Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….

In their frustration to get back to winning ways the Philadelphia Phillies , all but broke the bank in signing Bryce Harper to a thirteen year , $330 million contract . That deal certainly makes Harper the highest paid player on the Phillies’ roster as well as well as the highest paid player in all of baseball by way of a contract. His deal surpasses the one paid to Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees whose original contract was structured by the Miami Marlins . Many believe the game of baseball to be in a healthy financial state due to the continued profitability of the teams by way of revenues and their income. In reality however, with the salary cap in place instituted by the Major League Baseball hierarchy. It’s safe to say the level playing field envisaged by baseball’s s governing body has been anything but that.


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Major League Baseball , much like the NBA and NFL are continually looking for various ways to stream their content to an even wider audience by way of the internet , broadcast television and even on the international scale. The game itself remains popular in Latin America , the Caribbean and within certain Asian countries. Unfortunately, Bud Selig and his successor current MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred eschewed their chance to have baseball remain forefront on the international stage by failing to come to terms with the conditions laid out by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) . With the sport no longer being part of the Summer Olympics , it’s now left with the less than celebrated World Baseball Classic to provide that international stage for the sport to be more widely recognized. To date, it would be fair to suggest that the WBC (World Baseball Classic) has been far from being a resounding success.

This upcoming season could be a very important one for the Philadelphia Phillies with both Bryce Harper and Pirates’ veteran Andrew McCutchen looking to place this ball-club back among the elite teams within the game. Within the National League , it’s going to be hard to suggest which of the teams will rise to the occasion while looking to usurp the dominance shown by the Boston Red Sox , who many now believe to be the best team in all of baseball. There is no doubt in my mind that they have the deepest roster in all of baseball , with several All Stars at various positions on the depth chart of the roster. The Phillies’ acquisition of Bryce Harper might well be one of the most active off-seasons in recent baseball history , with Manny Machado having been signed by the San Diego Padres to an extraordinary deal and then we had Nolan Arenado remaining with the Colorado Rockies , having been signed to another gargantuan deal.

We’re now just over three weeks away from the start of the regular season within baseball, but for the moment , the Spring Training schedule remains active. There are several games scheduled for Monday afternoon , 4th March as teams seek to find a rhythm before embarking on the Opening Day Schedule, 28th March , 2019. From my own perspective , I don’t believe the teams will actually find their full rhythm until mid-May , early June , with their having several games under their belts.

The NBA has entered the last month of the regular season and there are still a number of spots up for grabs , most notably , only one division appears to be all but decided , while conference berths for the NBA Playoffs are from being decided. It’s strange to see the Boston Celtics struggling along with fellow Eastern Conference representatives the Philadelphia 76ers . Inconsistency as well has injuries, have at some point plagued both teams. Boston for their part have played much of the season without the use of veteran point guard Kyrie Irving , and with their being continued speculation, that Irving might consider leaving the franchise to rejoin former teammate LeBron James who’s now playing for the Los Angeles Lakers . It remains to be seen, how that whole scenario will actually play itself.

The roster of the Boston Celtics was built to win now , with both Al Horford , Gordon Hayward and Irving being the seasoned veterans on the roster. GM Danny Ainge had the blessing of team owner Wyc Grousbeck to do whatever it takes to make the Celtics a competitive force within the league this season. Add in the coaching astuteness shown by Head Coach Brad Stevens and there can be no denying the team has not met expectations sought for this season. However, I do believe, if Irving is back in the lineup , given the team’s experience , they have to be considered among the favorites within the Eastern Conference to reach the Conference Finals for this season.

If there’s a question concerning the Philadelphia 76ers , then it comes down to the lack of coaching acumen of Brett Brown and the use of his players during games and their lineups at certain points during a contest. While point guard Ben Simmons has been lauded for his play there have been times where questions have arisen concerning his being unable to take over games and stamp his dominance in those contests. Joel Embiid , might well be considered the best all-round player on the roster, but again his inconsistency has continued to be questioned and the same can be said of
JJ Redick .

At this point last season , things were very contrived as the teams were seeking to parlay their season into something meaningful. Defending champions , the Golden State Warriors remain the team to beat and as a burgeoning dynasty , I seriously doubt they’re going to be overthrown anytime soon. Kevin Durant and fellow Warriors’ teammate Steph Curry might well be the best one-two combination in the league in terms of their combined offensive prowess.

Make no bones about it, Los Angeles Lakers’ fans might well have felt with LeBron James coming to the City of Angels , things were about to change , but the Los Angeles Lakers have been far from convincing this season. A sub .500 record was not expected of this team at this point of the season and it’s my own belief having not landed Anthony Davis at the trade deadline, has only further solidified the fact that the Lakers are from being the desirable destination , even with the four-time League MVP being there to attract a big name. Should the Lakers miss the NBA Playoffs, then the repercussions could very well be truly damaging and damning for the organization.. The remainder of the Lakers’ schedule is a very tough one and it will be interesting to see how the team fares as they wind down their regular season schedule. The team will be in action this week and their next game will be against the Denver Nuggets at home , a conference rival within the West.

Gonzaga are now back atop of the NCAA Men’s Basketball rankings and it will be interesting to see how this team will fare during their conference championship and in particular within the NCAA Tournament , which begins on the 19th March . While much of the talk in recent weeks has been the loss of Zion Williamson , the player many believe will be the consensus overall number one pick in the NBA Draft. Gonzaga now takes center stage as they seek to win a national title.

OK , with the NFL simply a year round news’ cycle within the North American sports’ market panacea . All eyes now will be set on the upcoming NFL Draft , with the New England Patriots having landed their sixth Superbowl victory within the last eighteen years. One now has to wonder what is now left for the coaching and player tandem of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady . Both are sure first ballot Hall of Fame bound for Canton , and I’d dare say that team owner Robert Kraft will likely join that illustrious duo , pending his current legal status. The Patriots are a dynasty in spite of what naysayers will have to say, Cheating asides, we all know that it’s something that is widespread within the NFL and professional sports in general.For the puritans out there , it’s time to just shut the fuck up and face facts, professional sports is no longer about playing fairly , but making sure you just don’t get caught.

The upcoming NFL Draft could prove to be very interesting along with the current batch of free agents likely to hit the market within the next few days. With teams having until the 9th March to put their affairs in order with regard to retaining players guaranteeing roster and incentive bonuses , this off-season could prove to be a very interesting one , just as it was at this point in 2018 in the lead-up to the 2018 NFL Draft. The consensus appears to be that either Nick Bosa or Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray will be one of the two players taken as the number one overall pick for this Draft. . There is a glutton of quarterbacks who have declared their intent , and it will be interesting to see if Murray’s name is announced as the number one overall pick, joining a long list of passers having been taken in the first round as the overall number one pick. As to the success the player is expected to have , it’s going to be dependent upon where he lands and the coaching acumen shown by the coaching staff involved. The Arizona Cardinals will be the team with that first pick and it’s my belief Kyler Murray will be that player taken by the franchise as their first overall pick .

It’s time for the New York Giants to move on from Eli Manning in spite of the player’s achievements for the franchise. In the last three years alone , Manning has proven his best years are now indeed behind him and that this present Giants’ roster is far from equipped to compete with the best that the NFC has to offer much less the rest of the NFL for that matter.

From my perspective , it’s not in the best interest for the New York Giants to seek a free agent quarterback when they have to their future on the line and to stick with Manning, would be absolutely nonsensical at this juncture. The veteran can best serve the franchise in nurturing the talent of his heir-apparent , rather than continuing not to be held accountable for his own poor play and the lack of real leadership on the field . Much of that blame also lays squarely on the shoulders of the coaching staff led by Pat Shurmur . The coach will seek to put some resilience back into this lineup through the upcoming NFL and most likely through some worthwhile off-season acquisitions .

Eli Manning is not due to become a free agent until 2020 , but has a high cap value of over $23 million for 2019. Whatever the New York Giants now seek to do , it will be every interesting to see what transpires.

Jon Jones with his latest victory in the defense of his UFC Light Heavyweight Title , has now cemented his legacy within the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Many purists believe him to be, perhaps the greatest fighter the UFC has seen within its history . I think Jones is by far the best fighter of his generation within his weight class and among the top-five UFC fighters of all-time !!! Jones’ clinical dismantling of challenger Anthony Smith might well have been the best fight of the champion’s career in the last four years. Jon Jones to my mind can now name his own price , by way of his own destiny , because I firmly believe he is now the face of this sport and not an ass wipe such as Conor McGregor .

From my own standpoint the UFC is now at a crossroads as the President of the company , Dana White has to place more of an emphasis on the real stars within the sport, rather than his own personal choices as to whom, he best believes fits the bill to become the face of the UFC.

Which have been the main stories over the past few days within the sports’ that have you enthralled ?


Tophatal …………………..

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NBA news

This week’s NBA schedule

NBA standings (division) and conference standings
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NCAA Men’s Basketball

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Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in newly reformatted size along with a narrative.

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

68 thoughts on “Take A Walk on The Wild Side ….”

  1. Games played over the past three days proved to be very interesting within Major League Baseball . As of today , there will be several interesting contests on the schedule. The divisional standings have changed rather feverishly along with the players who have performed adequately .

    From my own perspective , I will be looking to see if the Los Angeles Dodgers can look to prove that they are currently the best team in the NL and one of the best teams in all of baseball . Managed by Dave Roberts the Dodgers will be on the mound today as they take on the St Louis Cardinals in a game to be played at Busch Stadium , in St Louis , Missouri . Though being played on the road , this series of games should prove to be very interesting between these two NL ball-clubs. The teams have already met this season , with two games having been played .

    Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves are looking to play themselves back into prominence among the elite. The team managed by Brian Snitker whose record remains somewhat mediocre. Atlanta will be in action when the Braves get ready to continue their ongoing series the New York Mets . The first of those contests will take place on Thursday evening <a when the opposing pitchers will be Steve Matz of the Mets and and Kevin Gausman of the Braves .

    The NL East will certainly be up for grabs this season as it was last season , with some very interesting results along the way . During the month of April , I expect the Atlanta Braves to be playing some top notch baseball .

    MLB schedule three days at a glance

    Tophatal …………………….

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  2. I’m at a crossroads as to how I can understand the current vagaries of the NFL and the likelihood that we’re going to see multiple trades taking place between now and the NFL Draft set for the 25th April . It seems all but certain that Kyler Murray will be the consensus top pick for the upcoming draft. With the Arizona Cardinals having the top pick it seems unlikely that they will pass on Kyler Murray , have him on the roster and supplanting Josh Rosen as the starting quarterback for the team .

    Beyond the NFL Draft and the likely fallout that’s likely to take place around prospective trades , I have to believe that several teams are likely to get better. There is no doubt in my mind the New York Jets will be seeking improvements among the playing staff. With a new coaching staff in tow led by Adam Gase who will be getting second bite of the apple , it will be interesting to see how the Jets will fare during the draft.

    Given the failures of the New York Jets last season where they failed to make the postseason once again . Their last postseason appearance came in 2010 , when they advanced to the AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers . In the eight years since , the Jets have barely sniffed a postseason berth much come within earshot of winning a divisional title within the AFC East. The team will rest their hopes on their starting quarterback Sam Darnold as they seek improvements all round for the upcoming season. Darnold was a first round draft pick taken by the franchise during the 2018 NFL Draft . He was one of two quarterbacks taken during the first ten picks of that round .

    NFL news …..

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  3. With the NBA season coming to a close , it looks as if there will be several coaching vacancies hitting the market. Rumors are unfolding that Peja Stojakovic and his fellow front office stablemate Vlad Divac of the Sacramento Kings are close to making a decision over the future of their current Head Coach Dave Joerger . After something of a tumultuous season for the team and players in particular , it looks as if the coach will be dismissed from his role and the additional duties that he had within the organization . Having missed the NBA Playoffs for this season , the off-season for the Kings is likely to be very hectic.

    The Sacramento Kings have several free agents who will likely be looking to move on elsewhere or re-sign with the team for a much larger payday . The two most productive players on the Kings’ roster were Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox . Those two players could provide a very good core for the Kings moving forward , but would now be predicated on the hiring of a proven coach with an eye for developing talent .

    NBA news …..

    Sacramento Kings news …


    Tophatal ………………..

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  4. This time last within Major League Baseball the teams were roughly ten to eleven games into their season. As of the 10th April , the teams this season were playing , but yet to find their rhythm . There were several interesting games played on Wednesday , with perhaps the most riveting being the contest between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Chicago White Sox . These two AL teams will be back in action as of Friday with the Tampa Bay Rays facing the Toronto Blue Jays . The Chicago White Sox will face of against the New York Yankees .

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    MLB starting lineups …

    Tophatal ………………….

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  5. The first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs will begin in earnest as of Saturday and then again on Sunday . Those match-ups should prove to be rather eventful and very interesting. Among the series which will be of interest , we have the reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors begin their first round series with a contest against the Los Angeles Clippers . This will be one of four games being played on the day . Also taking center-stage will be the Orlando Magic taking on the Toronto Raptors , with the Raptors hosting the Magic .

    Sunday will also feature four contests , where the highlight series could very well be the match-up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers

    NBA news ….

    NBA Playoffs …

    NBA schedule

    Tophatal ……..

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  6. There are a great series of games for the weekend within the world of baseball as the season is still in it’s first month . So now on Friday we have games up for fans’ perusal . The Miami Marlins (3-10) are off to an inauspicious start to their season . The team coached by Don Mattingly will begin a weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies who’ll be led by All Star outfielder Bryce Harper . Opposing pitchers for the opening game will be Jake Arrietta of the Phillies against Sandy Alcantara of the Marlins .

    The New York Yankees the most successful ball-club in baseball history will be looking to make another assault on winning their first World Series’ title in over a decade. Aaron Boone and his team will be heading into a weekend series where they will be facing the Chicago White Sox at home as part of their regular season series . Opposing pitchers for this weekend opener will be Luis Giolito of the White Sox against the Yankees’ JA Happ .

    Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard , hopefully can lead the New York Mets to some
    semblance of success this season. This ball-club has not won an NL East crown in over five years and that was in 2015 when they made the postseason that year. In the subsequent three years the Mets have fallen on hard times . Over this weekend the New York Mets will face a weekend series against the Atlanta Braves . Game one of the series begins today with Zack Wheeler against Kyle Wright .

    MLB news ………….

    MLB weekend schedule …

    MLB standings (division)

    Tophatal ………………

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  7. Results from last night’s games within the NBA and their regard to the opening round of the NBA Playoffs . The Philadelphia 76ers have now managed to even their series at one game apiece against the Brooklyn Nets by taking game two , winning the contest , 145-123 . In the other contest on the night the Los Angeles Clippers got the better of the Golden State Warriors , defeating the home team , 135-131 .

    Tophatal ……………….

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