Let My People Go ….
Well the NFL preseason is almost upon us and the first game of the preseason schedule will be the Hall of Game featuring the Chicago Bears facing the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday 2nd August, 2018. Meanwhile off the field , the big news’ story within the league has been the comments from Stephen Jones and his father Jerry Jones , front office executives for the Dallas Cowboys . Jones Sr has let it be known that any player on the team’s roster refusing the stand during the playing of the National Anthem could face dismissal from the Cowboys as well as the mandatory fines likely to be levied by the NFL hierarchy.
As the NFL continues to try and justify their latest policy change , it is becoming increasing clear the owners have taken a stance with the exception of New York Jets’ owner Woody Johnson who has stated categorically , he is prepared to stand by any player on the team who wishes to oppose the ruling now in place by the league. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , has somehow engulfed the league in a public relations’ nightmare which it cannot win . Former CEO and founder of pizza chain restaurant Papa John’s , John Schnatter has resigned from the company after his racist comments were made public. Schnatter at the time, was speaking with a public relations’ firm seeking their input into ways of increasing sales , when he chose to use certain racially derogatory terms to describe African-Americans and Hispanics. Had he not resigned , then it was almost certain that his Board of Directors would have sought his ouster. Papa John’s still remains an NFL partner , but has seen it’s association with several NBA franchises abruptly come to an end.
From my own standpoint , this upcoming season within the NFL will not be one where I will be taking a keen interest in the regular season , let alone what might take place during the postseason. This league has lost all credibility , while the NFLPA (players union) remains a body unwilling to support when of their own when needed the most.
The NBA off-season has proven to be an interesting one with the departure of LeBron James , as he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Los Angeles Lakers . James fulfilled the wish of his hometown franchise by bringing them their first professional franchise title in over five decades. However, the team that LeBron James now leaves behind will not be one that will be considered among the favorites within the Eastern Conference for the upcoming regular season. James’ departure might be seen as a big coup for the Lakers, but not less than forty-eight hours after the announcement was made , reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors were able to swoop in and sign DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year $5.3 million deal , veteran’s minimum . For those now crying foul , please stop with the idiocy and the complaints of the league lacking parity and competitiveness. The money now involved in the NBA, now creates a chasm between the top teams and in actuality to my mind , this has more to do with the culture now sought by front office executives and NBA hierarchy led by Commissioner Adam Silver . His predecessor , David Stern simply did not do enough by way of a league salary cap or seeking to keep those contracts in check.
This season , the number of players in the NBA earning more than $25 million a year will be at an all-time high , with the Russell Westbrook being the highest-paid player in the league by way of his contract. The long held belief that Gregg Popovich is a master tactician is not lost on many , but somehow in spite of his coaching prowess , this five-time championship winning coach was unable to persuade Kawhi Leonard to remain with the San Antonio Spurs . Instead the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year has found himself a new home, having been traded to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for DeMar DeRozan , one of the most productive players in the NBA over this past season.It will be interesting to see what the veteran forward can offer the Spurs as they embark on another season .
MLB enters its second-half of the season after an interesting first-half and an All Star Game Weekend of festivities filled with a great deal of excitement . The non-waiver trade deadline is now in focus and there are likely to be several players on the move by 4:00 pm today, the deadline for all trades . The Baltimore Orioles now appear to be in a rebuilding process and it would seem that after their trade of Manny Machado , there is the likelihood that Adam Jones could be the next player on the move. Not racked by injuries but this is a team which seems to be lacking in confidence and where manager Buck Showalter now has to look to the future. Chris Davis is no longer the player who hit 50 home runs in a season , while powering their offense. If this season is anything to go by the Orioles have been a non-starter.
Over their last ten games the Baltimore Orioles have posted a moribund 5-5 record . They’re out of the wildcard contention and their divisional record is abysmal . The Orioles are in action today where they face the New York Yankee s on the road , with Yefry Ramirez of the visiting team facing Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees , as part of their regular season schedule.
If you can’t beat them, then you just give up , continue to make excuses for your incompetence. There’s no other way to describe the continued woes of the New York Mets . Often seen as the ugly sister to their crosstown rivals the New York Yankees. The Mets continue to be abysmal for a variety of reasons , while their long-suffering and idiotic fans make excuses for the ball-club’s malaise. This Micky Callaway managed team has a look of defeat about them which has become so contagious and bewildering. The best performing player for the Mets this season has been Jacob deGrom , around whom there are now constant trade rumors concerning the starting pitcher. It is likely that the Mets’ front office will listen to offers for deGrom and quite possibly his teammate Noah Syndergaard . With two months left on the schedule , it seems now might be the time to take the chance on looking to the future by calling up several of their most promising players within their farm system. Micky Callaway will prepare the Mets for their next several games , starting off with Tuesday’s contest against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Ballpark in Washington, DC.
Once again the Tampa Bay Rays find themselves in a position where at this point of the season they are sellers rather than buyers. News now circulating , based on conditions of anonymity , the Rays will be trading their starting pitcher Chris Archer to the Pittsburgh Pirates . Archer was one of the few desirable starting pitchers sought at the deadline and it is believed that the Rays will obtain Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow in return for the AL ace . Archers’s last start for the Rays was in game against the Baltimore Orioles, a 15-5 loss , where he pitched six innings in the contest . . Chris Archer’s contract becomes an amenable one for the Pirates to have , with just two years remaining on his existing deal. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash and senior members within the front office will have a hard time trying to convince the fans that this proposed deal will be in the best interests of the ball-club.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers remains under the gun and with the Dodgers failing to win the World Series in 2017 , with their first appearance in the Fall Classic, with their falling to the Houston Astros. I have to ask myself how much more can Mark Walter and Magic Johnson take as the primary owners of this ball-club ? Since acquiring the ball-club from Frank McCourt via bankruptcy proceedings the Dodgers have committed over $1.6 billion in salaries on a litany of players. This year the Dodgers possess one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball ,with their starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw leading the way with a whopping $33 million price-tag for his services in 2018. While the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves with a struggle within the NL West , the question remains what will this team have to do in order to bring the franchise their first World Series’ title in almost three decades?
Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be in action on Wednesday afternoon when the team faces the Milwaukee Brewers at home in a clash between NL counterparts. The front office of the Dodgers made some moves which they deem to be beneficial, as they look to wind down their regular season schedule. While Idon’t believe that Mark Walter and Magic Johnson will fire Dave Roberts should the team fail to make the postseason , I do believe there will be rumblings among the fan-base for something to be done.
What do you believe are the main stories now breaking within the world of sports and do you feel that the comments made by both Jerry Jones and Dak Prescott have any basis in merit ?
Picture gallery. Click on image to view that picture in a reformatted size along with accompanying narrative.