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 !!!!!

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

  1. So here we go and it’s not yet the silly season concerning the NFL and now with their moves on the horizon in the lead-up to the NFL Draft it will be interesting to see what will transpire around the NFL concerning the free agents now available. Patrick Mahomes is now in an enviable position along with his agent Leigh Steinberg now seeking to provide his client with perhaps one of the most lucrative contracts in league history as it relates to quarterbacks and position players in general .

    Patrick Mahomes will certainly be looking to make sure that his cap will not somehow make any waves as it relates to the Kansas City Chiefs’ cap situation for the coming years . The player’s statistics this postseason and during the Superbowl itself was very good , but not spectacular .

    NFL news ……



  2. So in addition to acquiring Mookie Betts the Los Angeles Dodgers got David Price as part of their blockbuster deal which adds more than $55 million to the Dodgers’ payroll for the upcoming season . Just short of the $200 million luxury tax threshold , this is just another sign of the times with the big money teams dictating the landscape for Major League Baseball and the idiocy we now see from within as to the salaries and contracts now being offered.

    MLB news ……

    Tophatal …………….


  3. In the lead-up to the NBA All Star Game and the teams are now vying to get themselves into a position for the second-half of the NBA season .There are several games scheduled for the weekend and it will be interesting to see how the teams will fare during those contests.

    Andre Iguodala has now joined the Miami Heat with his experience likely to bolster the team’s roster by way of his veteran presence and leadership . The Memphis Grizzlies for their part in return will be looking to make sure the additions made to their roster will complement their play.

    Both the Heat and Grizzlies will be in action over this weekend , with the Miami Heat facing the Portland Trailblazers , while Memphis Grizzlies will be facing the Washington Wizards .

    At this point last season the standings were somewhat out there

    NBA news ……

    NBA transactions …

    Tophatal ……………..


  4. Tophat,
    All-Star games merely amount to pickup games that visually lack intensity and serious competitiveness. We’ll see how the new rules capture renewed interest in this year’s NBA showcase.
    The NHL produces and All-Star game that is exciting and ‘gets it’. Pay attention other professional leagues! Have you noticed how many star players have opted out in MLB and NFL showcase games due to phantom injuries?


  5. The weekend’s games within the NBA provided the fans with a great deal of intensity , notoriety and play by the teams with the league. The players themselves were not without their performances over the stretch in question . This week within the league in the lead-up to the NBA All Star Game there will be several match-ups of note , beginning with today’s games with the biggest match-up being the contest between the Utah Jazz facing the Dallas Mavericks . In the Eastern Conference the Brooklyn Nets will be looking to see if they can get closer to the Indiana Pacers in the conference standings when these two teams meet.

    With their season languishing and the only thing of note is their playing with pride the Golden State Warriors will be looking to see if they can waylay the current play of the Miami Heat , with their All Star guard Jimmy Butler playing some of the best basketball of his career . The Heat under the watchful guidance of Team President Pat Riley , they made a big splash with the acquisition of season veteran Andre Iguoadala . His presence is sure to add the intensity of the Heat’s play down the stretch as they seek an NBA Playoff berth .

    NBA news ……..



  6. So the Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled their strings by way of acquiring both Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox in what could deemed a blockbuster trade between these two teams .

    Mookie Betts for his part will likely be looking to up the ante of his contract , seeking to garner deal commensurate with his abilities . The right-fielder is owed $27 million for this year and with his becoming a free agent in 2021 , it will be interesting to see if the front office will seek to make Mookie Betts among the highest paid players on the Dodgers’ roster .

    MLB news ….

    MLB transactions ….

    Tophatal …………..


  7. Greg Olsen having played a great part of his career with the Carolina Panthers is now a free agent tight-end looking to sign with an NFL franchise . Olsen was able to be a Pro Bowl player with the Panthers while contributing greatly to their success. New team owner David A Tepper has seen fit to make the changes he deemed fit with the firing of Ron Rivera and the coaching staff . In comes Matt Rhule and a completely new coaching staff along with a new direction for the future of this franchise .

    Cam Newton is likely to be let go in favor one of the back-up quarterbacks now on the team’s roster with Kyle Allen the most likely to succeed Cam Newton . This past season it was Allen getting the most of the snaps with the veteran Newton sitting on the sidelines . With the NFL Combine soon coming into everyone’s purview it will be interesting see how the Carolina Panthers will address their needs by way of the NFL Draft and that of free agency , availing themselves of the cap for 2020 as best they can .

    Cam Newton, if released , he will be among a slew of quarterbacks on the free agency crop , much like last season and the cap implementations for the players. Newton could end up joining a number of teams seeking to have a player of his ability .

    NFL news ….

    Tophatal ……………..


  8. Can Dwayne Haskins win over the coaching staff of the Washington Redskins with Ron Rivera being brought in by the front office and Daniel Snyder simply being unable to do what’s right for the franchise over the past ten seasons and the Redskins having not made the postseason since 2015 and with that has come a litany bad results . Haskins was drafted by the Redskins during the Redskins during the 2019 NFL Draft . The player , wasn’t considered among the best of the rookie quarterbacks taken during this most recent NFL Draft. If Dwayne Haskins has to consider that time will be short for him as Ron Rivera and his coaching staff seeks to change the direction of the franchise . The team itself isn’t one that would be considered great based on the evidence of last season .

    There are several quarterbacks on the Redskins’ roster with Colt McCoy among the most experienced of those players , albeit that his record in the NFL has not been overly impressive.

    Washington Redskins news …

    Tophatal …………..


  9. Defending NBA champions , and currently the team with the best win-streak in the league are the Toronto Raptors . This team remains the envy of the Eastern Conference in spite of the presence of the Boston Celtics , Milwaukee Bucks and the under-achieving Philadelphia 76ers led by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.. Toronto’s win-streak has seen them average over 121.2 points per game with Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry leading the team in scoring over that unbeaten run for the Raptors . In their next match-up the Raptors are due to meet the Brooklyn Nets on the road in a contest between conference rivals .

    With the trade deadline having taken place the Toronto Raptors were not major players with regard to the bolstering of their roster . Head Coach Nick Nurse might well be the most under-appreciated coach in the NBA at this present moment in time.

    We all know that the Golden State Warriors are having a lamentable season and things have not been this bad for the franchise since the emergence of Steve Kerr as the Head Coach of franchise. The firing of Mark Jackson by GM Bob Myers turned things around for the organization almost overnight and the success attained during that time has been evidenced with their three wins of an NBA title . With the likes of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry not being in the lineup for much of the season , it is understandable why the Warriors have failed for much of the season , given their current record. At 12-42 , this will end up being a losing season for the Warriors , but there’s still a great deal to play for over the remainder of the season.

    Draymond Green in spite of his talents , has proven that he’s not a leader or play-maker in the absence of both Curry and Thompson , with the team’s offense being led by seasoned veteran D’Angelo Russell , who was since sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins .

    It will be interesting to see how Steve Kerr navigates the rest of the season as the franchise looks towards the future and that of the NBA Draft , acquisitions and their impending free agents . The Warriors from a cap standpoint are in a great place for the 2020 season but as of now it’s all about taking this one step at a time . Bob Myers know that the rebuilding of the franchise will be around the key core players currently on the team’s roster. Next up for the Warriors will be a game against the Phoenix Suns .

    NBA news ….

    NBA standings division …


  10. Things are about to change concerning the history of the Los Angeles Chargers , with the likelihood that the franchise’s long-standing starting quarterback Philip Rivers will have played his last game for the franchise. The front office headed by GM Tom Telesco has come to the decision it’s time to move on from Philip Rivers and his career with the franchise , the only one he’s played for since being acquired during the 2004 NFL Draft with their being a draft day trade which took place between the Chargers and the New York Giants with Eli Manning going to the Giants. Tom Telesco could very well seek to draft a quarterback in this upcoming Draft , but he and the coaching staff could very well move on with their depth chart of players , Easton Stick or Tyrod Taylor for the future.

    As one of the leading quarterbacks on the free agents’ market in 2020 , it will be interesting to see if Philip Rivers is likely to be signed by another franchise. Rumors are fly with teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Washington Redskins , Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos as a possible destination , The one thing that’s clear is the fact that Philip Rivers is unlikely to be provided with a long-term multi-year deal . In 2010 the quarterbacks draft taken , topping it all was Sam Bradford whose last game played in the league came in 2018 as a member of the Arizona Cardinals .

    With the mindset now taking place concerning seasoned veteran quarterbacks with Drew Brees and Tom Brady being free agents , things could very well change among the careers of these players. It’s clear that with the quality of the quarterbacks now in the league with the emergence of Patrick Mahomes , DeShaun Watson , Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson , it is clear that the face of the NFL by way of these young passers are now in good hands. The two most recent recipients of the League MVP are quarterbacks that were drafted within the past five years . Lamar Jackson won this past season’s League MVP , while Mahomes won the Superbowl MVP and having won the League MVP in 2018.

    NFL news …….

    Tophatal ………………….


  11. Should there be a cause for concern with regard to the upcoming season for the San Diego Padres as the franchise seeks to reemerge from their long standing slumber over the past ten years with the ball-club having not made the postseason in several years. Their last such appearance came in 2006 with the team as it was positioned losing to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Bruce Bochy , former manager of the San Francisco Giants , managed the team that season , with their record (88-74) in the NL West and NL overall being a commendable one.

    The Padres’ managerial staff led by Jayce Tingler has been entrusted to get this team heading in the right direction this upcoming season . The roster has several non roster invitees and as well as new acquisitions . Pitchers will soon start to report for Spring Training and with their exhibition season being one of just a few games it will be interesting to see what will transpire with the players during March and their regular season schedule . The team’s payroll is one where the highest paid player , happens to be Manny Machado who’s also joined by Eric Hosmer among the factor highly paid players on the Padres’ roster. AJ Preller , current general manager of the ball club made a number of acquisitions during this off-season as they seek to challenge the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. Those match-ups could very well define the Padres’ record this season . The teams will meet nineteen times during the course of the season against their NL West rivals .

    For Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer , both of these players will have a great deal to prove if the Padres are to have a successful season . With their regular season beginning on the 25th March with the San Diego Padres due to face the Colorado Rockies at home in their regular season opener .

    While the news within the NL seems to be more about two teams within the NL West , within the AL , after the upheaval which has taken place within the front office of the Boston Red Sox and among the managerial staff . The decision was made to name Ron Roenicke as the interim-manager of the team , with the coaching staff still in tact. David Dombrowski also had to relinquish his position as Head of Baseball Operations and SVP of the organization .

    Ron Roenicke and this highly anticipated team will head into the regular season knowing that there will be a great deal on the line. With the departure of their 2018 AL MVP and slugger , Mookie Betts , it will be interesting to see how the team will fare over the course this season. The loss of Betts will now create more opportunities for the players , who Ron Roenicke will seek to lead the offense , pitching and defense over the course of the year.

    The Boston Red Sox will need to start real fast right out of the gate if they’re to compete with the New York Yankees over the course of this season. The team’s season opener will see them face the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre , in Toronto , Ontario as part of their road schedule for the season .

    MLB news ……

    Tophatal ………..


  12. Men’s College Basketball and the rankings have changed in recent weeks , with Gonzaga and San Diego State being among the unbeaten’s but atop of the rankings. These two teams will be in action over the next few days , with San Diego State facing New Mexico on Tuesday evening . Gonzaga for their next contest will see the team tip-off against Pepperdine . The Duke Blue Devils with all of their issues within the ACC this season , they will not face a top-twenty five ranked team as their regular season schedule comes to close over their final ten games . Coach Mike Krzyzewski will have his team prepared when they meet Notre Dame on the 15th February in what should turn out to be a highly competitive and entertaining game.

    Baylor Bears for all of their penchant are back where they will always be with the team playing some great basketball at this point of the season. The team will be facing West Virginia, in what should turn out to be a great match-up between the two teams.

    Markus Howard of Marquette leads the nation in scoring averaging 27.4 points per game . The team itself continues to play with a great deal of aplomb and it will be interesting to see how they will fare in their next game which will be against Villanova on Wednesday evening .

    NCAA Men’s Basketball (D1) …

    NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule 11th February ..

    NCAA Men’s Basketball Conference standings …

    Men’s Basketball statistics ….

    Tophatal …………


  13. If things carry on as they are there could be some serious ramifications abound within the organization of the New England Patriots and the franchise’s six-time winning Superbowl quarterback , Tom Brady . The player is an unrestricted free agent though he is said to be looking for a deal that would pay him something commensurate with his abilities. Brady like his predecessor , Drew Bledsoe could very well be facing the possibility of his being shown the door. The team roster as it is now made up is one which barely contributed greatly to the team’s postseason accomplishments . Bill Belichick , the Head Coach and the coaching staff missed greatly by way of the make-up for the Patriots and how they acquired players through acquisitions and that of the draft over the past five years .

    Courtesy of WEEI

    Why a quote from Robert Kraft about 2001 is eerily relevant to Tom Brady today

    By Andy Hart

    Long before Tom Brady arrived and eventually became the six-ringed G.O.A.T., Patriots owner Robert Kraft had a very special relationship with another franchise quarterback in New England.

    Listen to your team news NOW.

    The unique career arc of Patriots Hall of Famer Drew Bledsoe was documented this past weekend in an ESPN E:60 feature “Better With Age.”

    The episode includes a long sit-down interview with Bledsoe at his burgeoning winery in Washington and focuses on the former No. 1 overall pick’s contributions to the building of the Patriots dynasty, which took off in 2001 when a vicious hit from Jets linebacker Mo Lewis nearly killed Bledsoe and opened up the door for Brady to get his first chance to lead the team in just his second season.

    The rest, as they say, is history. And we all know that oftentimes history tends to repeat itself.

    Later that season, as the Patriots begin to hit stride on an eventual run to a franchise-first Lombardi Trophy, Kraft admitted that he struggled with Bill Belichick turning the team over to Brady rather than giving his $100 million man his job back.

    “I was heartbroken, because I felt a connection, and I didn’t think it was fair on a human basis,” Kraft told ESPN. “Drew came to me and expressed his frustration. I went and met with Bill, and Bill explained to me his thinking.”

    Now, 20 years later, Kraft could very well be a willing accomplice to Belichick turning his back on another Patriots franchise quarterback. Brady is set to hit the open market of free agency for the first time in his career on March 18. While he could reach an extension before that happens, recent reports have indicated that’s not in Kraft’s plans.

    Here’s the money quote from Kraft looking back on his decision to allow Belichick to make the decision regarding Bledsoe and Brady. It’s relevant today, given that all signs point to Kraft allowing Belichick to once again make the final call regarding Brady’s future in Foxborough.

    “I mean I could’ve stepped in, especially at that time. I had deep discussions with Bill. I was bothered, but I trusted Bill to make the final decision as he’s more capable than I am, although emotionally it was very difficult,” Kraft said.

    It’s not hard to transmit those feelings 19 years forward to the here and now of Brady’s uncertain future.

    Kraft’s words from the E:60 piece aren’t the only ones that resonate today, less than a month away from the 43-year-old Brady hitting free agency and a late-career crossroads.

    While Brady’s decided that he very much wants to play a 21st NFL season, it may or may not be in New England and Belichick’s words from 2001 are just as poignant this 2020 offseason as they were way back then.

    Remember, Brady is coming off a year in which he finished 18th in the NFL in passer rating and 27th in completion percentage. His rating, completion percentage and touchdown passes have been on a steady decline in recent years.

    “I’m going to make the best decisions I can for the football team. That’s what Mr. Kraft is paying me to do and that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to make the decisions that I think are the best for the football team,” Belichick said in 2001 when announcing his decision to essentially move on from Bledsoe, who was then traded to Buffalo after that season.

    Belichick holds the same position with likely even more power today as he has to decide whether to, hard is it is to fathom, close the door on the Brady era in New England. He is after all the man who’s long been associated with the idea that it’s better to move on from a player a year too early rather than a year too late.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Robert Kraft the Patriots’ billionaire team owner knows now that money more than anything else has to be paramount for the future beyond having to pay Tom Brady a king’s ransom , while he’s on the downside of his career with the New England Patriots.

    The fact that Tom Brady was a sixth round draft pick from the 2000 NFL Draft should be an indication of what the Patriots and the team thought at the time . Bill Belichick , has been alongside being a protagonist of going with what best suits the franchise at the time , but it is becoming abundantly clear that Cody Kessler and Jarrett Stidham can’t be seen as the future of this franchise for the next decade or more.

    Robert Kraft , will have to either make the decision to pay Tom Brady or move on with the or will have to either make the decision to pay Tom Brady or move on with the drafting of a quarterback in this upcoming NFL Draft

    New England Patriots news ….

    Tophatal …………….


  14. The Wilpon family and Saul B Katz as the owners of the New York Mets have steadfastly refused to sell the team much defer from their overall tenure and lack of success with this franchise over the last two decades. Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen had sought to purchase the ball-club , but it became clear that Cohen would be getting no acquiesce to do as he saw fit with Mets. Given the years of no success. There was nothing but managers who failed miserably . It has been over three decades since the Mets last made an appearance in the World Series . The biggest issue for the New York Mets will be interested buyer for this franchise with their being a lack of real managerial acumen on display with the current managerial staff .

    Courtesy of the NY Post

    Mets’ next buyer could get control immediately after Steve Cohen fiasco

    By Ken Davidoff & Joel Sherman

    Want to buy the Mets without enduring a messy transition? That could happen in the wake of the latest sale fiasco.

    An industry source told The Post that, with Allen & Co. set to put the Mets back on the market Monday after the $2.6 billion deal with hedge-fund magnate Steve Cohen imploded last week, there will be no preconditions on the terms of the sale.

    Unlike the Cohen deal, the Wilpons and Katzes are open to surrendering power immediately. Bloomberg first reported this development.

    After honing in on Cohen months ago, the Mets this time intend to open their sale process in more of a conventional auction.

    The Mets and Cohen announced in December their agreement for a sale on the condition that “Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well.”

    Click on link to read in full.

    Luis Rojas has succeeded Mickey Callaway the New York Mets’ manager and it will be interested to see how this team will fare over the course of the season with their likely to be a great deal to play for. The team’s payroll for this upcoming season should prove to be very interesting .

    The first four months of this season should prove to be interesting for the team by way of their play . The New York Mets will open their regular season play with a game against the Washington Nationals at Citi-Field in what will be the first of eighty-one games played at the ball park .

    Tophatal ………….


  15. If Jimmy Butler and his teammates on the Miami Heat can lead the franchise back to the NBA Playoffs . This team has been playing at a high level which belies the actual inexperience of these players surrounding Jimmy Butler. Over their last ten games the Heat have been one of the most effective teams in the NBA . What is even more surprising however is the very fact , Heat Head Coach Erick Spoelstra has this team competing among the big boys within the Eastern Conference . In their next contest prior to the All Star Game the Miami Heat will be facing the Utah Jazz on the road .

    With the Miami Heat also acquiring seasoned veteran Andre Iguodala gives the Heat added impetus . The fact that Jimmy Butler is now playing some of the best basketball of his career now weighs in on the travails of Butler’s former team the Philadelphia 76ers and the supposed errant play of the team and in particular that of center/forward , Joel Embiid . Rumors are rife that all is not well among the Sixers’ organization and that of the coaching staff of Brett Brown , with his not being able to get the best out of the player , with only Ben Simmons seemingly stepping up to the plate more often than not.

    Ben Simmons and his teammates for their part will have an intriguing second half to their regular season foray . They will not return to the court until the 20th February , when they meet the Brooklyn Nets in a home game being played at the Wells Fargo Center , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania .

    NBA news ……

    Tophatal …………………..


  16. With thee AL MVP Awards to his credit , the one thing missing from Mike Trout’s resume’ is that of a World Series’ title and championship for the Los Angeles Angels . The team as it it now structured made the addition of Anthony Rendon a focal point of their off-season forays by way of the free agency market . This is an organization which has long struggled with regard to their most recent postseason forays . This is the one significant thing which Trout would like to add his postseason catalog of appearances for the Angels. For Trout who was drafted by the Angels during the 2009 MLB Draft with the player being taken in the first round .

    If there’s one thing that we can all be clear on for the likes of Albert Pujols , Anthony Rendon , Mike Trout and the pitching staff , this will be the year for this team to prove themselves to their fans and baseball purists alike . Arturo Moreno as the team owner , the front office and associated staff know that in spite of the team’s value , it will come down to the long-term success than the profitability and debt . The Los Angeles Angels need the type of success long associated with the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants .

    The Los Angeles Angels will begin their regular season schedule with a game against the Houston Astros at Minute Made Ballpark in Houston , Texas in the first of the Angels’ road games for the 2020 season .

    Los Angeles Angels news …

    Tophatal …………….


  17. Tom Brady , Drew Brees and Philip Rivers as quarterbacks in the NFL have reigned supreme in the league for the better part of three plus decades combined with regard to their respective tenures . The fact that all three are now unrestricted free agents at the quarterback position shows the changing face of the league and the fact it’s now becoming a young man’s league by way of the players now at the top of the game at the position.

    Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers have mutually agreed to part ways and it will be interesting to see if the player is signed by another NFL franchise within the coming months. Nothing is likely to take place however , until after the NFL Draft which is set to take place, beginning April 23rd , through to the 25th .

    In the case of Drew Brees , it’ll become more of what the season veteran might now believe to be in his best interests and whether or not it makes sense to remain on the roster as a back-up veteran to the presumed understudies now on the team. Taysom Hill acquired by the Saints he went undrafted during the 2017 NFL Draft . He believe it’s now his time to shine , while Teddy Bridgewater accomplished a great deal for the Saints in the absence of Brees , this past season . How this will be viewed by the Saints’ coaching staff led by Sean Payton and the front office remains to be seen at this juncture . GM Mickey Loomis for his part knows that a swift decision has to be made concerning all three quarterbacks and their impending futures .

    Speculation will continue to surround the future of Tom Brady and whether or not the New England Patriots will seek to offer the player a new contract or just part ways . This much is known , the front office led by Nick Caserio alongside team owner Robert Kraft have issued something of an ultimatum which the player hasn’t been entirely happy to acknowledge and it’s rumored that the once trusted relationship between Brady and his coach Bill Belichick is now far from cordial.

    NFL news ….

    Tophatal …………….


  18. Luka Doncic and LeBron James seem to be having their own way with regard to the dominance of their play this season. James , Doncic , Giannis Antetokounmpou and Jimmy Butler are seen as the primary candidates for this season’s NBA League MVP , with the Bucks’ center Antetokounmpou looking to win back to back MVP Awards and James looking to win the award for the fifth time .

    LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers were in action last night as the team took on the Denver Broncos with the match-up between the two teams being very competitive . LeBron James notched up this thirteenth triple double and the ninety-third of his well chronicled career .

    Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns is likely to replace Damian Lillard of the Portland Traiblazers in the 69th NBA All Star Game taking place this weekend . Lillard injured his groin during the waning moments of the Trailblazers’ last game which was a contest against the Memphis Grizzlies which ended in defeat for Portland .

    NBA news …………..

    Tophatal ……


  19. There are some welcoming games scheduled within the world of Men’s College Basketball over the next few day with their being litany of contests scheduled for Saturday afternoon and evening. The fifth ranked program in the nation , Louisville will be tipping off against Clemson . Last night the Kansas Jayhawks got the better of West Virginia , in a game which was low-scoring between these top twenty-five programs. There are several unbeaten teams at this point of the season and with the NCAA Tournament , barely a month away it will be interesting to which of the programs make it the tournament .

    The SEC long considered one of the top conferences alongside the ACC , should prove to be eventful during the coming weeks . Florida State (Seminoles) will next be in action when they face Syracuse at home on Saturday , 15th February . This contest should prove to be very exciting between these two highly respected programs .

    NCAA Men’s Basketball (D1) …

    NCAA Men’s Basketball (D1) rankings …

    Tophatal ……………..


  20. There needs to be some truth or at some point there is going to be a real maelstrom created with the rumors being denied that the front office of the Detroit Lions are now looking to trade their quarterback Matt Stafford . The player has now garnered several franchise records since being drafted during the 2009 NFL Draft by the Lions . Stafford is not due to become a free agent until 2023 . It seems somewhat surprising that the Detroit Lions would take to making this decision but would it appear Bob Quinn as the general manager has somehow sought to deemed it fit with the possibility that he might seek to draft a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft . Stafford has accomplished a great deal for the Lions but his postseason appearances have been menial to say the least , with only three playoff games during that time , all ending in defeat .

    Courtesy of Detroit Free Press

    Detroit Lions’ Bob Quinn shoots down Matthew Stafford trade rumors: ‘100% False!!’

    By Dave Birkett , Detroit Free Press

    Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn refuted a late-night report that the team is in talks to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford.

    “100% False!!” Quinn wrote in a text message to the Free Press.

    WDIV-TV, citing sources close to both Stafford and the team, reported late Wednesday night that the Lions are in talks to deal Stafford and those discussions “have been underway for a couple weeks.”

    Stafford’s wife, Kelly, addressed the report late Wednesday on Instagram, writing, “Well if detroit is done with us…” over a story listing three potential trade destinations for Stafford, and “I could stay in Cali..” to one suggestion the Los Angeles Chargers would be the most likely candidate to land Stafford in a trade.

    Kelly Stafford responded on Instagram after reports surfaced that the Detroit Lions were looking to trade quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Lions refuted the reports as “100% False!!” (Photo: Kelly Stafford/Instagram)

    Stafford, who turned 32 last week, is entering his 12th NFL season and played some of the best football of his career last year.

    He threw for 2,499 yards and 19 touchdowns with five interceptions while setting a career-high for passer rating, but played in only eight games after fracturing bones in his back in a November loss to the Oakland Raiders.

    Stafford, one of the NFL’s leading ironmen for most of his career, has suffered back injuries each of the last two seasons, and the Lions have the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, prompting speculation they could draft Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as his replacement.

    LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to go first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals, and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is a leading candidate to go No. 2 to Washington.

    Click on link to read in full.

    The one thing we know about Matthew Stafford is the fact he’s amassed a great deal of money by way of career earnings with the franchise as well as an NFL professional over the last eleven years within the league. If the coaching staff of Matt Patricia will seek to combine with Bob Quinn to move on from Matt Stafford. This past season proved to be troublesome for the Lions over the course of the season given their failure to make the postseason . Moving on from Matt Stafford should prove to be interesting and the fact that the likes of Joe Burrow , Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa will be among the list of college quarterbacks seeking to be drafted during the 2020 NFL Draft .

    Given the Detroit Lions’ history and their draft classes over the past eight years , it will be interesting to see how they seek to possibly move on .

    Detroit Lions news ….

    Tophatal …………


  21. Long gone are the days when Barry Bonds ruled the roost as one the premiere players in Major League Baseball . Bonds remains the all-time leader in home runs , but alongside having still holding the record for the single season home run tally. All of those achievements came while playing for the San Francisco Giants . This off-season the franchise sought to trade away away starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner , former World Series’ MVP for the ball club. Bruce Bochy is no longer the manager of the franchise and with his being succeeded by Gabe Kapler whose previous managerial experience with the Philadelphia Phillies was very unrewarding for that particular ball-club.

    The front office of the San Francisco Giants led by managing partner , Larry Baer , general manager, Scott Harris , Willie Mays and Barry Bonds as a Special Adviser . In recent years , other than their most recent postseason triumphs , the team’s last appearance came in 2012 having made it to the 2012 World Series defeating the Detroit Tigers in a full sweep , 4-0 .

    The Giants’ roster with it’s makeup for this season will be expected to compete against not only their divisional rivals but also the NL as well as the rest of Major League Baseball. In 2019 the most productive players on the roster for the Giants by way of offense , were Kevin Pillar and Evan Longoria with the strength with regard to the team’s pitching coming from Jeff Samardizja . With their non-roster invitees , full squad and recent acquisitions , all soon reporting for Spring Training , the makeup of the roster should prove to be interesting alongside that of the team’s payroll for 2020 . Catcher Buster Posey continues to be and will remain the face of this Giants’ franchise as he’s seen as the physical and vocal leader among the players . His accolades are likely to place him for future consideration as a Hall of Fame bound player for the ball club. The Giants will begin their 2020 regular season quest with a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road at Dodgers’ Ballpark in the first of what will be nineteen games between these two venerable ball-clubs over the course of this season.

    MLB news …..

    Tophatal ……………..


  22. Say what you will but with their being free agents within the WNBA having hit it’s mark , it will be interested to who will be on the move. Brittney Griner was the scoring champion for this past season with her team the Phoenix Mercury being the ever-present over the course of the season . The Washington Mystics prevailed in the WNBA Finals defeating the Connecticut Sun in their best of five-game series’ finals .

    The upcoming season within the WNBA will begin on May 15th and with the 2020 WNBA Draft being a precursor to the start of the season it will be interesting to see the draft order and which player is taken first overall .

    The upcoming season will also provide the fans with the chance to see if the WNBA can provide them with a possible repeat champion in the WNBA Finals .

    Diana Taurasi remains the all-time leading scoring in the WNBA by way of accumulative points , with the all-time average scorer in the regular season being Cynthia Cooper . In the NBA Playoffs that category is led by Diamond DeShields .

    The WNBA’s highest paid player by way of a contract is DeWanna Bonner , earning just under , $900,000 annually , with the highest salary , just over $240,000 shared by Bonner and Elen Della Donne . This league has a long way to go before it can be seen to have an equal footing by way of economics with their counterpart , the NBA . The Los Angeles Sparks might well be considered the most high-profiled of all of the WNBA’s franchises with their close association with the Los Angeles Lakers . However as an entity the franchise comes under the sports’ ownership umbrella of Guggenheim Sports Properties LLC , owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers , among their entertainment and sports’ portfolio. Dodgers’ senior partners Mark Walter and Earvin Magic Johnson are among the executives involved in the ownership of both entities.

    WNBA news ….

    WNBA standings …

    WNBA standings conference ..

    WNBA team cap (2020-21 season) …

    WNBA contract value players and annual salary …

    Tophatal ………………….


  23. It will take an idiot to believe that Ja Morant hasn’t become a star in this league , the NBA in spite of the arrival of Zion Williamson and his debut for the New Orleans Pelicans . Morant and Williamson were taken in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft by their respective teams. These two players could very well have an impact on the league for several years to come , likely becoming All Stars .

    NBA news ….

    NBA standings by division ..

    Tophatal …..


  24. It will be interesting to see how the Atlanta Braves will fare over this coming season and whether or not this franchise can continue to bear up under the weight of expectations given the achievements of John Smoltz , Greg Maddux , Chipper Jones and Tom Glavine , three of the franchise’s most celebrated and acclaimed players . Heading into this season , manager Brian Snitker and his managerial staff and that of the front office will have to assess the depth of this roster and that of the players within the farm system seeking to make their way forward .

    If there was one fault to the Braves’ season in 2019 , it might well have been the pitching but the offense was clearly out of sync . The payroll of this team is one that should prove to be competitive enough against their rivals this season . Freddie Freeman has become the lynch pin of the Atlanta Braves and the offense alongside the team , likely to be viewed as the leader in 2020. The Braves’ Spring Schedule will see them play a number of games wherein their non roster invitees and acquisitions will see them get some playing time. The regular season opener for the Braves will see them face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks at in a road game being played at Chase Field in Phoenix , Arizona .

    If the Atlanta Braves were to make the MLB Postseason given the consistency shown over the past two decades , it will be interesting to see if the franchise can match the accomplishments of Bobby Cox , the last manager who took the ball-club to victory in the World Series , with a series’ victory over the Cleveland Indians in 1995 . The World Series’ MVP in the series was Tom Glavine whose performances in the series were stellar .

    Atlanta Braves news ….

    Tophatal ……………


  25. Bruce Arians believes there’s not a problem concerning the errant play of quarterback Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Winston threw for over , 5000 yards , 30 passing touchdowns , with thirty plus interceptions. The fact that Winston also becomes a free agent adds to the intrigue for Arians , his coaching staff and the front office makes the off-season all the more crazy. Bruce Arians may well seek to address other issues on the roster , specifically along the team’s defensive line and that of the issues which clearly need to be addressed there.

    Courtesy ProFootballTalk

    Bucs remain undecided about whether to keep Jameis Winston

    By Charean Williams

    Jameis Winston recently underwent LASIK surgery to improve his eyesight. The Buccaneers, though, still don’t have a clear vision about whether Winston is their quarterback of the future.

    Coach Bruce Arians admitted Thursday the team still is evaluating what to do at the position, with Winston scheduled to become a free agent.

    “Really, nothing has changed,” Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”

    Winston became only the eighth quarterback ever to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season, with his 5,109 yards in 2019 the eighth-most in NFL history. (Drew Brees has had five 5,000-yard passing seasons.)

    Winston also threw 30 touchdowns, but offset that with 30 interceptions and five lost fumbles. Seven of his interceptions were returned for touchdowns, the most pick-sixes thrown in the league.

    Can the Bucs coach the turnovers out of Winston? Or, after five seasons, is it time to move on from the former No. 1 overall pick?

    Tampa Bay is weighing its options, seeing if it can upgrade over Winston or if he is the best choice for another year. Several big-name quarterbacks, including Brees, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady and Teddy Bridgewater, are scheduled to become free agents.

    Click on link to read in full.

    From my own perspective , I don’t believe that Jameis Winston can be paid the type of money sought be it as a veteran much less, be tagged or that of a multi-year deal , which pays him in excess of $30 million a year . At no point during his tenure has Winston played with the consistency sought or where he has the respect of his teammates around him, It is becoming clear that Jameis Winston is not the player many believed him to be in spite of his college credentials .

    If the Buccaneers do decide to move on from Jameis Winston , it will be interesting to see if the franchise chooses to acquire a free agent quarterback or go by way of the NFL Draft , because the team depth chart with Ryan Griffin is no guarantee of success .

    Tophatal …………..


  26. Is there a chance that Ryan Braun can prove his worth and salvage what little credibility he still has left to his name . Gone from being a hero for the Milwaukee Brewers and a perennial All Star caliber player , he has now become an afterthought among a number of baseball fans and purists. Braun’s lies, as to his steroid use and unwillingness to admit his guilt , tells us even more as to what’s wrong with the game of baseball and that of the Houston Astros’ scandal which involved the coaching staff of AJ Hinch . It seems within each decade over the last thirty years, the game has been engulfed with some sort of misdeed either by the players , a club or a manager. The Milwaukee Brewers for their part now may well be taking a back seat to the Milwaukee Bucks and Green Bay Packers . What we do now know for sure is the very fact the managerial staff , front office and ownership group are playing catch-up as a way to remain relevant within the state of Wisconsin .

    Courtesy of ESPN

    Brewers OF Ryan Braun says this could be his final season

    Associated Press ….

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun acknowledges the possibility this might be his final season.

    “There’s at least a chance this is my last fan fest as a player,” he said Sunday during the Brewers’ annual winter fan festival and convention. “You definitely get a little nostalgic and think about how quickly it goes by. I’ve thought about it a little bit, but for me, the goal is always to stay fully present and try to be the best version of myself as a player this year, and then figure out the future when I get through the season.”

    Braun, 36, is entering the final year of a five-year, $105 million contract. His 13-year career thus far has included the highs of winning the National League Most Valuable Player award in 2011 and the lows of serving a 65-game suspension in 2013 when an investigation linked him to the Biogenesis scandal.

    When Braun returned from that suspension in 2014, a series of issues with his back and thumb robbed him of the power he’d flashed earlier in the career. But he’s enjoyed a resurgence over the past few seasons and quietly put together one of the Brewers’ most consistent performances in 2019, when he batted .285 with a .343 on-base percentage and .505 slugging percentage.

    Braun had 22 homers and 75 RBIs last season while playing in 144 games — his most since 2012.

    Braun has played on four of the six teams in franchise history to qualify for the playoffs, including an NLCS appearance in 2018 and a wild-card game loss to the Washington Nationals last season.

    Click on link to read in full.

    It will be interesting to see if Ryan Braun and his teammates can seriously challenge within the NL Central this upcoming season . A postseason appearance is not out of the realms of possibility , but much of that will be based on the performances of the team on the road as well as at home over the course of this season . Braun isn’t due to become a free agent until 2022 and with these two ensuing years the player will have a great deal to prove . The month of April will see the Milwaukee Brewers be tested against their opponents, but the their opening schedule beginning on in late March should also prove to be eventful . Their season opener will see the Brewers face the Chicago Cubs at home .

    Ryan Braun was drafted by the Brewers during the 2005 MLB Draft and made his debut as a starter for the franchise in 2007 . One of Ryan’s teammates from the roster of that season was Prince Fielder .

    Tophatal ………..


  27. Well the All Star Weekend celebrations proved to be eventful and exciting for the fans in attendance at the United Center in Chicago , Illinois . Team Giannis squandered a fourth quarter lead in their loss to Team LeBron . The game itself was one of the most competitive and high-scoring in recent history. Kawhi Leonard , was the NBA All Star MVP in this contest , with his providing an array of athleticism during the contest.

    With the second half of the NBA season resuming on the 20th February with six games scheduled on the day. The one contest which should prove to be eventful will see the Houston Rockets taking on the Golden State Warriors . Also in play will be the team with the league’s best record as the Milwaukee Bucks will tip off against the Detroit Pistons in an all Eastern Conference match-up . This particular game will also provide the fans with the chance to see the match-up between Blake Griffin of the Pistons against Giannis Antetokounmpou .

    The Cleveland Cavaliers now have the worst record in the Eastern Conference and with the recent return to work by team owner , Dan Gilbert , it remains to be seen how the franchise will seek to address the issues of Gilbert’s health and his slow recovery a heart attack . The Cavaliers will be back in action with a game against the Washington Wizards on 21st February ,2020 . Over their last ten games the Cavaliers have a record of 2-8 and that game should prove to be competitive.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    John Beilein expected to be out as Cavaliers coach, will meet with team owner Dan Gilbert Monday, per reports

    Cleveland could be bringing in yet another new coach

    By Sam Quinn , CBS Sports

    John Beilein’s first season coaching the Cleveland Cavaliers has gone about as poorly as it possibly could so far. With a dismal 14-40 record, the Cavaliers are currently in the Eastern Conference’s basement, and several veterans, including 2016 champions Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, have reportedly tried to orchestrate midseason exits. Now, things are looking even grimmer for Cleveland’s coach. The Cavaliers are unlikely to bring him back next season, according to a report from Shams Charania, Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic.

    At one point, the timeline was even shorter. Beilein and the team discussed potentially stepping down during the All-Star Break, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and a final decision is expected to come down within the next 24-48 hours. No agreement has been reached at this point in time, but per The Athletic, Beilein is expected to meet with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert on Monday with the expectation that he will be out as Cleveland’s coach, either now or at the end of the season. Beilein is in the first year of a five-year contract with the Cavaliers.

    A number of factors have reportedly led to Beilein’s miserable season in Cleveland. He helmed one of the best programs in college basketball at Michigan, so losing at this level is obviously a stark contrast. His son Patrick also resigned from his position as head coach at Niagra for what has been called “personal reasons,” and that has reportedly weighed on the elder Beilein as well.

    Adding to the tension was controversy earlier this season in which Beilein accidentally called his players “thugs” during a film session. He explained that he meant to say slugs, and he apologized to his players, but the damage was likely done. Such an incident likely left a lasting impact on the locker room.

    Cleveland cycles through coaches faster than any other team in the NBA. Beilein is the team’s sixth since LeBron James left in free agency for the first time in 2010. No Cavs coach has lasted more than three full seasons since, including Ty Lue, who won a championship for them in 2016. Gilbert is just as hard to please when it comes to general managers. Koby Altman is the first one that he has ever granted a contract extension to.

    Click on link to read in full.

    One of the fall-outs beyond the season has been the erratic play of the Cavaliers’ players and that of the discontent between those players and Head Coach John Beilein . If the rumors are to be believed then Beilein will be out as the Head Coach . Collin Sexton has proven to be the one focal point of the team with his being a first round draft pick from the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft. If the Cavaliers are a lottery pick for the upcoming draft , it will be interesting to see how they will deal with their impending free agents and that of the salary cap .

    Kevin Love the seasoned veteran on the team’s roster remains the player with the biggest contract , with their being three years left to run on his current deal . Love is due to become a free agent in 2023 with the power forward likely to be among the players at the position on the market at that time should the front office decide to retain Love’s services . John Beilein and the fact that his tenure now seems to be in jeopardy should come as no real surprise and it remains to be seen how GM Koby Altman will seek to address the head coach’s position .

    NBA news …..

    Tophatal ………..


  28. There has to be something to be said when Joey Votto remains the lynch pin for Cincinnati Reds even in the aftermath of the turmoil created by the Houston Astros . Even with the constant stories addressing the fact Pete Rose , former manager and Reds’ player has yet to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame . One has to imagine that there are still issues to be addressed concerning the ball-club.

    The Reds’ managerial staff led by David Bell will be looking to guide this team through the course of the season , while there several non roster invitees and acquisitions who will be looking to make it unto the playing roster. The Reds’ payroll is led by Joey Votto atop of the rankings . If the Reds are to compete within the NL Central should prove to be interesting , given their array of opponents in 2020 . The team will begin their regular season schedule with a game against the St Louis Cardinals . These two teams will meet nineteen times over the course of the season. One of the teams likely to be challenging the Reds and Cardinals this season will be the Chicago Cubs and with the Cubs’ failure in 2019 , it will be interesting to see how Chicago will fare over the course of this season with both the Cincinnati Red and Chicago Cubs . Chicago’s season could very well be determined by the performances of several players on the roster this season . Based on that then clearly what we witnessed in 2019 .

    The Cubs’ managerial staff led by David Ross could prove to be challenging and their Spring Training schedule could prove to be something of a guide. Their opening game of the regular season will begin with a match-up against the Milwaukee Brewers on the road , a contest which will be taking place at Miller Ballpark in Milwaukee , Wisconsin .

    Heading into this season the team with the highest payroll will be the New York Yankees with it being at an all-time high of just under $250 million. Yankee team players Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton are the two highest paid players on roster . New York manager Aaron Boone and his managerial staff will be looking to get this entire roster prepared for their arduous schedule in 2020 , with their first ten games likely to be very intriguing . The Yankees will open up their schedule for the regular season with a game against the Baltimore Orioles being played at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland .

    MLB news …..

    Tophatal ………………


  29. There’s a real ongoing issue with the Cleveland Browns and the fact that team owner Jimmy Haslam remains in control of the franchise where the team itself has been in complete disarray. Team players Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr have played to the best of their ability , but clearly after sort last season’s showing it’s clear that this AFC North finishing with a 6-10 record simply exemplifies what tends to happen when there’s no perceived leadership within the franchise from the front office on down to the roster and coaching staff . Mayfield having been drafted by the Browns in 2018 . The real issues for the Browns stem from the lack of offense and the team’s passing game . For the Browns to be even remotely capable of challenging within the AFC , they will have to be able to counter the Baltimore Ravens , Kansas City Chiefs , Tennessee Titans as well as the New England Patriots . Mayfield is still operating under his rookie deal , but he also has the guarantee of his four-year deal . With that being said , if Baker Mayfield can’t produce the results sought by the franchise , then it’s clear that the front office and coaching staff led by Kevin Stefanski , who will be first year coach in the league (NFL) this upcoming season.

    Courtesy of

    Browns QB Baker Mayfield: ‘I put my foot in my mouth’

    By Nick Shook, Around The NFL Writer

    MIAMI — Baker Mayfield isn’t going to change who he is, but he did learn a good lesson from his second season.

    Sometimes, it’s best if he keeps his chip on his shoulder to himself.

    “It’s a humbling experience. It’s a different ballgame,” Mayfield said of his team’s struggle-filled 2019 campaign during an appearance on ESPN’s ‘Get Up’ in Miami. “Let’s just be honest, I put my foot in my mouth a lot this past year. And I’m going to internalize that, and I think that’s the way I need to handle it. Rest in peace Kobe, but that’s the way he did it. He motivated himself, he didn’t talk a lot, he talked to his teammates, drove them to be better people, better men. So that’s the way I need to handle it. I don’t need to respond to the things that don’t matter, the things that don’t help us win.”

    Seated directly next to him was a source of Mayfield’s discontent, former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan, who once called the quarterback “overrated as hell” during the regular season. Mayfield responded publicly by pointing out Ryan’s status as a television analyst, not a coach in the NFL. Later in the season, he firmly stated Ryan deserved no credit for the Browns’ Week 4 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

    The two made up Friday, with Mayfield admitting keeping his problems with outside noise to himself was likely the best course of action going forward.

    The change of heart is part of Mayfield’s growth as an NFL quarterback. After a successful rookie season, Mayfield regressed in year two, not uncommon but undoubtedly publicized due to Cleveland’s high expectations. The quarterback went from posting a 27-14 TD:INT ratio and a 93.7 passer rating to a 22-21 mark and a 78.8 rating. Now that hopes for the Browns have fallen back to earth, Mayfield knows it’s time to go to work, not talk, in 2020.

    “I think where it comes along is I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder but I always played with an edge,” Mayfield said. “But it didn’t come around to people noticing it until the cameras were all around, until it was a big deal and I was getting a spotlight and people made a big deal of that. I just have to be me, I have to continue to do that. But I don’t need to reply to the stuff on the outside.”

    Click on link to read in full.

    There are several free agents on the team’s roster and it will be interesting to see which players the Cleveland Browns will desire to retain for the upcoming season. This past season it was clear that Baker Mayfield isn’t the equal of conference counterpart Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens.

    From my own perspective I don’t believe that the Cleveland Browns are capable of being anything more than a 6-10 or 8-8 for this upcoming season and that’s with Baker Mayfield being at his best .

    NFL news ………..

    Tophatal ……………..


  30. So what happens now for the Los Angles Lakers and the second-half of the season and their seeking to make another NBA Playoff appearance with LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way among the roster . Granted , there have also been solid contributions off the bench from players such as Dwight Howard and Javale McGee . With their next game coming off nine days in the aftermath of All Star Game , it will be interesting to see how the Lakers will fare against the Memphis Grizzlies when the two teams meet on the 21st February at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California ,. The Pacific Division will remain as competitive as ever and the Lakers’ closest rivals are the Los Angeles Clippers whose record is a mere 2 1/2 games behind the Lakers .

    Kawhi Leonard fresh of his All Star Game performance will be seeking to lead the Los Angeles Clippers even more success this season with Paul George , his teammate providing as much of the team’s offense as he can while the coaching staff of Doc Rivers continues to manage the playing time of Leonard.

    Next up for the Los Angeles Clippers will be a game against the Sacramento Kings at home between conference rivals of the West .

    Los Angeles Clippers news and Los Angeles Lakers news ….

    Tophatal ………………..


  31. There is something inherently wrong with both Jerry Jones and son , Stephen Jones as the primary owners and operators of the Dallas Cowboys , the NFL’s most valuable and among that league’s most profitable franchises . Having offered running back Ezekiel Elliott one of the most lucrative deals for a running back in league history . The franchise now seems to be balking at offering their incumbent starting quarterback Dak Prescott a long-term deal commensurate with others to be found around the NFL for a player of Prescott’s caliber . Prescott has guided to Cowboys to the NFL postseason and had far greater success than that of Tony Romo in a similar role. The player has also proven to be far more of a team leader than hes being given credit for. It would appear on the surface that the front office would rather tag Dak Prescott with the franchise-tag for one year and then pay him the league average rather than offer a five year deal to the player. Given that fact with the player becoming a free agent in 2020 and their likely to be a number of teams interested in his services , it would be the Cowboy’s best interests to re-sign Dak Prescott rather than see him go elsewhere.

    Having finished this past season with a less than stellar record losing out to the Philadelphia Eagles for a postseason berth as well as the NFC East ? divisional title . It could be suggested that supposedly with the deepest roster in the NFL , the Dallas Cowboys were in deed a major disappointment. It has been several years since the Cowboys last made an appearance in an NFC Championship Game with that coming during the 1995 NFL Postseason with the team making it through to face the Green Bay Packers .

    The current make-up of the Dallas Cowboys’ roster does leave a great deal to be desired in spite of the claims made concerning the depth as previously stated. There are several players on the team’s roster concerning the free agency status and the pay the front office would like to pay several of those players. It would seem highly unlikely that the Cowboys would move ahead with Clayton Thorson , drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles during the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft . Dak Prescott a Cowboys’ pick during the 2016 NFL Draft in the fourth round of that Draft . Four years on as a starter and it’s hard to see why the Cowboys would seek to play hard-ball with Dak
    Prescott .

    Tophatal ………………


  32. So the NBA resumes it’s schedule within the next two days and that will begin as of tomorrow . At this point last season it showed a great deal of commitment by the teams .

    There’s not much going right for either Michael Jordan and his tenure of the Charlotte Hornet as the team has struggled for much of this season . The franchise has been bereft of real talent within the front office and specifically as it comes to the draft classes since 2010 . In the subsequent years the performances of the Hornets in terms of their placing within their division and conference have been moribund to say the least , not that it was any better under the previous ownership hierarchy of Robert L Johnson .

    The Charlotte Hornets heading into this season with their players have struggled to an 18-36 . The real problem for the Hornets has been the complete lack of offense and defense when it matters the most. The coaching staff headed by James Borrego will be tested over the remainder of this regular season and it will be interesting to see how things will pan out for the team. Michael Jordan will have to greatly assess the make-up of the roster by way of their free agents and the upcoming payroll . Next up for the Charlotte Hornets will be a game against the Chicago Bulls on the road with the Hornets looking to improve their record both on the road and at home .

    A lot of individuals may well feel with Michael Jordan with his wealth and apparent business acumen , there would be a great deal of insight that he would be able to provide as an NBA franchise

    NBA news ……

    Week eighteen NBA schedule …

    Tophatal …………….


  33. Is there a chance that this upcoming season within Major League Baseball we’ll be able to see some real record breaking achievements ? Commissioner Rob Manfred has continued to fend off as much criticism as he can concerning the reason why players on the Houston Astros were not penalized for their actions concerning the performances seen during the 2017 season which led to their winning the World Series . For the likes of George Springer , Jose Altuve , Justin Verlander and Gerritt Cole , their careers will likely be looked at with a great deal of skepticism in spite of their accomplishments for the Astros .

    Dusty Baker will lead the managerial staff the team heading into this regular season and it will be interesting to see how they will fare as their season schedule begins . That will be a game against the Los Angeles Angels on the road on the 25th March , 2020 in a contest being played at Angels Ballpark in Anaheim , California ,.

    Say what you will but the 100 Top Prospects within the game are likely to make their debuts within the next four to five years at best. Wander Franco of the Tampa Bay Rays is considered to be the top prospect in game . Having been drafted by the franchise with their being glowing claims as to his ability by the front office and managerial staff . Franco was inked to a Minor League deal which pays him $3.85 million deal , a compensation package signed in 2017 .

    With the Boston Red Sox failing miserably last season within the AL East , the Tampa Bay Rays were able to come in with a second place finish , their highest standing within the division almost a decade . In 2020 it will be interesting to see how the Rays will fare this season with the team’s season opener being against the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of their home games . The Rays if they’re to compete this season, they will certainly have to make sure that the New York Yankees are the rivals that they seek to take down. It will be interesting to see if Blake Snell can be among the list of award winners , which the Rays have been notable achievers over the course of the franchise’s existence.

    One former Rays’ player Wil Myers now seems to be atop of the list of players who could very well be on the move . The San Diego Padres will be looking to trade Myers and it would appear that the front office and GM AJ Preller are interested in making this happen .

    MLB news ……

    MLB standings (2019) …

    Tophatal …………………..


  34. So Micky Loomis of the New Orleans Saints might not have to deal with an issue , but there’s certainly one brewing with the announcement that Drew Brees will be returning for a twentieth season , of the NFL of which the bulk have been spent with the Saints. Brees a free agent will likely seek to honor the final year of his deal with the franchise , albeit that he was a free agent among the quarterbacks on the market . Brees is the active leader in passing yards , passing touchdowns and the career leader in both categories as well as pass completions . It will be interesting to see what Sean Payton will seek to do with Brees and whether or not Teddy Bridgewater will still be part of the team’s roster heading into the off-season. While Brees was injured during the season , Bridgewater led the Saints to a 5-0 record while posting some tremendous statistics along the way.

    Tom Brady and Drew Brees (9), right.

    In terms of cap value and availability , it will be interesting to see how the New Orleans Saints will seek to acquit themselves. The re-signing of Drew Brees might well be a priority for the franchise , but I also believe there are other deficiencies on the roster that will clearly need to be addressed. Brees is clearly a first-ballot future Hall of Fame bound player .

    The NFL is now seeing a new grouping of young quarterbacks now taking over the league and that was clearly on display with the play of Lamar Jackson , DeShaun Watson , Patrick Mahomes and even Russell Wilson .

    With Drew Brees making the decision to return for a twentieth season it will be interesting to see if Brees’ contemporary Tom Brady will also return or there remains a chasm between Brady and the New England Patriots’ front office . Brady and Brees are the only two quarterbacks currently in the NFL with more than 60,000 passing yards and more than 450 touchdowns to their career resume`s.

    New Orleans Saints news …

    Tophatal ………..


  35. In 2010 the MLB Draft wasn’t all that complicated by way of the players taken in the first four rounds . The Philadelphia Phillies’ slugger Bryce Harper was the first player taken , a draft pick of the Washington Nationals , reigning World Series champions after their victory over the Houston Astros . The New York Yankees for their part that year were also somewhat fortuitous in their draft class of that year , led by Cito Culvo . Nine years in and he’s yet to make his debut in the Majors for the ball club. Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres were teammates on the Yankees’ roster of last season . Both were among the most productive of the players from the New York Yankees during 2019 .

    Bryce Harper

    Both of these young players Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres are seen as the core nucleus group of players that manager Aaron Boone , his managerial staff , GM Brian Cashman and the front office would like to see as the lynch pin of the franchise for years to come . With the team’s payroll being among the highest in baseball as usual and their sparing no expense to obtain the best players available almost at will . This season should prove to be an very interesting one for the New York Yankees. With their regular season schedule beginning on March 26th with a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards in Baltimore , Maryland . This contest as with the regular season series over the past eight years should tell us about the direction of both of these franchises .

    Giancarlo Stanton , left and Aaron Judge .

    Giancarlo Stanton being among the Yankees’ highest paid players will have a great deal to prove to his teammates as well as the fans in general . If the Yankees are to get the best out of Stanton then he will have to reproduce the form seen during the 2018 season . Stanton is also among a select group of players to have hit over 50 home runs in a season , having achieved that feat with the Miami Marlins in 2017 , which still remains a club record for the franchise . If the New York Yankees are to have any type of real success then Stanton will also have to lead by example when it comes to the postseason .

    MLB news ….

    Tophatal …….


  36. So 2021 and when free agency hits within the NBA , there is likely to be a an all-out effort to be made by at least six or seven teams as they seek to lure current League MVP and consensus belief that he will follow up with a back to back win , with the Milwaukee Bucks’ center Giannis Antetokounmpou being the target. The center can choose to re-sign with the Bucks and continue with the success achieved alongside his current teammates or seek to cast his array of talents in a much bigger market by way of either New York , Miami or Los Angeles . Pat Riley , current Miami Heat front office executive and team owner Micky Arison are willing to do whatever it takes to have Greek player join the franchise. Then again there’s also the persuasiveness of Doc Rivers and the front office of the Los Angeles Clippers , whose billionaire owner , Steve Ballmer would be willing to have Antetokooumnpou join the Clippers’ duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George . However , let us not forget the the Los Angeles Clippers are not the only franchise within the city of Angels and with LeBron James almost at the end of his career , it would make sense for the four-time League MVP have Giannis join him and Anthony Davis among the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup of players .

    What could also prove to be luring for Giannis Antetokounmpou would be the chance to join his younger brother Kostas Antetokounmpou , who’s a current member of the Lakers’ roster , a rookie drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2018 NBA Draft . By 2021 , LeBron James will be entering his nineteenth season and it remains to be seen if he will seek to join several of his peers and contemporaries who will have played more than two decades in the NBA . Given his accumulated wealth believe to be in excess of $550 million and counting . It would make sense for James to have the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpou be his heir-apparent in Los Angeles as he seeks to wind down his career. James’ accomplishments in the NBA Playoffs have been well chronicled and with nine Finals’ appearances along with three Finals’ MVP Awards . There isn’t a great deal left for the player to achieve when it’s all said and done.

    From my own perspective , I believe that the Miami Heat are a good up and coming team within the Eastern Conference and there is no doubt in my mind that Giannis Antetokounmpou is by far the best player within the conference with his statistics being all the more proof of that very fact.

    Both the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers have leads within their respective conferences as well as within their respective divisions . These teams will also be in action as they come off the All Star Break . Milwaukee’s first game back after this break will see them pit their talents against the Detroit Pistons , in an all Eastern Conference match-up. The Los Angeles Lakers for their part will face the Memphis Grizzlies in another all conference undertaking , but this time within the West.

    NBA news ……

    NBA standings (conference) …

    Tophatal …………


  37. I’m hard-pressed to understand the reckless stupidity now being shown as analysts try and lay out a premise for the 2020 NFL Draft . Granted , the NFL Combine has yet to take place and all of the musing which take place are by no means an indication as to what will take place on Draft Day, In the lead-up to the event we will likely see several teams seeking to pare down their rosters by way of cutting players as way of pairing down their cap commitments . We all saw how the Arizona Cardinals fared in last season’s NFL Draft having obtained quarterback Kyler Murray among others as part of their draft class . We have seen the quarterbacks taken last season and several of them went on to be very productive . This season we cannot be too sure as to what really take place concerning the likes of Joe Burrow , Justin Herbert , Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are among the number of quarterbacks who could go in the first two rounds of this upcoming draft.

    The NFL Draft of 2012 was something of a reminder of what we should and should not expect by way of the hype surrounding the players. Andrew Luck was taken number one overall by the Indianapolis Colts and achieved a great deal of success with the franchise having taken them to multiple appearances in the NFL Postseason before recurring injuries curtailed his career with the Colts . Behind Luck in that draft class of quarterbacks taken was Robert Griffin III , who now finds himself as something of a seasoned journeyman and veteran whose career never quite took off as expected. Griffin now finds himself as a back-up to current League MVP and fellow passer Lamar Jackson . The Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback had an exceptional year for the franchise and it bodes well for the Ravens’ short and long-term future.

    If quarterbacks are said to be the key to each NFL Draft then it should suggest that it is not that often we will get to see an exceptional draft class among the prospects . We know that they remain among the highest paid players in the league by way of base , average , even guaranteed money , never mind the length and deals that are made by way of their agents .

    John Elway already a Hall of Fame player , presently in charge of Football Operations for the Denver Broncos will now have some serious decisions to make concerning the free agents on the team’s roster and most notably with regard to the Broncos’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco . It has to be said with the team’s failings of last season and their not being able to compete within the AFC West , much less the AFC and league overall . A shakeup is needed for the roster right across the board. Since being acquired via a trade from the Baltimore Ravens , Joe Flacco has failed to meet the expectations sought by John Elway and it has not helped with the player suffering an abundance of recurring injuries during that time. Flacco is still owed $50 million over the next two years and it remains to be seen if the Broncos are willing to commit themselves all-out on the veteran quarterback. Denver has needs all over their roster and their biggest need might be not only at the quarterback position , but also their secondary and offensive line.

    If John Elway can be persuasive enough , he could seek to move up the NFL Draft order and pursue a quarterback in the first two rounds of this Draft , rather than taking one in the late rounds .

    NFL news ………

    NFL quarterback draft history … and the all-time number one’s in NFL draft history …

    Tophatal ………….


  38. Ron Fowler , team owner of the San Diego Padres must be hoping that his ball-club can seek to do something special for this upcoming season , but it has become abundantly clear that the Padres will have a fight on their hands to compete against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks , who have fortified their rosters . The Padres’ managerial staff headed by Jayce Tingler will have a great deal to assess by way of the team’s overall roster along with their slew of invitees and acquisitions . The San Diego Padres acquired Manny Machado , and provided him with a lucrative contract , while expecting the player to lead this roster with his offensive capabilities being on show . If there is one thing that is becoming clear and it is the fact that the San Diego Padres will have to move heaven and earth and it will start within the NL West this season. Having finished with a 70-92 record in 2019 , the fact that the Padres fell so far behind the pack within the NL should tell you all that you need to know.

    The first two months of the season should tell us a great deal about the San Diego Padres and their play . San Diego’s first twenty five games of the regular season should be very interesting . San Diego will begin their season opener with a game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park in San Diego , California on the 26th March , 2020 .

    Beyond the accomplishments of Manny Machado , I would definitely like to see what the pitching staff of the team will be able to achieve this season , most notably with their five starting aces and relievers . Their main ace from last season was Joe Lucchessi whose ten victories was the most among their pitching roster in 2019 , a real meager total when all said and done . Joe Lucchessi is among the pitchers in this lineup who are at the bottom of the pecking order by way of salary with the Padres .

    Peter Angelos , owner of the Baltimore Orioles and the franchise will have a great deal to prove with the ball-club having not won the AL East division in a number of years and with their last postseason appearance coming in 2016 with a wildcard loss to the Toronto Blue Jays .

    The Orioles with their likely starting lineup will be seeking to show the fans what they’re capable of doing during this season . That will begin in earnest when they face their divisional rivals the New York Yankees in the first of their scheduled nineteen games of the season. Over the last decade the match-ups between the two teams have led to some lopsided contests .

    It will be interesting to see which of the Orioles’ players will be stepping up to the plate this upcoming season based on their performances of last season . Trey Mancini could be the player who shows the Orioles how good he can be and and indicator as to what they are missing if Chris Davis fails to step up to the plate . Cal Ripken might well be the most famous of all the Orioles’ players of the past two decades, given his accomplishments and status as a Hall of Fame inductee for this franchise.

    Tophatal ……………


  39. So the battle for NBA Rookie of The Year Honors have began to heat up with the play of not only Ja Morant , but also Zion Williamson , showing their depth and skillset . This could very well be the tightest and most interesting rookie race the NBA has seen in years , with several of the rookies coming to the fore in their own way. These players are still on their rookie pay scale and when they become ready to sign their first multi-year , multi-million dollar deal , it will be interesting to see which of these two budding NBA stars will be earning a very big pay day.

    Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans have met Ja Morant and Memphis Grizzlies , with that contest ending in a 126-116 victory for the Pelicans . These two teams will meet again during the season , with their being three more meetings scheduled between these two conference rivals . The second meeting will take place on the 21st March at the FEDEX Forum in Memphis , Tennessee , home to the Grizzlies .

    NBA news …..

    Tophatal …………………………………..


  40. Last night as the NBA resumed play with the first games after the All Star Break , it was good to see the teams back in action .

    Latest news emanating from around the league does provide cause for concern , with the news that both Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets will not be playing at all over the remainder of the season . It now curtails whatever chances both teams had of actually being competitive given the frailties of their seasons to date.

    In one of the games which took place last night Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks scored a season and career high fifty points as the Hawks outscored the Miami Heat on their way to a decisive victory over their conference rivals within the East.

    On Friday evening there will be several interesting games on the dockets for the fans in attendance . The most intriguing of which are likely to be the games between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Portland Traiblazers , which will provide rookie sensation , Zion Williamson to pit his wits against the Blazers’ Damian Lillard . In another featured match-up we have the Denver Nuggets taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder , where Chris Paul continues his impressive season for the Thunder .

    NBA news …..

    Tophatal …………….


  41. It is becoming increasingly hard to understand how the Chicago Bears and their front office passed up on Patrick Mahomes to take Mitch Trubisky among the quarterback class from the 2017 NFL Draft with both players being taken in the first round of the Draft from that season. The Bears have struggled in that time since Trubisky has been with the franchise and that was clear this past season . GM Ryan Price and the coaching staff of Matt Nagy will have to assess the make-up of the roster , specifically their free agent status and that of the cap situation as it bears out .

    Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

    Why the Bears shouldn’t make a bold move at quarterback in NFL Free Agency

    By JJ Jankevitz of NBC Sports

    As the Bears enter Year 4 of the Mitch Trubisky era, they do so with a team constructed to maximize the inexpensive nature of their quarterback. 2020 is the Bears’ final shot at having a roster maxed out thanks to possessing the NFL’s most valuable resource.

    And yet a month before free agency, here we are, wondering which quarterback – or quarterbacks – the Bears could add to at least compete with, if not start over, Trubisky.

    This was not the plan. Ryan Pace – rightly – didn’t give the Bears much salary cap wiggle room after a 2018 spending spree, banking on Trubisky becoming the kind of guy who could compete for Super Bowls in Years 2 through 4, then earning a rich extension because of his ability to cover for the roster imperfections that contract would create. A lack of salary cap space during a quarterback’s rookie contract shouldn’t be a problem, seeing as there should be few holes and a signal-caller who can make up for them.

    RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

    The Bears currently have about $14.6 million in cap space, per the NFLPA’s public report, far less than the amount needed to acquire a starting-caliber quarterback. That number is fluid, of course, as the Bears have plenty of avenues to create more cap space (cuts, extensions, restructured contracts).

    And 2020’s offseason could see a dramatic reshuffling of the league’s quarterbacks. New jerseys will likely be worn by eight or nine members of this group: Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott, Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Ryan Tannehill, Nick Foles, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.

    It’d be a shock if the Bears landed one of the bigger names on that list, like Brady or Rivers or Newton. Dalton could be a possibility if the Cincinnati Bengals accept a late-round draft pick in exchange for him. Otherwise, the money doesn’t make much sense for those on that list (and still might not for Dalton – more on that in a bit).

    But if the Bears are going to spend upward of $17 million on a new quarterback – which they’d have to do for all 11 of those previously listed quarterbacks – it would limit Pace’s ability to address other holes on the roster. And seeing as Pace and Matt Nagy have been adamant the team’s issues in 2019 weren’t solely on Trubisky, why would they go all-out to acquire a quarterback when that would also mean limply addressing other holes on the roster?

    Click on link to read in full.

    Mitch Trubisky for his part has to be troubled given what he’s due in 2020 , it will be interesting to see what will transpire with the Chicago Bears still in his rookie deal much like the rest of the quarterbacks of that 2017 class. If Matt Nagy can’t get the best out of Trubisky , it’s going to lead to a great deal of speculation to whether or the Head Coach will address the issue of his quarterback and those among their depth chart of the Bears’ roster given the team’s problems on offense as well as defense . Chicago’s draft class in 2014 and subsequently have been more of misses than hits their being a preponderance of players who have failed miserably being on the defensive side of the ball.

    Chicago hasn’t been back to the NFL Postseason since the 2018 season , when they faced the Philadelphia Eagles in the wildcard round of the Postseason from that year .

    Tophatal …………………….


  42. So with all of the upheaval among the managerial staff of the New York Mets with the firing of Carlos Beltran and the front office being derailed with team owners Saul B Katz and Fred Wilpon being unable to sell the franchise , to multi-billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen , it seems abundantly clear that the ball-club is now spiraling out of control. GM Brodie Van Wagenan seemingly out of touch with how to deal with all of the events which have taken place and their being no real way to solve the ongoing issues of the Mets . This past season we saw all of the underlying issues taking place with the New York Mets with the team struggling . It’s hard to have any faith in a baseball franchise which hasn’t proven to be competitive by winning it’s division in over a decade. The last time the Mets won the NL East came by way of their triumph in 2015 . The ball club made it to the MLB Postseason that year making it all the way to World Series where they suffered an embarrassing defeat against the Kansas City Royals .

    Courtesy of NY Post

    Robinson Cano eyeing vintage campaign with Mets

    By Mike Puma (Sports)

    PORT ST. LUCIE — Robinson Cano was a model of health, until he arrived to the Mets.

    Limited to 107 games last year — the fewest of his career beyond the PED suspension that cost him half the season in 2018 — the Mets second baseman said he spent much of the offseason trying to build up his legs. Cano last season had three stints on the injured list, two of them caused by a left quadriceps strain. Then, in August, he sustained a torn left hamstring that cost him a month.

    “I just have to prevent whatever happened in the past,” Cano said Sunday. “You have got to get those parts of your body stronger so then I don’t go back again and get injured.”

    Cano, 37, still has four years and $96 million remaining on the contract the Mets inherited when general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, in an attempt to make a splash before the 2019 season, sent prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn to the Mariners and obtained the All-Star second baseman, along with closer Edwin Diaz. The Mets also sent Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista to the Mariners in the trade.

    Cano endured a disastrous first half, posting a .646 OPS that raised fears he was finished as a player. But Cano rebounded after the All-Star break, with a .880 OPS. Cano dealt with discomfort from getting hit in the hands early in the season that may have contributed to his first-half struggles.

    The Mets with their payroll this season will be looking to make a real go of this schedule , with Robinson Cano looking to be a real leader among the roster as one of their veterans. Cano’s career has been one of highs and lows , with his best season being likely those spent with the New York Yankees . For the New York Met this could be a make or break season not just for the team , but also for the ball club itself with neither Fred Wilpon or Saul Katz now being able to negotiate a new purchaser for the franchise .

    Click on link to read in full.

    With the season just over a month away it will be interesting to see how the New York Mets will fare this season . The team’s regular season opener will see them square off against reigning World Series champions the Washington Nationals in a game being played on the road , of which that will be part of their road schedule for the year . The Mets’ most serious challenges I believe will come from their games against both the Atlanta Braves , Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies .

    The New York Mets have been the poor neighbors to their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees and it will continue to their core. The series between these two franchise since 2010 have often been lopsided and I expect this season it will be no different.

    Tophatal ………..


  43. At some point within the next three weeks , Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will have to come to a decision concerning the quarterback’s future . Brady if he’s retained , can renegotiate a long-term deal, with the expectation of at least a two or three-year deal , paying him at least $35 million a year. Head Coach Bill Belichick , Nick Casero , team general manager and owner Robert Kraft have to make a decision concerning the player. Brady has brought the team to nine Superbowl appearances , with six victories and with his winning four Superbowl MVP Awards and his being a three-time League MVP . With all of his accomplishments , there’s no denying that this past season were among Tom Brady’s worst by way of his distinguished career.

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Patriots’ Robert Kraft addresses Tom Brady’s impending free agency with just five words

    The Patriots’ owner wants Brady back for the 2020 season

    By Bryan DeArdo @ Bryan DeArdo ..

    Robert Kraft only needed five words to answer the question posed to him Sunday night in Los Angeles. Kraft, the Patriots’ owner who was attending Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Academy Awards viewing party, was asked if he wants future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady back in New England for the 2020 season. Brady, who has spent his entire 20-year career with the Patriots, is expected to become an unrestricted free agent when the NFL’s new league year begins on Mar. 18. This would mark the first time that the 42-year-old Brady has tested free agency.

    “You know what I want,” Kraft said, via Juliet Pennington of The Boston Globe.

    Last month, during an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Kraft expressed his desire to see Brady remain with the Patriots. At the same time, Kraft said that Brady has “earned the right” to explore his options as a free agent after helping lead the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles, nine AFC championships and 18 consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins.

    “Before the season started, it was very important to Tom that he be free to do whatever he wanted at the end of the year,” Kraft said. “You know what I said to myself? That any person who plays 20 years for this team and helps us get to nine Super Bowls, and been really selfless, has earned that right. I love the young man like he’s part of my family. Blood family. Anyone who’s done that has earned the right to control his future after 20 years. And you know, my hope and prayer is number one, he play for the Patriots. Or number two, he retires. He has the freedom to decide what he wants to do and what’s in his own best personal interest.”

    While Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has not publicly discussed Brady’s upcoming free agency, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran recently said that Belichick’s preference would be to have Brady back under center for the 2020 season.

    “I think from all I have gathered, Bill would prefer to have Tom Brady playing quarterback in 2020 because it is a known quantity and it removes the doubt,” Curran said on WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe”. “They aren’t ready to have him leave. But, if he’s going to leave and it is going to hamstring other portions, if it comes to a crossroads, I think Bill can easily get his mind around saying good bye as well as he has with so many other players over the course of time.

    “But, I believe his first preference would be to have it work out for another season with Tom.”

    Brady endured a drop in production in 2019, posting his lowest completion percentage total since 2013 and his lowest passing output since 2016 when he played in just 12 games. Brady’s supporters point to the fact that Brady suffered the loss of several skill position players during the season. The Patriots, who started off 8-0 before falling to the Titans in the first round of the playoffs, also failed to adequately address the void left by Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.

    While Brady may elect to stay in New England, he will have several options in free agency. Brady will be joined on the free agency market by fellow quarterback Philip Rivers, who decided to mutually part with the Chargers on Monday. One quarterback that will probably not end up on the open market is Dak Prescott, who will likely receive another longterm contract offer from the Cowboys before the start of free agency.

    Click on link to read in full.

    The New England Patriots will need to have a very good Draft Class in 2020 given the real failures of their past attempts in fortifying the roster with real inherent talent . Other than Tom Brady’s six Superbowl rings , no other player has been able to acquire at best three apiece. If there is one thing we know to be true , it is that the depth chart of the Patriots falls short of what the fans have been accustomed to over the years . Granted , Stephon Gilmore was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year and several of his teammates were part of the AFC Pro Bowl roster for this past season. New England’s needs beyond dealing with Tom Brady’s current situation, will also be to address their lack of a productive tight end .

    Tom Brady and Robert Kraft .

    The departure and retirement of Rob Gronkowski clearly set the New England Patriots back with his not being in the lineup as a reliable source for Tom Brady . The one thing we do know is clear , the Patriots are not able to rely on Jarrett Stidham or Cody Kessler as the successor for the franchise’s all time leading passer. Once can see that the decision will be a tough one for the Patriots’ franchise and the thought of also dealing with the contract status of their other free agents still on the roster while dealing with all of their needs.

    NFL news …..

    NFL Combine …

    Tophatal ………….


  44. It’s official as the Cleveland Cavaliers and the front office have decided to part ways with the team’s Head Coach John Beileien . It was clear from the outset that Koby Altman and team owner Dan Gilbert balked and sought out a College Head Coach rather than a coach with proven ability from within the professional ranks. Beilein could never connect with the players on the roster , be they the veterans or the rookies on the team. The franchise currently has the second worst record in the NBA with n only the Golden State Warriors with a worst mark at this stage of the season.

    Detroit Free Press

    Derrick Walton Jr. ‘sad’ John Beilein didn’t work out with Cleveland Cavaliers

    By Dana Gauruder

    Point guard Derrick Walton Jr. is disappointed his college coach’s stint in the NBA was so brief.

    The former University of Michigan star, , who joined the Detroit Pistons on Friday, hasn’t spoken to John Beilein since Cleveland visited Los Angeles to play the Clippers in mid-January. But Walton was “sad” to learn how things played out for Beilein, who gave up the head coaching job with the Cavaliers this week after a tumultuous half-season and took another job within the organization.

    “You’re always sad when somebody that you’re close with, when things don’t work out in their favor,” Walton said after Friday’s practice. “But I respect him a great deal for taking that step. A lot of college coaches probably wouldn’t have. They’d be more OK with security. With him, it was always about challenging himself. It’s just a different game up here and, if anything, he learned that.”

    Walton, who attended Harper Woods Chandler Park, signed a 10-day contract with his hometown team and underwent his first practice on Friday. He’s expected to play during the team’s four-game West Coast trip, which begins in Portland on Sunday. Walton spent most of the season with the Clippers but was traded to Atlanta and waived earlier this month.

    Thomas heads to Grand Rapids
    While Bruce Brown has blossomed, another second-round pick from the 2018 draft has been a forgotten man on the Pistons’ roster.

    Shooting guard Khyri Thomas has been sidelined most of the season after undergoing foot surgery. He completed his rehab and returned Friday with the Gatorade League’s Grand Rapids Drive.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Over their last ten games the Cleveland Cavaliers have been among the worst performing teams in the league with their players having been woefully inept . With the Cavaliers having begun the second half of their regular season schedule , it will be interesting to see how the team will fare under their interim Head Coach , John-Blair Bickerstaffe whose mindset has to be getting these players to play at a higher level , playing with pride and seeking to resurrect some semblance of the season.

    Up next for the Cleveland Cavaliers will be a game against the Washington Wizards in the first of two back to back games on the road, with the second being against the Miami Heat . Cleveland’ draft history has been exceptionally poor with their not being any real success since LeBron James was taken number one overall during the 2003 NBA Draft . The roster in part will be in need of a real overhaul in spite of their impending free agents , alongside that of their cap availability .

    NBA news …..

    Cleveland Cavaliers news ….

    Tophtal ……………


  45. So in what can be best described as a truly shocking result , WBC champion and unbeaten fighter Deontay Wilder surrendered his crown in a stunning upset loss to challenger Tyson Fury in seven tenacious rounds , where Wilder was out-boxed and knocked down twice by the challenger . The fight itself was brought to a halt when trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel during the seventh round to save Wilder from further punishment. Under the contractual stipulations Deontay Wilder has one month to secure a future date for a rematch against Tyson Fury. However, as lucrative as the bout is likely to be , many believe that Fury should now seek unify the heavyweight division and have a match-up against fellow British fighter Anthony Joshua . At this moment in time in spite of Joshua holding three of the four major title belts , it is Fury who is now seen as best heavyweight boxer in the world after his clinical dismantling of the once formidable and unbeaten , Wilder.

    Yahoo Sports Boxing news …..



  46. Though he hasn’t come outright and suggested it , but Heisman Trophy winner and consensus number one overall pick for the upcoming NFL Draft , LSU Tigers’ quarterback Joe Burrow seems to be under the misapprehension that all of the cards are stacked in his favor with regard to his heading to the Cincinnati Bengals as the franchise has the first pick in the upcoming Draft. Burrow is a native Ohioan , but it would appear that the player might not be overly impressed with the current situation unfolding with the Bengals , with their organization being in a complete state of disarray. This is a franchise with only one postseason appearance in the last fifteen years and where incumbent quarterback Andy Dalton has proven to be less than impressive during his time with the franchise. Many believe the front office and ownership have been at a loss to right the ship and it is abundantly clear that the present coaching staff . Rooki Head Coach Zac Taylor is now being asked to perform miracles with a team which will clearly be in transition , likely with the loss of several free agents as well the possible waiving of players as the team looks to place itself in a favorable cap position .

    Courtesy of The New York Post …

    NFL combine: Joe Burrow, Tom Brady madness take center stage

    By Ryan Dunleavy

    NFL Scouting Combine workouts are moving into prime time, but the real show still happens after hours.

    With executives, agents, coaches, scouts and media all gathered for a week in Indianapolis, the combine is a hotbed for backchannel negotiations and speculative buzz created in social settings.

    Draft homework is the advertised purpose — 337 prospects were invited to lift, run and jump in a new time slot (4-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2-7 p.m. Sunday) — but free agency opens March 18, and the two player addition periods go hand-in-hand.

    Here are nine storylines that will take twists and turns at the combine:

    1. Will LSU’s Joe Burrow pull an Eli Manning?
    The presumptive No. 1 pick grew up in Ohio. The Bengals are atop the draft board and need a quarterback. Perfect match, right? Except the Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since Jan. 6, 1991. Burrow hasn’t campaigned to be the Bengals’ franchise-changer — the way Baker Mayfield did for the Browns in 2018 — and says he has some “leverage,” which prompted speculation he may follow the lead of Manning and force a draft trade by refusing to play for a mismanaged team. Bengals coach Zac Taylor — a sharp young offensive mind — and Burrow need to wow each other in an 18-minute formal interview.

    2. Where will Tom Brady play?
    The six-time Super Bowl winner can’t officially change teams just yet, but he will be more discussed than any non-rookie at the combine. He can re-sign with the Patriots right now. Or maybe he and the Patriots end speculation and agree to part ways in a joint announcement, like Philip Rivers and the Chargers. ESPN recently reported “no movement” on negotiations. Brady made it clear he will play somewhere. The Cowboys, Chargers, Raiders and Titans are top suitors.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Andy Dalton can become a free agent in 2021 , but it is becoming abundantly clear that the player having been drafted by the Bengals during 2011 NFL Draft , where there was said to be an average group of quarterbacks during this particular class , where several of his contemporaries , he failed to meet expectations . If there is one thing which has become abundantly clear and it is the very fact that Mike Brown as the lead managing partner for the Bengals , has made sure that the franchise has been mismanaged , to the point where even from an economic standpoint the Cincinnati Bengals are clearly struggling to stay abreast with the other franchises around the NFL .

    One player likely to be leaving the Cincinnati Bengals during this off-season could very well be wide receiver A J Green , who throughout his tenure has been a very productive player for this franchise. Green is an unrestricted free agent and would be a welcome addition to any NFL franchise in search of a wide receiver of his caliber . One team willing to show interest in Green are the current NFC champions the San Francisco 49ers who could very well seek to add another potent offensive weapon to their already
    lineup of receivers .

    NFL news ….

    Tophatal …………


  47. The weekend’s games within the NBA produced several games of vital intrigue for the fans in attendance . With the week having ended with such fervor it remains to be seen what the remainder of February will have in store for the teams . The Milwaukee Bucks with their record of 48-8 , are the first team to have qualified for the NBA Playoffs for this season , having clinched their berth , doing so with a historic run , the quickest in league history . It will be interesting to see if the Bucks can end up with a franchise record by way season victories . That mark of sixty victories , has been three times achieved by the Bucks , with their last achievement coming during the 2018-19 season, when they made the postseason succumbing to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals , with the Raptors then going on to defeat the Golden State Warriors in a thrilling seven-game series’ Finals.

    Next up for the Milwaukee Bucks will be a game against the Washington Wizards on the road where the Bucks have one of the best records of any team in the NBA this season. The play of Giannis Antetokounmpou , alongside Khris Middleton and several of their teammates have one of the primary reasons by the Bucks’ success this season. Milwaukee’s bench in particular has been particularly stoic in many of their games this season coming up strong as and when needed .

    If the Bucks are said to be excelling this season, then injuries have plagued so many teams which in laymen’s terms , it has mired the play of several teams during the year to date,

    Pascal Siakam , Marc Gasol of the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics are now proving a point and I do believe that these two teams and the Milwaukee Bucks are more than capable of handling their own when it comes to facing the powerhouses within the Western Conference. The Boston Celtics for their part will have an eventful few games to round out the month of February with their next contest being against the Portland Trailblazers . The Raptors will be tipping off against the Milwaukee Bucks in what ought to be a thrilling contest between two of the top three seeds within the East. It should be interesting to see how the match-up between Pascal Siakam will face off against Giannis Antetokounmpou .

    NBA news …..

    Week nineteen NBA schedule …

    NBA standings division and NBA standings conference

    Tophatal …………………


  48. Rob Manfred clearly misjudged his decision to offer immunity to the Houston Astros’ players involved in the sign-stealing scandal which saw the franchise win the 2017 World Series , while also remaining dominant within the game from that year up until 2019 , with the Astros falling to the Washington Nationals in last season’s World Series. Manfred has drawn a great deal of criticism from several players around Major League Baseball , most notably with their being vociferous criticism coming from Aaron Judge , Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner .

    Courtesy of the New York Times

    He Let the Astros Players Slide. Now He’s Paying for It

    When baseball’s commissioner decided not to punish the players involved in a sign-stealing scandal, he brought the wrath of rival teams and fans down on himself.

    By David Waldstiein

    Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s commissioner, knew he had a crisis on his hands. So he cut short his annual trip to spring training in Arizona on Wednesday, gathered the staff members traveling with him and flew back to New York.

    Back at M.L.B.’s headquarters, he convened all 30 team owners on a conference call, the type of event reserved for only the most pressing league matters. The purpose of the call, according to three people who participated, was for Manfred to address the bitter fallout from his investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme and to issue a warning about what he has described as a “culture of cheating” in the game.

    With players openly criticizing Manfred in preseason camps, the entire affair and its fallout were blossoming into baseball’s biggest scandal since the steroid era — not only undercutting Manfred’s authority as commissioner but also threatening the integrity of the game.

    Speaking frankly to the owners, Manfred noted that the Astros scandal was only the latest in a series of cases in which team personnel — both players and executives — had broken rules to gain a competitive advantage. He also decried the pervasive code of silence within the game that made fact-finding so challenging, and urged owners to join him in rooting out the dual problems inside their organizations.

    The next day, he gathered more than 1,000 employees of Major League Baseball in the atrium of their new offices in Midtown Manhattan, having moved up a town hall meeting planned for later on. Standing at a lectern, he explained his decision-making in the investigation and his choice to grant immunity to the Astros players involved even as he issued lengthy suspensions to two team officials, which was producing loud criticism from players on other teams.

    “I abhor the fact that we made a decision that evoked this kind of emotion from the players,” Manfred said in an interview on Friday. “It’s not good for the sport.

    Click on link to read in full.

    With the Houston Astros having to forfeit draft picks for the 2020 MLB Draft . Astros’ owner Jim Crane has tried to mitigate the actions of his ball-club while suggesting that he’s taken the appropriate actions which saw the dismissal of former GM Jeff Luhnow as the championship winning manager AJ Hinch . From my own perspective , I firmly believe that the approach taken by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was far too light and was nothing more than a slap on the wrist for the Astros’ organization. The ball club’s actions were not only so egregious but they went against just about every fabric of and principle upon which the game of baseball was built.

    MLB news ….

    Tophatal ………….


  49. Chris Archer will be looking to get back to the lofty heights when he was once seen as a celebrated starter with the Tampa Bay Rays . Archer is now a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates , a Major League Baseball franchise which has seen very little success over the past two decades. Bob Nutting remains the owner of the franchise , but during his tenure there has been little to make the fans feel happy by way of success. Ben Cherington is the latest in a long line of front office executives who has been asked to oversee the role of being the general manager . As an ball club within the NL Central , the Pirates’ best finish within the division came in 1992 . The team’s most recent appearance in the Postseason came in 2015 with a wildcard match against the Chicago Cubs .

    The Pirates’ roster for this season will be among have among the lowest payroll in all of baseball . Chris Archer and Gregory Polanco will be two of the highest paid players on the team’s roster heading into the season . With their non roster invitees and recent acquisitions to the playing staff and under the managerial acumen of Derek Shelton , it will be interesting to see how the team will fare over the course of their regular season schedule . Pittsburgh will begin it’s Spring Training schedule with a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on the 1st March , 2020 .

    Chris Archer was draft pick of the Cleveland Indians during the 2006 MLB Draft with his being taken in the fifth round of that draft . Archer made his debut in 2012 , pitching in his professional debut against the Washington Nationals . Archer and the rest of this starting lineup of the Pirates are expected to contend with the rest of the NL as well as MLB overall in 2020 . Joe Musgrove is expected to be Opening Day starter for the Pirates when they face the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field , in St Petersburg , Florida in a road game for the visiting Pirates .

    Pirates’ manager Derek Shelton has to be hoping that Chris Archer can pitch in a full season for the team if their to have any real chance of really competing within the NL over the course of the season . The player had to scratch from his first exhibition game of the season which was a match-up against the New York Yankees

    MLB standings Spring Training …

    MLB schedule three days at a glance 24th to 26th February …

    MLB transactions (February ) ..

    Tophatal ……….


  50. Uber-agent Leon Rose has been hired and introduced as the new President of Operations for the moribund New York Knicks , the NBA’s most valuable franchise and among one of their most profitable . Beyond that over the last two and a half decades success for the Knicks has been fleeting. Team owner James L Dolan has simply squandered any goodwill to be found with the fans and analysts alike. The team itself in it’s present guise isn’t one that you would be overly impressed with , a core group of young players with the inexperience to show along with some veterans. With four players on the roster with no than five years experience , it’s easy to understand why the Knicks have failed so miserably this season.

    For Leon Rose his task may well be to seek for renewed ways to reinvigorate the Knicks’ franchise from top to bottom. Interim Head Coach Mike Miller has inherited a team that seems way out of it’s depth and where their play over the last ten games has been indicative of their season all along. At 17-40 , it’s projected that the Knicks are not likely to win more than 28 games for this season . With Scott Perry , current general manager allowing Marcus Morris to leave via a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers M , strengthening that particular franchise’s roster , one could allude to the fact the Knicks are positioning themselves with regard to the future in the hope of obtaining a marquee free agent as well as looking to the NBA Draft (2020) . However , this upcoming free agent class isn’t seen as powerful as the 2021 class , where there will be several desirable stars among the list.

    The Knicks’ draft history in particular since 2011 , has to be considered lackluster to say the very least . These issues have become synonymous with the New York Knicks and I doubt that will change under the guidance of either Scott Perry or Leon Rose. In their most recent game , the Knicks tipped off against the Houston Rockets , which ended in defeat for the Eastern Conference based New York Knicks .

    It is hard to envisage what James L Dolan hopes to gain from the hiring of Leon Rose , when the real issue concerning the franchise has been the continuous mismanagement of the organization , starting with Dolan , himself and the individuals whom he has sought over the years to run the front office , stemming from Isiah Thomas , Phil Jackson , Scott Layden , Steve Mills as well as Glen Grunwald . All of whom have failed miserably during their tenures.

    With the season now in it’s final stages with only a week left in the month of February and their just being the month March and then April to be dealt with . It will be interesting to see what the New York Knicks can offer up to their long starving fans by way of their competitiveness. For their next match-up the New York Knicks are due to face the Charlotte Hornets on the road .

    If the rumors are to be believed , then Leon Rose may well seek to bring in a new Head Coach and the likelihood, is that it will be former Chicago Bulls’ Head Coach Tom Thibodeau . He currently serves as an Associate and Assistant Head Coach on the staff of Brad Stevens , current Head Coach of the Boston Celtics .

    New York Knicks news ….

    Tophatal …………………………..


  51. It has been an interesting week within the world of Men’s College Basketball with the rankings having changed drastically . Kansas Jayhawks have jumped to the top of the polls and their play has been consistent through much of the season with a number of players stepping up big for the team. The Jayhawks under Head Coach , Bill Self will be looking to guide the program to another NCAA berth this season . Their next game will pit the Jayhawks against instate rivals Kansas State in what is sure to be a heated contest between the two teams.

    With the departure of Zion Williamson from Duke’s roster of last season . It has been intriguing to see how the program has regrouped under Mike Krzyzewski. For Duke this season has been one where the team been inconsistent in stretches . Next up for Duke will be a game against Wake Forest when these two teams meet today , 25th February , 2020. Also in action today will be perennial powerhouse , Baylor as they take on Kansas State .

    Another team looking to compete this season within the NCAA , is none other than Gonzaga and given their tenacity , it should be expected that they will be making an appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as a representative from the West Coast Conference . In their next game Gonzaga are due to face San Diego on the 27th February .

    NCAA Men’s Basketball ….

    NCAA Men’s Basketball schedule (25th February)

    Tophatal ………………….


  52. Stefon Diggs of the Minnesota Vikings has made it clear that he’s completely unhappy with his situation and their being an unwillingness by the front office to issue the wide receiver to be a more integral as part of the team’s offense . Diggs would like nothing better than to leave the franchise and make use of his skills elsewhere . Stefon Diggs was among the most productive players on the Vikings’ franchise this past season . With the Vikings having made the postseason defeating the New Orleans Saints in their wildcard game ,

    Diggs isn’t due to become an unrestricted free agent until 2024 and it will be interesting to see if GM Rick Spielman will seek to acquiesce to any interest shown in the Vikings’ wide receiver. As good as the Vikings were last season , the team’s quarterback Kirk Cousins felt that he let his teammates down with his own lack of productivity in the postseason . While I don’t believe the Vikings will release Stefon Diggs , it will be interesting to see what the franchise might seek to do , should he be on the move. There are several wide receivers who might pique the interest of the Minnesota Vikings .

    The Minnesota Vikings are the core of their roster remains a young and experienced team with the coaching staff of Mike Zimmer . The Vikings and their cap availability alongside their draft position will be very intriguing as they look to build ahead for the future .

    Tophatal ……………..


  53. Well, the MLB season with regard to their Spring Training schedule has begun , with their being a number of games over the past few days. Performances by the teams are what you would expect at this point of the season . The one thing we do know for sure and it is that the Houston Astros will be treated as pariahs , after the scandal which has encapsulated the ball club and tainted the achievements of their players. It’s going to be hard not to see the Astros as the newest villains within the game of baseball . The team itself in their current guise will have their usual litany of games for the exhibition season and they will be in action today when they face the Miami Marlins . There are no real connotations for this match-up but the fans will undoubtedly play their part in making the Houston Asros feel very unwelcome.

    Dusty Baker and the managerial staff will have to get the players in the right frame of mind once the regular season starts either when they’re on the road or at home . With the departure of Gerrit Cole to the New York Yankees , it will be interesting see how the team will fare over the course of the season as well as during Spring Training .

    To open up their regular season schedule the Houston Astros will face the Los Angeles Angels at Minute Maid Park in Houston , Texas,.

    Houston Astros news ….

    Tophatal …………………


  54. Point guards within the NBA this season have been among the most productive players in the league , with notably the likes of Chris Paul , Damian Lillard , Ja Morant and Russell Westbrook leading that charge with some very spectacular performances . It will be interesting to see how the teams will fare over the remainder of this NBA season . With our knowing that the Milwaukee Bucks have already qualified for the NBA Playoffs having clinched their division , it will be interesting to see how the Bucks will fare. Up next for the Bucks will be a game against the Toronto Raptors .

    There will be six games scheduled for today , 25th February , with the most intriguing of the match-up’s, likely to be the contest between the Boston Celtics against the Portland Trailblazers in a match-up between East and West teams .

    LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will be seeking to increase their conference lead over their closest rivals . James and his teammates will have an upcoming game against the New Orleans Pelicans . On-court will be the match-up of two overall number one picks when LeBron James faces off against Zion Williamson of the Pelicans. This match-up could be seen as a meeting of the old and the new with Williamson not necessarily seen as the heir-apparent as the face of the NBA for the next decade or more. For the Pelicans this game will mean a great deal as their vying for a postseason berth within the Western Conference.

    For Joe Lacob and Peter Guber as the principal owners of the Golden State Warriors , with their missing the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson from their lineup for much of the season . Injuries have simply plagued the team and Steve Kerr will simply push on through knowing that the season is lost for the franchise. Curry it is believed, might well return to the lineup before the end of the regular season . It will be interesting to see how the team will fare over their five games and how things pan out with the return of the two-time NBA League MVP . For their next game the Warriors will be facing the Sacramento Kings at home where their record has been below average , way below average.

    One of the things which Warriors’ GM Bob Myers will have as an advantage, will be the number of Draft picks the franchise has accumulated as well as their having enough maneuverability within the salary cap for a number of years to come .

    NBA schedule

    Tophatal ……………


  55. So with the Boston Red Sox retooling the team’s roster which saw the departure of both Mookie Betts and David Price , slashing over $51 million off the Red Sox’s payroll from last season . The decision came by way of the front office not wanting ante up for Betts by offering a lucrative long-term deal , of between eight and ten years, paying the slugger over $290 million .

    It’s hard to envisage how the Red Sox as a team will fare this season along with their being a new managerial staff now in tow with the dismissal of Alex Cora . The Red Sox with their non roster invitees and trade acquisitions will be looking to parlay this season into something special .

    One Red Sox player looking to make it something of a special season will be starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi . He will be among the team’s starting rotation looking to make the team competitive in any way that they can. Chris Sale will undoubtedly be the team’s number one starter for much of the season . The team is in action today as they take to the mound to play against the Baltimore Orioles in an exhibition game . It will be Ryan Weber of the Red Sox against Tom Eshelman of the Orioles in the duel of starting pitchers .

    Boston’s opening day lineup for their regular season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays Minnesota Twins will be an intriguing game between these two AL teams .

    Boston Red Sox news …

    Tophatal ………………………


  56. Last night’s enthralling game between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans featured several players on either side who once played for the opposing teams. Yet the real intrigue, was in fact the match-up between the two former number one NBA Draft picks from 2003 and 2019 , featuring four-time NBA League MVP , LeBron James of the Lakers and rookie phenom sensation Zion Williamson of the Pelicans. This was the first meeting between these two prodigious stars and provided us with perhaps a glimpse in the future , albeit that I don’t believe that LeBron will be playing in the NBA four years from now . While he remains extremely talented , I do feel that with the passing of Kobe Bryant , James might rethink his overall approach as to basketball and that of family life. The NBA is now in good hands among the rookies and sophomores within the league at this moment in time. This was in fact the third of four meetings between the two teams this season , with the Lakers holding the upper hand at 3-0 . The next scheduled meeting between the Lakers and Pelicans will take place on March 1st at the Smoothie Arena , in New Orleans , Louisiana .

    Zion Williamson was impressive in this game with his scoring double digits for the tenth time in his last twelve games.

    Another game from Tuesday night featured the Milwaukee Bucks taking on the Toronto Raptors in a match-up of the two top teams in the Eastern Conference . The victory for the Bucks increases their lead within the conference and it’s likely that they will become the first team in the NBA to notch up 50 wins for this season.

    With the likely return of Steph Curry to the lineup of the Golden State Warriors in March , it will be interesting to see how the team fares over the rest of this season. Next up for the Warriors will be a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in a match-up of these conference rivals and Pacific Division teams.

    NBA news ….

    Tophatal ….


  57. As the anger continues to be borne out with the players among several teams as they vent their frustration with the Houston Astros and the fact that the team was treated mildly by the MLB hierarchy led by Commissioner Rob Manfred . Baseball’s team owners might well be angry, but as long as Manfred’s tenure bears fruit with the teams being profitable and their being increases in revenues year over year , then in reality all of this furor will die down over a period time.

    The only thing one can contend with has been the fact that the (Players’ Union) has been content with the decision of Rob Manfred and his granting complete immunity to the players on the Astros’ roster .

    It will be interesting to see how the Houston Astros will fare at home this season when they begin their regular season schedule of 81 games at Minute Maid Park , in Houston Texas. This much is certain on the road, the team will face a great deal of animosity from the fans as well as the visiting fans at their home venue.

    Tophatal ………………..


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