, classical. Film genres , Preferably thrillers , crime dramas Hobbies ..... reading biographies & anything by John Grisham Just a lil' something to make me feel comfortable ! Tophatal

16 thoughts on “The Straw That Broke the Camel’s back”

  1. This should be great weekend of sports with their being The Open taking place at Carnoustie in Scotland , where Tiger Woods has struggled through the first two rounds of this Grand Slam major. Woods end up finishing tied for fourth in this tournament , his best finish in a Grand Slam Major in almost ten years. Francisco Molinari of Italy captured the Claret Jug, his first Grand Slam Major and the $1.89 million for finishing in first place .

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  2. So the Tampa Bay Rays coming off their weekend performances might be moving their star ace pitcher Chris Archer as part of a face and money-saving exercise . It seems at this time of the year this has become the usual tale of a ball-club bereft of real decision making within the front office . Archer isn’t due to become a free agent until 2022 , with four years left on his existing contract with the team .

    The Tampa Bay Rays will be back on the mound as they begin a three-game home series against the New York Yankees as of Monday , 23rd July, 2018 ,.

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  3. The Atlanta Braves are having an exciting season , where their battle with the Philadelphia Phillies are providing one of the best divisional races in all of baseball . In their head to head meetings this season it is the Braves with a 7-5 edge in their meetings to date. Both teams are in action today with the Braves facing the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark in Miami , Florida . Julio Teheran will be on the mound for Atlanta as he faces his opposite number , Wei Yin-Chen of Miami. The Phillies will be facing the Los Angeles Dodgers at home in a game that’s likely to have some repercussions in the NL standings .

    The Boston Red Sox continue to look like the best team in the American League with several of the
    players on their roster contributing in several ways to the team’s success. Boston’s manager Alex Cora will certainly be looking to take this team back into the postseason with a view to a ALCS Pennant and ultimately another World Series’ title , their fourth in the last ten years. With just over two months left on their regular season schedule it will be interesting to see how the Boston Red Sox fare in those games.

    Drew Pomeranz of the Boston Red Sox will lead this robust staff when they face the dire Baltimore Orioles in a road game being played at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland .

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  4. The fans of the Los Angeles Lakers have every right to be excited about the Lakers acquiring of both Rajon Rondo and LeBron James to their team . Yet for all sense and purpose while both players will be a boost to the lineup , it cannot mitigate the fact that the Lakers will still be no better than perhaps the fifth or sixth-best best team in the Western Conference . Reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors have gone out and gained center DeMarcus Cousins providing their lineup with even more offense and defense than anything the Lakers could possibly mount. Now in the aftermath of it all, Daryl Morey , general manager of the Houston Rockets , having resigned Chris Paul to a max contract , has been able to sign Carmelo Anthony as a free agent . This clearly boosts Houston’s chances in the conference and their desire to get to the NBA Finals .

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  5. Clayton Kershaw might well be the best pitcher on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff, but when it’s all said and done , it just won’t be about pitching if the Dodgers are to make it back to the World Series . Having been overwhelmed by the Houston Astros , they will certainly have to play a great deal better than exhibited in last season’s World Series . A series were they were simply placed in the ground quicker than most would have thought possible.

    Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts will have his team prepared for several tough games over the next ten days. Beginning today , when the Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Philadelphia Phillies on the road where the opposing pitchers will be have Walker Beuhler of the Dodgers against Jake Arrietta of the Phillies.

    Gary Sanchez the lead catcher for the New York Yankees is now injured and it could play a great deal in how the Yankees could perform over the rest of their schedule . This team will have to be at their very best over their next ten games if they’re to be in with a chance of gaining control of the AL East . In their next contest the Yankees will face divisional rivals the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field .

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  6. So Julio Jones is seeking a contract extension from the Atlanta Falcons and he’s prepared to sit out the preseason and quite possibly much of the regular season until a deal is signed . Jones wants to be paid to commensurate with his talents . It’s not known if the front office of the Falcons will make the decision to grant Jones the extension he seeks . With quarterback Matt Ryan having been granted a near record deal as a quarterback, it will be interesting to see if Julio Jones can garner the same sort of deal for his position .

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  7. So as the trade deadline of 31st July approaches , teams have been on the move acquiring players they believe will be able to help their cause during the second-half of the season. Both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees made moves to bolster their respective rosters. It will be interesting to see how these teams fare over the remaining games of their respective regular season series between the top two contenders within the AL East . The next meeting between the Red Sox and Yankees will take place on the 2nd August .

    The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies continue to surprise many observers as both teams play with a great deal of determination in pursuit of a postseason berth . Philadelphia with Jake Arrietta leading their pitching staff have proven to be a truly formidable team at home as well as on the road. The Phillies will head into a game today with Ranger Suarez on the mound the face the Cincinnati Reds whose starting pitcher will be Tyler Mahle . Atlanta will also be in action as they face the NL rivals the Los Angeles Doders , in a game pitting two of the top-teams in the NL (National League) .

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  8. Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has proven himself to be great not only with the bat or the ball but an all-round contributor for the Angels . While Albert Pujols and Mike Trout are considered the figure-heads and mainstays of the ball-club, it has to be said that Ohtani is now winning over the fans not just through his play-making abilities alone , but also being a player with the charisma to draw those fans to him. As Pujols continues to move up the career home runs’ tally , the thinking must be it is now time for the Los Angels Angels to make another deep postseason run . It has been four years since the Angels made their last appearance and it is something that hasn’t been lost on the front office . Mike Sciocsia and his managerial staff must know that if the Angels are to play their way into postseason contention , then the remaining games on their schedule will have to see the team winning at .775 clip or better.

    As the month of July comes to a close the Los Angeles Angels will look to finish the month on a winning note before embarking on the month of August . Shohei Ohtani and his teammates will be in action today as the team will face the Chicago White Sox at home . The Angels will begin a weekend series against the Seattle Mariners as of Friday evening .

    MLB schedule 26th July and weekend schedule

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  9. Well the NBA off-season continues unabated with transactions moving left right and center . With Carmelo Anthony having been signed by the Atlanta Hawks , it seems all but certain the Hawks will relinquish the rights to Anthony, making him a free agent who can sign with a team of his choice and it seems that the Houston Rockets will the franchise looking to acquire the veteran forward.

    Vince Carter has signed with the Atlanta Hawks , and will enter his twenty-first season playing in the NBA . Carter is one of a handful of players to have played at twenty-years in this league with the player being a among that select few with two decades in the league.

    Courtesy of USA Today

    Vince Carter agrees to one-year deal with Hawks for 21st NBA season

    By Matt Eppers and Jeff Zillgitt , USA Today

    Already the oldest player in the league, Vince Carter is coming back for a 21st NBA season.

    Carter has agreed with the Atlanta Hawks on a one-year contract, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly until the deal is official.

    The 41-year-old Carter will join Dirk Nowitzki, who re-signed with the Dallas Mavericks recently, as the last members of the 1998 draft class left in the league.

    Yahoo! Sports reported the deal is for the veteran minimum salary of $2.4 million.

    Carter played a limited role in 58 games with the rebuilding Sacramento Kings last season. He will reportedly be asked to fill a similar role on a young Hawks team with no other player on the roster older than 30.

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    Click on link to read in full.

    It will be interesting to see what Vince Carter has to offer the Atlanta Hawks at this stage of his career. It will be a tough sell to think that the veteran can really effect a drastic change in the fortunes of the Hawks .

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  10. So Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein the lead front office executives in charge of the rebuilding of the Chicago Cubs and main architects behind the ball-club’s resurgence back to prominence which led t o their 2016 World Series’ triumph might have pulled off one of the biggest coups of the season. Chicago managed to acquire former World Series MVP starting pitcher Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers , therein bolstering an already formidable pitching lineup for the ball-club. Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon must have played a big part in this all and he knows what an asset Hamels is likely to be to his staff as they look to cement their position within the NL Central and the overall NL standings as their season winds down. A postseason berth is theirs for the taking and Chicago’s record against their top rivals in the NL is among the best this season.

    The Chicago Cubs (60-42) will begin their weekend schedule with the best record in the National League . They will face divisional rivals the St Louis Cardinals on the road with game-one of the series starting on Friday , 27th July . Cole Hamels could get his start for his new team in early August when the Cubs begin their schedule for that month .

    The New York Mets are having a dire season and it would appear that the front office will likely proceed to begin a fire sale by way of ridding themselves of some high-priced players on the team’s roster. There is growing speculation that starting pitcher Jacob deGrom will be the first of the players to go. Suitors are likely to be lining up to make the Mets an offer for the starting pitcher. deGrom is not set to become a free agent until 2021 where he will be joined by several highly-prized players .

    Mickey Callway , manager of the New York Mets will be preparing the team for their weekend schedule against the Pittsburgh Pirates , which will be on the road . On the mound for that opening game will be starting pitchers Jason Vargas of the Mets against Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova .

    Chicago Cubs news

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  11. There were some very entertaining games played on Friday in Major League Baseball . The Tampa Bay Rays were on the wrong side of a mauling , their biggest loss of the season as they went down 15-5 against the Baltimore Orioles . The two teams will be back on the mound today , Saturday as the Rays look to even this road series .

    Luis Severino (14-3) of the New York Yankees looks to put his team leading fourteen wins on the line as the Yankees face the Kansas City Royals in an all AL clash . This should prove to be an intriguing game for both teams .

    MLB news

    MLB schedule 28th July

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  12. With Dwyane Wade having not yet been resigned by the Miami Heat , the front office now awaits a decision from the player . It would appear that the Heat are only prepared to offer the former Finals’ MVP a veteran’s minimum contract , likely paying no more than $5 million for the upcoming season . Pat Riley would like Wade back for the upcoming season knowing that the veteran would provide some leadership for team seeking direction .

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  13. The weekend results in Major League Baseball and with just forty-eight hours left with regard to the non-waiver trade deadline , we’re likely to see several trades taking place. The Tampa Bay Rays did not fare all that well in their weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles . These two teams are not even competing within their division much less for a wildcard berth in the AL. The Rays were only able to take one of the four games played against the Orioles in their recent series , played between the 26th and 29th July. Without a game being played on Monday the Tampa Bay Rays will be back in action on Tuesday 31st July when they face the Los Angeles Angels at home as part of their regular season series of meetings.

    It seems all but certain both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles are likely to make several moves as they look shed some players while bringing up some prospects from within their respective farm systems. Buck Showalter and the Orioles are in action against the New York Yankees on the road .

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    Tophatal …………..

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