The Life You Lead and the Road Less Traveled

The Life You Lead and The Road Less Traveled ….

With the NFL Postseason having come to an and with it being a glorious celebration with the Kansas City Chiefs wining Superbowl LIV . Patrick Mahomes joined a select group of players to have won the Superbowl MVP and League MVP , though not in the same season within a three-year span of having entered the league. Mahomes excelled during the regular season with his play and he truly stepped up to the plate during the postseason .

Patrick Mahomes and his teammates were truly invigorating in their defeat of the San Francisco 49ers . For Chiefs’ Head Coach Andy Reid , this was a tremendous achievement , after his years of trying to reach the pinnacle of the NFL. Reid has now taken two teams to the Superbowl , won two conference titles and multiple division titles with both the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. From my own perspective , Reid can now take this Chiefs’ franchise to even greater heights than any of his predecessors including the venerable Hank Stram .


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During this off-season , it will be interesting to see how the Kansas City Chiefs’ front office will deal with the free agents on the roster as well as positioning themselves with regard to the upcoming NFL Draft as well as their positioning with the salary cap . Leigh Steinberg , agent for Patrick Mahomes knows that he can negotiate a revamped deal for his budding NFL superstar , with the chance that Mahomes could very well become among
the highest paid players in the league.

There were several teams who failed miserably over the course of the NFL season , with perhaps none more so than the Cincinnati Bengals . Though some might say the Cleveland Browns were equally abysmal with Baker Mayfield proving how over-hyped the quarterback has been , albeit that he could share the same ignominy of Jamies Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with his erratic play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . One thing that is clear , several franchises will be in need of a quarterback for the upcoming season and the likelihood with several veteran free agents on the market , notably Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Philip Rivers , there could be some major changes on the way. Joe Burrow appears to be overall consensus number one overall pick in this upcoming Draft and I seriously doubt that the Bengals’ front office will pass on a player of his caliber , given his play on the national championship winning team of LSU (Tigers) .

In the aftermath of the fallout from the Houston Astros and their spectacular fall from grace , it has to be said that the MLB hierarchy’s handling of the situation was swift and exact . Furthermore , team owner Jim Crane immediately fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow . Crane has moved ahead with the hiring of Dusty Baker to succeed Hinch and the hire of James Click , a former front office executive with the Tampa Bay Rays to succeed Jeff Luhnow . It would appear that the Astros are now in a position to embark on a new chapter within the franchise’s history .

The world of baseball is still in shock , with some of the game’s most prominent players not said to be completely satisfied with the punishment meted out to the Houston Astros’ organization. From my own perspective , I feel that the steps taken by MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred , were more than justified and it sets an example for the rest of the teams within the league as to the dangers of cheating .

If you’ve provided a great deal of success for a team that you have played for ever since your very first game for the franchise , then you would expect to be compensated accordingly. That doesn’t appear to be the case for Mookie Betts , an All Star player for the Boston Red Sox and the ball-club’s most recent recipient of an ALMVP Award . Betts and the Red Sox front office seem to be miles apart in the renegotiation his existing contract which has a year to run and with the player due $27 million for the upcoming 2020 MLB season .

There are said to be at least two interested parties wishing to acquire Mookie Betts , with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres said to be those two leading ball-clubs vying for his services. The Dodgers for their part can offer up several players, while committing themselves to adding Betts’ final year to their already burgeoning payroll and likelihood of committing themselves of being penalized by way of the luxury tax threshold of $200 million if necessary. . It will be interested to see what the Dodgers can achieve with Mookie Betts and David Price , with the news now emanating that the Red Sox have relented and sent these two players westwards to Los Angeles . The Dodgers with these two acquisitions would have to be considered for the NLCS in 2020. with the depth of their roster overall .

With the Opening Day for the MLB season beginning on 26th March , 2020 and it will be interesting to see how the teams will fare through the first month of the season . The Los Angeles Dodgers’ regular season opener will see the team face the San Francisco Giants , their NL West divisional rivals .

It will be hard to suggest which team in the AL can be seen as a viable favorite for the ALCS in 2020. The New York Yankees , Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins were the only three teams to have notched over 100 wins this past season . All three were divisional champions and it will be interesting to see if either can repeat that feat , given the changes made to the respective rosters and payrolls . For the Yankees , their continued to pursuit of a twenty-eighth World Series’ title remains ever present in the minds of their fans as well as the Steinbrenner family as the owners of baseball’s most revered franchise . New York’s last victory in the World Series came by way of the managerial talents of Joe Girardi , as he led them to victory over the Philadelphia Phillies . New York’s manager Aaron Boone and this largely talented team will be looking to guide the franchise to another postseason berth with another title in mind. Their season will begin with a game the Baltimore Orioles , in a contest being played on the road against their AL East divisional rivals.

Aaron Boone will undoubtedly be tested over the course of the season , with the continued impatience among the fans of the New York Yankees. With the team having several All Stars on the roster , these players will have to play to the best of their abilities over the course of this season . The likes of Giancarlo Stanton , among the highest paid player on the team alongside Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge will be looking to have a great season in 2020. Gerrit Cole , the starting pitcher acquired during this off-season will debut for the Yankees , likely leading their starting roster of pitchers. . If Cole is the Opening Day Starter against the Orioles , it will be interesting to see how the player fares against Baltimore .

Is there any chance that Derek Jeter as the newest New York Yankees ‘ Hall of Fame inductee will be able to see the Miami Marlins actually compete this season within the NL East ? It has been several years since the ball-club last played in the postseason and several years since the finished either as a runner-up or division winner within the division.

The Miami Marlins have gone from being franchise with a great farm system to an after-thought and laughing stock around the game of baseball. Not even under the managerial acumen of Don Mattingly and his staff , has the ball-club to achieve anything of note. Suffice to say another sub-par year now awaits the Marlins after their 57-105 record of last season . . This season if nothing else , Jeter and team managing partner , Bruce Sherman will be expecting a great deal out of this team heading into the season. . On assessing the team’s roster and the fact the payroll is among the lowest in the league , something of a trait the ball-club has followed for a number of years . This continues to be the mantra that they’ve followed for several years heading into 2020 . The Marlins’ regular season opener will see the team face the Philadelphia Phillies at home .

We’re heading into the NBA All Star Game which takes place this upcoming week and with the teams having not fared too well at this juncture in the lead-up to this big mid-season event. The Milwaukee Bucks have the best record in the league , and the team is the only franchise to have hit the forty victory mark . Current League MVP and captain of the World Stars , when they face the domestic NBA Stars of the league as Giannis Antetokoumnpou will lead that roster of World Stars . Antetokounmpou once again leads the Brewers in offense and has been the focal point of a franchise once again looking to meet expectations . Milwaukee has a mere handful games before the All Star Break , with their next game being against the Philadelphia 76ers , a team which is clearly over-matched in this contest to my mind with their players being nowhere as talented as the Bucks.

With the aftermath and the death of Kobe Bryant , there has been a giant shadow cast over the NBA and specifically the Los Angeles Lakers’ franchise , with the organization as well as the fans players alike in a complete state of shock. For Lakers’ premiere players LeBron James and Anthony Davis , it has been a devastating for both All Stars. While I believe that the franchise can overcome this tragedy , it remains to be seen how the players will acquit themselves in the coming months . They are clearly the best team within the Western Conference by a wide margin , but the regular season being what it is . It’s a playoff run which really determines great champions and the players themselves . LeBron James knows this to be true given his playoff record in the NBA. Over their next ten games , it will be interesting to see how the Lakers will fare in those upcoming contests . Their upcoming game against the Golden State Warriors on the 8th February .

If the Los Angeles Lakers are said to be having problems, then one equate the continued problems of the New York Knicks as one of their very own making over the past ten years at least. . The fact that the franchise’s last appearance in the NBA Playoffs took place during the 2012-13 season should tell you all you need to know about the Knicks and their continued dire straits . The team’s roster as it now stands isn’t overly impressive and when compared to the other franchises in the conference and league overall , there’s the feeling that the front office under GM Scott Perry , team owner James L Dolan and the coaching staff of Mike Miller have completely lost their way . Up next for the New York Knicks will be a game against the Detroit Pistons on the road against an Eastern Conference rival . The New York Knicks remains the most valuable franchise in the NBA and among its most profitable , purely based from the fact they’re in the nation’s largest ad-market . Beyond that, there’s nothing remotely significant about the organization and its current destination at this juncture.

What if anything, would you like to see happen in the coming weeks within the world of sports and which recent stories have held your attention the most ?

Tophatal 02/07/2020………….


NFL news …

NFL free agents …

NFL Draft …


NBA news ….

NBA standings division ..

NBA schedule ..

NBA transactions …

MLB news ….

MLB schedule 26th March Opening Day …

MLB transactions ..

MLB team payrolls (2020) ..



Picture gallery alongside narrative.

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

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

109 thoughts on “The Life You Lead and the Road Less Traveled”

  1. Todd Gurley remains a very good player , but while there have been issues on the roster of the Los Angeles Rams , there continues to a great deal of angst over the fact that quarterback Jared Goff was given a large contract , one which many believes belies a four-year starter in the league. Goff was drafted during the 2016 NFL Draft and was among the list of quarterbacks taken that year . Goff for all of his accomplishments , there was a rush to judgment concerning the front office of the Rams and their wanting to secure the player for their long-term future. Jared Goff finds himself in an enviable position with a guaranteed deal , which is among the highest in the league for quarterback . While this all plays out we have the dilemma and that of Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys waiting on the front office to offer him a long-term deal , but there seems to be an issue with the player’s agent and that of Jerry Jones , the Cowboys’ owner and de-facto general manager. If the Cowboys should seek to
    tag Dak Prescott , it could lead to some real issues for the team long-term .

    Last season Dak Prescott was paid a paltry $2,025,000 for season while he appeared in all sixteen games for the Dallas Cowboys , while putting up some great numbers and making the team’s offense among the best in the NFL . Both Dak Prescott and Jared Goff have postseason experience , it has to be said that neither player at this moment in time would be considered among the elite within the league (NFL). However, it remains to be seen as to whether or not either of these players can lead their teams to the ultimate goal of winning the Superbowl .

    One of the idiocies now emanating from the problems which the Dallas Cowboys now face is the very fact that the team’s Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith believes that Dak Prescott should take less money in order that the team can pay their other free agents appropriately , with Prescott ultimately losing out.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Emmitt Smith explains why Dak Prescott should give the Cowboys a sizable discount in contract negotiations

    Should Dak Prescott listen to Emmitt Smith?

    By John Breech @johnbreech

    At some point, this offseason, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is going to get a new contract and there’s a very real chance that the new deal — as long as it’s not the franchise tag — could end up paying him $35 million per year or more. Basically, Prescott holds almost all of the leverage in negotiations and he’s made it pretty clear that he’s not planning on giving the Cowboys any sort of hometown discount.

    Although Prescott could conceivably try to break the bank with his new deal, at least one former Cowboys player doesn’t think he should go that route. Since the Cowboys have so many players to re-sign this offseason — like Amari Cooper and Byron Jones — Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith thinks that Prescott should at least consider giving the team a discount so that there’s enough money to go around.

    According to Smith, the discount makes sense, because Prescott would more than be able to make up for the lost income in endorsement deals since he’d be the quarterback for the most famous NFL franchise on the planet.

    “Dak has to understand and maybe take another perspective,” Smith told The Adam Lefkoe Show this week. “The perspective may not be all the money you get, but how much of the money you’re willing to leave on the table, because the Cowboys are a marketable organization. If you’re the face of the franchise, instead of taking $35 [million], would you take $28 [million], and leave some for Amari and pick up the [lost money] through endorsements.”

    That’s some interesting advice, especially coming from Smith, who once held out of multiple regular season games in order to the contract he wanted. Back in 1993, Smith was in a stalemate with the Cowboys during contract negotiations, so he decided to sit out the first two weeks of the season. After the Cowboys started 0-2, Jerry Jones cracked and gave in to Smith’s demands. The holdout ended with made Smith getting a four-year deal worth $13.6 million, which made him the highest-paid running back in the NFL at the time.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Emmitt Smith is a real hypocrite giving his own stance with his own holdout several years ago when the player sought to have a new deal in place and garner himself a contract.

    We all know that the quarterbacks within the NFL are among the most scrutinized players in the league and it will be interesting to see how they will fare over this upcoming season. Teams are also looking at the current group of quarterbacks now hoping to enter the NFL Draft in 2020 .

    Tophatal ………..


  2. So Duke fell apart in their loss to Wake Forest , with the Blue Devils falling to their ACC rivals . Florida State leads the ACC and these two programs , the Seminoles and Blue Devils met on the 10th February with Duke winning the game over Wake Forest , 70-65 .

    Duke still finds itself in the top-ten of the College Rankings but another loss could see the team move down to the lower rungs . In their next contest the Blue Devils will be taking on Virginia . At the top of the heap in the rankings are Kansas and they’re closely followed by Baylor with the Bears’ team preparing themselves for their next game when they face TCU (Texan Christian University) .

    The University of Miami (Hurricanes) for all of their undoubted success more renowned as a football and baseball program . Their Men’s Basketball Program has tried to prevail and with it has come some notoriety, with the players who have moved on the NBA . This season Miami and it’s roster have tried to remain competitive on their way to a 14-13 record . Next up for the team coached by Jim Larrinaga will be a game against Georgia Tech . This contest should prove to be very interesting .

    Men’s College Basketball (D1) ..

    Tophatal …….


  3. So here we go again and just like that we know that the New York Giants are off on another spree as they seek to revamp their roster . The front office made it known that Alec Ogeltree will be cut from the lineup , in doing to it adds $10 million to the salary cap of the Giants for the upcoming season.

    Courtesy of ESPN

    GM Dave Gettleman: Giants ‘open for business’ for No. 4 pick

    By Jordan Raanan

    The fourth pick in this year’s NFL draft can be had for the right price. The New York Giants are “open for business,” according to general manager Dave Gettleman.

    The Giants join the Detroit Lions, who pick third overall in this April’s draft, as teams willing to at least listen to offers. Lions general manager Bob Quinn recently said he would be “open to any trades.”

    The Lions and Giants appear to be in the sweet spot if the draft plays out as expected at the top and quarterback-needy clubs fall in love with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert. That would make the third and/or fourth picks especially valuable.

    “Absolutely we’re open for business,” Gettleman said on Tuesday at the NFL combine. “Again, whatever we do is going to be in our best interest. Trading back has its danger. What happens if … we’re at four. Let’s say we trade back to eight. There are only four players that we like. What if they’re all gone? Now what are you going to do? Trade back again? You can trade yourself back out of good players.

    “But, to answer your question, we’re open.”

    It’s unlikely to play out that way. This is considered a rather strong draft. There shouldn’t be a shortage of upper-echelon players for the first round; wide receiver, quarterback and offensive line are considered some of the stronger positions.

    Trading back later into the top 10 with a team that needs a quarterback shouldn’t prevent the Giants from getting a good player.

    Click on link to read in full.

    The retirement of Eli Manning closed a successful chapter for the Giants but at the same time , the future of this franchise is in need of a real direction . This past season the New York Giants failed miserably within the NFC East and the fact this division was so sub-par , it would suggest the team failed badly. Dave Gettleman the GM of the franchise and the coaching staff will definitely be looking to assess the merits of the roster as well as that of their cap and how best to get themselves in the right position for the NFL Draft with their assortment of picks. With the third pick in the first round it will be interesting to see how the Giants will seek to avail themselves of that first pick , whether or not they will go by way of defense or offense.

    Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman

    The common feeling is that the New York Giants will get more value with the picks in the later rounds. Dave Gettleman has a great deal of work to do with this upcoming NFL Draft and he will be under a great deal of pressure , given that the owners and how they feel about the lack of postseason success since 2015 . The New York Giants’ most recent appearance came by way of their NFC wildcard game in 2016 , when they faced the Green Bay Packers and completely fell apart in that contest .

    The New York Giants are now likely to ride the success of Daniel Jones , as he seeks to take over the reins of the quarterback role as the successor to Eli Manning.

    Tophatal …………


  4. Since being acquired by the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 , Albert Pujols has failed to lead the franchise to the MLB Postseason . In that time , Mike Trout has exploded unto the scene as a teammate of Pujols , with the three time AL MVP now proving his worth to the Angels and fans alike. Trout is often considered the best player of his generation and a future Hall of Fame bound player for the Los Angeles Angels.

    The Angels have started their Spring Training schedule and the standings and three games in they have a 2-1 record as of 25th February . Up next for the ball-club will be a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers with the starting pitcher for the Angels being Griffin Canning , as he takes to the mound against the Dodgers’ Josiah Gray .

    Mike Trout was originally drafted in the 2009 MLB Draft by the Los Angels Angels and made his debut in 2011. The player has gone on to accomplish so much while being among the most beloved of the Angels’ greats since the inception of the franchise . Heading into the regular season Mike Trout will be looking to have another great season with the team and the addition of Anthony Rendon , along with his deal should add a great deal more fervor for the team.

    The managerial staff of the Angels headed by Joe Maddon will be looking to lead this team to a very good season , the likelihood of winning the AL West and prevailing over the Houston Astros in particular. The team’s regular season opener will see them face off against the Astros with the game being played on the road . The Los Angeles Angels haven’t won the AL West in over six years and their last postseason appearance came in 2014 with their advancing as far as the ALDS losing out to the Kansas City Royals , 3-0 .

    If by mid June the Los Angeles Angels are in contention within the AL West , it could prove to be very interesting over the remainder of the season for the players. Mike Trout has been part of several memorable feats for the franchise and it simply adds to his caliber as a player with the Angels’ franchise.

    Los Angeles Angels news …

    Tophatal ………….


  5. The Boston Celtics are proving to be everything that their fans expected this with the team playing well and Jayson Tatum leading their offense for much of the season. Since the All Star Game break the Celtics are off to a 3-1 start with their victories coming against the Minnesota Timberwolves , Portland Trailblazers , Utah Jazz and their only loss coming against the Los Angeles Lakers . Celtics’ Head Coach Brad Stevens has to believe that the team stands as a good as anybody for them to beat any of the teams in the Eastern Conference during the NBA Playoffs with their now riding high within the Conference. The Celtics have the third best record within the conference and they have a tough schedule coming up . The next game for the Celtics will be a contest against the Houston Rockets , where Jayson Tatum can match wits against James Harden .

    The month of March should be an interesting one for the Boston Celtics and it should be interesting to see how they will fare during the time-frame in question . Their first contest of the month will see the Celtics face off against the Brooklyn Nets .

    Another team within the East looking to continually remain consistent are the Miami Heat , but inconsistency tends to set in at this point of the season . Team President Pat Riley has seen fit to make the type of moves normally associated with a front office executive of his caliber . Jimmy Butler and his teammates are now on a relentless push seeking to make to the NBA Playoffs . Up next for Butler and the team will be a match-up against the Dallas Mavericks .

    Tophatal …………..


  6. Coming off their significant Superbowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers , the Kansas City Chiefs will be looking to cement their off-season even further by looking to resign several of their free agents , notably Chris Jones . Also looking to the future the front office will also have to address the notion of signing their Superbowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes , the player many now believe is the best and best quarterback in the league and that’s with due respect to Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens .

    Clark Hunt and GM Brett Veach know it’s of vital importance to sign Patrick Mahomes to a long-term and very lucrative deal . Yet at the same it would be prudent for the Kansas City Chiefs to make sure that they are in a enviable and viable position with regard to the salary cap . Mahomes is not due to become a free agent in 2021 , with their being slew of quarterbacks set to hit the market that quarterback year also.

    Entering the 2020 season it will be interesting to see if the Kansas City Chiefs can continue with the momentum seen during 2019 with their winning the AFC West with ease , their conference championship also with ease and that of the Superbowl itself . Patrick Mahomes excelled in the regular season as well as the postseason for the team. With the upcoming NFL Draft the Chiefs clearly will be looking to bolster the team’s roster knowing in all likelihood they could possibly lose a number of players from their Superbowl winning roster.

    Tophatal ……………..


  7. Some interesting Spring Training games taking place today , but as we all know the exhibition games really have no bearing on the regular season within Major League Baseball . The Tampa Bay Rays led by manager Kevin Cash will be looking to have his team play with a great deal of gusto during their exhibition season heading into their regular season schedule . Cash and his players will be in action today when the team faces both the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers in two split squad games . As usual , during the off-season the Rays sought to off-load players as a face saving exercise with regard to payroll .

    The current stumbling block , which continues for the Tampa Bays , is the current ownership group and their reluctance to hang unto players and put a competitive product on the field of play. It led to the departure of the franchise’s most successful manager Joe Maddon . The Rays were not overly active in the acquisition market during the off-season , relying upon bringing in non roster invitees, current playing staff and the bringing up of several of the players from their farm system . Charlie Morton , starting pitcher for the Rays is the highest paid player on the team’s roster , due $ 15 million for this upcoming season .

    When the Tampa Bay Rays begin their regular season schedule , their opening game will be against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida . It will be the first of their eighty-one home games being played at their venue, where the attendance over the years is known to be sparse, with the franchise being one the least supported teams in all of baseball as well as being one of the least valuable overall.

    MLB schedule thtee days at a glance (beginning 27th February and from 1st March onward to the 3rd March

    Tophatal …..


  8. Running backs galore and the thought of Ezekiell Elliot , Adrian Peterson , Todd Gurley , Le’Veon Bell , Derrick Henry and others being among the highest paid players in the NFL . It begs the question what are we to make of the declarers within this upcoming NFL Draft who’ll be looking to add their scroll to those illustrious list of contemporaries . Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State might well be considered to be the best running back overall from this class upcoming rookies projected to be taken. Hubbard can be expected to be compensated adequately if he’s taken in the first round inside of the top-ten of all players. History has shown that the running back position is only second to that of the quarterback in terms of overall importance on the football field .

    Courtesy of

    By Kevin Patra , Around the NFL Writer

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Redskins own the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which could be a swing point of the draft if Washington decides to trade the selection to a potentially QB-needy team.

    New head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine the Redskins are working through every scenario.

    “We are looking at everything,” Rivera said. “Everything is possible. Everything is an option. Everything we do, we’re going to decide as a group, and we’ll go from there.”

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Redskins own the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which could be a swing point of the draft if Washington decides to trade the selection to a potentially QB-needy team.

    New head coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine the Redskins are working through every scenario.

    “We are looking at everything,” Rivera said. “Everything is possible. Everything is an option. Everything we do, we’re going to decide as a group, and we’ll go from there.”

    Click on link to read in full.

    Chuba Howard has chosen not to forgo his senior season with the Cowboys , (Oklahoma State) preferring instead to remain in college and return for his senior in 2020 . In the pecking order of thing with Hubbard out of the picture , perhaps the next best prospect among the running backs might well be J K Dobbins of Ohio State .

    Adrian Peterson is likely a Hall Fame bound player and he has proven to be an effective performer for the Minnesota Vikings and his present team the Washington Redskins for whom he is now returning to the NFL for what will be his thirteenth year in the league. Peterson was a first round draft pick in the 2007 NFL Draft , where he was taken seventh overall by the Vikings , out of Oklahoma (Sooners) .

    Ron Rivera the newly installed Head Coach of the Redskins will be asked to turn this team around and make them competitive especially within the NFC East where this franchise last won the division in 2012 , where they made it to the wildcard round of the postseason of that year , falling to the Seattle Seahawks .

    Adrian Peterson can move up the ladder in terms of career statistics and among active running backs by way rushing touchdowns and that of rushing yards. It will be interesting to see what can be achieved by the Washington Redskins over the course of this season with a revamped roster and that of free agents and the cap also in line with the NFL Draft .

    NFL Draft Order (2020) ..

    Tophatal ………..


  9. So at a crucial point of the NBA season the Philadelphia 76ers will have to be without their All Star center , Joel Embiid , who to my mind is the most overrated player in the NBA at the position , in either of the conferences . Embiid has been sporadic to say the least throughout much of the season for his team and it has been left to Ben Simmons to pull up the slack at both ends of the floor where necessary. For Head Coach Brett Brown , this provides more issues as he now has to seek to adjust the playing format of the players. The Sixers now have a real fight on their hands to cling unto their positional berth within the Eastern Conference.

    As the month of February winds down the Sixers will have a tough month ahead of them with several of their games likely to be hard fought . Next up for the Sixers will be a game against the New York Knicks , with the Knicks seeking to make some sense of their season , given how bad it has been .

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Joel Embiid suffers sprained shoulder, and it feels like this whole 76ers experiment is teetering on the edge

    The Sixers bet the house on big names that don’t fit alongside their biggest stars, who are now both hurt

    By Brad Botkin @BradBotkin

    Things have gone from bad to worse for the Philadelphia 76ers, who lost to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night and lost Joel Embiid to a sprained shoulder in the process — no pun intended. The Sixers, now 9-21 on the road, would play the Heat in the first round, without home-court advantage, if the playoffs were to start today, and however the top four teams end up shaking out, a first-round exit for Philly is feeling increasingly possible.

    If that happens, coach Brett Brown is almost certainly gone, and general manager Elton Brand, who perhaps deserves the most blame for the manner in which this Sixers experiment has gone south, might not be far behind. Once seen as the co-star foundation of a future championship team, Embiid and Ben Simmons are suddenly a cautionary tale of the perils of ill-fitting talents. Talk of trading one of them would only grow with a playoff disappointment. Whether that’s realistic feels beside the point. The Sixers, given their flawed roster and lack of flexibility, are running out of options and up against a state of desperation.

    Two years ago, when the Sixers won 16 straight games to close out the 2017-18 regular season and blew through the Heat in the first round, or even last year, when they were perhaps one rim-rolling Kawhi Leonard game-winner from a conference finals berth, this isn’t the how anyone saw this going.

    But here we are. When Embiid was out a few weeks back, all the talk was about how much different, and better, the Sixers looked with Simmons at the helm of a faster-paced, better-spaced attack. When Simmons went out with a nerve impingement in his back that will reportedly keep him out at least two weeks, it was supposed to be Embiid’s time to shine. He had a career-high 49 points in a recent win over the Hawks. Now he’ll be in street clothes along with Simmons for who knows how long after his MRI, which is scheduled for Thursday.

    What do the Sixers’ prospects look like absent their two best players? Their three still-healthy expected starters — Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson and Al Horford — combined for 30 points on 12-of-35 shooting in Wednesday’s loss.

    Click on link to read in full.

    With the loss of Joel Embiid , things do not bode well for Sixers’ team that is simply awful on the road with one of the worst records (9-21) in all of the league when it comes being visitors against an opposing team .

    There is a growing feeling that if the Sixers fail to make a deep postseason run , GM Elton Brand and team owner , Joshua Harris may well seek to dismiss Brett Brown as well seeking to trade Joel Embidd and rid themselves of the final years of his bloated contract .

    Philadelphia 76ers news ….

    Tophatal …………………..


  10. Stephen Jones and his father , Jerry Jones as the owners of the Dallas Cowboys are intent on playing cat and mouse with quarterback Dak Prescott concerning their negotiating a new deal for the player. Now both front office executives are suggesting before a decision can be made, they will have to listen to the actual responses from the Executive Committee of the NFLPA (Players Union) before coming to a decision on of offering Prescott a contract extension. It is my own belief that Jerry Jones would like to franchise tag the quarterback than provide him with a long-term contract . In 2021 dependent upon the NFL salary cap , they could then seek to pay Dak Prescott accordingly. The player’s agent Todd France would like nothing better to garner a deal commensurate with his client’s talents and add further luster to CAA (Creative Artists Agency) , one of the nation’s largest sports management and entertainment agencies in the nation with their having offices all over the world .

    With their being several players on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster who are free agents during this off-season , it would appear that the priorities which many believe the Cowboys had to deal with are now taking a back seat concerning Dak Prescott , while the front office may well be seeking to reward Amari Cooper among others on the team who are also due new deals .

    In the midst of this all , it cannot be overlooked that former Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo was re-signed by CBS Sports as on on air NFL analyst , to deal which will pay Romo ,$17 million a year . The deal itself is believed to be a five-year contract with the broadcast outlet. One could surmise from this all , Romo will be laughing all the way to the bank, considering that in the four years of Prescott’s tenure as a player for the Dallas Cowboys , he’s never come close to earning that sum never mind by way of endorsements sought .



  11. Some interesting results within the NBA over this past weekend with the players and teams performing up to expectations as we the schedule now enters the later months of the regular season.

    The Milwaukee Bucks are on six-game tear , winning each of those games by double digits with ease , with the bench and starters coming up big for the team. Next up for the Bucks will be a game against the Miami Heat , whom they will face on the road .

    NBA news …….

    NBA standings division … and by NBA standings conference …



  12. Three straight losses for the Duke Men’s Basketball team , with the players clearly showing that they’re sorely missing Zion Williamson’s tenacity and leadership from the current roster. The Blue Devils are likely to make the NCAA Men’s Tournament , but it’s my belief that they will not advance beyond the Sweet Sixteen , based upon their current form. In their next game Duke is scheduled to meet North Carolina State . In the rankings both Kansas and Gonzaga are vying to prove which of the two programs are the best in the nation at present. Both teams are closing out their respective schedules with games before embarking on their conference championships . Kansas will meet Texas Christian at home in a game to be played on the 4th March , 2020 . Gonzaga has fulfilled their obligations for the season and it will be interesting to see how they will fare during the conference championship.

    NCAA Men’s Basketball news …

    Tophatal ………….


  13. Week nineteen of the NBA season and it will be interesting to see what the week has in store for the teams over the week and the rest of the month . While there continues to be enough talk about load management by way of games played by the players , it has to be said with the injuries now cropping up has also played a way into the problems now befuddling the coaches and their staffs .

    With Tim Duncan now being a member of the coaching staff of Gregg Popovich and the team not faring well this season and their likely to miss the NBA Playoffs for the first time in almost twenty-five years . It will be interesting to see what moves will be made during this off-season as the Spurs seek to revamp the roster , given the cap obligations of the franchise and around the league in general . The Spurs have not met the expectations of the front office and notably the expectations of Gregg Popovich and the fans . As the season begins to wind down it will be very interesting to see how the San Antonio Spurs will fare beginning with their next scheduled game which pits them against the Indiana Pacers at home .

    If the Spurs are to do anything of note over the remainder of the season , then the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge , DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay will certainly have to step up to the plate for the team . San Antonio’s last postseason appearance saw the team being knocked out of the NBA Playoffs as they succumbed in the first round of the 2018-19 postseason .

    Spurs legend Tim Duncan among eight finalists for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020

    Duncan, the late Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tamika Catchings all made the short list in their first year of eligibility.

    By David Flores

    SAN ANTONIO — For the first time in 23 years, there won’t be a Spurs player in the NBA All-Star Game.

    But the franchise still had its moment of glory Friday afternoon when Tim Duncan, arguably the greatest power forward in basketball history, made the list of eight finalists for this year’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

    Duncan, the cornerstone of the Spurs’ five championship teams, the late Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett are locks to make the Hall in their first year of eligibility. Former WNBA star Tamika Catchings, also eligible for the first time, is another finalist.

    Previous finalists who are up for consideration again are Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, who has led three teams to NCAA national titles; five-time Division II National Championship Coach of the Year Barbara Stefvens; four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton; and two-time NBA championship coach Rudy Tomjanovich.

    The finalists, selected by the North American and women’s committees, were announced Friday afternoon in a news conference at the United Center in Chicago, site of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.

    The Class of 2020 will be announced at the Final Four, scheduled April 4-6 in Atlanta, and enshrined Aug. 29 at the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

    Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon, one of the WNBA’s best point guards during a 16-year career that included eight seasons with the San Antonio Stars, was among the Hall nominees who didn’t make the list of finalists.

    Hammon has been a Spurs assistant coach since 2014, and Duncan is in his first season on coach Gregg Popovich’s staff.

    Duncan, Bryant and Garnett left indelible marks on the game, combining for 11 NBA championships, 48 All-Star selections and 86,210 regular-season points.

    “When you look at it, as much as I battled against Kobe, as much as I battled against Timmy (Duncan), it’s only right that we all kind of share the stage together,” Garnett said during the news conference. “I’m more than happy to not only represent us, but be up here as one of them.”

    Always one to shun the spotlight, Duncan did not attend the news conference.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Off the court for the Spurs , Tim Duncan is among eight nominees for the 2020 Hall of Fame class , with many believing Duncan is most certainly a first ballot Hall of Fame bound player for the franchise , joining the likes of several former Spurs’ greats.

    San Antonio Spurs news ….

    Tophatal …………


  14. So Hall of Fame player Deion Sanders believes that the best destination for Tom Brady should he not seek to return to the New England Patriots , believes it would be for Brady to join last season’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , the San Francisco 49ers . From my own perspective this is more about Sanders jumping on the bandwagon of wanting to see how Brady would do in the NFC . The Forty Niners’ reasons for the loss in the Superbowl had more to do with the coaching mistakes made by Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff rather than the play of Jimmy Garoppolo . When it mattered the most the team went away from the tactics that placed them in the driver’s seat against the Kansas City Chiefs . At this stage of his very successful career , I truly believe that the best of Tom Brady is now behind him rather than ahead of him. Even with the calls that Brady could also land in Las Vegas with the Raiders , that in of-itself would seem absurd.

    Deion Sanders .

    Brady has for years sought to defer salary in order that the Patriots could bolster the team’s roster and avail itself of the cap space available . One now has to ask what it is that team owner Robert Kraft is prepared to in order to facilitate Brady and keep in tact the success achieved by the franchise during the player’s tenure. Head Coach Bill Belichick and the coaching staff could be ready to move on , but it has become abundantly clear , Belichick wasn’t of the mindset to really make his feelings known to Brady , given their once so called special relationship.

    Robert Kraft and Tom Brady .

    If the Patriots are in need of a quarterback , then there’s a likelihood the could seek to draft one in the later rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft . Yet in all honesty , this class might well be the most meager of the quarterback classes in recent NFL history by way of overall talent .

    Tophatal ……………..


  15. Ten straight games of scoring twenty points or more and now fans are making comparisons as to the rookie seasons by LeBron James and Zion Williamson . Both of these players hit the ground running in 2003 with James and this season with Williamson . As a rookie with the New Orleans Pelicans , Zion Williamson has simply excelled with the team playing with such aplomb , it will be interesting to see if he and the Pelicans can beat out the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference and a NBA Playoff berth. If the standings were to remain as they are today , a first-round match-up between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans would have the NBA fans salivating and would make for a record-breaking viewership by way of a television audience, with LeBron James of the Lakers meeting Zion Williamson in an NBA Playoff series . The Lakers hold a 2-0 regular season series’ lead over the Pelicans with Williamson having only been on-court in the second of those two meetings .

    James and Williamson are among a select group of rookies to have averaged more than twenty-two points a game during their rookie season and then be able to maintain that throughout much of their careers. . Zion Williamson will undoubtedly go on to do great things within the NBA and his career will be measured against that of his predecessors and most notably LeBron James .

    Tophatal ……………


  16. Another relentless night of games played within the NBA . Things are are now beginning to take shape as there remains a great deal to play for at this point of the season with their being so much on the line for a number of teams.

    At 19-42 , the New York Knicks will have another losing season and with the team laboring once again and with the front office having seen fit to rid itself of several players from the current roster as well as from last season , notably with Kristaps Porzingis having joined Luka Doncic to form one of the most formidable offensive duos in the league , where the Dallas Mavericks have not only thrived with the play of Doncic, but also seem to be getting the best out of Porzingis also. The failings of the Knicks have been of benefit to the Mavericks as they find themselves riding high within the Western Conference and the likelihood of a Playoff berth.

    Leon Rose was recently hired by Knicks’ team owner , James L Dolan to become the President & Head of Operations for the franchise. With that in mind Rose’s sole discretion beyond brand recognition will be to oversee the actions of GM Scott Perry . Dolan for all of his wealth , being one of the richest owners in the NBA , his years of presiding over the actual lack of success of this franchise remains one of the biggest jokes in the league’s history.

    Knicks’ President Leon Rose , foreground .

    In a recent statement having been hired by James L Dolan , Leon Rose made it known that he likens the patience of the Knicks’ fans and that they can trust in the front office and coaching staff that the ship will be righted , in terms of the direction of the franchise. Over their last fifteen games the New York Knicks have failed miserably , sporting one of the worst records in the league over that time-frame. In spite of it all , Leon Rose and Scott Perry have to know that this team is simply not good enough to compete against the elite teams within the NBA at this juncture . With their having failed to land free agents such as Kevin Durant , Paul George , Kyrie Irving and even Kawhi Leonard . One has to ask what is it that Rose believes he has to offer as a lure in seeking to gain marquee free agents over the coming two years , given their lack of real success ? There’s little of note concerning their own free agents and that of cap availability and the horrendous use of their draft classes since 2010 . I seriously doubt that Leon Rose , Scott Perry and even interim Head Coach Mike Miller have any real type of mindset in knowing what it will take to really improve this roster.

    The month of March will prove to be crucial for the Knicks as they round out the rest of their regular season schedule . Having got by the Houston Rockets for one of their most impressive wins of the season and in their next match-up , the New York Knicks will face the Utah Jazz , which will be played on the 4th March , 2020 .

    New York Knicks news ….



  17. Three weeks away from the beginning of the MLB regular season schedule and the New York Yankees have problems concerning the team’s starting pitching rotation. Starting pitcher , Luis Severino will be lost to the lineup for the bulk of the 2020 schedule if not the entire season. Severino will have to undergo Tommy-John surgery on his elbow and it now leaves the lineup without a clear proven second starter behind the team’s newly acquired and high-priced pitcher Gerritt Cole . Given also, how the former Astros’ pitcher Cole is likely to be treated on the road as well as at home for games during this season. One may well feel this is not the way the Yankees wanted to start their 2020 sojourn as they seek to win another World Series’ title , their first since 2009 . A great deal is expected of this Yankees’ roster and with their pitching staff now said to be something of a disarray , it will be interesting to see if GM Brian Cashman is willing to acquire starting pitcher of note by way of a trade , with their being little of note available by way of free agency at present.

    The Yankees are in action as of today , as they look to round out their Spring Training schedule , with their first regular season opener set to take place on the 26th March , Official Regular Season Opener for the bulk of the teams around the Majors . With all things being equal , the Yankees could decide to stand pat , but I feel with their being a real lack of depth concerning their starting rotation and their relievers not capable of going at least three innings , it would be best for the ball club to seek a trade at this juncture. With an Opening Day Game for the regular season coming up against the Baltimore Orioles , Brian Cashman also announced that both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge will be missing from the lineup for that particular contest .

    MLB news …..

    Tophatal ……………


  18. Shahid Khan , the billionaire owner who made his wealth through the automotive supplies’ industry also happens to be the owner of Fulham FC , within British soccer as well as the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars . The franchise is still starved of success with some of the franchise’s most notable players , Mark Brunell and Tony Boselli , longing to see the Jaguars back in the highlight of the franchise’s best years. During this past season the Jaguars , failed miserably within their division the AFC South , and the team itself struggling at every point of 2019 . The Jaguars’ front office has changed considerably over the last five years , with Mark Lampling now in the role of general manager .

    The Jacksonville Jaguars’ most productive player this past season was, D J Clark , running back on the depth chart of the roster. Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew shared the role of quarterback for this past season , with Foles having suffered an injury . Having finished with a 6-10 record , the Jaguars will now seek to make up for their flaws by way of free agency , the draft and undoubtedly seeking to re-sign several of the players that Mark Lampling and the coaching staff believe can be productive for the upcoming season. Head Couch Doug Marrone will definitely have his work cut out for him this season and with Jaguars’ DE Yannick Ngakoue’ now wanting out from Jacksonville , it remains to be seen if the Jaguars can do without a player of caliber while acquiring a free agent or go by way of the NFL Draft. Jacksonville’s draft history has been well chronicled . The bulk of the team’s cap space for 2020 will be eaten up by Nick Foles , whose almost $22 million cap hit will top the charts among the current players.

    Jacksonville’s schedule for 2020 will be a tough one , but I suspect that the toughest dilemma facing the franchise will be how the front office seek to deal with the ongoing problems they have faced over the past decade. Nick Foles has a great deal to prove, having garnered such a big contract with a great deal of guaranteed money upfront along with incentives along the way.

    Jacksonville Jaguars news ….

    Tophatal ……………………..


  19. If nothing else which needs to be proved and it’s that Danny Ainge , might be among the best front office executives to found around the NBA . Ainge hand-picked Brad Stevens to succeed Doc Rivers as the Head Coach of the Boston Celtics , with the team now being among those considered among the favorites for the NBA title this season. The Celtics by way titles are second only to the Los Angeles Lakers in terms of titles won in league franchise history. With so many Hall of Famers having been a part of this franchise and it’s understandable why the Celtics remain beloved by fans in general . Team owner , Wyc Grousbeck has sought to continue with the consistency, while also seeking to make the Boston Celtics not only competitive, but also a very profitable organization.

    Jayson Tatum , might be the most dynamic player on the Boston Celtics’ roster , with his play having been exceptional throughout much of this season to date. This is a team on which Brad Stevens believes with a young core , and the leadership of Kemba Walker working in conjunction with Jayson Tatum , they’re capable of beating the best that the conference has to offer as well as the rest of the NBA as a whole .

    Jayson Tatum is a sophomore in the NBA having been drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 2017 NBA Draft as a first round draft pick . If nothing else Tatum has proven his worth by way of his productivity , competitiveness and that of leadership qualities he brings to the table in comparison to his contemporaries of that Draft year. Tatum by the time he hits free agency will be able to garner a multi-year deal , which I believe the front office of the Celtics will be all too willing to re-sign the player to a big contract , befitting his status . Up next for the Celtics , will be a game against the Brooklyn Nets being played at home . Tatum has been productive against conference rivals as well as the Nets in games faced . At some point during his career and if he remains with the Boston Celtics , I believe that he can not only lead the franchise to an NBA title , but also become a League MVP , with the franchise having won a plethora of those awards throughout it’s history (10 in total) .

    The last player to have won the award as a Celtic is Larry Bird , a Hall of Fame inductee for the Boston Celtic with his having won League MVP during the 1985-86 NBA season . Bird is among a select band of players to have won the award more than three times , with both Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , being the all-time leaders in the category.

    Latest NBA news …..

    Tophatal ………………….


  20. Heading into the MLB season and the players are now tuning up their skill-set with regard getting themselves prepared for the regular season opening games . Team payrolls compared to last season have been notable to say the very least along with the salaries encompassed for the players.

    One player looking to make a name for himself 2010 MLB Draft is overall number one draft pick Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies , a player whose success with the Washington Nationals is widely known . Among another from this particular draft class is Manny Machado . Apart from being among the highest paid players currently within the game , it remains to be seen if either of these two players can lead their respective teams to a World Series’ title .

    Courtesy of the New York Post

    Why does no one want Yasiel Puig?

    By Jeremy Layton

    The MLB offseason has been utter chaos thanks to the Astros cheating scandal, but the free-agent portion has been relatively calm. Most major free agents found teams early on, unlike in 2019 when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remained teamless into spring training.

    The biggest name yet to sign is outfielder Yasiel Puig. The former Dodgers star has been linked to a number of teams this offseason, but with three weeks left to go until Opening Day, there has yet to be any major smoke surrounding a potential signing.

    The seven-year veteran from Cuba has been a polarizing player for much of his MLB career. He had a spectacular rookie season in 2013, batting .319 with 19 home runs and a .925 OPS over 104 games. Combined with his penchant for highlight-reel plays in the field and on the basepaths, some anointed him as one of the league’s next superstars.

    But he never reached the same heights in the years that followed. His OPS and slugging percentage fell in each of the next three years, and he was demoted to Triple-A in 2016. He did mash 28 runs in 2017, but the Dodgers traded him to Cincinnati in 2018.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres have to be of the opinion that they can compete within the NL this season and ultimately a title. Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies with their gargantuan payroll , notably Harper’s contract which dwarfs those of his teammates now and in the past . One thing of note which I will be interested in seeing is whether not the NL can produce a player capable of being viewed as on par with three-time AL MVP , Mike Trout as being the best player in all of baseball .

    Yasiel Puig , whose time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and then with the Cincinnati Reds now finds himself on the outside looking in and wanting to be signed by a team. Puig has struggled to produce the form that made him a budding superstar in all Major League Baseball.

    Character has been the problem which has always been something that has often described Yasiel Puig as a player in spite of his flamboyance and career to date by way of earnings . Two years removed from playing his last game in the Majors and it has to be said something is wrong if Puig can’t be signed a by team .

    MLB transactions …

    Tophatal ………..


  21. Dez Bryant still can’t find a home in the NFL having at one time being among the most productive players on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster during his tenure with the franchise . It has been three years since Bryant played his last game in the league while with the Cowboys in 2017 . The fact that the front office is now mulling over the offering of a contract to Dak Prescott , either where he will be franchise tagged or given a multi-year deal , it remains to be seen if Jerry Jones will be offer up a deal to his incumbent starting quarterback , while Dez Bryant remains on the outside looking in having stated openly that he’s willing to return to the only franchise he’s ever played for . The longer the situation plays out concerning Dak Prescott , the more embarrassing it remains for the Cowboys as franchise with Jerry Jones having offered deals to Ezekiel Elliott and several other players on the Dallas’ roster when it came contract negotiations last season .

    NFL Important Dates and the declaration of free agents for 2020 ….

    Tophatal ……………….


  22. Another loss for the Philadelphia 76ers , a team where Head Coach Brett Brown believes the pairing of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are good enough to lead the Sixers to an NBA title . Based on the evidence of the defeat suffered against the Los Angeles Lakers , one would be hard pressed into believing Embiid and Simmons could lead Philadelphia against the top five teams in the Western Conference . Granted , neither Simmons or Embiid were on court in the defeat , but the game also showed the shortcomings of the Sixers as a team especially on the road where they have been absolutely abysmal all season long . Suffice to say , this isn’t a team capable of winning a series on the road when it matters the most . The Sixers are among the worst road teams in the NBA over the course of the season , with their road record being proof of that very fact. As to Brett Brown’s optimism, well that’s to be expected at this moment in time , with his having the backing of GM Elton Brand , who himself is former Sixers’ player . Brand and team owner , Joshua Harris seem to have thrown their weight behind the Head Coach and this playing staff in their current guise.

    It is my firm belief that if the Philadelphia 76ers fail to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals this season, then all bets could very well be off, with their being a major upheaval of the team’s roster with a trade of Joel Embiid along with his robust cap obligations and that of several other players superfluous to their needs. It’s time for the Sixers’ franchise to think long-term and build around Ben Simmons , if their to have any real glimpse of a chance against the rest of the NBA.

    Up next for the PhIladelphia 76ers , will be a game against the Sacramento Kings on Thursday evening , another game on the road. The Los Angeles Lakers for their part will take their show with their next. contest being against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday 6th March , featuring the two teams with the best records in the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpou can certainly add to his status as the best player in the league this season , furthering his position as League MVP . The match up against the Lakers’ LeBron James and Anthony Davis should prove to be competitive and eventful , based on their previous meeting this season. The game could very well be seen as a precursor to a possible NBA Finals series between these two teams if everything falls into place by way of the perceived conference series during the NBA Playoffs.

    Load management or just conserving energy as the schedule hits it’s final stretch , but with the mounting injuries, teams are now having a hard time actually putting their best lineups on the court . Doc Rivers as the Head Coach of the Los Angeles Clippers has been judicious concerning the playing time of some of his front line starters , notably Kawhi Leonard , but now he has to factor in the recent injury suffered by Leonard’s teammate Paul George , who’s struggled for much of this season concerning his own playing time as well as with the consistency of his play and in the absence of Kawhi Leonard.

    Seen as the prohibitive favorites to come out.of the Western Conference as champions for this season . The Clippers have in essence struggled against their top conference rivals , but there is the belief with the depth of their roster , the team should be good enough to win it all with Kawhi Leonard being the focal point of the team offense , leadership and providing the defensive capabilities needed for the franchise to win their first ever championship title.

    Billionaire owner Steve Ballmer shelled out a record $2.5 billion at the time to purchase the franchise , the Los Angeles Clippers from disgraced owner , Donald Sterling, seeking to restore the Clippers to some semblance of respectability. Since the purchase , the franchise has gone through a chain of events within the front office by way of changes , turn over of the team’s roster and to the point where the fans are now of the belief the Clippers time has come, with their having to play second fiddle to the Los Angeles Lakers for far too long as well as sharing the same home venue of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. If nothing else , it might also be time for the Clippers’ front office to distinguish itself and the brand with a venue to call its’s very own.

    The Staples Center is synonymous with many of the most recent triumphs of the Lakers , with franchise greats, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal playing their part in those events. For the Clippers they’ve yet to create such fervor at the Staples Center and that is particularly true over the last decade and a half. It will be interesting to see how Doc Rivers seeks to use his players over the remainder of the season given what’s said to be at stake for the franchise. Failure to win and there are likely to be major changes by way of the team roster and quite possibly among the coaching staff led by Doc Rivers. With that in mind , the Clippers next game will see them facing the Houston Rockets on the road , Thursday, March 5th, 2020.

    NBA news ….

    Week 20 schedule NBA …

    NBA standings (divisional) and conference standings

    Tophatal …..


  23. Whichever way you look at it the Miami Dolphins have issues and many of them won’t be addressed in the upcoming NFL Draft of which they have several picks in the first and second rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. Team owner and real estate billionaire Stephen M Ross , believes that the time is ripe for the franchise to make a challenge and take over the dominance of the New England Patriots given their stranglehold on the AFC East over the past two decades under the tenure of Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady . If nothing else, the Dolphins’ failures can lead back to the fact they have not drafted well concerning positional players on the offensive side of the ball much less at the quarterback position or even on defense. Granted , the Dolphins’ Ring of Honor might suggest differently , but many of the names honored there are back from a time when the franchise was a powerhouse. Granted , in recent years with the induction of Jason Taylor into the Hall of Fame , it could be said that the Miami Dolphins still have a vested interest to be taken seriously as a team.

    This past season with the Miami Dolphins seeing the success of Ryan Tannehill as he led the Tennessee Titans into the postseason . One could suggest that the Dolphins gave up on the seasoned veteran far too early , but then again the issues they had with Tannehill as a player cannot be solely placed on his shoulders alone. During the player’s tenure with the franchise , their teams lacked players at the skilled positions , especially on offense as well as within their secondary.

    Brian Flores and the Dolphins’ coaching staff come into an off-season where there are calls for the team to draft a quarterback with that being among their most urgent needs . With the common belief that Joe Burrow will be taken as the number one overall pick , then the clock will be ticking as to which of the quarterbacks left in the pecking order of things would be the most suitable for them to take. There’s no question that this might be the most important draft for the Dolphins as a franchise over the past ten years , given the lack of real success seen on the field of play during that time-frame. The Miami Dolphins have not been to the NFL Postseason since 2016, where they lost in the wildcard round of the Playoffs , falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in that game. In the subsequent years since that match-up against the Steelers , there have been numerous changes within the front office , coaching staff as well as among the players’ roster.

    In all likelihood there will be some attrition among the roster , with several players not returning to the team during this off-season. With March 6th being the first day of free agency declarations , it will be interesting to see how Miami Dolphins’ GM Chris Grier will seek to address the issue of free agency as well as the upcoming NFL Draft and which of the players currently on the roster , he is willing to re-sign while also perhaps seeking restructuring of contracts to make the team more cap-friendly and seen as a lure to several marquee free agents. Ryan Fitzpatrick held down the fort for the Miami Dolphins as the team’s starting quarterback this past season with his salary being minuscule in comparison to many of his contemporaries around the NFL .

    If the Miami Dolphins are to draft a quarterback , then the consensus is that the choice will be among taking Tua Tagovailoa , Justin Herbert , Trevor Lawrence , Jordan Love or Jalen Hurts . With several teams now in need of a quarterback and their having witnessed the rise of Patrick Mahomes , Lamar Jackson , DeShaun Watson and the ongoing legacy now being laid by Russell Wilson . The common though may well be , an athletic , accurate quarterback is now needed to lead a team to real success within the NFL today.

    NFL news …. and NFL Combine news …..

    Tophatal ……………………………….. 03/04/2020


  24. Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers could be the latest player within Major League Baseball to join a select group of players making more than $30 million a year if the current rumors are believed to be true. The front office of the Brewers led by team owner , senior managing partner Robert Beyer and GM David Stearns would like to have a long-term deal in place for Yelich , who has been the team’s most productive player since joining the franchise in a trade from the Miami Marlins in January of 2018. From that very first year with the Brewers , Yelich has played lights out baseball from an offensive standpoint as well as being a deft defensive player in the outfield . David Stearns and the managerial staff of the Brewers believe that Christian Yelich is now the heart and soul of this team , with the acknowledgement that Ryan Braun will call it quits as player for the franchise at the end of this upcoming season. Braun has been an All Star and an NL MVP for the Milwaukee , but he has never been able to guide the franchise deep into the MLB Postseason . If Yelich can be locked up to a multi-year deal , of between eight to ten years paying him in the region of $300 million , then it sends a message to the fans that the organization is all in, as they seek to win a World Series’ title .

    Courtesy of

    5 takeaways from Yelich’s big extension …

    By William Leitch @williamfleitch

    Christian Yelich was an excellent player as a Miami Marlin — over his five years with the franchise, he compiled enough WAR, 18.9, to become the sixth-best player in franchise history — but it wasn’t until he became a Milwaukee Brewer that he blossomed into an inner-tier superstar. Who can blame him for not ever wanting to leave?

    Yelich, according to’s Mark Feinsand, is about to sign an extension that will keep him in Milwaukee through the 2028 season. The reported deal would be, by far, the biggest in Brewers history, worth $215 million, more than double what they gave Ryan Braun in 2011. It assures that, barring injury, Yelich is about to become one of the best 10 players in the history of another franchise. He’s essentially a Brewer for life now.

    The deal, coming just less than a year after Mike Trout signed his record extension with the Angels, locks up another MVP to his team for most of this decade. And it changes baseball as we know it, in ways that will filter and expand around baseball for the years to come. Here’s a look at five major takeaways from the big news.

    1) The Brewers made sure they’re the Angels rather than the Indians

    Before the Angels signed Trout last March, the general consensus was that if they didn’t start winning soon, they were going to have to seriously consider trading their superstar. After all, if you couldn’t assure that you wouldn’t lose Trout for nothing, you had to get something out of him. Ask Boston about this or, better yet, Cleveland, which is currently going through this same conundrum with Francisco Lindor.

    The Brewers have been quiet all offseason, leading some to wonder if they weren’t squandering their final two years with Yelich. If they fell out of the race this year, would they have to fathom the Lindor possibility? But now, like with the Angels, the entire equation changes. Knowing that they have Yelich moving forward keeps the onus on the Brewers to win, but it makes them less frantic: Their job is to build a sustainable team around him, rather than scramble to create one out of air this exact second. Trout signing with the Angels showed that he trusted his franchise to be worthy of staying around. Yelich’s signing does the same thing.

    Click on link to read in full.

    It’s hard to envisage how the Miami Marlins would pass up on Christian Yelich with the trading away of the player with his having won an NL League MVP . Once again with cost-cutting being the norm when it comes to payroll , being in such a small market and when revenues are tight , the issues facing the Marlins were always going to be a major problem for the organization .

    In this era of baseball , where superstars are now the norm , Christian Yelich seems to be the personification of player who meets some of the criteria , but whose love of the game is what it is all about. He plays in a small market and where the attendance for Milwaukee Brewers’ games are about the national average . This Brewers’ roster in it’s present guise along with a farm system that’s seen as very good , should be in a position to challenge for a NL Pennant at least if not this year , then most certainly within the next four or five years.

    Christian Yelich hits a trio of home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers .

    This season the challenge for the Milwaukee Brewers will be to compete against their divisional rivals within the NL Central , perhaps among the most competitive division in all of baseball. With that in mind it is imperative that their Spring Training schedule is a successful one with the players all being in sync , as they head into the beginning of their regular season schedule . The Brewers’ regular season opener will see them face the Chicago Cubs at home on the 26th March , 2020 , in what will be the first of their regular season meeting over the course of the season as divisional rivals. Milwaukee is in action today as they have an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox , in an intra-league match-up .

    For Christian Yelich , I believe that this could be another fantastic year for the player where both he and Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies , go out to prove which of these two budding young stars are the best players in the NL .

    Tophatal …………


  25. At this point of the NBA season in 2018 , there was still a great deal to play for before the teams headed in to NBA Playoff format with the two conferences looking to provide a champion for the NBA Finals itself of that season. The defending NBA champions the Golden State Warriors were deemed the prohibitive favorites , but injuries to several players on the team’s roster , waylaid their bid for a fourth title inside five years as they fell to the Toronto Raptors in six scintillating games.

    This season once again , injuries have plagued the Warriors putting an end to what in all aspects has been a disappointing season. Steph Curry , Klay Thompson and even Draymond Green have been limited in terms of playing time. It should be noted , Thompson would miss the entire season with his having to recuperate from an injury. However, Steve Kerr as the team’s Head Coach along with his coaching staff did what they could by way of the bench players and that of acquisitions to put a competitive product on the court. GM Bob Myers has made sure also , with the Warriors having a litany of future picks for upcoming drafts ,placing the franchise is in a perfect position to chase after further titles long into the future . In terms of their cap availability for the upcoming years the Golden State Warriors have sought to deal with the issue aggressively with joint-team owners Peter Guber and Joe Lacob showing a great deal of confidence in not only their front office , but also Steve Kerr’s coaching staff and the players .

    Andrew Wiggins has been able to show that he’s not a bust having been a first round , number one overall in the 2014 NBA Draft , having been drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers . If nothing else Wiggins can play a role in bringing back a real competitive edge to the Warriors , as long as he’s wanted by the franchise. With his being owed a hefty sum on the remainder of his deal , it could be suggested that the Golden State Warriors might at some point seek to use him as a bait by way of luring another marquee free agent. It was a successful attempt , used by Bob Myers in order to obtain Kevin Durant , but the fallout from the Draymond Green debacle put an end to Durant remaining with the Warriors.

    Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors having a season high game , scoring twenty-seven points for the Warriors against the Phoenix Suns .

    With Golden State now having less than twenty games remaining on their regular season schedule , it will be interesting to see how the team fares in those games. Next up for the Warriors will be a game against the Toronto Raptors , in what is sure to be contest likely to favor the visiting Raptors . From thereon-in , the Golden State Warriors are looking to play like team not reflective of their rather menial record of 14-48 as of the 3rd March , 2020 .

    Golden State Warriors news ….

    Tophatal …………………………………….


  26. OK , so the MLB season will prove to be an interesting one given the ongoing furor and all fall-out after the Houston Astros’ debacle. The front office led by team owner , Jim Crane has been on a PR spectacle trying to soften the image and downplay everything which took place , while also seeking to suggest that with the departure of former GM Jeff Luhnow and team manager , AJ Hinch , their about to enter an entirely new chapter in the ball-club’s history. It is hard to have any type of empathy or sympathy for an organization which has sought to cheat and cheat over what was deemed to be a three-year period dating back to the 2017 MLB season with everything which took place that year.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred , failed miserably in how he sought to deal with meting out punishment when it came the Houston Astros , with their only having to forfeit future draft picks and nothing by way of suspensions or even a monetary fine of some magnitude. With a future Hall of Famer such as Justin Verlander on the Astros’ roster and his career seen as one of the best of the modern era over the last ten years at least , one has to believe that the fans in general and baseball purists will not be looking at the Astros’ World Series’ winning team with a great deal of admiration.

    Clearly the season within baseball , especially for the Houston Astros will be an arduous one with a new managerial staff in tow led by noted manager Dusty Baker . His greatest success came by way of his tenure with the San Francisco Giants , where he led that franchise to divisional titles within the NL West as well as the prolific production of Barry Bonds as a player , with his holding several team records while in their midst , as well as his winning the NL MVP a record seven times overall , five as a player with the team , as well as being an All Star for the Giants . Whether or not Baker can resurrect the image of the Astros remains to be seen along with the current front office winning back the legitimate trust of the fans as well as the MLB hierarchy of Rob Manfred and that the MLB Umpires’ Association .

    Tophatal ……………..


  27. Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans met last night in a duel of rookie phenoms of the past two seasons , with these two young players excelling in the most unexpected of ways . Doncic led the Mavericks to victory and along the way in his still young career the player notched up the thirty-third triple-double of his NBA career. This season alone Doncic’s player has been without precedence as he and Kristaps Porzingis lead the Mavericks’ roster in offense and they create among the most formidable offensive duos not only within the West but the league as a whole . At this point of the season it’s easy to understand how impressive Luka Doncic has been by just looking at his statistics within the league and where he stands overall .

    Doncic remains a prodigious talent and clearly the front office of the Dallas Mavericks know that he and Kristaps Porzingis hold the fortunes of the franchise for their short-term and long-term future . Team owner Mark Cuban hasn’t been this excited about the Mavericks since they won an NBA title with Dirk Nowitzki leading the team to that sole triumph .

    With the Dallas Mavericks holding down the seventh seed within the Western Conference , their sole aim now will be seeking to improve their record overall (38-25) and move up the standings within the conference. Next up for the Dallas Mavericks will be a game against the Memphis Grizzlies on the road , Friday evening , 6th March , 2020 .

    Luka Doncic has the chance to perhaps be the greatest player in Dallas Mavericks’ history and quite possibly eclipsing the marks set by Dirk Nowitzki for the franchise .

    Tophatal …………………..


  28. Four straight Superbowl appearances defined the history of the Buffalo Bills under the tutelage of Marv Levy as the team’s Head Coach at the time. Hall of Fame players such as Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas redefined an era within the NFL when the franchise was simply great . Unfortunately , the Bills have fallen on hard times , with the high points now being in the distant past. Buffalo hasn’t made a deep run in the NFL Postseason since 1993 , but have only advanced as far as the wildcard round over the past two years. The team in it’s current guise failed to make any inroads within the AFC East this past season . Granted , their second placed finish in the division under the watchful eye of Head Coach Sean McDermott and the front office led by owner Terry Pegula and GM Brandon Beane , know that if the team is to be taken seriously as a challenger to the New England Patriots and New York Jets , then there will have to be an upgrade of the roster by way of free agent acquisitions , the NFL Draft .

    Given the deficiencies seen on the team last season , the Buffalo Bills will have to be very prudent when it comes to their picks for this upcoming NFL Draft . In the first round they have the twenty-second overall pick , where they may well seek a defensive player , seeking to shore up the secondary . The Bills have Josh Allen as their quarterback and he’s proven to be adequate in the role, but I also believe there needs to be an upgrade by way of the team’s offense, with their being a need to replace veteran running back , Frank Gore as well as seeking to improve the rush offense by way of their receivers .

    From a cap standpoint the Bills are in something of an enviable position and there’s a belief that Brandon Beane will seek to make sure they are able to lure free agents to the franchise as well signing their upcoming restricted free agents without seeking to tag any players up for free agency .

    Leslie Frazier has seen his role increase on Sean McDermott’s staff with his being made Assistant Head Coach . Frazier has several years’ experience in the role a Defensive Coordinator as well as a Head Coach , having held the role with the Minnesota Vikings . It will be interesting to see what the Bills are capable this upcoming season and which of their players step up to the plate .

    Tophatal ………


  29. Strange with the Men’s College Basketball Season now having almost come to a close the only things left are that of the conference championships as a way determining several of the entrants for the NCAA Tournament , commonly known as March Madness . There are several games taking place today , with one of the teams involved being fifth-ranked San Diego State who will be tipping off against Air Force . This should be a very entertaining game with San Diego having a great deal prove by way of justifying their ranking at this juncture . Also in action will be Michigan (Wolverines) as they face Nebraska .

    Markus Howard of Marquette is the nation’s leading scorer this season averaging 27.7 points per game for the team . They will next be in action when they face St John’s on Saturday afternoon , 7th March , 2020 .

    The nominees for the Naismith Trophy signalling the best Men’s Collegiate Player will soon be announced and with their likely to be several outstanding prospects among those nominated . It will be interesting to see which player and program will be honored with that distinction .

    NCAA Men’s College Basketball (D1) …

    Tophatal …………………..


  30. It wouldn’t be remiss to suggest that Frank Walter , Earvin Magic Johnson , Todd Boehly and the rest of the front office executives who make up the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers have a great deal to gripe about with their having lost their recent World Series’ appearance in a match-up against the Houston Astros . It should be remembered that the Astros were caught up in a cheating scandal where there was a great deal of leniency against the Astros’ organization with the ball-club only suffering menial damages by way of their forfeiting future MLB Draft picks and that of owner Jim Crane seeking to just dismiss Jeff Luhnow and AJ Hinch .

    Rob Manfred sought to take the easy way out , merely because of the fact the owners continue to make a great deal of money by way of their revenues and profitability . Were it not for those facts then the owners in general would be showing a great deal more outrage towards the MLB Commissioner and the league hierarchy after Manfred’s rather fruitless decision .

    For their part the Los Angeles Dodgers still continue to carry one of the largest payrolls in all of baseball , something which they have been able to do for almost the better part of almost a decade . In 2010 the highest paid player on the roster at that time was none other than , Manny Ramirez who was being paid just under $20 million a year . During that time salaries have escalated along with the contracts of the players . Teams such as the Dodgers , Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees can afford to be amenable to such practicalities being as they play in a large media market . Having recently acquired both Mookie Betts and David Price , adding an additional $59 million to their payroll , it could be suggested that the Los Angeles Dodgers’ urgency to win their first World Series in over three decades has become a matter of urgency for the front office and organization as a whole .

    This season within the NL West should be an intriguing one for the Dodgers as they seek to win another divisional title . The depth of their current roster which is filled with All Stars at almost every position, quite possibly makes them the favorites to win the NL Pennant outright this season. The team has started as expected playing well during their Spring Training schedule , mustering some stats , that sets them up with the right approach as the regular season beckons , with it being just over two and half weeks away . Manager Dave Roberts and his coaching staff have to be of the opinion that the team is ready for this season and that their game will be at their very best . The Los Angeles Dodgers will be in action today when they face the Oakland Athletics (A’s) . Their regular season opener will see the Dodgers on the mound when they take on the San Francisco Giants on the 26th March .

    One of the things which has made the Dodgers so prominent beyond their willingness to attract big time players has been the development of their Minor League System over the years and that is especially true of their current prospects for 2020

    Los Angeles Dodgers news …

    MLB schedule 5th March

    Tophatal …………….


  31. Players with the highest scoring average over their last ten games and with the bulk of the scoring from some prodigiously talented players . Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards has been playing some lights out basketball in the NBA , but unfortunately the Wizards’ season has been one where their still contesting a berth for the Playoffs with less than a month before the end of the season. If Beal can guide the Wizards in making up that deficit and with the team making it into the Playoffs , then who knows what the future could hold for this franchise ? The front office of the Washington Wizards will have some serious decisions to make concerning the futures of several players on the current roster. I can foresee that the GM Tommy Sheppard and Special Adviser Rod Thorn will certainly be weighing up the pros and cons concerning not only the playing staff but from my own perspective the job done by the coaching staff of Scott Brooks .

    Wizards’ billionaire owner , Ted Leonsis will certainly be hoping that his franchise can meet the expectations of garnering a playoff berth this season . Yet if they fail to do so , there is the feeling that their not too far away from achieving that goal. Having made only four appearances over the last decade , the hope is that at some point we’ll be able to see a great deal more consistency from the franchise within the Eastern Conference as a perennial playoff contender. Up next for the Wizards will be a game against the Atlanta Hawks in a home game between these two conference rivals .

    Washington Wizards news …

    Tophatal …………………..


  32. Sam Darnold and the New York Jets will have a great deal to prove this upcoming season. They’ve failed robusfly to prove their worthy of a bye line among the sports pages in the tristate area, much less be a standout as the best professional sports franchise in the state of New Jersey. Team owner Woody Johnson , his family as well as the front office seem to be bereft of ideas when it comes to putting a competitive and entertaining product on the field of play. It has been several years. since the franchise last won a divisional crown (AFC East) and they haven’t been part of an NFL Postseason play since 2010 , having made it to the. AFC Championship Game that season. The team in it’s guise as the roster was under the coaching tutelage of Rex Ryan and a staff , which on the face of it was just as lugubrious as Ryan himself.

    Sam Darnold and NFL Commissioner , Roger Goodell (left).

    In the subsequent years since that. postseason appearance the New York Jets have been starved of success and that Is in spite of playing in one of the NFL’s newest stadiums which they share with the New York Giants , MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Strange to think that the main reason the venue was built, came down to the tax advantages and concession granted by the state legislature of New Jersey . The professional sport of football in America, remains a rich man’s game , where many of the franchise owners within the league (NFL) are among the richest individuals to be found in the country.

    Current Jets Head Coach Adam Gase and his coaching staff will be placed under a microscope , as too will the front office , where GM Joe Douglas will have to assess the merits of this current roster , seeking to address the evident deficiencies by way of free agent acquisitions , the upcoming NFL Draft , by way of their draft class and also seeking to re-sign the players who they best feel fills their needs.

    Sam Darnold was a Jets’ pick-up from the 2018 NFL Draft , where he was considered to be among one of the best players in that draft and among the best of the quarterbacks to be found in that pecking order . Like his predecessors Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith , Darnold’s apparent learning curve remains a work in progress. It remains to be seen if the offensive coordinator , Dowell Loggains can add even more to Sam Darnold’s skill-set as a player . In a division where Tom Brady has stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries and others for almost two decades , its easy to understand why the Jets and their fans might feel now might be the time for Darnold to shine.

    The New York Jets have a number of picks through the initial rounds of the upcoming NFL Draft and it will be interesting to see how things will pan out and where their desires are said to lay when it comes to the choices made. The draft history of the franchise seems to have been more misses than hits over the past ten years .

    New York Jets news …

    Tophatal …….


  33. Week 20 within the NBA season will likely end with something of a crescendo of sorts. With there being a great deal to play for these last five weeks within the regular season schedule prove to be very interesting. This weekend in particular should prove to be interesting beginning with today’s scheduled games . One match-up in particular once again features the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Milwaukee Bucks , as LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will meet again . Sunday , teams will take center-stage with a plethora of games . There the enticing match-up will be the Los Angeles Lakers back on the court to face conference and divisional rivals the Los Angeles Clippers . The depths of both rosters ‘ benches will be tested in this game . As many purists have mentioned the Clippers are not worried about their overall conference position but more so how they will stack up against the Lakers in particular when it comes to a playoff series . If the regular season to date is anything to judge by with their holding a 2-0 regular season series’ lead in their games played , then a seven game series during the Playoffs should provide them with a great deal of comfort.

    NBA news …..

    Tophatal ……………


  34. To suggest that there’s a sense of urgency for the Seattle Mariners would be an understatement, given the fact the organization has been a corporate entity before coming into the hands of private owners . Long gone have the years when the Mariners were rattling off divisional titles in the AL West , with prominent players such as Ken Griffey Jr , Alex Rodriguez and Ichiro Suzuki being among the major All Star players for the franchise. The front office is led by GM Jerry Dipoto , as he looks to resurrect the fortunes of the Mariners with the managerial staff headed up by Scott Servais . The team in it’s current guise will be looking to parlay their season into something competitive , in anyway that it can . Robinson Cano’s time with the Seattle Mariners was misspent with his being offered a considerable contract with the franchise . Cano now finds himself playing with the New York Mets , another team that’s forlorn by way of their lack of success over the past decade.

    As the Seattle Mariners head into their regular season , with the team looking make sure their competitive within the AL West this upcoming season. The Mariners with their non-roster invitees and high paying players on the roster will have to step up to the plate for the franchise. The core of the roster has less than ten years’ service with the Seattle Mariners and it will be interesting to see how these players perform .

    The month of March and with the regular season beginning on the 26th March , with the team’s regular season opener will see them face the Texas Rangers in their home opener in 2020. The Mariners’ first twenty-five games should prove to be very interesting for the ball-club.

    Seattle Mariners news and Seattle Mariners’ history …

    Tophatal ……………………….


  35. In spite of the years spent with the New Orleans Pelicans , Houston Rockets , Los Angeles Clippers and now the Oklahoma City Thunder it could be said that seasoned point guard , Chris Paul might be playing some of the best basketball of his career. Paul seems to be the driving force behind the Thunder’s play this season with their performing good enough to play themselves into contention for a playoff berth .

    Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder

    The month of March should be a competitive one for the Oklahoma City Thunder as the team seeks to make even greater inroads within the Western Conference standings. Tonight the team will be in action when they face the New York Knicks . With everything that Paul has been able to achieve with the Thunder , it would be very surprising to see him leave the franchise with their being a great deal of interesting being shown in the veteran point guard by Knicks’ President Leon Rose . Chris Paul isn’t due to become a free agent until 2022 , but clearly the Knicks feel that the player can add some vitality and leadership to the roster . The issue remains however are the New York Knicks willing to add the remainder of Paul’s bloated contract to their cap issues at this moment in time bearing in mind they will also be seeking to go after some premier free agents in 2021 ?

    The New York Knicks can ill-afford to jump back into the idiocy when they were bank-rolling players with exorbitant contracts and salaries while getting absolutely nothing in return . Nowhere was that more nascent than when Phil Jackson and prior to Jackson , Isiah Thomas , held the roles of being President of Basketball Operations for the franchise while James L Dolan was the team owner. Dolan has more than played his part in presiding over one of the worst ran NBA franchises , albeit that the Knicks remain the most valuable and one of the most profitable teams within the league (NBA) .

    Tophatal …………….


  36. In 2005 the MLB Draft of that season introduced the world to some budding young players. with Justin Upton being taken number one overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks . Upton has gone on to have a reasonable career in the Majors , performing well in the postseason . During that time frame , he has also earned in excess of $136 million as a player in the Majors . Currently on the roster of the Los Angeles Angels , where in essence it’s something of a star-studded lineup led by Mike Trout , Albert Pujols and Anthony Rendon . One would have to believe that with that sort of offensive talent , just about anything should be possible for the Angels this season . However , the real issues for the Angels remains their lack of depth with regard to their starting rotation and that of their middle relievers . If that cannot be solved by Joe Maddon and his managerial staff before the season is underway , then this team will be in deep trouble throughout much of this upcoming season.

    Justin Upton (8) and Mike Trout

    I do believe that the Angels will be able to contend within the AL West this season , as I believe there will be a major drop-off in the play of the Houston Astros as they continue to remain under the microscope and the glare of public scrutiny. The first six weeks of the MLB season should be one that could very well provide us with a gauge as to what can expect from the teams and their arduous 162 game schedule .

    The Angels have it within their power to dictate their own fortunes with all of the players on board being willing to step up to the plate. Undoubtedly , Mike Trout will once again be leading the way and it will be interesting to see the type of numbers put up by Anthony Rendon , Justin Upton and Albert Pujols in particular. This could very well be Pujols’ last season in the Majors and it’s clearly within his mindset that he would want to lead the Los Angeles Angels with a deep postseason run with the World Series being the franchise’s ultimate goal. The Angels will be in action over the course of this weekend with games against the Kansas City Royals , Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds . However, their regular season opener will see the Angels face the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park , in Houston , Texas.

    Tophatal ………………


  37. Sorry , but Vince McMahon and the executives who are behind the XFL cannot convince me that the reinvention of this supposed Football League will amount to much with another reincarnation . Try as he might to convince us all that this particular version can compete with the NFL and to a lesser extent the CFL (Canadian Football League) , it is becoming abundantly clear the games are complete diatribe and where the quality is actually laughable and painstaking to watch in it’s entirety.

    XFL news ….

    XFL regular season schedule …

    XFL standings …

    Tophatal ………….


  38. The last four days within the NBA have brought about a wide array of results within the league. None more than the impressive run by the Los Angeles Lakers , with their defeats of the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers to further fortify their position as now the prohibitive favorites for the NBA title this season. All three teams will be in action over the course of this week with the month of March and the first two weeks of April being the only games to played over the rest of the regular season schedule .

    The NBA Playoffs are scheduled to begin on the 18th April with the quarter-finals’ round within each conference , East and West. Last night the Los Angeles Lakers were brought back down to earth as they fell to the Brooklyn Nets in a rather anticlimactic game on the part of the home-team , Lakers . The Los Angeles Clippers for their part rebounded to annihilate the Golden State Warriors by the score of 131-107 . Up next for the Lakers will be a game against the Houston Rockets , with the Rockets looking to continue with their small ball , by way of their lineup .

    NBA news ….

    Week 21 NBA schedule ….

    NBA divisional standings and conference standings

    Tophatal ……………….


  39. Well it looks as if Dak Prescott will get his wish with the player being given one of the most lucrative contracts in NFL history , with the player likely to sign a deal before month’s end. If the rumors are to be believed then Prescott’s deal will guarantee him $105 million up-front as part of a four-year deal for the quarterback . Where this would now leaves the Dallas Cowboys with regard to the cap and future obligations as well as dealing with their prospective free agents will also have a great deal to do with how Jerry Jones and the rest of the front office feel they can maneuver going forward. Prescott’s contract might not provide enough cover wherein the Cowboys can sign wide receiver Amari Cooper to a long-term deal and it could lead to his being franchise-tagged for the upcoming season , yet at the same time Dak Prescott hasn’t fully agreed to the supposed deal being offered by the franchise.

    While this is all playing out , the Tom Brady saga continues in New England , with Brady and the New England Patriots seemingly at an impasse concerning a contract for their long-serving quarterback . One has to admit that Brady at this juncture can’t see Brady as a player worthy of being paid in excess of $30 million a year to guide a Patriots’ team where the offense was so deficient with only their defense having met expectations .

    NFL news …..

    Tophatal ……………………..


  40. Two weeks from tomorrow and Major League Baseball will officially open up the regular season with Opening Day on the 26th March , 2020 . While this will be enthralling for the fans in attendance it has to be said the stories unfolding will be just as important as the games on the field of play. Reigning World Series champions the Washington Nationals will begin the defense of their title with a game against divisional rivals the New York Mets . While the Nationals will be feted on their accomplishments , it has to be said that fans might not be so grateful when having to know that the Houston Astros were barely punished for their cheating scandal and subsequent infractions from 2017 to 2019 . For their part the Astros will begin their regular season schedule with a game against the Los Angeles Angels at home .

    Heading into this season the team with the highest payroll will be the New York Yankees and the player with the highest salary will be Mike Trout and Gerritt Cole sharing the figure of $36 million in 2020 . It will be interesting to see how both of these players will fare over the course of this season. The Yankees will begin their regular season against the Baltimore Orioles , with the likelihood , with several of their starters will be missing from their lineup .

    Is there a chance we’ll see a twenty-five game winner in baseball this upcoming season among the starting pitchers ? Baseball hasn’t seen a winner of 25 games or more since 1990 with Bob Welch , winning 27 games for the Oakland Athletics (A’s) that year. Since then, no other pitcher has come close to that figure since John Smoltz got twenty four wins as a starter for Atlanta Braves in 1996 . That year the Braves finished atop of the NL East advancing to the postseason where they would advance to the World Series losing to the New York Yankees .

    MLB news …..

    Tophatal ……………


  41. There are going to be several wide receivers on the free agency market this off-season with several coming at a high price. With that in place the NFL Draft will have it’s plethora of receivers up for grabs . It’s rumored that AJ Green and the Cincinnati Bengals are about to part ways with the player dissatisfied with the current situation within the franchise . Green has been a productive player for the Bengals from his being drafted and playing his first game for Cincinnati . With the team having finished with the worst record in the league and their having the number one overall draft pick , it remains to be seen how the Cincinnati Bengals will seek to reinforce the roster this upcoming season. Joe Burrow is likely to be taken as that overall top pick and if Burrow plays with the confidence seen during the LSU Tigers’ , season then it could persuade Green to remain with the Bengals . Cincinnati’s cap figure for 2020 places the franchise in an enviable position . In 2019 AJ Green had a cap figure of $15 million and it bade well for the team overall.

    Bengals, A.J. Green facing critical Monday after franchise tag deadline change

    By Chris Roling

    Another franchise tag change while CBA negotiations continue will have a notable impact on the Cincinnati Bengals and A.J. Green.

    The deadline to apply tags was previously March 12. Tuesday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced the deadline has been extended to Monday.

    Meaning — the Bengals have until Monday to apply a tag to Green, which happens to be the same day the legal-tampering window opens. That window sits two days ahead of free agency officially opening on the 18th.

    So in a matter of minutes, the Bengals could elect to throw around $18 million at Green, then start leveraging even more future cap space in talks with free agents.

    It had previously been reported that the CBA negations had stalled extension talks for both Green and Joe Mixon. That naturally seems to point toward Green getting tagged.

    Expect a tag to happen a mere minutes before this revised deadline, setting up quite the critical Monday for the future of the franchise.

    Click on link to read in full .

    It is paramount for the Cincinnati Bengals to be in a position to win this season and with Andy Dalton’s career with the franchise now on the wain , the front office could very well seek off-load the veteran quarterback with their being depth on the roster at present.

    A J Green could very well be franchise-tagged by the Bengals and that’s not an enviable position sought by the player at this juncture . The needs of the Cincinnati Bengals have been evident for all , with the defense being something that will need to be addressed.

    Tophatal …………..


  42. Tiger Woods has just made it clear that he won’t be participating in this season’s Master Tournament , the first Gran Slam Major of the season. Having won the tournament and where his history of competing at Augusta is legendary , it could be said that Woods’ career is on the wane in spite of his current world ranking where he’s currently ranked fifth with Irishman , Rory McIlroy ranked number one , the second time the player has held the ranking . McIlroy and Woods are two of the most admired and well known players on the PGA Tour with both among the highest paid players by way of endorsements and salaries globally . Woods may well be on the sidelines when the The Players Championship takes place at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida from the 15th to 18th , March , 2020 . With $15 million in total prize money and the winner’s check being over $2 million , the tournament is among the richest on the PGA Tour and adds prestige for the victor .

    Courtesy of NBC Sports ….

    Tiger Woods to miss Masters: ‘Not physically ready’

    Tiger Woods will be at Augusta National next week – but not with his golf clubs.

    Woods officially ruled himself out of the Masters on Friday night, ending weeks of social-media gossip and rumors about whether he would make a surprise return at the year’s first major.

    Though he won’t compete for a fifth green jacket, Woods said in a post on his website that he still plans to attend the Champions Dinner next Tuesday.

    “I’ve been hitting balls and training daily,” he said in the statement, “but I’m not physically ready. I’ve said all along that this time I need to be cautious and do what’s best for my long-term health and career. Unfortunately, playing Augusta next week wouldn’t be the right decision.

    “I’m absolutely making progress, and I’m really happy with how far I’ve come, but I still have no timetable to return to competitive golf.”


    Click on link to read in full.

    For Tiger Woods missing another scheduled PGA Tour tournament and with recurrence of his often injured back it begs the question how much longer can the former world number one remain on the Tour as he chases after the additional four Grand Slam victories needed to surpass Jack Nicklaus (18) .

    PGA Tour news …..

    PGA Tour schedule 2020 …

    PGA Tour Fedex Cup standings …

    PGA Tour players’ stats …

    Official World Golf rankings …

    Tophatal …………………………….


  43. In what might seem as a general rush to judgment in making the decision to suspend the rest of the .NBA regular season and. NBA Playoffs indefintely . NBA Commssoner Adam Silver and th league hierarchy came to the conclusion that it was in the league,s best interest to close down the season. For the first time in NBA history there will be no champion or a postseason to speak of came down after it was revealed that . Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz had contracted the Coronavirus (Covid-19) . Gobert it is said to be one of two players tested for the virus with his test coming. back as a positive. Team owners , front office executives and players were informed if the decision as well as the . Executive Committee of the NBPA (Players Union) . How this now all plays out could very well be determined how the league itself moves forward and with the ongoing precautions which take place by the CDC (Center of Disease Control) and the actions deemed necessary by the federal government led by President Donald. Trump ; his comments concerning. the pandemic of the Coronavirus has been seen as confusing and not in line with any action likely to be taken by the CDC , creating a great deal of confusion and scaremongering in some circles.

    Without the final five weeks of the regular season in the NBA as well as no playoff drama , this will be the first time in league history where there hasn’t been an NB champion to determine outcome of the season. Also it should be noted that there will be. a sizable loss in revenues for the league with their being. conservative estimates of between $ 2.5 million to as much as $4 million , a very large sum per team , equating to $120 million at the top end. That figure Howe er doesn’t take into account the losses perceived for local business in each of the cities where this an NBA franchise . This will be an extremely tough time for those businesses big and small , no matter what be overall outcome might be .

    Major League Baseball is likely to have a really tough time between now.and Opening Day for the regular season. Spring Training. games to date have been sparsely attended and it’s likely to be the same for the beginning of the regular season which makes place on March 25th, , 2020 . MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred an the league hierarchy have yet to make any formal decision as to how they will address the issue off the Coronavirus (Covid-19). They may well take their lead from the federal government and that I the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as they seek to find a cure while working in conjunction with WHO (World Heath Organization) and several governmental health agencies. This pandemic could prove to be very costly from an economic and social standpoint , with the death tolls globally , already rising quite rapidly.

    Baseball itself can I’ll afford to lose anymore fans big end the outrage being shown with now Rob Manfred dealt with the fallout from the Houston Astros’ scandal . It has to be said the Commissioner’s actions were not warmly greeted by the vast majority of. fans , some players and even. a number of. team owners . Yet at. the end of the day whatever criticism aimed. the Commissioner was seen as half-hearted , as the game itself is still making a great deal of money for everyone. all-round.

    If fan participation is omnipresent within a sport then nowhere is that more self-evident than on the PGA Tour and the sport of golf. If the fans are not lining the fairways and they’re not at the eighteenth hole or at the clubhouse cheering on their favorite players , then you know there’s something wrong . That could very well be the case for the Tour this season and it could cast a giant shadow over the entire season along with each of the Major Grand Slam Tournaments on the schedule . Imagine this season with the Grand Slams being played and there are barely any public members in attendance for each of those events . PGA Tour Chairman Jay Monhan and the PGA Tour professionals will have a tough road ahead of them season if the attendance levels are way down from last year . Today , The Players Championship gets underway at the Ponte Vedra Club in Ponte Vedra , Florida and it will be interesting to see what the attendance is likely to be over the four days of the event . With over $15 million in prize money and with the winner’s purse being over $2 million , the event is among the richest on the PGA Tour and is often referred to as the fifth Major .

    Tophatal …


  44. Can you say the teams within baseball are looking to play themselves into sync as they head into the regular season. While at the same time , there has to be cause for concern as there are growing fears about public , player safety and that of the game officials because of the outbreak of the Coronavirus COVID-19 . MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and the league hierarchy have yet to indicate their own plans concerning what plans they are prepared to take to combat the possible outbreak within the ranks of the game. Over the next eight days it will be interesting to see what will transpire with the games being played .

    Today there are several games on the schedule and with Atlanta Braves taking on the Detroit Tigers , with the Braves seen as the visiting team in this exhibition game . Derek Jeter since becoming an investor and Head of Baseball Operations for the Miami Marlins , the former New York Yankees’ player has yet to see the Marlins win their division or make their way into the MLB Postseason. What we have seen from the players have been inconsistency and the lack of competitiveness all-round, Jeter along with the front office have to be of the opinion that skimping on payroll has not been to the ball-club’s benefit. This season the Marlins’ roster of players will have among the smallest payrolls in all of baseball . Today the Marlins will be in action as they take on the St Louis Cardinals .

    Madison Bumgarner and the Arizona Diamondbacks are hoping to be serious challengers within the NL West this season , where the Los Angeles Dodgers have been the dominant force within the division over the last eight years. The Dbacks’ franchise has been something of a misnomer over the past several years with their best season coming off their surprising World Series’ victory over the New York Yankees in 2001 . Joint World Series’ MVP’s were Arizona’s starting pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling . .

    When Madison Bumgarner was acquired by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the San Francisco Giants , the pitcher was given up to avert their having to up the ante on his contract . with the Giants front office seeking to go younger by way of their lineup . The Arizona Diamondbacks will have a hectic month when they begin their regular season schedule with their regular season opener being against the Atlanta Braves on the 26th March , 2020 . However , today the Diamondbacks will have a game against the Milwaukee Brewers .

    MLB news …..

    Tophatal …………..


  45. It’s becoming a scary thought at this moment in time with the sports’ world in an entire flummocks . The NHL is the latest professional sport and league to curtail their season with the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Commissioner Garry Bettman made the call and advised the teams , team owners , players and the NHLPA of the decision . I can’t say that I blame Bettman for making the decision.

    NHL news ….

    Tophatal ……………………………..


  46. With the revelation that Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz are the first two players within the NBA to have contracted the Coronavirus (COVID-19) , which led to the complete shutdown of the remainder of the NBA season and the Playoffs . One has to ask the question how was it that the players contracted the virus and who else have they been in contact prior to their being tested ? This all opens up a troubling aspect for the NBA and the league hierarchy in particular given the fact that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the decision to shutter the season rather than risk the public’s safety and that the players. Meanwhile , in the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) , President Donald Trump having met with UFC President Dana White ; the President has commended White , telling him that he’s right to continue with the UFC schedule , stating that these fighters really have nothing to worry about . Now bear in mind , this is a sport where the fighters are in close proximity of one another and it is a full contact sport. Also bear in mind the Coronavirus is airborne and is spread by close contact. Can someone now explain to me how this President can come up with such utterly inane comments and believe himself knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects , even within the world of sports ?

    UFC news …

    Tophatal ……………..


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